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Petrochemicals – News and Features

Scientist in a lab coat holding a green model of the Earth.

Biotech and Pharma’s Carbon Impact: Insights From My Green Lab

Using data provided by Intercontinental Exchange, My Green Lab has produced a report providing key insights into the current state of the sector’s carbon emissions. James Connelly highlights some of the key findings and their significance.
A sea turtle entangled in an abandoned fishing net.

Durable Plastic Pollution Easily, Cleanly Degraded With New Catalyst

The main issue behind Nylon-6, the plastic inside fishing nets, carpet and clothing, is that it’s too strong and durable to break down on its own. Now, chemists have developed a new catalyst that quickly, cleanly and completely breaks it down.
A b close-up photo of a branch with green birch leaves on it.

Sustainable Semiconductors Made From Birch Leaves

By pressure-cooking birch leaves, researchers can produce quantum dots with favorable enough optical properties to replace some of the rarer elements used in semiconductors for optoelectronics, a new study suggests.
A graphic of a person choosing which bin o put plastic waste in.

Putting an End to Plastic Separation Anxiety

Bio-based plastics can be hard to separate from conventional plastics, but a new "one-pot" process could be the answer to simple separation.
A close up of a woman touching her pregnant stomach.

Air Pollution May Be Interfering With Prenatal Hormone Activity

Researchers from Rutgers University have uncovered the potential impact of exposure to air pollution on prenatal hormone health and infant reproductive development.
Plastic waste in water.

International Group of Scientists Call Out Corruption in Global Plastic Treaty Negotiations

An international group of 35 scientists, including IRES’s Gunilla Öberg, is calling out conflicts of interest plaguing global plastic treaty negotiations and that have interfered with timely action on other health and environmental issues.
Butter melting in a pan.

Synthetic Fats Could Reduce Palm Oil Reliance

Researchers posit that swapping out palm oil for synthetic fats could save the world millions of tons of carbon emissions per year.
A clump of grass growing in water.

Using Plant Sugars To Generate Biofuels and Bioproducts

Engineered enzymes that modify grass plants could make the conversion of plant sugars to biofuels more efficient by providing access to sugars usually locked within complex structures.
Plastic waste in a river.

Biodegradable Plastics Are Still Damaging to Fish

Biodegradable plastics may not be the solution to plastic pollution many hoped for, with a University of Otago study showing they are still harmful to fish.
A river of dark water cuts through trees.

Researchers Discover One of the World’s Darkest Rivers

The Ruki River, a tributary of the Congo, has water so dark that researchers couldn't see their hands in front of their faces. Despite its uniqueness, the river has never been scientifically studied.