Industry Trends

May 2023

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?

Tiny biobattery with 100-year shelf life runs on bacteria, The Future of Ethanol, New sponge can remove toxic metals and recover critical minerals from contaminated water, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Tiny biobattery with 100-year shelf life runs on bacteria
Science Daily

A tiny biobattery that could still work after 100 years has been developed.
The Future of Ethanol
Advanced BioFuels USA

Ethanol demand in North America is expected to peak in the next decade, supported by higher gasoline and blend rates. However, long-term gasoline transportation demand for the US and Canada is downward. Therefore, the biofuel industry is looking at what’s next: lowering carbon intensity, focusing on net zero carbon through carbon capture and sequestration, seeking new markets such as Alcohol-to-Jet, or engaging on second-generation feedstocks.
New sponge can remove toxic metals, recover critical minerals from contaminated water

Northwestern University engineers have developed a new sponge that can remove metals—including toxic heavy metals like lead and critical metals like cobalt—from contaminated water, leaving safe, drinkable water behind. In a paper published in the journal ACS ES&T Water, the researchers explain that they tested their new sponge on a highly polluted sample of tap water, containing more than 1 part per million of lead. With one use, the sponge filtered lead to below detectable levels.
The Copper Key to More Efficient Biomass Breakdown
Advanced BioFuels USA

Nonfood, plant-based biofuels have potential as a green alternative to fossil fuels, but the enzymes required for production are too inefficient and costly to produce. However, new research is shining a light on enzymes from fungi that could make biofuels economically viable. Enzymes called lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, or LPMOs, excel at breaking down organic matter, but exactly how they work has been unclear.
Greener batteries
Science Daily

Our modern rechargeable batteries, such as lithium-ion batteries, are anything but sustainable. One alternative is organic batteries with redox-organic electrode materials (OEMs), which can be synthesized from natural ‘green’ materials. A team has now introduced a new OEM for aqueous organic high-capacity batteries that can be easily and cheaply recycled.
Is the ocean a solution for ushering in the era of environmentally friendly energy?
Science Daily

Researchers confirm the superiority of seawater batteries that use chelating agents.
Microbial tolerance engineering for boosting lactic acid production from lignocellulose
Biotechnology for Biofuels – Latest Articles

Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive non-food feedstock for lactic acid production via microbial conversion due to its abundance and low-price, which can alleviate the conflict with food supplies. However,…
CHP and Carbon Capture: Keys to Unlocking Part of the Net-Zero Fuels Equation
Ethanol Producer Magazine

The industry is changing. The new focus is on all areas of second-generation biofuels construction, and Fagen Inc. is currently building carbon capture systems and combined heat and power projects for new and past clients.
China’s all-important Hualong reactor passes final test
Global Construction Review

The first two units of China’s Hualong One reactor design passed their final acceptance test, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) announced this week. The country’s future nuclear plans are based on this design.The Hualongs make up units five and six of the Fuqing Nuclear Power Plant, located in Fujian Province between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The final acceptance was granted when the two units completed their first fuel cycle after entering service in the beginning of last year.
JSRE to produce SAF in China using Honeywell Ecofining technology
Biodiesel Magazine

Honeywell has announced that Sichuan Jinshang Environmental Protection Technology Co. (JSRE) will use Honeywell Ecofiningtechnology to produce nearly 300,000 tons per year of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at a planned facility in China.
Sinopec to develop coal-to-chemicals mine for $4.4bn
Mining Technology

Chinese refiner Sinopec has won the rights to develop a coal mine in the Inner Mongolia region of China for $4.36bn, a company representative said via Reuters on Friday. The mine will be developed by one of the company’s units, the Sinopec Greatwall Energy and Chemical Company, for the production of coal chemicals, the anonymous official said. The company will build the mine in Uxin Banner, under Ordos city in the north-western province.
From Palm Oil Waste to Cellulosic Ethanol: Indonesia’s Opportunity
Advanced BioFuels USA

