Praj's Enfinity technology chosen for bagasse-based biorefinery in US | Breakthrough Therapy status granted to Janssen vaccine candidate | ACC: Chemical safety incidents down 60% from 1995
September 10, 2019
AICHE SmartBrief
Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers
Business Update
Praj's Enfinity technology chosen for bagasse-based biorefinery in US
Praj Industries' proprietary 2G ethanol technology, Enfinity, will be used to produce 10 to 15 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year in the US's first bagasse-based biorefinery. The project was jointly promoted by Omega Energy and Lasuca Sugar, who are currently working on the program's next steps.
Biofuels International (UK) (9/5) 
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Breakthrough Therapy status granted to Janssen vaccine candidate
The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to Janssen's investigational prophylactic vaccine as a preventive treatment for respiratory syncytial virus-mediated lower respiratory tract disease for adult patients 60 years old and older.
eMPR (9/6) 
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ACC: Chemical safety incidents down 60% from 1995
US chemical companies have cut safety incidents 60% from 1995 levels, says the American Chemistry Council, responding to a report on industrial air pollution in Houston's plastics sector. "Under Texas law, there are stringent criteria for applying the affirmative defense to malfunction events," says Jennifer Scott of ACC.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (9/5) 
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SilcoTek coating solves surface challenges
Whether for corrosion resistance, chemical compatibility, or non-stick, SilcoTek coatings perform in challenging material applications. Our coating technology can improve the surface material for our customers so they run their machines longer and manufacture products more efficiently.
Chemical Technology News
Braskem plant optimizes operations with Honeywell wearables
Braskem Idesa is using wearable technology from Honeywell to improve productivity and safety at a facility in Veracruz, Mexico. Workers can get real-time support while communicating by voice and video.
TechRepublic (9/5) 
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Energy, Sustainability & Safety
Forest biotechnology benefits counter the effects of climate change
Forest biotechnology research scientists recently published in Science magazine a letter explaining the potential of gene-edited trees in global challenges, including climate change and population growth. Forest biotechnology produces trees that are more productive, healthy and are tolerant of cold, drought, heat and salinity, and also supports the bioeconomy by replacing fossil fuels with renewable natural resources and producing other useful biomaterials, says University of Chile biochemist Sofia Valenzuela.
Cornell Alliance for Science (Cornell University) (9/5) 
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Other News
Accelerate Your Project Timeline with Smart Commissioning
The evolution of Emerson’s Smart Commissioning enables projects to accelerate their timeline with an efficient and automated commissioning process. Use our new calculator to estimate your Smart Commissioning savings.
Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
FDA approvals of new cancer drugs have doubled in this decade
Since 2010, cancer drugs have gained 27 percent of new drug approvals, an amount double the previous decade, according to a report from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Successful approvals are resulting from the FDA's efforts to speed medicines to market, and pharmaceutical companies are using new approaches to drug development and designing improved clinical trials.
FiercePharma (9/5) 
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Biotech Indian rice variety can withstand high salt concentrations
A team of researchers from the US and India were able to develop a biotech rice variety capable of surviving for several days despite being exposed to high salt concentrations by transferring two genes from the rice variety Porteresia coarctata that help produce inositol into 20-day old IR64 indica saplings. Results showed the biotech rice plants were able to withstand 10 days of exposure to high salt concentrations and flourished with the restoration of regular water supply.
Research Matters (India) (9/4) 
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Other News
Materials & Nanotechnology
Japanese company makes ski jacket from sustainably grown spider silk
Japanese biotech company Spiber used spider silk grown by genetically modified bacteria to create a waterproof ski jacket called Moon Parka. The jacket, the performance biomaterials of which could eventually be incorporated into clothing for astronauts, is expected to be launched on a limited basis in December.
ZME Science (8/30) 
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Technology converts miscanthus to ethanol
Clariant, a specialty chemicals company in Switzerland, has completed testing technology that converted 30 tons of miscanthus biomass into ethanol and lignocellulosic sugars. The technology aims to develop miscanthus as a sustainable feedstock grown on less desirable land.
Biofuels International (UK) (9/3) 
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Education & Government Update
EPA developing peer review panel for fine particulates review
Public comment is open for the Environmental Protection Agency's 16 candidates to review a report related to fine particulates concentrations. The panel, expected to include about nine people, will hold a public meeting in October.
E&E News (subscription required) (9/3) 
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Calif. legislators grapple with 3 plastics bills
Three California bills in development would affect plastics, including two bills that would gradually ban single-use packaging that cannot be recycled. "I think we're on the same page with what these bills are trying to accomplish," says Tim Shestek of the American Chemistry Council.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (9/5) 
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Institute News
Employers and job seekers meet on Sept. 12 at AIChE's Virtual Career Fair
The Fall 2019 AIChE Virtual Career Fair is online this Thursday, September 12, from Noon to 4:00 PM Eastern, with a dedicated student hour at 3:00 PM. Job seekers -- and anyone interested in exploring new opportunities -- can visit virtual company booths and chat live with recruiters. AIChE members' resumés are given priority treatment -- but act fast to submit your resumé in advance of the fair. Job seekers and employers -- there's still time to register.
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Today's free webinar examines the impact of fire exposure on gas filled vessels
Does your company have a mitigation plan to deal with storage vessels exposed to fire? This afternoon (Tuesday, September 10) from 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern, ioMosaic Corporation sponsors this free AIChE Academy webinar detailing potential hazards, risks, and failure assessment associated with gas filled vessels exposed to external fire, along with potential mitigation methods such as water sprays, depressuring valves, relief devices, and fire proofing insulation. Read more and attend.
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Career Focus
Roles must be clear for strategies to succeed
Strategy done right resonates with employees at a high level and in their individual jobs, writes Katharina Auer. "Everyone needs to know or have at least a basic awareness of the company's high-level ambition and strategic direction to understand the company they work for," she writes.
People Matters (India) (English-language content) (9/2) 
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