2009: Genencor

2009: Genencor

F O C U S from methanol, in turn made from gas or coal. This investment of €45 M will involve testing over 5 years using a process developed by UOP an...

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F O C U S from methanol, in turn made from gas or coal. This investment of €45 M will involve testing over 5 years using a process developed by UOP and Norsk Hydro. ExxonMobil has a similar pilot plant and a number of patents. Air Liquide has this type of technology. BASF has announced progress on catalysts for a syngas-toolefin unit in Ludwigshafen, Germany, using the Fischer-Tropsch process. This is not expected to be commercialised before 2016. The most significant market is expected to be China, which has important reserves of coal but which has not signed the Kyoto protocol for reducing emissions. The leading Chinese coal producer, Shenhua, started work in 2005 on these projects. Similar moves are being made by Huating Coal Group, Sinopec, and Daqing Petrochemical. There are about 15 projects in China which could be commercialised in 3-5 years. Plastiques et Caoutchoucs Magazine, Aug 2009 (Special issue), 14, 23 (in French)

Expanding the scope of detergent enzymes Currently, the various detergent enzymes types used in detergent applications – proteases, amylases, lipases, cellulases, mannanases, and pectinases – are supplied individually by Novozymes, Genencor, and other manufacturers to provide ‘add-on’ performance effects. Averaged globally, enzymes account for about 6% of the total raw material costs for powder detergents (with surfactants at 37% and builders at 34%) and 12% for liquids, according to estimates from Novozymes. The total annual cost of all ingredients in detergents worldwide is estimated at around €6.7 bn. Novozymes has introduced a customized multi-enzyme solution dubbed the ‘Dream solution’. It says the multiple enzyme approach goes ‘beyond add-on stain removal to deliver basic detergency’. One case study on the firm’s website demonstrates the replacement of 50% of the surfactants in a typical EU laundry powder product with just 1% of a multi-enzyme solution for no change in cost. Moreover, the wash performance of the reformulated detergent at 40°C matches that of the regular detergent at 60°C. The




potential adoption of ‘new enzyme’ technologies such as ‘Dream’ has implications for surfactant use. Surfactant manufacturers need to assess any such changes in enzyme capabilities and consider how their own product portfolio can best be utilized or adapted to interact with the new technology and provide optimal performance in the final formulated end-product. Focus on Surfactants, Aug 2009, 1-2

Review and outlook for Chinese coal chemical industry in 1H 2009 (II): CTL projects Production trials by Shenhua Group at a 1 M tonne/y direct coal-to-liquids (CTL) demonstration plant at Erdos, Inner Mongolia, are due to recommence in 3Q 2009 after initial tests in Jan 2009. In Mar 2009, Inner Mongolia Yitai Co Ltd commissioned a 160,000 tonne/y indirect CTL facility at Erdos using technology developed by Synfuels China. Commissioning of a Synfuels-process 160,000 tonne/y CTL unit by Lu’an and an ExxonMobilprocess 100,000 tonne/y methanol-togasoline plant by Jincheng Coal Group should be completed in 3Q 2009. Shenhua is planning to commission an indirect CTL facility at Erdos in 2010. An environment impact assessment for a 1 M tonne/y indirect CTL project planned by Yankuang Group received approval in Jan 2009. Shenhua Ningxia Coal Group and Sasol of South Africa plan to start construction of a 3.6 M tonne/y indirect CTL project depending on successful feasibility studies. China Chemical Reporter, 6 Aug 2009, 20 (22), 11

COMPANY NEWS BP and Martek Biosciences agree to deliver advanced biodiesels BP and Martek Biosciences Corp (Martek) announced the signing of a joint development agreement (JDA) to work on the production of microbial oils for biofuels applications. The partnership combines a broad technology platform and operational capabilities to advance the

development of a step-change technology for the conversion of sugars into biodiesel. Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Martek and BP will work together to establish proof of concept for large-scale, costeffective microbial biodiesel production through fermentation. As an alternative to conventional vegetable oils, BP believes sugar-todiesel technology has the potential to deliver economic, sustainable, and scaleable biodiesel supplies. Press release from: Martek Biosciences Corp, 6480, Dobbin Road, Columbia, MD 21045, USA. Tel: +1 410 740 0081. Fax: +1 410 740 2985. E-mail: [email protected] Website: http://martek.com (11 Aug 2009)

Danisco FY 2008/2009: Genencor For its fiscal 2008/2009 (period ends 30 Apr 2009), the Genencor business segment of Danisco A/S has reported revenue of DKR 1037 M (DKR 936 for its fiscal 2007/2008), EBITDA of DKR 161 M (DKR 130 M), and EBIT of DKR 99 M (DKR 80 M). In FY 2008/09, the company saw strong organic growth in both Technical Enzymes (which includes activities such as textiles, bioethanol and carbohydrates) and in Food & Feed, as the company benefited from strong products and improved market shares in several areas. Meanwhile, Fabric & Household Care (F&HC) recorded a double-digit decline Y/Y in response to shifting consumer behaviour and a relatively weaker pipeline which remains a priority area for the company. In 4Q 2008/2009, the relative performance of Genencor’s various business areas mirrored that of the year as a whole. The company continued to enjoy double-digit (albeit decelerating) growth rates in bioethanol enzymes and experienced an improved momentum in other technical enzymes areas as well. Food and feed enzymes continued to grow at double-digit rates, although non-phytase feed sales suffered from increasing supply constraints. F&HC revenue remained relatively weak year-on-year. Bio Chemicals Projects: DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC (DDCE) is moving forward as planned. The jv has so far met all its technical milestones on schedule and on budget. In Oct 2008, DDCE broke ground for its cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant. The flexible


