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Solar cells in style

Solar cells maybe new but that doesn’t mean they should look ugly. The Fraunhofer Institute in Munich, Germany, was able to develop semi-transparent solar modules that can incorporate organic dyes making them more stylish and decorative in appearance. The institute said any desired image can be integrated on the module using screen printing techniques. “A […]

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Green and bubbly

I’m off next week to the annual Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, where the global cleaning industry will talk about sustainability, regulation, trends, and maybe a little bit about politics. For now I’ll leave you with these two interesting articles from ICIS Chemical Business about the trend towards a more […]

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Will emissions-reducing technology be on time?

The emissions noose is already tightening around many manufacturers’ necks around the world especially in the European Union. My colleague Philippa Jones of ICIS news reported about the recent changes in the EU emissions bill, which will weigh heavily on the pockets of energy-intensive industries in Europe such as power producers, the chemicals sector, aluminum, […]

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Get your eco-patents for free!

The green trend is proving to be a red-hot breeding ground for innovation, and several multinational companies are willing to open their patent vault to encourage more development of renewably-sourced, environment-friendly, emission and waste-reducing, more energy-efficient, solution-providing…[ok, I'll stop now] products and processing. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in partnership with Nokia, […]

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Brewing bio-chemicals

Chemicals made from fermenting agriculture-based products are reaching their critical point. A few days after agribusiness company Cargill and enzymes producer Novozymes announced their plans to develop bio-chemicals such as acrylic acid from fermented sugar-based 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HPA), chemical company DSM and starch derivatives producer Roquette are building a pilot plant for starch-based succinic acid. […]

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Paint waste makes utilities green

Chrysler is looking to use paint residues from its automobile manufacturing to clean up mercury emissions from coal powered electric power plants. The paint solid residues are said to contain nanostructured titanium dioxide which can chemically bond with mercury and thus has the potential to remove them with an efficiency of greater than 95%, according […]

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Roaches have their use after all

Environmental groups and some scientists are saying biofuels such as soy-based biodiesel or ethanol are not as that helpful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions because they use insecticides and fertilizers, which they claimed could be harmful to the environment. Scientists from the US Dept. of Agriculture are looking to develop pesticides that have more environment-friendly […]

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Acrylic acid from sugar

Cargill and Novozymes have joined to develop a range of valuable chemical derivatives including acrylic acid from 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3-HPA) produced from sugar fermentation using bioengineered microorganisms. The US Dept. of Energy is also supporting the project with a $1.5m funding. Acrylic acid is currently produced by the oxidation of propylene. The companies said half […]

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ADM injects earth with CO2

Biofuels and agribusiness major Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) plans to reduce some of their greenhouse gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from its Decatur, Illinois-based ethanol plant and storing it via drilled wells deep below Mount Simon Sandstone, a major regional saline-water-bearing rock formation in Illinois. According to Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), ADM’s partner […]

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Space Power and rectennas

Harnessing solar energy from space using satellites could be another alternative energy source here on earth, according to this article from Associated Press. Giant satellites (orbiting 300 miles from earth) will use ultralight solar panels, transmitting enough power taken in by gi-normous rectifying antennas or “rectennas” installed here on earth to light up thousands (and […]

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