Burning Questions: Search for environment-compatible flame retardants
To inhibit or resist the spread of fire flame retardants are applied in a wide range of commercial products like computers, cars, furniture, paints and foams. Some of the brominated flame retardants are under discussion or are banned by the EU as they are considered harmful due to their persistent nature and toxicity. ENFIRO (Life Cycle Assessment of Environment-Compatible Flame Retardants: Prototypical Case Study) is a European research project coordinated by IVM and is recently finalized. The main aim of the project was to study the substitution options for some harmful flame retardants resulting in a comprehensive dataset on the viability of production and application, environmental safety, and a life cycle assessment.
The Long-term oil price
Crude oil is the leading fossil fuel in the global primary energy system, and is likely to remain a key source of energy for decades to come. Its nearly unsubstitutable use in transportation, the high plausibility of an early peak in production levels, the concentration of reserves in a few countries that are perceived to be unstable, and climate change impacts from its consumption make its future supply and price of paramount interest to policy makers and scientists alike. PHD candidate Samuel J. Okullo’s thesis, written under the supervision of Prof. dr. Jos Bruggink, Prof. dr. Marjan Hofkes, and Dr. Frederic Reynes, and funded by an ACTS NWO grant on sustainable Hyrogen, develops a model that could be used to explore long-term developments on global oil markets. The model integrates technical approaches of fossil fuel modeling used by geologists with economic concepts that emphasize the impact of resource rents, mark-up pricing, and the behavior of OPEC (For further details: Okullo and Reynes (2011, 2012), and Okullo, Reynes, Hofkes (2012)).
Private Flood Mitigation Measures in a Changing Risk Environment
Despite the considerable efforts to reduce the risk of natural disasters, floods remain the most frequent and devastating natural hazard worldwide. In the future, flood risk is projected to further increase in many regions as a result of an increased concentration of people and economic assets in flood-prone areas and the effects of global warming.
IVM strongly represented at the 2013 Tokyo Conference on Earth System Governance
The 2013 open science meeting of the Earth System Governance research alliance was held successfully in Tokyo, Japan, on 28-31 January 2013, with strong participation of IVM researchers. Participants were especially honoured by the visit of His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito and Her Imperial Highness Crown Princess Masako.