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Changes Why Europe’s

on tap at chemical
Chemical sector now
Safety Board loves its
P.18 regulation
P.20
JULY 16, 2018

A better
way to
dye New methods to color
clothes aim to reduce
pollution from textiles
P.28
Contents VOLUME 96, NUMBER 29

July 16, 2018

Cover story

Greener textile dyeing


Large and small suppliers vow to help a resource-
intensive industry change with the times
Page 28

Quote of the week Features

It costs “only
1 to 2% of MINE!

the fiber’s
value to ship
it anywhere in 18 Changes on tap at
22 A carbon fiber
cluster grows in South
the world.” U.S. Chemical Safety Carolina
Board Teijin breaks ground on a
—Dan Pichler, joint Chair departs, investigators $600 million plant as demand 27 The unwritten rules
managing director, CarbConsult leave, staff fears changing grows for the strong, lightweight of the laboratory
Page 22 mission material When hoarding chemicals and
other shared lab resources
20 Industry learns to 24 C&EN talks with becomes a problem
love REACH Amy Prieto, battery
Supporting the chemical innovator
management law is good for Colorado State chemist
competitiveness, Europe’s discusses her next-generation
industry now says lithium-ion technology

Departments ACS News


2 Editorial 38 C&ENjobs 34 ACS Comment
3 Reactions 40 Newscripts 35 ACS News
Photograph by Shutterstock 5 Concentrates 37 Awards
CE NEA R 9 6 (29 ) 1–40 • ISSN 0009 -2347
1155—16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036
Editorial
A question on ethics
(202) 872-4600 or (800) 227-5558

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Bibiana Campos Seijo


EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Amanda Yarnell
OPERATIONS DIRECTOR: Kimberly Bryson

H
SENIOR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER: Marvel A. Wills ere’s a question for C&EN In my view, if an employee is performing
BUSINESS readers: Would you fabricate a job and is good at it, that person should
NEW YORK CITY: (212) 608-6306
Michael McCoy, Executive Editor a job offer so you could nego- be compensated for it accordingly and in
Rick Mullin (Senior Editor), Marc S. Reisch (Senior Correspondent), Alexander tiate a promotion or pay in- line with individuals within the same orga-
H. Tullo (Senior Correspondent), Rachel Eskenazi (Administrative Assistant).
BOSTON: (202) 236-7633 Ryan Cross (Assistant Editor). crease at work? Have you done it yourself nization at an equivalent level profession-
CHICAGO: (917) 710-0924 Lisa M. Jarvis (Senior Correspondent).
HONG KONG: 852 9093 8445 Jean‑François Tremblay (Senior
or know of someone who has and got away ally (ideally pay should be benchmarked
Correspondent). LONDON: 44 1494 564 316 Alex Scott (Senior Editor). with it? To be clear, I’m not considering against similar-sized institutions in states
WEST COAST: (315) 825-8566 Melody M. Bomgardner (Senior Editor)
doing this myself. I’m simply asking for a or parts of the country with comparable
POLICY
WEST COAST: (925) 519-6681 Jyllian Kemsley, Executive Editor
friend … income ranges). Does a job offer and the
WASHINGTON: Cheryl Hogue (Senior Correspondent) Of course, I’m joking. But this is the suggestion that the employee is desirable
Britt E. Erickson (Senior Editor), Andrea L. Widener (Senior Editor)
question that came to my mind as I read to another organization change how well
SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY/EDUCATION the news reported by CBS Denver that a— that person is performing? Promotions and
WASHINGTON: Lauren K. Wolf, Executive Editor, Deputy Editorial Director
Celia Henry Arnaud (Senior Correspondent), Matt Davenport (Senior Editor, now former—professor of biochemistry rewards should be directly related to per-
Multimedia), Carmen Drahl (Senior Correspondent),
Kerri Jansen (Assistant Editor, Multimedia),
at Colorado State University fabricated an formance and an individual’s contribution
Tien M. Nguyen (Assistant Editor), Cici Zhang (Editorial Fellow). outside job offer to improve his status at to the organization and to science.
BOSTON: (973) 922-0175 Bethany Halford (Senior Correspondent).
CHICAGO: (847) 679-1156 Mitch Jacoby (Senior Correspondent). his university. In other news, I read that the University
WEST COAST: (626) 765-6767 Michael Torrice (Science News It appears that Brian McNaughton— of Huddersfield in the U.K. is going to open
Editor), (202) 815-6827 Sam Lemonick (Assistant Editor)
JOURNAL NEWS & COMMUNITY who ran a biochemistry research group at a “super lab” geared toward pre-university
(510) 768-7657 Corinna Wu (Senior Editor)
(651) 447-6226 Jessica H. Marshall (Associate Editor)
CSU—was charged for falsifying a job offer science teaching. This development is part
from the University of Minnesota and now of a bigger remodeling project that will cul-
ACS NEWS & SPECIAL FEATURES
Linda Wang (Senior Correspondent) faces felony charges for fabricating the of- minate with the opening of its new science
PRODUCT MANAGER: Jessica Morrison
fer and attempting to influence a public of- building in the summer of 2019. The reason
ficial with the goal of improving his status this news caught my eye is that the equip-
AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR: Dorea I. Reeser
Arminda Downey-Mavromatis (Contributing Editor) at CSU. McNaughton, 40, alleged financial ment within this “super lab” will be avail-
and marital problems as the reasons for the able to schools within a 60-mile (about
EDITING & PRODUCTION
Sabrina J. Ashwell (Copy Editor), Luis A. Carrillo (Web P­ roduction Manager), lie and admitted that he got the idea from 96-km) radius of Huddersfield, providing
Taylor C. Hood (Digital Content Producer/Taxonomy Specialist),
Manny I. Fox Morone, Lead Production Editor
colleagues, who suggested that former pre-university students in the area with
Craig Bettenhausen (Associate Editor), Melissa T. Gilden faculty had lied about outside offers “as a access to instrumentation that schools are
(Assistant Editor), Alexandra A. Taylor (Assistant Editor)
mechanism to improve their salary,” Mc- generally unable to provide so that stu-
C&EN MEDIA PRODUCTION LAB Naughton wrote in a letter to the dean of dents can carry out more advanced prac-
Robert Bryson, Creative Director, Head of Media Production Lab
Tchad K. Blair, Head of UI/UX Design CSU’s College of Natural Sciences, accord- tical work. Exposing sharp young minds
Ian Bakar (Associate Designer), Robin L. Braverman (Senior Art Director),
Ty A. Finocchiaro (Senior Web ­Associate), Yang H. Ku (Art Director),
ing to the Chronicle of Higher Education. to well-outfitted facilities early will help
William A. Ludwig (Art Director), Kay Youn (Art Director) How desperate was he? It’s difficult attract and retain students in the sciences.
C&EN BRANDLAB to put ourselves in his shoes and decide I imagine the university will benefit direct-
Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay, Executive Editor
Jeff Lee (Senior Editor), Kirsten Dobson (Marketing Manager)
that a pay increase is worth risking a po- ly from this as well as from investment
tentially flourishing career and years of from the authorities to make this kind of
SALES & MARKETING
Stephanie Holland, Assistant Director, Advertising Sales & Marketing education and dedication to a discipline. arrangement possible. At a minimum, there
Natalia Bokhari (Advertising Operations Manager), The pay increase he ended up receiving will be savings from not having to maintain
Sondra Hadden (Senior Marketing Manager), Joyleen SanFeliz Parnell
­(Advertising Operations Associate), Quyen Pham (Lead Generation was roughly $4,000 per year, according to poorly equipped or poorly resourced labs at
­Associate), Ed Rather (Recruitment Advertising Product Manager),
Kierra Tobiere (Recruitment Sales & Marketing Associate)
CBS Denver. Was it worth it? I don’t think schools nearby. It’s an interesting approach
so. McNaughton has since resigned his that we may soon see replicated elsewhere.
ADVISORY BOARD
Deborah Blum, Raychelle Burks, Jinwoo Cheon, Kendrew H. Colton, position and apologized for the mistake Students will definitely benefit.
François-Xavier Coudert, Cathleen Crudden, Gautam R. Desiraju, he made. He returned the total amount of
Luis Carlos Diaz, Paula T. Hammond, Matthew Hartings, Christopher Hill,
Yan Liang, Javier García Martínez, Peter Nagler, Daniel García Rivera, the raise, which was about $4,000 per year
Anubhav Saxena, Dan Shine, Michael Sofia, William Tolman, James C. Tung,
Jill Venton, Helma Wennemers, Geofrey K. Wyatt, Deqing Zhang
over four years, as the lie managed to go
unnoticed for almost that long.
Published by the AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
Thomas M. Connelly Jr., Executive Director & CEO But going back to my original question:
Brian D. Crawford, President, Publications Division How often do people lie or exaggerate to
EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicole S. Sampson (Chair), appear more desirable in the job market
ACS Board of Directors Chair John E. Adams,
ACS President Peter K. Dorhout, Cynthia J. Burrows, than they really are? McNaughton took it
Jerzy Klosin, Julia Laskin, John Russell to the extreme, even creating false docu-
Copyright 2018, American Chemical Society mentation. But I wonder how often people
Canadian GST Reg. No. R127571347
Volume 96, Number 29
will suggest another—imaginary—offer to
indicate they are a flight risk and renegoti- Editor-in-chief
ate their employment conditions. @BibianaCampos

Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS.

2 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


Reactions
tary in these roles can only make for better
elected leadership.
Phil Brown

I was surprised by the very polarized com-


ments relating to this article.
Governmental decision-making needs
to be informed by facts and data and
▸▸Letters to the editor It is unfortunate for a magazine that extrapolations from those data; do the
is supposed to be for all members of the [trolls] dispute even that? Increasing the
chemical industry, who encompass a vari- number of scientifically competent and
C&EN’s coverage of politics ety of political viewpoints, that C&EN is professional members of Congress should,
It is sad to see C&EN going down the going down the path of divisive politics, in the natural order of things, enhance
path of partisan politics. I have been for that means a loss of objectivity and that decision-making.
reading C&EN for over 60 years and have credibility. And in this fight there are no Science needs funds to operate, and
found it to be an interesting and reliable winners. In the end all that remains are in these economically challenged times,
source of information about the chem- just the fights. scientists have recently become much
ical world. Unfortunately, judging from Max Wisotsky more effective and successful at pitching
the article “Scientists Hit the Campaign Highland Park, N.J. to the funders to obtain the necessary
Trail” by Rick Mullin in the May 28 issue resources.
(page 16), C&EN is leaping with both ▸▸From the web Congress might just find that new sci-
feet into the muck of divisive politics. entifically savvy members are also formi-
The article is ostensibly about Trump’s
antiscience policies but looks more like
Re: Scientists hit the dable advocates and valuable allies, given
their highly developed analytical and logi-
a standard Democratic National Com- campaign trail cal argument skills, in lobbying for funding
mittee Trump-bashing press release, of projects outside of their fields of exper-
covering a wide range of issues, many not Readers online discussed the intersection of tise and in which they happen to have a
science related at all. science and politics. special interest­—which is more likely to be
One part of the article features the cenm.ag/campaigntrail at least partly altruistic (not 100%, we are
“storm” of grievances of the Union of all human) than, for example, the CFOs.
Concerned Scientists against Trump’s It would be wonderful if C&EN would I have great respect for Randy Wadkins
antiscience bias. At the very top, the first stick to issues related to the science and and scientists like him who care enough to
one is against Trump’s effort to restrict engineering aspects of chemistry rather stand up and get out there—to make the
than playing politics. The polit- case for science and technology, facts and
icization of science is precisely logic; to try to make a difference; and to
the problem when experimental challenge the budget managers, who tend
data is interpreted for political to know the cost of everything and the val-
purposes rather than letting the ue of nothing, not to mention whether or
science and data determine the not the data support their decisions.
reported outcome(s). Scientists Cliff Burford
become the sycophant prophets
of Baal when they comply with Join the conversation.
political winds. If one wants to facebook.com/CENews
be a politicized social justice
warrior one should honestly do @cenmag
that and not hide behind sci-
ence degrees; many of us would @cenmag
Muslim immigration, and the second is to like to be serious scientists and engineers
remove information about Obama’s White without the politics.
House staff. How these demonstrate an
antiscience bias is beyond me. To my sim-
Jerome Workman How to reach us
ple mind, these are just blatantly gratu- Scientists and engineers do not exist in a Chemical & Engineering News
itous slaps at Trump just to pad the list of “scientific bubble” disengaged from im- Letters to the Editor
grievances against him. portant issues that impact the world. When ▸ Oure-mail address is edit.cen@acs.org.
▸ Our fax number is (202) 872-8727.
The article also describes the multitude politicians make uninformed decisions that ▸ Comments can be left at cen.acs.org.
of protests and marches against Trump’s are harmful to the health of the earth, peo- ▸ Or you can send your letter to:
policies against women, African Amer- ple, or animals, it is our obligation to point C&EN Editor-in-Chief
icans, and gun control, among others. out the consequences of these decisions 1155—16th St., N.W.
Again, I don’t see how these show anti- using facts based on sound science. This
C R E D I T: RYA N I N Z A N A

Washington, DC 20036
science bias. is not a “politicization of science” as Mr. ▸ Letters should generally be 400 words or fewer and
should include the writer’s full name, address, and home
The rest of the article is mostly devoted Workman writes but rather an opportunity telephone; letters and online comments may be edited
to grievances against Republicans by can- to inform and educate. Having some techni- for purposes of clarity and space. Because of the heavy
didates seeking office on the Democratic cal people in Congress or local government volume of mail received at C&EN, writers are limited to one
tickets (surprise). is a good thing, just as having former mili- letter in a six-month period.

