The Greening of Dow, the Dao of Dow
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) …The story goes back some time, at least to the formation of Cargill Dow – now NatureWorks – a joint venture which Dow eventually left to Cargill as Dow’s views on the sector changed with the evolution of that technology. The vision was simply – to bring biotechnology to the production of chemicals, plastics and everyday products – and thereby to make them more sustainable and possibly, as oil prices rose, more affordable. Certainly, it was hoped, less volatile.
Along the way, the company started making strategic investments, including an investment through Dow Chemical in Genomatica, a pure-play renewable chemicals company focused, initially, on transformative ways of making low-cost BDO using synthetic biology.
Fast forward to adventures in algae Back in 2010, Algenol Biofuels and Dow Chemical announced that they would partner to construct a $50 million pilot algae biofuels plant in Freeport, Texas – a project that would eventually switch to Florida. The plant will be located with Dow’s existing chemicals complex, and will supply CO2 as well as land for the pilot algae facility. Dow said that it was interested in Algenol’s ability to use algae to produce ethanol, which could be used as a base for making ethylene, which is in turn a feedstock for many types of chemicals.
…Dow and Emerald Biofuels announced that Emerald aimed to build an 85 million gallon renewable-diesel refinery at a Dow Chemical site in Plaquemine, Louisiana. The company would use the Honeywell’s UOP/Eni EcoFining process technology for the production of Honeywell Green Diesel Fuel. READ MORE