News Roundup

Weekly News Roundup

My apologies for the lack of post as I have to submit my “Biobased Chemicals Feedstock” presentation for APIC this week not to mention several ongoing projects at Tecnon OrbiChem that is keeping me busy. There are three big news that I have to post separately but in the meantime here are this week’s (or last week’s) news roundup.

GranBio acquires API
Brazilian biotechnology company GranBio has completed the acquisition of a 25% equity stake in Atlanta, Georgia-based cellulosic sugar developer American Process Inc. (API). GranBio will have access to API’s proprietary biomass pretreatment platform that reportedly can manufacture cost-economic cellulosic sugar as feedstock for biochemicals and biofuels.

SYNPOL bags waste-to-bioplastic fund
The SYNPOL consortium led by the Spanish Biological Research Centre and scientists from 8 European countries has secured EUR 7.5m in funding under the Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology theme of the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to develop biopolymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) from different waste streams via pyrolytic syngas production and subsequent bacterial fermentation. The R&D activities will span from 2012 to 2016. Waste streams include municipal solid waste, agricultural residues, sewage sludge from water treatment plants.

BioNitrogen in woody biomass supply
BioNitrogen has made a deal with BioResource Management, which specializes in the management of wood biomass resources, to manage the logistics and delivery of woody biomass to BioNitrogen’s urea fertilizer plant in Hardee County, Florida. ¬†BioNitrogen’s proprietary technology converts biomass into urea fertilizer. BioResource Management said it can supply more than 240,000 tons/year of biomass for BioNitrogen’s Hardee County plant.

Algenetix raises $2m
Industrial biotech company Algenetix has closed $2m in Series A-1 funding to further commercialize its PhotoSeed platform, a technology that improves oil productivity in microbes by accelerating oil accumulation and subsequently preventing its degradation in the cell. The funding is led by Two Oceans and local San Diego, California, investors. Algenetix is developing renewable oils for fuels and chemicals application.

Highland Plastics pick Cardia Bioplastics
US manufacturer of injection moulded food grade plastic packaging Highland Plastics has partnered with Cardia Bioplastics in offering packaging products using Cardia Biohybrid, a blend of plant-based thermoplastics with polyolefin material. Applications include flexible film, injection moulding, blow moulding, foam, extrusion and coating applications.The collaboration follows Cardia’s announcements of its supply agreements for compostable juicer bags with US-based Breville, and for Biohybrid kitchen waste bags with Shanghai Pudong City in China earlier this year.

SAPPI, Innovia Films in collaboration
Innovia Films and Sappi Fine Paper Europe have combined their separate compostable substrates, Innovia Films NatureFlex and Sappi’s Algro Nature in packaging systems.Both cellulose-based products have been tested and certified compostable by Vincotte and DIN E13432 certification. The companies have develop sample pack structures to demonstrate versatility in applications and formats, and the packaging reportedly could be viable laminate replacements for oil-based paper/polyolefin laminates.

Neste expands enzyme output
Technology and engineering FInnish firm Neste Jacobs Oy and enzyme company Roal Oy will expand their existing enzyme production plant in Rajamaki, Finland.The expansion started in early 2013 and will go through a number of phases through the end of March 2015. Final phase of the expansion will be completed by the end of June 2016. The enzymes are used in food, clothing, feed, pulp and paper processing industries worldwide.

Waste2Chemical bags funding
Technology firm Waste2Chemical has raised its first round of investment from Horizon3 and Dutch Genentech Fund. Waste2Chemical aims to build a pilot production with the new undisclosed funding. The company is developing chemical building blocks for paint, plastics, lubricants, additives in feed, food and pharma using organic waste streams for feedstock.

Ecovative picks Kenactiv for kenaf supply
New York materials science company Ecovative has picked Arizona-based Kenactiv Innovations as a raw material supply partner in the deployment of Ecovative’s new mycelium technology using natural fiber kenaf that is said to be sustainable alternative to expanded polystyrene (EPS) and other petroleum-based plastics for packaging. Kenactiv’s kenaf fiber technology have applications in plastics and composites, energy production, drilling, automotive, packaging, textiles and agriculture and environmental management.

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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