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 3


Concentrates
▸ Highlights
Computer model suggests ways to strengthen MOFs 6
Solving problems with H2 generation in microgravity 7
Trio of methods controls mouse brains 7
BASF investing $10 billion in China 11
Pfizer capitulates on prices 12

Chemistry news from the week U.S. plans tariffs on more Chinese chemicals
Supreme Court pick likely to limit agency authority
Scandal-plagued chief leaves U.S. EPA
13
16
16

MATERIALS

Perovskite ferroelectrics
go metal-free
Study turns up large family of organic-
inorganic materials for possible
lightweight electronics applications
Ferroelectric materials do something Conventional perovskites consist of
unique under an applied electric field: large and small metal cations, represented
They exhibit spontaneous polarization, by A and B, respectively, in the general
meaning positive and negative charges chemical formula. The size difference
quickly separate within the crystal. That between the ions is one of the important
property makes the materials ideal for attributes in these materials’ electronic
numerous applications in energy storage, behavior. Other factors, such as van der
medical imaging, and computer memory Waals forces and intermolecular interac-
that retains information even when a de- tions between ions in the crystal, also play
vice is off. key roles.
By supplementing a design strategy Armed with that information, the team
with trial-and-error experimentation, developed a design strategy for making
researchers have now discovered a new metal-free perovskite ferroelectrics with
family of metal-free ferroelectric mate- the general formula A(NH4)X3, in which A
rials. The finding may pave the way to is a divalent organic cation and X is a hal-
lightweight, flexible, and low-cost memory ogen. They took the synthesis plan to the
devices, capacitors, and other types of lab, where they reacted a large number of
electronics (Science 2018, DOI: 10.1126/ organic reagents with inorganic ammoni-
science.aas9330). um compounds and halogen acids.
Common ferroelectrics currently used Among the 23 metal-free perovskites
in devices include barium titanate (BaTiO3 produced in the study, one named MDAB-
or BTO), lead titanate, and other ceramics CO–NH4I3, which contains a diazabicyclo
with the perovskite structure and com- group, looks especially promising. That per-
position, which follows the stoichiometry ovskite exhibits a large spontaneous polar-
ABX3. Although widely used industrially, ization value, 22 microcoulombs per square
these materials are costly to produce and centimeter, which is close to BTO’s value of
often contain lead and other toxic heavy 26. The new compound also looks to be es-
metals. For those reasons, scientists have pecially stable in that it remains ferroelec-
C R E D I T: YU -ME N G YO U/S O U TH EAST U

searched for metal-free perovskites and tric up to a phase transition temperature of A metal-free triiodide perovskite with a
have succeeded in making some. But those 448 K, exceeding BTO’s limit of 390 K. diazabicyclo group and a related bromide
compounds tend to exhibit weak ferroelec- “These results are stunning,”—a mile- compound (top and bottom, respectively)
tric properties, precluding applications. stone reached 70 years after development resemble barium titanate (middle) in
Now, a research team led by Yu-Meng of conventional ferroelectric perovskite terms of structure and ferroelectric
You and Ren-Gen Xiong of China’s South- oxides, says Wei Li, a specialist in inorgan- properties.
east University have produced a family of ic functional materials at Nankai Universi-
23 metal-free perovskites, some of which ty. Li adds that the organic content, which lightweight, and inexpensive—all of which
are on par with BTO in terms of ferroelec- can be modified to tune crystal properties, may soon lead to applications.—MITCH
tric properties. makes these materials easy to synthesize, JACOBY

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 5


Science Concentrates
METAL-ORGANIC FRAMEWORKS

Finding pillars of strength for MOFs


Adding functional groups to metal-organic
frameworks can reinforce a flimsy structure
The highly porous, large-surface-area consisted of the basic MOF structure
structures known as metal-organic frame- held together by bonds between the
works (MOFs) are popular for chemical metal atoms and the ligands. The
sensing, gas separation, and catalysis. functional groups created a secondary
But they have a weakness: They can be network held together by weaker van
flimsy. Some of the metal and ligand der Waals forces. Depending on the
constructions form less robust lattices, arrangement, that secondary network
and their pore walls can be stretched or could either strengthen or weaken the
broken, rendering them useless. Using a stability of the primary network.
computational model, researchers have Smit and his colleagues plan to
now shown that adding chemical groups make their computer model avail-
to the organic ligands in MOFs can shore able for free. He hopes that chemists
up the structures and make them more looking to design a MOF will use it
robust (ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/ to test out different combinations of In one MOF arrangement (left), the
acscentsci.8b00157). ligands and functional groups and then secondary network of van der Waals
Berend Smit, a chemical engineer at synthesize them. His group plans to forces (cyan) supports the primary
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, collaborate with another group that can bonding network (red) everywhere. In
Lausanne, and his colleagues focused on synthesize the MOFs from their model. another (right), the secondary network
zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), To test the materials’ strength, they’ll use offers support only in certain places.
MOFs usually composed of zinc and the microindentation, physically pressing a
ligand imidazolate that can take on many tiny diamond tip against the structures to involved with the study but who has de-
different arrangements. The researchers determine their hardness. veloped synthesis strategies to stabilize
made computational models of 200 po- Smit doesn’t expect that chemists will MOFs, praises this work. For the first
tential ZIFs and calculated the mechani- be able to avoid structural weakness in time, researchers have correlated func-
cal robustness of each, using experimen- all MOF designs, even with the help of tional groups and mechanical stability in
tal and modeled data on the constituent this model. Some structural tweaks might MOFs, he says.
materials. They found that by adding boost a MOF’s strength but block the MOF researcher Joseph T. Hupp of
functional groups to the ligands, they active sites, interfering with its intended Northwestern University says, “This
could reinforce or destabilize the existing application. “Sometimes the answer may is a very clever paper that identifies
structure of the ZIFs. be we can’t do anything about it without and makes use of a nonobvious, but
The team learned that two aspects of affecting the chemistry,” Smit says. potentially very widely applicable, ap-
the structure affected the MOFs’ me- Omar M. Yaghi, a chemist at the proach to making MOFs mechanically
chanical stability. A primary network University of California, Berkeley, not stable.”—NEIL SAVAGE, special to C&EN

MATERIALS

3-D COF crystals keep growing


Exceptionally high porosity and surface growing large 3-D imine-based COF crys- moieties on the surface of the growing COF
area coupled with chemical tunability make tals—large enough to deduce previously crystal. That feature provides an error-cor-
covalent organic frameworks (COFs) at- unknown structural details via single-crys- rection mechanism that prevents imme-
tractive materials for various applications, tal X-ray diffraction (Science 2018 DOI: diate precipitation of tiny crystals, often
such as storing and separating gases. But 10.1126/science.aat7679). measuring less than 0.5 µm, allowing them
the inability to prepare these metal-free The new study was carried out by a large instead to grow up to 100 µm in length.
covalently-bonded materials as large single group led by Wei Wang of Lanzhou Univer- Thanks to the quality and size of these
C R E D I T: ACS C EN T. S CI .

crystals has hampered their development. sity, Junliang Sun of Peking University, and crystals, the team was able to measure for
That’s quickly changing. Omar M. Yaghi of the University of Califor- the first time structural distortions, the
Last month, researchers reported a route nia, Berkeley. The improved crystallization arrangement of water guest molecules,
to making large 2-D COF single crystals hinges on using a large excess of aniline the extent of lattice interpenetration,
(C&EN, June 25, page 10). Now, another during imine COF synthesis. Doing so leads and other COF properties with atomic
team of scientists reports a strategy for to formation of terminal benzene-imine precision.—MITCH JACOBY

6 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


ENERGY
NEUROSCIENCE
Solving problems with Trio of methods
hydrogen production steers mouse brain
in microgravity Approach inhibits deep-brain
Nanostructured catalyst helps free region without surgery
gas bubbles that cling to surfaces
Deep-brain regions are implicated in movement dis-
Long-term space missions will require methods to produce fuels, orders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other con-
such as hydrogen gas, on demand. Photoelectrochemical cells ditions. ­Despite many advances in neuroscience, tools
(PECs) can produce hydrogen using energy from sunlight, but remain limited for reaching deeper regions of the brain
the reduced gravity in space presents unique challenges to this without surgery. Now, a team led by Mikhail Shapiro at
chemistry. California Institute of Technology reports an approach
An international team of researchers led by California Institute in which ­ultrasound, genetic engineering, and a synthetic
of Technology’s Hans-Joachim Lewerenz studied one of these drug work together to control deep parts of the brain in
low-gravity problems and demonstrated how a nanostructured a ­selective and noninvasive way. The researchers tested
catalyst surface could solve it (Nat. Commun. 2018, DOI: 10.1038/ their t­ echnology in mice, but their ultimate goal is to use
s41467-018-04844-y). it as an alternative to
The team’s PEC consists of an electrode made of a light-absorb- surgery for humans With the help of ultrasound,
ing semiconductor, p-type indium phosphide, coated with a catalyt- (Nat. Biomed. Eng. harmless viruses carrying
ic layer of rhodium. 2018, DOI: 10.1038/ the code for a receptor
When exposed to s41551-018-0258-2). protein cross the blood-
light, the electrode brain barrier. Once in place
reduces hydrogen Ultrasound waves on the target neurons, the
cations from an receptors can turn the
acidic water solution, neurons off in response to
producing hydrogen the drug CNO.
gas.
To simulate the CNO
microgravity condi-
Viral
tions of space, the vector
researchers catapult-
ed the device 120 me- Currently, physicians treat certain brain diseases by
ters into the air and stimulating deep-brain regions with implanted electrodes,
allowed it to fall in Shapiro says. He and his coworkers used a nonsurgical ap-
a specialized tower proach to turn off neurons in a deep-brain region known
in Germany. During as the hippocampus, which is key for memory formation.
the tests, hydrogen In the mouse study, the researchers first opened the
bubbles accumulated blood-brain barrier, which keeps out harmful substances
In microgravity, hydrogen bubbles on the flat surface of but also poses challenges for drug delivery. They injected
produced on a photoelectrode tend to the electrodes, pre- microbubbles into the mice’s bloodstreams and triggered
cling to a flat surface (top), but detach venting efficient gas microbubble vibration with ultrasound waves, generating
C R E D I T: NAT. COM M UN . ( B UB BL ES ) ; NAT. B I O ME D. ENG . ( BRA I N S )

more easily from a nanostructured production. a temporary opening in a specific brain region. Then, the
surface (below). To encourage the team delivered harmless virus particles that carry genetic
bubbles to detach instructions for adding special receptors to the neurons
from the electrodes, the researchers wanted to decrease the con- they wished to target.
tact area between the bubbles and catalyst surface, so they shaped Once the receptor proteins were situated in the neurons
the rhodium layer into tiny peaks and holes. When the team tested of interest, the researchers administered a synthetic drug
these textured photoelectrodes in the drop tower, they found the called clozapine-N-oxide (CNO) to selectively inhibit the
cell’s efficiency matched that of a flat electrode in regular gravity. activity of the modified neurons. Mice with the inhibit-
Cornell University’s Mason A. Peck, an aerospace engineer and ed neurons no longer showed fear in an environment in
former chief technologist at NASA, said that demonstrating per- which they previously received a mild electric shock. The
formance in microgravity is an important step for any potential results suggest that fear memories were prevented from
space-faring technology. But ultimately, he notes, the practicality forming.
of such a system will depend on how efficient it is at convert- Elisa Konofagou, a biomedical engineer at Columbia
ing solar energy to stored chemical energy. The ideal setup also University who studies ultrasound for the treatment of
would produce oxygen. Katharina Brinkert, the paper’s first au- brain diseases, says more animal research is needed to see
thor, says the team is working to develop a cell that will combine the long-term effects of the approach.—CICI ZHANG
hydrogen and oxygen production.—KERRI JANSEN

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 7


Science Concentrates

A comic collaboration between C&EN and ChemScrapes cartoonist Brendan Burkett


Synthetic step tracker

More
online
To see more of
Burkett’s work, go to
chemscrapes.net.
To see more Sketch
Chemistry, visit
cenm.ag/sketch.

POLYMERS

Analyzing what single-use bags release


The biotech industry is beginning to re- The team looked for two kinds of to different types of polyethylene used to
place metal vats in the manufacturing molecules: extractables, which represent make the bags. The oldest bags were man-
process with single-use plastic bags. But all possible compounds that could be ufactured in 2006; the newest, in 2016. An-
concerns remain about whether com- released, and leachables, which would be other data-clustering method divided the
pounds could leach out of the films inside present only under normal conditions. To bags into five distinct groups, classified by
the bags. Such compounds could negative- identify the extractables, the researchers the type of polymer in the inner layer fol-
ly affect cells during biomanufacturing or extracted bag films with four solvents cho- lowed by the extraction solvent.
persist through purification processes and sen to represent potential worst-case sce- In the case of nonvolatile compounds,
end up in protein drug formulations, caus- narios in biomanufacturing. They obtained the researchers identified 113 extractables
ing a potential risk to patients. the leachables by using cell culture me- and 14 leachables, six of which were not
A team led by Jonathan Bones of the dium as an extraction solvent. The team among the extractables. The research-
National Institute for Bioprocessing used mass spectrometry to analyze semi- ers say that the presence of leachable
Research & Training, in Ireland, has volatile and nonvolatile compounds, trace compounds that weren’t also extractable
measured the compounds released by elements, and organic solvent residues. provides evidence that just analyzing
34 single-use bags from five suppliers One statistical analysis method clus- what can be extracted from bags may
(Anal. Chem. 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs. tered the bags’ data into groups based on not be sufficient to model actual culture
analchem.8b01208). the date of manufacture, most likely due conditions.—CELIA ARNAUD

8 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


GENOMICS
STRUCTURAL BIOLOGY
▸▸ Fungal molecule
whacks weeds How bacteria take up
The enzyme dihydroxyacid dehydratase
is a promising weed-control target, but
body odor precursor
synthetic molecules designed to block the Believe it or not, sweat O H NH2
enzyme have not worked when tested on is odorless. It is bacteria N S OH
HO
plants. Now, researchers have successfully on our underarm skin
O
targeted the protein with a molecule from that feed on unsmelly
fungi, aspterric acid (shown), and they say compounds in sweat and Body odor precursor
the molecule could become an effective release digestion by-prod-
weed killer with a new mode of action (Na- ucts that are responsible
ture 2018, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0319-4). for body odor. Previous
The work comes research has identified
O from a team led by a sulfurous thioalcohol
OH Steven E. Jacobsen as one of the major body
OH and Yi Tang of the odor molecules. But little
O University of Califor- is known about how its
H nia, Los Angeles, and precursor is taken up by
Aspterric acid Jiahai Zhou of Shang- the bacterium Staphy-
hai Institute of Or- lococcus hominis. Now,
ganic Chemistry. They reasoned that fungi, a team led by Gavin H.
which frequently kill plants, might make Thomas of the University
molecules that target critical enzymes of York and Simon New-
like dihydroxyacid dehydratase. If so, the stead of the University of
fungus would also have to contain a gene Oxford has identified the
that protects itself from the molecule’s ef- structure of the protein
fects. So the team scanned fungal genomes that transports the body
looking for protective genes located near odor precursor peptide
molecule-making machinery. They found into the bacterial cell
just such a gene combination and learned (eLife 2018, DOI: 10.7554/ After a bacterial cell takes up the precursor
that it produces aspterric acid, which eLife.34995). When ana- peptide through this transporter protein, the
was discovered 40 years ago but had an lyzing the transporter’s peptide is converted into a body odor molecule
unknown mechanism until now. In small- crystal structure in detail, (red) and released outside the cell.
scale lab tests, the team found aspterric the researchers found
acid is an effective herbicide and adding that blocking a long pocket (about 10 Å) that binds the thioalcohol group
the fungus’s protective gene to a plant inhibited the uptake of the body odor precursor. Newstead says this pocket
keeps it safe from the molecule’s effects. might be used to design specific inhibitors to block body odor production—
UCLA has filed a patent application on the for example, researchers could design a molecule that plugs this gap and
technology.—CARMEN DRAHL stops the transporter from binding the peptide. European consumer prod-
ucts maker Unilever, which partly funded the study, is assessing the results,
Newstead adds.—CICI ZHANG
SYNTHESIS
▸▸ Chemists fracture
method developed by Richmond Sarpong troduces a formyl group on the nitrogen at
rings to install fluorine and coworkers at the University of Cali- the other end. The team proposes that the
fornia, Berkeley, now cleaves C–C bonds reaction proceeds through oxidation fol-
To construct new bonds, as chemists are in nitrogen-containing rings (Science 2018, lowed by radical ring opening. They suc-
wont to do, they must first break bonds. DOI: 10.1126/science.aat6365). Using an cessfully opened four-membered rings and
But some bonds give way easier than excess of a silver salt and a common flu- larger ones, but five-membered rings were
others. Researchers can readily split car- orinating reagent, the reaction (example mostly just oxygenated. The researchers
bon-carbon double bonds for further func- shown) unfurls the ring to a linear alkyl also demonstrated the ring-opening flu-
tionalization, yet they struggle to crack chain with a fluorine atom at one end, orination of two peptides, a strategy that
relatively inert, C–C single bonds. A new a functional group coveted by chemists could be immediately applicable in drug
for its ability discovery or biological uses, Sarpong says.
R to modulate In addition, the team showed the geminal
Cl
a molecule’s difluorination of rings using 0.25 equiv-
C R E D I T: e L I F E

+
N 2BF4 – AgBF 4 (4 equiv.)
N + N H properties. In alents of a silver salt and hope to lower
N+ Acetone:H2O (1:9) F
R some cases, the the amount of metal needed in future
F 4 equiv. O
R = Benzoate method also in- reactions.—TIEN NGUYEN

