US oil refining capacity hit new high in 2019 | Ineos to acquire BP's petrochemical business for $5B | Chemical majors focused on increasing plastics circularity
June 30, 2020
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Business Update
US oil refining capacity hit new high in 2019
(David Mcnew/Getty Images)
US crude oil refining capacity climbed to a record of nearly 19 million barrels per day in 2019, up almost 1% from 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration. The total number of refineries was the same as in 2018, with the largest refiners being Marathon Petroleum, Valero Energy and ExxonMobil.
Full Story: Reuters (6/25) 
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Ineos has agreed to purchase BP's chemicals business for about $5 billion. The deal is expected to close later this year.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (6/29) 
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Chemical Technology News
Eastman Chemical, BASF, Dow Chemical and NOVA Chemicals are a few of the major chemical companies innovating to find new end-of-life solutions for post-consumer resins. Eastman is using polyester renewal technology to produce a new copolyester made from 50% recycled content, while BASF has finished a life-cycle analysis showing the environmental benefits of its pyrolysis process known as ChemCycling.
Full Story: Plastics Recycling Update (6/24) 
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Energy, Sustainability & Safety
L'Oreal accelerates sustainability targets
(Rachel Murray/Getty Images)
L'Oreal has set new sustainability goals including eliminating virgin plastic in its beauty product packaging by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality in its plants by 2025, said CEO Jean-Paul Agon. The company is expanding the use of recycled cardboard for e-commerce shipments in China, he added.
Full Story: Reuters (6/25) 
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SK Innovation is partnering with Jeju Clean Energy on a pyrolysis project that will convert plastic waste to fuel oil. SK aims to improve pyrolysis technology to reduce impurities and will use the resulting fuel oil at a facility in South Korea.
Full Story: Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper (South Korea) (6/26) 
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Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
A new manufacturing partnership has been formed between Moderna and Catalent for the large-scale production of mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, at Catalent's biologics plant in Indiana. The deal involves Catalent providing vial filling and packaging capacity for the initial production of 100 million doses to be supplied in the third quarter.
Full Story: Seeking Alpha (free registration) (6/25) 
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Materials & Nanotechnology
Scientists say gold nanoparticles that absorb sunlight could lead to technologies for removing pollutants from drinking water. Researchers, who stabilized nanorods by partially coating them with silica, say the particles convert light to localized heat capable of destroying microscopic contaminants.
Full Story: Yale University (6/22) 
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Public perception toward single-use plastics has changed since the pandemic began, and companies should take advantage of a slowdown in plastics bans and similar policies to develop new solutions for a circular future, writes Sumit Mukherjee of PTI. Multiple-use containers made from durable materials that house lightweight plastic cartridges, for example, would reduce waste while improving hygiene, he writes.
Full Story: PlasticsToday (6/25) 
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Education & Government Update
FDA finalizes guidelines for bacterial pneumonia drugs
The FDA released two final guidances on developing drugs for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia. Both documents include updates to trial populations and statistical considerations for analysis populations.
Full Story: Regulatory Focus (6/24) 
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The FDA has announced a pilot program called Project Patient Voice that will allow drug companies to share information on patient-reported symptoms during clinical trials for cancer drugs. The program will feature a public website, which will contain information on patient symptoms from before the start of treatment and during the first six months of the trial, offering side effect insights not currently available in the FDA safety tables.
Full Story: Bloomberg Law (free content) (6/23) 
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Institute News
Next week's webinar takes on COVID-19 and the future of the pharmaceuticals industry
On Wednesday, July 8, 9:00-10:00AM Eastern, this AIChE Academy webinar reviews some of the discussions that took place at AIChE's recent Pharmaceutical Discovery, Development and Manufacturing (PD2M) workshop, and explores the impact that the global pandemic could have on the future of pharmaceuticals. PDH credits are available. Read more and add this webinar to your calendar.
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AIChE Academy offers 20% discount on eLearning courses
AIChE Academy continues to ramp up its offerings, including the addition of new instructor-led virtual courses. The Academy is now offering a 20% discount on eLearning course purchases made through July 31, 2020. Learn more at AIChE Academy.
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Career Focus
In addition to LinkedIn and social media, professionals have other options for networking while industry mixers and conferences are canceled. Invite senior leaders to speak with a group of peers for an online meeting, look for opportunities and connections outside of your region, and use canceled events to find interesting people to privately reach out to, suggest business consultants Alisa Cohn and Dorie Clark.
Full Story: Harvard Business Review online (tiered subscription model) (6/23) 
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