Chemical Industry Innovation News Round-up September 2, 2011
11:10 AM MDT | September 2, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT
A broad range of innovation news stories have emerged this past week. One of the most interesting developments is that biobased chemical firm BioAmber (Minneapolis) says it will site a previously announced commercial-scale succinic acid plant at Sarnia, Ontario and eventually add capacity to produce 1,4-butanediol (BDO). This follows on the news that Genomatica (San Diego, CA) has filed for an IPO.
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $12.3 million grant to help fund a $22.4 million program led by Dow Chemical that seeks to reduce the cost of building integrated (BIPV) solar products.
On the animal feed front Mosaic says it has received patent approval for Nexfos, a granulated feed-grade monodicalcium phosphate for use in animal and poultry feed. "Nexfos is the first innovation in feed-grade phosphate in 40 years," the company says.
Honeywell says its UOP subsidiary has broken ground on a Hawaiian biomass-to-fuels demonstration facility. The unit, located at a Tesoro Corp. refinery at Kapolei, will use forest residuals, algae, and other cellulosic biomass to produce gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel using UOP’s rapid thermal processing technology (RTP). The unit is expected to begin initial production next year, and be fully operational by 2014.
Over in Europe, automaker Daimler (Stuttgart) and BASF have jointly developed the ‘Smart Forvision’ concept vehicle that combines both companies’ ideas for “holistic” electric mobility. The vehicle has revolutionary features, such as complete plastic wheels and many other plastic components, which will contribute to weight reduction. The companies unveiled the car at a press briefing in Stuttgart yesterday.
In electronic chemicals Air Products has set up a research collaboration with the sustainable energy laboratory of the China University of Geosciences (Wuhan, China) to accelerate the development of materials for the microelectronics industry.
Beyond Chemical Week…
Scientists from Origin Oil (Los Angeles) and their manufacturing partner MBD Energy for the first have demonstrated the full production supply chain for generating oil from algae at MBD’s facilityies at the James Cook University (Townsville, Australia). The demonstration facility was filmed by Australian TV network ABC.
In what could prove to be a significant development in the biotech space, Helicos BioSciences has broadened its licensing deal with Arizona Technology Enterprises over patents covering multiple sequencing-by-synthesis methods. The expanded license gives Helicos rights to detection techniques aside from methods based on optically labeled nucleotides and allows it to sublicense or transfer those rights.
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