German chemical colossus Basf and The Linde Group, one of the leading gases and engineering companies in the world, successfully completed a joint pilot project to improve capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas at a coal fired power plant at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC). The NCCC is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research facility managed and operated by Southern Company, in Wilsonville, Alabama. Since January 2015, the project operated a pilot plant under a cooperative agreement with DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Based on the successful completion, Basf and Linde will begin larger-scale testing and explore commercial opportunities.
“With equivalent performance and equivalent costs we anticipate that the industry will migrate to widespread adoption of these bio-based products over time (similar to previous industry shifts to more competitive petro-derived processes)”. To say it, in this exclusive interview with Il Bioeconomista, is Tim Dummer, VP Commercialization at Rennovia, a specialty chemical company focused on the creation of novel processes for the cost advantaged production of chemicals from renewable feedstocks. Rennovia led by Robert Wedinger and based in Santa Clara, California, is developing processes for the production of biobased glucaric acid, adipic acid, 1,6-hexanediol, hexamethylenediamine (HMD), and other important building blocks for a wide range of functional materials. With Dummer we talk about Rennovia and the future of the chemical industry.
Interview by Mario Bonaccorso
Ford Motor Company is teaming up with Jose Cuervo® to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles.
Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins. Initial assessments suggest the material holds great promise due to its durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in developing a sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption, while paring the use of petrochemicals and the impact of vehicle production on the environment.
The South African Airways Group (SAA) last Friday operated Africa’s first sustainable biofuel flights. The flights on Boeing 737-800s between Johannesburg and Cape Town made history as the first sustainable biofuel flights to have taken place on the African continent. They used home-grown feedstock from the Marble Hall area in the Limpopo region of South Africa as part of Project Solaris, a biofuels project named after the energy tobacco plant used (a technology made in Italy). The nicotine-free, hybridised tobacco plant lends itself to the production of biofuel as the Solaris plant produces small leaves and prodigious flowers and seeds that are crushed to extract a vegetable crude oil. The Solaris plant is ideally suited for this purpose as the remaining seedcake is used as a high protein animal feed supplement that also contributes to food security.
Prices in the niche market for biofuels compliance credits jumped to three-year highs last Monday as traders fretted about supplies because of higher U.S. government mandates to increase the use of biofuels next year.
Trading in the opaque market for Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) – the paper credits that can be bought and sold to meet government requirements for biofuels – has picked up in recent days.
Global Bioenergies, IBN-One and Lantmännen Aspen, world market leader in alkylate gasoline for two and four stroke small engines, yesterday announced a partnership on renewable isooctane for specialty fuel applications.
CropEnergies is restarting the bioethanol plant in Wilton, UK. The goal is to intensively test the modifications to increase reliability and improve energy efficiency which were implemented during the standstill and to regulate production according to market conditions.
Samsill Corporation today joins Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and an array of biobased stakeholders in Washington, D.C. at the United Soybean Board’s Biobased Stakeholders’ Dialogue held at the USDA headquarters.
Samsill will be displaying its new Earth’s Choice Biobased ring binders. The company combined 100% post-consumer recycled chipboard – with plastic containing 25% of Green Polyethylene, a bioplastic made from sugarcane ethanol, a 100% renewable source which promotes the reduction of greenhouse gasses. The finished product is at least 69% bio-based and is a USDA Certified Bio-based Product.
Evonik, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, signed a purchase agreement for acquisition of the probiotics business of the Spanish company Norel, a global supplier of animal feed ingredients.
The agreement sees Evonik acquiring Norel’s probiotics product portfolio as well as the company’s site in León (Spain). The business will be integrated into Evonik’s Animal Nutrition Business Line. The parties have agreed not to disclose details of the transaction.
Danish Dong Energy and Novozymes have agreed that Novozymes will deliver enzymes for the coming REnescience plant in Northwich in the North West of England. It will be the first full-scale bio plant in the world capable of handling household waste by means of enzymes.