Green chemical news from last week

As mentioned before, there had been several news announcements last week from companies that the blog has been covering quite frequently. For ICIS Chemical Business (ICB) subscribers, I am actually writing a few on them for the magazine (and already wrote some articles for ICIS News last week). But you can access them freely from each of the companies’ media sites. Read on…

Lanxess extends Gevo deal

Lanxess has invested $17m and increased its stake to 9.1% in US bio-isobutanol producer Gevo. Lanxess is also giving Gevo exclusive first right to supply the company with specified quantities of bio-isobutanol for a 10-year period. Lanxess is developing a dehydration process to convert the bio-based isobutanol to isobutene, a raw material for making butyl rubber.  Gevo is currently retrofitting a 22m gal/year ethanol capacity in Luverne, Minnesota, to produce 18m gal/year isobutanol in the first half of 2012.

Myriant in BDO partnership

Bio-succinic acid producer Myriant Technologies and UK-based engineering firm Davy Process Technology formed a partnership in the use of bio-succinic acid as a feedstock for the production of butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran and gamma-butyrolactone. Davy plans to integrate Myriant’s bio-succinic acid process technology to its BDO technology to minimize cost of recovery and purification of the succinic acid for bio-BDO production. Davy is expected to license this new production technology to current and future customers.

Comment: I am planning on writing a related bio-BDO article for ICB and will get more information soon. During the Infocast Biobased Chemicals conference last week, Myriant’s COO noted that Davy’s BDO process technology of using maleic anhydride currently accounts for half of the world’s BDO production. Myriant did not disclose how much they expect to profit from this partnership.

Segetis partners with Method

Segetis has partnered with Method Products for the use of Segetis’ biobased materials in a variety of cleaning products, the first of which are tub and tile cleaners that will hit store shelves in March. Segetis’ bio-based molecules centers on its levulinic acid technology under the brand Javelin.  The company is currently expanding production capacity for its levulinic ketal-based solvent and non-phthalate plasticizer products in the Upper Midwest.

Elevance licenses catalyst

Elevance Renewable Sciences expands its technology portfolio by licensing from Swiss technology company XiMo new metathesis catalysts molybdenum and tungsten in the field of natural oils. XiMo will work exclusively with Elevance in the natural oils field during the term of a collaborative research program between the parties.

OPXBIO further lowers bioacrylic price

OPX Biotechnologies has achieved the commercial bioprocess performance and cost goals for its bio-acrylic acid product by producing corn sugar-based product at 70 cents/lb or sugarcane-based product by 55 cents/lb. Production cost for petroleum-based acrylic acid is estimated at a current 75 cents/lb. The company expects to further improve its bioacrylic process toward the ultimate manufacturing cost target of 50 cents/lb using corn sugar and less than 40 cents/lb using cane sugar.

Comment: My interview with OPXBIO’s CEO Chas Eggert during the Infocast Biobased Chemicals Summit will be posted in the blog soon…

And recently…

LanzaTech signs with Korean Steel plant

LanzaTEch has partnered with Korean steel producer Posco to convert the steel maker’s flue gases to ethanol and other value added products. The company noted that Posco’s licensing of their patented microbe and fermentation process fits their growth strategy in Asia.

Tangshan Risun Chemical builds glycerine-to-ECH plant

Tangshan Risun Chemical Co. has purchased an epichlorohydrin via glycerol process technology from Italy-based COnSER S.p.A-Rome. Risun Chemical will use the technology at a planned 100,000 ton/year plant to be built in Tangshan, Hebei Province.

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