Weekly News Roundup

I was able to plow myself out from New York City’s 2-feet of snow and got to the office without any mishap. It’s amazing to see abandoned cars on the middle of the street! No wonder city snow plows are having a hard time getting their work done. Hopefully, tomorrow will see a much cleaner street and a warmer weather!

Enough of my snow ramblings, here are this week’s news roundup. There were definitely plenty of company announcements before Christmas!

ExxonMobil expands carbon capture plant

ExxonMobil has completed expansion of the world’s largest carbon dioxide capture plant located near LaBarge, Wyoming. The $86 million expansion includes the installation of compressors to capture 50 percent more carbon dioxide for potential use in enhanced oil recovery and other industrial uses.

Amyris starts construction prep in Brazil

Amyris’ and Grupo Sao Martinho’s joint venture SMA Industria Quimica SA had contracted CNEC WorleyParsons as the construction manager for their first sugarcane-based renewable chemical plant in Sao Paulo state. The project is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2012. Sao Martinho said about 1.5m-2.0m tonnes of its 14.5m tonnes/year sugarcane production would be used to make industrial ethanol and other chemicals, including Biofene, a biobased hydrocarbon.

Toray Plastics to build solar field in Rhode Island

Toray Plastics (America) will begin construction in Q2 2011 a 446 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) field on its 70-acre campus in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, worth $2m. The 3-acre field consists of 1,650 PV panels with utility-scale single-access trackers, and will be the largest solar-powered system in the state.

Deinove patent coming soon

France-based green chemistry company Deinove is expecting the European Patent Office to grant in Q1 2011 their patent application EP2016183, which covers a genetic engineering process that exploits deinococci’s unique self repair ability. The patent will make Deinove the only company able to commercially exploit the Deinococcus-related genetic tools and use them in industrial applications.

Axion seeks waste plastics feedstock

UK-based Axion Polymers is seeking new sources of waste plastics feedstocks amid forecasts of strong growth for the European plastics recycling sector in 2011 and beyond. Suppliers are given a three-month forward purchase plan for volume call-off of waste plastic and a competitive price agreement based on the average market rate for the preceding six months. 

Green biofuel joint venture

Hunt Global Resources’ BioSolutions division formed an exclusive R&D project with Carbon Green to use Carbon Green’s recycled tire-derived oil for its LoNOX industrial biofuel formulation. The biofuel is expected to meet the US EPA’s mandates for industrial and marine diesel emissions. Initial market applications include boiler fuel, heating oil, marine fuel and other stationary diesel and off-road users.

Advanced battery contracts awarded

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC (USABC), an advanced research collaboration among Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, awarded $5.43 million in advanced battery development and technology assessment contracts to five firms: Envia Systems, Quallion, ActaCell, Leyden Energy, and K2 Energy Solutions.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will take authority in January in eight states that are unable or unwilling to implement the agency’s new greenhouse gases restrictions on new plant construction and modifications.

Canada Lithium Corp plans to start producing 20,000 tonnes/year of lithium carbonate at its mining project in Quebec province by the end of 2012.

Congressional Republican leaders likely will propose legislation in 2011 to completely strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by US industry, sources said.

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