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Paper buy for Solenis

Solenis has agreed to acquire the paper process chemicals business of Kolb Distribution, a unit of KLK Kolb. Terms were not disclosed.The deal includes a long-term supply agreement, in which KLK Kolb will manufacture paper process chemicals exclusively for Solenis.

This is the fourth acquisition made by Solenis since Platinum Equity acquired it last year. The two firms will operate independently until closing, which is expected to be by the end of Q1 2023, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.

Chemours invests in hydrogen economy

Chemours has announced a planned $200 million investment to increase capacity and advance technology for its industry-leading Nafion ion exchange materials. The company is now evaluating potential locations in the US and Europe for the investment, in accordance with applicable regulatory frameworks.

Umicore in further battery deal

Following on from other recent announcements in the field, Umicore has announced a 5-50, €3 billion joint venture to supply precursor and cathode material production to the European battery cell factories of PowerCo, the Volkswagen Group’s battery company. No site has yet been chosen.

This will begin in 2025 by supplying PowerCo’s factory in Salzgitter. They aim to reach 40 GWh cell/year capacity in 2026 and to quadruple that to 160 by 2030, depending on market and demand development. This would be equivalent to what is needed to power about 2.2 million full electric vehicles.

Olon presents biotech plan

Italian CDMO and API supplier Olon has presented a two-year, €30 million plan to expand its Settimo Torinese Biotech Hub near Turin. This focuses on microbial fermentation and is claimed to have “some of the most extensive know-how” on the subject in Europe”. The plan focuses on therapeutic peptides based on Olon’s expertise in the development of rDNA peptides and proteins.

CCT collaboration for Givaudan

Flavours and fragrances giant Givaudan has agreed a research collaboration for the development of sustainable fragrance ingredients from renewable carbon, with US-based LanzaTech, which describes itself as a carbon capture and transformation (CCT) company. No commercial terms were disclosed.

Kao joins PKO alternative platform

Japan’s Kao Corporation has joined the $120 million venture previously announced by Genomatica and Unilever to scale and commercialise plant-based alternatives to palm kernel oil. The firm described this is as a key move towards meeting goals of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040 carbon-negative by 2050, by making responsibly sourced palm oil and derivatives a critical feedstock.

Afyren Neoxy opens up

Afyren Neoxy has opened its first large-scale biorefinery at Carling Saint-Avold in north-eastern France on time and within budget. Construction began in December 2020 and commissioning took place in June.

The plant uses fermentation technology based on natural microorganisms, followed by extraction and purification steps to make seven 100% biobased organic acids from sugar beet. This is sourced in the immediate region, where it is a common crop.

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