Weekly News Roundup

Late again…the story of my blogging life. But at least last week was packed with news!

Marine bacterium for biochemicals

Zymetis, a privately-held Maryland-based bioscience discovery company has initiated a development partnership with Genencor to explore novel methods for producing biochemicals directly from biomass feedstocks through use of the unique marine microorganism under development by Zymetis.

3M expands solar film production

3M is expanding its manufacturing facility for its 3M Ultra Barrier Solar Film in Columbia, Missouri, to support growing demand for high efficiency flexible PV modules. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in 2011.

Silica gel expansion for biofuels

W. R. Grace & Co. will increase its silica gel production capacity at facilities in Kuantan, Malaysia and Sorocaba, Brazil, for use in biodiesel and renewable diesel. Silica gel is said to improve a refinery’s economics by removing contaminants from natural oil feedstocks more efficiently than alternative products.

Solutia opens photovoltaic lab

Solutia has opened a new Photovoltaic Laboratory Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, which is designed to spur breakthrough innovations, accelerate new product development timelines and provide expert technical service to the makers of solar modules.

Chemtura’s new antioxidant for biofuels

Chemtura will open a new production line for its Naugalube 403 liquid antioxidant at its existing plant in Rio Claro, Brazil, by the end of 2010. The new facility will position Chemtura to be a leading supplier of liquid antioxidants to producers of biofuels in Brazil and Argentina.

Arkema picks Teknor for bioplastic

Arkema has selected the Bioplastics Division of Teknor Apex Company as a preferred supplier of masterbatches incorporating the company’s Biostrength® additives for polylactic acid (PLA) biopolymer.

And on ICIS News (requires subscription):

The European Commission will discuss the possibility of reducing infants’ exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and the uncertainty about possible effects on health from the chemical that were expressed in a recent report by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA).

US chemical manufacturers warned that federal environmental plans to force reductions in emissions by industrial boilers and production furnaces could jeopardise some 60,000 chemical sector jobs and should be amended.

The US solar industry may add more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of capacity this year – more than double from the 441 megawatts (MW) added last year, according to the US Solar Energy Industries Association.

Europe’s Reach legislation is increasing uncertainty among detergent producers, who do not know if their feedstock suppliers have successfully registered their chemicals.

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