Happy New Year!! The blog had a great first year on its new platform and according to WordPress, it was viewed at about 160,000 times in 2013 leading to a total of 183,000 times since the blog’s start-up in September 2012.
In 2013, there were 313 new posts, growing the total archive of the blog to 383 posts. The busiest day of the year was November 15 with 1,266 views. The most popular post that day was Avantium’s 100% bio-based T-shirts from recycled PEF bottles.
Readers came from all over the world (about 154 countries in total) with most visitors from the US, France and Japan. Posts that got the most views in 2013 is about guar gum alternatives, oleochemical updates, bio-acrylic acid, Coca-Cola’s partnership with JBF Industries and the partnership announcement between Solazyme and Mitsui.
The blog is looking forward to share more about developments and exciting news within the renewable chemicals sector. In the meantime, let me post this roundup of news announced in December (and some from late November).
New biorefinery in China
Engineering and technology solutions provider, China New Energy Ltd., has been chosen by ethanol producer Jilin Province New Tian Long Alcohol Co. Ltd. (NTLA) as development partner to assist in building a new 50 ktpa biorefinery that will use crop by-products such as corn stover for feedstock. Phase one of the project will start in early 2014 and will include design and supply of key technologies in the cellulosic ethanol production process. NTLA is expected to issue contracts for phase two of the project in the second quarter of 2014.
Teijin and Fuji Xerox in closed-loop recycling
Teijin Ltd., Onward Holdings Co. Ltd., and Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. will launch a closed-loop recycling system for uniforms in China designed and produced by Onward Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. Nantong Teijin Co. Ltd., Teijin’s polyester textile manufacturing and processing company, weaves and dyes the recyclable polyester textiles. From January 2014, the uniform will be worn by 500 customer engineers at Beijing-based Fuji Xerox (China) Ltd. and 200 production line workers Suzhou-based Fuji Xerox Eco-Manufacturing (Suzhou) Co. Ltd. The uniforms will be collected after their useful lives and sent to the recycling plant of Zheijiang Jiaren New Materials Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Teijin and Jinggong Holding Group in Shaoxing, which chemically recycles polyester products as well as produces and sells recycled polyester fibers.
Canada funds cellulose demo plant
The Federal and Quebec governments is funding a new strategic partnership to build and operate the first Cellulose Filament (CF) commercial demonstration plant located at a Kruger plant in Trois-Rivières. CF, a wood-fibre based material, could be used in new “super-pulps”, and for high-performance tissue, towel, paper and packaging materials. It could also be used as a bio-material in a wide range of non-traditional applications such as reinforced plastics, non-structural panels in building construction and non-woven fabric. The demonstration project is supported by a C$15 million federal Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program.
Next Gen corn frac for license
GTL Resources USA, Inc. (GTL) and Quality Technology International, Inc. (QTI), have formed a partnership to collaborate on a new, transformative hybrid fractionation technology for corn, dubbed “NextGen Frac“. The technology solves the serious starch loss and co-product purity problems of current standalone dry fractionation technologies without the complexity and cost of whole kernel wet milling, potentially a major financial boon for corn ethanol manufacturing. GTL and QTI is building an automated, 3,000 bushel/day NextGen Frac demo facility, which is expected to be operational in March 2014.
European Research center launched
Biorizon, a research centre focused on the development of biomass-based aromatics, has received €2.5 million in start-up funding from founders TNO, VITO, the regional development agency, NV REWIN West-Brabant, and the green chemistry campus, as well as from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the dutch government under the operational program south netherlands (OP-Zuid). The shared research centre is anticipating the expected growing shortage of aromatics from the petrochemical industry, and is projected to deliver laboratory experiments, demo-scale piloting for selected technologies, and an extensive knowledge and patent portfolio of innovative process routes and novel products coming from participating companies.
Indian bioplastic company launched
Northern Technologies International Corporation has formed Natur-Tec India Private Limited, a majority (90%) owned subsidiary based in Chennai, India, to capitalize on the increasing market demand for Natur-Tec® bioplastic products in India and the surrounding South Asian region. NTIC was one of the first companies to promote bioplastics in India in 2006, when it started marketing its Natur-Tec line of fully compostable and biobased packaging solutions through its Indian joint-venture Harita-NTI Pvt. Ltd.
