A new invention could significantly reduce the amount of cobalt needed to manufacture batteries for electric vehicle engines. The breakthrough could lower costs and reduce reliance on chemicals mined in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.
Phillips 66 and Renewable Energy Group plan to build a renewable diesel plant next to the Ferndale Refinery in Washington. Waste fats, greases and oils will be transformed into renewable diesel fuel with REG's proprietary Bio-Synfining technology.
The Environmental Protection Agency has released new reporting rules that are expected to save oil refineries $12 million. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler approved guidelines for meeting ground-level ozone standards and cutting some industrial equipment permitting requirements.
With Democrats assuming control of the House of Representatives in January, observers are divided on how much the shift will affect federal chemical policy. Increased regulatory oversight and changes in Toxic Substances Control Act implementation may be on the horizon, Kelly Franklin and Lisa Martine Jenkins write.
Trade issues between the US and China are altering the flow of chemicals worldwide and adding to challenges as demand climbs, said Braskem Idesa chief executive Stefan Lepecki at the Latin American Petrochemical Annual Meeting. Lepecki added that he expects the US and China to reach a deal on trade.
The chemical industry has the potential to lead the way on plastics recycling and a circular economy, but its ability to actually do so will depend on the "right regulatory environment," writes Christopher Smith, citing a September 2018 report from McKinsey & Co.
Bayer reported net profit of $3.3 billion in the third quarter, touting an 84% increase in sales within its crop science unit. CEO Werner Baumann also asserted that, "when properly used," it is safe to implement the weed-killing chemical glyphosate, which has recently been at the heart of a number of lawsuits.
Bayer Crop Science's James Swanson says his unit attracts the best and brightest IT professionals because they appreciate making a difference in the world, such as advancing sustainable farming. Swanson adds that Bayer rewards top performers with the ability to define their careers.
Teams need to look at problems from multiple perspectives to avoid wasting time on the wrong solution, write Dan Rockwell and Teruni Lamberg. "[I]dentifying the real problem is the beginning of a breakthrough solution," they write.
LyondellBasell chief executive Bob Patel said Sunday that the company has yet to make a decision regarding a majority-interest acquisition in Braskem. Patel added that the company is working on various mergers and acquisitions and new projects to drive growth, including plans to launch a US polyethylene plant in mid-2019.
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