July 30, 2013

Evonik develops lauric acid-based polyamide 12

Evonik said it has began operating a pilot plant for ω-amino lauric acid (ALS) in Slovenska Lupca, Slovakia, which is being developed as alternative to petroleum-based laurin lactam (LL) monomer.

LL is currently used as feedstock in the manufacture of polyamide 12 (PA 12), which according to reports, is an important chemical for the automobile industry given its used in cable ties, wire insulation, flexible hosing, nozzles, damping cogwheels, flexible cover caps, sheet gaskets, sealing rings, and in other fuel line applications/auto-related parts.

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July 28, 2013

Stora Enso invests in Finnish biorefinery

Finnish pulp and paper company Stora Enso is investing EUR 32m to build a world-class biorefinery at Sunila Mill in Finland containing lignin extraction plant and dryer, lignin dust burners in the lime kilns and a packing line. The company is aiming to set up a new business selling lignin extracted from the mill's black liquor to external customers within specialty chemicals and high-tech materials industries.

Sunila Mill in Finland

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July 25, 2013

Bayer to commercialize CO2-based polyols

It is almost the end of July and I just want to remind those who are interested in subscribing to our new Bio-Materials & Intermediates reports that you have until next week Wednesday (July 31) to avail of Tecnon OrbiChem's special offer. Let me know if you have any questions about this report.

Foam partly made from carbon dioxide
In the meantime, let's talk about carbon dioxide (CO2). The blog has been following the development of Bayer MaterialScience's (BMS) carbon dioxide-based polyol project for three years now. The company started its pilot plant in Chempark Leverkusen, Germany, in early 2011 producing kilogram-scale polyether polycarbonate polyols (PPPs) using carbon dioxide as feedstock.

BMS announced today that it has started the planning process for the construction of a commercial production facility at its site in Dormagen, Germany, where CO2 will be used to produce PPPs, which will be then processed into polyurethanes as precursor for high-quality foam.

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July 22, 2013

Biofuel News Roundup

I have not been posting most of the recent biofuel news out there as the green blog has been focusing more on renewable chemicals lately. This results in so many news that piled up that the blog will just list them in no particular order.

GCB News Roundup

The green blogger is on a mini-vacation and will be back on Thursday, July25. In the meantime, let me post this news roundup as it has been a long since my last weekly news roundup post. I am trying to look for a more efficient way to compile news and I haven't found one unfortunately. In the meantime, my draft box is piling up with news and I need to put these out before they become stale...

OriginOil Technology processes liquid sewage
OriginOil said its Electro Water Separation™ system (EWS) has successfully treat liquid sewage directly at the point of origin, in commercial buildings. A prototype EWS Waste unit (the Waste Appliance™) now processes liquid waste at an urban algae demonstration site near Paris, France, generating clean, nitrate-rich water to feed algae grown on the building’s roof as an energy source.

Xylitol Canada completes xylose demo output
Xylitol Canada has completed pilot demonstration of its cellulosic xylose process. The successful three month campaign proved out critical process and economic metrics needed to advance into commercial scale detailed engineering. A commercial facility is being designed to produce up to 10,000 tonnes of xylose per year from sustainably harvested North American hardwood.

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July 19, 2013

NatureWorks expands marketing reach

NatureWorks has been very busy lately expanding its distribution networks with three announcements within the past three months.

In May, PTT Polymer Marketing (PTTPM) was appointed distributor of NatureWorks' Ingeo™ PLA (polylactic acid) fibers and resins for Thailand and Vietnam. PTTPM will bring Ingeo to its broad base of thermoformers, film extruders and injection molders, initially focusing on the packaging and food serviceware industries.
NatureWorks INGEO plant in Nebraska

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July 18, 2013

Elevance starts shipment from Indonesia biorefinery

Elevance Renewable Sciences and Wilmar International announced that they have begun shipping commercial products, including novel specialty chemicals, to customers worldwide from their first world-scale joint venture biorefinery located in Gresik, Indonesia, which started operations this year.

The biorefinery, which has a capacity of 180 ktpy (400m lbs) and expandable to 360 ktpy, is Elevance's first biorefinery using its proprietary metathesis technology. The company said it is now working with their partners such as France-based specialty chemical company Arkema and US-based surfactants producer Stepan to meet product demand and accelerate deployment and commercialization of their high-performance chemicals in end user application. Other companies that Elevance has partnered with include Dow Corning, Clariant, DSM, and Hutchinson Worldwide.
Source: Elevance

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July 16, 2013

Modular Genetics Demonstrates Bio-Glycinate Production

The blog has encountered Modular Genetics once or twice in the past three years but has never looked deep into the company's activities in the biobased surfactants area. Modular's lead product is their patented acyl glutamate surfactants initially targeted to the personal care market.

Here are some of the amino acid surfactant materials currently used in the market:

Source: Chalmers University - Goteborg/SEPAWA

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July 15, 2013

ThyssenKrupp invests in biobased chem plant

European engineering firm ThyssenKrupp has been pretty active in the biobased chemicals industry with its partnership with Myriant on production of bio-succinic acid as well as its bio-based polybutylene succinate (PBS) business. The company has also partnered with BASF on looking to produce syngas using waste CO2 from industrial processes.

