IHS Chemical Week


CW's Weekly Innovation News Round-up, May 18

May 18, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT

Solvay’s project in the U.S. to slash 300,000 m.t./year of CO2-equivalent at the firm’s soda ash facilities at Green River, WY is profiled in an in-depth online article and video interview. Solvay has moved ahead of other companies producing soda ash in the region, including Tata Chemicals, by collecting and using methane from its mining operations to then provide energy for its manufacturing plant.
The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem), a joint program between Cefic and the European Commission, this week has set out a new plan to bring innovative ideas to market in much shorter timescales. The group intends to do this by forging public and private partnerships – something that many industrial consortia across Europe now see as a rich opportunity in the making. Speeding up delivery depends on a radically new approach to innovation, via wide-scale collaboration that stimulates innovation simultaneously at various stages of the value chain, the group says.SusChem is seeking to promote the use of sustainable chemistry in four key areas: resource efficiency; water efficiency; smart cities; and raw materials for modern society.  
Meanwhile, Syngenta this week announced the launch of Vibrance, a proprietary seed treatment fungicide based on the new active ingredient sedaxane.
Algae company Solazyme (San Francisco), which uses microalgae to convert biomass directly into oil and other biomaterials, says it will go to the financial markets to raise $184 million. The company had been expected by analysts to require $100 million to fully commercialize its technology.
On the nanotech front, BASF has been highlighting the potential for its nanomaterial concrete additive X-Seed to save global warm gas (GWG) emissions. X-Seed is a nanoparticle-based concrete technology that can enable greener concrete that contains slag sand and fly ash to be cured quickly at ambient temperature instead of curing it with steam at 60C.
Beyond Chemical Week…
BBC: Intriguingly, water melons have been exploding in Asia. The blame is being squared firmly on the use of chemical additives.
Science Daily: A study by the University of Gothenburg (Gothenburg, Sweden), has led to conclusions that a third of plastic products tested released toxic substances, including five out of 13 products intended for children.
Biofuels Digest: Biotech start-up ZeaChem announced it has signed a long-term binding term sheet with GreenWood Tree Farm Fund, managed by GreenWood Resources, to supply hybrid poplar woody biomass for its first commercial cellulosic biorefinery. ZeaChem’s approach to biomass harvesting appears to be a sustainable and innovative one.

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