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01 / 05
The Race to Destroy PFAS, the Forever Chemicals

MIT Technology Review | Pollution

The Race to Destroy PFAS, the Forever Chemicals

“The Annihilator represents just one of several technologies now vying to break down and destroy PFAS. These span the gamut from established processes like electrochemical oxidation and supercritical water oxidation to emerging techniques relying on ultraviolet light, plasma, ultrasound, or catalyst-driven thermal processes. Some are deployed in field tests. Other companies are actively running pilot programs, many with various divisions of the US Department of Defense and other government agencies. And many other technologies are still undergoing laboratory research.”

From MIT Technology Review.

Sustainability by numbers | Pollution

The World Has (Probably) Passed Peak Pollution

“The health impacts of air pollution are often underrated. There are a range of estimates for how many people die prematurely from local air pollution every year. All are in the low millions. The World Health Organization estimates around 7 million.

The good news, then, is that the world is probably passed ‘peak pollution’. I say ‘probably’ because confidently declaring a peak is, apparently, the best way to make sure it doesn’t happen.

Here, I’m talking specifically about emissions of harmful local air pollutants: gases like nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide which causes acid rain, carbon monoxide, black carbon, organic carbon, non-methane volatile organic compounds. I’m not talking about greenhouse gases.”

From Sustainability by numbers.

C3 | Pollution

Lab Grown Algae Could Be Pivotal in Reducing Global Emissions

“Brilliant Planet, a UK-based climate technology company … aims to harness the power of marine algae to remove emissions by the gigaton, and then sell its service within the broader carbon marketplace. Brilliant Planet relies on a mix of modern engineering coupled with the carbon-capturing capacities of some of the world’s most ancient aquatic organisms.

The startup essentially replicates the natural algal coastal blooms that sustain marine ecosystems –– albeit on land.”

From C3.

Our World in Data | Pollution

Oil Spills from Tankers Have Fallen by More than 90% since the 1970s

“In the 1970s, oil spills from tankers — container ships transporting oil — were common. Between 70 and 100 spills occurred per year. That’s one or two spills every week.

This number has fallen by more than 90% since then. In the last decade, no year has had more than eight oil spills, as shown in the chart.

The quantity of oil spilled from tankers has also fallen dramatically. Over the last decade, the average is less than 10,000 tonnes per year, compared to over 300,000 tonnes in the 1970s.”

From Our World in Data.

The Hill | Pollution

US Emissions Fell 17 Percent from 2005 Levels

“Net U.S. emissions increased by 1.3 percent in 2022 for a total of 5,489 million metric tons of carbon dioxide compared to the previous year, according to the EPA. The agency attributed the bulk of the increase to higher levels of fossil fuel combustion as the economic rebound and lifting of pandemic-related restrictions that began in 2021 continued.

Despite the year-over-year increase, however, the EPA determined that net emissions fell 16.7 percent compared to 2005 levels between 1990 and 2022. This decrease was partly due to a decline in emissions from industry over the last decade, according to the EPA. The agency attributed this drop to several factors, including macroeconomic trends like the shift from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy. Improvements in energy efficiency also played a role, as did transitions to lower-carbon fuels.”

From The Hill.