Day: February 26, 2021

Chemours Board Sued for Duping Investors About Firm’s Wealth

Read the full story at Bloomberg News.

Chemours Co.’s directors were accused in a lawsuit of duping shareholders about its financial health and the extent of its legal liability at the time it was spun off from a predecessor of DuPont de Nemours Inc.

When the former E.I. DuPont & Co. officials spun Chemours off in 2015, they saddled the ex-unit with more than $2.5 billion liability over environmental harm and health risks from a class of chemicals known as PFAS, an amount that left the firm insolvent at its inception, Robert Pinto, a Chemours investor, said in a Delaware Chancery Court suit unsealed Thursday.

Amazon rainforest plots sold via Facebook Marketplace ads

Read the full story from the BBC.

Parts of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest are being illegally sold on Facebook, the BBC has discovered.

The protected areas include national forests and land reserved for indigenous peoples.

Some of the plots listed via Facebook’s classified ads service are as large as 1,000 football pitches.

Facebook said it was “ready to work with local authorities”, but indicated it would not take independent action of its own to halt the trade.

University of Illinois YMCA launches community vermicomposting program

The University YMCA is launching a community vermicomposting program.

If you’re interested in participating or learning more, fill out the interest form. They’re also looking for volunteers.

For more information, look them up on social media or contact Stuart Seputro (seputro2@illinois.edu) at the University YMCA.

Too Good to Go to expand nationally

Read the press release.

Too Good To Go, the world’s #1 app for fighting food waste, today announces plans for national expansion to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, and calls on all food industry professionals to consider becoming a Too Good To Go partner. Since the B Corp’s U.S. launch four short months ago, the app has already amassed 300,000 users and over 800 partners in New York City, Boston and Jersey City. Following its success in these markets, Too Good To Go eyes national expansion in 2021.  

The Too Good to Go mobile app, available for iOS in the Apple store or Google Play for Android, connects grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries and cafes to customers, ensuring the delicious, surplus food from these eateries isn’t thrown away. Instead, the food can be packaged in a Surprise Bag (contents of which vary daily, based on how sales are going), which will then be  picked up by app users around closing time. Through the app, store owners can profit from fresh food that would otherwise be tossed. Moreover, store owners and grocers can recoup operational and food production costs with the money made from Surprise Bags. 

As More Women Enter Science, It’s Time to Redefine Mentorship

Read the full story in Wired.

In STEM fields, female students often can’t find an adviser who looks like them. It’s important to talk about what they need from a mentor.

Why buying vintage clothes is ‘the new luxury’

Read the full story from the BBC.

For Gen Z, upcycled, reclaimed fashion is opening up a new sense of individuality and self-expression, while helping to save the planet, writes Bel Jacobs.

Making Waves in Circularity

In this episode of Stef Talks Trash, Editorial Director Stefanie Valentic interviews Nicole Baker, founder of Net Your Problem. 

Net Your Problem provides a solution to fisheries and manufacturing through intercepting end-of-life fishing gear, bridging the gap for companies looking for recycled materials. Baker, a former North Pacific groundfish fisheries observer, found inspiration in the Parley for the Oceans collaboration with Adidas and since 2015 has been looking for fisherman with nets to get rid of and for recyclers who will take nets. 

DOE funds new technologies in plastic recycling

by Lisa Sheppard, Prairie Research Institute

ISTC is part of a national team to develop artificial intelligence technologies to sort non-recyclable plastics so they can be reused for fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the team $2.5 million to complete the three-year project.

Plastics recycling in the U.S. typically requires manual sorting as workers pick out the useful kinds of plastic from conveyor belts and discard the non-recyclable types. This process is labor-intensive and expensive. In this new project, scientists are using high-tech sensors developed by UHV Technologies, Inc. and commercialized through its spin-off Sortera Alloys that will detect specific chemical-based “fingerprints” of each kind of plastic polymer, classifying them through a new system and sorting them into different bins.

“Sensor fusion and artificial intelligence algorithms used in the process will increase the speed and accuracy of plastic sorting, eventually making the technology more economical with a cost goal of less than $30 per ton,” said BK Sharma, co-principal investigator of the project.

Sensor fusion will generate a unique fingerprint for plastic pieces, while deep learning and artificial intelligence algorithms will create a novel classification system for the plastics.

Another challenge for the project is to reduce plastic contamination, a major reason why plastics end up in landfills. One of the project goals is to develop low-cost methods that decrease contamination to less than 5 percent. Improving the purity of plastic waste increases its potential and value for reuse.

A successful process that produces clean plastics, separated by type, could offer marketable products while diverting non-recyclable materials (plastics #3–#7) from landfills. Sharma’s primary role will be to use the catalytic pyrolysis process to determine if the plastics can be used to produce valuable products, primarily diesel or aviation fuels along with gasoline, naphtha, and waxes.

Besides ISTC, the team includes:

  • UHV Technologies, which has created sorting technologies for other products;
  • The Idaho National Laboratory, to complete chemical composition analysis and screening techniques; and
  • The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County, which will help to integrate the proposed technology into the existing recycling industry.

“At the end of the project, if we can come up with a process that can convert mixed plastic into a low-cost feedstock to produce different types of fuels and other products, that will be a big success,” Sharma said.


Media contact: BK Sharma, 217-265-6810, bksharma@illinois.edu
news@prairie.illinois.edu

This story originally appeared on the Prairie Research Institute website. View the original story here.

Science has a garbage problem. Why aren’t recycling schemes more popular?

Read the full story at Massive Science.

Research institutions need to reflect on their attitudes toward plastic waste and make sustainability a priority in laboratories

The Enduring Mystery of Critchfield’s Spruce

Read the full story at Undark.

Scientists aren’t sure if the ice age disappearance of a once-common tree is a reason for hope or a cause for alarm.

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