Industry Trends

July 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?

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.

Latest Industry Articles

Algae-grown cement could replace CO2-spewing portland, researchers say
Global Construction Review

The US could grow all the cement it needs with a few million acres of open ponds. A team of researchers led by the University of Colorado Boulder has received a grant of $3.2m from the US Department of Energy to support the development of algae-grown cement, which they believe will solve the “very wicked problem” of two billion tons of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere every year by conventional cement production.
Chinese researchers develop method for treating wastewater from cellulose materials
Biofuels Digest

In China, oil spills and industrial pollution pose a huge threat to the ecological environment. Concerns over safety have seen an increased focus on improving the filtration of oily wastewater; for example, during the treatment of sewage. Membrane separation technology offers a promising and efficient option for treating that wastewater, particularly with its low energy consumption.
Longer-lasting sodium-ion batteries closer to becoming a reality

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a sodium-ion battery with greatly extended longevity in laboratory tests, thus overcoming one of the major obstacles hindering the large-scale application of the technology. Scientists explain that a shift in the ingredients that make up the liquid core of the battery prevents the performance issues that have bedevilled sodium-based batteries so far.
How Hydrogen Propulsion Paired with Autonomous Trucking Can Drastically Improve the Supply Chain
Biofuels Digest

While we can thank the trucking industry for the packages that arrive at our doors in what seems like mere minutes after we’ve ordered them, there is no denying that long-haul freight transportation still faces many challenges. Today, the logistics industry faces a critical awakening while it searches for ways to minimize the environmental impact of trucking.
PNNL: New Artificial Enzyme Breaks Down Tough, Woody Lignin
Advanced BioFuels USA

A new artificial enzyme has shown it can chew through lignin, the tough polymer that helps woody plants hold their shape. Lignin also stores tremendous potential for renewable energy and materials.
Blue Biofuels: Inflation And Rising Corn Prices Could Make Cellulosic Alternatives For Biofuels Highly Attractive
Advanced BioFuels USA

Corn is a primary feedstock for ethanol producers and as its price rises, so do the production costs for many ethanol plants located in the corn-belt region of the U.S. A likely result from this increased cost of producing ethanol from corn is margin contraction and reduced profits for many in the industry.
Supply Questions Surround Raw Materials for EV Batteries

“It’s going to be an ongoing challenge for supply to keep up with demand, even with significant new capacity coming on stream,” says William Adams, head of battery and battery materials research at Fastmarkets.
Corn can provide fuel and food without sacrificing either
Advanced BioFuels USA

As consumers face steep increases in food and fuel costs, ethanol production must be part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy to lower costs. One common misconception is that utilizing corn for food or fuel comes at the expense of the other. Perhaps that was once the case, but with today’s technology you can have both food AND fuel.
Bacteria for blastoff: using microbes to make supercharged new rocket fuel
Biofuels Digest

In California, biofuel scientists used an oddball molecule made by bacteria to develop a new class of biofuels predicted to have greater energy density than any petroleum product, including the leading aviation and rocket fuels, JetA and RP-1.
Global Demand for Biofuels to Slow in Decade ahead Says Forecast
Advanced BioFuels USA

Corn will become less important and sugarcane will become the dominant feedstock for making ethanol in the coming decade, said an agricultural outlook published jointly by the OECD and FAO on Wednesday. The report forecast a relatively slow growth rate for biofuels, averaging 0.6% a year worldwide, with growth in the United States constrained by declining gasoline consumption.
The Green Ammonia Boom Is Coming
Advanced BioFuels USA

Green ammonia is emerging as a major contender to become a vital emissions-free fuel for the world. The renewable fuel is also gaining major attention from energy giants such as Exxon. Greater investment in the energy source could support innovations in technologies to reduce production costs as well as support countries in meeting their climate targets.
Phytonix: Converting CO2 Emissions into Sustainable Solar Chemicals & Fuels
Biofuels Digest

Bruce Dannenberg founded his company Phytonix in 2009 after having worked in the renewable energy industry for many years. Familiar with a variety of bio-based technologies, he saw a lot of energy production efforts operating at high costs and low volume, thus never likely to be feasible or commercially sustainable.
Indonesia to implement B35 biodiesel by end of the month
Biofuels Digest

