Weekly News Roundup

Big news this week is DuPont’s acquisition of Danisco for $6.3bn. We will analyze more about the implication of this acquisition in another post in terms of DuPont expanding its industrial biotechnology (and biofuels) portfolio. Meanwhile, last week saw a slew of  more biofuel news as you can see in this week’s roundup:

Qteros joins Praj and bags $22m

Cellulosic ethanol developer Qteros partnered with Praj Industries to accelerate commercialization of low-cost cellulosic ethanol. The companies plan to retrofit Praj’s existing pilot plant in Pune, India with Qteros’ technology plantform, which will become the foundation for accelerated production scaling. In another news, Qteros closed a $22m series C financing, which is expected to find the company’s development and commercialization plans.

Virent and HCL gets grant

Virent Energy Systems and HCL Clean Tech have been awarded a $900,000 grant from BIRD Energy, a program for US-Israel joint renewable energy development. The project combines HCL’s lignocellulosic conversion technologies with Virent’s Bioforming technology that converts plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules.

Ineos JV bags $75m USDA loan

Ineos Bio and its joint venture New Planet Energy received a conditional commitment for a $75m loan guarantee from the US Department of Agriculture 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program. The funds will be used for the construction of Ineos Bioenergy center in Florida, which will produce 8m gal/year of biomass-based biofuel.

Amyris signs Glycotech farnesene dealAmyris signed definitive agreements with Glycotech and Salisbury Partners for Glycotech to provide chemical processing at Salisbury’s Leland, NC, facility to convert Amyris’ Biofene renewable farnesene into finished products. The facility can produce farnesene-based industrial lubricants, polymers and transportation fuels, which will be owned and distributed solely by Amyris.

Khosla invests in coal-to-methane producer

Ciris Energy has raised equity in its second round of financing led by Khosla Ventures. The financing will allow Ciris to implement its first commercial scale in-situ biochemical conversion of coal to methane and ex-situ biochemical coal conversion technology to commercial-ready status.

And on ICIS News (requires subscription):

Rhodia has acquired a guar derivatives production unit from Suzhou HiPro Polymers in China. The polysaccharide is used in various applications including agrochemicals, cosmetics, and oil and gas extraction.

US renewable chemicals company BioAmber is developing a micro-organism, licenced from agribusiness firm Cargill, which can reduce the production cost of bio-based succinic acid by 25%.

Shell and ethanol group Cosan received unconditional merger clearance from the European Union (EU) for a proposed $12bn (€9bn) joint venture (JV) in Brazil, which is expected to be launched in the first half of 2011.



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