NRDC and Partners Calls out EPA for Evaluation Process of Toxic Chemical Risks

NRDC, EPA | July 17, 2020

NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) together with partners, today asked a federal court to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s woefully inadequate process for evaluating risks of the toxic chemical methylene chloride.  A solvent used in paint strippers and other products, methylene chloride has already been linked to some 60 deaths, at least 4 of which occurred after the EPA refused to finalize a ban on its use in paint strippers.

“This is the agency’s very first risk evaluation under the updated federal toxics law and it sets the stage for future limits on this deadly chemical,” said Selena Kyle, senior attorney and managing litigator for NRDC. “But the agency has underestimated the risks to people exposed to methylene chloride on the job, and all but ignored risks to people who live near facilities that release it into the air, water, and soil. When EPA moves forward to regulate the chemical, it must consider these risks.”

Spotlight

In the current period of rapid change, the chemical industry has recognized that it must embrace the proliferation and confluence of digital technologies to overcome the significant challenges it now faces. Extreme global competition, increasing regulation and market uncertainty, the need to perpetually consolidate and optimize the business portfolio to enable profitable growth, the accelerating compression of product lifecycles, and shifting demand patterns and channels to key markets are putting a drag on shareholder returns, asset utilization and efficient resource allocation while driving the need for outcome-oriented, perpetual portfolio innovation in order to grow.


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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

eMolecules acquires Frontier Scientific Inc. and Frontier Agricultural Sciences Inc.

eMolecules Inc. | September 08, 2022

eMolecules, Inc., provider of a leading chemistry search-and-fulfillment platform for early drug discovery research, announced the acquisitions of Frontier Scientific Inc. and Frontier Agricultural Sciences Inc. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. FSI is a leading provider of chemical materials management and custom research services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, industrial chemical, government, and academic sectors, helping global organizations reduce time to market, internal costs and resource requirements. FAS is a top provider of research materials to the entomology research community, enabling accelerated development of agricultural chemistry products. All FSI and FAS employees will join eMolecules and will continue to operate out of the companies' main location in Newark, Delaware, USA. "We are truly excited to welcome the FSI and FAS teams into the eMolecules family. Our shared dedication to providing outstanding customer service and delivering specialized solutions that simplify the lives of chemistry researchers were the primary drivers behind this combination. We have worked with Frontier for many years and have been impressed and enthused by the talent that will now be joining and complementing our growing team." Niko Gubernator, CEO and President of eMolecules "R&D departments are under enormous pressure to usher drug candidates through clinical development more quickly and at lower operational costs than ever before. This growing expectation, combined with unstable global supply chains, underscores the need for more robust, cost-efficient chemical supply and management solutions," continued Niko. "FSI's compound management, sample processing, and chemical analytical and procurement services perfectly complement eMolecules' revolutionary specialty chemistry search-and-fulfillment offerings. The combined companies will offer a comprehensive suite of capabilities that will help our customers run more efficient R&D programs, even in times of uncertainty. Additionally, FAS' support of leading agricultural research organizations will serve as an anchor for eMolecules to grow into this important adjacent market." "Today's combining of FSI and FAS with eMolecules marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for our customers and employees," said Bert Israelsen, co-owner and Executive Vice President of FSI and FAS. "As part of eMolecules, FSI and FAS will deliver more value to customers due to the expanded breadth and depth of offerings for specialty chemistry research that will be offered from one company. We are thrilled to embark on a new journey with eMolecules that will further transform drug discovery around the world." Sriram Venkataraman, Partner at Avista Capital Partners, said, "The transaction represents a key milestone in eMolecules' growth strategy and in its journey to expand into additional markets and service offerings. The combination establishes a one-stop shop for efficient end-to-end solutions that facilitates chemical compound procurement and management for highly specialized chemists, and provides new entry points for eMolecules into the attractive agricultural chemistry market." About eMolecules Inc. eMolecules was founded in 2005 with a vision to reduce drug discovery timelines through improved efficiencies in the compound search and acquisition process. This led to the creation of the industry's most powerful, reliable and accurate digital chemical search engine directly connecting chemists to the world's largest readily available chemical space. eMolecules specializes in unique structures with dependable delivery options coming from a trusted network of hundreds of suppliers, globally. With an extensive chemical database combined with industry-leading supply chain management, eMolecules delivers compounds quickly and reliably to chemists enabling the completion of more syntheses with more confidence and less time in the lab. eMolecules remains the primary global purchasing channel for chemical building blocks and screening compounds at 13 of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies. Continued commitment to supporting drug discovery research has led to the expansion of eMolecules' services to providing chemical intelligence data, specialty reagent procurement services and providing integrated eCommerce software for chemical building blocks, screening compounds, and primary antibody supply chains. With nearly 60 employees globally, eMolecules is headquartered in San Diego, California, USA and has laboratory space and offices in California, USA and London, UK. Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm, became the primary investors of eMolecules in 2021. About Frontier Scientific Inc. The Sample Management Division of Frontier Scientific Inc. (FSI) was founded in 1988, with its primary business being the global distribution of commercial screening samples. This experience in sample reformatting and distribution evolved to a service providing outsourced material management of proprietary compound collections starting in 2002. Subsequent successes have led to the growth of this service, now supporting over 90 R&D organizations with total compounds under management exceeding 15 million in a variety of formats.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Chris Heckle named manufacturing director at Argonne National Laboratory

