The weekly news roundup is back! Yay!
METEX proceeds with Malaysia project
France-based biological chemistry company METabolic EXplorer noted that it has completed the initial-phase analyses of its future bio-propanediol facility in Iskandar, Malaysia in collaboration with Malaysian biotech hub owner Bio-XCell. The project has been delayed for seven months due to site preparation issues. The companies have launched discussions aimed at amending their existing contract to adjust the schedule and financing plan.
SACOM’s biotech fertilizer enters US
SACOM SpA has signed a distribution deal with Credentia Advisors of North Carolina to distribute SACOM’s biotech fertilizer product portfolio. The partnership will introduce for the first time in the US market Sacom Green Biotech System (SGB), which the company said can rapidly restore a natural, healthy and protective balance to soils enabling farmers to grow food crops with higher profits and using less chemicals.
Kuraray to soon release bio-based liquid rubber
Japanese chemical firm Kuraray Co. Ltd. said it is promoting the development of an innovative, bio-based Liquid Farnesene Rubber (LFR) which the company is developing with Amyris for tire applications. The company said it intends the bio-based material for full-scale release soon. The company recently announced its decision to expand its liquid rubber production capacity at its Kashima plant by 7,000 tonnes/year. The expanded facility is expected to start in July 2014.
EcoSynthetix partners with Glatfelter
Canada-based renewable chemicals company EcoSynthetix has partnered with specialty paper and fiber materials company P.H. Glatfelter for the use of EcoSynthetix’s EcoSphere biolatex binders at Glatfelter’s mills in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Glatfelter will be using the biolatex binders in both mill locations for improved coating formulations. Glatfelter anticipates using a significant substitution rate of EcoSphere biolatex to traditional binder.
Showa Denko’s bioplastic in the Philippines
Japan-based Showa Denko K.K. and D&L Industries have signed an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement covering the compounding, manufacturing and distribution of Showa’s Bionolle Starcla starch-based biodegradable polymer in the Philippines. The bio-based resin will be used to make compost, garbage and shopping bags. D&L will manufacture Bionolle Starcla for local use and at the same time supply Showa Denko, which in turn will handle the product’s overseas market and distribution.
Bioserie launches iPhone5 bioplastic covers
bioserie is now selling lines of IPhone 5 covers using plant-based bioplastic materials and recyclable components such as glass and aluminum. It’s GlassCover product line combines bioplastics with strengthened glass, while the AluCover line uses bioplastics with aluminum.
Biocomposites ready for action
Researchers at the UK-based AMRC (Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre) of the University of Sheffield are looking for potential use of biocomposites using flax, cashew nut husks and recycled plastics in the aerospace and automotive sectors after engineers at the AMRC were able to produced a prototype snowboard from the same biocomposite materials. The team produced two boards from flax finers embedded in a resin containing 30% of cashew shell epoxy. The core was made from recycled PET foam derived from old plastic bottles and other waste.
Arkema, OXIS partners in electric vehicles
France-based specialty chemical company Arkema has partnered with OXIS Energy Limited, to further improve OXIS’ polymer lithium sulfur cells battery technology. According to Arkema, the battery is considered to be the next generation of battery complementary to lithium ion systems. The battery displays double the energy density of current batteries and are said to have lower manufacturing and operating costs. Arkema will provide access to different specialty materials like carbon nanotubes, electrolyte and advanced technical polymers that could be tested by OXIS for use in developing and extending its technology.