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 9


Business Concentrates
PETROCHEMICALS

BASF eyes China project


The German giant may build a new
Verbund site in Guangdong
BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller has ing North America and the Middle East. BASF’s joint venture with Sinopec in
signed a nonbinding agreement with Chi- Some 15 rules relating to foreign com- Nanjing, China, was completed in 2005.
nese authorities to build a wholly owned panies investing in China have been lifted.
chemical complex in Guangdong, China. The European Chamber of Commerce meticulous integration. The installation
The German chemical giant says spending in China, which represents European would have a 1 million-metric-ton-per-year
on the new site could reach $10 billion by business, says that the policy shift widens ethylene cracker. The preliminary scope
2030, making it the largest investment in access for foreign investors in several in- of the project includes basic chemicals
the company’s history and the biggest in dustries but that Chinese law continues to such as ethylene oxide, acrylic acid, oxo
China by a foreign company. discriminate against foreign firms when chemicals, propylene oxide, and butadi-
BASF’s project is part of a wave of for- it comes to market entry and approval ene. Downstream from these would be
eign investments in China totaling $23 bil- requirements. The chamber estimates that ethylene glycol, surfactants, amines, su-
lion pledged by various companies in the 48 measures limiting foreign investment perabsorbent polymers, acrylates, polyols,
past week. The catalyst for the proposed in China remain in place. and performance polymers.
investments is China’s removal of a policy The Chinese policy shift coincides with BASF expects to open the first plants in
requiring foreign manufacturers to form the country’s escalating trade war with 2026. The firm says Guangdong is home
a partnership or joint venture with local the U.S. (see page 13). Some media out- to many of its most important customers
Chinese firms. lets claim to have information that trade in the auto and electronics industries. The
Petrochemical consulting firm PCI Wood tensions between Beijing and Washington company already operates a Verbund com-
CR E DI T: BAS F

Mackenzie says the policy change could aided the BASF deal. plex in Nanjing, China, in partnership with
shift investment dollars from other leading Guangdong would be BASF’s seventh the Chinese firm Sinopec.—ALEX SCOTT
petrochemical-producing regions, includ- site incorporating its Verbund principle of AND ALEX TULLO

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JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 11


Business Concentrates
START-UPS
PHARMACEUTICALS

Pfizer capitulates on prices Desert


A spar with Trump prompts a temporary
search yields
reversal on drug price hikes drought-
Pfizer last week succumbed to pressure
from President Donald J. Trump and tem-
porarily reversed price increases on a host
ditched their own price hikes, a number of
others, including Celgene and Roche, were
undeterred.
hardy genes
of drugs. While the action was an unusual Some view Pfizer’s choice as a careful Farmers struggling with slight or
direct response to Trump’s ongoing criti- calculation that the blueprint will shift unpredictable rainfall may someday
cism of the pharmaceutical industry, many the focus away from drug companies. In get an assist from evolution. That’s
industry watchers see it as having little ef- a report, John J. Leppard, a health care the plan of PlantArcBio, an Israeli
fect on what consumers pay for drugs. analyst at Washington Analysis, points out crop-trait start-up that has been
After Pfizer increased the list prices on that “the phrasing of Pfizer’s press release prospecting for genes in the desert.
… suggests that the The company has raised $3 mil-
company may view lion from investors and grants. It
the administration’s will work with plant scientists and
plans—which largely agriculture experts at the Univer-
target the supply sity of Wisconsin, Madison, to test
chain rather than its drought-tolerance genes at the
manufacturers—as school’s crop innovation center.
more beneficial Most crop genetics firms look for
longer-term than a stretches of potentially useful DNA
July 1 price hike.” in databases, but PlantArcBio takes
In a separate its gene samples from the environ-
40 drugs on July 1 while lowering Trump’s move, Pfizer is yet again overhauling ment. When the company’s scien-
the price on five others, the pres- drug pricing its structure. The reorganization tists find genes in plants—or even
ident took to Twitter to say the tweets comes as the drug giant prepares for animals, insects, or fungi—that are
company was “taking advantage caused a generic competition for the nerve unique to species or varieties that
of the poor & others unable to de- hubbub. pain medication Lyrica. Pfizer’s best- can withstand desert conditions,
fend themselves.” selling pill, Lyrica last year command- they add them to a gene pool for
The next day, Pfizer said that after a ed $3.5 billion in sales in the U.S., where the further testing in model plants.
conversation between CEO Ian Read and patent is set to expire in December. The company raises model
the president, the increases would be Starting in 2019, Pfizer will have three plants modified with the hoped-for
postponed. The reversal, the firm said, was segments: Innovative Medicines, a re- drought genes in controlled, dry
meant “to give the president an opportu- search-based unit; Established Medicines, conditions. From plants that sur-
nity to work on his blueprint to strengthen its off-patent medicines unit; and Consum- vive and thrive, it selects a group of
the healthcare system and provide more er Healthcare. genes worth further study in target
access for patients,” referring to a drug The reshuffling could be a prelude to a crops such as soybeans and corn. If
pricing white paper released in May. spin-off of Consumer Healthcare, which the soybean trials at UW Madison
Trump declared Pfizer’s decision a victo- sells over-the-counter brands. Pfizer has show positive results, PlantArc-
ry, but industry watchers say the delay will been considering options for the unit since Bio plans to sell the genes to seed
do little to affect prices paid by consumers. October 2017 and will decide its fate this companies.
And while a handful of companies then year.—LISA JARVIS According to a study by the uni-
versity, changes in weather patterns
due to climate change have cost U.S.
soybean farmers about $11 billion in
LAST STRAW yield losses over the past 20 years
(Nature Plants 2015, DOI: 10.1038/
Starbucks says it will nix plastic nplants.2014.26).
straws at its 28,000 stores worldwide “Working together to improve
by 2020, a move that will eliminate more soybean drought tolerance could
than 1 billion plastic straws per year. The lead to major breakthroughs in the
ubiquitous coffee chain says it will instead agricultural realm that would also
C R E D I T: STA R BU CKS

top cups with a biodegradable strawless benefit farmers in the U.S.,” says
lid and make alternative-material straws Michael Petersen, associate direc-
available. The move is in response to concerns tor of the school’s crop innovation
that lightweight, single-use plastic items can center.—MELODY BOMGARDNER
end up polluting oceans and harming wildlife.

12 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


TRADE
Growing target
U.S. plans tariffs on more The list of Chinese-made chemicals
targeted by U.S. tariffs keeps lengthening.

Chinese chemicals Some of the chemicals targeted with


25% tariffa
▸▸Polyurethane
Numerous basic inputs may be ▸▸Polyvinyl chloride
hit with a 10% import tax ▸▸Lubricating oils

The U.S. has ratcheted up the trade war Because China is both a major market Some chemicals now considered for
with China with the release of a long list and a key supplier, the trade row will have 10% tariff
of Chinese-made commodities, worth a profound impact on the U.S. chemical ▸▸Iodine
$200 billion in total, targeted for a 10% industry. China imports billions of dollars ▸▸Rare-earth metals
tariff. Numerous organic and inorganic worth of U.S.-made plastics every year, ▸▸Hydrogen and sodium cyanide
chemicals are on the list. and they are now less competitive because ▸▸Silica gel
The U.S. move is a reaction to China’s of the 25% tax added to their price. The a Not yet finalized.
decision on July 6 to push ahead with a country is also a major supplier of com- Source: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
25% tariff on $34 billion worth of U.S. petitively priced basic chemicals that are
imports, including many plastics. The widely used in the pharmaceutical and
Chinese action, in turn, was a response to agrochemical industries. from China appear unconcerned, so far.
an earlier U.S. decision to add a 25% tariff “The Administration’s announcement The paint manufacturer PPG Industries,
on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. of a potential 10% tariff on $200 billion of which sources some of its urethanes
Those products were announced in two additional imports from China, including from the Chinese firm Wanhua Chemical,
groups—worth $34 billion and $16 billion, a significant amount of chemicals, is a tells C&EN that “since a majority of the
respectively—in April and June. stunning and unfortunate development paint and coatings products produced
The U.S. says its actions aim to force for U.S. manufacturers and consumers,” by PPG are often made, sold, and used in
China to change predatory practices in the American Chemistry Council, a trade that same territory, this minimizes any
technology transfer, intellectual property, group, said in a statement. impact that tariffs would have.”—JEAN-
and innovation. Some U.S. companies that buy materials FRANÇOIS TREMBLAY

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JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 13


Business Concentrates
INORGANIC CHEMICALS
PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMICALS
▸▸ South Korea’s SK FTC takes Tronox and
will acquire Ampac Cristal to federal court
The South Korean conglomerate SK Hold- The Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in
ings will acquire Ampac Fine Chemicals Washington, D.C., seeking a restraining order and an injunction preventing
as part of its plan to become a top-tier the titanium dioxide producers Tronox and Cristal from merging. Tronox
pharmaceutical contract development and agreed to purchase its white pigment rival, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s
manufacturing firm. Owned by the private National Industrialization Co., in February 2017 for $1.7 billion in cash, plus
equity firm H.I.G. Capital, Ampac operates stock. In December, seeking to block the merger, FTC brought the case be-
plants in California, Texas, and Virginia fore an administrative judge, a process that hasn’t been completed. The Eu-
and is one of the largest U.S. producers ropean Commission approved the deal earlier this month, requiring only the
of pharmaceutical chemicals. Its Virginia divestiture of a business in paper-laminate-grade TiO2. Should the merger
facility was once owned by the drugmaker proceed, FTC says, Tronox and rival Chemours would have a commanding
Boehringer Ingelheim. SK has drug chemi- U.S. market share for high-value chloride-process TiO2. “The proposed ac-
cal operations in South Korea and last year quisition would substantially increase concentration in an already concen-
acquired a Bristol-Myers Squibb plant in trated market,” FTC says in its complaint. Tronox says the court date will
Ireland.—MICHAEL MCCOY provide “the company a forum to demonstrate how the proposed acquisition
enhances the company’s competitiveness on a global scale.”—ALEX TULLO

ENERGY STORAGE
▸▸ Matthey advances planned ramp-up in capacity. “With our funding from investors, including 415
groundbreaking clean technology, fertiliz- Investments and NXT Ventures. Manus,
new battery material er manufacturers, recyclers, and govern- based on technology developed at MIT,
ments can turn problematic and costly aims to produce ingredients by fermenta-
Johnson Matthey will build a 1,000-met- alkaline battery waste to a premium-level tion that are normally derived from plants.
ric-ton-per-year facility at its site in Clith- micronutrient,” Tracegrow CEO Tatu Lep- The company is targeting what it calls rare
eroe, England, to produce sample quanti- pänen says.—ALEX SCOTT and expensive ingredients used in flavors,
ties of its enhanced lithium nickel oxide fragrances, cosmetics, agriculture, nutri-
(eLNO) electric-vehicle battery material. tion, and pharmaceuticals. It has disclosed
The firm says it is also designing a full- MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS programs to manufacture the stevia sweet-
scale eLNO facility to be built in mainland
Europe. Unlike competing battery mate- ▸▸ Linde, Praxair ready ener rebaudioside M, the antimalarial ar-
temisinin, and the tick and mite pesticide
rials, eLNO contains minimal amounts of acaricide.—MELODY BOMGARDNER
cobalt, notes a recent report from Argus
second gas sale

C R E D I T: S H U TT E RSTOC K ( BAT TE R I ES ) ; FLI BE EN E RGY (T H O R I U M )


Media.—MICHAEL MCCOY
Linde and Praxair say they are in “advanced NUCLEAR POWER
AGRICULTURE
negotiations” to sell most of Linde’s in-
dustrial gas business in North America ▸▸ Flibe wins U.S. funds
▸▸ Battery materials and some Linde and Praxair assets in
South America to a partnership of Ger-
for nuclear research
man gas firm Messer and private equity
turned into nutrients firm CVC Capital Partners. The sales are The U.S. Department of Energy is funding
considered necessary to win regulatory new research into liquid fluoride thorium
Tracegrow has opened a plant in Kärsämä- approval for the merger of Linde and reactor (LFTR) technology. LFTRs generate
ki, Finland, that converts used alkaline Praxair. The companies recently agreed nuclear power with thorium carried in a
batteries into zinc and manganese trace to sell Praxair’s European industrial gas solution of molten fluo-
elements for agricultural use. The start-up business to Taiyo Nippon Sanso for close to ride salts, a technology
says it is making 10-m3 batches at its plant $6 billion.—MICHAEL MCCOY advocates say is safer
each week. Tracegrow has now brought and more efficient than
in engineering firm Pöyry to assist with a conventional uranium
NATURAL PRODUCTS reactors. Flibe Energy
▸▸ Manus Bio raises A small ball of
funds for ingredients thorium contains
all the energy
a person will
Boston-area start-up Manus Bio has raised use in their life,
$19.4 million in its first round of venture Flibe says.

14 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


will receive $2.1 million from DOE and platform that allows it to probe the activi-
$525,500 from other sources to study the ty of combinations of immune cells. It also
use of nitrogen trifluoride to remove ura- boasts a discovery platform that swiftly
nium from the nuclear fuel solution. The yields therapeutics—either monoclonal or
funding is part of a $20 million DOE pack- bispecific antibodies. Compass has more
age for nine industry-led advanced nuclear than 70 employees and expects to begin
R&D projects.­—CRAIG BETTENHAUSEN clinical studies of its most advanced drug
candidate, an antibody against an undis- People involved and regulators
closed immuno-oncology target, in the pose at the launch address challenges
GENOMICS first half of 2019.—LISA JARVIS of the Medicines in the medicine
▸▸ DNA Script gets Manufacturing
Innovation Center.
supply chain. Us-
ers will be able to
NUCLEIC ACIDS evaluate processes
grant to go long
▸▸ Regulus cuts jobs using continuous, autonomous, and digital
technologies. Creation of the center, which
DNA Script, a start-up based in Paris, has will generate up to 80 jobs, will begin this
won $2.7 million in grants from Bpifrance,
after safety setback summer and continue for three years. It’s
a state-backed program for French entre- backed by a consortium featuring the Uni-
preneurs. The company uses enzymes, Regulus Therapeutics, a biotech firm de- versity of Strathclyde, AstraZeneca, and
rather than chemical processes, to assem- veloping oligonucleotide drugs that target GlaxoSmithKline.—ALEX SCOTT
ble synthetic DNA for use in cell therapies microRNAs, will cut 60% of its workforce,
and gene editing. It claims that its process or about 35 jobs. The decision follows the
makes longer DNA constructs more quick- observation of acute mouse toxicity in a ANTIBIOTICS
ly and cleanly than competing approaches Phase I study of RGLS4326, a treatment
do. DNA Script raised $13 million in Sep- for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney ▸▸ Novartis to end
tember 2017 from investors, including disease. The firm also halted recruitment
the venture arms of Illumina and Merck for a study of a microRNA drug it is devel- anti-infectives R&D
KGaA.—MELODY BOMGARDNER oping with Sanofi.—MICHAEL MCCOY
Novartis has decided to exit antibacterial
and antiviral research. About 140 related
START-UPS PROCESS CHEMISTRY jobs are being eliminated in Emeryville,
▸▸ Compass launches ▸▸ U.K. builds center for Calif.; about 150 jobs will remain in the
San Francisco Bay Area at the Novartis
Institute for Tropical Diseases and at de-
with $132 million medicine production partments that support efforts focused on
difficult targets. The firm says it is talking
Compass Therapeutics has raised a total The U.K. will create a $75 million center of to other companies about out-licensing its
of $132 million in its first formal round of excellence for small-molecule pharmaceuti- antibiotic programs. They include LYS228,
financing. The Cambridge, Mass.-based cal and fine chemicals manufacturing near a compound that is being tested in clinical
biotech firm was formed in 2014 to capi- Glasgow, Scotland. The center aims to help trials for its ability to kill Gram-negative
talize on a bispecific antibody screening industry, academia, health care providers, bacteria.—MICHAEL MCCOY

Business Roundup will improve the safety,


performance, and price of
lithium-ion electric-vehicle
three-dimensional printing
of plastics.

