Weekly News Roundup

One of the big news this week is the pending pthalates ban on kids’ products. Both Senate and Congress already approved the bill that contains the ban and is just waiting for President Bush’s signature. This is a major blow for the chemical industry and a big win for public advocates.

Another is the record-breaking $11.7bn quarter earnings pumped by the US oil mogul ExxonMobil. Investors might be unimpressed with the company’s $1,485 per second profit but gas consumers will surely be irate with this news and will be more supportive of alternative energy investments.

As for the rest of this week’s green news roundup…

Launderer likes NPE-free
Cintas Corp. has become the first industrial launderer to ban the use of nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) – based detergent in its facilities nationwide. The company will start using NPE-free detergents manufactured by Washing Systems.

IBC enters bio-ethylene
Industrial Biotechnology Corp.’s newly formed subsidiary Renewable Chemicals will soon produce ethylene made from sugarcane-based ethanol using their proprietary AlchemX production platforms. The company can use existing petroleum-based ethylene manufacturing infrastructure.

Daimler’s fuel cell buses
Ballard Power Systems will continue to supply fuel cell systems to Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses in Hamburg, Germany, for two years. The buses are said to be the largest fleet of fuel cell buses currently in operation worldwide.

Albemarle buys sorbent tech
Specialty chemicals Albemarle acquired the power plant mercury-control provider Sorbent Technologies. Sorbent Technologies supplies brominated carbon adsorbents and advanced sorbent injection systems to control mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

My bank invests in green
Bank of America has sourced Field Diagnostic Services for their software, energy efficiency diagnostic tools, and project management services to reduce the bank’s energy costs and carbon footprint by 50%. The investment is part of Bank of America’s $20 billion, ten-year sustainability initiatives.

And in ICIS News (which requires subscription):
A study reported that US shale gas reserves can meet all of the country’s natural gas demand growth for the next 100 years and can supplement oil and coal use.

Chemical producers should consider water conservation at the top of their agenda to cut costs by up to 30%.

A two-mile portion of the Mississippi river was closed on Wednesday after a damaged barge released more fuel oil, according to the US Coast Guard.

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