February 21, 2011

Big green news last week

As mentioned before, there had been several news announcements last week from companies that the blog has been covering quite frequently. For ICIS Chemical Business (ICB) subscribers, I am actually writing a few on them for the magazine (and already wrote some articles for ICIS News last week). But you can access them freely from each of the companies' media sites. Read on...

Lanxess extends Gevo deal
Lanxess has invested $17m and increased its stake to 9.1% in US bio-isobutanol producer Gevo. Lanxess is also giving Gevo exclusive first right to supply the company with specified quantities of bio-isobutanol for a 10-year period. Lanxess is developing a dehydration process to convert the bio-based isobutanol to isobutene, a raw material for making butyl rubber.  Gevo is currently retrofitting a 22m gal/year ethanol capacity in Luverne, Minnesota, to produce 18m gal/year isobutanol in the first half of 2012.

Myriant in BDO partnership
Bio-succinic acid producer Myriant Technologies and UK-based engineering firm Davy Process Technology formed a partnership in the use of bio-succinic acid as a feedstock for the production of butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran and gamma-butyrolactone. Davy plans to integrate Myriant's bio-succinic acid process technology to its BDO technology to minimize cost of recovery and purification of the succinic acid for bio-BDO production. Davy is expected to license this new production technology to current and future customers.

Comment: I am planning on writing a related bio-BDO article for ICB and will get more information soon. During the Infocast Biobased Chemicals conference last week, Myriant's COO noted that Davy's BDO process technology of using maleic anhydride currently accounts for half of the world's BDO production. Myriant did not disclose how much they expect to profit from this partnership.

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