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August 1, 2012
Two dissimilar iron-making methods — a conventional blast furnace using coke from coal, and gas-based direct reduction of iron ore — are combined in a process being developed by Midrex Technologies, Inc. (Charlotte, N.C.; and Praxair Inc. (Danbury, Conn.; Designed to use offgases from the coke-making operation in integrated steel mills, the process offers three...
August 1, 2012
Differential pressure can be a tough problem for butterfly valves, in that it can cause damaging cavitation. As a rule of thumb, for instance, a typical butterfly valve can only handle a maximum of 30% differential pressure (DP), explains René van der Gaag, global product manager lined-valves process for Tyco Flow Control (Breda, The Netherlands...
August 1, 2012
A system that continuously produces 10 ton/yr of nanoparticles has been developed by Tadafumi Adschiri, principal investigator at the Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) and professor at the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials and New Industry Hatchery Center, Tohoku University (Sendai; Japan; The process, which uses a supercritical...
August 1, 2012
The production rate (per amount of catalyst) for generating liquid hydrocarbons from syngas by the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) process, using a slurry reactor or tubular reactor, is generally limited to about 30% of the maximum rate. The restraining factor is heat removal from the highly exothermic reaction, says Steven Vallee, chemical applications engineer for Chart Energy & Chemicals Inc. (La Crosse...
August 1, 2012
Petroleum-derived ethylene normally contains traces of acetylene, which interferes with the conversion of ethylene into polyethylene (PE). Because it is difficult to separate it, the acetylene is selectively hydrogenated to ethylene — without subsequent hydrogenation to ethane — using a palladium-based catalyst. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics...
August 1, 2012
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. ( and Bridgestone Corp. (Both Tokyo, Japan; have jointly developed a bio-based, high- cis-polyisoprene synthetic rubber. The two companies began an R&D cooperation in June 2011 to combine their know-how — Ajinomoto’s...
August 1, 2012
A new particle-size measurement technique has been developed and used to evaluate filter retention efficiency for particles with an average diameter of 12 nm by C.T. Associates Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.; and W.L. Gore and Associates (Newark, Del.; Scientists at C.T. Associates developed the liquid nanoparticle sizer (LNS) for evaluating filtration devices that remove...
August 1, 2012
  A new electrolysis cell At Achema 2012, ThyssenKrupp Uhde GmbH (Dortmund, Germany; introduced a new generation of its single-element electrolysis cell, Generation 6, which offers improved energy consumption and increased active-membrane area. These improvements are due to an elastic element that enables the entire active area of the membrane to be positioned between the electrodes...
July 1, 2012
Technology originally developed for dewatering algae has shown success in separating hydrocarbons from produced water that results from oil and gas drilling. The method could be used in treating produced water for onsite re-use as hydraulic fracturing fluid. To harvest oil from algae, OriginOil Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif.; developed an electroflocculation...
July 1, 2012
  ADN production Nylon-polymer producer Invista (Wichita, Kan.; has developed new technology for the production of adiponitrile (ADN), a key ingredient for nylon 6,6. The advances, which came as a result of $40 million of R&D spending, can improve product yields, reduce energy consumption and enhance process stability compared to existing technologies, Invista says. The new ADN...
July 1, 2012
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI; Tokyo, Japan; will begin developing basic technologies for a triple combined-cycle power-generation system that integrates solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and a gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) power generation system. Under the umbrella of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), the company will launch a two-year study...
July 1, 2012
Theres a growing trend toward generating electricity from biogas (see pp. 15–17), but roughly half of the total energy content of the fuel is released as heat, which is dissipated into the...
July 1, 2012
The research groups of professor Yasuyuki Tsuji and assistant professor Tetsuaki Fujihara at Kyoto University (Japan; have developed a copper-catalyzed reaction for synthesizing carboxylic acids, such as acrylic acid, using carbon dioxide as a raw material. The reaction involves the hydrocarboxylation of alkynes with CO2 over a Cu catalyst. Two copper-based complexes showed high...
July 1, 2012
A group of scientists from Fudan University (Shanghai, China; China, has reported what it claims to be the first example of artificial single-molecular water channels that can transport water across lipid membranes. Transmembrane water transport — through water channel proteins called aquaporins — is of crucial importance in living organisms because it regulates the osmotic...
July 1, 2012
In the development process for coal-bed methane, water is produced from wells. It is high-salinity water, with total dissolved solids (TDS) generally at least 1,000 mg/L. The main concern with coal-bed methane co-produced water is the amount of Na+ and its influence on the environment. Therefore, the water must be treated before discharge and cost-effective technologies are needed to allow the use of the...
July 1, 2012
A consortium of companies — Laricina Energy Ltd., Nexen Inc., Suncor Energy Inc. and Harris Corp. — has completed its initial-phase testing of the Enhanced Solvent Extraction Incorporating Electromagnetic Heating (ESEIEH) project at Suncors Steepbank mine facility north of Fort...
July 1, 2012
A recently launched, polymer-coated, fumed silica additive improves the performance of structural adhesives — those designed to bear loads. The new additive is capable of reducing the adhesive’s application viscosity, while simultaneously improving its ability to maintain a bead profile (sag resistance). Known as Cab-O-Sil Ultrabond, the additive was developed by Cabot Corp. (Boston, Mass....
July 1, 2012
There might be as many categories of catalysts as there are chemical processing applications. And, no matter what the specialty or application, most catalyst producers are in a constant state of research and development in order to meet the demands of their chemical processing customers, as well as to develop innovative catalysts for new applications and growing market areas. Recent efforts of some of the...
July 1, 2012
The research group of Masaru Ogura, an associate professor at the Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo (, has clarified the degradation mechanism and the role potassium carbonate plays in the catalyst systems used for reducing soot from the exhaust of diesel engines. Based on its studies, the group has proposed a new catalyst system with enhanced tolerance to catalyst...
June 1, 2012
After eight years of R&D work, Inflotek B.V. (Beringe, The Netherlands; www.) is now commercializing a range of metal screens made with a proprietary, waterjet-cutting technology. Compared to conventional waterjet-cutting methods, Inflotek’s process can reliably make hundreds of perforations per hour, which enables the fabrication of industrial process screens with a large number of perforations...
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