Weekly News Roundup

For those who have emailed me the past few days, bear with me as I am sifting through hundreds of emails (mostly newsletters and press releases – yeah I do need to unsubscribe to some of them one of these days…) My system inbox manager is also berating me for having several mega-byte attachments – it’s not my fault!!

I still have Renmatix and OPX Bio on my next blog interview post line-up. I will not be doing any more blog interviews for the rest of the year so I can clean up my draft box in preparation for 2012.  

By the way, I just wanted to share that the Green Blog celebrated it’s 4th year this month (November) so thanks to those who still hang on and follow the blog. I am currently working on Renewable Chemicals 2012 investment outlook for ICB’s January issue so for those investors out there looking for exposure, let me know if you’re willing to share insights.

For now, here is our weekly news roundup. I’m posting separate ones on the recent Amyris/Total JV and Verdezyne pilot plant start-up news. 

BASF in bio EU project
BASF is participating in the EU-supported research project called BIONEXGEN (Next Generation of Biocatalysts) that includes 17 other partners from industry and academia wil a goal to develop new generation biocatalysts for more sustainable production processes in the chemical industry. BASF is taking part in research activities on new biocatalytic amine syntheses and on the use of enzymes for the synthesis of functional polymers from renewable feedstock.

Tessenderlo starts PVC recycling plant

Tessenderlo Group through its subsidiary Eurocell has started the UK’s largest PVC (polyvinyl chloride) recycling operation in Derbyshire. The recycled PVC material is used for the manufacture of new energy-efficient products such as thermal inserts and cavity closers used in window systems.

Cereplast distributes in Turkey

Cereplast formed a 3-year distribution agreement with GAMA Plastik AS to supply bioplastic resin in Turkey. GAMA Plastik plans to initially purchase 200 tonnes/month in 2012. GAMA Plastik has capacity to produce 30,000 tonne/year plastic in Turkey.

Gevo, Butamax welcome patent ruling

Both Gevo and Butamax welcome a ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in their dispute over an alleged infringement of biobutanol patents. Butamax alleges that Gevo infringed two of its patents referred to as patents ’188 and ’889 which cover technologies for biobutanol. The USPTO ruled against re-examining patent ’188 but agreed to re-examine patent ’889. A hearing on Butamax’s motion for a preliminary injunction to halt Gevo’s alleged infringement is scheduled for early 2012.

Global Bioenergies, LanzaTech partnership

Global Bioenergies S.A. and LanzaTech have formed a collaboration to begin a feasibility study on whether Global Bioenergies’ pathway leading to direct production of isobutene can be functionally transferred into LanzaTech’s carbon monoxide using organism. Global Bioenergies currently uses carbohydrates such as glucose for its feedstock.

Rhodia, Endura in sustainable PBO

Rhodia Aroma Performance and Endura Fine Chemicals have signed a supply agreement that will guarantee a viable alternative to the production of piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a synergist in household insecticide formulations, that was previously made from limited natural raw material sassafras oil. Endura has developed a patented process that can produce a synthetic route for PBO. Roughly 70 kilogram of sassafras wood are required to make 1 kilogram of PBO.

OriginOil’s commercial algae system

OriginOil has launched its Algae Appliance, a commercial entry-level algae harvesting system that will help producers process algae at very low cost and without chemicals. The system is slated for commercial release in the first half of 2012. Field testing will soon begin with select partners who have current or near-term large volume of algae for harvesting.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Wednesday dismissed a recent Harvard study on bisphenol A (BPA) as misleading.

Chemical firms, research institutes and governments need to cooperate closely to explore ways of utilising carbon dioxide (CO2) as a raw material for the production of chemicals, plastics and other products, experts said.

Trading conditions in the solar power sector will likely be tough for the next two or three years because of cuts to incentives for renewable power in some countries, Fitch Ratings said.

South Africa’s plastics recycling sector is set for sustained growth and could easily be leading the country’s efforts to move towards a low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive green economy.

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