As you may know, Elevance welcomed Kevin Diesen as the plant manager for Elevance’s bio-refinery in Natchez, Mississippi to the Elevance family. Kevin is a native of Illinois and moved to Natchez in November with his family to take on the plant manager position.
He was interviewed by the Natchez Democrat and gave an update on the progress of plant operations and Elevance’s biodiesel production in Natchez as we work to retrofit the plant into a biorefinery.
In the time that Kevin has been at Elevance, the employees at the Natchez plant have participated in various community events including the Junior Auxiliary of Natchez’s River City Run for the Kids. Kevin has also met with local schools and colleges to develop training programs for students wanting to learn more about engineering, chemistry and science.
Welcome Kevin to the team and we look forward to more good work in Natchez.
We are pleased to announce that Elevance has moved to a great new (and much larger) facility located just minutes from our old location. Find us at our new home located at 2501 Davey Road in Woodridge, Ill.
We now have over 50,000 square feet of office space and an additional 25,000 square feet dedicated to our lab facilities to support further development of solutions for our customers. Our two-story building is adjacent to the Lemont Woods County Forest Preserve, and is surrounded by wooded wetlands and wildlife, which are both beautiful and serene.
Together with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Elevance announced today that we will be coming to southwest Mississippi to build our first North American manufacturing facility, located near Natchez, Miss.
Over the next five years, Elevance will be investing in a multi-phase project at the former Delta BioFuels facility to convert the operation into a world-class bio-refinery and derivatives operation based on Elevance’s metathesis technology. The operation will complement our Asian Joint Venture with Wilmar International and expand our global footprint.
By building biorefineries in multiple geographies, we are responding to our customers’ demands for innovative environmentally friendly products in a cost-effective and scalable way and bringing competitive manufacturing and high-value jobs back to the United States.
The Governor, State of Mississippi and community of Nachez have been very supportive partners to help facilitate this project. We appreciate their support and are pleased to now be a part of the Natchez community.
We announced yesterday the completion of a one million-pound production run of specialty chemicals made from renewable feedstocks. We have provided this production run as a response to the requests we are receiving from customers for larger volumes of the novel renewable products we will be making at the world-scale biorefinery we are building with Wilmar International in Surabaya, Indonesia.
The specialty chemicals produced by this run include alpha olefins and novel esters that will be used by our customers in applications such as surfactants for detergents and cleaners, personal care products, lubricants and additives for lubricants and fuels.
Elevance Enters Joint Development Agreement with Stepan to Commercialize Novel Surfactants & Antimicrobials
Elevance announced yesterday it entered into a joint development agreement with Stepan Company to evaluate and commercialize novel surfactants, antimicrobials and polyurethane polyols based on Elevance’s specialty feedstocks, including 9-decenoic ester and C18 di-basic ester.
Stepan’s joint development with Elevance represents a significant opportunity for both companies. It brings together complimentary capabilities and will accelerate development of high value specialty products needed in markets targeted by both companies.
Our business model is one of partnerships. We have established them in technology, feedstocks, manufacturing and markets. Each of these collaborations (whether publicly announced or still confidential) is creating opportunity for our partner in addition to helping to transforming the petrochemical industry to sustainable, renewable based products.
We are pleased to be working with Stepan to deliver value to their customers and achieve growth through innovation.
In Biorefining Magazine’s inaugural issue, Vice President of Sales and Market Development Andy Shafer supports the idea that biobased chemicals must meet or exceed the performance, functionality and price of petrochemicals in Erin Voegele’s article, “Barreling into Biobased Chemical Markets.”
“The chemical industry is looking for alternatives that it can use to provide more stability and security of supply,” said Shafer. “I think that’s one major, overarching factor that is driving [new production] technologies… there is a strong drive for innovation and enhanced performance,” he said.
When considering biobased alternatives for fuel, lubricants, waxes and personal care products, performance and functionality are the most important factors considered by potential customers in the biobased chemical sector.
Shafer supports the idea that performance leads all other factors when companies are looking to purchase biobased chemicals and products. Cost is also a factor, as biobased chemicals must be priced at or below their fossil-based counterparts to remain cost competitive.
Biobased products have to perform well, meet the required specifications, and be functional. An added bonus is that they are made from renewable resources.
