From butterfly wings to shrimp claws: Mimicking nature on the nanoscale

Innovators look to biomimicry to address sustainability challenges. Can they harness green chemistry to get it right?

BOSTON—Standing at a lab bench, Tanya Shirman eyes her creation: a tiny glass vial filled with an iridescent, sand-like material.

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Nicole Walker: How pandemic lunches gave me hope for the planet

My daughter’s lockdown achievement is that she does not let food go to waste. It’s reminded me that humans don’t have to leave a mass of trash in their wake.

Batteries made with ... vanilla?

There's a new type of battery storage technology that has an interesting spice added into the mix — vanillin, which is the primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean.

How can we convert CO₂ from threat to asset?

Chemists want to use electrochemistry to turn the greenhouse gas into chemical feedstocks and fuels, but they need to improve their systems' efficiencies first.

Seafood waste is being turned into protein in a new trial, with benefits for fishers and the environment

Seafood waste protein could soon be in your supermarket as researchers explore turning discarded crayfish and seaweed into a dietary protein source.

Can yeast oil save rainforests from palm oil plantation pressure?

Palm oil is cheap, plentiful, and extremely useful — but its production involves destroying tropical rainforests.

Green chemistry - better, safer, more sustainable

From safer solvents to make better batteries, to catalysts that can clean up wastewater, green chemists are developing better ways of making stuff.

The world's growing concrete coasts

New technologies may offer a way to shore up coasts while benefiting biodiversity.

Watchdog ranking grades chemical companies on sustainability

Dutch multinational Royal DSM is the world’s most sustainable chemicals company, according to a watchdog group’s report based on companies’ efforts to phase out hazardous substances and replace them with safer alternatives.

5 sustainable alternatives to plastics

A new range of compostable bioplastics created from seeds and even fish scales could liberate us from plastic waste.

Products we use every day are full of harmful chemicals. Can green chemistry lead to safer alternatives?

Organization and consumer demand for products that don't harm people or pollute the environment are moving forward-thinking brands toward safer ingredients.

This little-known principle has harmed millions of people. What are we doing to change it?

The Kehoe paradigm assumes a lack of risk unless proven otherwise. Here's why that's a problem, and how people are working to find a better way.

Invasive green crab at Keji seaside could soon become biodegradable plastic

Invasive green crabs that have caused major problems for native species could be the latest solution to reducing plastic pollution in the ocean.


Could algae be an alternative to plastic?

A French think tank called Atelier Luma is investigating whether treated algae can be used an an alternative material to plastic.

Researchers find way to dissolve, recycle rubber from car tires

The process could lead to new recycling methods that have so far proven to be expensive, difficult and largely inefficient.

From our Newsroom

Fractured: The stress of being surrounded

Jane Worthington moved her grandkids to protect them from oil and gas wells—but it didn't work. In US fracking communities, the industry's pervasiveness causes social strain and mental health problems.

Fractured: Distrustful of frackers, abandoned by regulators

"I was a total cheerleader for this industry at the beginning. Now I just want to make sure no one else makes the same mistake I did. It has ruined my life."

Fractured: Buffered from fracking but still battling pollution

A statewide network of fracking and conventional wells, pipelines, and petrochemical plants closes in on communities.

Fractured: Harmful chemicals and unknowns haunt Pennsylvanians surrounded by fracking

We tested families in fracking country for harmful chemicals and revealed unexplained exposures, sick children, and a family's "dream life" upended.

Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking scientific investigation finds western Pennsylvania families near fracking are exposed to harmful chemicals, and regulations fail to protect communities' mental, physical, and social health.

LISTEN: Kristina Marusic discusses the "Fractured" investigation

"Once they had the results of our study [families] felt like they had proof that these chemicals are in their air, their water, and making their way into their bodies."

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