▸▸ Solvay will spend $56 mil- ▸▸ AkzoNobel plans a second batteries. ▸▸ Otsuka Pharmaceutical
lion to modernize the cogen- expansion of chlorometh- will acquire Visterra for
eration plant at its soda ash anes capacity in Frankfurt ▸▸ BASF plans to increase about $430 million. Otsuka
and sodium bicarbonate fa- that will raise capacity by up capacity for Irganox 1010, an says Visterra’s Hierotope
cility in Bernburg, Germany. to 50%. The firm recently antioxidant, by 40% at sites technology enables the
The firm says the project will completed a project there in Singapore and Switzer- design of precision anti-
boost the site’s long-term that boosted output of meth- land. The sterically hindered body-based therapies.
competitiveness. ylene chloride, chloroform, phenolic antioxidant is add-
C R E D I T: UN I V E RS IT Y OF ST RAT H C LYD E

and carbon tetrachloride. ed to a variety of plastics. ▸▸ AstraZeneca, the Uni-


▸▸ Arlanxeo will spend close versity of Cambridge, and
to $100 million to modernize ▸▸ Ionic Materials, a maker of ▸▸ BASF has acquired Ad- the Dutch firm Lumicks will
a polybutadiene facility in solid-state polymer battery vanc3D Materials and Setup form a center of excellence
Brazil and a nitrile butadiene electrolytes, has received an Performance, two European for dynamic single-molecule
rubber facility in France. Ar- undisclosed investment from firms that make products analysis. The center will be
lanxeo is a synthetic rubber the venture arm of Hyun- for laser sintering. BASF based around Lumicks’s
joint venture between Saudi dai Motor. The automaker says the purchases contin- C-Trap optical tweezers-fluo­
Aramco and Lanxess. says the start-up’s material ue its expansion into the rescence microscope.

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 15


Policy Concentrates
REGULATION

High court nominee likely


to limit agency authority
Brett Kavanaugh viewed as reliably
conservative, deferent to presidential power
U.S. President actions against
If confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, voted to strike down the Clean Air Inter- Donald J. Trump Sea World for a
U.S. District Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh state Rule, which regulates cross-border (background) trainer’s death
will be reliably conservative and show def- pollution from power plants—a decision nominated Brett were “arbitrary and
erence to presidential power, legal schol- that was later overturned by the Supreme M. Kavanaugh for capricious,” as the
ars say. He is also likely to limit authority Court, Carlson adds. the Supreme Court trainer had accept-
of regulatory agencies such as EPA and Kavanaugh “may believe that global on July 9. ed the risk of death
OSHA. warming is a real problem, but he’s not as part of her job
Kavanaugh has served for 12 years on going to recognize EPA’s power to do much and OSHA had no legal authority to regu-
the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. He has at all to regulate greenhouse gases,” Carl- late dangerous entertainment.
voiced skepticism about the validity of son says. The other justices disagreed, pointing
several key environmental laws. Among Similarly, in a 2013 district court opin- out that Sea World was indeed covered
them is the Clean Power Plan, which ion, Kavanaugh sought to limit OSHA’s by OSHA and the law creating OSHA puts
seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emission authority to regulate workplace safety, the duty on employers to create a safe
from coal-fired power plants, notes Ann according to Jordan Barab, a former OSHA workplace, not on employees to choose
Carlson, a UCLA law school professor and deputy administrator. In a blog post, Barab whether to accept death as part of the
environmental law expert. Kavanaugh also notes that Kavanaugh argued that OSHA job.—JEFF JOHNSON, special to C&EN

POLICY

Scandal-plagued chief
leaves U.S. EPA
Scott Pruitt’s efforts to weaken pollution
controls expected to endure
Pruitt Wheeler
Dogged by scandal, the first EPA chief of have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”

C R E D I T: AS S OC I ATE D P R ES S ( KAVA N AUG H ) ; U.S . E PA ( P RUI T T A N D WH EE LE R )


the Trump administration, Scott Pruitt, Leading the agency since February effectively pushes the interests of the fos-
has resigned. But his work to loosen the 2017, Pruitt acted steadily to implement sil-fuel industry.
agency’s regulatory grip on industry will President Donald J. Trump’s directive to Wheeler is a former lobbyist for coal
likely advance. slash “unnecessary and burdensome” reg- company Murray Energy and was chief of
Pruitt resigned effective July 6 amid ulations. Activists on the left, meanwhile, staff for Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a
more than a dozen federal investigations contend that this is undermining health leading denier of human-caused climate
into alleged ethical lapses, his lavish and environmental protections. change. Wheeler also worked in EPA’s
spending of taxpayer money, and contro- Pruitt’s departure, however, likely won’t pesticides and chemicals program for four
versial policies he put in place during his mean a change from the deregulatory path years under the administrations of George
roughly 16 months at EPA. Among them that he set i­ f Congress doesn’t intervene. H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
is a probe by congressional investigators “The ideological fervor with which “We have full confidence in Acting
into Pruitt’s change in the makeup of Pruitt pursued the destruction of environ- Administrator Andrew Wheeler to carry
EPA’s outside science advisory groups. mental regulations and the agency itself President Trump’s important EPA reform
Pruitt dropped many academic research- live on in the Trump administration,” says agenda forward,” says Myron Ebell of the
ers and replaced them with representa- Environmental Working Group President Competitive Enterprise Institute, a liber-
tives from industry and state regulatory Ken Cook. tarian group that is skeptical that humans
agencies. EPA’s second-in-command, Andrew are causing climate change.
In his resignation letter, Pruitt writes Wheeler, took the reins as interim agency Trump has yet to nominate a new EPA
that “the unrelenting attacks on me per- head on July 9. Wheeler is widely seen as chief, a position Wheeler has said he does
sonally, my family, are unprecedented and a politically savvy Washington insider who not want.—CHERYL HOGUE

16 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


TOXICOLOGY
▸▸ Big-data mining
predicts toxicity
better than animals
Algorithms derived from large databases
of chemical structure and toxicity rela-
tionships may be better at predicting the
toxicity of chemicals than individual an-
imal tests, according to a study by scien-
tists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School
of Public Health (Toxicol. Sci. 2018, DOI:
10.1093/toxsci/kfy152). The study relies
on the world’s largest machine-readable
chemical database, created by the team MATERIALS
two years ago. The researchers used ma-
chine-learning algorithms to read across The U.S. National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore
structure and toxicity information for National Laboratory has set a new record, pumping 2.15 MJ of energy into its
about 10,000 chemicals from 800,000 target chamber (shown, with target positioner). Its previous record was 1.9 MJ,
toxicology tests. They then created set in 2012. NIF’s two major purposes are to explore fusion energy and enable ex-
software to predict whether any given periments to ensure the safety and viability of the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.
chemical is likely to cause skin irritation, “NIF’s users are always asking to use more energy in their experiments, because
DNA damage, or other toxic effects. The higher energies enhance the science NIF can deliver” to support nuclear weapons
software was on average about 87% ac- stewardship, NIF Director Mark Herrmann says.
curate in predicting consensus results
for nine common toxicity tests that
use animals. The actual animal tests
averaged only about 81% accuracy, the told the meeting that the British govern- PUBLISHING
authors report. This is “big news for tox- ment is committed to scientific coopera-
icology,” principal investigator Thomas tion with the EU as well as with individual ▸▸ Peer review shake-up
Hartung, a professor in the Department countries through bilateral agreements.
of Environmental Health & Engineer- Heads of EU countries in October will con- The life sciences journal eLife is trying out
ing at the Bloomberg School, says in a sider terms for Brexit, including whether to a radical approach to peer review. Rather
C R E D I T: LAWR E N CE LI V ER M O R E N AT I O N A L LA B O RATO RY ( LAS E R LA B); W I L L LU DW I G/C& E N (I L LU ST RAT I O N )

press release. “These results are a real allow the U.K. to remain in the EU’s Hori- than deciding whether to publish a paper
eye-opener—they suggest that we can zon 2020 research program. Regardless of after peer review, an editor’s decision
replace many animal tests with comput- the details of the U.K.-EU split, “there is to send a paper for peer review will be a
er-based prediction and get more reliable no deal we can negotiate that is as good commitment to eventually publish it. The
results.”—BRITT ERICKSON as what we have now” as an EU member trial is optional and aims to recruit 300
state, said Anne Glover, a molecular biolo- papers. In the trial, the editor and refer-
gist who is president of the Royal Society ees will agree on what they want authors
RESEARCH FUNDING of Edinburgh. Glover said she has applied to address. The authors can then make
for an Irish passport.—CHERYL HOGUE revisions, including more experiments; re-
▸▸ U.K. loss of spond to criticisms; or withdraw the paper
completely. The referee reports, editor’s
scientists predicted decision letter, and authors’ response will
be published alongside the final article.
In addition to a predicted economic Reviewers can choose whether to remain
hit, the U.K. is facing a brain drain as anonymous. The aim is to give more
it exits the European Union, officials power to authors, say eLife editors Mark
warned July 11 at a scientific meeting. Tal- Patterson and Randy Schekman in an ed-
ent-strapped universities and companies itorial. They also hope it will strengthen
across the EU “will shop in the U.K.,” said the review process, with referees gaining
Brexit leaves a reputation for the advice they give. Ob-
Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commis-
a cloud of servers welcome the trial with caution.
sion’s former research and innovation
uncertainty Raghuveer Parthasarathy, a physicist from
chief. “If anyone is thinking about leaving
over U.K. the University of Oregon, worries that
[the U.K.], think about Ireland,” the Irish
academic
government’s Chief Science Adviser Mark journal editors sifting through initial sub-
science.
W. J. Ferguson said to an audience of missions are given more power. “It may
mainly European researchers attending bias the system further towards flashy
the EuroScience Open Forum in Toulouse, papers from well-connected authors,” he
France. Rebecca Endean, strategy director says.—KATHARINE SANDERSON, special
for the U.K. Research & Innovation agency, to C&EN

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 17


Features
Four workers died from
exposure to leaking methyl
mercaptan at this DuPont
plant in La Porte, Texas, in
November 2014. CSB made
interim recommendations in
2015 but still has not issued
a final report.

INDUSTRIAL SAFETY

Changes on tap at U.S.


Chemical Safety Board
Chair departs, investigators leave, clearing out these reports and declined to
begin new investigations. CSB began new
staff fears changing mission investigations again in 2016.
Now, as Sutherland departs, nine acci-
JEFF JOHNSON, special to C&EN dent reports are in process—one of which

A
occurred in 2014, before she took over
fter a briefing in late June, Vanessa Allen Sutherland the board. That accident at a DuPont site
involved a chemical process mix-up in
formally ended her three-year stint as chair of the U.S. which methyl mercaptan was accidentally
Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). She released, killing four workers. The incident
described her term on the board as a “fix-it” role for the led the Occupational Safety & Health Ad-
ministration (OSHA) in 2015 to label Du-
small independent government agency, which investigates chemically Pont a severe violator of workplace safety
related industrial accidents. regulations, a consequence that increased
She refused to say exactly why she cut and let the agency refocus on what it does enforcement scrutiny and fines. However,
short her five-year board term other than best—investigations that go beyond iden- CSB has yet to finalize its report.
a need for more time for her family. How- tifying degraded pipes or broken valves to Sutherland claimed that the nine out-
ever, rail transportation company Norfolk reveal the deeper causes of incidents, such standing reports are nearly complete—
Southern announced on June 25 that as a plant culture of ignoring safety alerts. further along, she said, than were the six
Sutherland was joining the company as a As she departs, however, trouble may when she arrived. She added that an agen-
C R E D I T: ST R I NG E R /R E UT E RS / N EWS CO M

vice president. again be brewing. cy such as CSB will always have accident
Sutherland took over board leadership Before Sutherland became chair, com- investigations in process.
in 2015 after a period when CSB was un- plaints reported to Congress by unnamed Sutherland also embarked on a program
der attack by members of Congress and CSB staff alleged mismanagement and more broadly to streamline investigations
federal oversight agencies. U.S. President internal disruption. Criticism also cen- and issue more timely reports. Those
Barack Obama had called for the resig- tered on delayed accident investigation changes are in flux, according to Kristen
nation of the board’s then leader, whom reports. When Sutherland arrived in 2015, Kulinowski, the board member who took
Sutherland replaced. six reports were incomplete, one of which over as interim executive after Suther-
CSB stakeholders hoped that Suther- stretched back six years. land’s departure.
land’s arrival would calm the turbulence In her first year, Sutherland emphasized “I am comfortable in being able to step

18 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


down at this time,” Sutherland said at the long-ignored company conditions, and timeliness must be improved, she said.
June briefing. CSB is in a place where new regulatory shortcomings that led to an ac- She added that she was unaware of staff
leadership can easily take the next step to cident. Frequently, CSB investigators found complaints regarding top management. “I
make the board more efficient, innovative, that avoidable conditions that triggered always have an open door,” she said, “and
and successful, she said. deadly accidents had been discovered but will listen to any staff complaint and take
Both Kulinowski and Sutherland em- not addressed by companies years before it from there.”
phasized the difficulty of running a small the accidents occurred. Investigators have CSB is the only body worldwide
federal agency with merely 32 staff and an also identified significant gaps in industry dedicated solely to investigating large
$11 million budget. The hiring and retain- regulations. Companies or regulators are chemically related industrial accidents
ing of staff, long-term budgeting, and stra- unlikely to point fingers at themselves, and publishing their causes. It makes rec-
tegic planning have been extremely dif- but uncovering such information lays the ommendations without issuing fines or
ficult for the board, which has never had groundwork for safety improvements, ac- regulations. Other organizations examine
sufficient funds to meet its investigative cording to several former and current CSB industrial accidents, but they are regula-
requirements under law. Federal reports investigators. tors that issue fines or companies them-
have found the universe of accidents that In the memo and interviews, investi- selves. Neither are likely to reveal their
qualify for CSB investigation can reach 150 gators say they believe expert peer and own flaws.
or more a year, far beyond the half dozen stakeholder review of draft reports will be CSB’s independence is a strength for the
CSB has resources to investigate.
Those preexisting challenges have been Investigations incomplete
exacerbated under President Donald J. Since CSB was first funded in 1998, the agency has completed and issued reports on
Trump, who has twice proposed eliminat- nearly 100 investigations. These nine were in progress as of C&EN’s deadline.
ing CSB. In both cases, Congress stepped in
to fund the agency and keep it alive, but the DATE COMPANY LOCATION DESCRIPTION
uncertainty has contributed to the agency’s Nov. 15, 2014 DuPont La Porte, Texas Methyl mercaptan, used to manufacture pesticides, was
instability, Sutherland and Kulinowski said. released. The incident killed four workers and injured a fifth.
Additionally, the White House must nomi- CSB issued an interim report in 2015.
nate a new chair and other board members, June 27, 2016 Enterprise Products Moss Point, Explosions and fire occurred at a natural gas distribution
and Trump is unlikely to do so. Of the three Partners Miss. facility. No injuries were reported.
remaining board members, Manuel (Man- Aug. 12, 2016 Sunoco Logistics Nederland, Texas Flash fire occurred during welding of a crude oil pipeline at
ny) Ehrlich’s and Rick Engler’s terms end Partners an oil terminal. Seven workers were injured, three critically.
in December 2019, and Kulinowski’s term April 2, 2017 Loy Lange Box St. Louis Steam explosion launched a pressure vessel, killing one
ends in August 2020, just months before worker and three members of the public.
the next presidential election. By statute, May 24, 2017 Midland Resource Philippi, W.Va. Waste tank exploded during draining, killing two workers
CSB should have five board members. Recovery and severely injuring another. Another worker was killed at
the same site one month later.
The board also appears to be facing a
revolt among some staff over declining staff May 31, 2017 Didion Milling Cambria, Wis. Combustible dust exploded at a corn processing plant,
killing five workers and injuring 14 more.
numbers and fears that CSB is changing
its mission. In interviews with C&EN and Jan. 21, 2018 Red Mountain Operating Quinton, Okla. Gas well drilling operation exploded, killing five workers.
in an anonymous memo prepared by “six April 26, 2018 Husky Energy Superior, Wis. Explosion in a fluid catalytic cracking unit during
senior CSB investigators” and obtained maintenance injured several workers. Thousands of nearby
residents were asked to evacuate.
by C&EN, CSB critics lodged a litany of
complaints against board management. The May 19, 2018 Kuraray America Pasadena, Texas Explosion at a facility that manufactures ethylene vinyl
alcohol copolymers injured 21 workers.
critics allege reduced quality of accident in-
vestigations and reports, degrading working Source: csb.gov, accessed July 5, 2018.
conditions, mismanagement, and waste.
In the anonymous memo, the senior curbed or eliminated. They are also con- agency but also a problem that stretches
investigators note that since Sutherland cerned that a proposed shift to outsourc- back to its birth as part of 1990 amend-
arrived three years ago, the number of ac- ing report writing will reduce accuracy. ments to the Clean Air Act. CSB was not
cident investigators has declined through The staff also say tension between staff funded until 1998, after a series of New
attrition and resignations from 20 to 12. and management has been heightened by Jersey industrial accidents. The accidents
Meanwhile, they continue, CSB hired top managers recently brought in from were investigated by the U.S. Environmen-
five management specialists and human other federal agencies. Those managers tal Protection Agency and OSHA, but their
resources experts. The investigators also have devalued their work and have little reviews were slow and inadequate, leading
see a general trend toward briefer inves- experience in industrial accident investi- then-president Bill Clinton to provide
tigations and reports. They cite a growing gations, staff say. $3 million for CSB’s first year.
focus by management on the immediate Kulinowski countered those allegations Since then, CSB has endured criti-
and direct cause of an accident, such as a at the briefing and at a CSB business cism and threats of elimination—with
broken pipe or gauge, rather than a detailed meeting in July, saying that hiring and support frequently coming only after an
root-cause review that uncovers the overall replacing lost staff is her top priority. Her accident with severe consequences for a
conditions that led to an accident. goal is to hire six new investigators over plant, its workers, and the surrounding
Such deeper investigations and reports the next year, eventually bringing the total community.
have been CSB’s bread and butter. Many up to 22. Kulinowski also stressed that the
CSB investigations and reviews have focus on root-cause investigations will Jeff Johnson is a freelance writer based in
revealed industry-wide poor practices, continue. But for reports to be relevant, Washington, D.C.