Many Indonesian farmers say they haven’t seen benefits from the country’s biofuel program. Cellulosic ethanol could help fix the problem, a new op-ed says. Tenny Kristiana of the International Council on Clean Transportation argues Indonesia could develop a domestic cellulosic ethanol industry that would use leftover plant residues such as palm trunks, empty palm fruit bunches and palm press fiber.
Indonesia emerges as a cobalt powerhouse amid surge in demand

Demand for cobalt is set to more than double by 2030 to 388,000 tonnes as the electric vehicle (EV) sector shifts into overdrive, says a new Benchmark Mineral Intelligence report. The outlook entails compound yearly cobalt demand growth of 10% over the weak 2022 figures, according to the Benchmark agency’s May 10 report commissioned by the Istanbul, Turkey-based Cobalt Institute.
BCPG eyes Indonesian nickel investments

SET-listed BCPG, the power generation arm of energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation, is looking for a new investment opportunity in Indonesia related to nickel, a key raw material for making electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
Indonesia to ease palm oil domestic sales rules starting May
Channel NewsAsia Front Page News

Indonesia will lower its mandatory domestic sales threshold for palm oil producers to 300,000 tonnes a month starting in May, the Trade Ministry said on Thursday, allowing more shipments of the widely used oil to leave the country.
Tin price spikes ahead of halt to mining in Myanmar
Mining Technology

Myanmar’s Wa State will announce a halt to mining operations in the area from August, according to a document seen by Reuters. The announcement caused a spike in global tin prices of 11% on Tuesday. The government of the autonomous polity announced the measures in order to preserve the area’s natural resources for the future. Myanmar is among the world’s top-3 tin producers and Wa State is the country’s largest source of the metal.
Nickel Asia Corp announces two new mines in Philippines
Mining Technology

Nickel Asia Corp (NAC), the biggest nickel producer in the Philippines, has announced plans to expand its nickel operation in the country with two further mines. The company has also explored the possibility of adding a third nickel processing plant in the country. Nickel Asia wholly owns four operational mines in the Philippines, with partial stakes in a further eight exploratory sites. The Manila-based corporation also has partial stakes in the country’s two nickel processing plants.
Environment agency: Singapore’s 2022 recycling rate fell to lowest level in over a decade due to higher freight costs
The Malay Mail Online

Singapore generated more domestic waste last year than in 2021, and its domestic rate of recycling fell slightly to the lowest level in over a decade as higher freight costs meant less waste than usual was exported for recycling. Domestic waste refers to waste from households and premises such as schools, shop houses, hawker centres and places of worship. In 2022, as economic activity picked up, 1.86 million tonnes of domestic waste was generated, compared to 1.
Dyson plans new battery plant in Singapore
The Malay Mail Online

High-end appliance maker Dyson said today that it would open a new factory in Singapore to manufacture next-generation batteries, as well as new facilities elsewhere to boost its research into AI and software development. At the size of 53 basketball courts, Dyson said the new plant was expected to be fully operational by 2025 and would be its most significant investment in advanced manufacturing.
BBGI teams with Conagen to create Asian large-scale precision fermentation JV
Biofuels Digest

In Thailand, BBGI is working with Conagen, a U.S. product-focused advanced biotechnology innovator and manufacturer, to establish a large-scale precision fermentation manufacturing joint venture in Asia. The partnership aims to explore innovative biosolutions made through precision fermentation for commercial distribution, with the anticipated potential to increase business opportunities and future earnings.
Chon Buri to get new EV battery factory

Chinese high-tech enterprise Anwha (Shanghai) Automation Engineering has chosen Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor as its first overseas production base to make batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) under the MG brand.
Thailand joins Asean EV battery initiative

Thailand has teamed up with five technology and electric vehicle (EV) organisations in Asean to jointly study and develop EV battery technology in a fresh move to strengthen the growing EV industry in the region.
Thailand in talks with CATL, others on potential battery plants, govt official says
Channel NewsAsia Front Page News

Thailand is in talks with China’s CATL and other battery makers to build production facilities in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy that has ambitions to become a regional EV production hub, a government official said.
PV Gas becomes Vietnam's 1st company eligible for LNG import
Offshore Energy

The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam has certified that PetroVietnam Gas (PV Gas) is eligible to be an LNG importer and exporter, making the company the first in the country to be recognised as such.

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