March 31, 2008

The greening of brown

What can Brown green for you? Probably nothing except maybe reduce the carbon footprint of your mails and packages.

UPS said it deployed 167 compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery vehicles in Texas, Georgia and California, which will help reduce the company's carbon footprint and reduce petroleum use.

The company has been using alternative fuel vehicles for more than 70 years and says the CNG vehicles are just a step further towards the greening of the UPS fleet.

Green cleaning springs

The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) sent me these links regarding increase introduction of green cleaners in the marketplace.

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March 28, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

In this week's news - solar deals continue to build up, DuPont accused of selling unsafe facilities, and a new renewable-based chemical company emerges...

DuPont's former facilities need a rehab?
Fibers and polymers company INVISTA is suing DuPont for more than $800m for selling them certain facilities that allegedly failed to comply with environmental, health and safety regulations. DuPont said the allegations were grossly exaggerated and lack merit.

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March 27, 2008

The battle of organics

A group of US organic personal care products manufacturers are trying to clean up their industry's aisles of what they claimed as fake organics with its recently released study.

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March 26, 2008

Uncrackable electronics - a shell of an idea?

Wouldn't you like your hand-held electronic devices to last for a long time...at least until the next hi-tech device caught your fancy?

Well, Angela Belcher, a scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is using abalone, a sea snail, to develop biologically-based nano-materials that have the ability to genetically fix themselves if they break or crack.

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March 25, 2008

Stop smelling your buttered popcorn!

It's so difficult not to inhale that freshly popped buttery flavored popcorn but please restrain yourself from burying your face in it.

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Solar meltdown predicted

Just as I was recently thinking of letting some solar stocks shine on my meager technology portfolio, a doom-and-gloom scenario was recently predicted by the research firm, Lux Research.

Lux said the superheated global solar industry will soon experience some cooling down...

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March 24, 2008

Chem feedstock turns green

ICIS Chemical Business (about ICB) published an in-depth feature on March 10 about renewable, more environment-friendly alternative feedstock for chemicals production. The development of these new feedstock continues to gain momentum as crude oil price skyrockets and chemical regulations tighten.

These articles are free to access!

1. Research on oilseed for chemical feedstock increases by Me. The chemical industry is going back to its roots looking to plants and oilseeds for new raw materials.

2. DSM invests in biotechnology by Andy Brice. Dutch chemical company DSM is hoping its $1.5bn investment in using biomass, enzymes, and other renewable raw materials to produce chemicals will soon pay off to cushion soaring crude oil price.

3. Coal-to-chemicals is a risky gambit to China by John Richardson. China is looking for a secured alternative chemical feedstock to petroleum, and coal-to-chemicals technology could be environmentally feasible if carbon dioxide emissions can be sequestered and water consumed can be recycled.

4. Bio-based building blocks are back by Clay Boswell. Consulting firm McKinsey & Co. confirmed that biotechnology-based chemicals are gaining momentum out from the shadow of biofuels.

March 21, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

Solar news packed this week's roundup while specialty chemical companies further move towards green products and processing...

East and West in solar hook-up
Chinese solar cells and modules producer Suntech bought a minority stake in Russian polysilicon producer Nitol Solar. Nitol will use the financial infuse to set up its new trichlorosilane gas plant which will be completed in 2009. The gas is a key material used in the production of polysilicon.

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March 20, 2008

The 11th Commandment: Thou shall not pollute

A timely news for the Christian world's Holy Week...

The Vatican is moving with the modern times and adding "eco sin" to its list of new social sins (e.g. contraception, experiments such as stem cell research, drug abuse, excessive wealth, creating poverty, etc..)

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March 19, 2008

Hurray! for Cow Power

Don't wrinkle your nose on this news but according to Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), two million happy dairy cows in California could make other states' energy sector green with envy.

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March 18, 2008

Chem council's new retail "fixer"

The American Chemistry Council created a new position called managing director for retail sustainability, to safeguard the interests of the chemical industry against the growing bans, regulations and standards on certain chemicals being initiated by major retailers as part of their sustainability initiatives.

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March 17, 2008

Alcohols gone green

In the spirit of St. Patrick's Day, I discovered some interesting green activities in the global alcoholic beverage industry.

