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Business Roundup

August 17, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 32

BASF is expanding production of chelating agents, such as methyl­glycinediacetic acid, at its Ludwigshafen, Germany, site. Including an MGD plant to open by the end of this year in Theodore, Ala., BASF will have annual capacity of 170,000 metric tons for the chelating agents, which are replacing phosphates in dishwashing detergents.

LyondellBasell Industries has agreed to purchase SJS Plasti­blends, an Indian producer of polypropylene compounds. Lyondell says the purchase will boost its presence in India, particularly in its burgeoning automotive sector.

Oxford Biotrans, a spin off from England’s Oxford University, has raised almost $4 million from investors to commercialize its biocatalytic process for producing high-value specialty chemicals. The firm’s first product is nootkatone, an aroma chemical that offers the flavor and scent of grapefruit.

BASF will close its dimer and polyamide resin plant in Kankakee, Ill., affecting 50 jobs. Excess capacity in North America and a 15-year decline in markets such as printing made the decision necessary, the firm says. Jobs at the site related to other businesses will not be affected.

FMC will sell its standard-grade pectin plant in Milazzo, Italy, to Cargill and focus instead on more specialized versions of the food biopolymer. FMC and Cargill have signed a supply agreement so FMC can offer a range of pectin grades to its customers.

Chiral Technologies has acquired Diffinity Genomics, a West Henrietta, N.Y.-based developer of nucleic acid purification technology. Chiral Technologies says the purchase will take it into the bioseparation and biopurification market.

GE Healthcare and the RNA Institute at the University at Albany, SUNY, are joining to create specially engineered ribonucleic acids as tools in the study of RNA as a drug target. The RNA Institute will provide novel RNA synthesizing equipment to GE’s Dharmacon division.

Illumina, a supplier of genome sequencing equipment, will acquire GenoLogics Life Sciences Software, a developer of laboratory information management systems (LIMS), for an undisclosed sum. The companies previously joined to supply a combined sequencing and LIMS product called Clarity LIMS X.



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