Weekly News Roundup

Very tight deadline today and I’ll start blogging about the Biobased Chemicals East conference on Tuesday after I finish my “bio-adipic acid” article for ICIS Chemical Business based from Verdezyne and Rennovia’s presentations at that event.

I am now including the topic Green Chemicals to my weekly rotation of inorganics/biofuels/oleochemicals for ICB, so that will be exciting (ad alert! haha!).

For now, here are this week’s news roundup, which seems to be revolving more around biofuels:

Jatropha financing

Bioenergy crop company SG Biofuels completed a $9.4m Series A financing from Flint Hills Resources, a privately held company based in Kansas, Life Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology tools company based in Carlsbad, Calif., and participation from existing investors. The financing will support the company’s efforts to advance Jatropha as a high-yielding, low cost feedstock for diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals.

Biodiesel investment in Canada

The Canadian government has granted through its ecoENERGY for Biofuels program up to $18.79m to million Biocardel Quebec Inc. for its biodiesel project. The company, located in Richmond, Quebec, will produce about 40 million litres of biodiesel a year using vegetable/cooking oil or animal fat.

Solazyme’s algae for US military

Solazyme has completed delivery of over 20,000 gallons of algal-derived shipboard fuel to the U.S. Navy. The company also signed a new contract with the U.S. Department of Defense for a research and development project that will produce 150,000 additional gallons in 2010-2011, which is 7.5 times larger than the previous order.

Bio-energy patent from Joule

Joule Unlimited has been issued US patent #7,794,969, “Methods and Compositions for the Recombinant Biosynthesis of n-Alkanes,” which covers the use of engineered photosynthetic microorganisms for the direct synthesis of diesel molecules. Unlike biofuel processes that require costly intermediates such as sugar, algal or agricultural biomass, Joule claims to be the first to achieve and patent a direct, single-step, continuous process for the production of hydrocarbon fuels requiring no raw material feedstocks.

DuPont in camelina development

Linnaeus Plant Sciences entered a licensing deal with DuPont to use oil gene intellectual property, advanced gene technologies and biotechnology expertise developed by DuPont to accelerate development and commercialization of camelina oil, which can be used as bio-chemical feedstock.

Lithium joint venture

H.C. Starck GmbH, Goslar and Japanese chemical company Chisso have established a joint venture, CS Energy Materials, to develop and produce lithium mixed oxides for high-performance batteries used to power electric cars. H.C. Starck will own 49% and Chisso 51% of the company. The joint venture will build a 1,000 ton/year production plant in Minamata, Japan, which will start in 2012.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Insight: Plastic bag bans -  the never-ending story.

Five Brazilian ethanol mills were certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as producers of advanced biofuels.

Chinese biobutanol producer Cathay Industrial Biotech (Cathay Biotech) plans to build a second biobutanol facility either in China or the US.

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