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 19


Cefic President Hariolf Kottmann (left)
and ECHA Executive Director Bjorn
Hansen recently signed an agreement to
work more closely together on REACH.

CHEMICAL REGULATION

Industry learns to love REACH


Supporting the chemical management law is good is ECHA’s agreement to bring its experts
and those from industry together to discuss
for competitiveness, Europe’s industry now says critical issues about a substance ahead of
any regulatory decision or ECHA opinion.
ALEX SCOTT, C&EN LONDON The alliance was formed just weeks
after the May 31 deadline for chemical

T
he European Chemical Indus- on June 1, 2007, and is administered by the companies in Europe to register hazard
try Council (Cefic), Europe’s European Chemicals Agency, or ECHA. data on thousands of chemicals they pro-
leading chemical industry as- “When the concept of REACH was duce in volumes of 1 to 100 metric tons
sociation, has made a U-turn in introduced, there was an element of scare- per year. The deadline, the third of three,
its view of REACH, Europe’s Registration, mongering on the industry side,” recalls marks the completion of the regulation’s
Evaluation, Authorisation & Restriction of Axel Singhofen, adviser on health and en- multi-billion-dollar, 10-year program of
Chemicals legislation. After years of kick- vironment policy for both the Green Party data gathering for more than 21,000 exist-
ing and screaming to resist REACH—the and the European Free Alliance party in ing chemicals.
biggest and most expensive body of chem- the European Parliament. Cefic hopes the alliance will lead to a
icals regulation ever introduced—Cefic That may be, but Cefic is keen to leave streamlining of the process of registering
has emerged as its biggest advocate. such history behind. “Going in peace might chemicals under REACH, making it more
Cefic Director General Marco Mensink not be the worst way for the industry and straightforward for companies outside
and his colleagues now argue that if chem- the European Chemicals Agency to go to- Europe to adopt. Meanwhile, ECHA is
ical firms around the world buy into a gether,” Mensink told delegates recently at encouraging regulators outside the EU to
REACH-style system, which requires safe- the Helsinki Chemicals Forum, a meeting adopt their own REACH-style chemical
ty data on individual substances, then Eu- on European chemicals regulation. management systems.
ropean chemical firms will be able to show The heads of Cefic and ECHA formal- The U.S. is one country that is not
that their products are among the safest ized their positions at the Helsinki meet- about to join the REACH hug-in. Mensink
and should face fewer barriers to trade. ing by agreeing to an alliance on REACH. pointed out that at last month’s annual
This attitude marks an about-face in They signed a joint agreement to cooper- meeting of the American Chemistry Coun-
Cefic’s approach to REACH, industry crit- ate further on improving the implementa- cil, the main trade association for the U.S.
ics say. REACH was conceived in the 1990s tion of REACH by sharing chemical safety chemical industry, CEO Cal Dooley hailed
C R E D I T: EC HA

as a way to regulate chemicals in the Euro- data and striving to improve the scientific the U.S. regulatory environment as a key
pean Union and encourage substitution of assessment of some substances. competitive advantage over Europe.
dangerous substances. It entered into force A key benefit of the alliance for industry The Toxic Substances Control Act, the

20 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


central piece of U.S. chemical regulation, Mensink’s wish list extends to the edu- the data generated under REACH more
is less prescriptive than REACH. It also fits cation of other countries by the European usable for industry. One example is im-
with President Donald J. Trump’s desire for Commission on the benefits of REACH. proving the usability of safety data sheets,
a light touch in the regulation of business. “We need a smart foreign REACH policy,” which stipulate how certain substances
Indifference to REACH by the U.S. he said. “The EU should put some money should be managed and handled, Hansen
wasn’t the only gripe Mensink aired. Pro- on the ground to explain what REACH is.” said.
moting the regulation in other parts of the If chemical companies from outside Eu- Whether REACH or REACH-like stan-
world also faces challenges, he said. One rope are to take REACH seriously, better dards make their way beyond Europe’s
problem is that REACH has plenty of de- enforcement is needed borders ultimately may
tractors in its own backyard. Some Europe-
an member states fail to acknowledge that
to ensure that chemi-
cals imported into the “Not everyone is be out of the hands
of Cefic and ECHA
REACH ensures product safety, he said.
“Not everyone is yet on board,” Men-
EU comply with the
regulation. “You have yet on board.” and instead in those
of the banking sector.
sink said. “Not everyone likes the way to make sure you en- —Marco Mensink, director Banks increasingly
industry operates. Member states should force it, following up general, Cefic will require chemical
support the outcome of REACH.” with checks at borders. firms building new
The Cefic leader also took aim at envi- There is no benefit for the REACH brand if plants to have first-class compliance with
ronmental groups that publish alternative we comply in Europe but do not do checks regulatory systems and environmental
lists of chemicals to those recognized as on imports,” Mensink said. standards—such as REACH—in place, said
substances of very high concern under ECHA acknowledged some of Mensink’s David Williamson, associate director and
REACH. These are a distraction and un- points, albeit with a less combative tone. head of environment and sustainability for
dermine REACH, Mensink said. “Don’t Bjorn Hansen, ECHA’s recently appointed the European Bank for Reconstruction &
make alternative lists,” he warned. executive director, highlighted the need to Development, speaking at the event.
For REACH is to be highly regarded work with the European chemical industry Cefic, though, isn’t relying on the banks.
around the world, public criticism of to promote a competitive environment and It is urging the EU to encourage chemical
the chemical data dossiers that compa- encourage innovation through REACH. regulators around the world—especially
nies submit to ECHA also needs to stop, One way ECHA could facilitate such com- China, with its huge chemical industry—to
Mensink said. Rather, ECHA should give petition is by working with industry to adopt REACH-style regulations. The intro-
industry “a few years” to ensure all the identify at a far earlier stage whether a new duction of a communications center for
data dossiers meet the required standard or existing substance is toxic, he said. REACH in China, as proposed by industry
before ECHA reviews them, he said. ECHA is also looking at ways to make in Helsinki, may not be far away. ◾

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 21


Carbon fiber spools
staged for packaging.
Solvay makes the fiber
in Greenville, S.C.

INVESTMENT

A carbon fiber cluster


grows in South Carolina
Teijin’s choice of Greenwood as the
Teijin breaks ground on a $600 million plant as site for its fiber plant has a historical res-
demand grows for the strong, lightweight material onance for the county and the state. Once
upon a time, a great deal of South Caroli-
MARC S. REISCH, C&EN NEW YORK CITY na business centered on the textile fiber
industry. In Greenwood, the local textile

A
t the June 1 groundbreaking for Teijin’s
$600 million carbon fiber plant in Green-
“South Carolina mill loomed large over the town’s business
landscape. But not anymore.
wood, S.C., the local high school orchestra
serenaded guests. Flags from the U.S. and
is the least The world has changed, and though
Greenwood Mills still exists, many of the
Japan, Teijin’s home country, flanked the podium.
Gov. Henry McMaster told the 75 people sitting
costly of the jobs associated with the apparel industry
have migrated to Asia.
under a fan-cooled tent how proud he was “to have a 48 contiguous Other echoes of the textile past live
new partner join us.” And the Japanese consul gener-
al in Atlanta, Takashi Shinozuka, greeted the crowd U.S. states for on in South Carolina. The Ascend Perfor-
mance Materials nylon plant in Green-
with a “Good morning, y’all,” relating that in Japan,
“South Carolina is well known as a great place to do manufacturing.” wood, dating to 1960, continues to employ
nearly 500 workers who provide industrial
business.” —John Boyd, principal, and carpet fibers to regional customers.
Certainly, South Carolina seems like a great place for Boyd Co. But since 1990, Greenwood has begun
carbon fiber producers to do business. Just two years to support some high-technology opera-
before Teijin broke ground, fellow Japanese firm Toray tions. They include Fujifilm’s North Amer-
Industries started work on a $1.4 billion plant in Spar- ican research and printing-plate operations
tanburg. And Solvay, which has been producing carbon and a gelatin-capsule-making facility run
fiber in nearby Greenville since 1981, expanded in 2016. by the pharmaceutical services firm Lonza.
Consultants attribute the unusual carbon fiber South Carolina in general has embraced
buildup to the state’s business-friendly policies, low high-technology manufacturing. The state
taxes, and moderate energy costs. hosts one of BMW’s largest auto assembly
The three companies are also taking advantage of plants. Aircraft maker Boeing assem-
global trends that favor use of composites of plastic bles its Dreamliner wide-body plane in
and carbon fiber in airplanes, wind turbines, and elec- Charleston. Both companies happen to use
tric vehicles. The fiber’s high strength relative to its carbon fiber. According to the South Car-
C R E D I T: S O LVAY

weight makes it an alternative to steel and aluminum. olina Department of Commerce, 66,000
However, some users indicate that high prices are the people work in automotive jobs and
fiber’s Achilles’ heel and could slow its adoption, es- 108,000 in aerospace jobs in the state.
pecially in automotive uses. At the June groundbreaking, Green-

22 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


wood’s textile past aligned with a high-tech The company started to scout for new However, a recent move by BMW sug-
future. Like Greenwood, 100-year-old Tei- sites as it was running out of room at its gests that at least some in the auto indus-
jin has textiles in its blood, getting its start fiber operations in Decatur, Ala., according try are having second thoughts about wide
making rayon fiber. The firm began produc- to Yasuo Suga, senior vice president of use of carbon fiber. In November 2017,
ing carbon fiber in Japan in 1975 and has Toray’s advanced composite division. BMW sold its 49% stake in an automotive
made it in Rockwood, Tenn., since 2004. Another reason was the proximity of carbon fiber joint venture to its partner,
Teijin executives at the groundbreaking Boeing’s composite-making operations in the German carbon fiber maker SGL.
told C&EN that the plant should start up Charleston, Suga added. The Spartanburg BMW said it would continue to buy
in 2020. The company expects to employ plant will begin to supply Boeing in 2019 carbon products from SGL for its high-end
220 people by 2030. after going through the aircraft maker’s i3, i8, and 7 Series automobiles and that it
Production from the plant will at first accreditation process, he said. would maintain its 18% interest in SGL.
supply aerospace composite customers, John Boyd, principal at Boyd Co., a loca- But it also indicated in 2016 that carbon
said Toshiya Koyama, head of the com- tion consulting firm, is not surprised that fiber is too expensive a raw material for
pany’s material business group. Within South Carolina ranks high on carbon fiber lower-priced cars.
10 years, the firm expects to make auto- makers’ site list. “South Carolina is the Still, consultants are gung ho on car-
motive-grade fiber. For the time being, the least costly of the 48 contiguous U.S. states bon fiber growth. While producers have
raw material to make the fiber, polyacry- for manufacturing,” he said. Other bene- an excess of capacity today, by 2025 de-
lonitrile (PAN), will come from Teijin’s fits are the low rates of unionization and mand for the fiber will outstrip capacity,
plant in Mishima, Japan. The firm could the Port of Charleston, which he calls one according to Cecilia Gee, an analyst with
decide in the future to make
PAN at the Greenwood site.
While much of Teijin’s car-
bon fiber now goes to custom-
ers who make composite parts,
Koyama said the firm’s strategy
is to move downstream into
composites itself. To make that
plan a reality, Teijin bought
Continental Structural Plastics
(CSP) in 2016 for $825 million.
Michigan-based CSP is al-
ready a supplier of composite
components to automakers.
Most of CSP’s composites are
reinforced with glass fiber. But
CSP is making a limited num-
ber of carbon-fiber-reinforced
cargo beds for the 2019 GMC
Sierra Denali pickup trucks.
The notion of the cargo bed The base plate and interior of the GMC Sierra’s cargo box is made of a carbon fiber composite and
actually emerged from a carbon is 28 kg lighter than the steel version.
composite research alliance
Teijin formed with General Motors in 2011. of the best managed and least congested the market research firm Lux Research.
The CSP acquisition provided the means ports on the East Coast. Gee expects greater use of carbon fiber
to make a carbon composite cargo bed to Also figuring into the Japanese makers’ among automakers through 2020 as they
replace GMC’s steel version. Koyama said choice to locate in the state is the relatively take advantage of the fiber’s light weight
the cargo bed project bodes well for Tei- low cost of shipping carbon fiber, said Dan and strength. Likely uses are high-impact
jin’s future auto composite plans. Pichler, a carbon fiber expert at CarbCon- or structural components like driveshafts
Given all the carbon fiber soon to come sult. The fibers range in cost from about or the chassis.
from South Carolina, the question of over- $17 per kilogram for industrial-grade fiber Gee is enthusiastic about the growth of
supply arises. The Solvay plant and the to $80 for most aerospace-grade material. carbon fiber in the wind energy market,
Teijin and Toray plants under construction It costs “only 1 to 2% of the fiber’s value to which she predicts will surpass the aero-
are all within 100 km of each other. ship it anywhere in the world,” he said. space and automotive markets in both
Shukei Inui, manager of Teijin’s carbon And carbon fiber is set for a significant tonnage and value. Strong government
fiber business unit, pointed out that carbon increase in demand, Pichler said. He ex- support and zooming offshore installations
fiber is a worldwide commodity. At least in pects global fiber consumption to more are behind the growth, she said.
Teijin’s case, the plan is to export some of than double from 60,000 metric tons in Yes, high fiber costs are holding back
C R E D I T: GE N ERA L MOTO RS

the fiber to other countries. The decision to 2015 to about 150,000 metric tons in 2025. growth. But while “cost reduction from
locate in Greenwood had mostly to do with Industrial applications, including for process and other improvements is not
utility and labor costs plus state incentives automotive, wind turbine, and other high- coming on-line as quickly as we thought,”
and support from community leaders. tech uses, will account for the lion’s share she said, carbon fiber is still “on a positive
Teijin competitor Toray also cites of growth, Pichler predicted. Aerospace trajectory now.”
strong government support as a reason for use will continue to grow, but other indus- If she’s right, all the bets on South Car-
setting up its fiber plant in Spartanburg. trial uses will outshine it, he said. olina should pay off. ◾