In Indonesia, Reuters reports that Indonesia aims to implement a 35% palm oil mix in biodiesel (B35), by the end of July to help absorb excess palm oil supply, senior energy ministry official Dadan Kusdiana said on Friday. Dadan also told CNBC Indonesia that the ministry had run laboratory testing for biodiesel containing up to 40% of palm oil fuel in biodiesel (B40).
Call for More State Promotion of Ethanol
Advanced BioFuels USA

The Tapioca Ethanol Association is urging energy policymakers to promote more use of cassava-based ethanol in order to help motorists cope with high fuel bills, which have been driven up by the global oil price surge. The proportion of E20 and E85 in the benzine segment must increase if the government wants to help motorists better cope with the impact of the global oil price surge.
China to upgrade 168,000km of roads to ‘unclog industrial and supply chains’
Global Construction Review

China’s top economic planning body has set a deadline of 2035 to build an “efficient, green, intelligent and safe” road system in the country, the Xinhua news agency reports. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), together with the Ministry of Transport, said the modernised network would increase capacity and help to “sustain a modern economic system”.
CTI-Maritec shares results of B20 and B30 marine biofuel blend tests
Biofuels Digest

In Singapore, CTI-Maritec has been offering full range of biodiesel blends testing for bunker fuels since early 2022. Since then, CTI-Maritec has tested quite a number of biodiesel blends in residual marine fuel, typically the biodiesel blends are ranged from B20 to B30. In addition to the ISO 8217 parameters, it is highly recommended that biodiesel blends shall also be measured for FAME content and lower calorific value (or net heat of combustion).
Malaysian palm oil exports fall and push up stocks as Indonesia returns to the market
Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, the Star newspaper reports palm oil exports fell again in June which in turn pushed stocks level to the highest seen in seven months to around 1.71 million metric tons, up 12.3% from the end of May. While exports fell, production rose more than 8% to 1.53 million tons, creating the excess stock levels.
Emergency building up for Indonesia palm oil farmers as prices crash
Biofuels Digest

In Indonesia, Reuters reports that with the country’s return to the global vegetable oil market following temporarily banning exports of palm oil during three weeks in May to ensure food security in light of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, there are now concerns about an emergency building up for farmers thanks to the quickly following global prices. Now the export quota for palm oil has risen seven-fold to allow for revenue generation to ensure farmers get paid.
China’s Sinopec Produces First Biojet Fuel at East China Refinery
Advanced BioFuels USA

China’s Sinopec Corp produced its first aviation fuel from used cooking oil at an industrial-scale facility in east China, the state refining giant said on Tuesday. The biojet facility, built in Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co and able to process 100,000 tonnes of used cooking oil or “gut oil” each year, paves the way for Sinopec to start commercial manufacturing of the biofuel.
Sinotec starts SAF production in Eastern China
Biofuels Digest

In China, Reuters reports that Sinotec has produced its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel at its Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Co refinery in Eastern China. The facility has the capacity to produce 100,000 metric tons of SAF annually from used cooking oil. The technology has been under development since 2009 and received a certificate for airworthiness in 2014 but has only just now begun producing fuel.
Evoqua opens new manufacturing facility in Singapore to support APAC growth
Filtration + Separation

Evoqua Water Technologies has opened a new manufacturing facility in Singapore to meet growing demand for water treatment solutions in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
EV production to hinge on vehicle takeup levels

THE possibility of domestic electric vehicle (EV) production will depend on the market reaching critical mass in both adoption and the number of charging stations, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). “We will come to a stage where we will assemble the vehicles here (in the country). But we’re not yet there because there’s so many preconditions to bringing in EVs here. You need a critical number so you can have charging stations along the way.
Indonesia removes palm oil export levy until Aug 31

Indonesia has scrapped its export levy for all palm oil products until Aug 31 in a fresh attempt to boost exports and ease high inventories, finance ministry officials said on Saturday, adding the move would not disrupt government revenues. The decision by the world’s biggest palm oil exporter could further depress prices, which have fallen by about 50 per cent since late April to their lowest in over a year.

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