Industry Trends

October 2021

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?

New super material discovered in error, Blood-curdling recipe created for space concrete, Indonesia conducts test flight using jet fuel mixed with palm oil, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Super material discovered in error could be key for batteries, fuel cells

Researchers searching for a new superconductor with unconventional behaviour unexpectedly discovered a material that is only four atoms thick and allows for studying the motion of charged particles in only two dimensions. In a paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the Northwestern University/Argonne National Laboratory team behind the discovery explains that such studies could spur the invention of new materials for a variety of energy conversion devices.
Blood-curdling recipe created for space concrete

The Construction Index

Scientists from the University of Manchester have developed a concrete-like material made of extra-terrestrial dust along with the blood, sweat and tears of astronauts.

Indonesia conducts test flight using jet fuel mixed with palm oil
Biofuels Digest

In Indonesia, Reuters reports that Indonesia conducted its first test flight using jet fuel partially from palm oil, a senior minister said, as the country plans to commercialize the fuel as it seeks creative ways to use the edible oil domestically. The plane flew more than 100 km (62.14 miles) from the capital Jakarta to neighbouring city, Bandung.
A new solid-state battery surprises the researchers who created it

Engineers created a new type of battery that weaves two promising battery sub-fields into a single battery. The battery uses both a solid state electrolyte and an all-silicon anode, making it a silicon all-solid-state battery. The initial rounds of tests show that the new battery is safe, long lasting, and energy dense. It holds promise for a wide range of applications from grid storage to electric vehicles.
Chinese scientists develop new route for artificial starch synthesis from CO2
Biofuels Digest

In China, scientists recently reported a de novo route for artificial starch synthesis from carbon dioxide (CO2) for the first time. The new route makes it possible to shift the mode of starch production from traditional agricultural planting to industrial manufacturing, and opens up a new technical route for synthesizing complex molecules from CO2. Starch is the major component of grain as well as an important industrial raw material.
Scientists explore possibility of mining iron, nickel, cobalt-rich near-Earth asteroids

A team of students co-led by University of Arizona’s planetary science associate professor Vishnu Reddy is studying metal-rich near-Earth asteroids, or NEAs, to explore the possibility that iron, nickel and cobalt could someday be mined for use on Earth or in Space.
Andritz launches AI-supported polymer dosage system
Filtration + Separation

Andritz has introduced the next generation of its Metris addIQ RheoScan, an optical measurement system for automatic polymer dosage in belt presses and gravity belt tables, which uses AI to increase process stability and reduce operating costs.
Formula 1 announces development of 100% sustainable fuel
Biofuels Digest

In the UK, Formula 1 is aiming to field a generation of new power unit by 2025 – and the championship wants that engine to be powered by 100% sustainable ‘drop-in fuel’ designed to help Formula 1 achieve its goal of being Net Zero Carbon by 2030. The year 2022 will already see Formula 1 move to E10 fuel.
Repsol produces hydrogen from biomethane for the first time
Biofuels Digest

In Spain, Repsol has produced renewable hydrogen using biomethane as raw material for the first time. This renewable hydrogen was used to manufacture fuels with a low carbon footprint, such as gasoline, diesel, or kerosene for aviation. This milestone took place at Repsol’s Cartagena Industrial Complex, where 10 tons of renewable hydrogen were produced from 500 MWh of biomethane, thus avoiding the emission of about 90 tons of CO2.
Apple plans recycled and renewable materials push
Biofuels Digest

In California, Apple has announced environmental targets including its intention to eliminate mining and use recycled and renewable materials in its products. The announcement follows a comprehensive evaluation of its supply chain, which includes 45 elements and raw materials. Based on impact profiles, Apple is prioritizing efforts to move these materials to a circular model.
How AI and digital transformation is improving underground mining efficiency
Mining Technology

Artificial intelligence (AI) and digitalisation has transformed the way that mines operate. Safety, productivity and sustainability are all key factors that mines continually strive to improve, with optimisation through leveraging data being at the forefront of driving innovation. Digital transformation relies on collecting data and using relevant information to optimise processes and improve new equipment development.
Catalyst study advances carbon-dioxide-to-ethanol conversion

Ethanol Producer Magazine

An international collaboration of scientists has taken a significant step toward the realization of a nearly “green” zero-net-carbon technology that will efficiently convert carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, and hydrogen into ethanol.

Saltworks produces battery-grade lithium from waste

Filtration + Separation

Saltworks Technologies has successfully produced battery-grade lithium hydroxide from industrial wastewater. Economically extracting battery-grade lithium has previously been challenging but Saltworks’ process harvests lithium hydroxide solids that reach or exceed battery-grade specifications, confirmed by the chemical analysis of a third-party accredited laboratory. Concentrations of impurities and contaminants were all below industry standard levels.

