Chemicals and waste


Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, Volume 17, Pages 22-34, August 2017

This paper deals with carbon capture and storage. It provides an overview of the different technologies that have been trialled and the technological gaps that need to be bridged to make this a viable option in the long term and therefore working towards SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 13 (climate action).
For many years, the negative environmental impact of plastic mass production was either ignored or underestimated. Fortunately, in the last two decades, strategies for the synthesis and degradation of plastics have been re-evaluated and have led to major advances in the development of (bio-) degradable and recyclable plastics. In her Catalysis article, Dr. García reiterates the environmental issues caused by plastics and gives a scholarly overview of both general and plastic-specific strategies for recycling. She concludes this piece by providing a perspective on the most promising options for making plastics more sustainable and a force for good rather than a source of pollution, supporting SDG 12. This article has triggered three reactions.
In a world where the demand for energy continues to rise and fossil-fuel reserves become more depleted each day, we desperately need new clean energy resources to keep pace with the demand. Renewable energy generated via wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal power will help to reduce our CO2 emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, but implementing these resources is challenging. In this Catalysis piece, Kaltsoyannis and Liddle explore the role that nuclear power will play in the future. In particular, they discuss the major problems associated with nuclear power and how chemists and fundamental chemical research can take a lead role in providing solutions to make it clean and support SDG 7. This catalyst article generates two reaction responses from Dame Sue Ion and Dr. Robin Taylor.
In the latest Catalysis piece, Professor Leif Hammarström from Uppsala University discusses one potential solution to SDG 7: utilizing the power of the sun to generate clean energy. This overview catalyzes a response from Professors Bolsen, Druckman, and Cook on the impact that accommodating such change would have on society.

ICIS EPCA Supplement 2015, pages 56-57, 26 September 2016

Future progress on managing climate change is in our hands
Landmark emissions targets were outlined at the COP21 meeting in Paris in 2015 and the chemical industry will play an important role in achieving them. The support of the chemical industry is vital for advancing SDG 13.2 to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. This report also emphasises the opportunities that climate action brings to the chemical industry.
In the US, land owners are liable for environmental impacts in relation to contaminated land. This Lexis Practice Advisor practice note explains what due diligence should be carried out in relation to the purchase of land/buildings to assess the environmental risk. Environmental due diligence advances SDG 3.9 to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination, and generally supports SDG 11 Sustainable cities and SDG 15 Life on land.

Chem, Volume 1, Issue 1, 7 July 2016, Pages 10-12

Paul Anastas and Julie Zimmerman highlight the vital role chemistry must play in creating a sustainable future. The article provides a robust definition for green chemistry and examines the role of green chemistry in supporting the SDGs, with a particular focus on the goals addressing water, poverty and food: SDGs 1, 2, 6 and 12.

Special Report, 3 July 2016

Covestro has produced bio-based PU dispersions for textile applications
Growing demands from brand owners and consumers for fibres and textiles that are more environmentally friendly are now creating a huge market for bio-based polymers produced using renewable feedstocks. The textile and packaging industries have a significant impact on the environment: this report highlights how recent developments in new materials support SDG 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy.

Energy geotechnics involves the use of geotechnical principles to understand and engineer the coupled thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical processes encountered in collecting, exchanging, storing, and protecting energy resources in the subsurface. In addition to research on these fundamental coupled processes and characterization of relevant material properties, applied research is being performed to develop analytical tools for the design and analysis of different geo-energy applications. This paper summarizes some of the major research and practical developments in the emerging area of energy geotechnics which relates to SDG 7, 11 and 13.

Studies of waste-to-energy systems have applied a varying range of indicators to assess their sustainability. Through a literature review, this research aims to develop a framework of sustainability indicators that can serve as a reference for future research in waste-to-energy systems. Utilising this framework could helpd to advance SDG 7.2 to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.