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INDUSTRY NEWS

Falling oil prices make fracking less lucrative
NPR
Oil prices are down than more than 25 percent since June and are staying low for now. Drivers may appreciate that, but for oil companies, it's making some of the most controversial methods of producing oil less profitable — and in a few cases, unprofitable.
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New process transforms wood, crop waste into valuable chemicals
Phys.Org
Scientists recently disclosed a new method to convert lignin, a biomass waste product, into simple chemicals. The innovation is an important step toward replacing petroleum-based fuels and chemicals with biorenewable materials, says Shannon Stahl, an expert in "green chemistry" at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Silicon carbide can cause cancer in workers if made with traditional process
Chemical Regulation Reporter ® via Bloomberg
Silicon carbide made through a traditional production process can cause cancer in workers, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded in a Lancet Oncology report published Oct. 30. Occupational exposures to silicon carbide, which is used to make grinding wheels, cutting tools, refractory linings and other products, can cause lung cancer when the chemical is made in an electric furnace using a method called the Acheson process, IARC said in a paper that summarizes the conclusions an expert panel made during an October meeting.
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Understanding environmental sustainability in manufacturing
Manufacturer's Monthly
Sustainable manufacturing is a critical part of doing business at Armstrong World Industries. The truth is, many manufacturers, as soon as they hear the term "sustainable manufacturing," switch off, believing it will only cost them money, and the only benefit will be a warm and fuzzy feeling that they are doing something for the environment.
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E-Stewards launches online e-waste trading platform
Environmental Leader
The Basel Action Network has launched an online trading platform that will allow businesses to recycle used electronics with e-waste recyclers certified to the e-Stewards Standard. The launch of the e-Stewards Marketplace, developed in cooperation with industry leaders and Retrace, a Seattle-based technology company, coincides with E-scrap 2014, the largest electronics recycling industry conference, held this year in Orlando, Florida.
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Researchers make nanostructured carbon using the waste product sawdust
Phys.Org
Chemists at the University of Birmingham have found a new way to make nanostructured carbon using the waste product sawdust, according to research published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry. By cooking sawdust with a thin coating of iron at 700 degrees centigrade, the researchers have discovered that they can create carbon with a structure made up of many tiny tubes.
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Researchers apply corms extract for production of silver manoparticles
Nanotechnology Now
Iranian researchers produced silver nanoparticles by using the extract of corms as the reductive solution. Results of the research are considered as an important step towards reducing environmental pollution and development of green chemistry. According to Dr. Babak Sadeqi Garmaroudi, one of the researchers, the extract of corms is biocompatible.
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Drug manufacturers responsible for waste management
Environmental Leader
Pharmaceutical manufacturers in San Francisco are now required to dispose of unused post-consumer medicine as the city and county of San Francisco becomes the third municipality in the U.S. to introduce extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation for pharmaceuticals. San Francisco’s pharmaceutical waste law comes just weeks after a panel of federal judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the pharmaceutical industry’s appeal of a district judge’s ruling in 2013 that upheld Alameda County’s EPR ordinance.
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E-waste trading platform woos 'ethical' businesses
Forbes
When it comes to disposing of electronic waste such as computers, televisions and other gadgets responsibly, there are two big certification programs that can help guide a company’s selection of disposal partner. Their oversight is critical for controlling where discarded technology winds up and ensuring that certain toxic components don’t find their way into landfills, where they can foul up groundwater supplies and otherwise endanger human health — especially in rural locations in China and India.
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Calls to ban toxic chemicals fall on deaf ears around the world
Newsweek
When Denis Bibeyran was diagnosed at the age of 47 with bile tract cancer — a rare form of the disease usually found in men at least 20 years older than him — his sister Marie put it down to bad luck. Around the vineyards of Bordeaux, where they lived and worked, cancer among men his age was common and cancer of the bile tract not particularly unusual.
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EPA adds 23 chemicals to key list for scrutiny, possible action
Chemical Regulation Reporter® via Bloomberg
The Environmental Protection Agency has added 23 chemicals — including bisphenol A, seven phthalates and two flame retardants — to a key list of chemicals that will have particular uses carefully scrutinized for possible regulation or other controls. The agency on Oct. 23, updated the list of chemicals in commerce that meet certain criteria, such as being used in children's products or being carcinogenic, persistent in the environment or harmful to development, reproduction or the neurological system.
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Better e-waste handling helps environment and health
Scientific American
The town of Agbogbloshie in the west African country of Ghana has been called a digital dumping ground. Millions of tons of discarded electronics wind up there annually, so people can try to recover anything of value. It’s therefore one of the most polluted places in the world, because workers burn plastic coatings to get at the metal in the guts of gadgets.
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5 countries moving ahead of the pack on circular economy legislation
The Guardian
Last month, the European Commission adopted a zero-waste program, establishing a legal framework for an E.U.-wide circular economy. According to the Commission, the framework will boost recycling and prevent the loss of valuable materials; create jobs, economic growth and new business models and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
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