Chevron and Exxon Help Form ANGEA

Chevron, ExxonMobil, JERA, JGC Corp., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Santos and SK E&S have banded together to establish the Asia Natural Gas and Energy Association (ANGEA). ANGEA will advise governments as they develop energy policies and solutions, including renewables and energy conservation.

Thailand dips into oil fund to keep B10 below price limit

Biofuels Digest

In Thailand, the Bangkok Post reports the government was forced to tap into the oil fund in order to ensure that B10 remained affordable for drivers in light of fuel rising five times in September. The government has set the price for B10 slightly lower than B7 to drive demand for the higher blended fuel. Petroleum prices globally have been on the rise as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic while storms in the US have impacted supplies, providing further price support.

Sinopec's Fuling Field Sets Gas Shale Production Record

Sinopec’s Fuling field – the first commercially developed and operated large-scale shale gas field in China – has set a new record for the cumulative production of shale gas in the country.

China to boost coal production in response to energy crisis

Mining Technology

The Chinese Government has reportedly ordered its coal mines to urgently boost production as the energy crisis across the country threatens industrial production and has seen millions of homes and businesses hit by power outages. The decision seriously threatens China’s decarbonisation targets, which had previously targeted 2025 as the year it would reach peak coal consumption.

Malaysia says it will implement B20 by end-2022

Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, the Edge Markets reports the government still plans to complete its B20 rollout, now hoping to do so by end-2022. Upgrades for biodiesel blending infrastructure remains a major hurdle to the mandate’s implementation, according to the plantations minister, who puts the blame on COVID-19 impacting the availability of technical staff to get the work completed.

Tsingshan affiliate and Chengxin to build $350m Indonesian lithium project

Mining Technology

China’s Shenzhen Chengxin Lithium Group and an affiliate of Indonesian firm Tsingshan have reportedly agreed to invest in a $350m lithium plant in Indonesia. The facility is expected to help meet the growing demand from the electric vehicle (EV) battery sector. As part of this plan, the PT ChengTok Lithium Indonesia joint venture will be launched with Chengxin holding a 65% stake, according to Reuters.

China’s XTC unveils plans for $1.6bn lithium battery materials project

Mining Technology

China-based XTC New Energy Materials is planning to invest at least $1.55bn (CNY10bn) in a lithium battery materials project in Sichuan province. The project involves the construction of a facility capable of producing 100,000tpa of lithium iron phosphate and 60,000tpa of ternary materials, according to Reuters. A related letter of intent has been signed by XTC New Energy with Yaan Economic and Technological Development Zone in Sichuan, south-west China, reported the news agency citing a filing.

What's Next for China's EV Industry?


Bill Russo, founder & CEO of Shanghai-based Automobility Limited and Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce-Automotive Committee in Shanghai, talks about consolidation of the fast-growing China EV market.

South Korean and Singaporean researchers use AI to boost CO2 absorption in BWDPCs

Biofuels Digest

In South Korea, biomass waste can be used to produce porous carbons capable of sequestering CO₂ gas emitted from large point sources (e.g., power plants, cement industries). However, there are no general guidelines on how such high-quality porous carbons should be synthesized or their optimal operational conditions.

Braskem signs MOU with SCG Chemicals to potentially invest in Thai bioplastics production

Biofuels Digest

In Thailand, Braskem has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the SCG Chemicals, one of the largest integrated petrochemical companies in Thailand and an industry leader in Asia, to perform studies to jointly invest in a new bio-ethanol dehydration plant in Thailand to produce bio-ethylene and bio-based polyethylene. If the feasibility studies are approved with mutual agreement between parties, the production facility would be located in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand.

Why are gas prices on the rise and what does this mean for Singapore?

Channel NewsAsia

For Singapore, experts told CNA that surging gas prices will unlikely result in a direct hit to economic activity. However, an uptick in electricity prices may be on the cards if the shortfall in gas supplies pushes global oil prices up. While about 95 per cent of Singapore’s electricity is generated from imported natural gas, the prices of natural gas are indexed to oil prices, according to the Energy Market Authority which described this as the “market practice” in Asia for natural gas contracts.

Price of Fuel in Myanmar Has More Than Doubled Since Junta’s Coup

The Irrawaddy

A weakening kyat and rising crude oil prices have combined to push the cost of fuel to over 1,500 kyats per liter. The post Price of Fuel in Myanmar Has More Than Doubled Since Junta’s Coup appeared first on The Irrawaddy.

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