Industry Trends

May 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?

Active phase in catalytic carbon dioxide reduction, Algae-Based Batteries, Low-cost battery-like device absorbs CO2 emissions while it charges, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Scientists Solve the Mystery about the Active Phase in Catalytic Carbon Dioxide Reduction
Advanced BioFuels USA

An international research team led by researchers of Stockholm University has for the first time been able to study the surface of a copper-zinc catalyst when carbon dioxide is reduced to methanol. The results – obtained at DESY´s brilliant light source PETRA III – are published in the scientific journal Science.

Algae-Based Batteries, Biodegradable COVID-19 Tests, BMW’s Biobased Coatings, Heinz Biobottles, and More: The Digest’s Top 8 Innovations for the Week of May 19th
Advanced BioFuels USA

Can you imagine running a computer chip on algae – yes, algae – for more than six months? Apparently, that’s now possible thanks to biochemists at the University of Cambridge who created the biobased battery alternative to power small electronics during their “pandemic project”.

Low-cost battery-like device absorbs CO2 emissions while it charges

Researchers have developed a low-cost device that can selectively capture carbon dioxide gas while it charges. Then, when it discharges, the CO2 can be released in a controlled way and collected to be reused or disposed of responsibly.

Saint-Gobain produces zero-carbon flat glass
The Construction Index

Saint-Gobain has produced what it claims to be the world’s zero-carbon flat glass.

Solid-State Batteries Slow to Reach Auto Sector: Consultant

Consultant Michael Sanders says solid-state battery technology still poses significant risk and, for the time being, is not competitive with Li-ion batteries in terms of either cost or performance.

Ethanol Myths Busted: Ethanol Isn’t Economical because It Lowers Mileage
Advanced BioFuels USA

If ethanol lowers your gas mileage, how can it still be economical? Reid Wagner, director of the Nebraska Ethanol Board, breaks it down. With a little science, Reid shows how ethanol helps your engine run more efficiently. With considerable per-gallon cost savings from using ethanol blends, any light mileage loss is negligible.

Start-ups join drive for net-zero cement
The Construction Index

Six technology start-ups – including two from the UK – are joining forces with global cement companies to help with the industry’s push to reach net zero by 2050.

Commodities, costs, and the consequences of geopolitical impacts: how modern mining must adapt
Mining Technology

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, a huge shock was registered, not only in the minds of millions of people across the globe, but also across its commodity markets. The consequences, aside from those on a humanitarian scale, are far-reaching for the mining sector.

The Environmental Price of Clean Energy Is Still Too High: Report
Advanced BioFuels USA

Calculating the cost of clean energy is a dirty job, but Ars Technica is here to do it — … This excellent deep dive published by Ars Technica Monday into what it really costs to go green is a stirring reminder that, while they produce less in terms of emissions, clean vehicles aren’t really all that clean.

China Is Spoilt for Choice of Oil

Chinese oil buyers are spoilt for choice right now even as lockdowns hurt demand as they can opt for everything from discounted Russian crude and sanctioned Iranian oil to regularly-taken Middle Eastern barrels.

China Looks to Sell Spare LNG

Around half of China’s gas consumption is in provinces marked by the government as having high or medium Covid-19 risk, according to BloombergNEF.

China in Talks With Russia to Buy Oil for Reserves

China is seeking to replenish its strategic crude stockpiles with cheap Russian oil, a sign Beijing is strengthening its energy ties with Moscow just as Europe works toward banning imports due to the war in Ukraine.

USGC Engagement Helps Allow US Ethanol to Enter Indonesian Market

Advanced BioFuels USA

U.S. ethanol can now enter the Indonesian market by way of pre-blended fuel following the recent removal of a ban on such products entering the country. This change creates a potential market of more than 200 million gallons (71 million bushels in corn equivalent). The market development efforts to accomplish this policy goal began in December 2017, undertaken jointly by the U.S.

Slick Operator: Indonesian Cooking Oil Probe May Spread to Biodiesel Industry

Advanced BioFuels USA

A top economist in Indonesia has been charged for his alleged role in helping palm oil companies export the commodity instead of selling it domestically — a practice blamed for a shortage of cooking oil in the world’s top producer of palm oil.

Malaysian biodiesel association hits back at food vs fuel argument

Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, following the Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s statement on Monday that biodiesel blending mandates should be temporarily suspended due to rising oil prices in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with edible oils prioritized for food rather than fuel, Channel Asia reports that the national biodiesel association has pushed back against what it calls a “knee jerk reaction”. It says that banning biofuels from vegetable oil would just cause further upset in the global market.

Malaysia may reduce palm oil export duty and cut biodiesel blending

Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, Reuters reports Malaysia may cut its export duty on palm oil by half to fill a gap in the global edible oil market left by the disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The finance ministry has set up a committee to explore the proposal from the plantation industries and commodities ministry that seeks to cut the duty to 4-6% from the current 8%. The country will ease its B30 mandate as well to free up palm oil supplies for export into the global market.

Japan Refiner Eneos to Exit Myanmar

Japanese oil refiner Eneos Holdings Inc. will withdraw from Myanmar, joining producers exiting the Asian nation amid the junta’s continued violence against civilians following last year’s military coup.

Philippines removes final impediment for $5.9bn copper-gold project

Mining Technology

Philippines’ South Cotabato provincial government has agreed to amend its environmental law, paving the way for the development of the Tampakan copper-gold project, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The amendment overturns the 12-year-old ban on open-pit mining, thus eliminating the final regulatory constraint for the long-delayed Tampakan project. Located in South Cotabato province, the mine is said to be one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world.

Singapore Set to Have Largest SAF Output Capacity

Advanced BioFuels USA

Singapore is expected to have the world’s largest sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production capacity when Finnish producer Neste’s facility in Tuas is early next year. Neste is now the top SAF producer globally in terms of output and capacity. The Finland-based firm produces renewable fuels, mainly from waste and residues such as used cooking oil, animal fat from food industry waste, fish fat from fish processing waste and residues from vegetable oil processing.

Thai biodiesel producers ask government to stop cutting blending

Biofuels Digest

In Thailand, the Bangkok Post newspaper reports the national biodiesel association is asking the government to not cut biodiesel blending even further, currently at 5% with expectations of dropping lower, as production is currently only running at 30% of capacity while consumption has fallen by 40%. Blending rates have been as high as 20% in the recent past.

First in Thailand – Bangchak and BBGI Ink MoU with Thanachok Oil Light to Produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel from Used Cooking Oil Moving towards Low Carbon Economy and Fully Applying BCG Economy Model

Advanced BioFuels USA

Chaiwat Kovavisarach, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Bangchak Group, and Kittiphong Limsuwannarot, President and Chief Executive Officer, BBGI Public Company Limited, signed a memorandum of understanding for the procurement of raw materials, products, plant construction, and retail of Sustainable Biofuels with Tanawat Linjongsubongkot, Managing Director, Thanachok Oil Light Company Limited, Thailand’s leader in integrated vegetable oil business for over 40 years, as a pre.

USGC Helps Create Demand for US Ethanol in Vietnam

Advanced BioFuels USA

The U.S. Grains Council worked with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in Vietnam to engage the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) to reduce most favored nation (MFN) tariffs on imported ethanol, ultimately resulting in new tariff lines that spurred additional U.S. ethanol imports by Vietnam.

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