June 30, 2014

Matrìca inaugurates green chemistry complex

Tecnon OrbiChem's 10th Bio-Materials & Intermediates issue is now out and here are the highlights of the report:

  • Ethylene/PolyethylenePetro-based PE coatings are being replaced by bio-based and biodegradable resins
  • Glycols
    Jilin Zhongxin Chemical Group is building a 120 ktpa bio-based EO with bio-based MEG as byproduct
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate5-Chloromethylfurfural (5-CMF) is being developed as an alternative to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF)
  • PolyamidesThe US imported 800 tons of sebacic acid in April this year, up 25% compared to March
  • Butanols
    Gevo has shipped isobutanol-derived paraxylene to Toray
  • Epichlorohydrin
    Purchasing interest in bio-based ECH in China remains weak
  • Butanediols
    LanzaTech is on schedule to meet its goal to design commercial bio-butadiene units by 2015 via the
    2,3 BDO route
  • Succinic AcidReverdia is looking to build a new 50 ktpa bio-succinic acid facility to start by 2016
  • PolyolsINVISTA has manufactured its first commercial batch of TERRIN™ 170 polyol that contains recycled
    or renewable materials
  • Fatty AcidsArizona Chemical is increasing its tall oil fatty acid pricing by 5 c/lb
  • Fatty Alcohols
    The debate over Indian import duties on fatty alcohols continues to heat up
  • Glycerol
    US imports of Argentine glycerine for first quarter 2014 are at record-high
  • Polylactic acid (PLA)Calysta demonstrates laboratory-scale production of lactic acid from methane

    To view sample or subscribe please click here

I am hoping to be able to blog this week before I hit the road for my first vacation of the year (woohoo!). This one is a big news from Matrica, the 50/50 Italian joint venture between bioplastic producer Novamont and chemical company Versalis (Eni).  The joint venture recently started-up its new green chemistry complex in Porto Torres, which will have three plants that will produce a total capacity of 70 ktpa bio-products using vegetable oils as feedstock.

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June 19, 2014

Soy-based materials continue to expand

There are several presentations about the industrial use of soybeans at this week's Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Bethesda, Maryland, hosted by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Initiative (ACSGCI), that I might as well dig these articles that have been fermenting in my draft box for quite a while now.

Yesterday, Linda Kim-Habermehl of Omni Tech International noted in her presentation the company's partnership with the United Soybean Board (USB) and cited several examples of already-commercialized soy-based products in the market developed through the USB Checkoff program. The soybean checkoff helps facilitate market growth and creation by funding and directing marketing, research and commercialization programs.

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June 17, 2014

Pine Chemicals GHG study now available

It has been awhile since I last covered the tall oil market that includes crude tall oil (CTO), tall oil rosin (TOR), and tall oil fatty acid (TOFA). In my past experience, it has been difficult to get information on this industry as pulp and paper chemicals companies are not that many and they are not really that media-friendly. If you want to get some information on this industry, you might want to visit the Pine Chemicals Association website.

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June 13, 2014

Roquette starts microalgae production in Lestrem

Remember when France-based Roquette announced last year that it has dissolved its microalgae joint venture with Solazyme (Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals LLC)? Well, it's because Solazyme now has a competition in this area as Roquette announced its newly-started 4,000-5,000 tons/year production unit at its Lestrem, France, industrial site, which will cultivate chlorella by fermentation.

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Enerkem starts commercial waste-to-biofuels plant

Enerkem officially commissioned last week its first commercial biorefinery in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, that will produce biofuels and chemicals using municipal waste. The facility, operated by Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, will have a capacity of up to 38 million liters/year initially producing biomethanol.  A module converting the biomethanol into advanced ethanol will be added by the end of 2015.

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Ford and Heinz collaborate on tomato fibers for cars

This is an interesting news for the blog that you can use tomato skins to make composite plastics.

According to Ford and H.J. Heinz Company, researchers at the companies have been exploring the use of tomato fiber to develop a more sustainable bioplastic material for vehicle manufacturing.  The companies have been using dried tomato skins to make composites for wiring brackets in a Ford vehicle or the storage bins used to hold coins and other small objects.

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June 10, 2014

Avantium Raises €36M, ready for commercial-scale

I still have several interviews from last month that I need to post and I'm also receiving recent press releases so please bear with me as I try to juggle work and blogging. Next week, I will be at the ACSGCI Green Chemistry & Engineering conference in Bethesda, Maryland. Follow my tweets at @Dgreenblogger #gcande #greenchemistry.

In the meantime, let me post this news from Avantium announcing its recent €36 million ($50 million) financing round from a consortium of strategic players that consists of Swire Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company, DANONE, ALPLA, and existing shareholders.

Proceeds will be used to complete the industrial validation of PEF (polyethylene furanoate) and finalize the engineering & design of the company's first commercial scale plant. As part of its strategy to use responsibly sourced plant based materials for PEF production, Avantium will validate the use of 2nd generation feedstock.

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June 9, 2014

Segetis gets $325K grant, plans commercial facility

Segetis recently announced that Minnesota's Department of Agriculture has awarded the company $325,000 in NextGen Energy grant funding through the state's Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) program.  In April, Segetis also received $21.2 million in funding from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB), a state economic development agency based in northeastern Minnesota.

Not much information was written in the latest press release although according to this article from Biomass magazine, the funding will be used for equipment, capital construction and materials for operation of the company's pilot plant located in Golden Valley, Minnesota, which will be used to optimize process development required to commercialized its levulinic ketal-based plasticizer.

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