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September 1, 2011
Anew process to make BTX (benzene, toluene and xylenes) from light cycle oil (LCO), an oversupplied product of petroleum refineries that can supplement the dwindling supply of BTX precursors, is being developed by JX Nippon Oil & Energy (JX Energy; Tokyo, Japan; www.noe.jx-group.co.jp). Whereas conventional technology requires...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-simpler-process-to-make-PX-from-LCO_8401.html
September 1, 2011
A project aimed at using geothermal heat to power an electricity-producing turbine with supercritical carbon dioxide has received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE; Washington, D.C.; www.energy.gov). The project also incorporates an element of CO2 sequestration in sedimentary rock, whereby a portion of the CO2 injected into the hot sedimentary layer remains there, so that the process...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Carbon-storage-and-electricity-generation-project-gets-DOE-funding_8402.html
September 1, 2011
Phosgenation scaleup At the end of July, Bayer MaterialScience AG (BMS; Leverkusen, Germany; www.bayerbms.com) successfully tested its new gas-phase phosgenation technology at a new plant being commissioned for making toluene diisocyanate (TDI) — a raw material for making polyurethane — at its integrated production site at Caojing in Shanghai, China. The TDI facility is expected to come...
http://www.che.com/chementator/September-Chementator-Briefs_8404.html
September 1, 2011
A process to greatly enhance the ability of sand to filter heavy metals from water has been developed by researchers from Monash University, of Melbourne, Australia (www.monash.edu.au), Rice University (Houston; www.rice.edu) and Nanoholdings LLC (Marietta, Ga.; www.nanoholdings.com). Historically, the researchers say, water purification has utilized high-surface-area carbon materials in the form of...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Boost-heavy-metal-recovery-from-wastewater-with-graphite-oxide-coated-sand_8405.html
September 1, 2011
Metabolix Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.; www.metabolix.com) has successfully demonstrated and completed research and development for scaleup on a fermentation process that produces gamma -butyrolactone (GBL) from genetically engineered bacteria. The process is built upon the company’s technology for engineering metabolic pathways into microbes that produce specific biopolymers. “We’ve been able...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Microbe-based-process-for-GBL-nears-commercialization_8406.html
September 1, 2011
Since the isolation of graphene by the “Scotch tape” method, many researchers have tried to synthesize solution-dispersible graphene. The challenge has been to develop a high-yield method that can exfoliate graphite efficiently into solution-dispersible graphene sheets without collateral damage to the graphene due to oxidation, or due to the use of a strong acid. A nonoxidative electrochemical...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-promising-method-for-producing-conductive-graphene-sheets_8407.html
September 1, 2011
Today only a few percent of Canada’s oil sands resource is accessible by traditional surface mining, so the rest has to be recovered in situ, mostly by steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). In this process, steam is injected into a horizontal well in the oil formation to mobilize the viscous bitumen, which is recovered by a producer well at a lower level. An in-situ process that promises to be more...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Solvent-extraction-method-shows-promise-for-recovering-bitumen-from-tar-sands_8412.html
September 1, 2011
A new yeast strain that could one day substitute for petroleum as a source of surfactants for detergents, soaps and cosmetics has been identified by researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (Peoria, Ill.; ars.usda.gov). The yeast, not yet named, is a member of the Candida genus of yeasts and produces sophorolipids (a sugar-based...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Green-surfactants-from-yeast_8414.html
September 1, 2011
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo, www.m-kagaku.co.jp, MCC) is developing bio-based technology for producing propylene, butadiene, 1,4-butanediol (BDO), terephthalic...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Monomers-from-glucose_8415.html
September 1, 2011
A joint venture (JV) between Vadxx Energy LLC (Akron, Ohio; www.vadxx.com) and Greenstar Recycling (Houston; www.greenstarrecycling.com) plans to start up a facility in mid-2012 to convert recovered plastics to synthetic crude oil. When complete, the facility will produce 80,000 bbl/yr of synthetic crude oil from 12,000 ton/yr of solid municipal plastics. Using a thermal depolymerization process, the JV...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Plastics-to-oil-JV-plans-full-scale-facility_8416.html
