Industry Trends

April 2021

See what has been happening in Asia’s petrochemicals, agrochemicals, automotive, bio energy, and mining industries over the last weeks. What are experts and industry magazines talking about?

What has been happening?

Breakthrough for ‘massless’ energy storage, Converting woody biomass to liquid biofuel, Biogas production from industrial wastewater, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Big breakthrough for 'massless' energy storage


Researchers have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fiber that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough paves the way for essentially ‘massless’ energy storage in vehicles and other technology.

Berkeley Lab and Sandia researchers streamline woody biomass to liquid biofuel process

Biofuels Digest

In California, teams from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Sandia National Laboratories have collaborated to develop a streamlined and efficient process for converting woody plant matter like forest overgrowth and agricultural waste – material that is currently burned either intentionally or unintentionally – into liquid biofuel. Their research was published recently in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

New paper shows high potential of biogas production from industrial wastewater

Biofuels Digest

In Belgium, a new paper by the European Biogas Association mapped the opportunities of producing biogas from industrial wastewaters and quantified the biogas production potential of different EU industry sectors. The results show that biogas has a high potential to mitigate methane emissions from wastewater whilst at the same time providing a huge potential source of renewable energy.

Hydra Consortium wants heavy-duty mining equipment to run on renewable hydrogen

Mining3, a research organization focused on the mining industry, and Engie, a global player in low-carbon energy, announced the starting of operations of the Hydra Consortium, a joint effort aimed at promoting the use of hydrogen fuel cell-based powertrain for heavy-duty mobility within the mining sector.
Silicon metal market may benefit from EV boom

Porsche’s announcement related to the possible use of high-performance batteries with silicon instead of graphite anodes led analyst Roskill to publish a review on the market prospects for silicon metal. According to the firm, demand for silicon metal is expected to continue the upward trend it has experienced in the past two decades, thanks to new-energy technologies underpinned by the growth of the polysilicon sector and its use in solar energy.
Design could enable longer lasting, more powerful lithium batteries

MIT researchers have identified a novel electrolyte that could be useful for next-generation lithium-ion batteries, increasing their power per weight without sacrificing the cycle life.
Renewable Diesel Rising
Ethanol Producer

A projected spike in renewable diesel production, partnered with rising corn oil prices, presents a market opportunity for ethanol producers.
Philippines ends nine-year moratorium on new mining deals
Mining Technology

The Philippine Government has removed a nine-year moratorium on new mineral agreements in the country to increase revenues. This follows the signing of the executive order (EO) No.130 by Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte. It amends Section 4 of EO No.79, s. 2012 that was signed by President Benigno Aquino III. The new EO enables the government to make agreements for new mining projects, subject to compliance with local laws.
Malaysia’s complete B20 roll out delayed until year’s end due to COVID-19 impacts
Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, The Edge Markets reports the Malaysian Palm Oil Board the further roll out of the B20 mandate has been delayed due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and will reach Peninsular Malaysia by the end of the year. It says the situation in Malaysia is different than in Indonesia so the two countries’ policies can’t be compared. The announcement came in response to criticism last week by a top analyst that the country’s implementation of its biodiesel mandate was a “disgrace”.
NTU researchers make antibacterial gel bandage from durian husks
Biofuels Digest

In Singapore, food scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have made an antibacterial gel bandage using the discarded husks of the popular tropical fruit, durian. Known as the “King of Fruits” in Southeast Asia, the durian has a thick husk with spiky thorns which is discarded, while the sweet flesh surrounding the seeds on the inside is considered a delicacy.
Samsung wins Singapore station and tunnels contract
The Construction Index

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded the civils contract for the design and construction of a rail station and tunnels.
Massive battery recycling facility opens in Singapore

E-waste recycling company TES announced the opening of a multi-million-dollar facility to recycle lithium batteries in Singapore. Known as TES B, the plant is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, with the capacity to recycle up to 14 tonnes or the equivalent of 280,000 lithium-ion smartphone batteries a day.
Eco-Sponge agrees five-year deal with Ace Edible Oil for 150,000 tons of palm-based biodiesel and products annually
Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, Fintech Global announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Eco-Sponge Sdn. Bhd. (“ECS”), had on March 23, 2021 entered into a five-year collaboration agreement with Ace Edible Oil Industries Sdn. Bhd.(“AEOI”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Green Ocean Corporation Berhad (“G Ocean”) to supply around 150,000 metric tons’ worth of biodiesel and biofuel related products to the end customers in Malaysia and any other countries mutually agreed by the Parties from time to time.
Rights groups urge Chevron to stop payments to Myanmar oil company


A coalition of rights groups has urged Chevron to freeze payments to Myanmar’s state-owned oil and gas company and prevent the flow of funds to the military junta of a country that has been criticized internationally for its coup and subsequent crackdowns. In a letter seen by the Financial Times, campaign participants urged the state-owned Myanmar oil and gas company not to pay royalties or other payments. That cash flow is currently under military control. Seized force From the Aung San Suu Kyi government on February 1st.

Philippines lifts ban on new mining permits

The Philippines has announced it will end a nine-year ban on new mining projects in a bid to expand the role of mining in the national economy and raise state revenues. The post Philippines lifts ban on new mining permits first appeared on ASEAN Today.
Philippines commits to 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the Philippines’ first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) which aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75% by 2030, the Finance department said on Friday. The five-page NDC details the country’s goal of modernizing and pursuing low carbon and resilient development for the agriculture, waste, industry, transport and energy sectors over a ten-year period beginning 2020.
Philippines lifts 9-year-old ban on new mines to boost revenues
Channel NewsAsia

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted a moratorium on new mineral agreements imposed in 2012, reopening the door to investments in a move that will boost state coffers but has dismayed environmental activists. The Philippines, the top supplier of nickel ore to China and a major …
France's Sanofi to invest 400 million euros in Singapore vaccine plant
The Jakarta Post

The high-tech factory will be located in Singapore and will be operational in the first quarter of 2026, the company said, adding that construction would start this summer.
Shell opens its first EV charging station in Indonesia
The Jakarta Post

The oil supermajor plans to octuple its global EV charging station fleet from 60,000 in February to around 500,000 by 2025 in realizing a net zero emissions plan by 2050, according to a Feb. 11 statement.
Petronas ceases gas production in offshore Myanmar
New Straits Times

Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) subsidiary, PC Myanmar (Hong Kong) Ltd (PCML) has declared force majeure on its Yetagun gas production field in the Andaman Sea, offshore Myanmar.
Total to continue gas production in coup-hit Myanmar

French energy giant Total will not halt gas production in coup-hit Myanmar, its chief said Sunday, despite growing calls for foreign companies to sever ties with the junta as it escalates a brutal crackdown on dissent.
Mitsubishi Motors to cut output in Japan, Thailand amid chip crunch

Mitsubishi Motors Corp is cutting production by a combined 7,500 vehicles in Japan and Thailand in April due to difficulty in securing computer chips, officials said.
ExxonMobil and Porsche testing Esso Renewable Racing Fuel
Biofuels Digest

In Germany, ExxonMobil and Porsche are testing advanced biofuels and renewable, lower-carbon eFuels, as part of a new agreement to find pathways toward potential future consumer adoption. The first iteration of Esso Renewable Racing Fuel is a blend of primarily advanced biofuels and is specially formulated by ExxonMobil’s in-house team of scientists and engineers. Analysis indicates the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a liquid fuel.

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