Last week, ThyssenKrupp announced that it has inaugurated Europe's first multi-purpose fermentation plant in Leuna, Germany, which will have a capacity of more than 1,000 tons/year to continuously produce biobased chemical intermediates such as lactic acid and succinic acid for use as starting materials for biodegradable plastics such as polylactic acid (PLA) and PBS.

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July 14, 2013

USDA's BioPreferred Program back in business

It is good to hear that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) BioPreferred Program web portal is open again for companies to apply for the voluntary USDA Certified Biobased Product label. Up-to-date, the agency said about 900 individual products have received the USDA label and that there are there are currently 9,000 designated biobased products in 89 different categories available for preferred Federal purchasing.

Under the Farm Bill passed in 2002 and 2008, the BioPreferred Program was authorized to certify and award labels to qualifying biobased products, and designate categories of biobased products that are afforded preference by Federal agencies when making purchase decisions. Unfortunately, the 2012 Farm Bill has still not been settled by Congress and the Farm Bill extension legislation (“American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012″) passed early this year as band-aid did not include any funding for the BioPreferred program.

Products with USDA BioPreferred labels

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July 10, 2013

Growing bio-polyamides offerings

Your toothbrush bristles will soon become more environment-friendly if polyamides producers Evonik and Cathay Industrial Biotechnology are successful in marketing their bio-based polyamides.

Cathay Industrial Biotech has been promoting this year its new renewable polyamides PA 5.6, PA 5.10, PA 5.12 and PA 5.14 (as well as their copolymers) under the brand Terryl. The bio-polyamides are based on Cathay Industrial Biotech's 100% biobased 1,5 pentamethylenediamine monomer called C-BIO N5 produced under a proprietary technology process using sugarcane for feedstock. The company said the five carbon diamine has the potential to substitute HMDA (hexamethylenediamine), a key raw material in the production of traditional petrochemical-based nylons.

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July 9, 2013

Lanxess expands biobased EPDM offerings

It has been almost two years since the blog last visited Lanxess' activities on its biobased EPDM (ethylene propylene-diene) monomer when the company launched its first product in 2011 under the brand Keltan Eco. The biobased EPDM uses Braskem's sugarcane-based ethylene supplied via pipeline to Lanxess' EPDM plant in Triunfo, Brazil. Lanxess claimed to be the first producer of biobased EPDM worldwide.

Last week, Lanxess said it will be adding five new grades of Keltan Eco before the end of 2013.

The bio-EPDM can be used in the manufacture of solid and foamed automotive glazing seals

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Amyris ends Tate & Lyle toll deal

It's payback time for taking a couple of days off from blogging and now I have to do some catching up with news. The blog has also lost its most useful web tool -- the Google Reader, and I had to put something a little less reliable in its place in order to get updated press releases.

In the meantime, I came across this news from Amyris stating that the company has terminated its toll manufacturing deal with Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas, which started in 2010. The toll manufacturing agreement entails secured manufacturing capacity for farnesene through 2016 at Tate & Lyle's Decatur, Illinois, facility. The deal included a base monthly payment regardless of level production of Tate & Lyle's facility in addition to a variable amount based on volume.

Tate & Lyle's Decatur, Illinois, facility

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July 8, 2013

BASF, Cargill, Novozymes bio-acrylic acid milestone

I hope you were able to check out our new Bio-Materials & Intermediates report offering via Tecnon OrbiChem's website. We have been working on this project since March and we would love to get your feedback (and of course your subscription!) on this one.

Meanwhile, I had to delay posting this news last week as I was waiting for BASF to respond to several questions that I have regarding their biobased acrylic acid milestone with partners, Novozymes and Cargill.

The companies announced on July 3 that it was able to successfully produce 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP) in pilot scale, about larger kilogram scale to be exact, according to a BASF spokesperson. 3-HP is a precursor to producing acrylic acid.

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July 3, 2013

Green Biologics demo scale-up

Apologies for the silence yesterday as I was (and still am) in the middle of a big project. Some of you might already know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, the biobased butanol industry is teeming with capacity scale-up with Gevo already commercially producing bio-isobutanol in Luverne, Minn.; Cathay Industrial Biotech already has commercial production facility for corn-based n-butanol in Jillin, China; Cobalt Technologies announced in April the successful scale-up of its biobased n-butanol pilot production; and yesterday, Green Biologics (GBL) announced that it has partnered with biofuel technology developer Easy Energy Systems to build a demonstration facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa, for the production of biobased n-butanol and acetone.

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July 1, 2013

World's first 5-HMF industrial facility

Switzerland-based AVA Biochem BSL AG said it has begun operation of the world's first industrial plant for producing 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) at Muttenz in Clariant's Infrapark near Basel. The plant initially can produce 20 tons/year of 5-HMF with a purity of up to 99.9% using biomass such as wood for feedstock.

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Genomatica's bio-BDO in FENC fibers

My apologies for this late post as I had some work-related matters to see through. Taiwan-based polyester firm Far Eastern New Century Corporation (FENC) and Genomatica announced last week that FENC was able to produce a high-performance fibers and clothing using Genomatica's biobased 1,4 butanediol (BDO).

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