Industry Trends

February 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?

Information batteries: the latest proposal to dethrone lithium-ion batteries, Advanced Biofuels can replace used cooking oil in aviation, Operating coal-fired power plants more expensive than switching to renewables, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Information batteries: the latest proposal to dethrone lithium-ion batteries

Researchers at the University of California – San Diego are proposing the idea of “information batteries” that store surplus renewable energy as computations to deal with the intermittency of wind and solar energy sources while cutting high costs associated with lithium-ion batteries and pumped hydro.

Advanced Biofuels Can Replace Used Cooking Oil in Aviation, Industry Says
Advanced BioFuels USA

Under the ReFuelEU Aviation proposal, the percentage of SAF that must be mixed with kerosene would reach 63% in 2050. — Pressure is growing on EU lawmakers to ensure agricultural and waste residues are legally required in the production of green jet fuel to prevent a reliance on imported used cooking oil.

Operating coal-fired power plants more expensive than switching to renewables

Generating electricity from solar power is cheaper than doing so through coal-fired power plants, a new article published in the journal Energy and Environmental Materials states. According to Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey and author of the paper, solar energy typically has a cost comparative with or lower than other energy sources, including coal, nuclear and offshore wind, even as far north as Britain.

Solid-state sodium batteries get a makeover

Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) have developed a new material that improves the performance of solid-state sodium batteries, which are considered less dangerous and more durable than their lithium-ion counterparts. Until now, one of the main issues playing against sodium batteries is the fact that sodium ions do not move easily in the liquid electrolyte of conventional batteries, making them less efficient than lithium. This is where the UNIGE development comes in.

Concerns for mineral supply chain amid booming EV sales
Mining Technology

The global electric car fleet is expanding rapidly. While Tesla was dominant in the electric vehicle (EV) market for several years following the launch of its first EV in 2008, other car manufacturers are making strides and quickly turning their fleets electric. General Motors (GM) announced that they will invest $35bn in EV and autonomous vehicle (AV) product development spending until 2025 and that they will phase out petrol and diesel-driven cars by 2035.

ConocoPhillips Supplying Bitcoin Miner with Bakken Gas

The gas supplied to the pilot project, owned and managed by a third party, would otherwise be burned into the atmosphere in a process known as flaring, Houston-based ConocoPhillips said in an emailed response to questions, without identifying the cryptocurrency miner.

Global lithium production hits record high on electric vehicle demand

Global mined lithium production hit a record high in 2021 of 100,000 tonnes (excluding the US), a 21% increase over 2020 (82,500 tonnes), according to preliminary data released by the US Geological Survey (USGS). USGS said that production increased in response to strong demand from the lithium-ion battery market and increased prices of lithium. Global consumption of lithium in 2021 was estimated to be 93,000 tonnes, a 33% increase from 70,000 tonnes in 2020.

Chinese researchers propose catalytic approach to produce biogas straight from biomass
Biofuels Digest

In China, natural gas can be used as fuel for generating electricity, heating and powering transportation. It is also the raw material to manufacture hydrogen and ammonia. Currently, biogenic and thermogenic processes are the two widely accepted methods for natural gas production. Whereas high content of CO2 in gas products is inevitable during these processes, which cannot satisfy the composition requirements of pipeline natural gas.

Thailand Bidding For Myanmar Gas Project After Total, Chevron Exit

PTT Pcl, Thailand’s state-controlled energy company, is bidding to take control of Myanmar’s Yadana gas field after TotalEnergies SE and Chevron Corp. exited the country to protest against the junta’s continued violence against civilians since the military coup.

Challenges & Potential of Indonesia’s Biodiesel & Bioethanol Programs
Advanced BioFuels USA

Biodiesel, which is a form of diesel fuel that is derived from plants or animals (in the case of Indonesia it mainly uses fatty acid methyl ether, FAME, which is derived from palm oil), has been on the political agenda of Indonesia since the 1990s when the first (in-depth) research was conducted by a number of state agencies.

Thailand limits biodiesel blending to 5% through at least March
Biofuels Digest

In Thailand, the Bangkok Post newspaper reports the Energy Policy Administration has decided that as of Saturday, 5% biodiesel blends will be the highest allowed, removing B7 from the market, at least until the end of March. The government capped diesel prices in March, so in order to keep the national coffers in order in the face of higher oil and biodiesel prices, biodiesel is taking the hit. Plans for introduction of B10 and B20 have been put on hold indefinitely in light of high prices.

CAAS, Singapore Airlines, and Temasek Pick ExxonMobil to Supply Sustainable Aviation Fuel for Singapore Pilot
Advanced BioFuels USA

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), and Singapore-headquartered global investment company Temasek have selected ExxonMobil as the vendor to supply and deliver sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as part of a pilot on the use of SAF in Singapore. Under this pilot, SIA, with support from CAAS and Temasek, will purchase blended SAF from ExxonMobil.

Can the Little-Known Tamanu Tree Replace Palm Oil in Indonesia’s Biofuel Bid?
Advanced BioFuels USA

Government researchers in Indonesia believe oil from the tamanu tree (Calophyllum inophyllum) could serve an alternative feedstock for biofuel to palm oil. They say the plant has shown the ability to grow in burned areas and former mining sites, as well as in waterlogged peat soils. Oil from the tree, native to tropical Asia, has been used for centuries across the region as a salve for wounds and scars, and in lotions and balms.

Malaysian Airlines’ Takes off with SAF
Advanced BioFuels USA

Malaysia Airlines has operated its first flight using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in partnership with PETRONAS and Neste. The flight marks the airline’s commitment to making SAF the cleaner and more viable energy option for regular flights by 2025.

Sinopec Finishes First Megaton CCUS Project In China

China’s Sinopec has completed the construction of the country’s first megaton carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) project. The Qilu-Shengli Oilfield CCUS will reduce carbon emission by 1 million tons per year, the equivalent of planting nearly 9 million trees and shutting down 600,000 economy cars.

Hibiscus Buys Malaysia, Vietnam Assets From Repsol

Hibiscus Petroleum has completed the buy of Repsol’s interests in oil and gas assets in Malaysia and Vietnam. To remind, when the agreement was initially announced in June 2021, the parties stated that the purchase price was $212.5 million.

Indonesia eases export ban for 139 coal mining firms
Mining Technology

Indonesia has reportedly lifted an export ban for a total of 139 coal mining companies that met or exceeded the Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) requirement. The move follows the ban of coal exports earlier this month by the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM). The month-long ban, effective from 1 to 31 January, was imposed due to concerns regarding reduced coal supplies for domestic power units and to prevent blackouts.

Malaysia keeps March crude palm oil export duty at 8per cent
Channel NewsAsia

Malaysia has maintained its March export tax for crude palm oil at 8per cent and raised its reference price, a document on the Malaysian Palm Oil Board website showed on Wednesday. The world’s second-largest palm exporter calculated a reference price of 5,277.58 ringgit ($1,261.07) per tonne for March

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