F O C U S facility will enable DDCE to develop cost effective, integrated systems for converting corn cobs, switchgrass, and other feedstocks into ethanol. It should be operational by year-end with the design and size to demonstrate economic and environmental sustainability at commercial scale. Danisco Annual Report FY 2008/2009, 24 Jun 2009, 14-15 (Danisco A/S, Langebrogade 1, 1001 Copenhagen, Denmark. Tel: +45 3266 2000. Website: http://www.danisco.com/)

Dyadic International and Abengoa Bioenergy realise biofuels license agreement Dyadic International (Dyadic) and Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies (Abengoa) have settled all pending cases and entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with each other, whereby Abengoa will receive patent rights and know-how owned by Dyadic concerning its patented C1 Technology Platform for the large-scale production of enzymes. The enzymes can be used in manufacturing biofuels – cellulosic ethanol and butanol – power and chemicals. On commercialisation of its products, Dyadic is liable to receive facility fees and royalties from Abengoa. The companies first tied up on 26 Oct 2006 for an R&D agreement and a Securities Purchase agreement. Biofuels International, May 2009, 3 (4), 29

Eastman has solvent-free biocatalytic technology Eastman Chemical Co’s single-step, solvent-free green biocatalytic technology allows chemists to work without solvents and prevents even trace levels of unwanted solvents in cosmetic products. The process also gets rid of the environmental effects of disposing of process solvents as waste. The biocatalytic esterification reaction produces a 90%-pure end product, with no additional downstream processing requirements, thus reducing time, energy, and material consumption. This technology won the Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the EPA. HPC, Household and Personal Care Today, Jun 2009, (2), 60 & Chemical Engineering Progress, Aug 2009, 105 (8), 9




Evonik’s 1H 2009 net income dives 92% on sales

Topsoe participates in new large EU project on biorefineries

German speciality chemicals producer Evonik Industries reported a net income of €43 M ($61 M) for 1H 2009, down 92% from the same period in the previous year. Sales dropped 21% year on year to €6.3 bn. Some of the company’s chemical businesses showed a slight recovery, but there is no indication yet of a fundamental recovery.

On 2 Sep 2009, Haldor Topsoe A/S announced that it is involved in an EU project about biorefineries. The project, which involves partners from 15 countries, has just received €23 M as funding from EU’s Seventh Framework Programme: From Biomass to Fuel. The project [email protected]:(European multilevel integrated biorefinery design for sustainable biomass processing) aims to uncover the entire process in the transformation of biomass from field to fuel and from plants to plastic. The goal is that biorefineries of the future will be able to produce both chemicals and fuels from renewables or biomass such as waste. Topsoe contributes with catalytic processes: Topsoe’s expertise in downstream gasification technology and catalytic processes will contribute significantly to uncovering the transformation of biomass, eg to acrylates. A virtual refinery: the project will create a virtual biorefinery researching all processes, from choosing the right crops to production of sustainable products from biomass. Parts of the process will be demonstrated on pilot scale during the project’s final phase.

ICIS Chemical Business, 17 Aug 2009 (Website: http://icischemicalbusiness.com)

ExxonMobil to launch biofuels programme On 14 Jul 2009, ExxonMobil Corp announced that it will work with Synthetic Genomics Inc (SGI) on the development of next-generation biofuels using photosynthetic algae. Provided R&D milestones are achieved successfully, ExxonMobil plans to invest over $600 M in the project, including $300 M internally and over $300 M in SGI. China Chemical Reporter, 6 Aug 2009, 20 (22), 12

Genencor adds to its enzyme products Genencor has added three new products to its Accellerase enzyme product line. The products are Accellerase XY, XC, and BG, and they are commercially available. Besides, they also increase process performance, flexibility and versatility in a variety of applications. The products help in boosting the production of ethanol from agricultural and forestry residues, paper pulp, sugarcane bagasse, corn stover and cob, wheat straw, wood chips, waste paper, energy crops such as switchgrass, and many other biomass feedstocks. Genencor also launched Accellerase 1500 enzyme complex, the latest version of Genencor’s flagship enzyme product for second generation ethanol and other biochemicals. The Accellerase XY and XC enzymes are designed as accessory enzymes to blend with whole cellulases, such as Accellerase 1500. The Accellerase BG enzyme can be used to augment enzyme complexes to generate better hydrolysis results through beta-glucosidase activity. Biofuels International, May 2009, 3 (4), 28

Press release from: Haldor Topsoe A/S, Nymollevej 55, PO Box 213, DK 2800 Lyngby, Denmark. Tel: +45 4527 2000. Fax: +45 4527 2999. Website: http://www.haldortopsoe.com (2 Sep 2009)

New methanol synthesis capacity for JM Johnson Matthey Catalysts (JMC) has unveiled KATALCO APICO, a newgeneration catalyst for methanol synthesis. The copper-zinc catalyst is specially formulated to provide a high dispersion of the active copper without sintering. The increased activity results in higher methanol production and enhanced unit efficiency. For a 2500 tonne/day plant, the use of the catalyst results in about 3000 extra tonnes of methanol, equivalent to $600,000 at $200/tonne. Nitrogen + Syngas, Jul/Aug 2009, (300), 18-19

LyondellBasell Industries 1Q 2009: Technology & R&D segment For its 1Q 2009 (period ends 31 Mar 2009), the Technology & R&D segment of LyondellBasell Industries