Important Notice: Limited Web Access Dec 16 to 18, 2016

AIChE will undertake a routine upgrade of our digital infrastructure over the weekend of December 16-18, 2016. During this period access to certain areas of the website will be limited. Additional information will be forthcoming shortly.

Legislative & Regulatory Update

While global methane emissions are up, study says fossil fuels not the culprit

Regulatory news - ENN - October 12, 2016 - 2:26pm
A new study from NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, puts a new twist on a tricky question about the impact of increased oil and gas production on greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have detected increased rates of methane emissions globally since 2007. That uptick corresponds to the rapid boom in U.S. shale gas and shale oil production, and some hypothesized that the two could be connected. But it turns out that the correlation may not necessarily be a cause.

While global methane emissions are up, study says fossil fuels not the culprit

Climate Change News - ENN - October 12, 2016 - 2:26pm
A new study from NOAA, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, puts a new twist on a tricky question about the impact of increased oil and gas production on greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists have detected increased rates of methane emissions globally since 2007. That uptick corresponds to the rapid boom in U.S. shale gas and shale oil production, and some hypothesized that the two could be connected. But it turns out that the correlation may not necessarily be a cause.

Pew: Renewable energy enjoys wide support while fossil fuels divide national opinion

Regulatory news - ENN - October 12, 2016 - 1:39pm
Pew Research's "Politics of Climate" survey is a mixed bag for energy industry watchers, revealing a solid chunk of Americans support expanded fossil fuel use, while almost everyone supports renewables."One spot of unity in an otherwise divided environmental policy landscape is that the vast majority of Americans support the concept of expanding both solar and wind power," the think tank said in a blog post. "The public is more closely divided when it comes to expanding fossil fuel energies such as coal mining, offshore oil and gas drilling, and hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas."

Airlines to Test Alternative Fuel

As the world turns its attention to addressing global warming, the airline industry, too, is researching ways to do its part and lower greenhouse gas emissions. One option is investing more into the development and integration of alternative fuels. Biofuels made from vegetable oil, corn and even household garbage are all very real possibilities.

Turning Sunlight into Fuel

In one hour, the Earth receives enough energy from the sun to meet all of mankind’s energy needs for one year. Yet the world uses little more than one percent of the sun’s energy for our electricity needs. A major obstacle to being able to tap into the full potential of solar energy is that it is intermittent—we cannot get a steady supply of solar energy because the sun doesn’t always shine.In order for renewable energy to take hold on the scale necessary to help combat climate change, an efficient and economical way to store the sun’s energy is needed for times when the sun doesn’t shine. But even when that technology becomes available, we will still need to find a way to use renewable energy to power the transportation sector, one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

European union could require new homes to have electric car chargers

Regulatory news - ENN - October 11, 2016 - 3:33pm
Starting in 2019, all new or refurbished homes and apartment buildings in Europe will be required to have electric vehicle recharging stations built on the premises, according to a draft directive from the European Union.

European union could require new homes to have electric car chargers

Starting in 2019, all new or refurbished homes and apartment buildings in Europe will be required to have electric vehicle recharging stations built on the premises, according to a draft directive from the European Union.

Energy hijacking pathway found within photosynthesis

In a study led by Dr Jenny Zhang, a Research Associate at St John's, academics have found an unexpected performance-destructive pathway within Photosystem II, an enzyme at the heart of oxygenic photosynthesis, and one that is also being used to inspire new approaches to renewable fuel production.

Climate Change Has Doubled Western U.S. Forest Fires

Climate Change News - ENN - October 11, 2016 - 7:38am
A new study says that human-induced climate change has doubled the area affected by forest fires in the U.S. West over the last 30 years. According to the study, since 1984 heightened temperatures and resulting aridity have caused fires to spread across an additional 16,000 square miles than they otherwise would have—an area larger than the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. The authors warn that further warming will increase fire exponentially in coming decades. 

Scotland to Generate Some of World's First Kite-Driven Power in 2017

The United Kingdom will begin harnessing energy from kites flying 450 meters above ground as early as next year. Developed by UK-based Kite Power Solutions, the system is composed of two 40-meter wide kites that rise and fall in tandem, spooling a tether line to turn a turbine.

Bees Are Declared Endangered for the First Time in the U.S.

Regulatory news - ENN - October 7, 2016 - 8:09am
For the first time in history, a group of bees in the U.S. will be protected under the Endangered Species Act, following a recent announcement from wildlife officials.The group of bees, who are commonly known as yellow-faced bees because of the markings on their faces, are endemic only to the Hawaiian islands. While there are dozens of species, scientists identified several of them who are at risk of extinction and have been calling for their protection for years.

