Walker’s Launches New Flavours For Jubilee

Walker’s crisps has joined the millions of people around the UK celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by launching two new flavours.

The British brand opted for two very traditional flavours for their new premium crisp range Sensations, Spit roast Pork and Apple Sauce and Baked Cheese and Sweet Honey.

Marketing manager for Sensations Lynn Grant said in a statement: “As possibly Britain’s poshest crisp, we’re so excited about launching these new limited-edition flavours to bring consumers together to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.”

Its marketing campaign featured Georgia Toffolo from Made in Chelsea, whom Ms Grant said is “the perfect fit for our poshest-ever campaign”.

In addition to the new two flavours, Walker’s Sensations released its existing crisps in limited edition Jubilee packs.

Although they were launched ahead of the bank holiday weekend, there are likely to be some left on the shelves to grab before they sell out.

Another well-established brand has announced it is to market a new flavour soon, after Maltesers revealed shoppers will be able to buy its confectionary in dark chocolate from June 20th.

This is the first flavour alteration for Maltesers in nearly ten years, with Maltesers Dark having 65 per cent more cocoa and 30 per cent less sugar.

Brand director for Maltesers Leah Dyckes said there has been a strong demand for dark chocolate Maltesers for several years, adding: “We’re proud to have developed this new innovation and we can’t wait for everyone to taste the new product.”

The new flavour will be available in single packs, treat bags, pouches and More to Share bags before the end of June.

 

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IndyCar Makes Commitment to Switch To Ethanol By 2023

The world’s oldest motor race is committed to powering their cars with 100 per cent ethanol by next year using a renewable ethanol supplier, as IndyCar makes a commitment to sustainability for the racing series.

In a press release published during the championship’s prestigious Month of May, IndyCar announced amidst a range of other sustainability initiatives the switch to second-generational renewable ethanol primarily derived from the waste by-product of sugarcane.

As well as this, the series has shifted to synthetic oils and lubricants, tyres for the Indy 500 are to be delivered to the track using electric vehicles with a high-power charging station installed on the grounds, as well as offsetting their carbon footprint by contributing to natural habitat restoration efforts.

This announcement is the culmination of nearly two decades of deliberation, conflict and varying rules surrounding the use of ethanol fuel that began with the help of the late driver Paul Dana.

Mr Dana was sponsored in 2005 by the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council, whose primary goal was to correct the prevailing wisdom that ethanol fuel damaged road cars and pave the way for more sustainable fuels to be used for transportation.

In 2006, the same year that the driver that started the process was tragically killed in an accident, what was then the Indy Racing League started to add ethanol to cars that were typically powered by methanol.

Whilst the initial blend in 2006 was 90 per cent methanol to 10 per cent ethanol, by 2007 the fuel mix had transformed completely to 98 per cent ethanol and 2 per cent gasoline, with the latter only added due to US regulations to ensure it could not be consumed and would burn visibly for safety reasons.

For a race that took place outside of the USA, the Sao Paulo Indy 300, used E100 fuel, a pure ethanol fuel that had been used in the region since the late 1970s.

Brazil Switches From Sugar To Ethanol As World Shortages Loom

Brazilian sugar firms are responding to the crisis and the consequent rise in prices for the commodity.

The disruptive impact of the Ukraine war has significantly impacted on the production of ethanol in Europe as many crops rise in price, with the latest consequence of this being a shift in production from sugar to ethanol in Brazil.

Brazilian sugar firms are responding to the crisis and the consequent rise in prices for the commodity. The country is already the second largest ethanol supplier in the world after the US, but mills are now capitalising on the fact that they can switch production from sugar refining rapidly.

As Reuters reports, this will help meet demand for ethanol around the world, but come at a major cost to the sugar industry. As one of the world’s largest sugar suppliers, Brazil is a key exporter and a switch to ethanol could lead to a major global sugar shortage.

Ethanol sales from Brazil were up 2.6 per cent and this upward trend looks very likely to continue.

An executive at one of the leading Brazilian mills, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the change is also motivated by the faster cash flow that comes from ethanol production. He explained: “Ethanol sales are paid in one or two days, while export sugar takes much longer, and mills have many bills to pay in the harvest kick-off.”

Increased supplies of ethanol may help keep the cost of the commodity under some control, which will be useful for medical products as well as allowing for more use as an alternative to petrol. However, a scarcity of sugar could be yet another contributor to rising food costs all over the world.

In the UK, the chairman of Marks & Spencer Archie Norman has said that food prices will continue to rise over the rest of 2022 and could increase by ten per cent in the UK over the course of the year.

Ethanol Body Dismisses Biofuel Crisis Claims

A body representing renewable ethanol producers in Europe has rejected claims that the need for more biofuels as oil prices rise.

A body representing renewable ethanol producers in Europe has rejected claims that the need for more biofuels as oil prices rise is being exploited by their industry at the potential expense of food and other uses.

