Weekly News Roundup

I have to start working on my Bioplastek presentation soon or the organizers will never forgive me! Apologies for the expected less posting this month. There are also several earnings that came out the past week or so and I’ll try to post if there are any other relevant news from Solazyme, Codexis, Gevo, Amyris, EcoSynthetix, and Metabolic Explorer.

For now here are our week’s news roundup:

DRT, MWV in pine chemicals partnership

MWV Specialty Chemicals, a division of pulp, paper and packaging company MeadWestvaco, has partnered with France-based pine chemicals producer DRT. Under the partnership, MWV will purchase and market pine chemicals products (such as rosin, turpentine additives, esters and fatty acids) from DRT in North America and Europe. DRT will focus on core markets and manufacturing expertise but it will also market MWV’s adhesive resins in Europe.

BiotechCorp in sago palm for chem feedstock

Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) and CRAUN Research Sdn Bhd are collaborating to transform sago palm into a strategic crop where sago starch and biomass can be used as feedstock for biobased chemicals application. CRAUN Research has several works already being undertaken ranging from bioremediation, biofuel generation, and hydrolyzing sago biomass into fermentable sugar. Sarawak is reportedly the world’s biggest exporter of sago starch, exporting about 45,000 tons/year mainly to Asia region.

JBI starts second Plastic2Oil unit

JBI Inc. has started its second Plastic2Oil® (“P2O”) processor online at the Niagara Falls, NY facility. Processor Nos. 1 & 2 are currently operating at 2,000 lbs./hour but are permitted to operate at 4,000 lbs/hour. JBI expects to operate both processors at capacity as per the upgraded Air Permit issued by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, once the Company receives approval on its amended Solid Waste Permit from the NYSDEC.

Galata Chems ups soy plasticizer price

Germany-based Galata Chemicals is increasing prices for its full range of DRAPEX® Epoxidized Soybean Oil products sold in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa effective March 1st 2012, or as contracts allow. Continued soybean oil cost inflation, coupled with escalating non-soy expenses are driving the price hikes, the company said. The increases represent Euro 0.07/kg above the price levels effective during February 2012.

Arkema expands castor polyamide range

Arkema expanded its Rilsan® HT (high temperature) range with an ultra-flexible grade that is close to the flexibility of polyamide extrusion grades. Launched in 2009, Rilsan® HT, which has up to 70% renewable carbon content based on castor, is the first flexible polyphthalamide (PPA)-based material to replace metal in high-temperature tubing applications. The new grade combines the flexibility of polyamide 11 with the high-temperature resistance of conventional PPA grades.

TRW develops bio-based airbag modules

TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has developed a range of driver airbag modules where components, including the airbag cover and retainer plate, are made from a new, bio-based material. The company did not indicate what the material is but stated that the new range of driver airbag modules will be ready for production by mid 2012.

BASF in biodegradable mulch film

BASF expanded its line of biodegradable plastic compounds with the addition of Ecovio® F Mulch for use in the manufacture of agricultural films as replacement for conventional polyethylene (PE) film. The material is now available in commercial quantities around the world. Mulch film is used worldwide for crop forcing (early harvesting) and weed prevention

….and uses sugar-based PE packaging

The unit of BASF’s Crop Protection has launched its first-ever sugarcane ethanol-based polyethylene packaging including caps for its Regent 800 WG ® (fipronil) insecticide. Braskem is supplying the sugarcane-based PE. The bioplastic reduces two and a half tons of carbon for each tonne of packaging produced, according to studies by ECO Space Foundation (ESF), established by BASF in 2005.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

If Europe’s bio-based industries are to remain competitive they need to bring more products and services from the drawing board onto the market, the European Commission said.

Lubricant producers in Brazil will be required by the national government to collect an average of 38% of used or contaminated lubricants for environmental disposal by 2015, the government said.

Investment in bio-lubricants could pay off in the future, despite only slight current benefits, a producer from Statoil Lubricants said.

Lauric acid prices in Asia gained for the first time this year and look set to increase further in the near term as values of feedstock crude palm kernel oil (CPKO) are on an uptrend.

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