Scientists transform used cooking oil into material that’s stronger than steel

Read the full story from Mother Nature Network.

Scientists in Australia have found a way to transform used cooking oil into the strongest material known to man: graphene. It’s a breakthrough that could make this wonder material cheaper than ever to produce, and thus far more applicable, reports CSIRO

“We can now recycle waste oils that would have otherwise been discarded and transform them into something useful,” said Dr. Dong Han Seo, co-author on the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

‘Greenwashing’ Costing Walmart $1 Million

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Walmart has agreed to pay $1 million to settle greenwashing claims that allege the nation’s largest retailer sold plastic products that were misleadingly labeled “biodegradable” or “compostable” in violation of California law.

Best Practices for Environmental Site Management: Recommended Contents of a Groundwater Monitoring Report

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This issue paper is intended for use by federal, state, tribal and stakeholder project managers developing groundwater monitoring reports under various regulatory programs. EPA recommends that project managers work with their project hydrogeologist to scope the content of a groundwater monitoring report and tailor the report content to meet their site-specific needs.

Fracking Presents Big Problems That Towns Have Little Authority to Fix

Read the full story in Governing.

Hydraulic fracturing generates a lot of low-cost energy, but as has been widely reported, it carries with it troubling liabilities. Most of those involve an environmental price paid by the areas where the drilling takes place and oil or natural gas is transported. Localities have limited ability to do anything about them.

The Lasting Effects of Pope Francis’ Climate Change Edict

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Last fall, a study reported that Pope Francis’ much-discussed encyclical on climate change largely fell on deaf ears. Researchers from Texas Tech University found the appeal “failed to rally any broad support on climate change” among Americans, whether or not they were Catholic.

But newly published research suggests the pontiff’s call for taking care of the Earth has had a more subtle impact on American public opinion. It finds brief exposure to a photograph of the pope “increased perceptions of climate change as a moral issue.”

In America’s Heartland, Discussing Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Here in north-central Kansas, America’s breadbasket and conservative heartland, the economic realities of agriculture make climate change a critical business issue. At the same time, politics and social pressure make frank discussion complicated. This is wheat country, and Donald J. Trump country, and though the weather is acting up, the conservative orthodoxy maintains that the science isn’t settled.

So while climate change is part of daily conversation, it gets disguised as something else.

Chemical Challenge Targets Technologies to Overcome Environmental Management Hurdles

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

How to enable wastewater-free chemical sites? That is the question — or at least one of questions AkzoNobel wants startup firms and other innovators to answer in its Chemicals Startup Challenge.

The aim of the AkzoNobel Chemicals Startup Challenge, launched in conjunction with KPMG, is to identify interesting startups and solutions that have a strategic fit with AkzoNobel’s businesses and develop partnerships with them. The challenge will give the winners the chance to see their ideas become a commercial reality.