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EBI News for April 20, 2022- Wyoming Evaluates Geothermal Technology Potential

EBI News for April 20, 2022 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Wyoming evaluates geothermal technology potential, acquisitions, and more!

Wood to engineer large-scale green hydrogen project in Chile

Wood (Aberdeen, Scotland) will provide conceptual engineering for Total Eren’s H2 Magallanes Project, a large-scale green hydrogen production facility to be located in Southern Chile. Total Eren (Paris, France) is an independent power producer that develops renewable energy plants. Wood’s scope covers the development of an off-grid integrated energy complex to produce ammonia from green hydrogen – avoiding up to 5 million tonnes of CO? annually. The engineering package will include up to 10 GW of installed wind capacity coupled with up to 8 GW of electrolysis capacity, a desalination plant, an ammonia plant, power transmission and backup, and port facilities. 


Wyoming evaluates geothermal technology potential

Petrolern (Atlanta, Ga.) has been awarded a geothermal evaluation contract by the Wyoming Energy Authority to produce statewide geothermal market analysis. Petrolern’s work will provide guidance on commercial geothermal energy utilization technologies, assess the potential for decarbonization through geothermal use, and research the potential for Synthetic Geothermal Reservoir (SGR) applications; SGR is a battery concept developed by Petrolern that uses the subsurface as a medium for thermal energy storage collected from renewable sources such as wind energy or concentrated solar to produce on-demand electrical power using recovered heat. The study will generate a plan for geothermal development opportunities for electricity production, direct use, and heat pump applications.


Xylem announces $20M investment in innovative technology 

Global water-technology company Xylem (Rye Brook, N.Y.) announced limited partner investments in the venture capital funds Burnt Island Ventures and The Westly Group, supporting the development of innovative water and industrial technologies. The combined $20-million investment forms a key part of Xylem’s external innovation program, Xylem Innovation Labs. “We know that collaborating with a broad network of partners, including venture capital firms and start-ups, is crucial to the future of optimizing water management,” said David Flinton, Xylem’s chief innovation, technology and products officer. Xylem had revenue of $5.2 billion in 2021.


Ceres Nanosciences establishes new wastewater epidemiology centers 

?Ceres Nanosciences (Manassas, Va.) announced six new wastewater-based epidemiology centers of excellence. The new centers add to the nine existing centers of excellence previously announced in November 2021 and to the wastewater testing program in metro-Atlanta that is being run by Emory University, all supported by an $8.2 million award from the National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative. The sites encompass non-profit, university, public health, and commercial testing labs located in 14 states and provide wastewater testing to 40 states. Testing capacity is proving critical for monitoring the rise of new SARS-CoV-2 variants but will also enable wastewater monitoring of a wide range of infectious diseases.


Beca and water industry specialist Hunter H2O join forces

Beca (Aukland, New Zealand), an engineering and professional services firm operating in the Asia Pacific, announced it is joining forces with Hunter H2O (Newcastle, Australia) to create one of Australasia’s leading water industry consultancies. Many of Hunter H2O’s employees will become Beca shareholders, continuing the employee-owned culture of both organizations. The new Beca Australian water business, Beca HunterH2O, will provide clients with access to more than 300 water technical specialists across the Asia Pacific. 


WSP announces key aims of global strategic action plan

WSP (Montreal, Canada) released highlights from its 2022-2024 Global Strategic Action Plan, setting the stage for the next three years and outlining an ambitious long-term vision to double in size and “become the undisputed leader in the industry.” One of the key elements of WSP’s 2022-24 Plan is to lead in ESG commitments and make significant progress towards its previously announced 2030 net zero emission reduction targets across its value chain. WSP said it would also continue to grow clean revenues to more than half of its business. The company expects to grow net revenues in excess of 30%, adjusted EBITDA by 40%, and adjusted net earnings per share by 50% by 2024. 


Arcadis helps UK utility deploy full fiber broadband through drinking water pipes

Water pipes in the UK could be used to speed up the rollout of faster broadband without digging up roads, according to Arcadis (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), which is working with Yorkshire Water and the University of Strathclyde to test putting fiber sensors inside water pipes. The trial will also explore how fiber can help the water industry detect and repair leaks. Under the proposals, fiber-optic cables would be deployed through 17 kilometers of drinking water mains in South Yorkshire in a technology trial. Civil works can comprise as much as four-fifths of the cost of building new gigabit-capable broadband networks, and in the UK, 20% of water put into public supply is wasted due to leaks every day. “Fiber in water technology has been around for some time, but what is missing is an operational and commercial model that meets the needs of both telecoms and water industries,” noted Mark Harrop, head of Telecoms at Arcadis. 


FREDsense and Ginkgo Bioworks to develop water quality biosensors

FREDsense Technologies Corp. (Calgary, Canada), a company leveraging synthetic biology to develop field kits for water quality analysis, and biotech company Ginkgo Bioworks (Boston, Mass.), announced a partnership to build biosensors for water quality monitoring and detection. Through the partnership, Ginkgo seeks to build four distinct microbial strain biosensors compatible with FREDsense’s field-ready hardware for remote water quality monitoring applications. Transporting water samples to labs can lead to lengthy delays in reporting; FREDsense’s portable solutions assess chemicals in the water at source.


