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February 1, 2014
Techniques for manufacturing carbon adsorbent materials with highly tuned pore properties have been developed by EnerG2 Technologies Inc. (Seattle, Wash.; The technology platform produces carbon adsorbents that enable the storage of natural gas at significantly lower pressures than those required for compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). EnerG2’s carbon...
February 1, 2014
Water treatment technology from Alcoa Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.; that includes engineered areas of natural wetland vegetation is now available commercially for the first time. The engineered wetlands technology can lower capital and operating expenses, as well as energy consumption, compared to conventional tank-based water-treatment systems, according to scientists and engineers at Alcoa and...
February 1, 2014
Dealing with wastewater streams in petroleum refineries and petrochemical operations is often a trying task — environmentally, economically and logistically — especially as regulations on salinity in waste streams are tightened. However, many waste streams actually contain useful components, such as chloride compounds that can be converted electrolytically to oxidizers or disinfectants, such as...
February 1, 2014
Professor Susumu Kitagawa’s group at Kyoto University (Kyoto, has developed a new soft nanoporous material that selectively adsorbs carbon monoxide from gas mixtures. The researchers believe their achievement will enable the separation and recycling of CO from the emissions of many large-scale industrial...
February 1, 2014
Gasoline-like fuel suitable for internal combustion engines can be obtained from the pyrolysis of plastic waste, according to a study conducted by a team of people from Gadjah Mada University (Yogyakarta, Indonesia;, University Sains Malaysia (Penang, Malaysia;, and Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo, Japan; To resemble real plastic wastes, the team studied...
February 1, 2014
Scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL; Richland, Wash.; have developed a continuous process for generating crude oil from algae that they believe can lower the cost of producing algae-based fuel. The process works by combining hydrothermal liquefaction and catalytic hydrothermal...
February 1, 2014
A new water-gas shift catalyst has undergone 1,000 h of successful operation in a demonstration carried out by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO, Kawasaki; and Hitachi, Ltd. (Tokyo, both Japan; The tests were performed at the Eagle pilot plant ( Chem...
February 1, 2014
FilterMag International (Scottsdale, Ariz.; has developed neodymium magnetic devices that can boost the performance of lubricant filters for mining vehicles and industrial machinery. When the device is in place, filters retain 50–75% of contaminant particles that would otherwise be missed, a level that translates into a 30–60% increase in engine life, says the company. The...
February 1, 2014
Converting CO2 into methane is a way to mimic the natural carbon cycle and close the energy cycle by producing synthetic hydrocarbons (see, for example, CO2 Utilization, Chem. Eng., July 2013, pp. 16–19). However, the Sabatier reaction (CO2 + 4H2 —> 2H2O + CH4) is a complex surface reaction that is kinetically limited, says Andreas Borgschulte, a group leader at the Laboratory for Hydrogen...
January 1, 2014
Australian researchers have developed a method of cleaning arsenic out of contaminated water by combining the effects of bacteria and microalgae. Professor Megh Mallavarapu and his team, from the Cooperative Research Center for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE; and the University of South Australia (both Mawson Lakes, South Australia;
January 1, 2014
A high-throughput method for synthesizing ionic-liquid-containing electrolytes developed by Boulder Ionics Corp. (Arvada, Colo.; has been refined to enable its use in commercial production. Boulder Ionics had previously piloted the continuous process for producing advanced ionic-liquid (IL) electrolytes at high purity and low cost for use in next-generation batteries and...
January 1, 2014
Offgases containing compounds of chlorine or fluorine are typically burned to enable the recovery of HCl or HF and prevent release into the environment. However, conventional combustion chambers require a long time to heat up, and thus are typically run continuously to prevent...
January 1, 2014
Extraction of palm oil generates large amounts of lignocellulose-rich byproduct known as empty fruit bunch (EFB), which is usually wasted. A new process for utilizing this waste to make lactic acid has been developed by a team of researchers in Singapore. Up to now, it has been difficult to find cost-effective processes for the production of L-lactic acid, which has inhibited the commercial production of...
January 1, 2014
Professor Takao Masuda and colleagues at Hokkaido University (Sapporo;, in collaboration with Idemitsu Kosan Co. (Idemitsu; Tokyo; both Japan;, have developed a two-step process that converts wood-based lignin into phenols...
January 1, 2014
An Australian team has implemented several changes to the conventional organic rankine cycle, resulting in a highly efficient regenerative thermodynamic cycle for producing electricity from waste heat and other thermal sources. The University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Center for Energy (, led by professor Behdad Moghtaderi and working with Granite Power Ltd. (Sydney...
January 1, 2014
A metal-free catalyst system involving ionic liquids and doped carbon nanofibers can efficiently reduce carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide, offering a cost-effective electrochemical route from CO2 to synthesis gas (syngas), and further, to liquid transportation fuels. A research group at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC;, led by Amin Salehi-Khojin, demonstrated that graphite-like...
January 1, 2014
A new method for removing uranium and other heavy metals (HMs) from wastewater has been developed by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland (Joensuu; The technology has been licensed by Oy Chemec AB (Espoo, Finland;, which plans to commercialize the technology under the tradename CH Collector. Conventional methods for removing HM from water typically require adding...
January 1, 2014
  Sludge dewatering Last month, Metso Corp. (Helsinki, Finland; introduced what it claims to be the worlds first advanced solution — both measurements and control system — to optimize sludge dewatering at wastewater treatment plants. The Metso SDO (sludge dewatering optimizer) uses Metso measurements and an advanced control application, which is said to be essential for...
January 1, 2014
A stabilized palladium catalyst system that can be used for making materials for organic solar cells and pharmaceuticals has been developed by the research groups of of Yoichi Yamada at Riken (Wako city; and Shigenori Fujikawa at the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER), Kyushu University (Fukuoka City, both Japan; The catalyst features...
December 1, 2013
A new process for producing monoethylene glycol (MEG) from synthesis-gas-based feedstocks is nearing completion of extensive pilot plant operation, according to developers Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, Tenn.; and Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Ltd. (London, U.K.; The technology enables MEG production from a variety of...
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