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Petrochemicals – News and Features

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.
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.