SNC-Lavalin to deliver industrial decarbonization roadmaps in UK 

SNC-Lavalin (Montreal, Canada) has been selected by the UK Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to develop industrial decarbonization roadmaps as part of the Industry of Future Programme. As engineering delivery partner, Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, will work with up to 16 industrial sites to develop roadmaps towards net zero emissions by 2050. SNC-Lavalin will focus on energy-intensive industrial sites and consider the most viable decarbonization options for each site, including new technologies such as carbon capture utilization and storage as well as feasibility of fuel switching, retrofits and upgrades, process changes and energy optimization.


NTM Engineering gets new division with Lotus Environmental

NTM Engineering Inc. (Dillsburg, Pa.) has acquired Lotus Environmental Consulting LLC (Wayne, Pa.). The women-owned small business adds a range of environmental consulting expertise to NTM’s civil engineering services. Lotus specializes in environmental investigations and regulatory compliance services, and its employees will join NTM. Established in 2006, NTM has over 60 professionals; core services include hydrologic and hydraulic studies, waterway permitting, stormwater design and permitting, GIS, transportation and bridge engineering, and bridge inspection.


August Mack acquires Comstock Environmental

August Mack Environmental Inc. (Indianapolis, Ind.) has acquired Comstock Environmental (Philadelphia, Pa.), an EH&S consulting firm. Comstock Environmental has served the Philadelphia area for over 11 years, providing due diligence, waste management, remediation, and storage tank services to both private and municipal clients in industries including insurance, industrial, banking and manufacturing. August Mack has had an office in Lancaster, Pa. for over 20 years serving the northeastern region of the United States. This acquisition will allow August Mack to further support the EH&S needs of Philadelphia. August Mack was founded in 1988 and has more than 170 employees.


Treated plastic waste good at grabbing carbon dioxide

A newly discovered chemical technique can turn waste plastic into an effective carbon dioxide (CO2) sorbent for industry, according to Rice University. Researchers reported in the American Chemical Society journal, ACS Nano, that heating plastic waste in the presence of potassium acetate produced particles with nanometer-scale pores that trap carbon dioxide molecules. “Point sources of CO2 emissions like power plant exhaust stacks can be fitted with this waste-plastic-derived material to remove enormous amounts of CO2 that would normally fill the atmosphere,” said Rice chemist James Tour. The lab estimates the cost of CO2 capture from a point source like post-combustion flue gas would be $21 a ton compared to the amine-based process in common use to pull carbon dioxide from natural gas feeds at $80-$160 a ton. The Department of Energy and Saudi Aramco supported the research.


Stantec selected for USACE contract in Alaska

Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) has been awarded a five-year contract with a capacity of $18 million by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Alaska District to provide architecture and engineering design services for civil works projects.

Projects will include ecosystem restoration, flood damage prevention, storm damage reduction, watershed studies, small boat harbors, and relocation plans and community plans for Alaskan villages. Stantec currently holds contracts for military programs, environmental, and civil works services with 18 USACE Districts.


EPA hosts Micronic’s TOP water technology

Micronic Technologies (Bristol, Va.), a climate tech startup, announced that its Tornadic One-Pass (TOP) water technology would be featured at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). TOP is a closed-loop mechanical system using a turbulent flow to create micro-droplets of water, a small number of which carry out solids, allowing for efficient evaporation and re-capture of clean water through condensation. Micronic has a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with EPA’s Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response in Cincinnati, Ohio. The EPA is using this project to test and improve its understanding of two key challenges: water evaporation from saline solutions, and heat recovery in thermal desalination systems, including capital and operating costs of vapor compression heat recovery components. Micronic is backed by $8 million in development funding and 11 patents.


TRC selected as systems integrator for metering infrastructure program

Otter Tail Power Company (Fergus Falls, Minn.) has selected TRC Companies (Windsor, Conn.) to serve as systems integrator for its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) program. The project covers a broad service territory in northwestern Minnesota, eastern North Dakota, and northeastern South Dakota. TRC will support program management to integrate the systems while working closely with the software and hardware providers across Otter Tail Power’s AMI, meter data management and customer information systems. Otter Tail Power is an investor-owned electric utility serving approximately 230,000 customers.


Model cybersecurity legislation would increase oversight of water systems

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a national security research nonprofit, has released model legislative text for proposals it says would improve cybersecurity in the water sector, according to a briefing by the Assn. of Metropolitan Water Agencies. Proposals are based on water sector cybersecurity policy recommendations included in a 2020 report by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. The proposals would establish a “NERC-like entity for the water and wastewater sector to be known as the Water Risk and Resilience Organization (WRRO).” The WRRO would “be certified by EPA and develop risk and resilience standards for the water sector with oversight from EPA.” Any water system that violates a risk and resilience standard could be penalized, but the draft legislation does not specify if those penalties would be financial or otherwise.


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