Weekly News Roundup

Failed to meet my schedule yet again…to compensate, I have more than enough two weeks worth of news here. I am also preparing to write an article on bio-based surfactants so those who are interested to participate, just email me.

Eastman stops phthalates production

Eastman Chemical will discontinue the manufacture and supply of two of its orthophthalate plasticizers and will no longer offer the products as of December 31, 2011. Eastman said it has broad offering of non-phthalate alternatives.

Materia to build catalyst plant in Singapore

Materia will open a catalyst manufacturing and R&D facility in Singapore with initial operating capacity of 10 tonnes by the end of 2012. Material expects to choose the site in 3Q 2011 and construction to begin by year-end. (FYI: Materia’s olefin metathesis catalyst technology is currently being used by Elevance Renewable Sciences.)

Cereplast bioplastic in Croatia

Cereplast formed a distribution agreement with DMT Plasticolor to supply Cereplast Compostables® Resins and Cereplast Sustainables™ Resins to the Croatian marketplace. DMT Plasticolor will also use the Cereplast Compostable 3000 film grade to produce bioplastic films for food packaging.

Amyris expands capacity  in Brazil

Amyris formed a manufacturing deal with sugar and ethanol producer Paraíso Bioenergia S.A. where Amyris will construct fermentation and separation capacity to produce Amyris products and Paraíso will supply sugar cane juice and other utilities at Paraiso’s facility in Sao Paulo. Amyris expects to be able to begin production at the location in 2012.

…and forms US lubricant JV

Amyris will form a joint venture with U.S. Venture, Inc. for the production, marketing and distribution of finished lubricants for the North American market. The joint venture would market and sell lubricants employing Amyris’s synthetic renewable base oils derived from Biofene.

Bayer sponsors Canadian green chem R&D

Bayer has sponsored GreenCentre Canada, a government-funded center dedicated to developing environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional chemical and manufacturing products and practices. As a sponsor, Bayer gains one-stop access to Canadian green chemistry discoveries submitted to GreenCentre.

Boeing forms Sustainable Biomass Consortium

Boeing and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) created the Sustainable Biomass Consortium, a research initiative focused on increasing collaboration between voluntary standards and regulatory requirements for biomass used to create jet fuel and bioenergy for other sectors. The consortium also will seek to lower overall sustainability certification costs.

Water-based lithium-ion battery production

International Battery formed a collaboration and license agreement with Hydro-Québec to further develop water-based manufacturing processes of Lithium-ion batteries. International Battery is the first company in North America to produce commercial Lithium-ion products using a water-based manufacturing process.

Yulex to expand guayule rubber production

Yulex Corporation, a manufacturer of biobased elastomer products derived from guayule, closed on a $15 million private placement to expand its natural rubber production capabilities in Chandler, Arizona. The new facility producing guayule natural rubber and feedstocks for bioenergy is expected to start by early 2012.

Castor oil chemicals price hike

Vertellus Specialties will increase prices of its castor-based chemical products by 10-40% depending on product line. The increases are necessitated by unprecedented global price volatility on upstream castor oil feedstocks.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) glycerine-to-monopropylene glycol (MPG) plant at Decatur, Illinois has entered start-up mode, the company said.

Around 75 lawsuits have been filed thus far in the growing effort to block US federal regulation of greenhouse gases, but congressional efforts to revoke those rules have little chance of success, an environmental attorney said.

SOCMA said that major congressional work to renew the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) probably would be delayed to 2013 because of many larger issues before Congress and wide disagreement about how to reform the 35-year-old statute and regulations.



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