Weekly News Roundup

I am now able to access my computer again after unpacking my stuff at work where we moved (again) from another floor in the same building.

Big news today is the groundbreaking ceremony of Dow Kokam’s new lithium battery production facility in Michigan. US Vice President Joe Biden attended the event and more on this in another post…

Next week, I will be attending the annual BIO World Congress on Industrial biotechnology and Processing conference to be held near Washington D.C. Lots of good stuff coming from this event, which will tie up most of my time so posts next week will be scarce. Follow my tweets at @ICISChemicalbiz!

For now, here are this week’s news roundup:

Rhodia in plant-based chemistry

French chemical company Rhodia has partnered with the new University of Bordeaux Foundation to support the Chair of “Pine Chemistry and Natural Resources” with the aim of expanding the role of plant-based raw materials in the chemical industry.

Elasco develops soy polyurethane

Deltron, Inc.’s subsidiary Elasco has developed proprietary polyurethane formulations made from soybean oil. The company says they are seeing increased demand for ‘greener’ products from customers, particularly those in the recreational products industry.

BASF in carbon capture

BASF and U.S. research institute RTI International have joined to develop a new, exceptionally cost-effective technology to capture carbon dioxide from waste gases emitted by coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources. The development project is sponsored by a two million dollar cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Ineos builds waste-based ethanol

INEOS Bio received a £7.3m ($10.8m) grant towards £52m construction costs for a 24,000 tonnes/year waste-based ethanol at the INEOS Seal Sands site in the Tees Valley, UK. The facility, said to be Europe’s first waste to bioethanol plant, could be operational by 2012.

German biogas pact

VIASPACE, a clean energy company growing Giant King™ Grass as a low-carbon, renewable energy crop, formed a partnership deal with privately held RuBa Energie GmbH, an owner and operator of biogas electric-power plants. VIASPACE will plant five acres of the energy crop at the RuBa facility in Kevelaer, Germany. The goal of the collaboration is to produce an alternative, high yield, nonfood feedstock for the more than 4,000 bio-digesters operating in Germany.

Energy efficient building grant

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $1.2 million to Dow Corning to develop silicon-based high-efficiency building insulation system which could be used in retro-fit and new construction applications.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

The president of Germany’s federal environmental protection agency on Wednesday urged producers, importers and users of bisphenol A (BPA) to switch to alternatives.

President Barack Obama urged US voters last week to press their representatives in Congress for tough climate legislation as he called on BP to establish a special relief fund for coastal communities hurt by the Gulf of Mexico spill.

The US Senate failed to cut off debate on a bill containing biodiesel blending tax credit, sending the legislative package back into limbo.

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