Weekly News Roundup

Here are this week’s [late] news roundup. Pls. also read the blog’s first Opinion post from our guest blogger Sam Nejame of Promotum. I hope we’ll get more of these types of articles for the blog.

Novamont bioplastic in Thailand

Bioplastic producer Novamont signed a deal with Thantawan Industry for the distribution of its Mater-Bi bioplastic in Thailand. If a positive market will result, Novamont said it is willing to establish a plant manufacturing starch-based Mater-Bi bioplastics made from cassava starch in Thailand.

Biodiesel as natural gas substitute

LPP Combustion, LLC demonstrated their conversion of biodiesel and other liquid fuels into inert gas creating a substitute natural gas (LPP Gas™), which is then used to power combustion device. LPP Combustion installed a demonstration unit in Columbia, MD.

Rhodia invests in PV tech company

Rhodia has joined with the UK’s Carbon Trust in a £4.5m ($7.1m) equity offering of the solar energy start-up Eight19 to develop “organic photovoltaic” technology. Eight19, which was spun out of Cambridge University’s Cavendish Laboratory, is now moving to a commercial phase to develop, manufacture and sell high performance, low-cost printed solar modules for high-growth volume markets.

DuPont DSM JV

DuPont and Royal DSM is forming a 50-50 joint venture named Actamax Surgical Materials LLC to develop, manufacture and commercialize advanced surgical biomedical materials addressing the market for surgical sealants, adhesion barriers and tissue adhesives. The JV will build a biomedical product portfolio based on several patent-protected biodegradable hydrogel technologies.

DSM acquires Microbia

Royal DSM acquired US-based industrial biotechnology R&D firm Microbia, Inc. from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals. Microbia’s technology platform focuses on production of natural carotenoids (including β-carotene and canthaxanthin), nutritional products and other specialty materials and chemicals from renewable resources.

BlueFire’s 15-year ethanol deal

BlueFire Renewables made an off-take agreement with Tenaska BioFuels for the purchase and sale of all ethanol produced at BlueFire’s planned cellulosic ethanol facility in Fulton, Miss. Pricing of the 15-year contract follows a market-based formula structured to capture the premium allowed for cellulosic ethanol compared to corn-based ethanol.

Cereplast in biotwist films

Cereplast has partnered with Sezersan Ambalaj (Sezersan), a subsidiary of Asc Group in Turkey, to produce bio twist films made from Cereplast Compostables resins, which will serve as wrap packaging for a variety of food products distributed throughout Europe. Cereplast will begin monthly shipments of 100 to 150 metric tons of bio resin in December 2010.

And on ICIS News (requires subscription):

Several homeowners living next to a bioplastics plant in Iowa have sued their neighbour, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), accusing it of running a loud, smelly operation.

Groups and associations are debating changes to Mexico City’s law regulating plastic bags, which went into effect about a month ago. Confusion ensued about its implementation, bringing complaints from all sectors of the plastic industry.

Germany’s chemical industry wants the EU to significantly simplify its directive on permitting biocides in the €1.5bn ($2.0bn) EU market.

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