Estimates Land Available for Biofuel
detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers
have found that biofuel crops cultivated
on available land could produce up to half
of the world's current fuel consumption
- without affecting food crops or pastureland.
Published in the journal Environmental Science
and Technology, the study, led by civil
and environmental engineering professor
Ximing Cai, identified land around the globe
available to produce grass crops for biofuels,
with minimal impact on agriculture or the
Many studies on biofuel crop viability focus
on biomass yield, or how productive a crop
can be regionally. There has been relatively
little research on land availability, one
of the key constraints of biofuel development.
Of special concern is whether the world
could even produce enough biofuel to meet
demand without compromising food production.
"The questions we're trying to address
are, what kind of land could be used for
biofuel crops? If we have land, where is
it, and what is the current land cover?"
Cai's team assessed land availability from
a physical perspective--focusing on soil
properties, soil quality, land slope, and
biobased plasticizer for PVC from
bio-based plasticizer for PVC responding
to growing consumer and legislative pressure
for safe and sustainable alternatives to
phthalates and other plasticizers has been
SOFT-N-SAFE from Danisco
is a new acetylated monoglyceride derived
from hydrogenated castor oil offering good
performance over phthalates or other plasticizers.
It is colorless, odorless and completely
biodegradable. This product belongs to a
class of natural oils and fats that are
globally approved as direct Food Ingredients
making it both a safe and sustainable solution
for flexible PVC.
While plasticizers find several applications,
the use of this biobased plasticizer has
to be specialized due to cost factors. The
product is targeted for use in the production
of flexible polyvinyl PVC for consumer products
such as toys, bottle cap liners, floorings,
teething rings, tubes, cling films, conveyor
belts, food packaging and medical devices.
GRINDSTED® SOFT-N-SAFE has been authorized
for marketing within Europe and has also
been included in Europe’s positive
list for food contact materials. In addition,
it is considered safe to be used in food
contact materials. Production is at Danisco’s
plant in Grindsted, Denmark.
Read more .....
new bioplastics from Japan
new bioplastics aimed at packaging as well
as durable goods is Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp., Dietrich Albrecht, strategy
and business development manager in Europe
for the supplier, said his company has worked
closely with extrusion systems manufacturer
to validate its GS Pla grades on that manufacturer’s
extruders—for instance, in extrusion
of thermoformable sheet. Not to be confused
with PLA, GS Pla is like a polybutylene
succinate (PBS). “It can be thermoformed
in a standard PP [polypropylene] tool,”
The material’s heat deflection temperature
is up to 95°C. The supplier anticipates
applications in produce packaging and catering
trays, among others. It already has European
Union food contact approval. It should be
produced in Thailand with PTT.
Production should be 20.000 Tons/year in
and recycling: EU can do better
a marked improvement in some countries,
new statistics show that waste keeps piling
up in most EU member states, suggesting
that further effort is required for the
bloc to become a "recycling society"
that avoids waste and uses it as a resource.
The EU's 2005 Thematic Strategy on the Prevention
and Recycling of Waste sets a long-term
goal for the EU to become a recycling society
that seeks to avoid waste and uses waste
as a resource.
The bloc's revised Waste Framework Directive
(WFD), which should have been transposed
into national law by 12 December 2010, introduces
a binding 'waste hierarchy' defining the
order of priority for treating waste. The
waste hierarchy favours prevention of waste,
followed by reuse, recycling, and recovery,
with waste disposal only a last resort.
To comply with the directive, EU member
states are obliged to draw up specific waste
management plans after analysing their current
waste management situations.
Countries are also required to establish
special waste prevention programmes by the
end of 2013, in a drive to break the link
between economic growth and the environmental
impacts associated with the generation of
Let's start with the good news: waste generation
levels have fallen dramatically in several
EU countries, led by France, Sweden, Romania
In total, annual waste generation in the
EU-27 decreased by 10% between 2006 and
– Better Living Through Green
Chemistry? – A point of view!
developments have been appearing in the
news with great regularity in recent years
– The Economist recently noted that
the number of patents granted for industrial
biotechnology now exceeds 20,000 per year
– with the rising price of oil increasing
interest in them.