Lignol in China biorefinery intent
Lignol Innovations Ltd. (“LIL”), has signed a Letter of Intent with Sichuan Xilin IM/EX Co. Ltd. of Chengdu, China (“Xilin”) to explore options to cooperate in pursuing opportunities to commercialize LIL’s proprietary biorefining technology in China, and contemplates possible formation of a Joint Venture company as well as various investment options. Sichuan Xilin IM/EX Co Ltd. is a privately owned forest products production and import/export company based in Chengdu with sawmill assets in Russia and China.
Sustainable chemical supply chain
AkzoNobel has signed up to the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative. Founded in 2011, the purpose of TfS is to develop and implement a global audit program to assess and improve sustainability practices within the supply chains of the chemical industry. The TfS initiative involves independent experts carrying out assessments and audits of suppliers, avoiding the need for each of the members to conduct their own. Results and scorecard ratings are then shared within TfS on a web-based collaborative platform. Other members include BASF, Bayer, Evonik Industries, Henkel, LANXESS and Solvay.
Carbios in plastic waste recovery
Carbios has partnered with Suez Environnment for collaboration in the field of recovery and recycling of plastic waste. Around 25 million tons of plastic waste is reportedly produced every year in Europe, of which, only 20% is recycled. Carbios is also working on the production development of polylactic acid using agricultural waste materials for feedstock. Carbios develops biological processes aimed at recovering end-of-life plastics as well as biodegradable and bio-based polymers.
Faurecia launches bio-composites for cars
Auto parts manufacturer Faurecia has incorporated the use of natural materials for automotive seating and interiors such as BioMat, an injection molded materials made with mixture of natural fillers and bio-based resins (in collaboration with Mitsubishi Chemicals); NAFILean, an injection molded bio-composite combining hemp and polypropylene; and Lignolite, a composite made with 85% wood fibers for traditional compression processes.
NatureWorks in 3D printing market
NatureWorks has partnered with Ireland-based technology start-up 3DOM Filament Limited to bring its Ingeo PLA filament to the 3D printing market as an alternative to ABS substrates. The newly-formed company aims to supply Ingeo filament to the additive manufacturing market. The entire 3DOM monofilament family will carry the Ingeo logo. 3DOM’s Ingeo filament will be commercially available in January 2014, worldwide.
Recycled glycols meet standards
GlyEco has received independent third-party lab verification that confirms the company’s ability to recycle waste glycol to refinery-grade glycol standards. GlyEco is the first company to produce commercial quantities of recycled glycol that meet ASTM E1177 Type EG-1 specifications. The ASTM E1177 Type EG-1 standard is the predominant quality measurement used in the chemicals industry to test the quality of glycols used in commercial products. The independent third-party testing was performed by a Certified A2LA facility. GlyEco is branding its Type EG-1 compliant product as GlyEco Certified T1 Recycled Glycol.
DSM in biomass cooperation
Royal DSM and Natuurmonumenten (Society for the Preservation of Nature in the Netherlands) are together looking for a partner who is willing to use the biomass generated from the nature-reserve maintenance activities of Natuurmonumenten as a raw material in the production of renewable fuels and bio-based materials. To support this initiative, DSM will become the corporate partner of Natuurmonumenten in the Netherlands for a period of three years. The nature-reserve maintenance activities of Natuurmonumenten annually yield 175,000 tons of biomass in the form of reeds, straw, grass and wood residues.
CO2 Solutions bags patents
CO2 Solutions has received Notices of Allowance in Canada for two new patents: Formulations and process for CO2 capture using amino acid and biocatalysts under patent number 2,769,771; and carbonic anhydrase system and process for treating a CO2-containing gas under patent number 2,827,024. The first patent will cover the enzyme-enabled capture of CO2 from any CO2-containing gas where carbonic anhydrase enzyme is present in any form with amino acid-based absorbent. The second patent will cover the enzyme-enabled capture of CO2 from any CO2-containing gas where carbonic anhydrase enzyme is on or in substrates that are in suspension in the absorption solution.
Nexterra receives biomass gasification contract
Nexterra Systems Corp. has signed a contract with MWH, an environmental, engineering and construction services company, to supply a biomass gasification system for the Birmingham Bio Power Ltd. (BBPL) renewable energy power plant in Tyseley, UK. Developed by Carbonarius, the plant will be capable of producing over 10 MW of renewable electricity for sale to the grid. The Nexterra gasification system will use 67,000 tonnes/year of locally-sourced class A – C recovered wood diverted from landfills to produce steam that will be converted into electricity. Nexterra will design and supply the complete biomass gasification-to-steam generation system from feedstock handling to emission controls, including four gasifiers, a high pressure boiler, and a flue gas treatment system.