Weekly News Roundup

Hope you all had a good July 4th weekend! It has been a very hectic but productive last week and I have many juicy information from the recent industrial biotechnology conference I attended waiting to be posted. The blog will also post several video interviews from the conference as companies such as OPX Biotechnologies, Genomatica, Elevance Renewable Sciences, Glycos Bio and DNP Green talked about recent milestones.

Stay tune for those! For now, here are the past two week’s news roundup (to make up the lack from last week):

PPG advances in solar

PPG Industries made major advances in solar mirror development for concentrated solar power (CSP) applications, including improvements in solar mirror reflectance performance of up to 1 percent after heat treatment; production of flat solar mirrors as large as approximately 89 x 126 inches on standard production equipment; and formulation of a lead-free encapsulant that prevents solar mirrors from degrading and losing reflectivity in accelerated testing.

Ford uses soy foam cushions

Ford’s 2011 Ford Explorer which goes into production later this year will feature soy-based polyurethane foam in seat cushions and seatbacks.There are more than 2 million Ford Motor Company vehicles on the road today with bio foam content.

Braskem launches green plastic seal

In conjunction with the start-up of its sugarcane-based polyethylene plant in Brazil, Braskem is launching its “I’m Green” seal for the products made from the bioplastic. The objective of the seal is to create value and to identify all of its polymers produced from renewable raw materials.

Opportunities on sulfur dioxide rule

Cemtrex says the new sulfur dioxide rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will result in higher sales of their advanced sulfur dioxide analyzers in the coming months. The new rule sets the one-hour SO2 health standard at 75 parts per billion (ppb), down from the current standard of 140 ppb, a level designed to protect against short-term exposures ranging from five minutes to 24 hours. It is the first time that the standard has been tightened since the original limit was introduced back in 1971.

Solutia bags green building grant

Solutia’s Performance Films segment bagged a $356,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The awarded funds have been earmarked for the continued research, development and commercialization of high-performance, energy-efficient retrofit window film technology for residential and commercial buildings.

Carbon capture patent

CO2 Solution Inc. received a new US patent, 7,740,689 that provides for exclusivity in the field of using the enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, or an analog thereof, for the capture of carbon dioxide with amine solvents, including MDEA, or any combination or part thereof in any process and in any enzyme delivery configuration.

Sustainability group formed

Fourteen industry leaders have formed the Sustainability Innovators Working Group - aiming to define and develop state-of-the-art approaches for environmental management and corporate sustainability. Industry members include Dow Chemical, IBM, Boeing, CH2M Hill, Coca-Cola, Delhaize Group, Disney, Diversey, FedEx, Johnson & Johnson, Shaklee, Unilever, Walmart, and Xerox.

Greening Alberta oil sands

GE has partnered with the University of Alberta (UA) and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) on a $4 million CO2 capture project supported by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation. The team will use nanotechnology to reduce CO2 emissions associated with the extraction and upgrading process in oil sands, and treatment of produced water generated during the oil recovery.The technology is based on naturally occurring zeolites identified by UA.

European enzyme partnership

DEINOVE, a specialist in the application of deinococci bacteria to biofuels and green chemistry, has partnered with European research centre on industrial enzymes and bioprocesses, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The partners will evaluate different Deinococcus candidate strains screened by DEINOVE for the DEINOL cellulosic ethanol production process.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

European recycled polyethylene stays buoyant amid rising green interest.

The biorefining industry has the potential to inject upwards of $230bn (€186bn) into the global economy by 2020 and create more than 800,000 jobs, with the US becoming the biggest benefactor, industry experts said

Algae biofuels and enzymatic conversion of biomass to sugar will continue to be uneconomical if they can’t compete with crude oil at $60/bbl (€49/bbl), according to venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.


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