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Sulphur dioxide from Caribbean volcano reaches India, WMO confirms

(Down to Earth) - The sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from a volcanic eruption in the Caribbean reached India April 16, 2021 sparking fear of increased pollution levels in the northern parts of the country and acid rain. Sulphur dioxide reacts with water to form sulphuric acid which can come down with rainfall.

“Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from La Soufriere volcano eruption in the Caribbean have reached all the way to India,” tweeted the World Meteorological Organisation on April 16.

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Sulfur 4R Management and the Changing Landscape of Fertility

(Access Online Library Wiley) - Decreased atmospheric inputs of sulfur (S) to cropland and increasing removal with harvested crops necessitates a closer look at sulfur fertility management using the 4Rs. Considering the soil organic matter, percent sand, crop status, and sulfur fertilizer solubility are critical to meeting crop nutrition needs for optimal production.

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UK researchers launch a $2 million project to study sulfur variability in biofuel feedstocks

(news.ca.uky.edu) - Sulfur found in biofuel feedstock could pose serious problems to the industry, because it causes pollution, is toxic to the catalyst and corrosive to biorefinery equipment. A national group of scientists and industry partners led by researchers at the University of Kentucky is studying ways to reduce sulfur levels in pine byproducts used to produce biofuels.

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At Earth Day climate summit, Biden promises 50% reduction in US greenhouse emissions

(USA Today) - President Joe Biden pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030 at a virtual climate summit Thursday, outlining an aggressive target that would require sweeping changes to America's energy and transportation sectors.

The White House also said it would double its climate-related financing for low-income countries by 2024 and push the private sector to fund sustainable infrastructure, mitigation initiatives and other investments.

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U.S. crude stockpiles fall as refiners ramp up output -EIA

(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped more than expected as refiners increased activity heading into the summer driving season, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories (USOILC=ECI) fell by 5.9 million barrels in the week to April 9 to 492.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.9 million-barrel drop.

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Nornickel to boost production at Finnish nickel refinery

(Mining Technology) - Nornickel plans to increase production at its nickel refinery in Finland due to the surging demand for battery raw materials in the European market. Mainly powered by renewable energy, the Harjavalta plant uses sulphuric acid leaching for nickel semi-products to enable hydrometallurgical production of high purity nickel.

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Biostimulants Earn the Spotlight in Agriculture

(Crop Life) - Predicting the future is rarely a safe activity. Look no further than last year. Anyone's prognostications for 2020 were ripped to shreds by the appearance of COVID-19. That said, here is a prediction for the rest of 2021 and beyond: The industry will see continued interest in and the growth of biostimulants.

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India and United States collaborate on AI in agriculture

(Future Farming) - The United States allows India to use its AI technology in order to increase foodgrain production. India and the United States have launched the U.S. India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) Initiative. This was announced by the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), which is an is an autonomous bilateral organisation – jointly funded by the governments of India and the U.S. – that promotes science, technology, engineering and innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry.

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How Agricultural Nanotechnology Will Influence the Future of Farming Sustainability

(AZO Nano) - The agricultural sector is dealing with enormous challenges such as rapid climatic changes, a decrease in soil fertility, macro and micronutrient deficiency, overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and heavy metal presence in the soil. However, the global population increase has subsequently escalated food demand. Nanotechnology has immensely contributed to sustainable agriculture by enhancing crop production and restoring and improving soil quality.

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Dry Bulk Shipping Rates Are Surging and the Rally Isn't Over

(gCaptain.com/Bloomberg) - For a glimpse of how quickly and unevenly economies are recovering from the pandemic, look no further than the market for shipping raw materials. Rising demand for everything from soybeans to steel has sent the cost of hauling dry goods soaring more than 50% this year. Manufacturing, which first picked up in China, is now accelerating elsewhere, and countries are stepping up commodity purchases to rebuild stockpiles after running them down during lockdowns that slowed port operations and hit economic activity globally.

