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Weekly Innovation News Round-up, April 14
9:35 AM MDT | April 14, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT
Emerging chemical technologies have been under the spotlight this week. First generation biofuels – particularly those sourced by European Union (EU) countries have been identified as driving “unethical practices,” in a report by the by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCB; London). Interestingly, the 18-month investigation by NCB concludes that next-generation biofuel technologies should be treated separately, and deserve greater promotion by the EU.
Hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – also is drawing critical attention. CW reported on March 29 that U.S. EPA is to investigate the need for fracking regulations. EPA plans to conduct a comprehensive research study to investigate the potential adverse effects of fracking on water quality and public health. This week a report by University of Cincinnati’s Deborah Kittner determines the extent of the problem in Pennsylvania – the ‘sweet spot’ for releasing natural gas using by fracking.
The safe handling of nanomaterials is a key issue for the Chemical Industries Association (CIA; London) which this week gave an exclusive interview to CW outlining its hopes and plans for regulating nanomaterials. As part of its activities on nanomaterials safety CIA is inviting companies from the length of the supply chain to participate in a forum on the issue.
Evonik has created an R&D hothouse for light and electronics activities in Taiwan. It is Evonik’s first technology hothouse outside of Germany and follows the introduction of eight other R&D hothouses by the company.
The European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry released on 12 April its Progress Report on Vinyl 2010 – documenting the progress made under its 10- year voluntary commitment launched in 2000 to enhance the sustainable production and use of PVC. The report highlights advances made by the sector during the past decade in activities that include waste management, innovative recycling technologies, stakeholder engagement and use of additives