Globally recognized | November 23, 2022

Globally recognized research and development leader Chris Heckle has been appointed as the first director of the Materials Manufacturing Innovation Center at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne established the MMIC with the goal of bringing advanced materials and chemical manufacturing technologies including energy storage and others essential for the clean energy transition to market faster, by cultivating and sustaining partnerships between the laboratory and the private sector, DOE, universities, and other stakeholders. Heckle most recently served as Research Director for Inorganic Materials Research and Asia Research Labs for Corning Incorporated. She is a materials informatics champion who over a 25-year career has facilitated technology innovation across business units for multiple industries, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. She brings to Argonne experience in creating a manufacturing platform that opened new market opportunities for Corning in energy storage, as well as a demonstrated record of translating megatrends into technical thrusts and accelerating product timelines through introduction and adoption of new tools. “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to support materials and chemical processing companies by connecting stakeholders and Argonne’s impressive variety of capabilities and people,” Heckle said. “And I’m passionate about people development, which is essential to prepare a new generation of technology and manufacturing leaders for our nation.” To help partners commercialize new materials, Argonne manufacturing experts leverage a one-of-a-kind combination of facilities — including the Materials Engineering Research Facility, Advanced Photon Source, and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility — to rapidly develop and scale up materials discovered at the laboratory bench (gram-scale) to commercially relevant quantities produced using cost-effective, scalable processes. “We are pleased that Chris has chosen to join our team. Her deep technical knowledge and record of innovation and motivational leadership will guide the laboratory in making meaningful and long-lasting partner connections, to fulfill the MMIC mission of advancing U.S. technological leadership in materials manufacturing at a critical time.” Megan Clifford, Associate Laboratory Director for Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach at Argonne

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Prospera and Aduro Enter into LOI to Collaborate on Pilot Plant for Partial Upgrading of Bitumen

Prospera Energy | September 13, 2022

Prospera Energy is primarily focused on optimizing hydrocarbon recovery through environmentally safe and efficient reservoir development methods and production practices. Restructured PEI has elevated gross production levels to 925 Boepd (750bpd) from 80bpd in the span of a year and a half. PEI has piloted horizontal laterals in order to assess and improve technical and economic efficiency to effectively capture the significant remaining reserves. PEI’s primary objectives are to improve profit margin through increased production levels and reduced operating expense while regulatory and environmentally complaint. The horizontal laterals allow PEI to optimize production and recovery while reducing the environmental footprint by eliminating the numerous vertical leases along the lateral path. In addition, PEI ESG initiatives are to incorporate innovative technologies to reduce carbon emission, increase carbon capture, and technologies to improve margin. PEI is pleased to announce the engagement of Aduro Clean Technologies Inc. (“Aduro” ) innovation that reduces blend down stock, improves the product specification, increases unit economics, and has a lower carbon footprint. PEI core assets are medium to heavy oil properties (12-17 API) located along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border of Cuthbert, Heart Hills, and Luseland. Recently, PEI has acquired interests in Brooks light oil property to diversify product mix from heavy oil differentials dependency. PEI is motivated by the significant potential impact that bitumen upgrader technology can have on PEI’s operating netback. Aduro Clean Technologies Inc. a Canadian developer of patented water-based technologies to chemically recycle plastics and transform heavy crude and renewable oils into new-era resources and higher-value fuels, is pleased to announce that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aduro Energy Inc., it has entered into a Letter of Intent dated September 12th, 2022 with Prospera Energy Inc. with the purpose of developing, building, and supplying a pre-commercial pilot plant to convert low API bitumen to higher value products. On September 7, Aduro announced that its scaled-up continuous flow bitumen reactor is nearing completion and readiness for customer trials and engagement acceleration. This LOI is the company’s second engagement on the bitumen vertical with a producer in Alberta. The LOI outlines an 18-month plan with three phases. Phase one, which will commence during the month of October, includes the testing of bitumen feedstocks and the evaluation of the economics. It is expected to be completed in Q1 2023. Phase two includes preliminary engineering, identification of the pilot plant site, and reviewing of licenses and permits, as well as detailed budgeting and agreement to proceed with construction. Phase two is scheduled for completion in Q3 2023. Phase three includes the procurement, fabrication, construction, commissioning, and operation of a 50 bbl/day pilot plant. Work is expected to be completed in Q2 2024. After completion of phase three, Aduro and Prospera will define a roadmap to commissioning a 3,000 bbl/day commercial facility. In consideration of the services to be provided for phase one, Prospera Energy Inc. will pay Aduro a monthly fee of $25,000CAD plus applicable taxes, with the total fees for the completion and delivery of phase one scope capped at $125,000CAD plus applicable taxes. “Aduro’s research and engineering team has been building the necessary tools to enable Aduro to test an expanded range of customer feedstock, and we are very excited to apply it to Prospera’s crude and to demonstrate our ability to unlock the value of lower API bitumen. By partnering with Samuel David and the Prospera team, we will have access to resources and support in building and operating a pilot plant facility, an important milestone on our path to commercialization.” Ofer Vicus, Chief Executive Officer at Aduro About Prospera Energy Prospera Energy Inc. is a public oil and gas exploration, exploitation, and development company focusing on conventional oil and gas reservoirs in Western Canada. Prospera uses its experience to develop, acquire, and drill assets with potential for primary and secondary recovery. About Aduro Clean Technologies Aduro Clean Technologies is a developer of patented water-based technologies to chemically recycle waste plastics; convert heavy crude and bitumen into lighter, more valuable oil; and transform renewable oils into higher-value fuels or renewable chemicals. The Company’s Hydrochemolytic™ technology activates unique properties of water in a chemistry platform that operates at relatively low temperatures and cost, a game-changing approach that converts low-value feedstocks into 21st-century resources.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

