Industry Trends

June 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?

Effects of lithium shortages, Fraunhofer process increases methane yield from biogas plants, Ethanol to decarbonize transport, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Lithium shortages: threat or opportunity?
Mining Technology

In March 2022, lithium prices hit an all-time high of $77,000 per tonne. The boom in price has been the result of a range of factors, including surging energy prices strengthening the appeal for the energy transition, booming demand for electric vehicles (EVs), and rapid advancement in rechargeable battery technology.
Fraunhofer process increases methane yield from biogas plants
Biofuels Digest

In Germany, researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems IMM found a way to convert waste methane from biogas plants into additional methane, thus drastically increasing the methane yield from biogas plants. The process is up and running and the research team is currently scaling up the demonstration plant.
Study: Ethanol is a cost-effective way to decarbonize transport
Ethanol Producer Magazine

Renewable ethanol fuel blends are the EU’s current most cost-effective solution for decarbonizing the petrol and hybrid cars that will continue to be prevalent on Europe’s roads for a long time, according to new research.
Batteries: Macroeconomic trends
Mining Technology

Over the past decade, the battery industry has progressed sufficiently to enable portable consumer electronics, the mobile internet, the first electric cars, and the initial adoption of intermittent renewable power storage and generation. Given the accelerating and expanding role stored energy will play in tackling global warming, it will become one of the world’s most significant industries over the next ten years.
Catalytic Conversion of Biomass-Derived Resources into Biodiesel
Advanced BioFuels USA

The emergence of biodiesel as an alternative fuel substitute for traditional petroleum-based fuels has changed the way the country produces energy. Biomass is one of the most abundant renewable resources and therefore has led to much attention and research to produce fuels from it. Due to the majority of biomass being composed of carbohydrates, biomass is considered to be the ideal feedstock for the production of biofuels.
Researchers figure out how to make solid-state batteries charge faster, last longer

An international team of researchers has devised a novel strategy to make solid-state batteries last longer and charge faster. In a study in the journal Nature Materials, the researchers explain that as the technology stands today, solid-state batteries develop dendrites after repeated use and such occurrence can make them short-circuit and render them useless.
Hydrogen at Risk of Being the Great Missed Opportunity of the Energy Transition: Hydrogen Forecast to 2050

Advanced BioFuels USA

Hydrogen has a crucial role in decarbonizing the world’s energy system, but uptake will be too slow. Governments need to make urgent, significant policy interventions, according to a new report by DNV. In Hydrogen Forecast to 2050, DNV predicts the amount of hydrogen in the energy mix will be only 0.5% in 2030 and 5% in 2050.

Collaboration between brewers, miners may lead to cleaner water supply

Used beer yeast is being presented as a new solution to address water pollution caused by lead and other heavy metals released to the environment by electronic waste and discharges from mining operations. According to an international research group led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, waste yeast discarded from a single brewery in Boston could be enough to treat the city’s entire water supply.

Sustainable mining as the crucial key to global sustainability
Mining Technology

Clean energy needs a diet of sustainably sourced minerals. Yet whilst the climate crisis is stimulating an increasing appetite for renewables, the mining industry remains dominated by fossil fuels. Reaching net zero requires an integrated approach to efficiency improvements underpinned by the “kaizen” ethos of continuous incremental improvements, driven by innovative technological solutions.
Futurist: Battery-Electric Trucks Are a ‘Fantasy’
Advanced BioFuels USA

BEVs could have their day, but if the industry’s focus is on decarbonization, fuel cells are trucking’s future, according to a transportation futurist, who laid out the case for hydrogen. That’s an argument also backed by ATRI and Tier 1 suppliers. Transportation futurist Gary Golden told fleet leaders why he believes hydrogen will win out in the race to power their electric trucks and personal vehicles.
Diesel giving way to electric power for mining vehicles, but slowly
Mining Technology

The vast majority of mines globally have been using diesel-powered machinery, but electric vehicles are gaining ground owing to concerns around CO2 emissions. In a 2019 Globaldata report on ‘De-dieselisation’ of vehicles, analysts noted that manufacturers across the world had been forced to ramp up their efforts towards battery- and hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles.
LG begins building nickel processing plants in Indonesia

Mining Technology

South Korean battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution (LGES) has started building two nickel processing plants in Indonesia. The work forms part of the company’s wider $9.8bn investment plan to produce electric vehicle batteries in the country.LGES officials said that the company will invest $3.5bn to build a smelter, which will be equipped to produce 150,000t of nickel sulfate a year.

