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March 1, 2011
A desalination system developed by Watervap LLC (Marble Hill, Ga.; www.h2ovap.com) separates saltwater of any concentration into highly purified water and dry solid minerals with high efficiency. The company’s Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) process represents a low-cost alternative to brine waste disposal in oil and natural gas production, as well as other industries, such as processed meats and mining...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Zero-liquid-discharge-desalination-system-offers-brine-disposal-alternative_6426.html
March 1, 2011
Tokyo Chemical Industry Co. (TCI; Tokyo; www.tokyokasei.co.jp) is planning full-scale production of a new palladium-complex catalyst, trade-named SingaCycle-E1, for performing Heck-Mizoroki carbon-carbon coupling reactions and the Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction — both reactions of importance for producing pharmaceuticals. TCI says SingaCycle-E1 offers enhanced activity and improved stability...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-new-catalyst-for-C-C-and-crossed-coupling_6427.html
March 1, 2011
The Gas Technology Institute (GTI, Des Plaines, Ill.; www.gastechnology.org) has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with CRI/Criterion Inc. (Houston; www.cricatalyst.com) to commercialize a GTI process for converting biomass directly into cellulosic gasoline and diesel fuel blendstocks. The technology, called Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion (IH2), is a two-step, continuous...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Scaleup-is-set-for-a-biomass-to-fuels-process_6428.html
March 1, 2011
Energy Fuels Inc. (Lakewood, Colo.; www.energyfuels.com) has been granted a radioactive materials license by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for the first uranium mill to be built in the U.S. in 30 years. Energy Fuels says the approval of the license is “the most significant hurdle” to be passed before it builds the Piñon Ridge Mill near Naturita, Colo. The...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Plans-move-forward-for-the-first-U-S-uranium-plant-in-30-years_6429.html
March 1, 2011
  CO2 for plastic Last month, a pilot plant that produces an intermediate for polyurethane, using carbon dioxide as feedstock, started up at Chempark Leverkusen, Germany. The plant — designed, built and operated by Bayer Technology Services GmbH (Leverkusen; www.bayertechnology.com) — is part of the so-called Dream Production project, a €9-million collaboration between Bayer, RWE...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Chementator-briefs_6430.html
February 1, 2011
A novel process for removing hydrogen sulfide from natural gas has been started up at Sinopec Zhongyuan Petroleum Co.’s Puguang natural gas plant in China’s Sichuan Province. The plant, Asia’s largest sour natural-gas treatment facility, can process up to 36-million Nm3/d of gas, while the H2S recovery unit will yield up to 3-million metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of elemental sulfur...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Cool-amine-process-improves-H2S-absorption_6351.html
February 1, 2011
A pilot plant for a process that uses a fluidized bed of sand to gasify coal and other carbonaceous materials will be started up this summer in Kanab, Utah by Viresco Energy LLC (Riverside, Calif.; www.virescoenergy.com). Initially, the plant will convert 5 ton/d of low-rank coal into synthesis gas (syngas), says Jim Guthrie, Viresco president. Later, the company plans to add biomass and biosolids from...
http://www.che.com/chementator/No-oxygen-is-needed-for-this-gasifier_6352.html
February 1, 2011
A manufacturing facility for bio-based intermediate and specialty chemicals under construction by Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc. (Bolingbrook, Ill.; www.elevance.com) is on track to begin generating products late this year, according to the company. Located in Indonesia, the facility is currently undergoing site preparation work, says Elevance executive vice president of sales and market development Andy...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Elevance-biorefinery-on-track-for-late-2011-commissioning_6353.html
February 1, 2011
A pulsed-electric-field (PEF) pre-treatment technology to facilitate extraction of oils from algae cells was introduced recently by Diversified Technologies Inc. (Bedford, Mass.; www.divtecs.com). Algae have drawn considerable interest as a renewable source of biofuels, but the costs of algae-derived fuels remain much higher than petroleum-derived fuels. The scalable PEF method could significantly lower...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-streamlined-pre-treatment-process-for-algae-biodiesel_6354.html
February 1, 2011
Nippon Ketjen Co. (Tokyo; www.nippon-ketjen.co.jp) has developed two new catalysts with enhanced properties for petroleum residue hydrotreating. KFR 15 removes metallic impurities, and KFR 93 removes sulfur from residues and contributes to the efficiency of residue hydrotreating units. For the metal-removal catalyst, Nippon Ketjen adopted new support technology, enhanced pore volumes and optimized pore...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Nippon-Ketjen-introduces-new-catalysts-for-residue-hydrotreating_6355.html
