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Business Roundup

January 28, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 3


Solvay and Huatai Chemical are expanding their hydrogen peroxide joint venture in Shandong, China, to reach a capacity of 48,000 metric tons per year by 2025. Hydrogen peroxide is used as a cleaner in the manufacturing process for photovoltaic cells.

Birla Carbon is building carbon black plants in Naidupet, India, and Rayong, Thailand. Each of the plants will have a capacity of 120,000 metric tons per year when they come on line in 2025.

Saudi Aramco has allocated an additional $4 billion to its venture capital arm, Aramco Ventures, bringing its total to $7 billion. The fund’s investments have included portable spectrometry developer 908 Devices and Rive Technology, a supplier of mesoporous zeolite catalysts.

Ecovyst, PQ’s former catalyst and refinery services business, will install an air emission control system at its Orange, Texas, catalyst activation plant. Ecovyst says the project will enable it to expand production capacity.

SmartLabs has raised $48 million in series C financing to further develop its business of renting out prebuilt labs on the East and West Coasts. SmartLabs says biotechnology companies can save 6–24 months by moving into one of its labs instead of building their own.

Michelin, in partnership with IFP Energies Nouvelles and Axens, has built an industrial-scale demonstration plant that makes butadiene from ethanol. The project is part of an effort to create a commercial route from biomass to elastomers, plastics, and resins.

Linde set a new company record in 2023 for small, on-site installations providing oxygen and nitrogen. The firm signed deals for 53 such projects, totaling $270 million in sales.

Umicore is using artificial intelligence technology from Microsoft to search for new battery materials. In January, Microsoft and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory demonstrated the technology by identifying a new electrolyte for solid-state batteries.



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