IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Industry Weekly Innovation News Round-up, Jan. 30

3:01 AM MST | January 30, 2012 | By ALEX SCOTT

Biotech has been in the news this week with innovation deals and developments including those that emerged at The Biobased Chemicals Summit held in San Diego this past week was the source of much discussion and news surrounding technology and deal making in the biochemicals sector. Renewable chemicals firm Genomatica (San Diego) says it has obtained exclusive worldwide rights to Beta Renewables’ (Scrivia, Italy) technology to convert biomass to 1,4-butanediol (BDO), and the two firms plan to begin demonstration-scale production. 

Also disclosed at the San Diego summit, Showa Denko says it has selected Myriant (Quincy, MA) to supply biobased succinic acid for its polybutylene succinate (PBS) production.  
Beyond the San Diego conference there was also a string of further biotech developments...

Bloomberg New Energy Finance published a report in the past few days predicting that 50% of traditional gasoline fuels will be replaced by biofuels by 2030. The prediction looks at the use of biotechnology to make fuels across eight key national markets. Novozymes - a key player in the development of enzymes for making biofuels has welcomed the report. 

Separately, Novozymes says it will supply enzymes for a trash-to-chemicals project.

Rhodia, a subsidiary of Solvay; and Avantium (Amsterdam) say they have agreed on the joint development of a range of new bio-based polyamides, which can be used in a variety of applications. This new agreement expands and completes the existing partnership in the field of bio-based plastics between Solvay and Avantium.  

Celtic Renewables (Edinburgh, U.K.), a biotech company developing a process for converting whiskey byproducts into biobutanol and other biochemicals, was launched in the past week. The start-up company is a spin out from Napier University (Edinburgh). Celtic Renewables's fermentation process uses the two main by-products of whisky production; pot ale, the liquid from the copper stills; and draff, the spent grains. There would appear to be plenty of biomaterial available; Scotland’s £4 billion/year whisky industry generates 1.6 billion liters of pot ale and 500,000 m.t. of draff annually.  

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