Day: April 26, 2021

XPRIZE and Musk Foundation Announce Guidelines and Open Registration for $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal

Read the press release.

XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grand challenges, today announced the official launch of $100 Million XPRIZE Carbon Removal with the opening of team registration and the release of the competition guidelines…

Funded by the Musk Foundation, $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling climate change by asking global innovators to develop solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans and lock it away permanently in an environmentally benign method.

How a historic funding boom might transform the US National Science Foundation

Read the full story in Nature.

Proposed budget increases for the research funding agency could bolster US innovation efforts, but some worry this will change the agency’s mission.

Halting the vast release of methane is critical for climate, U.N. says

Read the full story in the New York Times.

A major United Nations report will declare that slashing emissions of methane, the main component of natural gas, is far more vital than previously thought.

EPA eyes reversal of Trump revocation of California vehicle emissions waiver

Read the full story at The Hill.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reconsidering the Trump administration’s decision to not allow California to set its own vehicle tailpipe emissions standards, the first step in reversing the major climate rollback.  

The EPA on Monday posted a notice seeking public input on whether it was appropriate under certain laws to withdraw a waiver that allowed the state to set its own standards. 

Treasury Secretary Yellen endorses TCFD reporting, IFRS sustainability standards initiative

Read the full story at ESG Today.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen expressed support today for sustainability reporting initiatives, including the TCFD climate reporting framework, and the IFRS initiative towards developing a climate disclosure standard.

Recycling – A batteries passport

Read the full story from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have devised a method to identify the unique chemical makeup of every lithium-ion battery around the world, information that could accelerate recycling, recover critical materials and resolve a growing waste stream.

Similar to how plastics are stamped with a recycling code identifying their makeup, Li-ion batteries could be encoded with what ORNL researchers described as a Battery Identity Global Passport, which could be accessible as a scannable QR code or a computer chip. This method could help recyclers more efficiently locate in-demand materials and accommodate the wide variety of designs used to manufacture Li-ion batteries.

Plastic is falling from the sky. But where’s it coming from?

Read the full story in Wired.

At any given time, 1,100 tons of microplastic are floating over the western US. New modeling shows the surprising sources of the nefarious pollutant.

Groupe Renault, Veolia & Solvay partner to recycle end-of-life EV battery metals in a closed loop

Read the full story at Green Car Congress.

Groupe Renault, Veolia and Solvay are partnering to enable the circular economy of EV battery metals in Europe through closed-loop recycling. The existing Veolia and Solvay consortium, created in September 2020 (earlier post), is thus reinforced with Groupe Renault’s position and experience in circular economy and in the life cycle of EV batteries.

Lithium-ion battery recycling and manufacturing startup raises $20 Million from global industry leaders

Read the press release.

Battery Resourcers, a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery recycling and manufacturing company, recently completed a $20 million Series B equity round with financing led by Orbia Ventures, the venture capital arm of the multinational Orbia, and participation from other investors including At One Ventures, TDK Ventures, TRUMPF Venture, Doral Energy-Tech Ventures and Jaguar Land Rover’s InMotion Ventures.

The financing will support the development of a commercial-scale processing facility with the annual capacity to process 10,000 tons of batteries — or the batteries from approximately 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) a year.

A guide to Plan S: the open-access initiative shaking up science publishing

Read the full story in Nature.

In 2018, an influential group of research funders announced a bold pledge: the scientists they fund should publish their peer-reviewed papers outside journal paywalls. The initiative, called Plan S, caused an instant uproar over its aim of ending journal subscription models — the means by which many scholarly publications have financed their existence. Its intended start date in 2020 was delayed, and its details were tweaked. But after much sparring over policy, the project formally began in 2021, with 25 funding agencies rolling out similar open-access (OA) mandates.

As the first papers under these mandates are published, Plan S supporters say it’s the start of a journey towards open science. But most research funders haven’t signed up yet, and negotiations over the plan have produced a complex landscape of options to avoid paywalls. Here’s what the initiative means for scientists and journals — and some of the controversies that will play out in 2021 and beyond.

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