Weekly News Roundup

What the blog is currently working on for ICIS Chemical Business is a story on succinic acid. This market is very small but people are wondering whether this chemical will have a big impact in the market in the future.

Unfortunately, the two big producers — Myriant and BioAmber — are currently under IPO so the blog is not sure if they can talk to the press. We are hoping BASF, DSM and other interested parties will participate in this one…crossing our fingers!

For now, here are this week’s news roundup. By the way, I am also working on a blog post about my recent interview with Zeachem…interesting information about their new biorefinery operations in Oregon…

Gevo sells IDGs to Land O’Lakes

Gevo signed on off-take and marketing agreement with land O’Lakes Purina Feed for the sale of isobutanol distillers grains (IDGs) from Gevo’s isobutanol facility at Luverne, Minnesota. Land O’Lakes Purina Feed will be the exclusive marketer of Gevo’s isobutanol dried and modified wet distillers grains for the animal feed market. The companies will also work together to explore opportunities to upgrade the material for special value-added applications in feed markets.

Virent bags five US patents

Virent has been issued five new US patents covering aspects of its catalytic BioForming platform. Patents 8,053,615, 8,017,818 and 7,977,517, cover the production of various liquid fuels and chemicals related to its partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and its ongoing partnership with Royal Dutch Shell. The additional two patents, 7,767,867 and 7,989,664, are directed to the production of a range of other industrial chemicals and chemical intermediates using Virent’s BioForming® process.

Agilyx secures $25m funding

Alternative energy company Agilyx has secured $25m in a series C funding led by Keating Capital and existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Saffron Hill Ventures, Waste Management, Total Energy Ventures International, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Reference Capital. The Agilyx system processes all type of waste plastic turning into synthetic crude oil.

Carbon Sciences launches CarbonCrude

Carbon Sciences has introduced CarbonCrude, an ultra-clean and environmentally friendly synthetic crude oil made from captured carbon dioxide and oilfield natural gas. CarbonCrude can be blended into natural crude oil and transported using existing oil pipelines.The CarbonCrude process consists of two steps: Carbon dioxide is converted into syngas using the company’s reforming catalyst, and syngas is converted into low-cost Carbon Crude using low-intensity Fischer -Tropsch process.

Yulex gets global latex patents

Yulex Corp. has been granted patents from the US, Europe, Mexico, and South Africa covering its commercial methods for latex and resin extraction from the guayule plant, a desert shrub. The patents are directed to methods for cultivating, harvesting, defoliating and decorticating (?) as well as chemical and mechanical extraction of latex and resin. Yulex said its guayule-based latex has different and improved properties compared to other natural plant-based latex.

BP invests in Cool Planet Biofuels

BP Technology Ventures has invested in Cool Planet Biofuels‘ C round along with current investors General Electric, Google Ventures, ConocoPhillips, NRG and North Bridge Venture Partners. The C Round was led by Shea Ventures. No amount was disclosed. Cool Planet Biofuels is developing bio based gasoline that can be blended with conventional gasoline.

Corn stover in upholstered furniture

Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. has partnered with Huntington Industries where it will become the exclusive user of CornBoard™ in the manufacture of upholstered furniture. Made from corn stover, a by-product of harvested U.S. corn, CornBoard™ is a renewable wood replacement with many of the same properties of processed plywood. ZeaHome™ will be offered by Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. and will expand to include outdoor furniture made from 100 percent CornBoard™.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription);

Annual contracts for 2012 between US liquid sorbitol sellers and buyers settled at a 12% increase from 2011, market sources said.

Global demand for foodservice disposables is projected to grow by 5.4% per year to $53.3bn (€41.0bn) in 2015, according to Freedonia.

Brazil hydrous ethanol prices rose after the new year on reduced spot availability, research group CEPEA said.

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