Business Briefs

By Staff | August 24, 2015

LanzaTech has appointed Jean Paul Michel as executive vice president of strategy, finance and operations. He will lead a new team that will coordinate all core support functions of the company as it enters the commercialization phase, including safety, finance, human resources, information technology and procurement. Michel previously served as global chief operating officer and group head of operations at OSRAM.

The Renewable Fuels Association has named Tony Jackson communications director. He will be responsible for developing and managing the full range of RFA’s communications efforts, including advocacy-oriented communications approaches, traditional and social media strategies, and brand awareness. Jackson previously served as director of external affairs for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, where he oversaw media relations and congressional relations. He also served as counsel and assistant counsel for the Agricultural Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.  

The Biotechnology Industry Organization has announced it will change its name to the Biotechnology Innovation Organization early next year. According to BIO, the new name will better express the essence of what its member companies represent.   

The Biotechnology Industry Organization has elected 19 directors to serve on its board executive committee for the 2015-’16 term, including Christopher Standlee of Abengoa Bioenergy and Dan Cummings of Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels. Standlee, executive vice president of Abengoa Bioenergy will serve as the governing board chair of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. Cummings, president of Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels, will serve as the governing board vice chair of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. 

Joule has announced the issuance of an additional patent on the direct, continuous production of hydrocarbon fuels, extending its ability to target the highest-value molecules of the petroleum distillation process and generate them on demand from sunlight and carbon dioxide. U.S. Patent 9,034,629, issued May 19, covers both the cyanobacterium and the process for directly converting CO2 into medium-chain alkanes, which are the molecular basis of diesel, jet fuel and gasoline.      

Southern Research has named William Grieco as vice president of its energy and environment division. He will lead the division’s efforts toward cleaner and more efficient energy production, water research at the industrial and watershed level, new technology development for grid-scale energy storage, creation of carbon fiber production technologies from biobased sources, and new fuel source development from biomass and other feedstocks. Grieco  previously served as director of innovation at Owens Corning in Granville, Ohio.

Alco Bio Fuel, Messer and IJsfabriek Strombeek are investing €15 million ($16.28 million) in a carbon dioxide recovery unit at ABF’s ethanol plant at the Port of Ghent in Belgium. Captured carbon dioxide can be used in the food and drink industry, in water purification, for refrigerated transports, and as a chemical source. The system is expected to be operational next summer and will be able to recover at least 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Anitox has appointed Kim Schaefer as key account manager for Canada, as the pathogen control specialist operation continues to expand its products and services throughout the region. Schaefer has more than 10 years of experience in the livestock feed industry and held several business development and account management roles before joining Anitox.

Abe Hughes has joined Poet LLC as the senior vice president of business development. In this role, he will help guide Poet’s strategies for continued growth through independent initiatives and partnerships, both in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining Poet, Hughes served as vice president of North America for New Holland Agriculture and Construction. He has more than 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience with agriculture, construction and pharmaceutical industry management and deal-making experience in a wide array of manufacturing, retailing and service industries.  

The USDA has announced Jonathan Alboum as its new chief information officer, a position formerly held by Cheryl Cook, who retired in March. Alboum has held several positions with the General Services Administration and the chief information officer position for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. Before joining federal service, Alboum worked as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ventera Corp.

Erick Erickson, U.S. Grains Council vice president, retired in August after more than 30 years with the council. In his council tenure, Erickson has served in a variety of roles including director of global strategies; executive director for membership, administration and communication; director of planning and evaluation; and vice president on two occasions. Prior to the council, Erickson was an international affairs officer at the USDA Scientific and Technical Exchange Division, Office of International Cooperation and Development.

Royal DSM has announced Atul Thakrar has joined the company as head of its Biobased Products & Services unit. Thakrar will take responsibility for DSM’s involvement in the emerging biorenewables industry, including holding board positions on the Reverdia and Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels joint venture boards. Thakrar previously served as president and CEO of Segetis Inc.

Smithfield Food’s Hog Production Division, Murphy-Brown LLC, and Tyton Bioenergy Systems have announced a research partnership to develop new applications for Tyton’s dedicated nonsmoking tobacco crop and the resulting soil amendment, filtration, and feed products within Smithfield’s hog production processes. The companies are establishing field trials with nonsmoking tobacco using hog manure as fertilizer, and are pursuing development of ethanol products using tobacco as raw material rather than corn.