Albemarle reports 3Q 2009 results

Albemarle reports 3Q 2009 results

F O C U S ammonia in a $1.6 bn industrial gasification unit, which is due to come online in 2011. Chemistry and Industry (London), 28 Sep 2009, (18), ...

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F O C U S ammonia in a $1.6 bn industrial gasification unit, which is due to come online in 2011. Chemistry and Industry (London), 28 Sep 2009, (18), 16-17 (Website:

Algal biofuels create excitement but more research still needed Algal biofuels have sparked a huge interest, with over 150 companies worldwide, including major companies such as ExxonMobil Corp and BP Amoco plc, launching their respective research projects. ExxonMobil Corp has allocated $600 M over the next 5-6 years for its partnership with Synthetic Genomics; BP Amoco plc has earmarked $10 M for a project with Martek Biosciences Corp; and Dow Chemical Co and Algenol Biofuels Inc have announced a joint pilot project aimed at making ethanol from an algae-based biorefinery. To help guide research in the area, the US Department of Energy published the draft document ‘National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap’ in summer 2009 and plans to release the final version of the document by end-2009. The document, in some parts, is bullish about the future of the technology. However, some say realizing the technology’s huge potential – in one scenario, algal biofuels would be able to supply all the renewable fuels under the 36 bngallon renewable fuel standard – would require a correspondingly huge amount of concerted effort that could take a decade to complete. One observer says a critical intermediate step for the commercialization of algal biofuels is the development of highvalue co-products, such as renewable polymers or pigments. Biodiesel Magazine, Oct 2009 (Website:

ADEME supports French green fuel sector The French Agence de l’Environnement et de la maitrise de l’Energy (ADEME) is supporting the development of second generation biofuels. ADEME has a budget of €400 M over 4 years. It will allocate €40 M to two biofuel projects: Gaya and BioTFuel. Gaya will assess a




thermochemical process for the preindustrial scale production of biofuel, considering the economic, environmental and social issues. A series of pilot units will be built over 7 years. BioTFuel will develop a biomass gasification process. The consortium includes Sofiproteol, CEA, IFP, Axens, and Total. Two pilot units will be built. The first at Compiègne, France, will compact and prepare the raw material. A second unit at one of Total’s sites will carry out the gasification stage and transform the product into liquid fuel. The total investment required will be over €100 M over a period of 5 years. The pilot units should develop the required technology within 7 years, leading to licences for biofuel plants producing 200,00-300,000 litre/y. Chimie Pharma Hebdo, 12 Oct 2009, (482), 4 (in French)

Biotech industry growth encouraging Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) is aiming for 21 new BioNexus-status companies by the end of 2009. This will increase the total number of biotech companies with the BioNexus-status to 147. The companies with BioNexus-status will qualify for government incentives such as grants and tax breaks. Malaysia’s biotech companies serve various segments of the industry such as healthcare and industrial biotechnology, to name only two. The country has a total approved investment of Ringgit 1.4 bn in the biotech field. Until now, BioNexus companies have succeeded in generating a revenue of Ringgit 546.5 M and the total R&D expenses of BioNexus companies stood at Ringgit 33.2 M. Malaysia plans to address various bottlenecks faced by the biotechnology companies in the country by accelerating the scientific discoveries right from the R&D stage to the commercialisation stage. The country looks forward to producing various commercial and environmental friendly industrial biotechnology products by enhancing the use of bio-based chemicals such as enzymes and micro-organisms. The Star, 16 Oct 2009 (Website:

COMPANY NEWS Albemarle reports 3Q 2009 results Albemarle Corp reported 3Q ended Sep 2009 earnings of $52.1 M, or 57 cts/share (earnings of $56.2 M, or 61 cts/share in 3Q ended Sep 2008). The company reported net sales in 3Q 2009 totalling $515.3 M ($660.5 M in 3Q 2008). Earnings for nine months ended Sep 2009 were $116 M, or $1.26/share (earnings of $181.1 M, or $1.95/share, for nine months ended Sep 2008). Net sales for nine months of 2009 were $1.45 bn ($1.95 bn for nine months of 2008). Polymer Additives recorded net sales for 3Q 2009 of $196.7 M, a 25% decrease versus record net sales in 3Q 2008. Catalysts net sales for 3Q 2009 were $188.9 M, a decrease of 18% versus 3Q 2008. Fine Chemicals net sales for 3Q 2009 were $129.6 M, down 22% from 3Q 2008. R&D expenses were $14.983 M for 3Q 2009 ($17.392 M in 3Q 2008) and were $46.081 M for nine months of 2009 ($51.785 M in nine months of 2008). Albemarle Corp results 3Q and nine months of 2009, 26 Oct 2009 (Albemarle Corporation, USA. Website:

Albemarle’s new Ketjenfine 868 nickel-molybdenum catalyst enhances hydrocracking Albemarle Corp introduces another new product, Ketjenfine 868, designed to significantly improve the performance of vacuum gas oil (VGO) hydrocracking pretreatment performance. Also known as ‘KF 868,’ the new product is built on Albemarle’s patented STARS technology and offers best-in-class hydroprocessing activity for VGO units where both high aromatics saturation and hydrodenitrogenation activity are required. More specifically, KF 868 is designed to improve VGO hydrocracking operation by: optimizing catalyst cycle length; increasing throughput; applying more selective hydrocracking catalysts and enabling refiners to process cheaper, lower-quality feedstocks without additional capital expenditure. The new KF 868 technology was developed by Albemarle and Nippon Ketjen and will