February 1, 2011
Kyoto University (Kyoto, www.kuchem.kyoto-u.ac.jp) professor Hiroshi Kitagawa has developed technology for synthesizing nanoscale particles of alloyed metals that could lead to alternatives to industrially important, but expensive, metals such as Pd and rare earth metals. Kitagawa’s group has used the technology in the first synthesis of atomic-level rhodium/silver-alloy nanoparticles using a...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Nanoparticle-alloy-could-be-an-alternative-to-palladium_6356.html
February 1, 2011
A silica-based amorphous material in which silicon atoms are linked to organic groups, as well as to oxygen, creates a pore network that tolerates aggressive chemical environments more effectively than conventional polymeric or ceramic membranes. Licensed by membrane manufacturer Pervatech BV (Enter, the Netherlands; www.pervatech.com) from the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN; Petten, the...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Hybrid-inorganic-organic-membrane-has-enhanced-stability_6357.html
February 1, 2011
Up to now, used energy-saving light bulbs have been processed by recycling firms that recover the various components, such as glass, metal, plastics and mercury. However, the remaining luminescent powders, which contain high concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs), are currently disposed of in landfills. This situation is about to change thanks to a new, selective process...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Recovering-rare-earth-metals-from-used-light-bulbs_6358.html
February 1, 2011
Mesa Minerals Ltd. (Perth, Australia; www.mesaminerals.com.au) has developed an alternative hydrometallurgical method for converting low-grade manganese oxide ores to electrolytic manganese dioxide of high purity for use in alkaline and lithium-ion battery production. The company claims its process consumes about half the energy required by a similarly sized plant using the conventional process. The Mesa...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-new-process-for-high-purity-MnO2_6359.html
February 1, 2011
A process to spray-dry Aloe vera for use in the food and cosmetics industry has been developed by GEA Niro (Søborg, Denmark; www.niro.com). The process is expected to offer an efficient and economical alternative to freeze drying, as well as a method of producing a high-quality...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Spray-drying-converts-a-medicinal-cactus-into-a-powder_6360.html
February 1, 2011
    DuPont acquisition Last month, DuPont (Wilmington, Del.; www.dupont.com) announced its plans to acquire Danisco, a global enzyme and specialty food ingredients company, for $5.8 billion in cash and assumption of $500 million of Danisco’s net debt. Danisco is a technology-driven organization, with strong research and application development capabilities. The company’s specialty...
http://www.che.com/chementator/February-Chementator-Briefs_6361.html
January 1, 2011
A post-combustion process capable of separating CO2 from fluegas at one-third the cost of alternative separation processes has been developed by Inventys Thermal Technologies, Inc. (Burnaby, B.C., Canada; www.inventysinc.com). Tradenamed VeloxoTherm (VX), the patented process is now being tested together with a consortium of industrial partners — Mast Carbon International, BP, Suncor Energy Services...
http://www.che.com/chementator/This-TSA-process-promises-to-slash-costs-for-CO2-separation_6270.html
January 1, 2011
A biological process for the destruction of sodium oxalate at Alcoa’s Kwinana alumina refinery in Western Australia has proven to be an extremely robust technology. Alcoa’s residue technical manager, David Cooling, says the plant has achieved an oxalate destruction rate of 40 metric tons per day (m.t./d), and the company plans to increase the destruction rate to 60 m.t./d. The technology has...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Oxalate-munching-bacteria-slash-energy-costs-of-alumina-refining_6273.html
January 1, 2011
Phosphorous impurities in steel can lead to detrimental properties, such as reduced hardness and resistance to corrosion. Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. (SMI; Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; www.sumitomometals.co.jp) has enhanced its SRP (simple refining process) for removing phosphorous from pig iron — a step necessary for making high-grade steels. The so-called SRP-Z process (diagram) involves blowing a...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-cleaner-more-efficient-process-for-making-high-grade-steel_6274.html
January 1, 2011
Researchers at the University of Tokyo (Japan; park.itc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/nishiba/index.html) have developed a new catalyst that enables the direct synthesis of ammonia at ambient conditions. The breakthrough is a step toward an alternative to the energy-intensive, century-old Habar-Bosch process, which requires high temperatures (200–600°C) and high-pressure (200–400 atm)...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Direct-ammonia-synthesis-at-room-temperature_6275.html
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