IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Industry Weekly Innovation News Round-up, Aug 5

7:00 AM MDT | August 5, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT

The pace of change as chemical manufacturers strive to develop chemicals from biomass biofeedstocks is relentless: Amyris (Emeryville, CA), a biotech company that has developed a technology platform based on the use of engineered yeasts, has announced a collaboration with the Japanese materials and chemicals firm Kuraray to develop bio-based replacements for petrochemical components that go into its high-end polymers. Amyris’s deal makers must be exhausted; this deal follows hot on the heals of an agreement with Boeing and other partners to make renewable jetfuel from sugar cane; a deal with Firmenich, the fragrances and flavors group; and another to supply Sao Paulo City Buses with Renewable Diesel from Sugarcane.
In another bio-tie up, Codexis says it has signed a deal with Chemtex, an engineering and technology firm owned by Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G), to develop and produce sustainable detergent alcohols.

Metabolix (Cambridge, MA) says it has signed a joint development agreement with CJ CheilJedang (CJ; Seoul) for the commercialization of renewable four-carbon (C4) industrial chemicals made from a fermentation process.

The underlying driver for such products is the burgeoning environmental technology market. According to a report published by BCC this week the market for environmental technology - which includes biofuels - will grow at an average of 9%/year through 2015. 

The world of chemical catalysis also appears to have taken a major step forward with week with the unveiling of a novel family of catalysts with a wide range of potential applications that have been developed by the University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA). The catalysts, which feature boron ligands, have been used to convert boron compounds into nitrogen-like compounds. Time will tell how important this development is – but the implications for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, in particular, could be significant.  

Beyond CW…

Different technologies are starting to emerge in the field of energy storage including flow batteries using low cost electrolytes as featured in CW’s recent cover story. In a new development, Greenbang details a new molten-salt energy storage system for solar collecting systems. 

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