Day: April 6, 2020

Intensity of past methane release measured with new, groundbreaking methods

Read the full story from CAGE – Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment.

A novel approach to geochemical measurements helps scientists reconstruct the past intensity of the methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean. Recent studies show that methane emissions fluctuated, strongly, in response to known periods of abrupt climate change at the end of the last glacial cycle.

Hopes for pandemic respite this spring may depend upon what happens indoors

Read the full story from Yale University.

How much spring and summer affect the COVID-19 pandemic may depend not only on the effectiveness of social distancing measures, but also on the environment inside our buildings, according to a new review on how respiratory viruses are transmitted.

FDA says chemical replacements for PFOA, PFOS more toxic than thought

Read the full story from The Progressive Pulse.

In 2006, when 3M and DuPont, under legal and regulatory pressure, began phasing out their production of two types of perfluorinated compounds — PFOA and PFOS — the companies had a backup plan: By reducing the number of fluorinated carbon molecules from eight to six or fewer, they could produce new chemicals that would ostensibly be safer than their longer carbon-chain counterparts.

GenX, for example, is a short-chain perfluorinated compound.

But two new FDA studies show that theory isn’t true. The results were recently published in peer-reviewed, independent journals Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology and Food and Chemical Toxicology The Environmental Working Group announced the results of the studies.

PFAS Around the Great Lakes Region: Actions taken in each state or province and standards set, if any

Read the full post at Great Lakes Now.

PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of widespread man-made chemicals that don’t break down in the environment or the human body.

The chemicals are used in waterproof fabrics, nonstick cookware, food packaging and more. They’ve also been found in sources of water around the U.S.

An interactive map of PFAS sites across the U.S. from the Environmental Working Group and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University is available online HERE.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a health advisory levels set for PFOA and PFOS. While the agency works on developing other regulations and remediation options for PFAS, individual states have been taking action and developing their own drinking water standards for PFAS.

Military sees surge in sites with ‘forever chemical’ contamination

Read the full story in The Hill.

The military now has at least 651 sites that may have been contaminated with cancer-linked “forever chemicals,” a more than 50 percent jump from its last tally.

Danone Reaches Sustainability Milestone

Read the full story from ProFood World.

Company announces “Zero Waste to Landfill” achievement at Minster, Ohio plant, now the second Danone North America zero waste facility.

OceanSafe raises the bar at Heimtextil

Read the full story at Innovation in Textiles.

As Heimtextil celebrated its 50th anniversary in Frankfurt, the event’s tenth Green Directory was also published, with tours of sustainable forerunners once again conducted by Max Gilgenmann, co-owner of the Berlin agency Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidoscope is a specialist in strategic consultancy and creative directing for international brands in the field of fashion and textiles and in 2020 its Green Tours proved more popular than ever before, revealing a real thirst for knowledge on the latest sustainable processes and products.

This year, one company really stood out in this respect – the long-established German fabric wholesaler DDF (Deco Design Fürus), with its new brand OceanSafe.

OceanSafe has already achieved Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Gold certification for home textiles based on 100% cotton. The fibres, the company points out, come from a region in southern Turkey where organic cotton has been harvested for more than 2,000 years, – once a year and in harmony with nature. The rest of the value creation – spinning, weaving, equipment and sewing – takes place within a radius of 40 kilometres.

More intriguingly, a second C2C Gold certificate has been attained for curtain fabric collections based on organic cotton, hemp, linen and a patent-pending ‘biodegradable polyester replacement’, about which managing director Manuel Schweizer would say very little.

Energy Department Manufacturing Institute Selects Projects to Advance U.S. Leadership in Smart Manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) has announced more than $6 million for eight projects to improve energy-intensive manufacturing processes and strengthen the U.S. manufacturing sector.

CESMII is a part of Manufacturing USA, a network of regional institutes that have a specialized technology focus to increase U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and promote a robust and sustainable national manufacturing research and development (R&D) infrastructure. CESMII works with American companies to spur innovations in new, integrated, systematic “smart” manufacturing processes with a highly skilled manufacturing workforce and a vibrant supply chain.

The Trump Administration has identified advanced manufacturing as one of the vital industries of the future. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Oct. 2018 “Strategy for American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing” calls for new smart manufacturing technologies to “facilitate a digital transformation in the manufacturing sector by enabling the application of big data analytics and advanced sensing and control technologies to a host of manufacturing activities.”

