IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Industry Weekly Innovation Round-up, Jan. 20

6:40 AM MST | January 20, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT

This week has been another in which biomaterials technologies have featured strongly. USDA has disclosed that it will help fund three commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol projects to the tune of $400 million in the U.S. The projects are Coskata (Warrenville, IL), Enerkem (Pontotoc, MS), and Ineos New Planet Bioenergy (Vero Beach, FL). The funding enables the companies to move from pilot to commercial production.
In another bionmaterials development BioAmber says it will begin constructing a commercial-scale plant to produce biobased succinic acid. BioAmber says its biosuccinic acid process is 25% cheaper than the current petrochemical process because of its proprietary purification process.
At the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2011 Technology Forum being held this week in Abu Dhabi speakers including Ban Ki-Moon, UN secretary general, called for technology innovators and energy companies to work together to meet the world’s energy needs.
In a breakthrough which could be used by chemical producers among others, researchers at Northwestern University (Chicago, IL) have placed nanocrystals of rock salt into lead telluride, creating a material that can harness electricity from heat-generating items.
PwC (Warsaw), has outlined the likely commercialization timetable for a previously announced new technology to produce glyphosate herbicide. The new process, dubbed Better Glyphosate Technology (BGT), first revealed last November, was developed by SN Biotech Technologies, an R&D firm based at Zlotniki, Poland.
Beyond Chemicalweek…
Science Daily: Mechanisms of juvenile hormone action in insects could help fine tune pesticides. Researchers have discovered an important step in the activation of juvenile hormone target genes. As butterflies, fruit flies and mosquitoes transform their body structures as they molt from larva to pupa and then adults, a group of juvenile hormones called isoprenoids, inhibit development of adult characteristics until the insects reach a proper stage. Synthetic juvenile hormone mimics have been widely used as pesticides for mosquito controls.

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