Weekly News Roundup

The green blogger is stuffed up to her eyeballs with antibiotics and wishing her newfound knowledge on microorganisms will help her in her own private bacteria (or is it virus?) battle.

For the meantime, here are this week’s news roundup:

BASF in CO2-based sodium acrylate

Catalysis Research Laboratory (CaRLa) and hte AG, a company in which BASF has a majority interest have joined research scientists at Technischen Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and the University of Stuttgart in Germany to develop use of carbon dioxide (CO2) on an industrial scale for the production of sodium acrylate based on CO2 and ethene. Sodium acrylate is a key basic ingredient for high-performance polymers like the superabsorbent polymers used in diapers.

Arkema expands bio-polyamide capacity

Arkema is expanding its polyamide capacity at its Changshu, Shanghai plant by threefold by 2013 in order to meet sharply growing demand from its Asian customers particularly in the automotive and energy markets. The capacity increase include products such as its RilsanĀ® biosourced polyamide 11. The plant will start producing in the first half of 2012, reaching full capacity by summer 2013.

Penford’s fluorochemical replacement

Penford is developing and testing novel technology utilizing natural and renewable ingredients to replace fluorochemicals used in food packaging applications. Penford said major producers of food packaging materials are currently testing the proprietary patent-pending technology.

Altogen’s oil-degrading bacteria

Altogen Labs has successfully isolated natural oil-eating bacteria from polluted soil near Galveston Bay, Texas that has been shown in laboratory tests to be effective for the bioremediation of crude oil and petroleum saturated earth. The bacteria can be expanded in large aqueous volumes and then the water can be evaporated to store high concentrations of bacteria in dry form and low volume.

Biofuel sustainability certificate in Germany

Neste Oil has received an ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) certificate for the NExBTL renewable diesel produced at the company’s Porvoo refinery in Finland. The certificate confirms that NExBTL diesel produced from certified raw materials is suitable for use in meeting mandated bio-content on the German market. Beginning in 2011, all biofuels sold in Germany will be required to have sustainability certification.

And on ICIS News (requires subscription):

The EU will tighten its controls on imports of kitchenware made from melamine and polyamide from China, the European Commission said.

A bacteria found in Antarctica may be useful in polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) production, an investigator from Buenos Aires University (UBA) said.

The desire of major consumer companies such as Coca-Cola and Danone to promote recycling and the use of renewable resources to consumers will lead to the development of new bio-based packaging products, said Antonello Ciotti, commercial director of Equipolymers.

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