Issue Date: January 5, 2009
Lurgi, a subsidiary of gas maker Air Liquide, will build a biofuel plant at the German research institute Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. The pilot plant, a joint venture with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, will demonstrate the second phase of a three-phase process that creates liquid biofuels from straw.
Bayer MaterialScience has received EPA approval to sell Baytube multiwall carbon nanotubes in the U.S. The tubes are added to polymers or metal systems to impart mechanical strength or electrical properties.
Air Products & Chemicals will supply nitrogen to Nokia plants in Beijing and the southern China city of Dongguan. The plants, which make printed circuit boards, are eliminating lead from their manufacturing process with the help of nitrogen atmospheres.
BASF will add 25,000 metric tons of annual capacity for its low-molecular-weight, highly reactive polyisobutene by the end of next year. BASF makes the polymer in Antwerp, Belgium, and Ludwigshafen, Germany. Last March, BASF completed a similar expansion in Antwerp.
Japan's Ube Industries and Thailand's PTT have agreed to study the joint establishment in Thailand of "commercial operations in a wide range of chemical sectors." Ube already produces caprolactam, nylon, and synthetic rubber in the kingdom in addition to operating an R&D center.
Yule Catto says it expects operating profits for 2008 to be "modestly ahead" of 2007. Nonetheless, the British specialty chemical producer has suspended dividends to preserve cash; it expects to return to dividend payments within two years.
Huntsman Corp. has received $750 million from Hexion Specialty Chemicals as part of a $1 billion settlement to cancel their merger. Also as part of the settlement, Hexion has purchased $250 million in Huntsman debt.
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