Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have devised a technique for examining supercooled water that appears to validate the theory that it comprises two substances with different densities and molecular structures. "Water is a very strange liquid," says physicist Greg Kimmel, a coauthor of the study.
The National Science Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to chemical engineers at Florida State University and Howard University for projects investigating the impact of fluid flow on bacterial communities and sensors that can detect environmental change. "Antimicrobial-resistant strains of bacteria are increasing, and if we want to develop new antibiotics and diagnostic tools to effectively identify and control their spread, we need to better understand what physical forces drive their drug resistance," said Jamel Ali, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Florida State.
Robert Gore, the chemical engineer who invented the Gore-Tex waterproof fabric, has died at 83. Gore was trying to make a plumber's tape from Teflon when he stumbled on the billion-dollar material that is used in everything from ski jackets to astronaut gear.
Black Diamond and Investindustrial will acquire three Hexion businesses in a deal expected to close in early 2021. The deal includes Hexion's Phenolic Specialty Resins, Hexamine and Forest Products Resins assets.
LyondellBasell has unveiled stronger sustainability targets for 2030 and beyond, including ramping up the production of renewable-based and recyclable polymers. "Our goals underscore what we see possible in the next decade, and our sustainability ambitions require us to adapt our business models," said executive Jim Seward.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final risk review of hexabromocyclododecane under the Toxic Substances Control Act that says some uses of the substance and similar cyclic brominated flame retardants pose an unreasonable risk. The EPA is expected to regulate HBCD within two years.
Data from the American Chemistry Council show the strong relationship between the automotive and chemical sectors, but the pandemic, changes in global wealth and consumer preferences will mean chemical companies in this space will have to think differently moving forward, writes John Richardson. Companies should establish bottom-up demand monitoring teams and consider innovating in areas such as light-weighting, he writes.
Tariffs, including those on materials used in personal protective equipment and on Chinese imports, "make supply chains less resilient and more prone to exogenous shocks," said Ed Brzytwa of the American Chemistry Council while asking the US International Trade Commission to recommend tariff relief. "Increased trade barriers in recent years have created a far more uncertain global business environment for chemical manufacturers," he said.
The American Chemistry Council's Chlorine Chemistry Division and Solutions Through Science have donated 4,000 gallons of bleach to United Way of Southwest Louisiana to assist with Hurricane Laura cleanup efforts. "We appreciate the opportunity to provide this product to fellow Louisianans to help protect their health as they recover from Hurricane Laura in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic," says Judith Nordgren of ACC's Chlorine Chemistry Division.
Agilyx' chemical recycling technology "can really be a game changer to [polystyrene]," potentially changing the public's perception and creating a circular economy for the material, says CEO Tim Stedman. "We believe that in the long run, without incentives or premiums, we can deliver economic sustainability along with environmental sustainability," he says.