Short items, January 2009

Graphene winners 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded two of its four annual science and innovation awards - large, long term research grants - to graphene research projects. A joint bid by the University of Manchester and Lancaster University has won ?5 million to research materials applications for graphene, while the Universities of Bath and Exeter receive ?5 million for 
fundamental research and electronic, photonic and biomedical applications for the ultra-thin carbon sheets. 


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a letter to external scientific reviewers announcing that it will re-evaluate its position on the safety of bisphenol A (BPA), after initiating a multi-year research effort to look at the health effects of the chemical. However, the agency still has no immediate plans to ban BPA. 

Process safety forum formed 

The Chemical Industries Association and the Nuclear Industry Association have joined the Petroleum Industry Association and Oil and Gas UK in establishing a process safety forum. The group has been established to share best practice from the upstream oil and gas industry with the downstream chemicals sector. 

Go Figure 

99 per cent   

The fall in the share price of US bioethanol production firm Aventine, since it June 2006 initial public offering. Wildly fluctuating corn prices, and a drop in demand, has forced many US corn ethanol produces to idle their newly built bioethanol plants.