4 entry routes of toxins and hazardous chemical substances

| February 1, 2018

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Breathing contaminated air is the most common way workplace chemicals enter the body. Some chemicals, when contacted, can pass through the skin into the bloodstream. The eyes may also be a route of entry. Usually, however, only very small quantities of chemicals in the workplace enter the body through the eyes. Workplace chemicals may be swallowed accidentally if food, hands, or cigarettes are contaminated.

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Global polyethylene demand boom likely, increasing the sustainability challenge

Article | June 15, 2021

IT FEELS LIKE several lifetimes ago. If you recall, way back in November-December 2019 Asian variable cost integrated naphtha-based polyethylene (PE) margins turned negative because of the increase in US capacity. Then in January the following year, deep Asian and Middle East operating rate cuts returned some order to the market. Then, bang, as we all know, the pandemic arrived and turned everything on its head. The pandemic has, in my view, accentuated trends that were already well underway. I believe this means that the supply-driven downturn that started in late 2019 will not return.Long before coronavirus upended everyone’s lives, PE demand was becoming increasingly divorced from GDP growth because of the shifting nature of end-use demand. Booming internet sales was, I believe, a major factor behind the split between the growth of the overall economies in the developed world plus China and PE demand.The average product bought online is dropped 17 times because of the large number of people involved in the logistics chain, according to Forbes. This had led to a surge in demand for protective packaging made not from PE and other polymers such as polypropylene, expandable polystyrene and PET films (I will look at their demand growth prospects in later posts).Despite sustainability pressures, the scale of demand for stuff bought online translated to a lot more consumption of virgin polymers.

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Can credit trading drive dollars to plastics recovery?

Article | February 18, 2020

An initiative backed by several major brands is looking to boost the flow of corporate money to vetted plastics recovery and recycling projects. The effort is based on a voluntary market-based standard, currently called the Plastic Waste Recovery and Recycling Project Standard, which will lay out broad rules and requirements for projects around the world to meet. Projects meeting the standard could generate credits, which companies would then purchase to help fund the effort. “It’s essentially driving corporation financing through a crediting mechanism to plastic recovery and recycling activities,” said Sneha Balasubramanian, a program officer at Washington, D.C.-based group Verra, which is creating the standard. Verra is a standards development organization that has a focus on climate action and sustainable development.

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Optimizing chemical production using data-driven, AI-enabled hybrid modeling

Article | March 13, 2020

Smart use of your plant’s data can take process efficiency to a higher level. Hybrid models driven by artificial intelligence deliver the best results for the least effort. And you don’t need a data science degree to enjoy them. Data is everywhere these days – and the volumes of it are growing exponentially all the time. We’re used to smart uses of it in our everyday lives. Like Amazon and Netflix using our past behavior to tempt us with new products or shows, even making them more appealing by tailoring how they look based on carefully constructed, data-driven profiles of our tastes. Much of that heavy lifting is done by artificial intelligence (AI). In chemical production, process control systems have been collecting data measurements during continuous or batch manufacturing for decades.

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When chemistry becomes intelligent

Article | March 5, 2020

Nowadays, artificial intelligence (AI) and computer programs have infiltrated almost every corner of our lives; from facial recognition, language translation, image and video production, to self-driving cars and personal care aides. Other applications that might not yet be mainstream knowledge have to do with scientific exploration and research and development. For example, AI has the potential to revolutionize medical practices through augmenting medical diagnosis and have found application in drug discovery. In many places, researchers have also attempted to use AI algorithms to manipulate biology, chemistry, and physics with different setup configurations that can detect DNA modifications caused during epigenetic regulation or gene mutation, choose the most optimal reaction pathways in synthesis, and search for exotic particles using adapted learning networks.

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Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company

Nalco Water, An Ecolab Company, specializes in industrial water, energy and air applications, helping customers reduce natural resource consumption, enhance air quality, minimize environmental releases and improve productivity and end products while boosting the bottom line.

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