Clean transport campaign group Transport and Environment recently published a study claiming there was clear evidence that the biofuels industry could imperil food security at a time when Ukraine – often referred to as the ‘Breadbasket of Europe’ – is facing extreme difficulty in producing and exporting food crops like wheat as the Russian military assault continues.

It claimed that “Europe burns the equivalent of 15 million loaves of bread every day to power our cars”, even as wheat prices are soaring. This is the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes of wheat.

Any firm seeking an ethanol supplier for food products might be concerned by such a claim, but renewable ethanol producers’ association ePURE has rejected the report. It said that recent statements on the matter had simply highlighted the importance of ethanol production to biofuels and were not an attempt to promote this sector at the expense of food production.

Moreover, the body stated, the EU’s own Short Term Outlook report for the agriculture markets has said there is no risk of any food shortages in Europe as a result of the war, with plenty of surpluses.

Reflecting on this, ePURE said this data represented clear proof that the renewable ethanol sector in Europe could meet the demands of both the food and biofuel sector, despite a reduction in the use of cereal crops to produce ethanol.

Interim secretary general of ePURE Simona Vackeova said Europe’s ethanol producers already have a “strategic role” in supporting food security, offering an “important domestic source of high-protein animal feed and other products that reduce the need for EU feed and food imports”.

According to World’s Top Exports, in 2020 Ukraine was responsible for eight per cent of the world’s wheat exports, while the Russian figure was more than twice as high at 17.6 per cent.

Scientists Convert Methane Directly Into Methanol

A team of researchers have developed a method of converting methane directly into methanol and acetic acid for the first time.

A team of researchers have developed a method of converting methane directly into methanol and acetic acid for the first time. Previously, it was only possible to convert methane into chemicals in stages. The new technique involves using a gold catalyst to directly convert the methane, The Chemical Engineer reports.

The team is led by Cardiff University, who used a catalyst made from gold, and reacted methane with oxygen close to the catalyst. It is the first time that this had been attempted without the presence of a co-reductant. As the scientists predicted, methanol was produced, but unexpectedly, also acetic acid.

Both methanol and acetic acid have useful purposes, and previous methods of producing them were expensive and energy intensive. Methanol is used as a biofuel, and is a component in other chemicals.  Acetic acid is used to make textile inks, pesticides, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

Graham Hutchings, Regius Professor of Chemistry from the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, said: “The oxidation of methane, the main component of natural gas, to selectively form oxygenated chemical intermediates using molecular oxygen has been a long-standing grand challenge in catalysis.”

He added: “We have successfully demonstrated this for the very first time in this study, providing an important first step towards the creation of important fuels and chemicals in a simple and cost-effective way.”

Demand for methanol is likely to increase in the future, as the government continues to pursue its low-carbon fuel (LCF) strategy. Argus Media reports that a new consultation has begun on LFCs, and will conclude on 3 April. It aims to determine which production pathways should be prioritised, in order to reduce demand for fossil fuels.

Demand for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is expected to increase, with around 4-8% of the world’s supply being met with SAF by 2035.

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Specialty Yeast Market Set To Grow By 7.4%

The specialty yeast market is set to expand by 7.4% by 2026, Business Merseyside reports. The market was valued at USD 2.7 billion in 2019, and is set to reach USD 4 billion by 2025, according to Markets and Markets.

According to the publication, “specialty yeasts are used for producing alcoholic beverages, ethanol production, baking, bioremediation, nutritional supplements, genetically engineered biofactories, and aquarium hobbies.”

The upsurge in demand is attributed to the growing awareness of the nutritional benefits of specialty yeasts, and the use of yeast extracts as a cost-effective food ingredient. It is widely used as a flavouring for convenience foods, sauces, and is used in baked goods, and processed meats.

The demand is also partly a result of the growing interest in ‘functional foods.’ These are foods that, either by artificial modification or naturally, have additional health benefits over and above the nutritional value. This is because they include vitamins and minerals, or probiotics, which have been proven to protect against disease and inflammation.

Modified functional foods are often labelled as ‘fortified.’ Examples include milk, yoghurt, breakfast cereals, bread, and alternative milk products, which often have added iron and vitamin B. Natural functional foods typically include fruits and vegetables which are rich in anti-oxidants, fermented foods which contain probiotics, and seafood rich in omega-3.

Specialty yeasts are used in foods labelled ‘plant-based alternatives’, which are part of the rapidly growing meat-free food market. In the UK, all major supermarkets now carry their own brand of meat-free ranges, and the sales are expected to reach £1.1bn within the next two years.

World-wide, interest in vegan and whole foods is also growing. There is also demand from the pharmaceutical industry and the alcoholic beverage production industry for specialty yeasts.

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First Perfume Made From Carbon Captured Ethanol

Global beauty brand Coty, have announced that it has started production of the ‘world’s first’ perfume made using carbon captured ethanol.

