Digitization is an area of investment for chemical companies in pursuit of faster product development, lower costs and improved quality, Vanessa Zainzinger writes. Bayer is using machine learning known as Quality Release Time Zero to accelerate production and quickly identify issues in new batches.
The American Chemistry Council and other groups are urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a letter to reconsider proposals related to regional transmission organizations and independent system operators that could result in higher electricity prices. "FERC should avoid supporting any complex changes in market design that create new uncertainty and risk that will in turn increase costs for consumers," the letter states.
Plastic bans are a band-aid solution that don't get to the root of the plastic waste issue and, instead, result in the use of alternative products that may have higher environmental costs, writes Domenic Di Mondo of GreenMantra Technologies, citing a 2016 American Chemistry Council and TRUCOST study. Circular practices are a better solution and can be encouraged by governments through rebate programs and other policies, he writes.
DuPont is speaking with bidders regarding the sale of its nutrition and bioscience division, and Royal DSM is reportedly among the interested parties.
Saudi Aramco emphasizes health, environment and safety departments as part of making safety a core value and cultural priority for employees, says the Aramco Research Center's Tony Ogunsanya.
Companies can plan successful and scalable pilot projects by considering commercial details such as budget and timeline early in the planning process, writes Matt Benz of EPIC Systems. Stakeholders should agree on the technical elements before the project advances, and companies may be able to save money by building pilot plants near existing utility connections and infrastructure, he writes.
Leaders need to practice what they preach, but they should also avoid lengthy or complex value propositions, says Chris Barbin, former CEO of Appirio and chief culture officer at Wipro. "Generally, there's a perception gap between what the leadership believes they are doing and representing and what the actual employee base believes and sees," he says.
The Surface Transportation Board will accept comments until Nov. 12 on a pair of proposed rules that would streamline the rate review process for rail shippers. "The board's proposed reforms are a positive step toward improving how the STB addresses freight rail problems, and we look forward to working with the commissioners and their staff on modernizing and streamlining outdated regulations," says American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley.
The Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps that will delay proposed new standards for ethylene oxide releases from sites that sterilize medical equipment. The agency expects to publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in October that will be subject to a public comment period.
The Environmental Protection Agency is facing challenges incorporating REACH data into its risk review of Pigment Violet 29 and other chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act, writes Herb Estreicher of law firm Keller and Heckman. The EPA is required to disclose all of the information in REACH studies, which creates confidentiality concerns for companies, he argues.
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