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Quantum Computation of Dominant Products in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

(aip.scitation.org) - Quantum chemistry simulations of some industrially relevant molecules are reported, employing variational quantum algorithms for near-term quantum devices. The energies and dipole moments are calculated along the dissociation curves for lithium hydride (LiH), hydrogen sulfide, lithium hydrogen sulfide, and lithium sulfide. In all cases, we focus on the breaking of a single bond to obtain information about the stability of the molecular species being investigated.

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ALMA Detects Volcanic Gases in Atmosphere of Io

(SCI-News) Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers from India have detected acetone, disulfur monoxide, and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io. Io is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter and the fourth-largest moon in our Solar System.

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AAR: Rail Traffic 'Rebound'

(Railway Age) - Taking into account last year's pandemic-related rail volume drop, "rail traffic has clearly rebounded" and "recent signs of strength in manufacturing are good signs for railroads, too," Association of American Railroads Senior Vice President John T. Gray noted in the AAR traffic report for March 2021 and the week ending April 3, 2021.

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OPEC+ Shows Confidence in Economic Recovery With Oil-Supply Hike

(Bloomberg) - OPEC+ expressed growing confidence in the global economic recovery by agreeing to increase oil production gradually in the coming months.

Before Thursday’s meeting, the cartel had been widely expected to maintain its cautious stance by rolling over the current supply cuts, just as it did last month. Yet Saudi Arabia and its allies showed they are more convinced now that fuel demand is on a firmer footing after a yearlong beating from the coronavirus.

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Sulfur surprise in soybeans

(Agriculture.com) - If soybeans could talk, they’d tell you anti-pollution legislation works. These laws – first passed in the 1970s – squelched sulfur-containing acid rain fueled by industrial emissions. Applications of fertilizer containing sulfur (S) previously benefited only crops grown on sandy soils, as atmospheric S would leach through them.

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Now-resolved Suez Canal blockage shows value of Arctic shipping route, Russia says

(Bellona.org) - While hundreds of ship and tankers were blocked from passing through the Suez Canal by a stranded container ship, Russia’s Energy Ministry wasted no time reminding the world of the Northern Sea Route, the 6,000-kilometer sea artery joining Europe and Asia through the Arctic said to lop days off conventional cargo passages.

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Canada finalizes critical minerals list

(CIM Magazine) Thirty-one: that is the number of minerals that Canada has identified as “critical minerals.” Addressing the virtual Prospector’s and Developer’s Association of Canada Convention on March 11, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan read out the newly formed list and called critical minerals “essential to the economic and energy security.”

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Suez Canal Blocked After Giant Container Ship Gets Stuck

(The New York Times) CAIRO — Trying to convey the sheer scale of the nearly quarter-mile-long container ship that has been stuck in the Suez Canal since Tuesday evening, some news outlets compared it to the length of four soccer fields. Others simply called it gigantic. But the main thing to know was this: After powerful winds forced the ship aground on one of the canal’s banks, it was big enough to block nearly the entire width of the canal, producing a large traffic jam in one of the world’s most important maritime arteries.
Related Story: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/suez-canal-blocked-weeks

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Canadian Pacific Railway acquires Kansas City Southern railway for $25 billion

(KTTN) The Associated Press reported Canadian Pacific Railway’s acquisition of Kansas City Southern is a $25 billion deal in cash and stock. The sale creates the first rail network linking the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Railway officials say Kansas City, Missouri will be designated as the new U.S. headquarters for Canadian Pacific Kansas City, or CPKC. The combined company would operate about 20,000 miles of railway, employ 20,000 people and generate annual revenue of about $8.7 billion.

