Albemarle, Amyris on renewable base oil

I think my posting strategy when it comes to Amyris is to wait for a few more days as they keep putting out several press releases almost everyday.

One big announcement this week was its supply partnership with chemical firm Albemarle on synthetic renewable base oils (“synthetic renewable” — I like this word…). Albemarle will manufacture the base oils trademarked NovaSpec using Amyris farnesene molecule, and supply it to Novvi SA, the Brazil-based joint venture between Amyris and sugar/ethanol company Cosan. Novvi will market the base oils to finished lubricant manufacturers worldwide.

Albemarle expects to start production of NovaSpec base oils at its Orangeburg, South Carolina facility although timeframe was not disclosed.The blog recalled its first post about Amyris’ announced intent to enter the base oils market on December 2010.

Amyris also announced today the launch of its new line of industrial lubricants under the trademark EvoShield. Applications for the product include hydraulic oils, 2-cycle engine oils, marine grade products, food grade products, compressor oils, turbine oils and gear lubricants. The lubricants was also made using NovaSpec base oils, which is produced by Novvi (and could probably be manufactured by Albemarle as well).

Commercial production of the lubricants is reportedly expected to start this year.

Another supply deal announcement was from last week with Amyris’ multi-year agreement to supply Nikko Chemicals with farnesene-based squalene for distribution in the Japanese market. Squalane is said to be a high-end moisturizing ingredient used in a wide range of cosmetics, currently sourced from shark liver oil or refined olive oil. Amyris’ farnesene is made from sugarcane.

Amyris said it is also exploring other Biofene-based cosmetic commercialization opportunities.

And last (but I’m sure not the least!), Amyris announced last week that it is commissioning its third industrial-scale Biofene farnesene production facility owned and operated by Tate and Lyle located in Decatur, Illinois, US. The additional capacity (numbers undisclosed) will come in handy after all these recent supply announcements.

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