What will Obama's second term mean for chemicals, energy? | Sanofi encounters resistance, lowers price for cancer drug | Georgia Gulf considers partnership on an ethane cracker
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November 13, 2012
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What will Obama's second term mean for chemicals, energy?
The chemical and energy sectors may see additional, tougher environmental regulations during President Barack Obama's second term, according to Reuters. The administration is expected to advance long-withheld greenhouse-gas regulations for industrial emissions, including the Boiler MACT rule, while the Environmental Protection Agency is preparing two reports on hydraulic fracturing regulations. Reuters (11/7), Reuters (11/7), Reuters (11/6)
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Sanofi encounters resistance, lowers price for cancer drug
Sanofi announced it would offer a 50% discount to doctors and hospitals on cancer drug Zaltrap after three doctors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center publicized the health system's refusal to prescribe the drug because it was too expensive and no more effective than similar drugs. Medicare reimbursement and patient co-payments will be based on the higher list price in the short term. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/8)
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Georgia Gulf considers partnership on an ethane cracker
Georgia Gulf is the latest company to publicly announce that it may invest in an ethane cracker as a way to gain access to ethylene feedstock. The company is only in the discussion phase, CEO Paul Carrico said. ICIS News (U.K.) (11/8)
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North America, Asia fuel growth in global catalysts market
The market for catalysts is expanding through the addition of North American and Asian capacity despite weakening growth in China, catalyst producers said. "Growth is being driven by Asia, where a lot of new chemical production capacity is coming onstream," said Michael Baier, vice president of chemical catalysts at BASF. "And as naphtha cracking decreases, there will be more interest in dedicated processes to make butanes and propylene. All these processes will require innovative catalysts," Baier added. Chemical Week (subscription required) (11/9)
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Other News
Flexible, Durable Hose Resists Kinking
Chemical-resistant APFRC hose begins with a core of smooth, non-stick FEP fluoropolymer. It's reinforced with layers of EPDM rubber, fabric, and steel wire for strength, flexibility, and kink resistance. APFRC is rated for pressure or full vacuum and handles temperatures from -40°F to 300°F (-40°C to 148°C). Hose assemblies available. Made in USA. AdvantaPure®
Chemical Technology News
CPChem's polyphenylene sulfide has lightweight vehicle uses
Chevron Phillips Chemical is focused on North America and customer solutions, said Dan Coombs, senior vice president of specialties, aromatics and styrenics. Among the company's products is a polyphenylene sulfide material used to make lightweight, plastic automotive-turbo­charger components. FuelFix.com (11/11)
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Energy, Sustainability & Safety
Producers look to Brazil for renewable chemicals investments
Dow Chemical, Braskem and Rhodia are among a number of petrochemical firms looking to establish renewable-based chemical production facilities in Brazil, according to this analysis. Such investments are getting more attractive as sugar prices decline and the production of renewable chemicals becomes cheaper. "Brazil will produce half of the world's bio-based chemicals by 2020," said Pedro Fortes, operations director for Eastman's Brazilian unit. ICIS Chemical Business (U.K.) (11/9)
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Other News
Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
Researchers develop microchip lung that mimics pulmonary edema
A "lung-on-a-chip" technology that imitates the effects of pulmonary edema, including fluid barrier functions and human oxygen transport, was developed by researchers at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. "[F]or the first time we demonstrate that we can model a complex human disease on an organ chip lined with human cells -- in this case pulmonary edema -- and that we can use it both to identify relevant drug toxicities, and to screen for new drugs that prevent this response," lead scientist Geraldine Hamilton said. One of the project's goals is to eliminate the use of animals in trials of experimental drugs for lung disorders. Mass High Tech (Boston) (11/7)
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Materials & Nanotechnology
Polymer mimics human skin's flexibility, resilience, conductivity
Chemical engineers have designed a polymer that has mechanical and electrical qualities like that of human skin and is able to restore itself after sustaining damage. "I think it will be very interesting if we can make the self-healing skin elastic because, while it's currently flexible, it's still not stretchable. That's definitely something we're moving towards for our next-generation self-healing skin," says lead researcher Zhenan Bao of Stanford University. ScienceMag.org/Science Now blog (11/11)
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Education & Government Update
U.S. panel OKs tariffs on China's solar companies
The U.S. International Trade Commission has affirmed a decision last month by the Obama administration to impose tariffs and anti-subsidy fees for five years on Chinese companies exporting solar panels and related products. The tariffs will stand for five years before coming up for reconsideration. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (11/7)
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Career Focus
Do you manage everything well except your own career?
Neglecting your own career can bring about the same consequences as failing to properly manage an employee, Dorothy Tannahill-Moran writes. To keep your career on track, set goals, make necessary adjustments and get feedback to "help reinforce your progress and help you know where you need to do things differently to stay on course," she writes. CareerRocketeer.com (11/11)
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Institute News
Cornell wins Chem-E-Car Competition
A highlight of the recent AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh was the 14th Chem-E-Car Competition. Teams of chemical engineering undergraduates were challenged with creating a small vehicle powered by an alternate fuel and then completing a running distance of 21 meters with a load of 300 miligrams. Cornell's team and its car, Zapdos, took the top prize with a perfect score of 0.0 meters. Read more and see video highlights.
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AIChE launches pharmaceutical forum
AIChE's Annual Meeting also saw the launch of a new Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development and Manufacturing Forum. The forum, in addition to programming the well-established "Quality by Design" topical conference, will provide networking, publications, workshops, short courses, webinars and a peer-nominated awards programs. With members drawn from a broad array of disciplines, PD2M will foster conceptualization and implementation of QbD in the pharmaceutical industry. Find out more.
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I observe the physician with the same diligence as the disease."
-- John Donne,
British poet, satirist, lawyer and cleric
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