Webinar: Green Chemistry: Inventing a Circular Economy through a Thermodynamic Lens

Thu, Dec 6, 2018 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1552154571435692033

The natural world is a beautiful and intricate system of intertwined and overlapping materials ecosystems. As humans, our understanding of the various interrelationships is only at the most basic level. One important reason why these naturally interdependent cyclic systems exist with exquisite complexity is because of the very fact that they all co-emerged over hundreds of thousands of years in the presence of one another.

Evolutionary forces drove symbiotic relationships by selecting for and against mechanisms and materials that were conducive to the success of the entire multi-component matrix. As human society seeks to create a circular economy, we unfortunately have the disadvantage that our various industrial “species” have developed with a level of independence, essentially unaware of adjacent processes. We are forced into a position of creating connectivities that were not part of the considerations in the original design. Obviously this creates a daunting challenge.

While there have been some examples of the circular economy designed and deployed in many industrial settings, the vast majority of industrial products and processes continue to exist disconnected and unsustainable over the long run. The pathway to create most of these technological ecosystems will require the inventive application of green chemistry (the molecular level mechanistic underpinnings of sustainability). Nature creates materials of such exquisite structural complexity and diversity that humans may never be able to mimic them. Nature’s elegance is even more astounding when one considers the fact that most chemistry in the biological world is carried out at ambient temperature and pressure using water, for the most part, as its reaction medium. For society to become truly sustainable, the way we manufacture, use and repurpose materials must change dramatically.

This presentation will describe John Warner’s entropic considerations of materials design and illustrate their application through recent R&D examples from the Warner Babcock Institute.

Companies launch plan to capture methane from hog manure lagoons

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The world’s largest pork producer is teaming up with a Virginia-based energy company to harness methane gas from thousands of malodorous hog lagoons to both heat homes and combat climate change.

Food giant Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy, a large electric and gas utility, have agreed to spend $125 million each over 10 years to cover hog lagoons in North Carolina, Virginia and Utah, capture methane gas and feed that into Dominion’s pipeline network, the companies said.

The joint venture, which would be one of the largest animal waste-to-energy efforts of its kind, would be a step forward in containing U.S. agricultural emissions, which account for 9 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. The states were chosen because both companies have operations there.

SABIC plans demo plant to convert plastics waste into cracker feedstock

Read the full story at ICIS.

SABIC is planning to build a demonstration plant in Europe to transform waste plastic into feedstock for its crackers as part of the company’s strategy to further advance its circular economy model for the business, a senior company executive said on Wednesday.

Urban Adaptation Assessment

The Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA) is an interactive database that collates a rich dataset within a visual platform to give leaders the data they need to make decisions on how best to adapt and prepare for the effects of climate change.

Encompassing data from over 270 cities (populations of 100,000+) within the United States, including all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the UAA allows users to explore the connection between vulnerabilities to climate disasters, adaptive capacities, and how these are distributed within a city.

This Swedish Mall Is The World’s First Ever Secondhand Shopping Center

Read the full story at HuffPost.

ReTuna, which recently celebrated its third birthday, is designed to help tackle rising consumption on a local level, promoting Eskilstuna as a “green role model” for other Swedish cities. Run by a municipal energy company, which has been tasked with running organizations that have climate benefits, it is the first mall in the world with a focus on sustainable shopping. The goal is to enhance the experience of shopping for secondhand goods by collecting niche stores under one roof, removing the need to scour classic thrift stores spread across the city or to trawl through digital marketplaces.

Opinion: Farmers need flexibility to fight Lake Erie’s algae problem

Read the full story at Ensia.

Farmers are working hard to keep nutrients out of the Great Lakes. Let’s not let rigid regulation hamper their efforts.

Breeding corn for water use efficiency may have gotten easier

Read the full story in Feedstuffs.

Researchers develop new method to screen plants for water use efficiency without need for time-consuming field measurements.

Are ‘green roofs’ the next eco-friendly initiative for Baltimore?

Read the full story from WBAL.

Like many regions of the country, the Baltimore area struggles with its share of environmental concerns, such as flooding and pollution in the watershed and air. Some say a solution is right above our heads.

Swedish Couple Built a Glass House around Home to Keep Warm and Grow Food

Read the full story at Industry Tap into News.

How far would you go to reduce your household energy use?

While most of us will try to weatherproof doors and windows, add door draft stoppers, install double glazing but a Swedish couple has taken things a step further.

Believe it or not, a Stockholm couple, Marie Granmar and Charles Sacilotto has built a giant greenhouse around their house to cut down on the heating bills by harnessing the sun’s warmth.

Croda officially launches new 100% bio-based surfactants

Read the full story at Bio-based World News.

Speciality chemicals company Croda International has announced the official launch and certification of its ECO range of bio-based surfactants – ingredients designed to meet increasing market demand for sustainable, high-performance ingredient options.