REMADE Institute issues RFI to update technology roadmap: Deadline 2/22/22

The REMADE Institute, a 141-member public-private partnership established by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) with an initial investment of $140 million, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to further accelerate the U.S.’s transition to a circular economy.

Responses to REMADE’s RFI will inform the next iteration of the Institute’s technology roadmap, which is currently focused on reducing manufacturing’s energy consumption; decreasing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; reducing the use of raw and virgin, or primary, materials; increasing remanufacturing and the use and supply of recycled, or secondary, materials; fostering circular innovations; and addressing manufacturing’s impact on climate change.

In addition to seeking feedback regarding these current activities, the RFI asks where REMADE should focus its efforts relative to electric vehicles and solar power as part of the Institute’s future planning.

Innovators and researchers with industry, academia, government, and the non-profit sector who are interested and involved in the nation’s transition to a circular economy are especially encouraged to respond. Responses can be submitted in either short-form or long-form.

EPA announces pollution monitoring program in vulnerable Southern communities

Read the full story at The Hill.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday evening announced a wide-scale monitoring project that will monitor compliance with regulations in a number of vulnerable communities in the South.

The program, the Pollution Accountability Team, will monitor air pollution and cleanup progress from both the air and the ground, according to the agency.

Regional inspectors will conduct regular follow-ups for site-specific emissions. The program, set to launch in the spring, will pay particular attention to newer and emerging contaminants like ethylene oxide and chloroprene, according to the announcement.

State resistance foils law changes, hampering PFAS suits

Read the full story at The Hill.

State-level efforts to help victims of “forever chemical” exposure get compensation have met resistance from both governments and industry — and this pushback has been particularly effective in Republican-led states.  

Extremists have developed ‘credible, specific plans’ to attack the US power grid, DHS says in new warning

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

Domestic terrorists have developed “credible, specific plans” to attack the U.S. power grid and view it as a “particularly attractive target given its interdependency with other infrastructure sectors,” according to a security briefing issued Monday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and first reported by The Daily Beast.

The alert warned of “physical damage” to electrical infrastructure, raising the specter of the 2013 sniper attack on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf substation that damaged 17 transformers.

The long lead time needed to replace large transformers is a threat to U.S. grid resilience, and in 2015 Congress directed the creation of a strategic reserve for critical power system equipment. “Congress would be wise to revisit this program and ensure that it properly addresses the risks we face today,” Mark Carrigan, cyber vice president of process safety and operational technology cybersecurity at Hexagon PPM, said in an email

Carbon pipeline proposal in Illinois

Listen to the full story from The 21st.

One of the key drivers of global warming are carbon emissions, and one of the ideas for curbing carbon emissions is to store it in the ground. There are a number of projects to do just that here in Illinois, including the proposed Heartland Greenway. A 13-hundred-mile pipeline of steel would connect industrial facilities in South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa, sending carbon to Illinois, where it would be stored deep underground. But not everyone is enthusiastic about the project — especially some of the landowners in Iowa whose land would be used for the pipeline.

We were joined by an agriculture reporter who’s been covering the issue and a scientist from the Illinois State Geological Survey to talk about how these pipelines would work and possible concerns. 

California’s plan to slash solar subsidies seems backwards. It’s not.

Read the full story from Grist. It’s a great explanatory piece about a complex issue.

The so-called ‘solar tax’ could be a boon to low-income families.

Italian design lab creates a fully-sustainable 3D-printed lamp

Read the full story from Springshare.

Italian studio ZM Design Lab has designed a 100 per cent sustainable 3D-printed lamp. Named the ‘Puddy’, the portable table lamp is rechargeable, and boasts a uniquely designed joint that allows the user to adjust the light to their desired direction.

Molasses-like material promises cheap, large-scale battery storage for wind and solar

Read the full story at Anthropocene Magazine.

To keep power flowing on the grid when it’s dark and still, it will be key to store massive amounts of solar and wind energy. One battery technology called flow batteries hold promise for large-scale energy storage, but they still need affordable, plentiful materials.

A new slushy electrode material the texture of molasses could fit the bill. MIT engineers who reported the black, syrupy material in the journal Joule say that batteries they made using the material work just as well as state-of-the-art vanadium-based flow batteries but would cost much less.

Can seaweed replace plastic in single-serve coffee?

Read the full story at Sprudge.

The growing trend of convenience in coffee has led to a spike in popularity of single-serve options, especially in the realm of instant coffee. Today’s modern take on instant coffee features go-anywhere single-serve packets, allowing folks to make specialty coffee wherever they have access to hot water. But with the single serving design comes a new problem: they produce a lot of plastic waste.

That’s where Notpla comes in. The London-based company has created an environmentally friendly, dissolvable packaging for instant coffee made out of seaweed, and it may upend our reliance on conventional plastics.

A ‘false solution’? How crypto mining became the oil industry’s new hope

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Climate experts warn that plans to repurpose waste gas is not a solution, but more like placing a Band-Aid over a gaping wound.