new role

National plastics-focused initiative names Houston expert to committee

Rachel Meidl has more than 27 years of experience in industry, government, policy, finance, international relations, and academia. Photo via

A Houston energy and sustainability expert has been named to a national committee that provides a forum for issues around national efforts to reduce plastic pollution.

Rachel Meidl, a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, was appointed to the Roundtable on Plastics Committee established by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

"As a member of the The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable on Plastics Committee, our science- and evidence-based work will cover all aspects of the plastics lifecycle and examine interventions in plastic production, waste management, environmental and health impacts, and data collection, management, and modeling," Meidl writes on LinkedIn. "The goal is to pave the way for a sustainable circular economy for plastics. I look forward to working on this important endeavor."

Meidl has more than 27 years of experience in industry, government, policy, finance, international relations, and academia. Her research focuses on sustainability, environmental justice, resiliency, circular economy, safety and environmental regulations of the treatment, storage, disposal and transportation of hazardous materials and wastes.

She also works with understanding environmental, economic and social impacts across energy and material supply chains. Previously, she was appointed deputy associate administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in Washington, D.C.. There, she led the agency’s domestic and international strategy, policy and programs.

The roundtable is expected to be a way for federal agencies and experts in academia, industry and nongovernmental organizations to talk about future research initiatives. Activities will include aspects of the plastics lifecycle and potential interventions in plastic production and waste management; material and product design; environmental and health impacts and data collection, management and modeling. The National Academies will address the diversity and complexity of issues in reducing plastic waste by convening various sectors and experts to match each step in the lifecycle of the plastics.

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A View From HETI

LiNova will use the funds to advance its polymer cathode battery technology. Photo via Getty Images

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors.

LiNova will use the funds with its polymer cathode battery to advance the energy storage landscape, according to the company. The company uses a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode that is made up of cobalt, nickel, and other materials.

The joint development agreement with Saft will have them collaborate to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft's key markets.

“We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft's research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production," Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft, says in a news release.

CTV recently announced its $500 million Future Energy Fund III, which aims to lead on emerging mobility, energy decentralization, industrial decarbonization, and the growing circular economy. Chevron has promised to spend $10 billion on lower carbon energy investments and projects by 2028.

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