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 23


ENERGY STORAGE

C&EN talks
with Amy
Prieto, battery
innovator
Colorado State chemist
discusses her next-generation
lithium-ion technology
PRACHI PATEL, special to C&EN

A
my Prieto decided to pursue battery re-
search when she started as an assistant
professor of chemistry at Colorado State
University in 2005. The field was a perfect
bridge between her Ph.D. studies in solid-state materi-
als for electronic devices and her postdoctoral work in
Vitals docs. From the beginning, we wanted a
manufacturing method that was scalable
measuring transport properties of nanostructured ma- ▸▸Birthplace: Bogotá, Colombia and environmentally friendly and did not
terials. It turned out to be a fruitful decision. She has ▸▸Hometown: Fort Collins, Colo. require expensive capital equipment, high
patented novel battery materials and a unique man- ▸▸Studies: B.A., chemistry temperatures, or long processing times. So
ufacturing process that together revamp decades-old and philosophy, Williams we decided on electroplating, a really good
lithium-ion technology. Her lithium-ion battery, built College, 1996; Ph.D., inorganic method to deposit ions from a solution
on a foundation of electroplated copper foam, is more chemistry, University of onto an immersed surface using electric
flexible, safer, less expensive, and more environmen- California, Berkeley, 2001 current. It’s never been used for batter-
tally friendly than batteries currently on the market. ▸▸Professional highlights: ies, but it is used for coating jewelry, car
In 2009, just four years after embarking on her Postdoctoral research fellow, parts, and interconnects on semiconductor
research, she founded a company, Prieto Battery, to Harvard University, 2002–05; chips.
develop the technology for commercial use. The start- professor, Colorado State Today’s batteries use flat metal sheets
up caught the eyes of the power-tool manufacturer University, 2005–present; that are coated with anode and cathode ma-
Stanley Black & Decker and the computer technology founder, CEO, and chief terials. We start with a three-dimensional
giant Intel, both of which invested in the technology scientific officer, Prieto Battery, copper foam, which has a high surface area
in 2016. Prachi Patel talked with Prieto about her in- 2009–present because it is porous, so you can get more
novative technology and business plans. ▸▸Why battery research is capacity in the same footprint as a standard
fun: I love the kinds of problems battery. But you can still have fast charge
Why give lithium-ion batteries a makeover? where theorists have predicted and discharge because ions move through
Current batteries are limited by their materials and some property or somebody has the porous foam easily.
architectures. In your cell phone or laptop, you have sketched a battery architecture, The foam goes into our electroplating
a battery made of flat layers. If you want it to store a but no one knows how to make bath containing an aqueous solution of
lot of energy, you have to make the layers thick, which the materials go together. It’s a citric acid with dissolved copper and an-
means the battery doesn’t charge very quickly. And if lot like cooking, which I love. timony salts. Those salts deposit on the
you want to make it fast, you have to make those lay- ▸▸On getting the Presidential foam surface as copper antimonide, a
ers thin, but then you cannot store very much energy. Early Career Award for known anode material. All these materials
C R E D I T: KAT I E H O FF N ER / P R I ETO BAT TE RY

We wanted to make a device without these trade- Scientists & Engineers are nontoxic. Antimony by itself is not the
offs so your phone battery could last a whole day and (2012) at the White House: most environmentally friendly, but it’s
you’d be able to charge it in 10 minutes instead of an It was incredible on many levels. very stable in copper antimonide. Next,
hour. That’s critical for larger-scale energy storage ap- I was fortunate to receive the we electrochemically coat the foam with a
plications like electric vehicles or my ultimate dream: award from President Obama, proprietary polymer that we formulated,
battery banks for wind and solar farms. who gave a moving speech which acts as the electrolyte and the elec-
about the incredible need for trode separator. Finally, we coat the foam
How did you start thinking about this problem? diversity in science, which I feel with a slurry of cathode materials, includ-
Originally, I was not thinking about something strongly about. ing lithium cobalt oxide and lithium nickel
that could be commercialized quickly but was look- manganese cobalt oxide, which we buy
ing for enriching research for my students and post- from suppliers.

24 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


Many others are pursuing novel lithium so it dissipates heat and helps the battery try to focus on establishing partnerships.
battery chemistries. What gives your handle overheating. Plus, this is a sol- We targeted companies that really needed
design an edge? id-state battery, so we don’t have flamma- new batteries. Intel is interested in flexible
A key aspect is that electroplating ble liquid electrolytes. battery sizes and formats for computing
allows us to customize our battery vol- Some people in the battery industry devices. Stanley Black & Decker makes
ume and make it in a variety of sizes and are working on new chemistries that are things you’d imagine on a construction
shapes. We can control the thickness of critical for technologies that we will need site, and the company is interested in pow-
the anode coating based on the amount in 10–20 years. And others are optimizing er and safety. So the markets are different
of charge we pass during electroplating. the engineering of current batteries to get but complementary in that they both place
There are many applications, such as wear- a couple percent improvement every year. a high value on tech and innovation.

We provide the next step for lithium-ion batteries by


mostly using chemistry that’s understood today.
able devices, where device designers are We fall between those two. We provide Our manufacturing partner is Moses
limited because they cannot find batteries the next step for lithium-ion batteries by Lake Industries, which develops electro-
that conform to the volume requirements. mostly using chemistry that’s understood plating chemicals and processes for com-
We can let designers daydream and make a today. Our technology is something that panies like Intel and Samsung. They are
battery that fits their space constraint. can be commercialized in the near future. scaling up the process, so we don’t have to
Another big advantage of our battery is build a new facility. Electroplating is used
safety. Most batteries today have graphite Tell me about your start-up and your in a variety of industries, so we don’t fore-
anodes. If you overcharge them, you can business partnerships. What are your see any real technical challenges.
get lithium plating on the graphite surface. targets and timelines?
These metal deposits form spiky growths My business partner and I have a goal to Prachi Patel is a freelance writer.
called dendrites that cause a short circuit, have our very first batteries on the market A version of this story appeared in
which can lead to battery fires. Copper within this calendar year. Most start-ups ACS Central Science:
antimonide takes up lithium ions during raise a lot of money and build a whole cenm.ag/prieto. This
charging in a way that doesn’t allow lithi- facility. We decided to instead raise only interview was edited for
um plating. It is also thermally conductive, what we needed as we went and then to length and clarity.

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 25


Musings
Musings
Musings on
Bench&&&cubice
Bench
onon
working
Cubic
working
cubicee
in the
in the
the chemistry
chemistry
chemistryenterprise
enterprise
enterprise
BY CHEMJOBBER

The unwritten rules of the laboratory


When hoarding chemicals and other shared en’t around. Or it might be time to get a
set of headphones. (Just be sure it doesn’t
lab resources becomes a problem interfere with your ability to hear safety

E
alarms.)
ver shared someone else’s Just as many unwritten and unspo-
toothbrush? I didn’t think so. ken rules exist about who receives
I certainly haven’t, and yet credit for an improvement or a discov-
there are some things ery in a laboratory. Think up an
that we’re perfectly willing to MINE! idea in a group setting? I think
share, like a pen or perhaps a it’s wise to credit everyone who
jacket. These unwritten rules contributed to the idea, even if
are all around us, and they fol- only one or two people actually
low us into the lab as well. performed the key experiment.
Have a fume hood all your But that’s just my opinion; your
own? I bet that you’ve never laboratory’s traditions around
done much chemistry in authorship are likely set by
other people’s hoods—it your principal investigator if
would probably feel weird. you’re in academia, or by the
You’d probably react poor- rules of inventorship if you’re
ly to one of your lab mates in industry. Because these
reaching into your hood contributions are so valued
and pulling out your stir in the scientific community,
plate. It probably doesn’t I don’t think it is a coinci-
belong to you, but it is dence that this is one of the
yours—you’re the one who places where the unwritten
uses it most often, and traditions of authorship can
you’ve had it the en- become a serious source
tire time that you’ve of conflict.
been working in that I admit that I have bro-
hood. That possessiveness you feel, it’s ken unwritten rules. When I was a senior
one of those funny unwritten rules of the reptitious pilfering, and as a consequence, graduate student, I had a moment of
lab. people begin stowing stashes in odd spots. weakness when I seized a group resource
This possessiveness doesn’t stop at People defend their materials by labeling and carried it furtively back to my hood.
fume hoods, or simple equipment like with their initials obsessively or perhaps I’m not proud of it, and I am glad that
stir plates. Put enough blood, sweat, and by posting a picture of Chuck Norris star- someone confronted me.
tears into a GC or an HPLC, and you’ll ing down the would-be thief. Many of life’s unwritten rules are about
find yourself saying, “Don’t mess up my One way organizations can encourage sharing, like giving other cars room on
instrument!” to your untidy colleague who sharing and discourage hoarding is to be a crowded exit ramp. So it is with many
is borrowing it. generous. Want to make those stashes of the laboratory’s unspoken rules: They
Chemists can be even more possessive disappear? Have a stockroom full of fresh are about creating an environment where
of chemicals, especially when they have supplies waiting to be used by the enter- people from different backgrounds can
been ordered for a specific purpose or prising chemist. minimize conflict and work together to
they have a limited shelf life. Break into The environment within a laboratory solve scientific problems. Just ask before
your lab mate’s new bottle of dibutylbo- can also be an unspoken treaty. It’s un- you use my favorite stir bar, OK?
ron triflate solution before they had a wise to move the thermostat up or down
C R E D I T: C& E N /S H U TT E RSTOC K

chance to use it for their Evans aldol reac- significantly without talking to your Chemjobber is an industrial chemist who
tion? You may receive coal in your stock- fellow lab workers. Many laboratories blogs about the chemistry job market at
ing at the group Christmas party. compromise on the noise level by keeping chemjobber.blogspot.com. Find all his
In some labs, the unwritten rule seems laboratory settings relatively quiet. Like columns for C&EN and suggest future topics
to be “No sharing whatsoever!” Everyone blasting really loud music while you’re at cenm.ag/benchandcubicle.
is very possessive of their equipment running columns? It might be time for
and glassware, and the number of shared you to start working late at night or early Views expressed are those of the author and
materials is very low. Often, there is sur- in the morning when your lab mates ar- not necessarily those of C&EN or ACS.

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 27


Cover story

Greener I
n early June, Dalton Cheng
realized something big
was afoot. Cheng, who is
head of technology for
the textile printing firm Intech

textile
Digital, heard from customers
that Chinese government
authorities in Jiangsu province
had shut down massive factories
that produce synthetic dyes used In brief

dyeing
by the textile industry. Shoppers looking for their
next great outfit make their
It was just the latest in a series of actions that started selections on the basis of
in the summer of 2017, when tens of thousands of Chi- color, cut, style, and price.
na’s factories were forced to close and undergo environ- They may not know that dye-
mental inspections. ing clothes requires massive
Overall, as much as 60% of China’s denim-dyeing amounts of water, energy,
chemical capacity has been shuttered, Cheng says, equal and chemicals. Those chem-
to roughly 30% of global capacity. And that’s why his icals are released in waste-
phone was ringing. Intech, headquartered in Hong Kong, water from dye houses and
might be in a position to help apparel industry customers textile mills in places such
out of a critical supply bind. as China, India, and Bangla-
Intech’s specialty is digital printing on textiles, includ- desh. Reports of rivers with
ing cotton and other cellulosic fabrics like rayon. Printing unnatural hues have inspired
textiles with pigments rather than dyes uses very little government crackdowns and
Large and small suppliers vow water, Cheng says, and produces much less waste than
traditional methods.
sustainability pledges from
international apparel brands.
to help a resource-intensive Digital printing is one example from a growing list of
new, more sustainable fabric-coloring technologies from
But changing this $3 trillion
industry will require innova-
industry change with the times both major suppliers and smaller chemical and biotech
start-ups. The companies see business opportunity in
tion that can be scaled up
and adopted without cost or
MELODY BOMGARDNER, C&EN WEST COAST tackling dyeing’s wasteful water and energy practices and disruption for manufactur-
its reliance on toxic chemicals that can give rivers shock- ers. Read on to learn about
ing hues and harm human health. greener ways to color clothes
But the barriers facing those working to promote a that may soon be available
more sustainable textile technology are quite high. The from your favorite retailer.
industry’s sheer scale makes it hard to have an impact:
Textiles are a $3 trillion-per-year business that employs
nearly 60 million workers worldwide, according to eco-
nomic research firm Euler Hermes and FashionUnited,
an industry information resource.
It’s also a manufacturing industry under pressure.
Price competition is fierce, and profits are shrinking
thanks to volatile raw material costs and rising wages.
Despite public commitments by apparel brands to be-

C R E D I T: I NT EC H D I GI TA L
High-resolution color patterns can come more sustainable, suppliers contacted by C&EN say
be printed directly onto cotton their customers will not buy anything that could raise the
using pigment inks rather than cost of a finished garment by as little as a penny.
dyes to reduce the use of water The factory shutdowns have disrupted the textile sup-
and chemicals. ply chain, says Holger Schlaefke, global marketing man-
ager at Huntsman’s textile effects segment. Huntsman,

28 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018 JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 29
Greenpeace’s Detox My
Fashion campaign brought
attention to pollution and
health hazards of dye and
other chemicals used in
textile manufacturing,
including at this plant in
Tianjin, China.

Archroma, and DyStar are the world’s largest suppli-


ers of dyes and textile chemicals.
“Shutdowns are a concern for companies like
“There are arsenic, copper, and zinc. Dyes and chem-
icals released into waterways also block
sunlight and increase biological oxygen
Huntsman and also for retailers,” Schlaefke says.
“You can imagine retailers have contracted with a fab- beautiful demand (J. Chem. Eng. Process Technol.
2014, DOI: 10.4172/2157-7048.1000182).
ric-producing mill—they negotiated six months ago
and agreed on a price—but suddenly that price is not
certain anymore. It’s not a crisis, but it makes busi-
colors in To reduce this burden, Huntsman has
developed a line of dyes for cotton called
Avitera that bonds to the fiber more read-
ness a little more complicated for everyone.”
The largest impact of the factory shutdowns has
the ocean, ily. According to the company, the colors
require one-quarter to one-third less water
been in the supply and price of so-called disperse
dyes, which are used to color synthetic fibers like in insects— and one-third less energy. Three reactive
groups are attached to the dye formula’s
polyester, a specialty of Chinese producers, Schlaefke
says. Availability of reactive dyes, which are used on
cotton, was also reduced, though manufacturers in
you can chromophore—or color-providing mol-
ecule—compared with the one or two
reactive groups common for cotton dyes.
cotton-rich India are likely to take up the slack.
In India as well, the government is taking steps
crack open a Thanks to these extra reactive groups, the
dye step lasts about four hours, compared
to reel in the textile industry to save precious water
resources. “In India, a trend is huge investment in wide palette with seven hours for conventional dyes.
Still, it takes a lot of legwork to sell
wastewater treatment for liquid discharge,” Schlaefke
says. It’s now common for factories to reuse 90% of
their water.
of colors.” customers on a new suite of dyes. “It can
be hard to show cost savings when the
savings comes from water use or ener-
While both cotton and polyester are normally col- —David Nugent, cofounder, gy,” Schlaefke says. Different regions and
ored with synthetic dyes, dyeing cotton is a more wa- Colorifix countries have different cost structures,
ter- and heat-intensive process. The surface of cotton he says. For example, Bangladesh is now
fibers is negatively charged and doesn’t readily react the biggest cotton-producing country,
with negatively charged dye compounds. “and as we know, they have no shortage of
Even with an assist from salts and alkali added to water,” he notes.
C R E D I T: LU GUA N G/G R E EN P EAC E

the dye solution, cotton takes up only about 75% of Another way to improve the bond be-
the dye. To ensure colorfastness, dyed fabric or yarn tween dyes and cotton fibers is a process
is washed over and over again in hot water, creating called cationization. In North Carolina,
large amounts of wastewater. textile industry veteran Tony Leonard
All told, about 200 L of water is used to produce is taking that approach. Leonard is the
1 kg of fabric. A review of wastewater treatment steps inventor and technical director behind
found that textile effluent contains high concentra- ColorZen, a start-up that has developed a
tions of dyes and chemicals, including chromium, cotton pretreatment step.

