October 31, 2012

Weekly News Roundup

Here are this week's news roundup. Sorry for the delay as I got by distracted by the arrival of one of the worst hurricanes in the history of New York City. Our neighborhood was ok, thank goodness, but some of my family and friends still don't have electricity. 

My prayers for those families who lost a lot in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and my heartfelt thanks to those who are tirelessly helping in the rescue operation and clean-up across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. 

For now, here are this week's news roundup:

Bunge invests in Cobalt Technologies
US agribusiness major Bunge has invested in biobased n-butanol developer Cobalt Technologies for an undisclosed amount as part of Cobalt's Series E preferred stock financing. Bunge is also working with Cobalt and its partners Rhodia Poliamida e Especialidades on operating a pilot plant using sugarcane bagasse feedstock at the Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencia e Tecnologia do Bioetanol facility in Campinas, Brazil. The parties will also work together on co-location of a demonstration facility as well as future commercial-scale biorefinery at a Bunge sugarcane mill.

PHA improves PVC performance
Polydroxyalkanoate (PHA) resin developer Metabolix has developed a new series of PHA copolymers that demonstrated significantly improved mechanical and environmental performance characteristics of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The copolymers are said to be miscible with PVC resins and was able to improve plasticization, impact and processing modification of rigid and flexible PVC. Metabolix was working with custom compounder AlphaGary based in Massachusetts, USA.

Bio-based lubricants partnership
US agbiotech company Monsanto and Biosynthetic Technologies LLC have formed a licensing and supply agreement for the use Monsanto's Vistive Gold soybean oil in production of biosynthetic lubricant oils. Biosynthetic Technologies has developed a new class of bio-based synthetic oils under the brand LubriGreen Biosynthetic Oils that reportedly match or exceed the performance characteristics of the highest quality petroleum-based oils currently used in the automotive and industrial lubricant sectors. Monsanto has also invested $7m in Biosynthetic Technologies.



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