May 2, 2012

Weekly News Roundup

There have been a lot of news in the past two weeks that the blog wasn't able to cover, and news are still pouring in as my colleague Clay Boswell covers this week's BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology conference in Orlando, Florida.
The first big news for this week is Shell and Iogen's announcement that they are cutting off their cellulosic ethanol project plans in Manitoba, Canada. Talk about another confidence let-down for cellulosic biofuel at a time when the US advanced biofuel industry is trying to persuade the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to revise the volume requirements for cellulosic ethanol under the 2012 Renewable Fuel Standard.
I will post more about the current going-on within the biofuel sector (as soon as I sort out my email inbox where unopened  mails are steadily growing).
For now, here are this week's news roundup:
ADM, KOST develops bio-glycol
KOST USA and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has successfully developed its BioChill® line of heat transfer fluids using ADM's biobased propylene glycol. BioChill® Heat Transfer Fluids are specifically designed for use in Gas Pipeline Heaters, Gas Processing, Natural Gas Storage, Line and Bath Heaters, HVAC Systems, Pharmaceutical & Food Processing Plants, Solar and Radiant Heating Systems, Process Heating & Cooling, Ice Rinks, Playing Field Subsurface Heating, Thermal Energy Storage.
Dyadic expands Abengoa license deal
Enzyme producer Dyadic has expanded its exclusive licensing deal with biofuel company Abengoa for $5.5m. The license deal originally provided Abengoa with the right to use Dyadic's C1 platform technology to develop, manufacture and sell enzymes for use in second generation biorefining processes to convert biomass into sugars. The amended license expands the territories to worldwide rights and provides Abengoa with the ability to produce, use and sell C1 enzymes in first as well as second generation biofuels and other bio-based processes.
GlyEco buys Evergreen Recycling
Waste glycol recycler GlyEco acquire certain assets of Evergreen Recycling Inc., another glycol recycling company based in Indianapolis, IN. The transaction is scheduled to close on June 30, 2012. Evergreen Recycling primarily service the waste automotive antifreeze industry. The company was founded in 1999 by owner Tom Shiveley, who has operated the business while maintaining his career as an expert in industrial waste water treatment with the Ford Motor Company. He will join GlyEco full time, serving as General Manager of the Indiana facility.
OriginOil develops waste water treatment
Algae developer OriginOil has developed a chemical-free process previously used for algae harvesting that may also help clean up the water produced in oil well water flooding and hydraulic fracturing. Using a lab prototype of the technology, OriginOil researchers have been able to clarify samples of flowback water from a Texas oil well carrying heavy concentrations of dissolved organics, known as frac flowback. The heavy concentration of petroleum in the oil well water samples was easily separated from water and floated to the surface for removal.
CSIRO, Lonza in insect silk products
Australian research agency CSIRO and US-based life science company Lonza have entered a joint development agreement to advance and market new insect silks for a broad range of medical and industrial applications. Potential uses include composite fibres for the aviation and marine industries and medical applications including wound repair, drug delivery, and repairing and replacing human tissues such as membranes, ligaments, blood vessels and cartilage.
Ford, Dow in lower-weight car components
Ford Motor Company has partnered with Dow Automotive Systems, a business unit of Dow Chemical, to research the use of advanced carbon fiber composites in high-volume vehicles. The development teams will focus on establishing an economical source of automotive-grade carbon fiber and develop component manufacturing methods for high-volume automotive applications.
BASF to buy Novolyte
The Valence Group has advised Arsenal Capital on the sale to BASF of Novolyte, a global producer of electrolyte materials for lithium batteries and high-performance solvents. The sale includes Novolyte's joint venture with Foosung, a leading global fluorine chemistry company and high purity lithium salts producer based in South Korea. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Lanxess in renewable-based rubber feedstock
Lanxess has partnered with biotechnology firm evocatal in the development of biotechnological methods for the synthesis of precursors for the rubber production. The goal of the project is to make use of local renewable materials in the manufacture of rubber upstream products. The cooperation aims at identifying new pathways for synthesis and developing effective biocatalysts.
Wilmar invests in Inventure Renewables
Inventure Renewables and its sister company, Inventure International, have closed a $5M round of financing with an option to increase funding in a second tranche to a total of $12M. Lead investor Wilmar International has taken an equity stake in both companies. A portion of the funds will be used to build and operate a pilot plant to convert palm fiber waste and sugar cane bagasse into mixed sugars, which can be used for fermentation into ethanol, butanol, and building blocks for a range of industrial chemicals. CMEA Capital is also participating in this round of funding, along with several other investors.
And in ICIS News (requires subscription):
News from BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing conference in Orlando, Florida, this week:

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