News Roundup

Weekly News Roundup

Here are last week’s news roundup. I will post a separate one regarding Amyris’ recent announcement of its Biofene shipment milestone.

Novozymes buys Iogen enzymes biz
Enzymes producer Novozymes has acquired Iogen Bio-Products, the industrial enzymes business of Ottawa-based Iogen Corp. for C$67.5m ($67.7m). The deal includes all commercial rights to Iogen Bio-Products’ existing product portfolio, pipeline facilities and know-how with the exception of any assets related to Iogen Corp.’s bioenergy process technologies. The acquisition is expected to be finalized later this month.

Air Products completes phase 1 CCS project
Air Products is now operating Phase One of its two-stage carbon capture project from one of its steam methane reformers located within the Valero Port Arthur Refinery in Texas. The project will eventually capture 1m tons/year of carbon dioxide (CO2), which will be recovered, purified and transported by Air Products via a pipeline owned by Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas LLC for injection into the Denbury Onshore, an enhanced oil recovery project operated by West Hastings Unit. Phase two is to be onstream in April 2013.

AIMPLAS, FERMAX in bioplastic
Spain-based center of innovation and technology AIMPLAS has partnered with Spanish electronics manufacturer FERMAX and other 15 other European partners to develop a bioplastic made from wheat straw for electrical appliances and electronics products. The bioplastic development is under a European-funded project called BUGWORKERS, which aims to develop materials based on polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) biopolymer matrix and lignocellulosic nanofibres. Completion of the project is scheduled for June 2014.

Eastman expands butyric acid output
Eastman Chemical is expanding its butyric acid production capacity by 11m lb/year at its Kingsport, Tennessee, facility through a debottleneck, which is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2013. Butyric acid is a naturally occurring short-chain fatty acid found in the human body, butter, and numerous other sources. Esters and salts of butyric acid are used in a variety of applications including perfumes, flavorings, and animal feeds. The expansion will support growing internal and external demand for the acid, according to Eastman.

…and organizes full-wrap label consortium
Eastman Chemical has organized a full-wrap label consortium to identify and develop solutions to the recent issues surrounding polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and full-wrap labels in the recycle stream. Approximately 80% of full-wrap labels in North America are found on PET containers. As full-wrap labels are becoming more popular because they offer increased shelf appeal, many PET bottles also have been downgauged. The combination of these two elements has exacerbated the challenge recyclers face in processing these PET containers.

Cargill’s dielectric fluid can stand the heat
US agribusiness firm Cargill announced that its Envirotemp FR3 renewable dielectric fluid made from vegetable oil has been able to demonstrate its enhanced thermal capabilities of up to 130 degree Celsius without adversely impacting transformer life. Industry-standard temperature limits for electrical transformers are capped at 110 degrees Celsius. This enable the use of FR3 fluid in a more compact transformer designed to be cost-competitive to traditional petroleum-filled transformers, according to Cargill. There are currently more than 500,000 transformers using FR3 fluid on six continents, the company said.

Lignol to increase Australian investments
Canada-based Lignol Energy has been granted approval by the Austrian Foreign Investment Review Board to increase its ownership in Australian Renewable Fuels Ltd. (ARW) beyond the threshold for foreign ownership of 15%. Lignol said it is currently evaluating various opportunities to increase the value of its investment in ARW. In November, Lignol has increased its ownership of ARW from 11.2% to 14.9%. ARW is the largest biodiesel producer in Australia with a total capacity of 150m liters/year.

Extraction patent ruling favors GreenShift
A court ruling has been announced in favor of GreenShift on its ongoing patent battle against several ethanol producers and other entities for infringement of GreenShift’s corn oil extraction processes. Defendants in the litigation argued that GreenShift’s patents are limited to the recovery of at least 95% of the oil present in the concentrated thin stillage feed stream and that there are no infringement occurring because they are recovering less than 95% of the oil. A court ruling has issued a Supplemental Claim Construction Order clarifying the patents do not require recovery of any particular percentage of oil present in the stream.

T.Boone Pickens Energy Funds to cease
The administrator of the T. Boone Pickens Energy Fund has decided to wind-up the Fund by March 15, 2013 or as soon as practicable after such date. The administrator may terminate the Fund without the approval of unit holders if it is no longer economically feasible to continue the Fund and/or it would be in the best interests of unitholders to terminate the Fund. Upon the wind-up date, all property remaining after paying or providing for all liabilities and obligations of the Fund will be distributed rateably among the unitholders based on the net asset value (NAV) per unit of the class held by the unitholders.

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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