Weekly News Roundup

My biobased rubber chemicals article for ICIS Chemical Business will soon be published on August 1 and it turned out better than I expected if I do say so myself.

As part of that article, I will soon post in the blog my Q&A with France-based renewable chemicals developer Global Bionergies, which is currently developing bio-isobutene. For now here are this week’s news roundup:

Codexis scales up cellulase enzymes

Codexis has scaled up its cellulase enzymes production to 20,000 liter at Fermic S.A. de C.V., a contract fermentation and synthesis company in Mexico City, Mexico. This represents the first manufacture of an enzyme product using the Codexis CodeXporter(TM) enzyme expression system. The enzymes are used to convert non-food biomass to fermentable sugars, and ultimately to sustainable products including biofuels and bio-based performance ingredients in household goods such as laundry detergents and shampoos.

Clariant and Elevance enter deal

Elevance Renewable Sciences and the additives business unit of specialty chemical company Clariant are collaborating in the development and commercialization of renewable-based plastic additives. No other information was disclosed but the blog assumes some of the products involved has something to do with waxes (see quoted official from Clariant).

$9m grant for LS9 and HCL CleanTech

LS9 and its partner HCL CleanTech have been awarded a $9 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) to improve and demonstrate an integrated process being developed by the companies to convert biomass feedstocks into fermentable sugars and then into diesel and other fuel and chemical products.

Cereplast expands in Turkey

Cereplast entered into a distribution agreement with Polimernet Plastik Ltd. to supply Cereplast bioplastic resins to the Turkish market. Polimernet Plastik will use the Cereplast Compostable 3000 and the Cereplast Compostable 7003 film grades to produce bioplastic film for garbage bags, food packaging and t-shirt bags. The bioplastics are proprietary patented formulations, which includes Ingeo PLA.

Solvay mulls glycerin-to-ECH plant in China

Solvay awarded Technip, an engineering services contract, for studying the construction of a greenfield chemical plant in Taixing, Jiangsu Province, China. The plant will be based on Solvay’s Epicerol™ technology and will produce 100 kilo-tons per year of epichlorohydrin from glycerine. Technip’s operating center in Shanghai, China will execute the contract, which is scheduled to be completed in the second semester of 2013.

GreenCore completes fiber composite project

GreenCore Composites has completed its NCell High Performance Nature Fibre Composites project, co-funded by the Ontario BioAuto Council. GreenCore has developed renewable natural fiber reinforced composite materials that can replace up to 40% of synthetic polymer content and provides weight savings of up to 20% compared to traditional glass fibre materials.

AkzoNobel buys plant-based separation tech

AkzoNobel has acquired from Integrated Botanical Technologies (IBT) its patented Zeta Fraction™ technology, which makes it possible to harvest and separate constituent parts of a living cell from any plant or marine source without requiring any solvents.The technology will be integrated into the Personal Care business of AkzoNobel’s Surface Chemistry business unit.

Cargill commits to sutainable palm oil

Cargill has announced that the palm oil products it supplies to its customers in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and/or originated from smallholder growers by 2015 (excluding palm kernel oil products). This commitment will be extended across all Cargill’s oil and trading businesses to cover 100 percent of its palm oil products and all customers worldwide – including China and India – by 2020.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Possible carcinogen tag won’t dent US styrene demand – analyst

US safety board slams DuPont for ’10 W Virginia phosgene accident

German chem industry condemns attacks on biotech plant facilities

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