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Tiny Sensors Inspired by Butterfly Wings Could Improve Bomb Detection

February 9, 2015 3:15 pm | by GE Reports | Comments

The tiny device might be a game changer in detecting hazardous materials like chemical oxidizers and explosives, a process that today requires large and expensive equipment like spectrometers and chromatographs. Instead, the new sensor, which should cost a few cents to produce, is 300 times smaller and consumes 100 times less power.

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Haitian Protesters March to Demand Lower Gasoline Prices

February 9, 2015 10:05 am | by Associated Press | Comments

At least 6,000 protesters marched through Haiti's capital Saturday to demand lower gas prices and the ouster of President Michel Martelly. The protest in Port-au-Prince remained peaceful overall although police briefly threw tear gas and dispersed a crowd that had thrown trash and tires in the street to block traffic.

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California Formally Opens Large Solar Plant

February 9, 2015 10:02 am | by Associated Press | Comments

California is rushing to expand its use of solar power to meet the renewable energy requirements, and one of the nation's largest solar projects will be dedicated Monday in the Riverside County desert. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to join federal and local officials to formally open the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, which is expected to produce enough power for about 160,000 homes.

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New Sanctions Proposed for Islamic State Group Oil Trading

February 9, 2015 9:57 am | by EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press | Comments

The Russian-sponsored resolution, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, would also require all 193 U.N. member states to take "appropriate steps" to prevent the trade in antiquities and other items of historical, cultural, rare scientific and religious importance illegally removed from Syria.

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Steelworkers to Expand Strike to Two BP Refineries in Midwest

February 9, 2015 9:30 am | by DAVID KOENIG, AP Business Writer | Comments

The first nationwide strike at U.S. oil refineries since 1980 is spreading to two BP plants in the Midwest. The United Steelworkers union has notified BP Plc. that workers at refineries in Ohio and Indiana will strike late Saturday night, joining a walkout that began this week at nine other refineries.

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US Gas Prices Jump 13 Cents a Gallon; Could go Higher

February 9, 2015 9:24 am | by Associated Press | Comments

The average price of a regular gallon of gas jumped 13 cents in the past two weeks to $2.20, ending a sustained drop. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that a rebound in the price of crude oil caused the run-up at the pump. However, the price is $1.10 below...

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Explosion at Chemical Plant in Eastern Ukraine Sparks Fire

February 9, 2015 9:19 am | by PETER LEONARD, Associated Press | Comments

A powerful explosion rocked a chemical plant and set it on fire Monday outside the separatist stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Rebels said the plant was hit by government shelling. No casualties or damage were immediately reported from the blast, which could be heard in downtown Donetsk.

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Shell Set to Use Crane Ship Named After Nazi

February 6, 2015 5:21 pm | by Sam Neylon, Chem.Info | Comments

The ship is named after convicted Nazi war criminal Pieter Schelte Heerema — which has prompted a chorus of outrage among the Jewish community and others. Shell said that it supports a change in the name, but that the ship’s owner — Swiss-based group Allseas Group SA — has refused.

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New Catalyst Could Pave The Way to a More Eco-Friendly Fertilizer

February 6, 2015 4:45 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Comments

Taking nitrogen from the air and converting it to ammonia under natural conditions is a process that has only happened in nature — until now. Ammonia is a key component of fertilizer, leading the scientists to report that the finding could be an important step toward creating a more eco-friendly fertilizer.

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Farmers File More Than 360 Corn Lawsuits Against Syngenta

February 6, 2015 3:36 pm | by DAVID PITT, Associated Press | Comments

The dispute centers around Syngenta's sale of a corn seed called Agrisure Viptera, which was genetically altered to contain a protein that kills corn-eating bugs such as earworms and cutworms. The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved it in 2010, and Syngenta first sold it to farmers in 2011.

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Texas Startup Plans $2B La. Natural Gas Liquification Plant

February 6, 2015 10:47 am | by Associated Press | Comments

The news came six days after the collapse in world oil prices prompted Sasol, of South Africa, to announce a delay in final investment plans for a $14 billion plant in the same area to convert natural gas to diesel and other liquid fuels.

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Japan Readies First Robot to Probe Melted Fukushima Reactor

February 6, 2015 9:41 am | by MIKI TODA, Associated Press | Comments

Assessing the damage inside the reactors is a crucial step in the decommissioning of the plant, which was badly damaged by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Use of a remote-controlled robot is essential because no humans can go close to the reactor chambers because of their fatally high radiation levels.

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Plant in St. James Parish Seeks Permit to Emit Mercury

February 5, 2015 5:10 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The Advocated reports the owners of the once-bankrupt Kaiser Aluminum complex on the Mississippi River are asking state regulators for permission to release up to 250 pounds of mercury per year. That would make the plant one of the largest mercury polluters of Louisiana's air...

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Ethanol From Derailed Train Leaking Into Mississippi River

February 5, 2015 5:02 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Railroad officials say it's unclear how much ethanol has leaked into the Mississippi River following a train derailment in eastern Iowa, but that they're working to monitor the environmental impact and offload fuel from the train. Local authorities say three cars caught fire and three others plunged into the river.

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North Dakota Oil Industry Avoids Layoffs

February 5, 2015 11:43 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | Comments

The months-long slide in crude oil prices has resulted in thousands of layoffs in Texas, the nation's top oil-producing state. In second-place North Dakota, however, the burgeoning shale oil and natural gas sector will apparently be spared mass job cuts in the short term.

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