Weekly News Roundup

As soon as I came back, earthquake hits the East Coast on Tuesday and a big hurricane is heading towards here as well. I think this is a sign that I need more vacation…Stay safe for those who live in the East Coast!

Several big news came up last week while I was out and I was able to post some of them such as Genomatica’s IPO filing, Amyris’ capacity expansion and continued Gevo-Butamax patent fight saga. The US government also announced last week its intent to invest $510m in the next 3 years to produce advanced biofuels to power military and commercial transportation. More of this as well as several big biofuel news (including Petrobras’ ethanol investment announcement) in another post.

Meanwhile, here are this week’s news roundup compiled within the past 14 days:

LanzaTech, Harsco on waste-based ethanol

New Zealand-based LanzaTech formed an alliance with US industrial company Harsco to promote LanzaTech’s technology of reusing steel mill flue gases into fuel grade ethanol. The companies will present the technology to Harsco’s major steel mill customers and explore potential business relationships for installing and operating commercial facilities worldwide.

GlycosBio in algae collaboration

Glycos Biotechnologies and Solix BioSystems have demonstrated potential conversion of Solix’s algae oil into ethanol using GlycosBio’s biocatalysts. The companies planned to convert the algae oil into other higher value chemicals. GlycosBio’s current target is production of bio-derived isoprene.

European Bionexgen project launched

A 3-year European Union FP7 funded project called Bionexgen was launched led by the University of Manchester’s CoEBio3 research group and other institutions which aims to develop next generation biocatalysts to replace traditional chemical manufacturing methods with greener biotechnology routes.

OakBio develops CO2-based chems process

California-based OakBio has developed a microbe-based technology that captures carbon dioxide from waste industrial gas streams and convert it into specialty chemicals and fuels. OakBio’s CEO Russell Howard is the founder of Codexis. OakBio was established in 2008.

Codexis improved carbon capture enzymes

Codexis reported two million fold improvement on its customized carbonic anhydrase enzymes used in catalyzing carbon capture under industrial conditions. The enzymes are said to be functional and stable in relatively inexpensive, energy efficient solvents for 24 hours at temperatures greater than 90 degrees Celsius.

Cereplast bioplastic in Scandinavian market

Cereplast has formed a distribution deal with Mastercolor AB to supply Cereplast bioplastic resins to the Scandinavian market specifically Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Mastercolor AB will supply Cereplast Compostables® resin to product and package manufacturers.

Linde to start CCS pilot plant in 2014

Linde’s carbon capture pilot facility to be built in Wilsonville, Alabama, is targeted to be operational by early 2014. The facility, which is designed to capture at least 90% of the CO2 generated, will test novel CO2 scrubbing solutions to reduce the energy consumption and cost of advanced carbon capture and separation systems for coal-fired power plants.

Clariant, KitoZyme on biotech personal care

Clariant has partnered with Japan-based biopolymer producer KitoZyme to develop white biotechnology products for personal care applications. Clariant’s personal care ingredients using the biopolymers Chitosan and Chitin-glucan will be available starting October under trade names Vitipure, Zenvivo and Velsan.

Solvay’s greener fluorine production

Solvay has developed on-site fluorine gas production units to dramatically decrease greenhouse gas emissions as a replacement for nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) in the photovoltaic and semiconductor industry. Solvay is testing a new electronic grade fluorine gas unit at its industrial site in Onsan, Korea. After testing, the 100 tonne/year F2 gas unit will be installed at a customer site.

Eco-One plastic additives ok’d in Brazil

Ecologic said its’ Eco-One™ additives for enhancing biodegradation of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) have been approved for food contact applications by Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). Eco-One™ is an organic additive that enhances the biodegradation of plastic products in a biologically active landfill

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Europe carbon tax may stimulate chems tech investment.

Global demand for green packaging will rise by 5.7% per year to reach $212bn (€146bn) in 2015, according to a market research study by Freedonia Group.

Asian polysilicon prices are expected to drop to below $50/kg (€35/kg) FOB (free on board) northeast (NE) Asia in the coming weeks amid high stockpiles of photovoltaic materials in China and prevailing weak demand, market players said.

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