Recycling of PVC – Prospects and Challenges

PVC, also known as Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl, is one of the most widely used plastics worldwide due to its chemical stability and durability. PVC products have an average lifetime of 30 years, with some reaching 50 or more years.  This means that more PVC products are reaching the end-of-life and entering the waste stream, and the amount is likely to increase significantly in the near future.   The Middle East will ultimately have to deal with increased PVC waste as it is one of the markets expected to have high growth rates for PVC consumption, with developing countries in … Continue reading

Primer on Wood Wool Cement Board

Wood Wool Cement Board (WWCB) is a versatile building material made from wood wool and cement where each fiber is coated with a thin film of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) that, when cured, partly petrifies the wood. In that way the fiber will last indefinitely as long as the cement film is not damaged. Environmentally speaking, cement has a negative CO2 signature and therefore both the wood and cement, when decomposed, are harmless to nature and as a result all homogeneous WWCB products have green labels in Europe. It combines the advantages of both wood and concrete together: as light … Continue reading

What Will Power the Future of Trains – Hydrogen or Batteries?

Trains may seem outdated to some, but they’re one of the most eco-friendly modes of transportation. Even diesel trains produce fewer emissions per passenger per kilometer than cars and planes. Electric trains are also gaining popularity, with both battery-powered and hydrogen options available. Given current climate concerns, the move to electric trains is inevitable. It’s not a question of whether railroads will go electric, but rather how they’ll do so. Both hydrogen and batteries show significant promise, but which technology will become the standard for future locomotives? The hydrogen-versus-batteries debate isn’t a new one, and it likely won’t go away … Continue reading

Green Roofs in MENA – Prospects and Challenges

Green roofs are emerging technologies that can provide a wide range of benefits to communities interested in enhancement and protection of their environment. The major benefits of green roofs are reducing energy use as well as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing stormwater management and water quality, decreasing heat island effect by regulating temperature for the roof and the surrounding areas and providing aesthetic value and habitats for many species.   According to a 2013 MENA renewable energy status report, the Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) in Middle East and North Africa has reached about 800 million tons of oil.  This … Continue reading

The Menace of Marine Litter

Marine litter, long a neglected topic, has started to garner some attention. Marine litter is composed of a diverse mix of items from various sources and so a one-size fits all solution is unlikely to be effective. Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), shipping wastes, plastic packaging (bottles, caps, bags, etc.) and plastic manufacturing pellets are amongst the most common and persistent items found. Comparing the feasibility and the financial case for recovery versus prevention for each of these groups reveals a worrying gap in our attempts to deal with the problem. Scale of the Problem Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing … Continue reading

Role of Reverse Logistics in Waste Management

Reverse logistics is a process whereby companies can become more environmentally efficient through recycling, reusing, and reducing the amount of materials used. A more holistic view of reverse logistics includes reduction of materials in the forward system in such a way that fewer materials flow back, reuse of materials is possible, and recycling is facilitated. The measures aimed at reducing waste begin in the product design phase and incorporate the entire product life cycle, including transportation and final disposal. This will allow minimizing the waste downstream and allowing the product to go backward in the chain for possible re-manufacturer, reuse, … Continue reading

Advantages of Engineered Wood Flooring Over Solid Wood Flooring

Engineered wood has swiftly emerged a preferred choice for flooring in homes and commercial buildings. It is manufactured from a wide range of wood products by binding or fixing the fibres or veneers or boards of wood to form composite materials. Due to its unique natural look and easy installation, engineered wood is getting increasing popularity worldwide as a sustainable flooring option. Engineered wood flooring is generally available in fixed lengths, but it comes in different thicknesses ranging from 12.5mm to 22mm. An important quality of engineered hardwood flooring is its dimensional stability which makes it possible to be glued … Continue reading

Top Sustainability Trends in Europe

Sustainability is a global issue, but ecosystems, economies and other factors vary from place to place. While trends that prove successful in one area will likely eventually spread to others, different regions may be at different places at different times. In this post, we’ll focus on Europe. What trends are taking hold there? And which will spread to the Middle East? Sustainability Driving Revenue Growth While sustainability was at first often seen as a corporate responsibility and PR move, today it’s an integral part of business plans. It serves as a major competitive advantage and drives increases in revenue. In … Continue reading

Circular Economy in GCC: Potential, Prospects and Challenges

The concept of a circular economy has been gaining a lot of momentum on the agenda of many countries in recent years. In its core, it describes an economic model which opposes the current so-called linear economy, where output is produced, used and disposed at the end of its lifespan. In contrast, circular economy advocates suggest a model in which raw materials used during the life cycle of a good are completely reintegrated into the production process. Circular economy, therefore, means more than just to recycle your old appliances, but includes considerations about how to redefine products and services in … Continue reading

Desertec: What Went Wrong?

A plan to power Europe from solar power plants in Sahara desert, popularly known as Desertec, seems to have stalled, but several large North African solar projects are still going ahead despite local concerns. Where did the Desertec project go wrong, and can desert solar power yet play a role in a democratic and sustainable future? If you use social media, you may well have seen a graphic going around, showing a tiny square in the Sahara desert with the caption: ‘This much solar power in the Sahara would provide enough energy for the whole world!’ Can this really be true? It is … Continue reading

Polylactic Acid – An Emerging Bioplastic

During the last decade, the movement towards bio-based products has increased dramatically as a result of increasing environment awareness and high increase in fossil fuel prices. That is why companies like Polymer Chemistry Innovations must offer products based on new environmental trends. Polylactic Acid (PLA) is an eco-friendly bioplastic derived from lactic acid which can be produced by fermentation of renewable resources. It is a new type of biocompatible material produced from utilizing lactic acid as monomer. Since lactic acid is a non-toxic component, which exists in human metabolism, PLA is safe polyester for human-related applications. In comparison to traditional plastics, … Continue reading

July 2019 – The Hottest Month Since 1850

Thousands of surface monitoring stations spread around the globe have gathered temperature data and other meteorological information to secure the ranking of July 2019 as the hottest month on Earth since 1850. It is important to mention that there are very scant meteorological records prior to this date for global analysis. Independent climate monitoring organizations and research institutes such as Berkley Earth and Copernicus Climate Change Service (EU) have bother reached similar analysis results even though the margin from the previous warmest month of July 2016, is a very slight increment of 0.14 degrees (0.08C). Other research institutes shared their … Continue reading