Weekly News Roundup

I’m bummed out by the result of my exam grades today….On the other hand, I got my new (and first) Ipad!! Yipee!

Rivertop Renewables starts contract manufacturing

Rivertop Renewables has contracted DTI, a fine and specialty chemical contract manufacturer in Danville, Virginia, to pilot at initial 850 lbs/run the manufacture of Rivertop’s glucarate-based products. Product made in this initial phase will be used to fulfill Rivertop’s commercial contracts for bio-based corrosion inhibitors. Remaining volumes will be used by the company and its customers to develop and test glucarate applications in other industrial and consumer markets. Subsequent runs will enable Rivertop and DTI to scale to a capacity up to 10m pounds/year of contract-manufactured products. This next scale of production is projected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Metabolix licenses bioplastic blend patent

Metabolix has granted a non-exclusive license to NatureWorks for patent 5,883,199 titled “PLA-based Blends,” to make, use and sell blends of polylactic acid with certain other polymers including polybutylene succinates (PBS) polymers. The University of Massachusetts Lowell is the owner of the patent and Metabolix is the exclusive licensee in the relevant field.

METabolic EXplorer project delay

France-based bio-isobutanol producer METabolic EXplorer noted that construction of its biobased 1,3 propanediol (PDO) facility with Malaysian Bio-XCell in Johor is running up-to-six months behind schedule because of pending engineering-related documentation. Bio-XCell is also reportedly undertaking soil condition in preparation for engineering works on site which is expected to take up to three months. The facility is expected to initially produce 8,000 tonnes/year PDO, with a maximum capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year.

Bioformix raises $13.6m 

Cincinnati, US-based Bioformix closed a $13.6m series A-1 round of funding led by Braemar Energy Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners, Mitsui Global Investments, etc. Bioformix will use the funding to expand operations including R&D, production and commercial sales. Read more about Bioformix on this post.

Cobalt Tech hits milestones

Biobutanol producer Cobalt Technologies has successfully demonstrated one of its advanced biocatalyst using the NREL Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility in Colorado, US, in a 9,000 liter fermenter. The biocatalyst has the ability to convert non-food based substrates into n-butanol. Tests resulted in high sugar conversion and high yields of butanol, according to the company. Cobalt Technologies also stated that it was able to successfully demonstrate its biomass pretreatment process in cooperation with ANDRITZ, a technology and equipment supplier for the pulp and paper industry. The dilute acid hydrolysis pretreatment process is the first step of Cobalt’s process for for converting sugars into n-butanol.

Evonik site reduces GHG emissions

Evonik Cyro’s manufacturing facility in Sanford, Maine, has spent over three quarters of a million dollars to convert from heating oil to natural gas, reducing annual greenhouse gas carbon dioxide emissions by 33%. The new natural gas steam boiler and heater units were fully operational late last year.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

These are news that came out of at the 6th Brazilian Congress of Chemicals and Petrochemicals Distributors (EBDQUIM) meeting from March 14-16 in Praia do Forte, Bahia, Brazil, hosted by Associquim, the Brazilian Association of Chemicals and Petrochemicals Distributors.

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