October 13, 2011

Weekly news roundup

Yes, this week's news roundup is one day early (or four days late I guess) as the blogger is going to be in the middle of a big editorial board meeting this Friday and trying to promote the blog's course towards fame (back me up here now my faithful readers!). I might also be able to get an interview with the CEO of Thailand-based PTT Chemical very early Friday morning - crossing my fingers.

Maybe I should just camp out in the office on Thursday night after school...

On Wednesday, we received a formal announcement about PTT Chemical acquiring 50% of US bioplastic producer NatureWorks. The green blog had the opportunity to interview NatureWorks marketing director Steve Davies, and the interview will be on ICIS Chemical Business' October 24 issue under the Green Chemicals column.

Speaking of ICB, my article (subscription required for this link) about my interview with DSM on their bio-adipic acid strategy came out this Monday. As I've mentioned before, DSM  is looking to commercially produce drop-in biobased adipic acid (produced either through fermentation or chemo-catalytic routes) by forming partnerships along the value chain. DSM said a 'cost-advantaged and more sustainable route' for adipic acid will offer significant value in the company's polyamide markets. DSM has a global leading position in caprolactam, a key precursor to polyamide 6.

DSM said it is looking at a 100,000-150,000 tonne/year commercial scale with the possibility of entering the market around five years or so.

Next week, I will be in Vienna attending ICIS' 8th Oleochemicals conference. If there's a free wifi, I will try to tweet some of them via @ICISchemicalbiz so stay tune! When I come back, I will start on my interview with BlueMarble Bio as well as information on Renmatix, updates on Dow and BASF. Did I already mention that my first midterm exam is coming up on Oct. 25? Whew!

For now here are this week's news roundup (I'm separating a post on several bioplastic news that I came across the past two weeks):

Allylix starts Valencene production
Allylix has begun production of valencene for the flavor and fragrance industry in large-scale commercial quantities using 200,000 liter fermentation tanks. Allylix’s fermentation process is said to offer a stable supply of valencene at a fifth or less of the cost of these traditional methods. Valencene is an orange flavor and fragrance material being used as a key element in beverage, confection and OTC healthcare flavors, among other applications. Traditional methods of producing valencene entail extracting it from the peel of valencene oranges.

LanzaTech partners with Virgin Atlantic
In partnership with New Zealand-based LanzaTech, Boeing and Swedish Biofuels, Virgin Atlantic plans to use jet fuel made from waste gases captured from industrial steel production. The waste gas using is fermented and chemically converted into jet fuel using Swedish Biofuels Technology. A demo flight with the new fuel is planned in 12-18 months.  LanzaTech expects to have a commercial facility producing the waste gas-based fuel by 2014.

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