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Chipmaking in Syracuse, and making cement greener

On a day in late April, a small drilling rig sits at the edge of the scrubby overgrown fields of Syracuse, New York, taking soil samples. It’s the first sign of construction on what could become the largest semiconductor manufacturing facility in the United States.

The CHIPS and Science Act, passed last year with bipartisan congressional support, was widely viewed by industry leaders and politicians as a way to secure supply chains, and make the United States competitive again in semiconductor chip manufacturing. 

Now Syracuse is about to become an economic test of whether, over the next several decades, the aggressive government policies—and the massive corporate investments they spur—can both boost the country’s manufacturing prowess and revitalize regions like upstate New York. And it all begins with an astonishingly expensive and complex kind of factory called a chip fab. Read the full story.

—David Rotman

Inside a high-tech cement laboratory

Cement is a climate nightmare. The material, which is basically the glue that holds concrete together, accounts for about 8% of global emissions.

It requires super-high temperatures to make, meaning you have to burn fossil fuels in the process. Secondly, there are chemical reactions involved in transforming minerals into working cement, and those release carbon dioxide. 

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