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|April 23, 2012|
Dooley: Pa.'s policies lay groundwork for manufacturing renaissance
Pennsylvania's chemical-manufacturing industry is on the cusp of a revival powered by abundant shale natural gas supplies and favorable policy-creation efforts, according to a column co-written by American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley. "Shell's announcement [of a potential ethane cracker] is just one of 30 chemical industry projects proposed in the U.S. in the next five years. The projects, which include new plants, expansions and operational changes, would expand U.S. petrochemical capacity by 27 percent," write Dooley and Jeff Peters, head of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council. The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.) (4/23)
FDA seeks to increase testing requirements for nanoparticles
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday released proposed rules that would require extra data and testing on the safety of nano-engineered substances when used by food and cosmetics companies. "This is an emerging, evolving technology and we're trying to ... ensure the ingredients and substances are safe," said Dennis Keefe, director of food-additive safety at the FDA. The Washington Times/The Associated Press (4/20)
Bayer hosts forum on improving STEM education
Colleges try to thin the herd of potential science and engineering students with difficult freshman courses, and they often criticize high schools for insufficient preparation efforts -- but that culture must change, experts said at a recent Bayer forum on science, technology, engineering and math. "That is not a hospitable climate for students; we have to teach students to move along rather than have them sink or swim," said Mary Fox of the Georgia Institute of Technology. U.S. News & World Report/STEM Education blog (4/19)
SusChem eyes changes to meet EU sustainability goals
The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry is looking to restructure to meet the EU's research-and-development goals. "The overall picture is very complicated. This is why a body like SusChem is critically important to help academics and companies committed to sustainable chemistry -- both research and innovation -- to thrive. SusChem has a key role in navigating, leading and maximizing stakeholders' opportunities," said SusChem board member Rodney Townsend. InnovationManagement.se (Sweden) (4/20) Chemical Week (subscription required) (4/20)
Dow Chemical chief seeks regulatory balance on safety, natural gas use
A balance of policy goals and industry needs is paramount whether dealing with the safety or the abundance of domestic natural gas, said Dow Chemical Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris. "Safe, responsible production of oil and gas is something that if I don't have, I'm out of business. And if it gets regulated to the point of making it not affordable, I'm out of business," he said. FuelFix.com (4/21)
Poyurethanes industry is poised for success, says BASF executive
Urethanes and polyurethanes play a crucial role in finding solutions for consumer problems, experts said at a trade show. "I'm a strong believer that the future for PU is bright. You can make things happen with urethanes. ... If you have a problem, I can make the solution with PU," said Uwe Hartwig of BASF Polyurethanes. PlasticsNews.com/Urethanes Technology International (4/20)
Linde uses Responsible Care as part of its safety and health efforts
Linde North America is actively reducing emissions and improving safety and environmental performance, said Linde spokeswoman Vinita Abraham. "Our Lima [Ohio] plants ... are both certified under the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care Program. Responsible Care is a globally recognized management system aimed at helping companies improve performance in areas such as safety, health, environment and security," Abraham said. The Lima News (Ohio) (subscription required) (4/21)
MonoSol develops edible, dissolvable packaging
MonoSol created edible packaging for food that dissolves in hot water, leaving no detectable taste or smell. "We believe a market exists for dissolvable pouch packaging to address the macrotrends in the food sector such as convenient delivery, portion control, replacing primary packaging," said Matt Scearce, media and communications manager. FoodProductionDaily.com (France) (4/20)
Why innovators must be "capability hackers"
Innovation happens when people stop tweaking existing methods and start trying new things, Saul Kaplan writes. Companies should encourage constant experimentation across their various divisions to maximize their creative output. "Innovation is never about silver bullets. It's about experimentation and doing whatever it takes, even if it means trying 1,000 things, to deliver value," Kaplan says. CNNMoney/Fortune (4/19)
Do you know your own prejudices?
You don't have to be a racist to discriminate against people, writes Leigh Steere. Many people bring subconscious biases into their business dealings, and it takes effort to root out and erase those prejudices. "Because each of us harbors unique biases, based on upbringing, culture and schooling, one-size-fits-all corporate programs may not help you truly appreciate and respect diversity," Steere warns. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (4/19)
ACC Weekly Economic Report
Industrial production was flat during March but for the first quarter as a whole a strong gain occurred. The most recent regional surveys of industrial activity indicate that there were further gains in April, but at a moderated pace.
Turning to chemistry, production of chlorine slipped slightly. Overall chemical industry production rose in March, with gains among basic chemicals including in inorganic chemicals, bulk petrochemicals and organic intermediates, synthetic rubber, and man-made fibers. There was weakness in plastic resins. Gains in production of specialty chemicals were mixed with gains in coatings and adhesives and sealants offset by declines in other specialties. In other chemistry segments, production of consumer products declined while that of pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals increased. Railcar loadings appear to be on the rise.
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