Weekly News Roundup

For those who are subscribers of ICIS Chemical Business (ICB), I hope you’ll read my latest article about new glycerin applications, which was just published yesterday.

As any oleochemical insider knows, glycerine is a big potential feedstock for the production of epichlorohydrin (an intermediate in the production of epoxy resins). My colleague Serena Seng noted glycerine-based ECH projects such as Wilmar’s 100KT/year plant in China, Vinythai (via Solvay’s Epicerol process) in Thailand with 120KT per year, Dow Shanghai’s 150KT/year and Samsung Korea with 30KT/year.

For blog readers, more on glycerine here. Enjoy! For now, here are this week’s news roundup:

Sales up for soy polyurethane

Elasco reported an increase in sales of its newly formulated “green” polyurethanes made from soybean oil. Orders are reportedly expected to increase further based on contacts with existing clients and potential new customers interested in reducing their carbon footprint and marketing their products as eco-friendly.

Cobalt contracts Fluor on biobutanol

Cobalt Technologies signed an agreement with Fluor Corporation to provide engineering consulting services as the company gears up to commercialize its biobutanol production technology. Fluor will also offer a broad range of EPCM services for Cobalt’s demonstration and commercial-scale butanol production plants.

Polysilicon in UAE

MBM Holdings has formed MBM Solar Holding Inc., which will build a 2,500 tonnes/year solar-grade polysilicon plant in the UAE. The plant is expected to start production in early 2012. The $400M project will be the first upstream plant of its kind to be constructed in the UAE.

Jatropha R&D expanded

SG Biofuels plans to establish the world’s most advanced Jatropha research and development center located in San Diego, Calif. The center will include a 42,000 square-foot greenhouse containing diverse collection of Jatropha genetic material, laboratory facilities and an expanded team of molecular biologists focused on developing Jatropha as a low-cost, sustainable source of oil.

Fuel cell in bleach plant

Ballard Power Systems and K2 Pure Solutions (K2) have finalized a sales agreement for deployment of a clean energy fuel cell power generator to be sited at a K2 Pure Solutions bleach plant in Pittsburg, California. Ballard’s CLEARgen(TM) fuel cell system will convert by-product hydrogen into clean load-following electricity that will partially offset power demand at the bleach plant.

And from ICIS News (requires subscription):

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule that would make multiple changes to reporting rules and definitions under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Nine additional chemicals will be added to a list of 12 substances banned under the UN’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

Oilseed crusher Cargill plans to build a new biodiesel plant in the Argentine province of Santa Fe.

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