SOCMA Welcomes Five New Members in Q3

SOCMA | October 14, 2022

The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates announces five new companies were approved for membership by its Board of Governors – Forquimica, Pflaumer Brothers, Synray, The ChemQuest Group, and Williams Mullen. Forquimica, a Brazil-based manufacturer of sustainable agricultural products, opened its first U.S. facility in Moultrie, GA. "We are excited to join SOCMA for its expert legislative and regulatory guidance as we set up our Georgia site," said Ana Paula de Freitas, Quality Control Manager, Forquimica. "Along with compliance assistance, SOCMA's resources will maximize our continuous improvement efforts in commercial and manufacturing activities." Synray is a New Jersey-based coatings and specialty chemical toll manufacturer, selling resins to the paint, coatings and ink markets. "Synray looks to benefit from SOCMA's commercial services to create new business partnerships, and participate in the multitude of operational best practice sharing forums members are afforded," said Peter Tepperman, CEO, Synray. Specialty chemical manufacturer Pflaumer Brothers, located in Ewing, NJ, develops products and technologies with applications for paints, coatings, printing inks, electronics and more. Pflaumer's leadership is looking to SOCMA for optimized training, specialized tariff support, and access to SOCMA's broad network of toll manufacturers. The ChemQuest Group is a global consulting firm providing clients with tailored business strategy, market intelligence, technology acceleration and M&A advisory services. "As former chemical industry executives, our team brings depth of experience to each project," said Edye Fox Abrams, Vice President, Business Development & Marketing. "We are excited to partner with SOCMA in offering the association and its members guidance on navigating the challenging post-Covid business environment." Williams Mullen is an established advisor to the specialty chemical sector. Representing various industry clients, the law firm provides expertise in areas including M&A, finance, corporate and litigation. "We proudly welcome this new group of members. Each company is looking to fulfill specific business objectives and expand their visibility through collaboration with SOCMA. My team and I look forward to helping them reach their strategic goals through SOCMA's tailored programs and services." Jennifer Abril, President & CEO, SOCMA About SOCMA Solely dedicated to the specialty chemical industry, SOCMA builds commercial connections, supports manufacturing and operations, and advocates for regulatory and legislative policies.

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Spotlight

In the current period of rapid change, the chemical industry has recognized that it must embrace the proliferation and confluence of digital technologies to overcome the significant challenges it now faces. Extreme global competition, increasing regulation and market uncertainty, the need to perpetually consolidate and optimize the business portfolio to enable profitable growth, the accelerating compression of product lifecycles, and shifting demand patterns and channels to key markets are putting a drag on shareholder returns, asset utilization and efficient resource allocation while driving the need for outcome-oriented, perpetual portfolio innovation in order to grow.

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