30 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


Learn the textile industry’s lingo “With conventional cotton dyeing,
salt is used to negate the charge on the
▸▸Bleeding and crocking: Two components of colorfastness. surface of the cotton,” Leonard explains.
Bleeding happens when dye comes off a fabric in contact with “ColorZen technology uses a quaternary
liquid. Crocking occurs when a dye on a dry fabric rubs off on ammonium compound to permanently
another dry fabric. attach a positively charged amino site on
▸▸Colorfastness: The ability of a dye to preserve the original the cellulose molecule.” That makes for a
color during industrial processing and subsequent customer natural attraction between dye and fiber,
use. The American Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists he says.
provides several dozen test methods to ensure colorfastness ColorZen treats raw cotton fiber right
of dye products. from the field after the
▸▸Digital textile printing: Directly printing colors and
patterns onto fabric using design software, large-format “The textile seeds are removed. “North
Carolina is still the heart
printers, and specialty inks made with pigments or dyes.
Digital printing is an alternative to standard screen printing,
which uses a constrained color palette and requires separate
industry, of the cotton and textile
industry here in the United
States, and there are ready
stencils and production steps for each color.
▸▸Dye: Soluble chemicals that contain chromophores, or including supplies of baled U.S. cot-
ton here that our customers

retail, is
color-containing compounds. Dyes are mixed with other are tapping into,” Leonard
additives in a color solution. They can be derived from natural notes. After treatment,
sources, such as plants, but are more commonly human made. cotton is spun into yarn at
Different classes of dyes are used for different fibers and
stages of the textile production process. very, very customer facilities.
Leonard contends that
ColorZen’s pretreatment
▸▸Direct dye: A class of dye that can be applied directly to
cotton or other cellulosic fabrics such as rayon, silk, and wool.
Direct dyes are applied in a neutral or alkaline bath of hot
competitive, makes the dyeing process
faster while using 90% less
water. They do not require mordant or fixatives for fastness;
instead, they attach with hydrogen bonds and van der Waals and in the water, 75% less energy, and
90% fewer auxiliary chemi-
cals. It also cuts out almost
forces. Direct dyes are soluble salts of complex sulfonic acids,
including diazo or polyazo chemicals.
▸▸Disperse dye: A category of nonionic dyes used to color
end, cost half the dye compared with
processes that call for salts

synthetic yarns and fabrics such as polyester. These organic


chemicals, mostly monoazo dyes, are nonsoluble and rely on matters.” in the dye bath.
The company has a part-
nership with the manufac-
dispersing agents to spread the color molecules in water. —Holger Schlaefke, global turing technology firm Jabil
▸▸Reactive dye: A class of colored synthetic organic marketing manager, Huntsman’s to help it scale up its plant
chemicals that attach to textile fibers via a chemical reaction textile effects segment in Mebane, N.C. It is also
that forms a covalent bond. Reactive dyes are the most in a program run by the ap-
permanent of all dye types and are the most common type parel start-up incubator Fashion for Good.
of dye used on cotton and other cellulose fibers. They are Leonard says the company is developing
categorized by their functional group, such as dichlorotriazine a supply chain by educating dye houses,
or vinyl sulfone. spinners, and retailers about ColorZen’s
▸▸Dye exhaustion or dye fixation: The mass of dye taken up benefits.
by the yarn or fabric divided by the total initial mass of dye in Even the best pretreatment process
the water bath. Once the dyeing process reaches equilibrium, a can’t eliminate the health effects of the
portion of the dye remains in the dye bath and becomes part of dyes and the chemicals used to make
the dye process wastewater. The exhaustion ratio depends on them. That’s the focus of many of the tex-
the quality of the dye and the characteristics of the fiber. tile industry’s eco-certification programs.
▸▸Leveling agent: Used in disperse dyeing to regulate or slow “With advances in measurement in-
struments, we’re seeing more evidence of
the uptake of dye onto synthetic fibers to ensure that the color
contaminants and degradation products
level is uniform. Leveling agents are often nonionic surfactants
than ever before,” observes John Frazier,
that increase the solubility of the dye and slow adsorption.
technical director at Hohenstein Institute
▸▸Mordant: Also called a dye fixative, a substance used to America, a textile research organization.
chemically bond a dye to natural fibers to ensure fastness. Hohenstein developed Oeko-Tex, a se-
Mordant chemicals include alum, caustic soda, and metal ries of standards and tools for certifying
salts. The mordant forms a coordination complex with the dye, nontoxic textiles. The first version of the
increasing its molecular weight and making it insoluble. standard was called Oeko-Tex 100 for the
▸▸Pigment: Insoluble materials, usually in powder form, that number of chemicals it tracked. Oeko-Tex
add color to inks, paints, plastics, cosmetics, and foods. When certification is now up to more than 300
used on textiles, they require binders or other additives to chemicals.
attach to the fibers. Pigments can be derived from minerals The industry needs to both develop
but can also be made synthetically. Because they are not “better chemistry and ensure there is less
soluble in water, they can last longer than dyes. water going out the back,” Frazier says. He

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 31


Environmental hit
Dyeing cotton has more impact than dyeing other fibers.

TYPE OF FIBER
Cotton Polyester Viscose (Rayon) Wool
Warm temperature, long Hot temperature, short Warm temperature, long Warm temperature, simple
process time, requires process time, no fixatives process time, requires less process
Dyeing addition of large amounts required salt and alkali than cotton
of salt and alkali fixatives
Dye
fixation Poor, 75% Good, 99% or more Fair, 85–90% Good, 95% or more
Long, energy- and Shorter process requiring Similar to cotton but shorter Generally a relatively simple
water-intensive process less energy, water, and process, possibly due to less wash-off procedure
Washing using multiple baths, with chemicals than cotton. unfixed dye to be removed
at least one at boiling Uses alkali and chemical
temperature reducing agent.
Source: Natural Resouces Defense Council

says he’s seeing “a ton of innovation hap- nation is growing, and the compound has it more difficult to reduce,” Bellos says.
pening. It’s very exciting.” started to appear on lists that brands send Dye houses can reduce natural indigo in
Schlaefke says Huntsman’s Avitera dyes to manufacturers restricting the chemicals bacterial fermentation vats or use more
were formulated to be free from p-chloro- they can use. common reducing systems, she adds.
aniline (PCA), a hazardous chemical used Carnahan acknowledges differing views Other start-ups have also turned to
as an intermediate in the manufacture of about how big a problem aniline is in the biology—in particular, engineered mi-
azo dyes and pigments. “What we see now textile industry. It has a better reputation crobes—to reduce the use of chemicals
is a bit more retailers are looking at PCA,” than the category 1 carcinogenic amines in textile dyes. U.K.-based Colorifix and
he notes. Currently, brands including REI that cleave off of azo dyes and were an the French firm Pili say microbes can pro-
and Levi Strauss & Co. restrict the use of early target for elimination by clothing duce high-performance, renewable dyes
PCA along with a list of other amines from brands. “Aniline is category 2, instead— suitable for mainstream textiles. All that
colorants. which is not good, though,” Carnahan is required to scale up are fermentation
Synthetic indigo, used to make blue says. tanks and sugar.
jeans blue, is an example of a dye that can Of course, in the beginning, indigo The idea for Colorifix came out of a
release unreacted chemicals downstream came from a plant, not a factory. The biological sensor program in Nepal and
of manufacturing. A small number of Chi- very first pair of modern-style blue jeans, Bangladesh. David Nugent and colleagues
nese manufacturers produce most of the made by Levi Strauss, debuted in 1873. were in the region to test drinking water
world’s indigo using aniline as a key raw That was about 25 years before chemists wells for arsenic. They asked local village
material. Indigo is unlike most dyes in that developed the synthetic route to indigo governments what other substances in
in its unreduced form it is not soluble. So dye—with its unappetizing starting mate- their water concerned them. “We got a
companies like Archroma upgrade it into rials of aniline, formaldehyde, and hydro- large list of chemicals,” Nugent recalls.
easier-to-use, prereduced solutions that gen cyanide. “When we asked, ‘Where do they come
are more water soluble. The ambition at Stony Creek Colors is from?’ the answer we got was textiles,
The company became concerned af- to return to those early days. Founder Sar- again and again.”
ter seeing published reports that about ah Bellos says a complete life-cycle review The team was already using color made
400 metric tons of aniline per year escapes of the production and use of synthetic by microorganisms to act as a sensor for
the dyeing process from 70,000 metric indigo provides plenty of reasons to look water contaminants. Soon, Nugent says,
tons of indigo. Two-thirds of the escaped again at indigo from plants. it became clear the researchers could
chemical ends up in wastewater, on work- Stony Creek is developing varieties engineer them to produce natural colors,
ers, and in the air, while one-third stays on of leguminous indigo plants that can including anthocyanins and carotenoids.
the denim that goes to stores, says James provide a high-yield, high-profit crop for “Once you start looking at how nature
Carnahan, Archroma’s global sustainabili- Tennessee farmers looking for an alterna- makes colors, you see a lot of similarities
ty manager for textiles. tive to tobacco. The company is selling all in the sequences of the proteins and en-
Archroma developed a technology for the dye it can make; its goal is to expand zymes,” Nugent says. With more resourc-
prereducing indigo to prevent aniline U.S. indigo production to 6,000 hect- es, he’d like to go prospecting to find new
from carrying through as a contaminant. ares in the next five years. That could molecules. “There are beautiful colors in
Finished textiles colored with the dye con- displace 2.8% of global synthetic indigo the ocean, in insects—you can crack open
tain a nondetectable amount of aniline, production. a wide palette of colors.”
whereas competitor dyes can contain up The indigo molecule itself is exactly Not all the colors that engineered mi-
to 2,000 ppm of the chemical, according the same as the synthetic version, with crobes can make meet textile industry
to Archroma. one small difference: “Synthetic indigo requirements for lightfastness and tem-
Brands’ awareness of aniline contami- has a tighter crystal formation that makes perature stability. Chlorophyll, the secret

32 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


to nature’s abundance of green, can turn tom templates for each color, and uses a
an unstylish brown in factory conditions, limited set of hues. Digital printers, which
Nugent says. give designers almost unlimited choices,
But microbes that produce stable colors are taking over some of that market.
can be adopted by dye houses with very “The big reason we’re really excited is
little change to their normal processes. it’s having huge growth, well over 20%
First the microbes go into a solution like per year,” Check says. But that increase is
a regular dye and get embedded in the from a small base of about 2–3% of total
textile fiber. Then they are given nutrients textile output.
that cause them to grow. When heat is Digital printing on polyester uses a
applied, the organisms’ membranes burst. two-step dye sublimation process that
That causes the color to chemically attach is almost waterless. The pattern is first
to the fiber with help from metal ions and printed on transfer paper; heat then turns
salts in the microbes’ cytoplasm. the color into a cloud of gas, which bonds
Nugent says the process works like a with the softened polyester.
very efficient reactive dye that requires This process doesn’t work for cotton,
only a single finish wash. He claims a wa- silk, and other natural fabrics, Intech’s
ter savings of 90% and an energy savings Cheng points out. For them, his firm
of 20% over standard processes. Colorifix offers a new specialty ink made with
is setting up pilot operations in Italy and powdered, insoluble pigments plus a
France; partner dye houses first have to polymer-like binder designed to make the
get a certification to work with genetically color stick.
modified microbes. Epson’s Check says the digital printing
Pili got its start as a biology outreach approach can allow apparel manufacturers
program. “We were doing workshops with to operate in regions closer to their cus-
kids, growing bacteria and making colors tomers, such as in North America. “All you
with them, painting with them,” Chief Sci- need is a printer and a heat system to fix
ence Officer Guillaume Boissonnat recalls. the ink. That means you can do that here
In 2015, he and his partners realized they in the U.S. without the environmental
could make industrially useful colors that concerns or cost of managing wastewater,”
way. he says.
Biology is more efficient than the chem- Huntsman’s Schlaefke agrees that dig-
ical industry at making dye structures, ital printing is a trend that could have an
Boissonnat argues. “Dyes are usually the impact on how much and what types of
aromatic molecules from heavy fractions colorants are used. “The market is moving
of petroleum. We have made some calcu- in the right direction for printing,” he says.
lations that show to produce 1 kg of dye, Since Huntsman sells both traditional
you need 100 kg of petroleum, 1,000 L of dyes and specialty inks, it stands to gain
water, and 10 kg of other chemicals.” whichever way the wind blows. Schlaefke
But the major portion of water used for says the segment’s growth will depend
textile dyeing comes after dyeing, when in large part on how economical the ma-
fabrics, particularly cotton, have to be chines become.
washed over and over again to remove “The textile industry, including retail, is
unfixed dye. Instead, manufacturers can very, very competitive, and in the end, cost
skip dyes and use pigments. As at Intech matters,” Schlaefke says. He points out
Digital, the enabling technology for that that a penny of additional cost adds up to
move is large-scale printers that take the a lot of money when a company is making
place of dyeing vats. The printers use spe- millions of garments.
cial versions of ink-jet printheads designed For companies that have strong chem-
to work with textile inks. istry capabilities, being able to help textile
The use of digital textile printing is customers meet sustainability goals lends
growing rapidly, thanks in large part to a competitive edge. “If you only see it as
demand from fast-fashion purveyors, says a threat and you are getting worried, I
Tim Check, a textile product manager at think you won’t survive in the long run,”
Epson, which makes printers, printheads, Schlaefke says.
and inks for textiles. Check says retailers But nothing is straightforward in the
such as H&M or Zara demand short runs textile industry. While China cracks down
of styles to appear in stores in as little as with environmental inspections, and
two weeks, rather than the traditional de- wages in the country rise, the industry is
sign schedule of huge runs delivered after moving to countries, including Bangladesh
several months. and Vietnam, with fewer environmental
Patterned textiles for such garments controls. Innovators with greener dyeing
were historically made by screen printing, technology will have to work hard to keep
which is expensive to set up, requires cus- their progress from unraveling. ◾

