Author Archives: Peter Spitz

Crude price staying down: Thanks to fracking “learning curve” and chemicals

 Like duelling banjos, the U.S. and Saudi oil producers have been carrying out a spirited contest to see who first cries “Uncle” (My apologies for these metaphors). When crude prices first started to plunge from the                $ 100/bbl level, the … Continue reading

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End of an era: Dow spins off chlor-alkali

Dow Chemical has agreed to sell its Chlor-alkali assets and associated derivatives businesses to Olin Corporation in a transaction that in one stroke separates Dow from its main heritage business and makes Olin the largest domestic chlor-alkali producer. Dow will … Continue reading

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California water crisis deepens: Graphene membranes could provide a breakthrough

This blog has recently featured articles on the growing worldwide water crisis and on the potential of a new material called graphene which has exhibited amazing characteristics (strength, chemical resistance, flexibility) that could lead to breakthroughs in a number of areas. It … Continue reading

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Humanity’s Critical Resources: Planning for Interactions

Scientific American magazine’s February 2015 issue contained a very interesting article explaining the interaction of what may be the three most important problems confronting planners for the future of humanity. In particular, it stressed the urgent need for planners normally considering only one of … Continue reading

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All solar; all the time

Can a sentence including the words “solar” and “Tesla” make sense. Cars can not run on solar roof panels, but such a sentence would make sense if it also includes Elon Musk who is the CEO of both his eponymous car company … Continue reading

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Nanocrystals for tagging: A possible breakthrough

Research carried out at MIT and funded by the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office and National Institute of Health has led to the successful development  of tiny, smartphone-readable particles that, inventors say, could be used to authenticate currency (see also … Continue reading

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Finally: Waking up to the folly of biofuels

The corn-based ethanol producers in Iowa and elsewhere must be throwing money at their congressmen as their industry is starting to look more and more threatened, both short term (high corn and low crude prices) and long term(Do we need … Continue reading

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