The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased and renewable chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On February 16, 2018, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced that a consortium of companies signed a project development agreement to develop a waste-to-chemistry facility in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  The facility will convert non-recyclable mixed waste, including plastics, into syngas and then into clean methanol for use in the chemical industry and for the transportation sector.  An estimated 360,000 tons of waste will be converted into 220,000 tons of clean methanol.  The agreement covers the initial investment of nine million euros for the detailed engineering, setup of a dedicated joint venture, and completion of the permitting process.  The final investment decision for the estimated 200 million euro project is expected to be made in 2018.  According to Marco Waas, Research, Development, Innovation (RD&I) and Technology Director at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, “the agreement comes at a very appropriate time given the current challenges in plastics recycling in Europe.  We can convert non-recyclable waste, into methanol, an essential raw material for many everyday products, including sustainable transportation fuel.  Not only can this be used in the existing supply chains and replace fossil sources, but it also avoids CO2 emissions otherwise produced by burning waste.”  The consortium responsible for the project consists of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, Air Liquide, and Enerkem.


 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On February 13, 2018, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that the Western Contra Costa Transit Authority (WestCAT) will operate exclusively on Neste MY Renewable DieselTM.  WestCAT is a California public transportation service that serves the cities of Pinole and Hercules, as well as communities along the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay.  The entire fleet of 45 heavy duty buses, which operates 14 fixed routes and carries over 1.3 million passengers annually, will switch from petroleum diesel to renewable diesel.  In addition to a reduction in emissions from the fleet, WestCAT observed cleaner operation of their bus engines and a significant reduction in the maintenance needed for the emissions equipment and internal engine components due to the use of Neste MY Renewable Diesel.


 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On February 12, 2018, Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) announced a strategic partnership with Versalis, a producer of polymers and elastomers, to develop a comprehensive technology package to commercialize guayule in the agricultural, sustainable-rubber, and renewable-chemical sectors.  Through the agreement, Bridgestone and Versalis will develop proprietary, highly productive varieties of guayule using the latest genetic technologies to position guayule as an attractive and profitable crop for independent growers.  The process technologies will be optimized at the Bridgestone Biorubber Process Research Center (BPRC) in Mesa, Arizona.  Versalis will lead the product development activities to monetize the guayule rubber production.  The technology developed through the partnership is intended to be made available to industrial partners willing to cooperate in maximizing the value of these innovative products.  According to Nizar Trigui, Chief Technology Officer at Bridgestone, the collaboration supports Bridgestone’s goal of developing new, domestic, and sustainable sources for natural rubber and of manufacturing products from raw materials that are fully renewable and sustainable by 2050.


 

 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On February 5, 2018, Neste, a member of BRAG, announced that the use of its renewable fuels in place of fossil fuels resulted in a reduction of 8.3 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  The significant emission reduction is primarily attributed to Neste’s MY Renewable Diesel and Neste's increased production volumes at its three renewables-producing refineries.  The reduction was calculated by comparing the lifecycle GHG emissions of the renewable fuels Neste produced in 2017 to that of conventional diesel.  Neste states that use of its renewable diesel also improves local air quality by reducing exhaust emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulates, and carbon monoxide.

Tags: Neste, GHG, Biofuel

 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On January 25, 2018, Alberta Innovates announced the launch of the Bio-Resource Information Management System (BRIMS), which was developed in conjunction with Silvacom Ltd.  BRIMS is a publicly available data and information management system that collates inventories from forestry, agriculture, and municipality sectors to create a centralized, comprehensive spatial warehouse of biomass, ecosystem services, and land-use data.  Silvacom and Alberta Innovates designed the system with data partnerships from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) and the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC).  BRIMS is intended to advance the bioeconomy in Alberta by informing bio-resource management and investment decisions.


 

 

 

By Lauren M. Graham, Ph.D.

On January 10, 2018, AkzoNobel, a member of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), announced the challenges for its latest Imagine Chemistry program.  AkzoNobel initiated the Imagine Chemistry program in 2017 to startup and scale-up firms and researchers for an opportunity to solve real industry challenges and create sustainable business opportunities in chemistry.  Challenge winners receive joint development agreements with AkzoNobel to help bring their ideas to market.  During the 2018 program, AkzoNobel is soliciting solutions to the following challenges;

  • Development of a surfactant platform that is fully sustainable, specifically biobased, biodegradable, and zero footprint, and suitable for many applications;
  • Organic-free wastewater treatment solutions;
  • Smart technology to make chemical plants more intelligent, autonomous, and resource efficient;
  • Production of chlorate using a more sustainable, energy efficient method that does not use hexavalent chromium;
  • Technologies to increase the efficiency of the production of dry powder products; and
  • Small particle technology to help drive performance and sustainability improvements.​ 
Participants can submit ideas and solutions through the online challenge platform.  Finalists will be invited to an intensive three-day event in June at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, where they will work with experts in finance and research to further develop their ideas.

 

 
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