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EBI News for August 23, 2023 – Wood dust device traps microplastics in water

EBI News for August 23, 2023 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Wood dust device traps microplastics in water, acquisitions, and more!

DOE announces $1.2B for two DAC demos

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $1.2 billion to advance the development of two commercial scale direct-air-capture (DAC) hubs in Texas and Louisiana. Each hub will eventually remove more than 250 times more carbon dioxide than the largest DAC facility currently operating. Project Cypress in Louisiana led by Battelle in coordination with Climeworks and Heirloom Carbon Technologies will rely on Gulf Coast Sequestration for offtake and geologic storage of captured atmospheric CO2. The South Texas DAC hub, led by Occidental subsidiary 1PointFive and its partners Carbon Engineering Ltd. and Worley, will develop a facility to remove up to 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually with an associated saline geologic CO2 storage site. Also in August, Occidental announced an agreement to acquire Carbon Engineering for approximately $1.1 billion in cash. Occidental has been working with Carbon Engineering on DAC deployment since 2019.


Weston Solutions wins New Hampshire contract for environmental services

Weston Solutions, Inc. (West Chester, Pa.) has been awarded a four-year contract for environmental consulting by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Weston will provide environmental site assessments and investigations, engineering design, and remediation at petroleum and hazardous waste contaminated sites, brownfields, and CERCLA sites throughout New Hampshire. Work may also include hazardous building materials surveys and abatements, water system expansion engineering, and solid waste engineering and geological services.


Wood dust device traps microplastics in water

Scientists at the University of British Columbia’s BioProducts Institute have found that adding tannins to a layer of wood dust creates a filter that traps virtually all microplastic particles in water. The team analyzed microparticles released from tea bags made of polypropylene. Their bioCap method trapped from 95% to virtually 100% of plastic particles in a column of water, depending on plastic type. When tested in mouse models, the process was proved to prevent the accumulation of microplastics in the organs “Most solutions proposed so far are costly or difficult to scale up. We’re proposing a solution that could potentially be scaled down for home use or scaled up for municipal treatment systems,” said Dr. Orlando Rojas, the Institute’s scientific director and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Forest Bioproducts.


Montrose acquires Scandinavian specialist in water and PFAS

Montrose Environmental Group Inc. (Little Rock, Ark.) announced the acquisition of Vandrensning of Denmark, a water treatment company specializing in treating landfill leachate for PFAS and heavy metals in Scandinavia. The Vandrensning team will be integrated into Montrose’s ECT2 division that focuses on emerging contaminants in air and water. This is Montrose’s first acquisition in Europe.


Arcadis partners with CubicPV on new U.S. solar wafer facility

Arcadis (Amsterdam, Netherlands) is providing full architectural and engineering design services to CubicPV (Bedford, Mass.) for its 10-gigawatt silicon wafer manufacturing facility in the United States. The new wafer campus represents a significant step forward in the onshoring of U.S. solar component manufacturing, according to Arcadis. The project capitalizes on Arcadis’ high-tech industry, engineering, and construction management expertise from the recently acquired DPS Group.


Leidos helps U.S. Army eliminate chemical weapons stockpile

Last month, the White House, Defense Department (DOD) and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed completing the destruction of America’s Cold War era chemical weapons stockpile, as well as the facilities that manufactured them, according to Leidos (Reston, Va.), which supported the DOD on the demilitarization effort. The milestone makes good on the commitment made by 193 member states to chemically disarm under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. The United States is the final nation state to complete disarmament, which means all chemical weapons declared under the treaty have now been destroyed.


Living shorelines stabilize critical evacuation route

Following the 2018 hurricane season, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) partnered with SWCA (Phoenix, Ariz.) to stabilize and restore a vulnerable portion of highway. Lead designer SWCA planned a living shoreline and coastal restoration efforts, with the project kicking off in winter 2022 and completing in spring 2023. As NCDOT’s first living shoreline project, it is expected to serve as the pilot for a more extensive resiliency program addressing North Carolina’s coastal erosion using nature-based solutions. The process required removing hardened shoreline of stone and asphalt, restoring tidal marsh vegetation, and installing artificial reefs created from natural materials like woven coconut husk fiber.


Jacobs to manage recycled water program expansion

Jacobs (Dallas) has been selected by Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA, Chino, Calif.) to provide program management, owners engineering services, and strategic funding advisory services for a major regional water management program. The program will incorporate indirect potable reuse to create a more drought-resilient local water supply in the Chino Basin—one of the largest groundwater storage basins in Southern California. The program encompasses a series of new integrated water infrastructure projects, including intra-basin recycled water conveyance, groundwater injection and replenishment and an advanced water purification facility (AWPF). 


European water reuse investment to reach €1.8B

Drought in southern Europe combined with the first EU regulation for wastewater reuse and an influx of resilience and recovery funds for new projects are driving investment in municipal wastewater reuse across Europe, according to a new report from Bluefield Research. “Traditionally, the European market has been dominated by Spain’s reuse of treated municipal wastewater for its agricultural sector, but the market is changing and reuse is now expanding in 10 other European countries,” said Zineb Moumen, analyst at Bluefield Research. Municipal reuse spending in Europe is expected to grow from €140 million (US$154 million) in 2023 to approximately €360 million (US$396 million) in 2030 at a CAGR of 16% per year. 

Governments are setting national strategies for wastewater reuse, including ambitious targets for Portugal (30% of total municipal wastewater volumes reused by 2030) and France (10% by 2030). In June 2023, the European Union passed its first EU-wide reuse legislation to harmonize wastewater reuse practices.


WSP sells Louis Berger Services

WSP (Montreal, Canada) has sold Louis Berger Services Inc. (LBS) to Versar Inc. (Washington, D.C.), a global engineering, environmental, and security services company. A specialist in O&M services at large defense installations and civilian facilities worldwide, LBS was acquired by WSP as part of the Louis Berger transaction in 2018. “Versar is thrilled to welcome every LBS employee to the Versar team,” said Jim Jaska, Versar’s CEO.  “Our complementary service offerings will allow us to leverage each other’s customers and capabilities to grow our business to compete globally while maintaining our exceptional dedication to one-on-one customer service.” 


ARM acquires Resource International

ARM Group (Natick, Mass.), a science and engineering firm that provides civil, environmental, electrical/automation, and technical field services in the Mid-Atlantic region, has acquired Resource International Ltd. (Ashland, Va.), a specialist in civil and environmental engineering, surveying, and environmental consulting. Resource International brings approximately 25 engineers, surveyors, scientists, and support staff and will become ARM Resource. The acquisition will enable ARM to expand its solid waste, renewable energy, geo-environmental, and other key practices in the Virginia market and to better serve Mid-Atlantic customers.


Canadian Solar to deliver energy storage in Arizona

Canadian Solar Inc. (Guelph, Ontario) announced that its subsidiary e-Storage would deliver 1,200 MWh of energy storage to Recurrent Energy’s Papago Storage project in Arizona. Recurrent Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, is expected to begin construction on Papago Storage in the third quarter of 2024. Papago Storage will be one of the world’s largest standalone energy storage projects and the largest standalone energy storage project in Arizona, Canadian Solar reported. Papago will use e-Storage’s SolBank battery solution for utility-scale applications.

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