Weekly News Roundup

This week, W.R. Grace will finally put to rest its asbestos burden; Ohio wants to energize their state with fuel cells; and fish fertilizer for sale. What’s the most interesting? The lack of solar news!

Coup de grace
Principals of the law firm Cooney and Conway finally settled their asbestos class action suit against chemical company W.R. Grace for $3bn. The amount would settle all of Grace’s present and future asbestos-related claims allowing the company to emerge from bankruptcy with no further obligations for asbestos injury liability.

Ohio’s energy boost
The State of Ohio awarded 12 companies a total of more than $8.9m for the advancement of research, production and product commercialization of fuel cells. The investments are expected to bring more than 2,000 jobs to the state.

Air Liquide helps polish clean technology
Air Liquide is helping the European steel industry to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2050 by joining in the development, building and testing of a pilot plant that can separate CO2 from blast furnace gases, and at the same time recovering residual gases. An industrial scale demonstration of the plant is expected by 2010.

Fishing for fertilizers
Boston-based Converted Organics will manufacture and market organic fertilizers using fish by-products brought from Pacific Seafood Group. The fertilizers will be produced in Gonzales, California.

Coal-based fuel lifts off
South Africa-based oil and chemical company Sasol received a first-time approval from the global aviation fuel specification authorities for its 100% synthetic jet fuel made from coal-to-liquids process. The approval marks a significant development in the adoption of clean burning alternative fuels for the aviation industry.

And in ICIS news (which requires subscription):

Indian chemical companies are increasingly becoming sustainable-conscious especially when selecting suppliers. A US Congressional committee is accusing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of basing their safety decisions on bisphenol-A from studies allegedly funded by the American Plastics Council. BASF postponed its $2.4bn coal gasification project, which would produce gas to make methanol and ammonia, due to costs uncertainties of Europe’s emission trading scheme. Epoxy resins demand in the wind energy market is expected to grow at least 20%/year in the next five years according to Dow Chemical.



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