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Business Roundup

August 12, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 32

General Electric has sold its cadmium telluride solar film intellectual property to the solar-cell maker First Solar in exchange for 1.75 million shares of First Solar stock, or roughly $70 million. At the same time, GE has canceled construction of a planned solar-cell manufacturing plant in Aurora, Colo.

Rive Technology, a Princeton, N.J.-based developer of zeolites for catalysis and separations, has raised $20 million in its fourth round of fund-raising. Investors include Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Mitsui Global Investment, and the Blackstone Group.

Showa Denko plans to build a 100,000-metric-ton-per-year ethyl acetate plant at its Oita complex in Japan to start up in June 2014. The plant will manufacture the solvent by directly adding ethylene to acetic acid using a solid heteropolyacid catalyst that Showa Denko developed.

Solazyme will supply an algal oil rich in erucic acid to Sasol Olefins & Surfactants for production of C22 derivatives such as behenyl alcohol. Sasol, which makes synthetic and natural alcohols, says the companies will explore forming a broader collaboration involving multiple algal oils.

Microvi Biotechnologies has won a USDA grant to develop technology that helps butyl alcohol-generating micro­organisms overcome the toxic effects of the alcohol. Hayward, Calif.-based Microvi says butyl alcohol has advantages over ethanol as a fuel ingredient.

AkzoNobel has agreed to sell its building adhesives business to the construction materials firm Sika for $350 million. The business employs 550 and had $250 million in sales last year of leveling compounds, sealants, and other products. It operates plants in Germany and France.

Metabolix is collaborating with Samsung Fine Chemicals to develop new products and expand the global market for Metabolix’ biobased, biodegradable polymers. Separately, Metabolix says it is conducting due diligence on two potential manufacturing sites in the U.S.

HelioVolt, an Austin, Texas-based producer of thin-film solar modules made with copper, indium, gallium, and selenium, has received an additional $19 million from South Korea’s SK Group. The funds will be used for global capacity expansion, although no manufacturing sites have been announced.

ScinoPharm and Sundia MediTech have formed an alliance to serve drug and biotech firms seeking to outsource to China. The partnership will link ScinoPharm’s process R&D and pharmaceutical chemical manufacturing expertise with Sundia’s chemistry, biology, and preclinical studies know-how.



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