DOE Announces $8 Million for Projects to Develop Algae-Based CO2 Utilization

Applications due March 2.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced plans to make $8 million in Federal funding available for cost-shared research, development, and testing of technologies that can utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) from power systems or other industrial sources for bio-mediated uptake by algal systems to create valuable products and services.

Funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002403, Engineering-Scale Testing and Validation of Algae-Based Technologies and Bioproducts, will support the goals of DOE’s Carbon Utilization Program. The primary objective of carbon utilization technology development is to lower the near-term cost of carbon capture through the creation of value-added products from the conversion of carbon dioxide.

The intent of the FOA is to seek applications that aim to perform engineering-scale testing and validation of algae-based technologies and bioproducts. Technologies that convert CO2 must show a net decrease in CO2 emissions through life cycle analysis, display a potential to generate a marketable product and show that the product displays beneficial aspects when compared to commercially available products produced with existing state-of-the-art technology.

Applications may be sought and accepted under a second closing date contingent upon the availability of appropriated funds and need.

More information on this notice of intent can be found here.

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research and development projects to reduce the cost of advanced fossil energy technologies and further the sustainable use of the nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit the Office of Fossil Energy website or sign up for FE news announcements. More information about the National Energy Technology Laboratory is available on the NETL website.

A Life Cycle Thinking Approach to Analyse Sustainability in the Textile Industry: A Literature Review

Luján-Ornelas C, Güereca LP, Franco-García M-L, Heldeweg M. (2020). “A Life Cycle Thinking Approach to Analyse Sustainability in the Textile Industry: A Literature Review.” Sustainability 12(23), 10193.

Abstract: The textile industry is one of the most important productive sectors worldwide, and everyone, to some extent, is involved in its value chain. For this reason, it is essential to be informed about its performance, problems and innovations. This paper presents the progress done in the transition towards sustainable production and consumption patterns. A literature review of the life cycle stages of textile products was carried out to identify initiatives and actions improving the performance. The findings show that transparency and traceability along the supply chain have been a fundamental piece in the transition. Besides, the creation of multi-stakeholders’ clusters, seeking to improve social and environmental issues has been one of the most successful paths in this transition. However, a lack of training and skills along the life cycle stages and disconnection between products’ design and strategies of recycling was found. For this reason, it is recommendable to generate an in-depth diagnosis of the textile industry at a global and regional level. As well, it is necessary to generate strategies and tools that facilitate this transition, mainly supporting SMEs (small- and medium-sized companies).

Webinar: Tools for Safer Chemicals—from Chemicals to Products to Organizations

Feb 25, 2021 noon-1 pm CST
Register here.

Abstract: Demand for inherently safer chemicals in products and manufacturing operations is on the rise. Consumers, institutional purchasers, and retailers want products made with safer chemicals. Brands are requiring suppliers to avoid hazardous chemicals and use safer alternatives. Investors prefer companies that commit to reducing their chemical footprint. And governments are restricting the use of hazardous chemicals in products.

This session will explore tools for:

  • Identifying chemicals of concern and safer chemicals.
  • Identifying products made with safer chemicals.
  • Creating organizational capacity to move ahead of regulatory compliance in chemicals management.

The tool we will use for identifying safer chemicals and products is GreenScreen and the tool we will use for creating greater organization capacity is the Chemical Footprint Project Survey.

Biography: Mark S. Rossi, PhD, Executive Director, Clean Production Action (CPA). Mark has the unique ability to bring together diverse groups and achieve innovative outcomes. He is the co-creator of GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, a globally-recognized chemical hazard assessment method used by governments and businesses in the electronics, apparel, and building sectors to identify safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. In 2017, Mark led CPA’s launch of GreenScreen Certified™, a certification program for products that meet rigorous GreenScreen criteria.

Mark is the co-founder of the Chemical Footprint Project (CFP), a first-of-its-kind initiative to quantitatively measure chemical footprints, and allow manufacturers and retailers to benchmark and communicate their progress in chemicals management performance and in reducing potentially hazardous chemicals relative to industry peers. Investors, retailers, health care organizations, and NGOs use CFP to engage manufacturers in assessing, reporting, and reducing their chemical footprints.

He is the founder of BizNGO, a collaborative of businesses, NGOs, and governments that work together to create solutions for safer chemicals and sustainable materials. BizNGO products include the Chemical Alternatives Assessment ProtocolPlastics Scorecard, and Alternatives to Methylene Chloride in Paint and Varnish Strippers.

In 2018, Mark led the integration of the Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) into CPA upon the retirement of IEHN’s co-founder Dr. Richard Liroff. IEHN is a collaborative of investors that promotes safer chemicals in corporations with the goals of enhancing the health of people and planet, as well as shareholder value.

Part of the CPA team since 2004, Mark played a variety of roles in the organization, including Research Director and Co-Director, before becoming Executive Director in 2016. He is a member of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act Advisory Committee; and recipient of the Environmental Merit Award from the US EPA Region I and National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Ambassador Award. Mark’s doctorate is in Environmental Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

This seminar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois’ University of Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

LI pols: Shift recycling costs from local governments to packaging producers

Read the full story in Newsday.

