The EPA has changed the webpage that provides statistics on new chemical applications in what the agency calls "the first step in a larger effort to increase the transparency of the new chemicals program and ensure stakeholders and the public can quickly and easily view the EPA's progress." The page now has a chart showing how many applications -- both significant new use notifications and pre-manufacture notices -- are in each step of the TSCA review process and more information on what the stages mean.
Pierre Brondeau, who says he loves change, is being awarded the biennial International Palladium Medal for his contributions to the chemical industry. Brondeau, chairman and CEO of FMC, was involved in Dow Chemical's purchase of Rohm and Haas before recalibrating FMC's focus toward agrochemicals.
Uzbekistan has signed an agreement with investors to construct a new petrochemical plant that will use domestic gas supplies to produce chemical products such as polymers, plastics and synthetic rubber. "The decision to build this plant is another step to drive Uzbekistan's petrochemicals growth strategy ... [and] build Uzbekistan's competitiveness as a player on the international stage," said Minister of Energy Alisher Sultanov.
Scientists at Purdue University have discovered how the Chinese brake fern absorbs and stores arsenic, a breakthrough that could lead to effective and inexpensive ways to remove the chemical from soil and groundwater. It takes the fern several years to leach arsenic from soil, but learning how its genetic and cellular mechanisms work could lead to genetically engineered plants that work faster, researchers said.
NASA is funding the development of a cryogenic hydrogen fuel cell system for all-electric aircraft. Operating under a $6 million contract, the Center for Cryogenic High-Efficiency Electrical Technologies for Aircraft plans to research the possible production of an all-electric design that would take the place of current fossil fuel-based propulsion systems.
Researchers have found that greenhouse gases generated by ammonia can be absorbed by naturally occurring charcoal, opening the possibility of using the substance to mitigate emissions caused by fertilizers.