USGC Hosts Ethanol Seminar for Malaysia Fuel Industry

Advanced BioFuels USA

To introduce the concept of fuel ethanol in Malaysia and underscore the benefits importers can capture by including it in their import specifications, the U.S. Grains Council’s staff in Southeast Asia and Oceania recently conducted a hybrid seminar with major Malaysian oil and gas procurement teams. Presenters at the event included Council staff, technical consultants and industry representatives.

Vietnam to invest $840m in clean hydrogen plant

Global Construction Review

Vietnamese clean energy company TGS Green Hydrogen is to begin work next month on a green hydrogen plant in Ben Tre Province. The $840m project, the first of its kind in the country, is expected to begin commissioning as early as the first quarter of next year. The plant will have an annual capacity of 24,000 tonnes of hydrogen, 150,000 tonnes of ammonia and 195,000 tonnes of oxygen.

Malaysia to keep biodiesel blending mandate intact

Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, Reuters reports that following pushback from the national biodiesel association, the commodities minister confirmed it will keep biodiesel blending levels where they are, a policy that is contrary to comments made by the palm oil board calling for lower biodiesel blending in response to tight vegetable oil markets, high fuel prices and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Malaysia Airlines will use SAF in first passenger flights between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore

Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines will operate the first passenger flight using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) between Kuala Lumpur – Singapore via MH603 and Singapore – Kuala Lumpur via MH606 on June 5, 2022 in conjunction with World Environment Day. The dedicated SAF-powered flights on 5 June will be operated on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, using a blend of approximately 38% SAF and conventional jet fuel.

India, China buying shunned Russian oil

Petroleum News

India and other Asian nations are becoming an increasingly vital source of oil revenues for Moscow despite strong pressure from the U.S. not to increase their purchases, as the European Union and other allies cut off energy imports from Russia in line with sanctions over its war on Ukraine.

Philippines concerned about repeating ethanol mandate mistake with biodiesel policy

Biofuels Digest

In the Philippines, the Manila Bulletin newspaper reports that the Department of Energy believes that by boosting coconut biodiesel blending to 5% from the current 2%, fuel prices will increase by 1.5 cents per liter at the pump. Those calculations were done in January/February, however, before Russia invaded Ukraine and sent oil prices soaring around the world.

Saudis Cut Oil To China While Meeting Most Asian Requests

Saudi Arabia will provide some Chinese buyers with less crude than they asked for next month, while fulfilling requests from many other customers in Asia after OPEC+ pledged to speed up production hikes.

Oil Bulls See China Comeback Pushing Prices Higher

Oil bulls are starting to picture a world in which China, the engine of demand growth, comes back to the market. And if their analysis is right, the summer is going to be painful for oil consumers everywhere who’re already facing spiraling prices

Indonesia won’t reduce biodiesel blending mandate

Biofuels Digest

In Switzerland, Reuters reports Indonesia’s economic affairs minister said during an interview at Davos that the country has no intention to reduce its 30% biodiesel blending mandate. He said fossil fuel energy costs are now higher than palm oil-based energy, so if biodiesel consumption was reduced, the government would end up having to subsidize fossil fuels, which it doesn’t want to do.

Food protectionism and triple taxation in palm oil

The Jakarta Post

Restricting the market of basic necessities at the government-fixed low prices usually causes long lines of consumers who tend to buy more than what they actually need.

Medco Energi’s revenue up 62% in Q1

The Jakarta Post

Indonesia’s second-largest oil and gas company has seen its revenue rise 62 percent on the year as its production increased simultaneously with surging oil prices.

Eleventh Hour: Can nuclear energy lower electricity costs in the Philippines?

Manila Bulletin

There has been a lot of talks happening on nuclear energy because of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s executive order to include it in our energy mix and President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s campaign promise to install at least one nuclear power plant and to consider the revival of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.

Guan Eng says policy reboot a must after Malaysia falls in competitiveness ranking

The Malay Mail Online

Federal Opposition lawmaker Lim Guan Eng reiterated his calls for urgent reforms to be put in place following Malaysia’s slide down the 2022 International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR) to 32nd place today.

China's massive hydro energy storage goals may be getting bigger

Straits Times

China’s biggest dam builder says the country is launching an even-larger-than-expected campaign to build hydro energy storage to complement renewable power. It will start construction on more than 200 pumped hydro stations by 2025.

Myanmar junta says Russia to step up as major energy supplier after more international oil, gas firms quit

South China Morning Post

Russia is shaping up to be a major energy supplier for Myanmar amid an exodus by international players from the country’s oil and gas sector, one of the junta’s biggest sources of foreign revenue.

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