“The fact that a chemical is biobased, in my experience, is a nice tie breaker,” Shafer says. “But, generally it’s not the driving force for most customers.”
Robin J. Weitkamp, Vice President of Chemicals Development for Elevance Renewable Sciences is featured in an ad that is running in Environmental Leader promoting U.S. based green jobs. This is the second round of ads promoting U.S. green jobs — the first featured Elevance’s Donde Anderson.
Robin is responsible for working to accelerate Elevance’s collaborations with customers across the company’s business platforms. His experience in product development, technology licensing, production, P&L management and strategic analysis in the petrochemical, life science and energy industries allows for a comprehensive outlook on product development as the company commercializes higher-value, novel and specialty chemicals from the Elevance biorefinery.
The ad will run throughout September on www.environmentalleader.com and in the publication’s weekly newsletter. A print ad is also running in the Society of Environmental Journalists annual meeting program. The meeting will be held in Montana in October.
We’re proud to have Robin as a member of the Elevance team!
Elevance will have a presence at three industry events next week and we want to give you a sneak peak at our presentations. If you’re attending any of these conferences, please comment on this post or send us an email (email@example.com) so we can meet you.
K’Lynne Johnson, CEO, will be presenting at The 10th Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) in Saskatchewan Canada from Sept. 12 – 15. The ABIC encourages research, development and commercialization of new biotechnologies.
K’Lynne will describe how the concepts of biorefineries and platform chemicals can be utilized to help renewables compete with established petrochemical refineries.
Andy Shafer, Executive VP Sales and Market Development, will travel to the West Coast the same week to present at The Future of Bio-Based Chemicals – Inception to Marketplace Conference in San Francisco Sept. 13-14. Andy will discuss plans for Elevance’s biorefinery project with Wilmar, discussing Elevance’s approach to commercializing bioproducts that will be produced and opportunities for potential collaboration. Schedule here.
On the East Coast, Steve Di Biase, Chief Science Officer, will present at the Biobased Chemicals Conference in Boston, September 13-15. He’ll explain the importance of innovation in the renewable chemicals space, providing information on how Elevance’s metathesis technology combines nature’s resources with human ingenuity to produce the next generation of organic chemistry. Schedule here.
Elevance is featured in the August/September issue of Polymers & Tyre Asia, an international trade publication covering the rubber, plastics and specialty polymers industry. The article, “Chemistry of Green” cites Elevance as a “leader in green chemistry” noting its increasingly “wide relevance as the world switches to green and sustainable technologies.”
The article points out Elevance’s distinction as one of BusinessWeek’s Top 10 Most Successful Startups of 2008, and that, just two years later, it expanded and created the world’s largest biorefinery.
Through its Wilmar joint venture, Elevance is able to rapidly, cost-effectively and profitably produce 180,000 metric tones per year of ‘drop in fuels,’ specialty chemicals and oleochemicals.
By collaborating with leading industry partners, Elevance is commercializing renewable chemicals for use in consumer ingredients and intermediates, antimicrobials, lubricants, fuels and additives for lubricants and fuels.
For the complete article: Polymers and Tyre Asia, Aug.-Sept. 2010.
Crain’s Chicago Business featured Elevance in the August 2 issue, highlighting the company’s growth and innovation in the specialty chemicals industry.
Writer John Pletz noted, “While others struggle to turn a profit squeezing fuel out of corn, K’Lynne Johnson is turning crops into chemicals.”
The article declared that Elevance “may have hit on a formula that’s sustainable not just environmentally but also financially. Making agricultural feedstocks into chemicals costs about as much as producing ethanol, but the chemicals sell for twice as much. That makes the business profitable without the taxpayer subsidies that prop up the ethanol industry.”
Seth Snyder, a biofuels researcher at Argonne National Laboratory in Darien said that Elevance is “extremely vital to the area.” For an area that is familiar with the agriculture and petrochemicals industries, Pletz writes “renewable chemicals offer not only the prospect of new jobs for local workers but also a new market for Illinois farmers.”
As Elevance strives to be a leader in the space, Johnson acknowledges that customers are “skeptical that there are very many technologies that can deliver cost and performance, and they’re right. There have not been very many technologies that have been able to deliver. We believe we can.”
Read the full article, available for viewing by subscription or free-trial.