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 33


ACS
NEWS
COMMENT

ACS Council and its role


in shaping the society
MARY K. CARROLL, VICE CHAIR, ACS COUNCIL POLICY COMMITTEE

Y
ou have heard the American divisions represent ACS members on the nance structure, including the council, to
Chemical Society described as basis of geography (where they live, work, best position the society for the future.
the “world’s largest scientific or study) or subject matter (specialization ACS strives to take full advantage of
society.” The size of our society or interests). Divisions also provide a the considerable expertise of its member
(more than 150,000 members) allows it to means for international members to have volunteers, provide mechanisms for mean-
provide members with an extensive port- representation in ACS governance. Each ingful volunteer experiences, and connect
folio of programs and resources, which local section has one or more councilors, individual members to all levels of gover-
enable members to advance chemistry, based on its total membership, and divi- nance. Our governing structure should be
elevate their career po- sions have one to four (but is not always) characterized by effi-
tential, expand their net- councilors, depending on cient communication, which is essential
works, educate and in- size and a proportional for impactful decision-making. As part of
spire future generations, formula prescribed in the a concerted effort in governance redesign,
collaborate globally, ACS bylaws. Many coun- CPC’s Future Council Representation
and build communities cilors serve on national Working Group is considering how the
that provide scientific committees as well as the council could be restructured to facilitate
solutions. A society of executive committees discussion and productive interactions
this scope requires a of their local sections or with the board and committees while in-
robust national gover- divisions. creasing communication with members
nance structure. ACS has The council meets in at the grassroots level, including the pos-
a board of directors, a person, twice yearly, on sibility of greater representation for ACS
council, and quite a num- the Wednesday morning members who live and work outside the
ber of committees. of each ACS national U.S.
This structure affords meeting. The Coun- I encourage you to reach out to your
volunteer leadership cil Policy Committee councilor or councilors to express your
opportunities and countless other ways (CPC), the executive committee of the views on this or any other subject rele-
for members to provide input into gover- council, sets the agenda for this meeting. vant to the chemistry enterprise and the
nance and help guide the direction of the At the council meeting, councilors hear ACS vision of “improving people’s lives
society. In a June 4 Comment in C&EN, reports from the officers of ACS and from through the transforming power of chem-
ACS Board Chair John Adams described leaders of council-related committees, istry.” Your councilors will be pleased to
how the board functions. And in a June 18 participate in elections, and discuss and bring your input, ideas, and suggestions to
Comment, Carolyn Ribes, chair of the vote on proposals for action brought the governance system.
Committee on Committees, discussed forward by committees or groups of You may want to go beyond simply
ways to get involved in national commit- councilors. In addition, the council some- expressing your views and become more
tees. Here, I focus on the ACS Council: times engages in discussion on a special actively involved in governance. If so, talk
how it is currently constructed, how it topic. Although participation is limited with your local section or division officers
operates, and how you can help it improve. to councilors, anyone present at the na- about running for councilor or taking on
Early in its history, ACS developed a tional meeting is welcome to observe the another leadership position. ACS and the
grassroots, representative system of na- council meeting. If you’re going to be in profession benefit when individuals with
tional governance. The council’s role is to Boston this August, consider adding this diverse backgrounds, experiences, and
serve as the popular, deliberative assembly to your calendar. perspectives contribute to leadership.
of ACS and to advise on matters pertain- Why should you, an individual mem- Finally, keep in mind that all ACS
ing to the general management of the soci- ber, care about ACS governance? You members have the ability to influence
ety. It is meant to represent the member- may be content with receiving the quality governance through the electoral process.
ship as a whole and to receive and deliver programs, products, and services that Please take the time to vote in your local
information via two-way communications ACS provides. But you undoubtedly have section and division elections and in the
with the board and the committees. thoughts about the profession we are en- national ACS elections for president and
C R E D I T: CA R LY N STU D I O

In its current form, the council consists gaged in and perhaps see opportunities for the board of directors.
of nearly 500 councilors, most of whom ACS to play a role in making it stronger CPC welcomes your feedback and sug-
are elected to represent local sections and more valuable and valued. As we ap- gestions at cpc@acs.org.
or divisions. Board members and ACS proach the sesquicentennial of the found-
past-presidents are ex officio members. ing of ACS (2026), it is appropriate to con- Views expressed are those of the author and
Councilors from 185 local sections and 32 sider improvements to the current gover- not necessarily those of C&EN or ACS.

34 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018


▸▸ 2018 ACS Fellows
ACS
NEWS
The American Chemical Society has named
U.S. team heads to International
51 members as ACS Fellows. The new
fellows will be feted at the society’s fall na- Chemistry Olympiad
tional meeting in Boston this August.
The fellows program began in 2009 as Four high school students have secured a spot on the team representing
a way to recognize and honor ACS mem- the U.S. at the 50th International Chemistry Olympiad, which will start in
bers for outstanding achievements in and Bratislava, Slovakia, on July 19 and end in Prague on July 29.
contributions to science, the profession, The U.S. team was finalized after an intensive two-week Chemistry Olym-
and ACS. piad Study Camp, sponsored by the American Chemical Society and held at
Nominations for the 2019 class of ACS the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Fellows will open in the first quarter of The students are Yutong Dai, who
next year. Additional information about just graduated from Princeton Inter-
the program, including a list of fellows national School of Mathematics &
named in earlier years, is available at Science in Princeton, N.J.; Michelle
www.acs.org/fellows.—LINDA WANG Lu, a rising junior at Pomperaug High
School in Southbury, Conn.; Jeffrey
Souhail R. Al-Abed Brian R. Gibney Shi, a rising senior at Marcellus
U.S. Environmental Brooklyn College and High School in Marcellus, N.Y.; and
Protection Agency the Graduate Center Andrew Wu, a rising senior at Park Michelle Lu (from left), Jeffrey Shi,
of the City University Tudor School in Indianapolis. Andrew Wu, and Yutong Dai.
Kara M. Allen of New York
Aegis Sciences The first alternate is Aniket
Cathleen Hapeman ­Dehadrai, who recently graduated from Oklahoma School of Science &
Peter R. Bernstein Agricultural Mathematics in Oklahoma City. The second alternate is Edward Jin, a rising
PhaRmaB Research Service, senior at Arnold O. Beckman High School in Irvine, Calif.
Amanda Bryant- U.S. Department of “We’re very excited,” says head mentor Christine Saber, an assistant pro-
Friedrich Agriculture fessor of chemistry at Gannon University. “Each year, these students appear
University of Toledo to be stronger and stronger in the chemical principles and practices. They
Lynn G. Hartshorn are an inspiration to me.”
Susan Beda Butts University of St. “It’s still sinking in,” Lu says of making the team. “It’s been very rewarding
Dow Chemical Thomas to be able to participate in this camp. There’s always so much more to learn,
Teresa Head- and I hope to make the U.S. proud.”
William F. Carroll
Gordon Wu says his passion for chemistry started during his freshman year of high
Jr.
University of school. “I had a really amazing teacher. He taught me a lot of chemistry.”
Indiana University
California, Berkeley “I’m excited about meeting students from other countries,” Shi says of the
Hongyu Chen international competition. “I think that will be really helpful in both devel-
Dow Chemical Barbara R. Hillery oping my network and just learning about the international community in
SUNY Old Westbury general.”—LINDA WANG
Pat N. Confalone
Confalone Elizabeth M.
Consulting Howson
Chatham High School Louise M. Lawter Andrew W. Michael A. Jay S. Siegel
Janine Cossy Degussa (retired) Maverick Reynolds Tianjin University
ESPCI Paris Malika Jeffries-EL Louisiana State Shell Exploration &
Boston University Eric K. Lin Paris Svoronos
E. Bryan Coughlin University Production
National Institute Queensborough
University of Kimberly Begley of Standards & Scott J. Miller Stuart Rowan Community College
Massachusetts, Jeskie Technology Yale University University of Chicago
Amherst Oak Ridge National Richard P. Van
Laboratory John M. Long Burnaby Munson Martin D. Rudd Duyne
Paul J. Fagan JM Long Rubber University of University of Northwestern
DuPont Kerry K. Karukstis Consultants Delaware Wisconsin, Oshkosh University
Harvey Mudd College
Andrew L. Feig Walter D. Loveland Roger Alan Parker Joseph Sabol Dujin Wang
Wayne State Michelle K. Kidder Oregon State Xavier University Joseph E. Sabol Chinese Academy of
University Oak Ridge National
University Consulting Sciences
Laboratory Melissa A.
Neil K. Garg Ripudaman Pasquinelli Daniel A. Savin Michael S. Wong
University of Judy E. Kim
C R E D I T: CH R I ST I N E SA B ER

Malhotra North Carolina State University of Florida Rice University


California, Los University of
SRI International University
Angeles California, San Diego Dawn A. Wendy B. Young
Stephen F. Martin Sarma V. Pisupati Shaughnessy Genentech
Carmen Valdez Jaqueline L. University of Texas, Pennsylvania State Lawrence Livermore
Gauthier Kiplinger Austin University National Laboratory Doris Zimmerman
Florida Southern Los Alamos National Thiel College
College Laboratory (retired)

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 35


AWARDS
ACS
NEWS
▸▸ 3 young scientists Kyoto Prize to Karl Deisseroth
win Blavatnik Awards
Karl Deisseroth, professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behav-
Three young researchers have been named ioral sciences at Stanford University, is the winner of the 2018 Kyoto Prize in
the winners of the 2018 Blavatnik National Advanced Technology.
Awards for Young Scientists, presented by “It’s a tremendous honor, and I feel very fortunate to have worked with
the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the so many talented students and postdocs over the years who worked with
New York Academy of Sciences. me on this project,” says Deisseroth, who is the youngest person to win
The awards are given annually to prom- this prize.
ising researchers in the U.S. aged 42 and Deisseroth pioneered the field of optogenetics,
younger in the categories of chemistry, which has enabled scientists to use light to manip-
life sciences, and physical sciences and ulate the activity of nerve cells in the brains of lab
engineering. Each recipient will receive animals and understand how that stimulation affects
$250,000 in unrestricted funds. the animals’ behavior. Applications of this research
Janelle Ayres, an associate professor include better understanding of brain disorders
at the Nomis Center for Immunobiology such as schizophrenia, depression, and Parkinson’s
& Microbial Pathogenesis and Helen Mc- disease.
Loraine Developmental Chair at the Salk “Nobody could have predicted 14 years ago that
Institute of Biological Studies, is the recip- putting some algae genes into neurons would give
ient of the Blavatnik National Award for us insights into psychiatry, for example,” Deisseroth says. “There are op-
Young Scientists togenetics-guided clinical trials now where people are using insights from
in Life Sciences optogenetics to guide other kinds of interventions for diseases like drug
for her research addiction.”
on host-patho- “It’s really been amazing to see not only experiments that I hoped would
gen interactions, be possible but also many things I never would have imagined,” he says. “It’s
which could help a testament to basic science.”
C R E D I T: STA N FO R D UN I V E RS I TY ( D E I S S E ROTH ) ; SA LK I N STI T U TE ( AY R ES ); CO U RT ESY O F N EAL DEVARAJ ; CO U RT ESY O F SE RG E I KAL I N I N

fight antimicrobial He envisions the future of this field to have even broader applications.
resistance. “As people get insights into how neural circuitry actually works causally,
“Many investiga- that will make all kinds of clinical interventions, whether they’re phar-
tors seek to extend macological or brain stimulation or even behavioral, more precise and
existing knowledge powerful.”
by asking how something works, an import- His colleagues say he is deserving of this honor. “In addition to driving
ant and laudable scientific endeavor. I like extraordinary, generously shared science and technology, Karl has been an
to ask, ‘Why do things work the way they outstanding mentor,” says Viviana Gradinaru, professor of neuroscience and
do?’ ” she says of the inspiration behind her biological engineering at California Institute of Technology, who was a post-
research. “I hope that my perspective has doc in Deisseroth’s group.
the potential to provide solutions to global The Kyoto Prize is awarded by Japan’s Inamori Foundation in the cate-
challenges of infectious diseases.” gories of advanced technology, basic sciences, and arts and philosophy. The
Neal K. Devaraj, associate professor of prizes, which include a gift of 100 million yen (approximately $898,000), will
chemistry and biochemistry and of bioen- be awarded at a ceremony in Kyoto, Japan, on Nov. 10.—LINDA WANG
gineering at the University of California,
San Diego, won the Blavatnik National
Award for Young Scientists in Chemistry
for his transformative work on the synthe- Sergei V. Kalinin, director of the Insti- potentially allow us to collect orders of
sis of artificial cells and membranes. His tute for Functional Imaging of Materials magnitude more data from imaging tools,
work has enabled at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is the rapidly analyze them to learn physics
the development of recipient of the Blavatnik National Award and make libraries of structure-property
new methods for for Young Scientists in Physical Sciences & relationships, and act upon this knowl-
labeling biological Engineering for his edge in real time,” he says. “This in turn
molecules. work on nanoscale opens a pathway for making better mate-
“Some of the instrumentation rials by being able to learn from atomic
most exciting and to better under- structures of real materials and not only
challenging scien- stand materials and averaged properties. It further allows us
tific problems are their functionality to assemble matter atom by atom using
at the interface at the nanoscale electron beams, opening a new way to-
between fields,” he and to enable at- ward nanotechnology.”
says. “I would encourage younger scien- om-by-atom fabri- The laureates will be honored at the
tists to not be afraid to take risks and leave cation by electron Blavatnik National Awards ceremony on
your comfort zone when thinking about beams. Sept. 24 in New York City.—LINDA WANG
the kinds of research problems you want “In the last several years, the emer-
to tackle and to not be afraid of going after gence of supercomputers, big-data tech- Please send announcements of awards to
really challenging and difficult problems.” niques, and deep-learning approaches l_wang@acs.org

JULY 16, 2018 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN 37


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Newscripts
Kipchoge won the 2018 London Marathon while wearing the
Flyprints, with a time of 2:04:17.

Keeping on her toes


Curating quirky science since 1943
W
hile Nike 3-D prints running shoes with ul-
tra-lightweight materials, professional ballerinas
are still dancing on the tips of their toes, pro-
tected by what often amounts to layers of paper,
Fleet of foot cardboard, and glue.
Professional ballet dancers typically go through two or three
pairs of pointe shoes per performance. The reason is the shank,

H
oofers in no particular rush might just the stiff center of the shoe, which with moderate wear can snap
as well wear clogs. But for a marathoner,
every millisecond counts. That’s why
Nike designed its new Flyprint sneaker,
the first with a three-dimensionally printed upper,
the part of the shoe covering the top of the foot,
especially for elite runners like Eliud Kipchoge, a
Kenyan with an unofficial marathon-distance time of
2:00:25.
For a frame of reference, this Newscriptster just
ran her first 5K—about a one-eighth marathon—at a
breakneck pace of 32:13.
Nike is not the first major shoemaker to use 3-D
printing. The Adidas Futurecraft and the Under Ar-
mour Futurist employ a 3-D-printed midsole, which
makes for quicker development, less production-relat-
ed waste, and higher customizability. However, Nike
is the first to 3-D print the upper as a widely printed
lattice for not only minimal weight but also smart pro-
tection against water absorption, which can add signifi- Carbon footprint: Freed’s three-layer carbon fiber shank (left)
cant weight to the shoe and slow down the runner. and Freed’s foot, en pointe, in the carbon-fiber-reinforced shoe.

without notice. And at around $100 per pair, it’s enough to


make a young ballerina, or her parents, do the same.
Abigail Freed was going through about a pair per performance
before the idea dawned on her to redesign the shank of her pointe
shoes. The 17-year-old decided to try carbon fiber; she wanted
something flexible yet supportive and, most important, long
lasting.
“I literally bought a roll of carbon fiber and a vacuum pump
off Amazon and cured [the shanks] in my oven,” she tells the
Newscripts gang. “I took a traditional pointe shoe, scooped out
the old shank, and put mine in.”
And it works. While her dance colleagues are still going
through a pair per performance, Freed has been dancing on her

C R E D I T: N IK E ( UP P E RS ) ; A B I GA I L FR E E D ( P O I N T E S H O ES )
invention since December. She even has a provisional patent on
the shoes, giving her a year to file a full patent, if she so choos-
es. The invention won her the Arconic Foundation’s Materials
Science or Engineering, Third Award of $1,000 at the 2018 Intel
Hot off the press: Nike’s Flyprint uppers on a 3-D printer. International Science & Engineering Fair.
Freed has also thought about re-engineering other parts of
The Flyprint uses flexible thermoplastic poly- the traditional pointe shoe, such as the box (which encases the
urethane, which does not absorb water. The wide dancer’s toes) and even the satin fabric that gives the shoe its tra-
holes in the meshlike material ditional, graceful look. Then, she says, she’ll be able to
allow water to easily escape. So Melissa Gilden make a shoe that really won’t break or fray.
even if you run those 26.2 miles wrote this week’s The rising high school senior says she would like to
(42.2 km) in a torrential downpour, column.Please major in mechanical or industrial engineering when she
your shoes “will weigh the same in send comments gets to college. It’s possible she will still be dancing in
the end,” says Brett Holts, Nike’s vice and suggestions to the same pair of carbon-fiber-reinforced pointe shoes
president of running footwear. newscripts@acs.org. then.

40 C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | JULY 16, 2018