Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up June 3, 2022

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Every day our researchers read through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert opinions on important developments and industry news. Our analysts then evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the top news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the past week below. 

DSM Caps Its Transformation, Merging with Firmenich and Divesting the Last of Its Materials Businesses

Michael Sullivan

Michael Holman, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Group Director 

Harini Venkataraman

Harini Venkataraman, Ph.D., Senior Analyst, Team Captain

Ethan Beswick

Ethan Beswick, Analyst

Lux Take: Very Important

“It’s been a busy few weeks for the Dutch firm — following the sale of its Protective Materials (Dyneema) business to Avient in late April, it recently announced the sale of its remaining Engineering Materials business to the Lanxess and Advent joint venture and its merger with Swiss flavors and fragrances giant Firmenich. The move is a capstone to DSM’s transformation from a diversified chemicals firm to a biotech-focused health and nutrition ingredients and solutions provider — matching the consolidation seen in other ingredients deals, like IFF’s merger with DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences. As the chemicals industry faces growing pressure to change, look for others to pursue similarly transformative reorganization as well.”

BMW Iventures Leads Series a Investment in Mangrove Lithium to Commercialize Its Lithium-refining Technology

Abhirabh Basu

Abhirabh Basu, Analyst

Lux Take: Very Important

“This recent investment round brings Mangrove Lithium’s total investment to date to USD 25 million. Mangrove’s solution works as a lithium-refining process, converting LiCl or Li2SO4 into LiOH, producing byproducts such as HCl and H2SO4, which can be potentially reused in direct lithium extraction (DLE). Additionally, Mangrove claims its solution can work across the lithium-ion battery value chain from lithium extraction to refining and battery recycling, which has interested investors. Rising lithium spot prices and supply demand gaps are driving companies across the electric vehicle and battery matterials value chains to invest in DLE projects and battery recycling. Clients should monitor this space for investment opportunities.”

Good Meat and ADM Join Forces to Industrially Scale Cell-Based Meat

Ethan Beswick

Ethan Beswick, Analyst

Lux Take: Very Important

“As the demand for alternative protein soars, multinationals continue to partner with startups of all sizes to lend a hand to the scaling challenges inherent to cellular agriculture. ADM is no stranger to this sort of partnership in the cellular agriculture space, but this is the company’s first strategic foray into cultivated meat. ADM will help optimize the nutrients needed for Good Meat’s cell growth through this collaboration. As there is a global regulatory hurdle — anywhere besides Singapore — standing in the way of consumer adoption, this move may signal yet another shift by these massive companies trying to future-proof their enterprises. Clients should expect to see similar deals as more companies reach maturity and scale.”

CO2 Sequestration Will Be a New Oil and Gas Offering: Occidental to Provide Services to the Gulf Coast Industrial Corridor

Mukunda Kaushik

Mukunda Kaushik, Senior Research Associate

Lux Take: Average Importance

“Occidental and Enterprise Products will collaborate on a CO2 transportation and sequestration solution for industrial emitters in Texas (U.S.). The companies plan to provide sequestration sites with ample pore space and necessary transportation infrastructure and have reportedly begun exploring offerings with customers. In assessing this emerging business model, clients should note that there are two main pieces to the puzzle: transportation infrastructure and connectivity (provided by a midstream player) and subsurface land availability and characterization (provided by an upstream or vertically integrated player). Oil and gas companies in the U.S. are rapidly adapting to the sequestration model — see examples from Continental Resources and Talos Energy — and use it as a way to engage with the carbon capture and storage value chain as a provider instead of a customer.”

Ingeteam to Equip 70-MW/340-MWh Li-ion Battery to Provide Reserve Capacity for Italy’s Grid

Juan Cortes

Juan Cortes, Research Associate

Lux Take: Average Importance

“Ingeteam will install a backup system to help the Italian electrical grid in periods of high demand. The system consists of 59 Li-ion battery containers and 15 inverters to supply reserve capacity to the medium voltage grid in northern Italy. It is slated to be operational by 2023. It will be one of the largest energy storage systems (ESSs) in Europe, says Ingeteam. ESSs are an important asset in supporting the energy grid. But clients should note that by providing only reserve capacity instead of other frequent use-cases for Li-ion batteries, developers are giving up revenue. Also, for larger systems like this, flow batteries and compressed air are better suited as ESSs to provide reserve power, as they don’t lose capacity over time.”

Solida Receives Usd 2.1 Million from Department of Energy to Develop CO2-Based Cement Additives

Thomas Briggs

Thomas Briggs, Research Associate

Lux Take: Average Importance

“This grant from the U.S. Department of Energy potentially signals a pivot by Solidia away from carbon curing towards a higher potential CO2 capture application. The limited scope of CO2 curing was reflected in middling commercial success for Solidia prior to a large venture fundraising round in May 2021; supplementary cementitious material presents stronger economic and environmental upsides through its ability to address a traditionally limited market and lower the amount of cement necessary for concrete production. Clients should monitor the development of this new capability and engage when available.”

Hollabaugh Bros. And Hazel Technologies Expand Partnership Following Successful Active Packaging Trials

Suzanne Davies

Suzanne Davies, Consultant

Lux Take: Average Importance

“Hazel Technologies continues to gain momentum having secured USD 70 million funding and now reporting successful completion of trials with Hallabaugh Bros., a family-owned fruit and vegetable farm. Hazel’s solution, Hazel 100, employs 1-methylcyclopropene within a sachet insert to inhibit the production of ethylene, a phytohormone that accelerates ripening and deterioration of fruits and vegetables. The initial trials saw a significant increase in the shelf life of pears and will expand to include apples, pears, and peaches in 2022. Agrofresh, which developed the original technology prior to its patent expiring in 2014, continues to dominate the market. Hazel’s differentiation will need to lie beyond the technology as it attempts to steal market share.”

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