The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) announced at its general assembly the results of the first extensive macro-economic study on the European Bioeconomy. The study, performed by nova-Institut, shows a turnover of 2.1 trillion EUR and employment of 18.3 million jobs for the European Bioeconomy.
Genomatica, US industrial biotech company, announced that major nylon intermediates – including hexamethylenediamine, caprolactam and adipic acid (HMD, CPL and ADA) – are the focus of its third publicly-disclosed development program.
Genomatica is developing complete process technologies for the biobased production of these intermediates, which it will then license to major firms in the nylon value chain. These three chemicals, with a total market of over $18 billion per year, are used primarily in the production of nylon 6 and nylon 6,6, also referred to as the polyamides PA 6 and PA 6,6.
EU energy ministers agreed a deal on Friday to limit production of biofuels made from food crops, responding to criticism these stoke inflation and do more environmental harm than good. The ministers’ endorsement of a new compromise overcomes a stalemate hit late last year when European Union governments failed to agree on a proposed 5 percent cap on the use of biofuels based on crops such as maize or rapeseed.
Invista, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, and owner of the Lycra brand, introduces the only commercial offering of a bio-derived spandex available globally and for use in a wide variety of apparel fabrics and garments. Approximately 70% by weight of the new Lycra bio-derived spandex fiber comes from a renewable source made from dextrose derived from corn. The use of a renewable feedstock in the making of this new Lycra bio-derived fiber results in a lower CO2 emissions footprint than spandex produced using traditional raw materials.
Tetra Pak, the world leader in food processing and packaging solutions, headquartered in Sweden, announced that all of the packages it produces in Brazil are now using bio-based low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Combined with paperboard, the use of bio-based LDPE made from sugar cane increases the content of materials from renewable sources to as much as 82% in a Tetra Brik Aseptic 1000ml Base package, the world’s best selling carton package range for beverages.
Three days of interesting debate with regard to the future development of bio-based materials. This was the Seventh International Conference on bio-based materials, organized by the nova-Institut from April 8 to 10 in Cologne. With the presence of some of the major European players – companies, univerties and research centers – the three days in the beautiful German city on the Rhine have been an opportunity to discuss on the progress of research on bio-based materials, the political support to the bio-based economy in Europe and in the member states and what measures are necessary to enable the Old Continent to be competitive in international markets.
Versalis (the chemichal subsidiary of Eni), Industrial Relations Eni and the trade unions have reached an important agreement on the project at the Porto Marghera site (close to Venice) to redesign production facilities and regain competitiveness.
Korean automaker Kia has revealed that the company’s new Soul EV (electric vehicle), which will have its world premiere at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show starting later this week (February 8-17), has achieved UL (Underwriter Laboratoires) Environment validation for bio-based organic carbon content for ten per cent of its interior materials. UL Environment describes itself as a global independent safety science company.
The results of a field trial with genetically modified poplar trees in Zwijnaarde, Belgium, led by VIB – a life sciences research institute in Flanders funded by the Flemish government – shows that the wood of lignin modified poplar trees can be converted into sugars in a more efficient way. These sugars can serve as the starting material for producing bio-based products like bio-plastics and bio-ethanol.
The US biotech company Amyris aims at becoming a great player in the world bioeconomy. Founded in 2003 in the San Francisco Bay Area by a group of scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, Amyris – as anticipated during its prior quarter results call – has begun the production of its first fragrance oil at a specialty contract manufacturing facility. In 2014, building on the successful results of its initial fragrance oil production and based on feedback from its partner, Amyris plans to also produce this fragrance oil at its own Brotas production facility. The Brotas biorefinery currently produces Biofene, Amyris’s brand of farnesene, a renewable hydrocarbon used for a range of applications. Following planned improvements to the Brotas plant in early 2014, Amyris expects to be able to produce both Biofene and a range of other fermentation products, including its fragrance oils, at the plant.
This announcement follows the one of last December, when Amyris announced together with the French oil giant Total the formation of Total Amyris Biosolutions, a 50-50 joint venture that will produce market renewable diesel and jet fuel.