Awards recognizing innovative applications and markets in the European biobased chemicals and materials industry were handed out at the 7th International Conference on Biobased Materials in Cologne, Germany, on April 10, 2014. First prize went to Qmilch Deutschland GmbH (DE) for Qmilk, a biopolymer fiber made from milk protein. The full list of winners is available online.
On April 11, 2014, Barnhardt Manufacturing Company (Barnhardt) announced that its HyDri™ Cotton product has earned a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product label under the Department's BioPreferred Program. Barnhardt's press release on the announcement is available online. USDA's description of the meaning of a USDA Certified Biobased Product label is available online.
On April 1, 2014, the University of Delaware announced that the Catalysis Center for Energy Innovation (CCEI), a U.S. Department of Energy-Energy Frontier Research Center, has entered a two-year program with ExxonMobil. The research initiative will focus on converting lignocellulosic biomass to polymers that are identical to existing petrochemical products. A copy of the press release is available online.
On March 31, 2014, Amyris, a chemical company headquartered in California, announced that it was expanding its collaboration with Kuraray to develop and commercialize high performance materials from Biofene®, Amyris' brand of renewable farnesene. Amyris CEO John Melo stated that he expects Biofene® to play a critical role in the sustainability of the tire industry. A copy of Amyris' press release is available online.
Tetra Pak, a company providing solutions in food processing and packaging headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, announced on March 13, 2014, the launch of the first biobased cap for "gable top" packages (cartons). According to the company's press release, this biobased version of TwistCap OSO 34 is manufactured using high density polyethylene (HDPE) derived from sugar cane. A copy of Tetra Pak's press release on the announcement is available online.
On March 14, 2014, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and Hawkins, Inc. introduced Chill-Pro, a U.S. Department of Agriculture certified heat transfer fluid. Chill-Pro is made with ADM Evolution Chemicals™ propylene glycol. According to ADM's press release on the announcement, "the benefits of Chill-Pro over petroleum-derived products include the fact that the majority component, propylene glycol, is 100% biobased and has lower cradle-to-gate greenhouse gas emissions." A copy of ADM's press release is available online.
On March 3, 2014, BASF announced the successful start-up of the first commercial production facility resulting from the joint venture between Corbion Purac and BASF (Succinity®) for the production and commercialization of biobased succinic acid. The plant, located at the Corbion Purac site in Montmeló, Spain, has an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tons and is producing commercial quantities of biobased succinic acid for the global market. In addition to this first facility, Succinity plans a second large-scale facility. The final investment decision for this facility will be made following a successful market introduction. A copy of BASF's press release is available online.
The EU has launched a new four-year research project called Bio-Qed, which will focus on developing biobased chemicals from renewable sources. The project has ten partners from Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, Croatia, and Spain.
On February 20, 2014, Lux Research released a new report, "Cultivating Capacity for Bio-Based Materials and Chemicals Through 2017." According to the report, the U.S. is on track to become the leader in global biobased materials and chemicals by 2017, with production expected to double between now and then. First generation feedstocks are expected to remain the main source of biobased feedstocks by 2017.
On February 17, 2014, GOJO Industries announced the launch of its new GOJO® ECOPREFERRED™ Pumice Hand Cleaner. The Hand Cleaner is a USDA Certified Biobased product under the Department's BioPreferred Program. To qualify for the BioPreferred Program, hand cleaners must have a minimum of 64 percent biobased content. A copy of GOJO's press release on the announcement is available online.