August 28, 2011

Guest post: Dr. Joaquin Barroso-Flores

This is an insight from Dr. Joaquin Barroso-Flores about the future of Green and Sustainable Chemistry.

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As an Associated Research Fellow at the Joint Center for Sustainable Chemistry Research, I’m frequently reminded that there is little consensus in the scientific community about the difference between “green” and “sustainable” chemistry.

Many ask, are they synonyms?


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August 26, 2011

Plastic from beef waste

Before I go home and prepare for Hurricane Irene, let me post this interesting news from the University of Alberta in Canada about their development of bioplatic using waste beef carcasses.



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Weekly News Roundup

As soon as I came back, earthquake hits the East Coast on Tuesday and a big hurricane is heading towards here as well. I think this is a sign that I need more vacation...Stay safe for those who live in the East Coast!

Several big news came up last week while I was out and I was able to post some of them such as Genomatica's IPO filing, Amyris' capacity expansion and continued Gevo-Butamax patent fight saga. The US government also announced last week its intent to invest $510m in the next 3 years to produce advanced biofuels to power military and commercial transportation. More of this as well as several big biofuel news (including Petrobras' ethanol investment announcement) in another post.

Meanwhile, here are this week's news roundup compiled within the past 14 days:

LanzaTech, Harsco on waste-based ethanol
New Zealand-based LanzaTech formed an alliance with US industrial company Harsco to promote LanzaTech's technology of reusing steel mill flue gases into fuel grade ethanol. The companies will present the technology to Harsco's major steel mill customers and explore potential business relationships for installing and operating commercial facilities worldwide.

GlycosBio in algae collaboration
Glycos Biotechnologies and Solix BioSystems have demonstrated potential conversion of Solix's algae oil into ethanol using GlycosBio's biocatalysts. The companies planned to convert the algae oil into other higher value chemicals. GlycosBio's current target is production of bio-derived isoprene.


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August 25, 2011

Bio-butanol patent fight continues

The blog has been following the biobutanol patent issues between Butamax and Gevo since August 9. Last week, however, Gevo announced its request to the US Patent and Trademarked Office (USPTO) to invalidate Butamax's patent 7,851,188 issued on December 2010, which covers biocatalysts that Butamax developed to produce isobutanol.

Gevo is also filing a second petitiion with the USPTO to invalidate Butamax's patent 7,993,889 which was granted on August 9. This patent covers methods for low-cost production of biobutanol.


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Albemarle, Amyris on renewable base oil

I think my posting strategy when it comes to Amyris is to wait for a few more days as they keep putting out several press releases almost everyday.

One big announcement this week was its supply partnership with chemical firm Albemarle on synthetic renewable base oils ("synthetic renewable" -- I like this word...). Albemarle will manufacture the base oils trademarked NovaSpec using Amyris farnesene molecule, and supply it to Novvi SA, the Brazil-based joint venture between Amyris and sugar/ethanol company Cosan. Novvi will market the base oils to finished lubricant manufacturers worldwide.


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August 24, 2011

Genomatica files for IPO

The market may be in upheaval but that doesn't deter renewable chemical company Genomatica from filing an IPO (initial public offering) worth up to $100m on the NASDAQ stock exchange today.

 Source: Buckingham Research, ICIS

The green blogger was out on vacation last week and so was not able to post Genomatica's recent announcement on its joint venture with Italian bioplastic producer Novamont and its milestone in producing bio-butadiene. The blog, however, already speculated a long time ago that Genomatica seems to be intent on filing an IPO this year as well.

Under Genomatica's S-1 filing on the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company reported a loss of $9m for the first six months this year compared to a loss of $6m in the same period in 2010. The company said it has accumulated a deficit of $43.5m as of June 30, and had not yet generated any revenue on biobased chemical sales.

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August 13, 2011

Biofuel news roundup

Here are recent news on the biofuels market getting stale in my draft box...
  • Bharat Renewable Energy Forms Alliance with SG Biofuels
  • Praj Contracted a US$ 22 mln Ethanol Plant Order in Colombia
  • Lignol and FPInnovations sign joint development and commercialization agreement.
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Weekly News Roundup

Guess where I'm heading for vacation this week? ;-) The green blogger will be offline until August 22 so I will leave you this weekly news round-up and maybe (just maybe) a roundup of biofuel news as well...

