Weekly News Roundup

I hope US readers had a great 3-day weekend. I sure did enjoy mine =). Unfortunately, given that ICIS’ production is based in the UK and next week is the Queens Jubilee where my colleagues will have 2 days off, we are now scrunched to file earlier this week so you might not hear too much from the blog until Friday.

I am also starting to work on my ICB article about bio-based polyamides so this should be interesting.

Here are last week’s news roundup. By the way, I had a great conversation with LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren and Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber last week. I filed my stories on ICIS news but I’m trying to see if the blog can steal and post them here. Stay tune.

INVISTA’s energy-efficient nylon

Nylon polymer producer INVISTA has developed an energy-efficient process for the production of adiponitrile (ADN), a key raw material for nylon 6,6. The company said it also virtually eliminates benzene from the production process. Other benefits of the new ADN technology includes improved product yields, lower CO2 emissions, enhanced process stability and reduced capital intensity. INVISTA plans to deploy the technology and now has the option of installing it at its existing facilities in Orange and Victoria, Texas, in addition to a plant INVISTA is constructing in China.

DSM invests in innovations lab

DSM has invested EUR100m in three new R&D facilities in Delft and Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands, over the next two years focusing on biotechnological and bioprocessing research in Delft and high performance materials in Sittard-Geleen. DSM is also a partner with CSM/Purac and the Delft University of Technology in the recently opened Bioprocess Pilot Facility (BPF) on the DSM site in Delft. The BPF is an open facility in which other companies, universities, institutes, etc. can conduct their upscaling research for bio-processes.

BASF Venture invests in China

BASF Venture Capital GmbH has invested $5m in the China Environment Fund (CEF) IV, L.P., which focuses on clean technology managed by Tsing Capital. Tsing Capital, established in 2001, is the first fund manager investing in Chinese cleantech and environment related companies with an aggregate of assets under management over $600 million. China Environment Fund invests in portfolio companies across China in areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, environ­mental protection, new materials, sustainable transportation, smart grids, sustainable agriculture and cleaner production.

Lignol Energy joins Oak Ridge

Lignol Energy, a technology company in the advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals sector, has become a member of the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium based in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Consortium is composed of some 40 organizations with a common interest in the development and commercial deployment of new carbon fiber materials made with a non-polyacrylonitrile (PAN) precursor. Oak Ridge will soon complete construction of the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility (CFTC), which will include a pilot plant capable of producing up to 25 tons per year of new carbon fiber materials from several different precursors, including lignin, which Lignol manufactures.

DuPont partners with Bio-Botanica

DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Company has partnered with Bio-Botanica® Inc. in creating a new line of botanical extracts called ZeaBasics™. The products, manufactured by Bio-Botanica®, feature the proprietary ingredient Zemea® propanediol, a 100% biobased ingredient made from corn sugar through fermentation and developed for use in the cosmetics and personal care market.

Micro-algae institute launched in France

The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) has launched GreenStars, in collaboration with 45 partners from public research, SMEs, multinationals, local authorities and competitive clusters, to focus on becoming one of the top global research institute worldwide in the field of micro-algae biorefinery within the next 5-10 years. The institute has a budget of EUR160m for 10 years of which 20% will come from public grants. GreenStars expects to have industrial prototypes as soon as 2016.

The world’s first ethanol-based cooking fuel

CleanStar has opened its 2m liters/year ethanol-based cooking fuel facility in Mozambique’s Sofala Province, using surplus cassava supplied by local farmers. CleanStar Mozambique is a company formed in 2010 by enzymes producer Novozymes and CleanStar ventures. CleanStar has started pre-sales of its NDZiLO cookstove and cooking fuel products through its company-owned shop network, which is being expanded across the city in preparation for full launch later this year. The fuel is said to be an alternative to using charcoal.

Ingeo bioplastic cradle to cradle certified

NatureWorks’ Ingeo™ biopolymer is reportedly the first product of its kind to become Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Silver by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. The certification is a multi-attribute program that assesses products for safety to human and environmental health, design for future use cycles, and sustainable manufacturing processes. The program provides guidelines to help businesses implement the Cradle to Cradle® framework, which focuses on using safe materials that can be disassembled and reused as technical nutrients or composted as biological nutrients.

Global biodiesel to reach $64bn by 2017

The global biodiesel market has experienced robust growth over the last five years and is expected to continue its momentum, reaching $64bn by 2017 with a CAGR of 19% over the next five years, according to Lucintel, a global management consulting and market research firm. The growth driver in biodiesel usage is not only being generated in Europe but the Rest of the World(ROW) and Asia Pacific (APAC) are expected to experience tremendous growth in biodiesel supply and demand by 2017, driven primarily by public policy support.

And in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Butamax Advanced Biofuels has been granted a patent in the US for producing isobutanol from recombinant micro-organisms on a commercial scale.

Taiwan’s China Man-Made Fiber Corp (CMMFC) plans to change the feedstock for its monoethylene glycol (MEG) production to bio-based ethylene from the current naphtha-based ethylene in June.

Rhodia plans to build a bio-based solvents plant at its Paulinia site in Sao Paulo, southeast Brazil, and is also studying a project in Asia.

The US Commerce Department has announced anti-dumping duties (ADDs) on photovoltaic (PV) products from China, ranging from 31.14% to 249.96%.



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