“Advances in digital technologies and other forms of ‘smart manufacturing’ can improve the efficiency and competitiveness of America’s manufacturing sector,” said Alex Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency. “In partnership with industry, universities, and the National Laboratories, DOE’s investments will help position the U.S. for global leadership in the advanced manufacturing industries of the future.”

The following projects are selected for negotiations:

  • Auburn University and Rayonier Advanced Materials will develop a soft sensor and predictive control for anti-foaming agent usage, wash water flow, and pulp quality in paper manufacturing using statistics pattern analysis and machine learning.
  • Baxter Solutions and Purdue University will develop real-time, non-invasive, process monitoring system for pharmaceutical lyophilization (also known as freeze-drying) equipment based on a wireless network of vacuum and temperature sensors.
  • Honeywell, Virginia Tech, Bodycote, and Seco-Warwick will develop new sensors, monitoring and data analytic methods and apply them to three industrially relevant thermal processes.
  • Pennsylvania State University, Texas A&M University (TAMU), and University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) will develop novel self-powered sensors and identify actuators needed to collect information and respond to actions for machines including legacy machines for key applications.
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and IBM will develop a modeling engine with sophisticated predictive capabilities to model a variety of manufacturing processes and demonstrate the capabilities on a critical complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor transistor manufacturing process.
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals will develop advanced process models, sensors and data integration architecture that will be demonstrated on wet granulation, drying and milling in pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.
  • UTRC, Purdue University, and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. will develop a simulation and testing framework to determine the feasibility of using ultrasound to mitigate dirty white spot defects in forged IN 718 turbine parts in the Vacuum Arc Remelting process.
  • West Virginia University, University at Buffalo, and Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) will develop and test hybrid modeling for energy efficient grinding processes for gear manufacturing in collaboration with the industrial partners.

Founded in 2016, in partnership with DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), CESMII is the third institute funded by EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. CESMII accelerates smart manufacturing adoption through the integration of advanced sensors, data analytics, platforms and controls to improve productivity, precision, performance, and energy consumption in manufacturing.

To create and sustain American leadership in advanced manufacturing, DOE is investing in new industrial technologies, materials, and processes to help bolster American manufacturing. Last month, EERE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office announced $187 million in new investments for high-impact manufacturing technologies, materials, and processes to strengthen the domestic manufacturing base.

Webinar: Citizen Science at EPA

April 15, 2020 2-3 pm
Register here.

With the advent of new technologies for environmental monitoring and tools for sharing information, community volunteers are more engaged than ever before in collecting environmental data, and many environmental agencies are using these data. A major challenge is ensuring the quality of the data collected by citizen science organizations. One of the keys to breaking down this barrier is a Quality Assurance Project Plan. EPA’s Handbook for Citizen Science Quality Assurance and Documentation is for organizations that are starting or growing a citizen science project, and where transparency in the scientific methods for collecting the data are central to the outcome of the project.

This webinar will provide an overview of citizen science at the Agency and showcase several EPA citizen science activities that involve partnerships with state, tribal and local governments on a diversity of issues, including 1) monitoring for cyanobacteria in waterbodies, 2) building and operating “real-time,” low-cost water quality sensors in Georgia; 3) demonstration of a new test method for community mapping of radon in Puerto Rico; 4) the Los Angeles Public Library air sensor loan program; and 5) using citizen science to analyze underwater video in the Great Lakes. For more information, visit EPA’s Citizen Science webpage.

Webinar: Water Treatment Modeling Tools for Removing PFAS and Other Contaminants

April 29, 2020 1-2 pm
Register here.

Even though carbon adsorption can be an effective treatment technology for removing organic compounds, such as PFAS, from water, it can be expensive or may not achieve desired removal objectives if improperly designed. Proper full-scale design of this adsorption process typically results from carefully controlled pilot-scale studies that are used to determine important design variables, such as the type of adsorbent, empty bed contact time, and bed configuration. However, these studies can be time consuming and expensive if they are not properly planned. To meet the need for planning effective studies and to help alleviate expense, EPA has signed an agreement with Michigan Technological University to make a series of adsorption models available to the public at no cost.

This webinar will provide an overview of the series of adsorption models, along with examples of how they can be used to help design pilot treatment systems and provide a first-cut prediction of full-scale results. The information generated from the models will provide states and utilities with a better understanding of the fundamentals of carbon adsorption and what that means to the operation, performance, and costs associated with this technology.

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