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Petrochemicals – News and Features

A close up of a leaf.

Efficiently Unlocking Plant Sugars Could Lead to Biofuels and Medicines

Research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) sheds new light on how to access the sugars locked up in plants to produce petroleum-free fuels, chemicals, and medicines.
A straw lying on rocks near the ocean.

Some Plastic Straws Degrade Quicker Than Others, New Study Shows

Straws are one of the most commonly found sources of marine litter. Researchers say we lack a firm understanding of how long plastics last in the ocean, but that science supports moving away from using the material.
An elephant seal.

Bird Flu Strikes Seals in Sub-Antarctica

Bird flu has been detected in mammals on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, according to a report by the UK Government's Animal and Plant Health Agency.
Petrochemical plant

Why Do We Need Effective Testing Methods in the Petrochemical Industry?

Petrochemicals are ubiquitous in modern-day society. In this article, we explore the need for chemical analysis in the petrochemicals sector and the use of techniques such as gas chromatography and trace element analysis to achieve this.
Bacteria bloom in a petri dish.

Scientists Engineer Bacteria To Make Two Valuable Products From Plant Fiber

Scientists have engineered bacteria to make a key ingredient of plastics and a carotenoid used in pharmaceuticals simultaneously, from an underutilized plant fiber.
Plastic-looking film held over a leaf. An image next to it shows the structure of the film.

Combining Ocean-Derived Biopolymers To Replace Synthetic Plastic Films

Materials with advanced structures derived from crustaceans and seaweed could be part of the answer to replacing petroleum-based plastic films.
The northern lights in the arctic.

Methane Pockets Are Moving Under Antarctica, Closer to Its Edge

Studies in Svalbard have shown that methane is migrating beneath the permafrost. While lowland regions have ice-rich permafrost which acts as an effective seal to the gas, highland regions with less ice seem to be more permeable.
A birds eye view of a volcano.

Even Long Dormant Volcanos Can Erupt Rapidly and Explosively

Can a volcano erupt after tens of thousands of years of dormancy? If so, how can this be explained and what makes volcanic eruptions more dangerous, i.e. explosive?
Plastic bottle on a beach.

Takeaways From a Global Plastics Treaty

Technology Networks caught up with Aidan Charron, director of the End Plastic Initiatives at Earth Day, not long after he arrived back from Nairobi to hear how negotiations on an international plastics treat went.
A close-up image of bird feathers.

New Nanonetwork Material Replicates the Structure of Bird Feathers

The nanonetworks in bird feathers have been replicated in a material that could be used in batteries and water filters.