Industry Trends

April 2022

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?

Hydrogen fuel from plastic trash, Corn ethanol’s energy balance continues to improve, Safer Li-Ion batteries through thermal management, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Turning Plastic Trash into Clean Hydrogen Fuel
Advanced BioFuels USA

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new method for plastic waste to be converted into hydrogen based on pyrolysis, a high temperature chemical process.

Corn ethanol’s energy balance is strong, continues to improve
Ethanol Producer Magazine

Today’s corn ethanol now provides nearly three times the energy used to produce it, according to a new analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association, with some biorefineries approaching a four-to-one energy ratio.

New thermal management network aims to make Li-ion batteries safer

US and China-based researchers developed a 3D, interconnected, thermally-conductive boron nitride network that greatly improves thermal conductivity compared to random distribution in lithium-ion batteries.

IEA predicts growth in global biofuel supply through 2026
Ethanol Producer Magazine

The IEA in March released a report predicting that global biofuels supply will reach 3.3 million barrels per day by 2026, up from 2.6 million barrels per day in 2020. The forecast was included in the IEA’s Oil 2021 report.

Nissan Plant to Build Solid-State Automotive Batteries

Nissan expects to use solid-state batteries in a wide range of vehicle segments, including pickup trucks, making its EVs more competitive.

Zinc-air batteries get solar energy makeover

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) developed a technology to improve the electrochemical performance of zinc-air batteries by utilizing solar energy. Zinc-air batteries, which produce electricity through a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and zinc, are considered to be next-generation candidates to meet the explosive demand for electric vehicles instead of lithium-ion batteries.

Carmakers will “need to become miners”

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s inaugural Battery Megafactories Europe 2022 event in Berlin concluded with a stark warning to automakers – there will not be enough raw material for the battery supply chain as we go into 2030.

Mining’s latest pivot means adjusting to a higher-cost world

Mining was one of few industries that saw relatively little disruption at the start of the global covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. And although miners endured commodity price volatility, they enjoyed low or stable costs in the early part of the pandemic (remember the first-time-ever negative oil price of April 2020, when West Texas Intermediate went down to -$37.63 per barrel?).

Miners need to invest over $100 billion to meet copper demand

The global copper industry needs to spend more than $100 billion to build mines able to close what could be an annual supply deficit of 4.7 million tonnes by 2030, Erik Heimlich, head of base metals supply at CRU said this week. Speaking at the 2022 CRU World Copper Conference held in Santiago, Chile, the analyst said the supply gap for the next decade is estimated at six million tonnes per year, as the clean energy and electric vehicles sectors ramp up.

Chinese researchers double microalga yields using blue lights
Biofuels Digest

In China, a research team the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has discovered a genetic sensor of blue light that regulates oil synthesis in an industrial microalga, and explored this discovery to double the microalgal productivity of oils. They proposed a new technology called Blue-Light Induced Oil synthesis (BLIO), which has major implications in microalgae-based conversion of carbon dioxide to biofuels.

Soap, Proteins and Highly Complex Molecules from CO2 – These Are the Winners of the “Best CO2 Utilisation 2022” Innovation Award
Advanced BioFuels USA

Large scale investments in CO2-based ethanol, methanol and aviation fuel are just around the corner – supporting climate protection and independence from fossil fuels. Participants of the “Conference on CO2-based Fuels & Chemicals 2022” elected the three innovation award winners.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to demo separation, capture and utilization of CO2 from WtE plant

Biofuels Digest

In Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. (MHIENG) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Environmental & Chemical Engineering Co., Ltd. (MHIEC) – two group companies of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), both based in Yokohama – are poised to commence demonstration testing of equipment for separation, capture and effective utilization of CO2 emissions from a local waste-to-energy (WtE) plant. The test program will be conducted together with the city of Yokohama and Tokyo Gas Co.

Indonesia lower palm oil export duty in hopes of providing breathing room for producers

Biofuels Digest

In Indonesia, Reuters reports that recent lowering of palm oil export levies to $175 from the previous $255 per metric ton is expected to boost exporters’ margins. When the reference crude palm oil price reaches $750, every time palm oil reaches $50 higher, the export levy will increase by $20. Previously, every time CPO rose $25, the levy rose by $50. Lowering the levy is meant to give exporters more breathing room to produce additional volumes and create more jobs.

Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil to be aligned with international standards

Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, the Malaysian Reserve newspaper reports that together with stakeholders, the palm oil board is reviewing the sustainability standards within the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme to align it with stricter international schemes as well as traceability.

China Slashes LNG Purchases

China is slashing liquefied natural gas purchases as soaring global prices deepen import losses and pandemic lockdowns throttle domestic demand.

Philippines ethanol producers slam government’s attempts to suspend biofuel blending

Biofuels Digest

In the Philippines, The Star newspaper reports the Ethanol Producers Association of the Philippines has pushed back against the government’s proposal to suspend ethanol blending in an effort to reduce fuel prices at the pump. The association says that it’s not the price of ethanol but taxes on fuel that are causing high prices, and if it really wanted to lower fuel prices then it should boost blending to 15% to 20% rather than cutting it out all together.

Significant Number of New Sustainability Initiatives Unveiled at a Subdued Singapore Airshow

Advanced BioFuels USA

by Tony Harrington (GreenAir Online) Singapore Airshow reflected a growing focus of the air transport sector on decarbonisation across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Impacted by the recent eruption of Covid’s Omicron variant and onerously imposed government restrictions, the show attracted just 13,000 registered visitors, less than half the 30,000 who attended in 2019, while the number of exhibitors fell by over a third.

Singapore and New Zealand ink agreement to collaborate on sustainable aviation

The Malay Mail

The Memorandum of Arrangement on Sustainable Aviation will see both countries collaborate and share information on initiatives to advance sustainable aviation.

PM: Automotive Valley potential EV manufacturer hub for Asean region

NST Online

The development of the Automotive High-Tech Valley (AHTV) can make Malaysia, among others, a hub for electric vehicle manufacturers and component suppliers, not only to the ASEAN market, but also to a wider market.

China to strictly control new oil refining capacity, cut emissions
Channel NewsAsia

Beijing: China will strictly control new capacity in its oil refining industry and improve production efficiency of petrochemical products as it strives to reduce excessive capacity and lower emissions in line with its pledge to deal with climate change.

Related Articles & Trends

Performance Chemical Trends – September 2022

Performance Chemical Trends – September 2022

Turning whiskey waste into renewable biofuel, Breweries feeling the sting of carbon dioxide shortage, A biodegradable electrolyte made from crab shells, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Performance Chemical Trends – August 2022

Performance Chemical Trends – August 2022

Optimal way to produce biofuels, Extracting gold from e-waste with graphene, Recovering energy from discarded batteries, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Performance Chemical Trends – July 2022

Performance Chemical Trends – July 2022

Algae-grown cement, Method for treating wastewater from cellulose materials, Longer-lasting sodium-ion batteries closer to reality, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

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