Weekly News Roundup

 A compilation of a two-week news roundup…

Elevance in renewable rubber compounds

Elevance Renewable Sciences and Hutchinson Worldwide will collaborate in the use of Elevance’s renewable-based products for use as processing aids in Hutchinson’s rubber compounds. The collaboration will combine rubber formulation expertise and manufacturing capabilities of Hutchinson with Elevance’s metathesis technology and products.

AE Biofuels enters renewable chems

AE Biofuels has completed acquisition of Zymetis, a Maryland-based industrial biotechnology company that develops products for the renewable chemicals and advanced fuels industries. Zymetis holds four granted patents and more than ten pending patents on the Z-microbe™, a marine organism that was originally discovered consuming plant cellulose at a high rate in the Chesapeake Bay.

Greenstar, Vadxx in recycled plastics-to-oil JV

Greenstar Recycling and Vadxx Energy form a joint venture to convert recovered plastic into synthetic crude oil. The companies expect the JV to begin producing crude oil in mid-2012 with target location for the project in Ohio.

LanzaTech on CO-based jet fuel

LanzaTEch has been awarded funds from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to perform research focusing on novel, low cost routes for the production of jet fuel (JP-8) from carbon monoxide rich sources. The project will focus on technology development to reduce costs for producing alcohol intermediates, which will be thermochemically converted to JP-8.

Honeywell to produce green blowing agents

Honeywell will invest $33m in its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, manufacturing facility to produce a new low-global-warming-potential (GWP) blowing agent and propellant (HFO-1234ze) on a commercial scale. Production is scheduled to begin in ate 2013. HFO-1234ze can be used in a variety of applications and can replace HFC-134a and HFC-152a in aerosol applications and thermal insulating foams and it is also being considered to replace HFC-134a for large stationary refrigeration applications.

Dow, Ube in energy storage JV

Dow Chemical and Ube Industries will form a 50-50 joint venture called Advanced Electrolyte Technologies LLC to manufacture and market formulated electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries in energy storage applications. The joint venture’s first manufacturing facility is expected to be built at Dow’s Michigan Operations’ site in Midland for start-up in 2012.

Eastman to expand non-phthalate plasticizers

Eastman Chemical will acquire Sterling Chemicals for $100m that will include its plasticizer and acetic acid manufacturing assets in Texas City, Texas. Eastman plans to modify and restart Sterling’s current idled plasticizer facility to produce non-phthalate plasticizers.

Rhodia uses bio-ethanol for vanillin solvent

French chemical company Rhodia recently converted several steps of their vanillin manufacturing process in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Saint-Fons, France, to the use of food-grade bio-ethanol as a solvent. The conversion enables the company to avoid use of toluene.

Xylitol Canada, Mascoma in biorefinery JV

Xylitol Canada is in discussions with Mascoma to co-locate a commercial-scale xylose plant adjacent to one of Mascoma’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol plants. The companies will create a facility to convert wood chips into ethanol and high-value co-products such as xylitol.

Aurora Algae advances commercial plant construction

Aurora Algae awarded MWH and John Holland (JH) the initial engineering contract for design and construction of the Company’s commercial-scale photosynthetic algae facility in Maitland, Western Australia. The facility will be equipped to manufacture thousands of tonnes of algae-based biomass annually for the production of sustainable products in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture and renewable energy markets.

GreenShift licenses extraction process to Sunoco

GreenShift has licensed its patented technology to Sunoco for extracting corn oil from Sunoco’s corn ethanol manufacturing facility in Fulton, NY. The process gives Sunoco ability to contribute to the production of corn oil-based biodiesel from every kernel of corn that is refined into ethanol. One kernel of corn can now produce two renewable fuels using GreenShift’s proprietary process.

And on ICIS News (requires subscription):

INSIGHT: Porto Torres to close, only to be born again.

Styrene to remain on US ‘anticipated carcinogen’ report list.

Japan’s Mitsui & Co. to build solar farms in quake-hit areas.

INSIGHT: The promise of a bio-BDO revolution.

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