While bioplastic is often considered “green”,
this isn’t necessarily true.
Even if we ignore the problems associated
turning food into packaging (in the case
of corn based bioplastics), there are still
many forms of bioplastic which aren’t
There is also the energy required to power
farm machinery used in growing biomass feedstock,
to produce fertilisers and pesticides, to
transport biomass to processing plants,
to process the biomass and ultimately to
produce the bioplastic – most of which
currently comes from non-renewable sources
(though this could eventually be remedied,
or strategy? why firms are jumping
on the sustainability bandwagon
Forward-looking corporations have figured
out that a focus on environmental, social
and governmental (ESG) factors is not just
a bid to burnish their image, but rather
it is a necessity in today's marketplace.
And if done well, it is a true competitive
A panel of senior executives from consulting,
banking and the chemical industries sat
down to debate and discuss this critical
shift during the recent Wharton Social Impact
The panel, "Sustainability and Corporate
Social Responsibility: Is ESG the New CSR?"
included participants from a variety of
backgrounds and experience. Still, all were
in agreement that what was a somewhat nebulous
(but fashionable) movement five or 10 years
ago has become a focused, integrated way
of doing business at many firms.
"Sustainability has become more mainstream
now," said Eliza Eubank, assistant
vice president for the environmental and
social risk management department at Citigroup.
"It is not just something that the
do-gooder environmentalist cares about.
It is something that is on the priority
list of CEOs." Stephane N'Diaye, senior
manager of strategy-sustainability at consulting
firm Accenture, echoed that view. The progress
over the last several years in sustainability
efforts, he noted, stems from "where
it stands on the CEO's agenda."
KPIs for Sustainability Initiatives
In any corporate sustainability project,
whether it is reducing greenhouse gas emissions,
paper use, or supply chain waste, choosing
the right key performance indicators (KPIs)
is a key ingredient to success. At the conference
on Environmental, Social and Governance
(ESG) Issues hosted by the Canadian Institute
of Chartered Accountants (CICA), Cathy Cobey
from Ernst & Young talked about how
to choose the right KPIs.
The inaugural edition of the annual CICA
conference drew senior executives from Canada
and around the world with notable speakers
from Standard & Poor’s, Ontario
Securities Commissions, Suncor Energy, Potash,
TD bank, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers,
KPMG, Torys, and Stikeman Elliott.
Among the more interesting presentations
include how Standard & Poor’s
incorporates climate change risks in their
ratings, how TD bank evaluates the sustainability
aspects of investment opportunities, how
Deloitte applies their Risk Rating Matrix
to help clients evaluate climate change
One of the most insightful sessions was
on choosing key performance indicators for
corporate environmental and climate change
initiatives. Cathy Cobey, Canadian Leader
of Ernst & Young’s Climate Change
and Sustainability Practice, shared her
experience on how to choose the right KPIs.
Here are the key points with my additional
1. Choose KPIs that are really key
Choose KPIs that will generate the biggest
impact. Involve a wide range of people in
the company to ensure big factors are not
missed. Since you are unlikely to be able
to focus on all KPIs, choose only two to
three to focus on in each phase that are
appropriate for the company’s sustainability
for key bioplastics raw material to
be picked soon
NatureWorks LLC, the world's top bioplastics
company, will decide this quarter whether
Thailand will be the site of its new polylactic
acid (PLA) plant.
Marc Verbruggen, the president and chief
executive, said his company was nearing
a decision on the location of the plant,
which will be operational in 2014 or 2015
and only the second of its kind in the world.
NatureWorks also owns the world's first
PLA plant in Nebraska, which began operating
"A number of variables are in play
for us to make the final choice such as
incentives on both a national and a regional
basis, feedstock sourcing, labour, market
developments and energy prices," he
Thailand, which has abundant supplies of
sugar and cassava as raw materials, is one
of four countries being considered along
with Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore, each
of which has a couple of possible sites.
The facility would have an annual production
capacity of 140,000 tonnes.