Producers of plastic, cardboard and paper packaging would have to help cover the costs of municipal recycling programs, under a bill proposed by two Long Island legislators.

With recycling markets changing, municipalities too often are socked with the costs of curbside recycling and left with no place to sell the materials, Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) and Assemb. Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) said.

Modeled on recycling laws in Canada and elsewhere, their bill would shift at least a portion of recycling costs away from local governments. It would force companies to help fund what happens with packaging — much the way producers of tires, batteries and paint already do in New York, the lawmakers say. They call it “extended producer responsibility.”

Cleveland seeks roadmap to more circular economy while awaiting curbside recycling reboot

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Cleveland has joined the ranks of U.S. cities pursuing a more circular economy, via a multi-year program aimed at “designing waste and pollution out of our economic system, keeping products and materials in use as long as possible, protecting and regenerating natural systems, and creating new jobs.”

Backed by a $476,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Circular Cleveland initiative seeks development of a roadmap for a circular economy within 12 months, before spending approximately 18 months to implement it. Steps will include setting up a composting site at the indoor-outdoor West Side Market and supporting a series of projects through the Cleveland Climate Action Fund. Cleveland will also become an Ellen MacArthur Foundation Network Partner.

At the same time, Cleveland has still not restored citywide curbside recycling service. Recycling ceased early in 2020 after the existing contract ended and Cleveland did not secure a new contract, which city officials in part attributed to a high rate of contamination. It was subsequently revealed that recycling being picked up by the city was being taken to landfills.

Orange is the new peach

Read the full story from The Bitter Southerner.

Southern winters have been getting warmer. Ten years ago, Joe Franklin started growing citrus on his farm in Statesboro, Georgia — a place where no one expected oranges to grow. Now, Franklin’s citrus groves teem with life and might actually help, in a very small way, to combat climate change.

WEbinar: Beneficial Re-use of Industrial CO2 Emissions Using Microalgae

Feb 11, 2021 noon-1pm CST
Register here.

Abstract: Carbon dioxide utilization through algal biomass production has undergone extensive research, mainly focusing on the replacement of traditional petroleum fuels. However, achieving economic viability for algae-based fuels has proven difficult due to their low value and comparatively high production costs. Consequently, the algae industry is experiencing a shift in focus from fuels towards more valuable products, including nutraceuticals, specialty chemicals and human food additives. Unfortunately, these higher value products tend to have very limited markets, which have the potential to saturate when scaling algae production facilities to multi-acre scales. Bioplastics derived from algal biomass offer a potential means of solving these problems. Algae-based bioplastics represent a drop-in replacement for many everyday products, including flexible foams, synthetic fibers, food packaging films and even 3-D printing filament. As proteins are the most desirable component of the algal biomass in bioplastic production, fuel production methods based on lipid extraction can in principal be employed to improve the bioplastic quality (and thus value) while producing a useful fuel co-product.

This seminar will summarize our work, initiated in 2009, aimed at algae cultivation using flue gas from coal-fired power plants as the CO2 source. The results of techno-economic and life cycle analyses will also be presented, conducted to assess the economic viability and environmental impact of an algae biorefinery that integrates the complementary functions of bioplastic feedstock and fuel production.

Biography: Mark Crocker received BSc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and spent two years as a NATO Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thereafter he spent 15 years working in industry, first for Shell Research in Amsterdam and then for Degussa’s automotive catalyst division in Michigan, USA. In 2003 he moved to the University of Kentucky (UK) where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and an Associate Director of the Center for Applied Energy Research. At UK he leads a research group focusing on CO2 recycling using microalgae, biofuels and environmental catalysis.

This seminar is a certified green event by the University of Illinois’ University of Illinois’ Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment.

How Much Does Amazon and E-Commerce Contribute to Plastic Pollution?

Read the full story at Waste360.

The issue of plastic pollution continues to compound as the COVID-19 pandemic drives global demand for disposable, safe solutions.

E-commerce sales have a projected growth rate of more than 20% in 2020, a result of economic shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders. The surge has created additional plastic waste with packaging.

A new report from Oceana examined the impact of online shopping to marine ecosystems, specifically analyzing data from the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.

Innovating To Reduce Phosphorus Impacts

Read the full story in Biocycle.

Two companies are demonstrating the integration of composting and filtration technologies for the Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge.

How to Correctly Recycle Your Empty Beauty Products

Read the full story at Real Simple.

While shopping sustainable beauty is the ultimate goal (see more clean beauty habits here), it’s still essential to recycle all empty beauty containers to avoid waste. In fact, 50 percent of people don’t even try to recycle their empty containers as it is deemed “inconvenient,” explains TerraCycle’s resident beauty industry expert Gina Herrera. The so-called incommodity results in 2.7 billion plastic bottles of solely bathroom waste hitting landfills every year. 

But here’s the thing: Beauty product packaging is especially confusing and tricky to recycle (think: mirrored glass, cardboard sleeves, paper inserts, etc). So, we asked recycling experts to break down exactly how to ensure your empties make it to the correct recycling plants.