Industry Trends

September 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?

Making methane from CO2, Hazelnut shells show potential as a source of renewable energy, A spoonful of sugar opens a path to longer lasting lithium sulfur batteries, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Making methane from CO2: carbon capture grows more affordable
Biofuels Digest

In Washington, in their ongoing effort to make carbon capture more affordable, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a method to convert captured carbon dioxide (CO2) into methane, the primary component of natural gas.

Hazelnut shells show potential as a source of renewable energy

Manila Bulletin

Researchers are constantly looking at various materials as a source of renewable, sustainable, and clean energy. Recently, researchers from the Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Machinery Sciences in China put the spotlight on hazelnut shells. Burning the shells at 400 to 1,000 resulted in wood vinegar and tar which they found to be a potential source of renewable energy depending on their own characteristics.

A spoonful of sugar opens a path to longer lasting lithium sulfur batteries

Simply by adding sugar, researchers have created a longer-lasting, lighter, more sustainable rival to the lithium-ion batteries that are essential for aviation, electric vehicles and submarines.

Novel type of graphene proposed for high-performance sodium batteries

A novel type of graphene is being proposed by researchers at Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology as a wonder material to fabricate high-performance electrodes for sodium batteries. In an article published in the journal Science Advances, the scientists explain that the modified graphene not only allows for storing sodium ions, it also allows for battery capacity to match today’s lithium-ion batteries.

Soaring EV demand keeps driving lithium price

A boom in demand for electric vehicles (EVs) as countries including China work to reduce carbon emissions keeps boosting the lithium price. The average price for lithium carbonate reached $16,500 a tonne in August (hydroxide ex-works China mid-August), according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, up from $6,124 a tonne last December.

Quantum-enabled camera to help cut methane emissions from oil & gas industry

QLM Technology, a University of Bristol spin-out company, developed a quantum-enabled gas imaging camera that is expected to help dramatically cut methane leaks from the oil and gas industry. The new device is the result of the two-year Single Photon Lidar Imaging of Carbon Emissions (SPLICE) project. It can continuously detect, quantify and model the development of leaks, and notify plant operators immediately when gas escapes.

Scientists ‘stretch’ li-ion batteries storage capacity, lifespan

Researchers at the University of Southern California are working on a development aimed at discouraging the degradation of lithium-ion batteries’ structural integrity, which is one of the reasons that lead to a functionality drop over time. Their solution involves introducing “stretch” into battery materials so they can be cycled repeatedly without structural fatigue.

Record-breaking lithium-metal cell

A new type of lithium-metal battery reaches an extremely high energy density of 560 watt-hours per kilogram — based on the total weight of the active materials — with a remarkable stability. Researchers used a promising combination of cathode and electrolyte: The nickel-rich cathode enables storage of high energy per mass, the ionic liquid electrolyte ensures largely stable capacity over many cycles.

China sells oil reserves to lower prices in unprecedented move

In an unprecedented move by the Chinese authorities that show the chinks in their armour, Beijing has released crude from its strategic reserve for the first time with the aim of lowering prices.

Palm oil-based jet fuel makes late debut in Indonesia
The Jakarta Post

A consortium of Indonesian companies, regulators and one university has begun a series of tests on an aviation fuel containing a small share of biofuel derived from palm oil, responding to a government mandate on the increased domestic use of the commodity through biofuel blending.

McDermott Installs Platform Off Vietnam In Record-Breaking Fashion

McDermott completes transportation and installation subcontract of the Sao Vang and Dai Nguyet (SVDN) gas and condensate field developments in the Nam Con Son Basin, off Vietnam.

Indonesia’s B40 plans on hold due to high palm oil prices

Biofuels Digest

In Indonesia, Reuters reports that high palm oil prices are forcing the country to push back its B40 ambitions. Originally set for roll out in July from the current 30% blending level, the program has been delayed indefinitely but a senior energy ministry official did indicate it would be difficult to reach B40 in 2022. On August 12, Malaysian palm oil futures reached a record high of $1,089.35 and although they have fallen since then, they’re still about 60% higher than last year.

China’s Hainan Mining plans to invest $164m in lithium plant

Mining Technology

Chinese iron ore miner Hainan Mining is planning to build a new facility to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide, with a $164m (CNY1.065bn) investment. Planned to be built in Dongfang in southern China’s Hainan island province, the plant will be equipped to produce 20,000tpa of lithium hydroxide, reported Reuters.

Malaysia's CPO output to be higher in 2H, says Affin Hwang

NST Online

Malaysia’s crude oil palm (CPO) production is expected to be higher in the second half of 2021 (2H21) than 1H21, and potentially peak in September to October, said Affin Hwang Capital.

To benefit the climate, Indonesia's electric vehicle push needs greener power

The Jakarta Post

The Southeast Asian nation – home to the world’s third-largest tropical forests – has steadily increased the share of its biodiesel mandate derived from palm oil since 2018, despite the risk that could fuel deforestation.

Coca-Cola and TeaM Energy complete solar energy project in Mindanao

Manila Bulletin

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has partnered with TeaM Philippines Energy Corporation (TPEC), a subsidiary of TeaM Energy Corporation, for a solar panel installation in Coca-Cola’s Davao del Sur plant. Coca-Cola’s Davao Del Sur plant with close to 4,000 solar panels installed by TeaM Energy. “Our collaboration with TeaM Energy has allowed us to reach yet another sustainability milestone.

Indonesia awards first oil and gas blocks in 2 years

Channel NewsAsia

Indonesia has awarded oil and gas blocks to local upstream energy company Energi Mega Persada and Canada’s Husky Energy Inc, a senior official said on Friday, in the country’s first such tender in nearly two years.

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