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ICL (ICL) Reports Acquisition of South American Plant Nutrition Business from Compass Minerals (CMP) for $402M

(Street Insider) ICL (NYSE: ICL), a leading global specialty minerals and specialty chemicals company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP) América do Sul S.A., which includes the South American Plant Nutrition business of Compass Minerals – after a planned carve-out of the existing water treatment and chemicals businesses – for approximately R$2,207 million (~US$402 million, based on a Brazilian real-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate of R$5.4951/US$1.00). This amount includes the assumption of approximately R$600 million (~US$109 million) of net debt and is subject to customary post-closing adjustments. In addition, the transaction includes an earnout of up to approximately R$88 million (~US$16 million).

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Member News

BP says Gulf of Mexico platforms resumed operations after storm Ida

(Reuters) - BP on Wednesday said all four of its offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico have resumed operations, having been brought back online and producing as of Sept. 12 post Hurricane Ida.

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Shell to launch Singapore's first fully-electric ferry service

(Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has ordered at least three electric ferries in Singapore to replace the diesel boats it uses to transport employees and visitors between mainland Singapore and its oil refining and chemicals plant on Bukom island, it said.

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ExxonMobil renewable diesel process technology to enable high yields from bio-feedstocks

(Hydrocarbon Processing) - ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC (“ExxonMobil”) has introduced ExxonMobil Renewable Diesel process technology (“EMRD”) to help meet the evolving needs for mobility, while utilizing renewable feedstock.

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Chevron, Gevo join hands to invest in sustainable aviation fuel

(Reuters) - U.S oil major Chevron Corp and renewable energy firm Gevo Inc will jointly invest in building and operating one or more facilities that would process corn to produce sustainable aviation fuel, the companies said on Thursday.

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BP, Macquarie study green hydrogen hub concept in Western Australia

(Reuters) - BP Plc (BP.L) said on Tuesday it was conducting a joint feasibility study with Australian lender Macquarie Group (MQG.AX) to produce green hydrogen at the oil giant's former refinery site near Perth in Western Australia.

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CSX Acquisition of Pan Am: Improved New England Rail Service Makes It Commendable

(Railway Age) - CSX has recently proposed to acquire Pan Am Railways. Although, as I explain below, I am usually critical of mergers, I believe this merger will substantially enhance the rail network in New England by bringing the region more directly into the national railroad network.

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Activist Hedge Fund Grabs Two Seats On Exxon Mobil's Board Of Directors

(Texas Standard) - It’s another example of Big Oil being pushed toward renewable energy. But achieving net-zero carbon emission goals will still be a big challenge. Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. saw a major shakeup in the boardroom last week, with a new activist investor group called Engine No. 1 grabbing two spots on the company’s board of directors. The hedge fund has been targeting Exxon since December with its “Reenergize Exxon” campaign, pushing the company to rethink its business strategy in a time when green energy and climate activism is becoming increasingly mainstream.

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Shell to Let Shareholders Vote on Shift to Cleaner Energy

(WSJ) - LONDON-- Royal Dutch Shell PLC detailed a first-of-a-kind shareholder vote over its pivot away from oil, asking investors to endorse its energy transition strategy in a nonbinding vote next month.

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Rio Tinto achieves battery grade lithium production at Boron plant

(Investing News) - Rio Tinto has commenced production of battery-grade lithium from waste rock at a lithium demonstration plant at the Boron mine site in California, United States. The demonstration plant is the next step in scaling up a breakthrough lithium production process developed at Boron, to recover the critical mineral and extract additional value out of waste piles from over 90 years of mining at the operation.

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Mosaic, AgBiome collaborate to develop biological plant nutrition products

(Agriculture.com) - Ag input suppliers are betting big on microbial solutions for plant nutrition, and the Mosaic Company is one of the latest to enter the fray.
Last week, Mosaic – a producer and seller of phosphate and potash crop nutrients – entered into a strategic collaboration with AgBiome, a company with one of the world’s largest collections of diverse microbial communities. The goal is to discover, develop, and launch biological solutions to enhance soil fertility, the companies said in a press release.

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