News Roundup

Weekly News Roundup

So many news, so little time….

Dow, Mitsui secures JV approval
Dow Chemical and Mitsui & Co. have completed the formation of its previously announced 50:50 JV in Brazil. The JV will operate a sugarcane plantation, build a 63m gal/year sugarcane-to-ethanol facility, which will be integrated into a biopolymers facility producing sugarcane-based polyethylene plastics for use in high-performance flexible packaging, hygiene and medical markets. Engineering and equipment fabrication for the ethanol facility in Santa Vitória is reportedly proceeding according to schedule, with operations expected to start 2Q 2013.

Clariant, Wilmar in amines
Swiss specialty chemical company Clariant has partnered with Singapore-based agribusiness firm Wilmar International Ltd. for a 50-50 joint venture in the production and sales of amines and selected amines derivatives. Clariant will contribute its Industrial & Consumer Specialties business unit’s sales activities of relevant amines and derivatives as well as its amines plant in Germany and production output from its amines plant in Brazil. Wilmar will contribute a new plant in China as well as its oleochemical expertise, including access to renewable raw materials.

Rivertop’s biobased corrosion inhibitors
For the second year in a row, Rivertop Renewables will supply the Montana Department of Transportation its bio-based corrosion inhibitors under the trademark “Headwaters” for use with liquid deicers. The product is derived from corn sugar and is completely biodegradable. This fall the company opened its renovated laboratories and semi-works facility at the Montana Technology Enterprise Center (MonTEC) in Missoula.

Renmatix investment in Russia
Russia’s State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank), venture capital firm Bright Capital Management, and biomass sugar developer Renmatix are looking for potential collaboration and investment worth up to $750m in the biochemical and biofuels industries in the region. The companies will pursue development of a series of industrial plants that will produce cellulosic sugar from woody biomass with near-term end markets serving cellulosic ethanol demand in Europe.

PolyOne launches bioplasticizer
PolyOne has introduced reFlex™ 300 bioplasticizer, which is certified under the USDA BioPreferred program to contain 99% bio-based content. The non-phthalate alternative provides a one-for-one replacement for general-purpose plasticizers used in flexible vinyl formulations such as in healthcare, electrical components. building and construction products, consumer goods. The bioplasticizer is a result from collaboration with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

INEOS Bio’s renewable power
INEOS Bio’s joint venture project INEOS New Planet BioEnergy is now producing 6 MW of renewable power at its 8m gal/year cellulosic bioethanol facility in Vero Beach, Florida, using biomass such as yard, vegetative and agricultural wastes converted into syngas, which is then fed into a steam turbine. The renewable electricity powers the Center and the excess electricity is expected to power as many as 1,400 homes in the Vero Beach community.

Bio Architecture Lab in seaweed biorefinery
Bio Architecture Lab has partnered with China’s aquaculture company Xunshan Group to develop an integrated seaweed bio-refinery to produce a low cost carbohydrate for the production of renewable chemicals, fuels, animal feed and a variety of other high value products using Xunshan’s seaweed and Bal’s conversion technology. The companies are currently conducting feasibility analyses of sites for both the integrated bio-refinery and a dedicated seaweed farm along the coast of Shandong Province.

MeadWestvaco expands pine chem biz
MWV Specialty Chemicals, a division of MeadWestvaco Corporation, has purchased the remaining stake of Resitec Industria Quimica, Ltda., a Brazilian company that serves the Latin American Pine Chemicals industry, from South Africa-based AECI Limited. Resitec’s operations include a manufacturing facility in the city of Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, an administrative office in Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, and a tall oil refinery in the city of Palmeira, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Shaky Cereplast NASDAQ listing
US bioplastic producer Cereplast has been granted an additional 180 days to regain compliance with NASDAQ’s $1.00 minimum bid price rule under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5810(c)(3)(A). On May 1, 2012, Cereplast was notified that it did not meet the minimum bid price rule required for continued listing and was given until November 1, 2012 to achieve compliance. The company need to achieve common stock price of at least a $1/share for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days before April 29, 2013.

DuPont uses Braskem’s green PE
DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers has launched a new series of a renewably sourced tie-resins and polymer modifiers using Braskem’s sugarcane-based polyethylene (PE). The products is marketed under DuPont™ Bynel® and DuPont™ Fusabond® resin families.

Biogenic Reagents opens facility
Biogenic Reagents – a new producer of high-value carbon products from wood biomass – has completed construction and initiated commercial production at its 300,000 tonnes/year facility in Marquette, Michigan. The  $30m facility produces biomass-based carbon products that can be alternative to coal-based activated carbon, metallurgical carbon [for use in purification and production of iron and other metals], and thermal carbon products [used to supplement or replace coal and other solid fuels].

UPM’s biocomposites ready for market
UPM has started a Commercial Acceleration program with SpecialChem to support the growth of its UPM ForMi, a set of PP biocomposites reinforced with renewable-based cellulose fibers. The biocomposites can be used in applications currently using PP, ABS or filled polyolefins. SpecialChem will act as an extended arm for UPM New Businesses & Development.

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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