News Roundup

Weekly News Roundup

Don’t forget to follow the blog’s live twitter updates from Roquette America’s Green Chemistry and Fermentation Symposium on Wednesday and Thursday!

For now here are this week’s news roundup:

PlanktOMICS targets algal biomass
PlanktOMICS Algae Bioservices has finalized a spin-out agreement with the University of Wyoming in a deal that will allow the company to develop its patent-pending technologies of domesticating algae for agricultural and industrial production into commercial ventures. PlanktOMICS provides advanced phenotype analysis (testing biological traits) and screening services, custom algal vector design and construction, algal transformation and gene-expression analysis.

GranBio launches US Operations
Brazilian firm GranBio has opened its US operations office in San Francisco, California, and named Vonnie Estes, formerly from Codexis, as its US managing director. In April, GranBio completed the acquisition of a 25% equity investment in the North American Cleantech pioneer American Process Inc. (API), enabling GranBio access to proprietary biomass pretreatment platform that makes it possible to cost-effectively develop cellulosic sugars.

Sweetwater, Naturally Scientific partnership
NY-based cellulosic sugar producer Sweetwater Energy has partnered with Naturally Scientific for supply of its customized industrial sugars over the course of 15 years in a transaction valued at $250m. Naturally Scientific will use the cellulosic sugar to process into high-value vegetable oils in the US as feedstock for biochemicals.

Flotek buys Florida Chemical
Flotek Industries has acquired all outstanding stocks of Florida Chemical, a major processor of citrus oils. Flotek will pay $49.5m in cash and 3,284,180 shares of Florek common stock. Florida Chemical claimed to be a pioneer in solvent, chemical synthesis and flavors/fragrances applications from citrus oils.

Canada invests in CO2-based tech
The Government of Canada, in a joint project with the National Research Council of Canada and industry partners, aim to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions by converting carbon dioxide from an oil sands facility into commercial products like biofuel using algae. The Algal Carbon Conversion Pilot Project will result in the construction of a $19m algal biorefinery near Bonnyville, Alberta.

UK economy can gain from industrial biotech
A report called Industrial Biotechnology Done Well by environmental group Forum for the Future stated that industrial biotechnology could be contributing £4–12bn in the UK economy by 2025 and £150–360bn (US$240–570bn) to the world economy. If the UK will embrace industrial biotechnoloy, the government reportedly needs to establish a framework supporting the technology as a whole rather than simply focusing on the area such as biofuels. Comparing the US and the EU, the US is said to spend nearly 10 times as much on industrial biotechnology R&D as the EU.

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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