August 1, 2011
An alternative desalination process that reduces energy consumption by over 50% compared to best available technology (BAT) has been successfully piloted by the Industry Sector of Siemens AG (Munich, Germany; www.siemens.com), in collaboration with Singapores national water agency, PUB, and Singapores Environment and Water Industry Program (EWI). Results of the Siemens demonstration unit, which has been...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-step-forward-for-an-energy-saving-desalination-process_8275.html
August 1, 2011
In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; Washington, D.C.; www.epa.gov) announced the winners of the 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. Winners of the Challenge, which promotes R&D of less hazardous alternatives to existing technologies that reduce or eliminate waste in industrial production, are selected by an independent panel convened by the Americal Chemical Soc...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Green-honors_8278.html
August 1, 2011
The Fine Chemicals Div. of Takasago International Corp. (Takasago; Tokyo, Japan; www.takasago.com) has commercialized a new, highly efficient asymmetric hydrogenation catalyst for producing chiral alcohols — key chemicals for the production of pharmaceuticals, fragrances and agrochemicals. The ruthenium-complex catalyst is tradenamed RUCY after its molecular structure, ruthenabicycle...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Commercial-launch-of-a-new-asymmetric-hydrogenation-catalyst_8279.html
August 1, 2011
The use of solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen is an appealing idea, given that sunlight is abundant in many parts of the world, but one of the challenges to its development is to find a suitable electrode material. Silicon, the popular photovoltaic material, seems like a logical choice, but when it is exposed to O2 it is rapidly...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Silicon-passes-a-test-in-water-splitting_8280.html
August 1, 2011
Last month, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) launched a new crosslinking acrylate monomer, hydroxpropl carbamate acrylate (HPCA), which is said to shorten the processing time for the manufacture of...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-new-HPCA-monomer_8281.html
August 1, 2011
Forward osmosis (FO) has been recognized as a valuable technology for many applications including wastewater reclamation, seawater desalination, and energy production, due to the low energy input required. The osmotic pressure gradient across a semipermeable FO membrane causes water to diffuse naturally through the membrane, leaving impurities behind. However, when water diffuses through the selective...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-promising-new-forward-osmosis-membrane_8282.html
August 1, 2011
Practically all of the coal-fired power plants in the U.S. collect ash from the bottoms of their boilers using a wet system — the ash falls into hoppers that are partially filled with water, and once or twice per shift the slurry is pumped to a settling pond or solid-liquid separation tanks (dewatering bins). In a break from that norm, Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc. is switching its two 650-MW...
http://www.che.com/chementator/U-S-power-plant-goes-dry-for-handling-bottom-ash_8283.html
August 1, 2011
A new anode material with nanostructured interfaces between barium oxide and nickel prevents deactivation by coking in solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) using carbon-containing fuels. The material offers a path to low-cost, low-emission SOFCs that can convert gasified carbon fuels...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Fuel-cell-anode_8287.html
August 1, 2011
A newly introduced cryogenic grinding mill from Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (Allentown, Pa.; www.airproducts.com/ultrafine) can generate consistent yields of particles between 45 and 250 µm, and in some applications can achieve particle sizes of 10 µm. The ultrafine grinding mill also achieves narrower particle size distributions than conventional impact mills. Known as the PolarFit...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Three-mechanism-grinding-mill-achieves-finer-more-uniform-particles_8288.html
August 1, 2011
  Graphene from dry ice Researchers at Northern Illinois University (NIU; DeKalb, Ill.; www.niu.edu) discovered a new method for producing graphene that involves burning pure magnesium metal in dry ice. The method, which is capable of producing large quantities of graphene in sheets less than ten atoms thick, is simpler than conventional methods for generating graphene, and avoids hazardous chemicals...
http://www.che.com/chementator/August-Chementator-Briefs_8289.html
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