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Environment, Health, Safety & Security

A Japanese project to sequester CO2

A new technology to sink and store carbon dioxide deep in the ocean is being developed by the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI; Tokyo; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6896-536), in cooperation with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST; Tsukuba), and…

Biodegradable plastic  

Metabolix, Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6895-550) and ADM Co. (Decatur. Ill.; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6895-551) will jointly produce Mirel Natural Plastics — a family of high-performance natural plastics that are biobased, sustainable and completely biodegradable. Mirel is being commercialized through the companies’ joint venture,…

Coal-fired power plants should become chemical manufacturers

            Many coal-fired power plants make gypsum and construction materials. But they should also consider manufacturing hydrochloric acid and ethanol. Furthermore, they should consider substituting biomass and waste organics for up to 10% of the…

Is ethanol the answer?

If every vehicle in the U.S. ran on fuel made primarily from ethanol instead of gasoline, the number of respiratory-related deaths and hospitalizations would likely increase, according to a study by Mark Jacobson, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering…

A better energy balance for China

    China's tremendous economic growth and modernization has propelled the nation to a position where its consumption of energy imports outpaces its economy. As the world's third-largest oil importer, after the United States and Japan, China imported a record-high…

Solar electrolysis

A process that yields hydrogen by using solar energy to split water has received one-third of the €1 million Descartes prize, awarded annually for research financed by the European Commission (Brussels, Belgium). The process was developed under the Hydrosol project,…

Fuels from fat  

Jet fuel, or other fuels, could one day be produced from cheap animal fats - byproducts of slaughterhouses and meat-processing plants - through a process being developed at North Carolina State University (Raleigh; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6894-542). So far, NCSU has tested parts…

Sustainable insulation

Together with four partners, the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT; Pfinztal, Germany; edlinks.chemengonline.com/6894-550) has developed an insulation material that is made entirely from renewable raw materials. The material has nearly the same insulating characteristics as conventional glass wool or…

Microconcentrator

A microfabricated device that concentrates pollutants, enabling them to be detected in very low concentrations, has been patented by Somenath Mitra, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark;…

EU Chemicals legislation extends its REACH

  After nearly a decade of preparation and debate, the European Commission's REACH legislation - a system for the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals - was adopted by the Parliament last December, and enters into force on June…