Weekly News Roundup

It was a busy week, given the Labor Day holiday, school, Gevo’s investor day meeting and preparing for my upcoming Japanese renewable chemicals article and cellulosic ethanol article for ICIS Chemical Business.

Plus, my bio-butanediol article will come out on Monday on ICB. Stay tune for that! Meanwhile, here are this week’s news roundup which seems to center on clean technologies – probably the after effects of my Solyndra post….

Eastman expands phthalate-free plasticizers

Estman Chemical will expand its phthalate-free Benzoflex plasticizer line at the Kohtla-Jarve, Estonia site by an additional 11,000 tonnes.year, which is expected to be completed by the end of second quarter 2012. This is the facility’s second expansion. Eastman also acquired plasticizer manufacturer Scandiflex do Brasil S.A. Industrias Quimicas. Scandiflex brings several complimentary non-phthalate products to Eastman’s plasticizer portfolio.

BioSolar enters Asian PV supply

BioSolar entered into a sales rep agreement with ShinHa, a Korean firm representing large Asian photovoltaic panel manufacturers targeting the North American solar market. BioSolar said the US is not likely to be a major manufacturer of PV panels but North America is expected to be the fastest growing PV consumer market with annual growth rate of 31% in installations during 2011-2016.

Novozymes joins Nidus in energy technologies

Novozymes will collaborate with Nidus and its other partners Bunge Limited and Monsanto Company to select and develop early-stage energy technologies. Launched in September 2010, Nidus and its partners identify market opportunities and experienced entrepreneurs to find and develop technologies that must meet a market need, have potential for a strong intellectual property position and offer a principal investigator willing to collaborate to commercialize the technology.

Air Products supplies to PV

Air Products signed a contract with Hunan Gongchuang Photovoltaic Science & Technology Co., Ltd for the supply of bulk and specialty gases at its news silicon thin-film photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in Hengyang City, Hunan Province, China. Hunan Gongchuang is building a 40MW manufacturing facility utilizing Oerlikon Solar’s Micromorph® turnkey production line, known as the FAB 1200. The new facility is expected to begin production by the end of this year.

Linnaeus bags $1.2m oilseed award

Canadian research firm Linnaeus Plant Sciences was awarded $1.2m from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to further advance production of oilseed crops camelina and safflower for use as feedstock in chemicals manufacture such as polymers, lubricants, surfactants,etc. Linnaeus already markets its bio-based lubricant products under its Smart Earth Corporation ™ brand.

Unilever achieves zero-to-landfill goal

Unilever has achieved its target in the UK by striking an agreement with its waste supplier Veolia to ensure that more than 97% of its waste is recycled. The remaining 3% will be converted into usable energy. The company has 11 manufacturing sites across the UK.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Brazil’s PET recycling grows 7.6% in 2010.

LANXESS is in the final stages of negotiation for supplies of bio-isobutanol from US-based renewable chemicals firm Gevo.

Gevo expects to have its first commercial plant producing isobutanol-based paraxylene (PX) by 2014.

Global photovoltaic technology production more than doubled in 2010 to make it one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, according to a report issued by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

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