NASA Sees Hurricane Matthew Regain Category 4 Status

Climate Change News - ENN - October 6, 2016 - 4:56pm
A visible image showing powerful Hurricane Matthew and Nicole on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. EDT was captured by NOAA's GOES-East satellite. The image shows large Hurricane Matthew's clouds stretching from eastern Cuba and Hispaniola, over the Bahamas and extending to Florida. Matthew is west of the much smaller Tropical Storm Nicole. The image was created at the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 

Hydrogen-powered passenger ferry in San Francisco Bay is possible

Climate Change News - ENN - October 6, 2016 - 11:56am
Nearly two years ago, Sandia National Laboratories researchers Joe Pratt and Lennie Klebanoff set out to answer one not-so-simple question: Is it feasible to build and operate a high-speed passenger ferry solely powered by hydrogen fuel cells? The answer is yes.The details behind that answer are in a recent report, “Feasibility of the SF-BREEZE: a Zero Emission, Hydrogen Fuel Cell High Speed Passenger Ferry.” SF-BREEZE stands for San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions.

Efficient organic solar cells with very low driving force

It was believed that efficient operation of organic solar cells requires a large driving force, which limits the efficiency of organic solar cells. Now, a large group of researchers led by Feng Gao, lecturer at IFM at LiU, He Yan at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Kenan Gundogdu at the North Carolina State University have developed efficient organic solar cells with very low driving force.This implies that the intrinsic limitations of organic solar cells are no greater than those of other photovoltaic technologies, bringing them a step closer to commercialisation.

Urban Warming Slows Tree Growth, Photosynthesis

Climate Change News - ENN - October 6, 2016 - 8:07am
New research from North Carolina State University finds that urban warming reduces growth and photosynthesis in city trees. The researchers found that insect pests are part of the problem, but that heat itself plays a more significant role.

Non-toxic solvent removes barrier to commercialisation of perovskite solar cells

Scientists at Oxford University have developed a solvent system with reduced toxicity that can be used in the manufacture of perovskite solar cells, clearing one of the barriers to the commercialisation of a technology that promises to revolutionise the solar industry.Perovskites – a family of materials with the crystal structure of calcium titanate – have been described as a 'wonder material' and shown to be almost as efficient as silicon in harnessing solar energy, as well as being significantly cheaper to produce.

UC Researcher Develops Clean Water-Treatment Option to Target Sporadic Outbreaks

A University of Cincinnati scientist has engineered an environmentally friendly technology to zap outbreak-causing viruses and bacteria from public drinking water.Environmental and biomedical engineer David Wendell, an associate professor in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a protein-based photocatalyst that uses light to generate hydrogen peroxide to eliminate E. coli, Listeria, and potentially protozoa like giardia and cryptosporidium.

The Psychology Behind Climate Change Denial

Regulatory news - ENN - October 5, 2016 - 7:53am
Climate change is a serious threat to humans, animals, and the earth’s ecosystems. Nevertheless, effective climate action has been delayed, partly because some still deny that there is a problem. In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial. The results show that individuals who accept hierarchical power structures tend to a larger extent deny the problem.In the scientific community there is a strong consensus that humans have significantly affected the climate and that we are facing serious challenges. But there is a lot of misinformation about climate change in circulation, which to a large part is created and distributed by organised campaigns with the aim of postponing measures that could combat climate change. And there are people who are more prone than others to trust this misinformation.Previous research has consistently shown that it is more common among politically conservative individuals to deny climate change. In her thesis, Kirsti Jylhä has investigated this further and in more detail. Her studies included ideological and personality variables which correlate with political ideology, and tested if those variables also correlate with climate change denial.

The Psychology Behind Climate Change Denial

Climate Change News - ENN - October 5, 2016 - 7:53am
Climate change is a serious threat to humans, animals, and the earth’s ecosystems. Nevertheless, effective climate action has been delayed, partly because some still deny that there is a problem. In a new thesis in psychology, Kirsti Jylhä at Uppsala University has studied the psychology behind climate change denial. The results show that individuals who accept hierarchical power structures tend to a larger extent deny the problem.In the scientific community there is a strong consensus that humans have significantly affected the climate and that we are facing serious challenges. But there is a lot of misinformation about climate change in circulation, which to a large part is created and distributed by organised campaigns with the aim of postponing measures that could combat climate change. And there are people who are more prone than others to trust this misinformation.Previous research has consistently shown that it is more common among politically conservative individuals to deny climate change. In her thesis, Kirsti Jylhä has investigated this further and in more detail. Her studies included ideological and personality variables which correlate with political ideology, and tested if those variables also correlate with climate change denial.

New Technology Helps Pinpoint Sources of Water Contamination

Regulatory news - ENN - October 4, 2016 - 3:01pm
Berkeley Lab develops better method of environmental monitoring using the PhyloChip, finds surprising results in Russian River watershedWhen the local water management agency closes your favorite beach due to unhealthy water quality, how reliable are the tests they base their decisions on? As it turns out, those tests, as well as the standards behind them, have not been updated in decades. Now scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a highly accurate, DNA-based method to detect and distinguish sources of microbial contamination in water.

Pages

Subscribe to AIChE aggregator - Legislative & Regulatory Update