Global beauty brand Coty, who own Max Factor, have announced that it has started production of the ‘world’s first’ perfume made using carbon captured ethanol. Global Cosmetics News reports that the fragrance is being manufactured in Spain, and the finished product could be commercially available within months.

Most perfumes currently rely on ethanol as a major ingredient. Ethanol production is energy intensive, and uses corn, which is a natural absorbent of carbon dioxide. When it is burned, it releases CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

However, technology has now been developed which captures the carbon dioxide during the fermentation process, and converts it into a liquid. This can then be piped to a deep underground location, and stored on a permanent basis.

Dr. Shimei Fan, Chief Scientific Officer at Coty, said: “Coty’s accelerated release of fragrances made using carbon-captured ethanol represents the ground-breaking sustainability progress that I joined Coty to lead.”

He added: “This exciting step forward in Coty’s sustainability journey demonstrates our ability to meet and exceed the ambitious clean and green roadmaps we have set for the future. We are now on course to integrate carbon-captured ethanol into a majority of our fragrance portfolio ahead of our ambitious 2023 goal [].”

Harvest Public Media reports that there are currently 30 ethanol plants in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in the US which are part of a scheme to produce carbon captured ethanol. The project is run by Summit Carbon Solutions, who predict that up to 12 million tons of CO2 could be captured each year.

While there will always be some non-green energy involved in the production and distribution of ethanol, the ability to extract and store the CO2 is estimated to cut its carbon footprint by half. This is significant, as ethanol is not only important for the cosmetics industry, but it is widely used as a fuel and food additive.

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How Are Biomaterials Reducing Fossil Fuel Dependence?

As the effects of climate change are growing more serious every year, the science and industry sectors are collaborating as never before to find more eco-friendly ways to operate.

As the effects of climate change are growing more serious every year, the science and industry sectors are collaborating as never before to find more eco-friendly ways to operate. One of the ways researchers are looking to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels is through the greater deployment of biomaterials.

Biochemicals are the carbon-based compounds present in all living matter. The Chemical Engineer defines biomanufacturing as “[the use of] biological systems to produce biomaterials and biomolecules that can be used in a range of industries including specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products.”

An example of this is the recent collaboration between the Coca-Cola Company and the Changchun Meihe Science & Technology, which was reported in Packaging Europe. They are working on technology that converts plant-based monoethylene glycol (bMEG), as well as plant-based monopropylene glycol (bMPG) into a raw material for packaging.

Nancy Quan, chief technical and innovation officer at The Coca-Cola Company, said: “The viability of this next-generation biomaterial is a significant technological breakthrough in our ongoing efforts to reduce our use of virgin oil-based plastics, by increasing our use of recycled and renewable alternatives.”

She added: “It can not only help us achieve our commitments to carbon emission reduction but can also enable the entire industry to shift to a more circular economy. Through our agreement with UPM, we invite the wider industry to join us by utilizing the material once production has been ramped up at UPM Leuna.”

The technology uses renewable biomatter that is a side or waste product, rather than feedstock which can be used as a source of food. It is hoped that eventually, such innovative schemes will lead to the widespread production of plastics which are fossil-fuel free, and have minimal CO2 outputs during production.

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Microsoft Invests $50 Million In Ethanol-To-Jet Fuel Biorefinery

Microsoft is investing $50 million in a LanzaJet facility in the US that will produce jet fuel from Ethanol by 2023, according to a statement from LanzaJet.

Microsoft is investing $50 million in a LanzaJet facility in the US that will produce jet fuel from Ethanol by 2023, according to a statement from LanzaJet.

Sustainable Brands reports that Chicago-based LanzaJet has said that it is close to completing on-site engineering at its Freedom Pines Biorefinery and has plans to start producing 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel from sustainable ethanol, including from waste-based feedstocks, in 2023,

The airline industry is considered one of the hardest to decarbonise. Renewable aviation fuel accounted for less than 0.1 per cent of the current global jet fuel demand of about 330 million tonnes in 2019, according to investment bank Jefferies. Governments and investors are trying to boost incentives to produce lower-carbon emitting jet fuel.

The company is also being funded by various oil majors, airlines, and other petroleum trading firms, including Suncor Energy Inc., British Airways, and Shell.

SAFs are produced with materials other than crude oil, and produce up to 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions – although this reduction is all in the production stage, with this type of fuel emitting at least as much CO2 inflight as traditional kerosene.

Several airlines have been trialling SAF as part of their jet fuel supplies – in December, United Airlines became the world’s first airline to operate a passenger flight with one engine running on 100 per cent SAF.

The European Union is aiming to increase the amount of SAF blended in petroleum jet fuel to 63percent by 2050.

Microsoft created the Climate Innovation Fund in 2020 to invest $1 billion over the next four years to speed up the development of carbon removal technology.

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