Business Briefs

By Staff | April 02, 2013

Amyris names chief business officer
Amyris Inc. has appointed Zanna McFerson as its chief business officer, effective March 4. In her new position, McFerson will be responsible for Amyris’s commercial and product line activities. McFerson was previously a vice president at Cargill, serving as business director of Truvia, a natural sugar substitute she helped create over the past decade. In her prior position, she directed an extensive global team with resources across research and development, agronomy, supply chain, and scientific and regulatory affairs and marketing. During her two-decade career at Cargill, McFerson helped commercialize new, breakthrough products.

RSB Services Foundation adds board member
The RSB Services Foundation, the implementing entity of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, a global sustainability standard and certification system for biofuel production, has named Richard Palmer as a board member of the RSB Services Foundation. Palmer currently serves as president and CEO of Global Clean Energy Holdings Inc. He is also a trustee and president for the Center of Sustainable Energy Farming. Palmer has more than 30 years of senior-level management experience, where he has brought insight and innovation to a diverse group of companies in the energy industry. He is an active member of the American Council on Renewable Energy and the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Proterro expands executive team, receives patent
Proterro Inc. has added Edi Eliezer as its engineering vice president. Eliezer has three decades of experience in industrial bioengineering, with expertise in biochemicals and biofuels. He also has commercial operations experience in bioprocess development, fermentation systems, bioreactor design, facility engineering, scale-up and downstream/upstream process integration. Prior to joining Proterro, Eliezer served as director of bioprocess technology and engineering at Fluor Corp., and as vice president of technology research and development at DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts. Proterro has also received a composition of matter patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that protects its engineered photosynthetic cyanobacteria and their genetic code.

BTEC launches associate network
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council has announced the launch of its new associate class membership, a complimentary membership level for recognized educational institutions and government agencies. Associate status in the BTEC allows qualifying organizations to receive all informational updates and participate in all membership activities. They are excluded from taking part in policy activities and leadership of the organization, such as election of the board, running for board seats, or chairing but can receive full membership benefits by upgrading to the nonprofit level. BTEC’s associate network currently features six organizations.

Cereplast subsidiary to develop algae-based polymers
Bioplastic manufacturer Cereplast Inc. has announced the incorporation of a new wholly owned subsidiary, Algaeplast Inc. Algaeplast's focus will be on the development and manufacture of algae-based bioplastics. Cereplast brought the first products made from Cereplast Algae bioplastics grades to market in 2011, and commercialized Biopropylene 109D in December. Biopropylene 109D has 20 percent postindustrial algae biomatter. While Cereplast’s goal was to create a bioplastic made from 50 percent algae content, Algaeplast’s ultimate goal is to bring to market new polymers made from 100 percent algae content.

European producers, airlines form biofuels organization
The Sustainable Biofuels Initiative in Europe aims to expedite the deployment of advanced biofuel technologies. CEOs representing seven European biofuel producers and airlines formed the group in February. Organizations participating in the group include Chemtex, British Airways, BTG, Chemrec, Clariant, Dong Energy and UPM. The group’s manifesto said its members aim to speak with a single voice and take a lead position in the development of advanced biofuels. They will address EU policy matters, national governments and financial institutions of common interest. The initiative also plans to work with other related international groups.