Hello blog readers, missed me? =)
My invincible therapist told me to go on a blog-free vacation for a few days hence the lack of social media communications lately. I might have to pay the price these next few weeks though as so many news (as usual) came out while I was away. The big one is from Virent, which announced this Monday their successful production of sugar-based paraxylene. That’s an interesting news for the bio-based PET bottle manufacturers.
I will have an interview with Virent’s CEO Lee Edwards tomorrow.
Other news that came out this week are from Elevance Renewable Sciences, Avantium, LanzaTech and Shell formally closing its Raizen JV deal. The blog will sift through each of them as soon as possible. For now, here are last week’s news for the roundup:
Gevo has begun the retrofit of its ethanol facility in Luverne, Minnesota, to produce 18m gal/year of isobutanol. The retrofit is expected to be complete next year summer, which will make the facility the world’s first commercial-scale biobased isobutanol plant.
UK-based Nuplas intends to develop and supply second Generation polylactic acid (G2 PLA) using a patent-protected technology that converts lactides to PLA. Lactides are produced from carbohydrates from various crops via lactic acid.
Codexis’ new largest stockholder
Shell has transferred 5.6m shares of Codexis common stock (representing 15.7% of the company’s total outstanding shares) to Raizen Energia Participacoes SA, a Brazil-based $12bn biofuels joint venture between Shell and Cosan. Raizen has annual ethanol production capacity of over 2bn liters.
Enerkem attracts Valero in financing
Waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company Enerkem closed $60m in financing coming from new investor Valero Energy as well as existing investors Waste Management, Rho Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, and Cycle Capital. Valero and Enerkem have also agreed to jointly consider commercial opportunities.
Danone has switched to NatureWorks’ Ingeo™ bioplastic (made from polylactic acid) for its Activia yogurt in Germany. Danone says the change represents 80% of the total volume of all Activia products in Germany. It plans to expand the use of the Ingeo-based packaging to include the other products in the Activia line (drinks, yogurt fruit puree and the larger consumer formats) that account for the remaining 20%.
BASF is forming a global electrolytes team in its intermediates division to enter the electrolytes market for lithium ion batteries. Electrolytes are complex formulations that are essential for the transport of electronic charge inside batteries. The first products will be commercially available by the end of this year.
Brazil-based FCC introduced a thermoplastic elastomer Fortiprene TPE Verde, which is 50% renewable-based. FCC invested $6.2m to build a plant in Rio Grande do Sul and expanded another unit in the northeastern state of Bahia.
High prices for conventional polymers have made polylactic acid (PLA) a more attractive alternative in North America, a senior executive of NatureWorks said.
Plastics producers, processors and recyclers want to prevent used plastics going to landfill by 2020 but are wary of unrealistic government recycling targets, Peter Davis, director general of the British Plastics Federation (BPF) said.
INSIGHT: Asia petrochemical industry warming to green future.