December 1, 2010

Chem companies invest in Brazilian biomass

Biomass is in the air as both Dow Chemical and specialty chemical company Rhodia announced today their investments in this energy feedstock.

Dow is building a biomass co-generation plant at its Aratu manufacturing complex in Brazil, which will use eucalyptus wood biomass to produce steam for the site's chlor-alkali and chlorohydrin production processes.

Chlor-alkali processing (the production of chlorine and caustic soda), by the way, is a large consumer of steam and electricity so this move could potentially lower Dow's operating costs if the biomass feedstock is not that expensive as well as minimize volatility of their electricity costs.

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