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Business Roundup

November 18, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 38


KBR has licensed a technology for cracking ammonia into hydrogen to ISU Chemical for a plant that will be built in Ulsan, South Korea. The plant, which will have the capacity to make 10 metric tons of hydrogen per day, is expected to start up in 2026.

Sasol chairman Sipho Nkosi has stepped down to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest due to some of his non-Sasol business activities. Published reports say he invested in an Australian natural gas exploration firm.

ZymoChem has won a $4 million grant from the Bioenergy Technologies Office at the US Department of Energy (DOE) to scale up its process for fermenting lignocellulose into superabsorbent polymers. The DOE also funded four other biobased chemicals and fuels projects, for a total of $16.7 million.

Lygos is working with the specialty chemical maker Dober to expand its polyaspartate production. Lygos’s biodegradable polymer is used in detergents as a soil antiredeposition agent, as well as in water and soil treatments.

Allkem and Livent have received regulatory approval in Asia, North America, and Australia for their merger, which will create one of the largest lithium mining companies in the world. The firm will be called Arcadium Lithium.

Olon, an Italian contract development and manufacturing organization, plans to invest $10.8 million in an expansion of its plant in Mahad, India. A new production line will increase capacity at the site by 45%; it is expected to be operational next year.

Grupa Azoty, a Polish fertilizer maker, says it is “exploring opportunities for collaborative decarbonization projects with US partners.” Attracted by tax incentives, foreign firms have invested over the past year in natural gas–based ammonia plants that employ carbon capture.

Chromatic, a matchmaking service for outsourcing life sciences research, closed a $5.3 million round of funding led by LifeX Ventures and AgFunder. The software firm also offers communication, collaboration, and project management tools.



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