The Environmental Protection Agency has published its action plan for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and says it will propose maximum contaminant levels for PFAS in drinking water by the year's end.
The Energy Department will invest $15 million in a three-year research and development effort to develop new lithium-ion battery recycling technology at its new ReCell Center. "We've done a lot of analysis ... and if we don't recycle, we will run out of materials," says ReCell Director Jeff Spangenberger.
Braskem has partnered with Siemens to modernize the electrical grid that connects to its cracker and other operations in Sao Paulo, Brazil. "This structural change will allow greater energy efficiency for the production process of the industrial unit," Braskem said.
Digital technology is changing the way chemical companies operate, source supplies, produce substances and interact with customers, Jing Chen writes. BASF, Covestro and Univar are among the companies embracing digital, whether through e-commerce or operational streamlining.
Croda International made progress on its sustainability agenda in 2018, including ensuring all of its palm-oil-derivative processing sites are RSPO Supply Chain Certified. "Sustainability runs throughout our business, at every level and across all our operations," says Terry Thistlethwaite, Croda's vice president of sustainability.
US shale activity in 2019 will be influenced by three trends, according to Rystad Energy: New Mexico's continuing emergence as the state with the fastest shale production growth rate; the performance of private and major operators compared with pure players; and the degree of base-case decline. "It is evident that without an increase in activity levels in terms of new completions, or further increases in well productivity, the pace of growth will decelerate in 2019-20," said Rystad Energy partner Artem Abramov.
Canada supports the ratification of the US-Canada-Mexico deal but continues to disagree with US tariffs on imports of Canadian steel and aluminum, says Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign affairs minister. "The Canada position is now that we have concluded (USMCA), that is all the more reason why the tariffs must be lifted," she says.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo's administration and the state's Task Force to Tackle Plastics are developing a plan to reduce plastic waste that may result in a statewide plastic bag ban. Joan Milas of the American Chemistry Council and other plastics leaders are hoping to participate in the process.
Chemical companies can use big data to improve the production process, safety, and research and development, writes Siva Prasanna. Big data can also inform chemical pricing, allowing companies to make decisions in real time, Prasanna writes.
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