IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Industry Weekly Innovation News Round-up, Sept. 23

11:05 AM MDT | September 23, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT

Some interesting new technologies have come to light this week, although the key story and something that could have a significant impact on the world stage across the chemical industry and beyond in recent days is that the U.S. has taken steps to overhaul its patent law. Streamlining of U.S. patent law and eliminating the 'first to invent test' is something that the chemical industry has been pressing for a number of years. 

CW's Rebeccah Coons tracks the trend of biotech firms advancing IPO plans with a story about Renewable fuels firm Mascoma (Lebanon, NH) filing for an IPO worth up to $100 million.     

Also on the biotech front Protéus (Nimes, France), a biotech firm and subsidiary of PCAS (Longjumeau, France) has successfully completed a development milestone in a project for Syngenta to optimize enzymes designed to be used with sugar cane crops.

Catalysts are at the heart of a new technology by H.C. Starck and the Clausthaler Umwelttechnik-Institut (Cutec; Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany), a technology institute. The two organizations have jointly developed a novel family of catalysts along with a process technology for generating substitute natural gas from biomass. Another technology operating in the same technology field is a development by Electrochaea (St. Louis, MMO), a start-up firm which says it plans to begin industrial-scale testing of a proprietary anaerobic technology that converts waste CO2 and excess electric power and water into oxygen and usable, storable energy in the form of methane. Chemical solutions certainly are starting to close in on the energy storage issues that are set to emerge with the introduction of renewable energy systems such as wind power and solar. Another field detailed recently in the innovation round-up is the development of flow batteries.

Meanwhile, a study by U.S. researchers has identified that people exposed to nanotubes at relatively low levels could experience damage to their cell linings. The concern is that this could cause urine to leak back into the bloodstream.


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