Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Solvay and Avantium to jointly develop green engineering plastics

Solvay and Avantium announced that they have entered into a partnership to jointly develop a next generation of green high-performance polyamides for engineering plastics. The partnership combines Solvay’s leading position in specialty polymers and Avantium’s YXY technology for producing building blocks for green materials.

The companies will work together to explore the commercial potential of engineering plastics on the basis of YXY building blocks. Through the partnership, new high-performance polyamides will be developed that are produced using renewable, bio-based feedstock. Solvay and Avantium target a next generation of polyamides with new properties that can serve a range of applications. Price and performance of the polyamides will be key drivers for the success of the project.

The companies will make a range of compositions containing Avantium’s YXY building blocks. Subsequently, Solvay Specialty Polymers will test these polyamides for engineering applications in areas such as automotive and electronic materials. Solvay and Avantium have entered into a multi-year, exclusive collaboration towards commercialization of the new polyamides.  

“We are very happy to be able to look at the potential of YXY building blocks in specialty polyamides together with Avantium”, said Antoine Amory, in charge of renewable based chemistry developments within the newly created Innovation Center of Solvay.

“Avantium’s success in making such building blocks available through a unique manufacturing route is an essential key step that opens up new opportunities in the field of specialty polymers which we are impatient to explore.

“We are excited about our collaboration with Solvay. The polyamides we will develop together will become another novel and exciting outlet for our YXY building blocks,” said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “Solvay’s expertise in the field of polyamides is very important to understand the polyamides we will focus on and bring them closer to commercial applications. This agreement is another important step to explore high-value added applications for our YXY building blocks, in addition to work we are already doing in a complementary polyamide area.”


Dow and Ube Form Joint Venture to Manufacture Electrolytes for Lithium-Ion Batteries

The Dow Chemical Company and Ube Industries, Ltd. announced an agreement to form a joint venture to manufacture and market formulated electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in energy storage applications. The 50-50 joint venture, named Advanced Electrolyte Technologies LLC, is expected to be finalized later this year, pending regulatory approval.

“The growing demand for alternative energy production and energy storage systems places technologies such as advanced batteries for electric/hybrid vehicles and power generation at the very center of the global mega-trends,” said Heinz Haller, Dow executive vice president and chief commercial officer, “Partnering with an electrolyte industry leader like Ube gives Dow the ability to provide cell manufacturers with a robust offering of material technology that meets demanding battery performance requirements.”

The new joint venture will also allow Ube to strengthen its global supply network and improve cost competitiveness for its electrolyte technology outside of Japan. This will enable Ube to take advantage of other rapidly growing geographical segments with its world class formulated electrolyte technologies.

The joint venture’s first manufacturing facility is expected to be built at Dow’s Michigan Operations’ site in Midland for startup in 2012.


Tecan appoints Martin Brusdeilins as Chief Scientific Officer and Member of the Group Management Board

The Board of Directors of the Tecan Group has appointed Dr. Martin Brusdeilins as Chief Scientific Officer and a Member of the Group Management Board. He will head the new Science & Technology organizational unit at Group level and take up his role at Tecan on September 1, 2011.

Dr. Martin Brusdeilins has extensive experience in a variety of management positions in the diagnostic and life science industry. He worked at Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc., an enterprise of the Johnson & Johnson Company in Rochester, New York, USA, from 2003 until the end of May 2011, latterly as Vice President Product Development. In this role and in his previous role as Vice President Research & Development, which he performed for over six years, he was responsible for global product development of all diagnostic instruments and reagents as well as the life cycle management of these products. From 1985 to 2003, Martin Brusdeilins held various management and professional positions at Roche Diagnostics in Europe and the USA, where he was responsible for the entire product development of near patient diagnostic tests and test instruments, including in his role as Vice President Research & Development Near Patient Testing. From 1998 to 2001, as Vice President and General Manager, he was responsible for production, research & development, marketing and quality assurance, and clinical studies in a business unit of Roche Diagnostics in the USA.

Martin Brusdeilins studied biochemistry at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and earned a doctorate in this subject at the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen, Germany. He is 59 years old and a German citizen.

The Science & Technology organizational unit was created as part of the new Group organization that became effective in 2011, with the aim of implementing Tecan's growth strategy even more effectively. The new structure aims to drive forward the development of integrated workflow solutions, to better leverage synergies in the development of technology, and to further accelerate the pace of innovation. Science & Technology bundles resources for the development of enabling technologies, for licensing, and for scouting of technologies. It is also responsible for evaluating the content of the technologies in M&A projects and for developing partnerships with industry and academic research. The organizational unit incorporates the Innovation & Incubation group, which will continue in its role.


New technology for improved OLEDs

The Bayerische Patentallianz GmbH is selling a number of patents of the University of Regensburg to cynora GmbH. Thanks to the new Singlet-Harvesting technique and the use of newly developed emitter materials it will be possible to improve future OLEDs (organic light emitting diodes) and, in addition, produce large area displays in a cost efficient manner.

In future, OLEDs will be increasingly staking out market shares in display and lighting technology alongside conventional LEDs: OLEDs generate more brilliant images, are easier to manufacture, save more energy and can be produced in ultra-flat formats. Before this all becomes reality, however, a few developments will have to be advanced. At present, among other factors, the light emission (emission duration) of the light emitting molecules (emitter molecules) is too long, which results in undesirable saturation effects and thereby in energy losses, and represents a problem in the realization of favorably priced OLED lighting systems. The patents that cynora has acquired comprise a new technique for the generation of light emission and the use of innovative organic metal compounds. The latter are capable of reducing the emission duration of the emitter molecules and thereby improving the effectiveness of the OLEDs.

The new technique is referred to as singlet-harvesting and was developed by Prof. Dr. Hartmut Yersin from the Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Regensburg. With the help of this method it is possible to expediently combine the advantages of the so-called triplet and singlet states - these are the important light emitting states, thereby achieving a high light yield with lower saturation and energy losses.

The technique is enabled by the use of new, innovative metal-organic compounds that are considerably more cost efficient than conventional materials such as iridium or platinum and are also easier to process. "To date, OLED emitter materials were usually vaporized and had to be processed by way of a complex and cost intensive vacuum technology. The new metal compounds can be applied to the substrates, for example to ultra thin (<100 nm) and flexible carrier foils, with the help of our liquid processing in a more cost efficient manner. In this way, the new metal-organic compounds created by the University of Regensburg form the basis for new OLED technologies. In future, this will enable the production of ultra-flat as well as flexible displays with excellent color quality and high contrast. And this includes large area displays in connection with favorable manufacturing costs," as Dr. Thomas Baumann, managing director of cynora GmbH explained.