Five top UK brewers, SabMiller, Scottish & Newcastle, Marston's, Wells & Young's, Frederic Robinson's Ltd., have adopted lighter-weight glass bottles for their beers, ales and wines, according to the non-profit organization Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).


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ADM on eco-hot seat

Archer Daniels Midland's CEO Patricia Woertz was ambushed by several members of the Rainforest Action Network at the Wall Street Journal's ECO: nomics conference in California last week, demanding she sign a petition for ADM to stop using palm oil from endangered forests in Southeast Asia, according to the WSJ's blog Environmental Capital.

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March 14, 2008

Weekly news roundup

Time flies when you have so much news to work on, and in the green world, journalists are bombarded by it. Here are this week's news roundup :

EPA says switch them out
To date, one million switches, which contains minute amount of mercury, have been removed from scrapped vehicles through the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program formed by the Environmental Protection Agency and several auto-related industry groups. The EPA said significant amount of mercury emissions can be released if mercury switches are not removed from retired vehicles.

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Pulp Non-fiction

Research scientists from the US Department of Agriculture is trying to help cut costs in bioplastics production using sugar beet pulp.

According to them, the cheap pulp, currently used as a livestock feed or a pet feed ingredient can be converted into a specialized filler material for polylactic acid-based plastics. PLA is said to be expensive because of the complex processes required to derive it from fermented corn sugars.

I wonder what's the total production cost to manufacture the pulp-based plasticizers...

March 13, 2008

Stock picks: Solar in, biofuel out

2008 could still be a bad year for ethanol stocks but brighter for solar, according to this excerpt from the Wall Street Transcript's Alternative energy report.

In the report, Pavel Molchanov of Raymond James & Associates said the solar sector will continue to thrive despite the US recession largely because demand is largely tied to government subsidies, and the industry is not cyclical.

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March 12, 2008

Clean and green..and deadly?

This recent news from the New York Times proves that all chemicals, whether they're renewable-based, petroleum-based or in between, can be toxic if not handled properly.

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March 11, 2008

Cosmetic confusion

Certifications of natural and organic cosmetics and personal care is proliferating worldwide, and could cause further consumer confusions, according to Organic Monitor.

March 10, 2008

Green is boring?

A recent survey conducted by YouGov Plc said people in the UK are bored hearing about news on carbon dioxide emissions, with some not really understanding what is it all about.

What should green groups do to make the issue about carbon dioxide emissions more exciting? Coz' I sure need some pumping up on my blog too...

Battle of the wind

Soaring demand for alternative energy would probably see more intellectual property (IP) suit such as this one from General Electric (GE) against Japan's biggest wind power turbine maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

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March 7, 2008

Weekly News Roundup

Starting this month, I'm initiating a weekly Green News Roundup and hopefully it'll stick unless my boss starts yelling at me to get back to my real job.

A wind of BP's Texas green plan
Big oil BP is at its full speed in the construction of its second wind farm in Texas. The first phase of the project is expected to come on line in the second half of 2008 with a capacity of 150 megawatts.

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Sustainability: Cost versus Price

I found this insightful article from the site SustainableIsGood talking about why consumers should not pay extra price for buying green products.

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March 6, 2008

Chinese new green year

Several news I came across regarding green investments in China. This red country has been getting a lot of black publicity lately about pollution and quality control so it's good to get some green news for a change.

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March 5, 2008

Where did the elephants go?

Environmental group WWF is blaming the pulp & paper and palm oil industries for the disappearance of elephants and tigers in Central Sumatra's Riau Province in Indonesia.

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Eco-terrorists on the loose

Several supposedly green model homes in Seattle were set on fire this week and a shadowy environmental activists called Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.) claimed responsibility, according to New York Times.

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March 4, 2008

Lanxess' Singapore promise

Lanxess said in its press announcement last week that the company will be a good neighbor in Singapore by installing the latest environmental safety technology in its new butyl rubber plant in Jurong Island.



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March 3, 2008

A glimpse of Singapore


The rumors about Singapore's cleanliness and discipline are all true!

I am back from a week-long Singapore business trip - compliments of specialty chemical company Lanxess, and found interesting green (or lack thereof) tidbits about this tiny 270 sq. mile city-island with exploding population of 4.68 million.

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