News Roundup

November news roundup

My apologies for the lack of news. Attending three conferences in a month plus a newsletter deadline has taken its toll, and therefore the coughing and sniffling continues (despite trying to cure it with some after-thanksgiving shopping).

I am gathering all information I had from recent conferences and hopefully I can share some of them in the blog although most of it I have already written on the November BioMaterials newsletter (subscription required). In the meantime, here are press releases I have compiled in the month of November/late October excluding earnings reports.

Avantium, CompactGTL partnership
CompactGTL and Avantium announce their successful collaboration in Fischer-Tropsch and syngas-to-products chemistry. The work was done as part of CompactGTL’s programme of continuous improvement and was executed at the laboratories of Avantium in Amsterdam. CompactGTL is a UK based company, backed by Coller Capital, which has developed the world’s only industry approved and operating, small scale, modular GTL technology that handles the problem of associated and stranded gas.

Kemira, Wilmar in dimer wax JV
Kemira Oyj and Wilmar International Limited have, through their subsidiaries, signed a joint venture (JV) agreement for the manufacture of AKD wax in China in two joint ventures. The JV entities in China will be owned 50-50 and will integrate the current facilities of Kemira in Yanzhou and the relevant Wilmar facilities in Lianyungang. Closing of the transaction is currently expected to take place in the third quarter of 2014. Wilmar is a global leading producer of stearic acid, which is the key raw material for AKD production. The JV will be an expansion down the oleochemicals value chain for Wilmar.

Biogas from Sasol, GE wastewater tech
Sasol and General Electric’s GE Power & Water have developed new water technology that will clean waste water, while also providing biogas as a by-product for power generation. This new technology, known as Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor Technology (AnMBR), will be further developed at a new demonstration plant at Sasol’s R&D Campus at its Sasol One Site in Sasolburg. Sasol currently uses aerobic microbes to treat GTL and coal-to-liquids (CTL) effluents in ORYX GTL, Qatar and Synfuels, Secunda facilities.

LanzaTech JV earns RSB certification
Beijing Shougang LanzaTech New Energy Science & Technology Co., Ltd. has earned the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials’ (RSB) sustainability certification for the joint venture’s facility that converts waste steel mill gases to sustainable biofuels. The RSB is a global sustainability standard and certification system for biofuels and biomaterials production. The facility, which utilizes LanzaTech technology, is the first RSB-certified biofuel plant in China, and the first of its kind anywhere to receive this key certification for industrial carbon capture and utilization.

DuPont expands China R&D
DuPont has opened the second phase of its China Research and Development Center. With this expansion, the DuPont China R&D Center adds 17,500 square meters and will house an additional 150 researchers, focusing on new material applications in solar energy, bio-based materials and automotive materials and testing capabilities. The DuPont China R&D Center plays an important role in the company’s global business strategy, delivering innovative offerings to meet local market needs since its opening in 2005.

Canada launches Industrial Biomaterials program
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has launched the Industrial Biomaterials program, a new initiative that will help create more fuel-efficient vehicles and greener construction materials. The Industrial Biomaterials program is a $55-million initiative over five years consisting of a $30 million investment by the NRC, and $25 million generated through collaborative projects with industry, academic institutions and other government departments. Canadian firms will now be able to transform agricultural and forestry by-products to create new materials and reduce the use of petroleum-based polymers (plastics).

Cereplast launches reVive bioplastic
Cereplast has launched reVive™ bioplastic resins, a new line of products that uses post-industrial and post-consumer plastics to produce bioplastics. The first three commercially available grades in the reVive line combine Polypropylene (PP) with plant starch and are reVive R625D with 25% biobased content, reVive R650D with 51% biobased content and reVive R610D, an impact modified grade with no bio-content that takes recycled PP and enhances its properties, answering the increased demand for clean, recycled PP.

Deinove receives funding
DEINOVE, a France-based technological company that designs, develops and markets a new generation of industrial processes based on Deinococci bacteria, has been chosen by ADEME, the Environment and Energy Management Agency, and the General Investment Commission to receive funding of nearly EUR 6 million. This is one of the highest levels of financial backing ever granted in plant chemistry from the French government.

Unilever traces 100% palm oil sources
Unilever announced that by the end of 2014, all of the palm oil Unilever buys globally will be traceable to known sources. Unilever is one of the world’s major buyers of palm oil for use in products such as margarine, ice cream, soap and shampoo. It purchases around 1.5 million tonnes of Palm Oil and its derivatives annually, which represents about 3% of the world’s total production.

AkzoNobel gets DfE label
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week gave AkzoNobel’s Dissolvine GL®, the company’s biodegradable and biobased chelate, the EPA Design for the Environment (DfE) label to recognize the product as being a safer ingredient for consumers and the environment.
EPA awards the DfE designation only to chemicals that pass the strict DfE criteria after the agency’s scientific team screens each ingredient for potential human health and environmental impacts. Dissolvine GL, which is derived predominantly from U.S.-grown corn and readily biodegradable, is used as a builder for cleaners and detergents as an alternative to phosphates, nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA).

Cheaper options for cellulosic sugar
Lower feedstock prices can drive down prices of fermentable cellulosic sugar to $0.26/kg, down from $0.32/kg to $0.36/kg, competitive with sugars from corn or sugarcane, according to Lux Research. While agricultural waste is a common target feedstock, municipal and industrial waste can be near zero cost, or even negative cost. Methods such as supercritical fluid processes that don’t use enzymes at all can also offer cheaper options.

Polyols from woodchips-based bio-oil
Battelle engineers and scientists have developed a mobile device that transforms unwanted biomass materials such as wood chips or agricultural waste into valuable bio-oil using catalytic pyrolysis. As currently configured, the Battelle-funded unit converts one ton of pine chips, shavings and sawdust into as much as 130 gallons of wet bio-oil per day. This intermediate bio-oil then can be converted into a bio-polyol that can be substituted in chemical manufacturing for polyols derived from petroleum. Battelle’s bio-polyols have been validated by a third-party polyurethane producer as a viable alternative.

FKuR’s 3rd biopolymer compounding line
FKuR Kunststoff GmbH in Willich, Germany, has started to operate an additional line for the production of biopolymers delivered by Hannover-based KraussMaffei Berstorff. This is the third compounding line the producer of biodegradable and biobased polymer compounds has bought from KraussMaffei Berstorff. The third line is equipped with a ZE 75 R UTXi and designed for output rates of up to 1,000 kg/h.

Arcadia, DuPont in sorghum
Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. and DuPont Pioneer have collaborated to develop enabling technology to help manage pollen flow in sorghum. This technology will help facilitate the development and deployment of agronomic and quality traits in the crop. Under the agreement, Arcadia receives exclusive global rights to develop specified Pioneer technology for use in grain, forage, sweet, and biofuel sorghum types.

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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