News Roundup

Weekly News Roundup

Second exam coming up next week! My other half is looking at me with evil eye as I type this post. By the way, thanks for the well-wishes on the blog’s first monthsary (or is it monthsiversary?? — these made-up words will boot me out of my English class…)

Here are this week’s news roundup.

DuPont bio-PDO in TPU resins
DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products has licensed the use of its Susterra biobased propanediol (PDO) brand to Nam Liong Enterprise for its Ureamax Plus TPU (thermoplastic polyurethanes) films and its Enprotex Plus waterproof fabrics. Nam Liong’s Ureamax and Enprotex Plus are used in the manufacturing of waterproof and [or] breathable textiles, and contains a minimum 20% by weight of Susterra bio-PDO in the TPU or PU-based resin.

Yingli Green Energy in subsidy complaint
China-based solar energy company Yingli Green Energy denies accusations of receiving illegal subsidization according to a complaint by EuProsun, an initiative of European solar companies led by SolarWorld. EuProsun filed the complaint at the European Commission.

Butamax expands biofuel patent
Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC has been granted patent 8,273,558 by the US Patent and Trademark Office, which focuses on modified genes in microorganisms that allows for significant increase in the volume and rate of isobutanol produced through a certain pathway. The ‘588 patent also protects blending the isobutanol produced through the modified yeast cells with fossil fuels.

Newlight bags GHG-based PHA patent
Newlight Technologies has been awarded its seventh patent, Patent 8,263,373, related to the conversion of greenhouse gases such as waste methane and carbon dioxide into biodegradable PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) plastics. Newlight was founded in 2003 out of Princeton University and Northwestern University to convert greenhouse gas emissions into commercially useful materials.

Toppan develops biomass-based PE
Japan-based Toppan Printing Co. Ltd. has developed a laminated packaging material that uses biomass polyethylene (PE) film under its brand BIOAXX. The company plans to launch mass production of the material for applications such as food and medicine packaging materials in the spring of 2013. The bio-PE film has a thickness of less than 40 um.

PCC markets Ingeo-based masterbatch
Color concentrates and resin additives producer Plastics Color Corporation (PCC) will begin marketing its SoluPLAs TN 920259 Blue Tint masterbatch. PCC originally developed the product for Ingeo producer NatureWorks, and will now market the product directly as a new grade within its SoluPLAs portfolio.

Biomass-based diesel partnership
Biodico and LamdaGen are collaborating on the development of biomass-based diesel, combined heat and power (CHP) and biochemicals using LamdaGen’s nano-based Meta-Catalytic Surface technology to be integrated in Biodico’s R&D biorefinery programs. LamdaGen manufactures highly catalytic nanomaterials in the form of continuous metallic thin films that can be tuned for specific applications relevant to bio-energy.

Weyerhaeuser’s cellulose fiber plastic
Weyerhaeuser has launched a thermoplastic composite called THRIVE composites that uses cellulose fiber as a reinforcement additive. The composites are available as cellulose blended with polypropylene for applications such as office furniture, kitchenware, small and large consumer appliances, and other industrial goods.

NREL’s ethylene via photosynthesis
Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated the production of ethylene at a high rate using photosynthesis by introducing a gene into a cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. NREL is initiating discussions with potential industry partners to help move the process to commercial scale. Interested companies include those in the business of producing ethylene or – transportation fuels, as well as firms that build photobioreactors.

Celtic Renewables’ biobutanol partnership
Scotland-based biobutanol developer Celtic Renewables has signed a memorandum of understanding with whisky distillery Tullibardine to produce biobased n-butanol from the by-products of whisky production. Tullibardine has the capacity to provide 6,500 tonnes of draff and 2 million liters of pot ale. Celtic Renewables is working on a pilot demonstration project at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in Teesside, with a capacity to scale up to 10,000 liters of biobutanol.

Avista invests in Matrix Genetics
Washington-based Avista Development, the venture arm of energy company Avista, has invested in Matrix Genetics, a biotechnology company focused on producing renewable fuels and specialty chemicals derived from cyanobacteria. Matrix Genetics is a spin-out of agricultural biotechnology firm Targeted Growth. The company is currently focusing on developing algae-based lipids for fuels and other products.

RheTech biocomposite from Green PE
RheTech has developed a new grade of biocomposite using Braskem’s sugarcane-based high-density polyethylene (PE). The new grade under RheTech’s RheVision biocomposites line combines wood fiber with Braskem’s Green PE for application in the automotive, consumer and construction industries.

Innovia Films settles suit with Frito-Lay
Frito-Lay North America, a subsidiary of PepsiCo and Innovia Films have resolved their legal issue over the patent rights for bio-based multi-layer films. Innovia said the settlement will enable the company to accelerate product development and supply of NatureFlex renewable and compostable films for bio-based multi-layer applications.

ChemCeed to distribute bioplastic
ChemCeed will distribute in North America bioplastics produced by German manufacturer FKur. ChemCeed will be offering polylactic acid (PLA)-based bioplastics under the tradename Bio-Flex suitable for plastic extrusion and injection molding; cellulose blend for injection molding under the tradename Fibrolon; and a Wood Plastic Compound (WPC) designed for injection molding.

Dow Kokam’s lithium battery in France
Dow Kokam agreed to supply advanced lithium-ion battery systems to the French electric vehicle manufacturer LUMENEO to power its NEOMA EV all-electric ultra compact car. Each NEOMA will feature two Dow Kokam XSYSTTM 7 kWh batteries, for a 14 kWh system that gives each vehicle up to 140 kilometers of electric-only range, and requires only four hours to recharge.

About Doris de Guzman

Will Green Chemistry save the world or is it hype? Doris de Guzman examines alternative processing, new technology, R&D and other sustainability initiatives aimed at preventing pollution; replacing ingredients; and using renewable feedstocks in Green Chemistry. She has been covering the oleochemicals market for 15 years and spread her beat to inorganics, biofuels and green chemistry.


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