Weekly News Roundup

The green blogger is going on a part work/part vacation for the next two 2.5 weeks outside the US. I will try my hardest not to check my emails while I’m on vacation ;-) . Don’t miss me too much!

Here are last week’s news roundup:

BioTork collaborates with BASF

US biotechnology company BioTork expanded its collaboration with BASF on the optimization of certain microbial strains for the production of bio-based polymers and chemicals. BASF has been conducting intensive research on the use of microorganisms for the production of proteins, enzymes, vitamins and other high-value and low cost chemicals. The two companies recently completed a pilot study. Financial terms of the partnership have not been disclosed.

Chemtex bags USDA biomass grant

Chemtex, the engineering and technology division of Grupo Mossi & Ghisolfi, has been awarded $3,996,000 by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its Biomass Crop Assistance Program to support the establishment of over 4,000 acres of miscanthus and switchgrass across eleven counties in North Carolina.  The feedstock will be part of the biomass supply for Project Alpha, a 20m gal/year cellulosic ethanol biorefinery planned to be build in Sampson County, North Carolina, with a plant start-up expected in 2014.

Vertichem acquires Thesis Chemistry

Vertichem will acquire 100% interest in Thesis Chemistry, which is currently commercializing its technology platform for the production of vanillin and aromatic aldehydes from plant lignin. The company is also developing more advanced biorefining technologies to convert lignin into phenols, cresols, BTX and fuels. Vertichem is working on a portfolio of green platform chemicals including lignin, xylose, and cellulose from woody biomass, agricultural resides and grasses.

LS9 opens demo plant

LS9 officially opened its demonstration facility in Okeechobee, Florida. The 75,000 gal/year facility will be initially used for commercial samples for testing and product qualification, and to test and optimize new process conditions. Large-scale production from the plant is expected in the third quarter of 2012.

Amyris bags $8m DARPA contract

Amyris has been awarded an $8m contract from the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop tools, technologies and methodologies that can transform biology into an engineering practice. Amyris said it can leverage its technology to developed improved DNA assembly and rapid integration across complex biological platform.

MVC Capital invests in Biovation 

MVC Capital will invest up to $3.05m in Biovation Holdings, a manufacturer of environment-friendly, organic and sustainable laminate materials and composites under the brand name Biosurf.  Biovation’s materials are made from corn and soybean co-products that can be extruded into flat sheets or rolls. The products are expected to be used in industries such as decorative lighting, military applications, transportation, print media and electronics.

Darling International buys grease business

Darling International has completed the acquisition of all of the assets of RVO BioPur, which provides used cooking oil collection and grease trap services to restaurants and food service establishments in Connecticut, Massachusetts and northern New York City. Darling International recycles animal fat waste streams into tallow, feed-grade fats and animal feed ingredients.

…and in ICIS News (requires subscription):

Brazil sugarcane crushing declines in May – Unica

Belgium’s Galactic to develop lactic acid from algae in EU project

Argentine complaints unlikely to boost biodiesel exports



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