January 12, 2021
AIChE SmartBrief
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Business Update
The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from units of HollyFrontier and Wynnewood Refining arising from a lower courts' decision last year that restricted the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to exempt small refineries from biofuel blending obligations. Without access to waivers, many small refineries may be forced to shut down, as some already have, HollyFrontier and Wynnewood Refining argue.
Full Story: Yahoo/Bloomberg (1/8) 
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Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for use by the European Commission after the European Medicines Agency deemed the vaccine safe and effective. The vaccine is the second to be approved in Europe, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU has deals for 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine with more to come.
Full Story: CNBC (1/6),  The Hill (1/6) 
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Formosa Plastics affiliate FG LA cannot yet begin major construction activities for a planned $9.4 billion complex in Louisiana's St. James Parish, but a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit contesting the project's wetlands permit. The Army Corps of Engineers is taking another look at plans for the wetland fill-in.
Full Story: The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.) (1/5) 
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Chemical Technology News
Unilever and Innova Partnerships have formed Penrhos Bio, a joint venture that will commercialize a technology which uses natural chemicals in seaweed to develop self-cleaning surfaces. Potential applications for the technology range from preventing fungal growth in washing machines to creating self-cleaning banknotes.
Full Story: Global Cosmetics News (UK) (1/6),  Financial Times (subscription required) (1/5),  Textile World online (1/5) 
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More Effective Management of Change Isn't a Myth
While companies worldwide are constantly working towards better Management of Change (MOC), few obtain sustainable results. Discover the latest best practices to effectively and efficiently manage change to better protect your people and equipment. From content to consulting to software, OS can help. Learn more.
Energy, Sustainability & Safety
Sainsbury's outlines plan to cut plastic waste
(Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's will launch private-label compostable teabags made with plant-based plastic in June. The move, along with a plan to remove plastic wrapping from 11 other products, is part of the retailer's larger push to get to net-zero waste by 2040.
Full Story: RetailGazette.co.uk (U.K.) (1/8) 
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Modeling the Lithium-Ion Battery
Lithium-ion batteries have become the most common batteries for consumer electronics, industrial, transportation and power-storage applications. This white paper illustrates how multiphysics modeling is a necessary tool to understand, optimize, control, and design batteries and battery systems. Download the white paper.
Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
Kite, a Gilead Sciences unit, has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Oxford BioTherapeutics that will focus on the development of five novel drug targets for various hematologic and solid tumor oncology indications.
Full Story: PMLive (UK) (1/7) 
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Researchers from the University of Denver's Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging, working with two other research groups, have developed a highly sensitive COVID-19 antibody test that can predict if a patient will have mild or more severe COVID-19 symptoms.
Full Story: KVUE-TV (Austin, Texas) (1/7) 
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Materials & Nanotechnology
Researchers from Putra University in Malaysia have created disposable drone parts using pineapple leaves. "We are transforming the leaf of the pineapple into a fibre that can be used for aerospace application, basically inventing a drone," said project lead Mohamed Thariq Hameed Sultan.
Full Story: Reuters (1/5) 
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Researchers have developed advanced electrospun nanofibrous air filters for face masks to provide protection from airborne coronavirus particles. Their study shows efficiency of up to 99.9%, outperforming many of the other face masks on the market.
Full Story: News Medical (1/7) 
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Education & Government Update
FDA offers guidance on neurodegenerative gene therapies
The FDA has released a draft guidance covering the development, trial design, testing and approval pathways for neurodegenerative disease gene therapies. The guidance, which applies to human gene treatments for both pediatric and adult populations, underlines the importance of communicating with the FDA before submitting an investigational new drug application.
Full Story: Regulatory Focus (1/7) 
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President-elect Joe Biden's infrastructure plan calls for a $2 trillion "accelerated investment" in energy and infrastructure spending and would strengthen the US chemical industry's economic recovery, writes Joseph Chang. The plan would spur investments that rely heavily on chemical products, such as construction and automotive manufacturing.
Full Story: ICIS News (UK) (free content) (1/6) 
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Institute News
Nominations are due for AIChE's high-honors
Feb. 15 is the nomination deadline for AIChE's 2021 Institute and Board of Directors' Awards. These top honors celebrate outstanding achievements spanning chemical engineering and its many specializations, and will be presented at the 2021 AIChE Annual Meeting, Nov. 7-12, in Boston, MA. Details about the awards, along with nomination instructions, can be found here.
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Tomorrow's free webinar offers insights on facility siting
Facility siting studies are essential for managing the risk associated with siting buildings and tents in a facility. These studies are complex, and that complexity can make it difficult to manage the siting process and implement effective results. On Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Eastern, this free AIChE Academy webinar breaks down the "what," "why," and "how" of facility siting. The webinar is sponsored by AccTech. Reserve your seat here.
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Career Focus
5 steps to become a skilled networker
There are five crucial steps to advancing your career through networking with peers, writes pro-audio industry executive Mike Dias. It begins with saying yes to opportunities that come your way, even if they are outside your expertise or comfort level, and ends with follow-up.
Full Story: Pro Sound News (1/6) 
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Dream big and surround yourself with brilliance ...
Peter Gabriel,
musician, singer, songwriter, record producer
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About AIChE
More than 60,000 members in 110 countries have joined the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. It is the focal point for information exchange at the frontiers of chemical engineering, including energy, materials, nanotechnology, sustainability, biological engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. Learn more at www.aiche.org or contact us.
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