Weekly News Roundup

I had a great time attending Jim Lunt’s bioplastic seminar yesterday in Orlando, Florida, and hopefully can share some of the presenters’ insights in the next several days. In the meantime, two articles (out of three that I filed) came out on ICIS News last night and for those who are subscribers, you can access them on this links:

You can also check out the blog’s twitter updates that came from the seminar yesterday under the #ITR12.

Tomorrow and Thursday, the green blogger is going to attend the Jefferies CleanTech Conference and hopefully will have wifi available for tweeting. Follow my tweets at @ICISGreenblog.

For today, let’s explore recent news in the renewable chemicals, cleantech and biofuels world.

Anheuser-Busch, Blue Marble Bio in partnership

Beer company Anheuser-Busch and Blue Marble Biomaterials plan to collaborate on a pilot biorefinery at a North American Anheuser-Busch facility, which will convert spent grains and biogas from the brewing process into chemicals that can be used in applications, such as food, cosmetics, and personal care products. Blue Marble Bio has already been testing small batches of Anheuser-Busch grain in its pilot facility since last year.

Battelle, Biobent Polymers in soy plastics

The United Soybean Board (USB) has awarded funding to Battelle and Biobent Polymers, a Marysville, Ohio-based bioplastics company, to commercialization Biobent’s new bio-composite polymers made from soy. The bioplastics can be used as a replacement for virtually all polypropylene and polyethylene.

SucreSource, GS Caltex in cellulosic chems

SucreSource, a wholly owned subsidiary of BlueFire Renewables has partnered with GS Caltex, a Korean petroleum company, to build a cellulosic sugar plant in Korea. The facility, owned and operated by GS Caltex, will process 2 tons of construction and demolition debris per day into cellulosic sugar, which will be converted into a high value chemical by GS Caltex’s proprietary technology. Once the initial facility is validated, SucreSource will work with GS Caltex to develop and build larger commercial scale facilities in Korea and throughout the world.

Showa Denko launches Starcla bioplastic

Showa Denko has introduced Starcla bioplastic, a hybrid compound composed of starch, polylactic acid (PLA) resin, and Bionolle, Showa Denko’s polybutylene succinate (PBS) brand of biodegradable plastic. Depending on the grade, Starcla can contain up to 60% bio-based materials, and can be used as alternative to traditional polyethylene product applications such as in mulching films, shopping and compost bags.

DuPont, Yingli in $100m solar deal

DuPont and solar energy company Yingli Energy (China) have signed a $100m deal for photovoltaic materials aimed at accelerating the adoption of solar energy. Yingli will purchase photovoltaic materials including DuPont™ Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes used in solar modules and protective backsheet for solar modules made with DuPont™ Tedlar® polyvinyl fluoride film.

Fast growth for Asia fuel cells market

Pike Research forecasts the market for fuel cells in Asia Pacific will reach $6.7 billion by 2017, up from just $52.8 million in 2011. Prices for fuel cell-based systems, across a range of applications, are expected to decline significantly in the next few years, removing a critical barrier to adoption. Stationary fuel cells represent the largest segment for the fuel cell market in the region. Fuel cell vehicles and fuel cells for portable power applications – particularly consumer electronics – hold strong potential as well.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

The US produced a record 13.9bn gal of ethanol in 2011, according to a report by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Costs of some aviation biofuels could be close to that of conventional jet fuel by 2018, but take-up will happen only if there is forced compliance by governments, a jet fuel buyer said.

Chemical major BASF announced that it will buy German speciality and pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA’s electrolytes business for high-performance batteries.

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