Coming soon is a preview of my story about Mitsubishi Chemical's renewables strategies, the full story of which will be on ICIS Chemical Business' August 29 issue. I will also start working on another related article about Japanese chemical companies and their renewable chemical strategies, which will include Mitsubishi Chemicals, Mitsui, Teijin...anybody else I missed?

Dow expands solar encapsulants
Dow Chemical is adding capacity for its ENLIGHT™ Polyolefin Encapsulant Films, one in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, and one in Schkopau, Germany. Construction will start in 2012. The sites will more than triple the Company’s capacity for making specialty films used in photovoltaic modules,

Bayer to license green chlorine process
Bayer MaterialScience and engineering firm Uhde intend to offer on the global market starting 2013 their new chlorine manufacturing process, which significantly reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The companies said major German chlorine producers have already announced their interest, as have a number of companies in the Asia/Pacific region.

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August 9, 2011

Solazyme, Bunge in sugar JV

Is this a signal from Bunge that it is ready to be a big-time player in the agri-based industrial chemicals market?

The blog saw this news from Solazyme yesterday about their sugar deal with agribusiness company Bunge. The companies actually started their partnership in August 2010 when Bunge started investing in Solazyme. In May this year, the companies started a 2-year joint development agreement to develop microbe-derived oils using Brazilian sugarcane as feedstock.


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August 5, 2011

Weekly News Roundup

Apologies to the blog readers for this very late news roundup. It has been a busy week full of meetings and conference calls. The good part is that there had been a lot of green news as well. Have a great weekend everybody!

DuPont expands in solar
DuPont has acquired California-based Innovalight Inc., a company specializing in advanced silicon inks and process technologies that increase the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells. DuPont exceeded $1 billion in revenue from sales into the photovoltaic market in 2010, and has set a goal to reach $2 billion by 2014.

Enerkem closed $30m financing
Waste-to-biofuels and chemicals company Enerkem closed a C$29m ($29.6m) in financing through corporate equity (C$14.5m) and corporate debt (C$14.2m) transactions. As part of the equity financing round, The Westly Group, Fondaction CSN and Quince Associates, L.P. join existing investors Valero Energy, Waste Management, Rho Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures and Cycle Capital, who had each invested in the recently announced C$59 million equity tranche.

BIOX improves glycerin grade
BIOX has secured funding to undertake upgrades at its Hamilton (Ontario, Canada) biodiesel facility to improve the quality of its glycerin by-product from crude to technical grade, which currently has wholesale market value of 30c.-40c./lb. Crude glycerin by-product from BIOX's biodiesel production has limited market applications and requires storage and handling costs that exceed its market value. Installation of new equipment will take place in early 2012 during planned spring maintenance.


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August 2, 2011

Gevo partners with Sasol

Ok, not much information given for this announced partnership between bio-isobutanol producer Gevo and South Africa-based chemical company Sasol yesterday during Gevo's second quarter earnings conference call.


According to Gevo, the companies have entered a 3-year commercial off-take supply of bio-isobutanol to Sasol starting in 2012. Gevo anticipates the utilization of majority of their 2012 and 2013 planned production capacity, although the specific volume and price commitments were not mentioned in the press release.

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August 1, 2011

Amyris Partners with Kuraray

This news from Amyris is interesting given my article on biobased chemicals for rubber manufacturing published today on ICIS Chemical Business.

Amyris announced today that it has partnered with Japanese chemical company Kuraray to develop high-performance polymers using Amyris' Biofene. The farnesene-based molecule will be used to replace petroleum-derived feedstock such as butadiene and isoprene.


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BASF, Purac to form bio-succinic JV

German chemical company BASF and Dutch starch derivatives manufacturer Purac (a subsidiary of CSM) finally laid out their business plans for their bio-succinic acid collaboration and announced today that they are aiming to be the first commercial bio-succinic acid producer in the market with a 25,000 tons/year capacity that will be located in Purac's site near Barcelona, Spain.

The companies have been collaborating on bio-based succinic acid since 2009 using the microorganism Basfia succiniciproducens, which they said is a natural producer of succinic acid and can process a wide variety of C3, C5 and C6 renewable feedstocks, including biomass sources.


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