Issue Date: October 26, 2009
Solutia will restart its insoluble sulfur plant in Monongahela, Pa., by early November. The firm says demand for the vulcanizing agent has improved “significantly” since the first quarter of 2009. The plant, which supplies the tire industry, was idled in June.
Verdezyne, a start-up synthetic biology firm, has been awarded a $1.7 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases. The company will tap its computational and bioinformatics programs to build directed mutant gene libraries useful in making biofuels and biobased chemicals.
Flexible Solutions International has opened a 5,000-metric-ton-per-year aspartic acid plant in Taber, Alberta. The Canadian company says the plant is the only one in the world to make aspartic acid from biomass—beet juice, in this case. FSI converts the acid to polyaspartic acid, used in water treatment and other applications.
Albemarle has appointed Barry W. Perry to its board of directors. Perry had been the chairman and CEO of another catalyst maker, Engelhard, from 2001 until BASF purchased it in 2006.
Milliken & Co. has acquired Rebus, a maker of pigment and additive dispersions for thermoset plastics and industrial coatings. Milliken says it will continue to operate Rebus’ 40,000-sq-ft facility in Aston, Pa.
Wanhua Industrial, a Chinese chemical firm, will acquire a minority stake in BorsodChem, a Hungarian isocyanates maker, as part of a debt-restructuring deal. Private equity firms Permira and Vienna Capital Partners will remain majority shareholders with operational control.
China’s Ministry of Commerce will charge a provisional antidumping duty on nylon 6 made in the U.S., Europe, Russia, and Taiwan. Companies from the U.S. will have to pay a deposit of about 36% of the value of their exports. The penalty for firms from other countries will be 24%, at most.
Indena, an Italian developer of plant-based drug ingredients, has licensed a semisynthetic molecule to Milan-based Zambon. Currently in Phase I trials, the molecule could be useful to treat pain caused by rheumatic, orthopedic, or traumatic disorders.
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