Alloy-dorming duo unites to amp up possibilities for ethanol

Read the full story from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a novel catalyst that converts ethanol into C5+ ketones that can serve as building blocks for everything from solvents to jet fuel. In a new paper, they describe this breakthrough chemistry and the mechanism behind it…

The process is further detailed in the paper “Direct Catalytic Conversion of Ethanol to C5+ Ketones: Role of Pd–Zn Alloy on Catalytic Activity and Stability,” published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Ramasamy’s co-authors are Senthil Subramaniam, Mond F. Guo, Michel Gray, Abraham Martinez, Libor Kovarik at PNNL; Xiao Zhang at Washington State University; and Tanmayi Bathena, Konstantinos A. Goulas at Oregon State University.

Designing out waste: A design team guide for civil engineering

Download the document.

Designing out Waste: A design team guide for civil engineering – is presented in two parts:

  1. Design Guide provides the case for action, the principles of Designing out Waste, and a structured approach to implementing it in civil engineering projects.
  2. Technical Solutions provides technical information on an extensive series of design solutions and engineering techniques which can be used to improve materials resource efficiency in civil engineering project

Data sharing — move from clique to click-to-download, Byrd urges

Read the full story in Environmental Factor.

By making the data they collect easily available for use by others, researchers amplify the benefit to society of funding they received.

3 ways contractors are using technology to reduce waste — and increase margins

Read the full story at Construction Dive.

Contractors often focus on increasing margins and a number of technology solutions to enhance productivity and efficiency. But a more pragmatic strategy commonly gets ignored — reducing waste.

Death By A Thousand Prices: The Ongoing Climate Policy Shift No One Is Talking About

Read the full story in Forbes.

Investors should care because quietly more and more of the North American economy is actually already under a variety of prices for carbon, with more on the way. Companies in the U.S. and Canada are increasingly operating within regional, state, local, and even self-imposed carbon pricing and trading schemes. These are already having an impact, and investors need to understand how this mixed bag of prices are affecting their companies and markets. At year-end 2019, there were 21 regional emissions trading systems in place around the globe, with another 24 under consideration (note: link opens pdf) — including in North America. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) now covers most of the northeastern U.S. states, and since 2014 California and Quebec have collaborated on an emissions trading system since 2014.

PFAS Emerging Contaminant Response Could Learn Some Lessons From PCBs

Read the full story in the National Law Review.

PFAS compounds are not the first emerging contaminants to be addressed by environmental agencies, scientists, regulated entities, engineering consultants and lawyers. Chlorinated solvents, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, and other organic and inorganic substances have at one point or another been considered “emerging” from scientific and regulatory perspectives. 

UK Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution

Read the full story at JD Supra.

Earlier last week, the UK Government published its Policy Paper on the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The policy paper reiterates the commitment the Government made last week to turn the UK into the world’s number one centre for green technology and finance. The Prime Minister also announced his intention to establish Task Force Net Zero to progress the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 (the UK was the first major economy to legally commit to such a target). Through next year’s COP26 Summit the UK will urge countries and companies to engage in five priority areas – Adaptation and Resilience, Zero Emission Vehicles, Energy Transition, Nature, and Finance.

PFAS Limits In Bottled Water Rejected By FDA

Read the full story in the National Law Review.

PFAS limits in bottled water is a subject that has recently seen increased public scrutiny and pressure for federal agencies to act – specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, a December 2019 letter from the FDA to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) shows that the FDA declined to set limits for PFAS in bottled water. Follow up email correspondence to Consumer Reports in October 2020 confirms that this remains the FDA’s position.

Ann Arbor’s new cutting-edge recycling plant with zero-waste ethic to open October 2021

Read the full story at MLive.

A long-awaited project to redevelop and reopen Ann Arbor’s recycling plant kicked off this week.

Local nonprofit Recycle Ann Arbor, which is under a 10-year contract to reequip and operate the city facility off Platt Road, is now working with a manufacturer to have an upgraded, state-of-the-art plant operational by next October.

Racial microaggressions contribute to disparities in STEM education

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are one of the fastest-growing areas of work in the United States, yet racial and gender disparities remain in STEM occupations.

A recent study from University of Illinois researchers examining reasons for such disparities shows the overall racial climate on a college campus—informed by experiences of racial microaggressions—is a contributing factor in the lack of representation of students of color in STEM education programs…

The researchers hope the findings from the study, published in the International Journal of STEM Education, will encourage STEM-related academic programs to address the larger campus culture in their classrooms and other academic settings. “The aim is not to call attention to a particular campus, but we do make the connection to the broader national context. Colleges and universities play an important role in the STEM pipeline,” Collins says.