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July 1, 2010
New technology for fabricating nanoscale polymer threads boosts yields and improves control compared to conventional methods for producing nanoscale fibers by using a technique analogous to that for making cotton candy. The technology, known as rotary jet spinning (RJS), was developed by engineers at Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.; www.harvard.edu) and is described in a recent paper in the journal Nano...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Produce-polymer-nanofibers-at-greater-yield-and-control_5795.html
July 1, 2010
Last month, Great River Energy (Maple Grove, Minn.; www.greatriverenergy.com) dedicated its patented DryFining coal enhancement system at its power-generating plant, Coal Creek Station, N.D. The system, developed by Great River Energy, uses waste heat to reduce the moisture level of low-rank coal, such as lignite, from...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Lignite-drying-and-refining-system-formally-dedicated_5796.html
July 1, 2010
  Torrefaction of biomass Last month, the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN; Petten; www.ecn.nl) and Vattenfall AB (Stockholm, Sweden; www.vattenfall.com) established a partnership to scale up ECNs BO2 technology — a process for upgrading biomass into a high-grade solid fuel. Vattenfall will support ECN to further develop the technology, including testing the process on a large...
http://www.che.com/chementator/July-Chementator-Briefs_5797.html
June 1, 2010
An electrochemical process for recovering sulfuric acid and metallic iron from iron-rich sulfate wastes, such as spent pickling liquors and pregnant leach solutions generated in minerals and metals processing, has been patented by François Cardarelli, an independent researcher located in Montreal, Canada (www.francoiscardarelli.ca). Cardarelli says the process offers a green solution to the...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Electrochemistry-regenerates-H2SO4-and-recovers-iron-from-industrial-wastes_5731.html
June 1, 2010
Ultimo Measurement (Providence, R.I.; www.ultimompd.com) has developed technology for measuring density and viscosity of process fluids, loose solids and mixtures non-invasively — a percussion-based device that can be mounted on the outside of process tanks, pipes or other vessels. The device strikes a vessel’s outside wall, exciting the content material, then senses the resulting vibrations...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-device-to-measure-density-and-viscosity-non-invasively_5732.html
June 1, 2010
Carbon nanotube (CNT) membranes developed by researchers at Rice University (Houston; www.rice.edu) could have applications as nanoparticulate filters, and as nanoscale scaffolds for catalysts. The devices are silicon dioxide wafers with laser-bored holes (~500-µm dia.). The holed wafers are subjected to a chemical-vapor-deposition (CVD)...
http://www.che.com/chementator/CNTs-show-promise-as-a-filter-and-a-catalyst-support_5733.html
June 1, 2010
Kazuhiro Sayama and colleagues at the Solar Light Energy Conversion Group at Energy Technology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST; Tsukuba, Japan; unit.aist.go.jp/energy), have developed a cesium-treated tungsten oxide photocatalyst that shows a 19% quantum efficiency at 420 nm, which is 48...
http://www.che.com/chementator/An-enhanced-photocatalyst-for-making-H2-from-water_5734.html
June 1, 2010
Last month at the Global Refining Summit (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; May 17–19), Swapsol Corp. (Monmouth Junction, N.J.; www.swapsol.com) introduced a completely new sour-gas-cleanup process that reduces hydrogen sulfide levels below detectable levels (under 4 ppb) while reacting with carbon dioxide to form water, sulfur and a polymer of sulfur and carbon (carsul). Although still in the laboratory...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Combined-CO2-mitigation-and-H2S-removal_5735.html
June 1, 2010
A recently developed hydrogen generation unit combines an autothermal, fluidized-bed methane reformer with a metal hydride compressor. Aside from combining the reforming, H2 separation and compression, which are part of conventional H2 generation (top diagram), the engineers behind the system demonstrated the use of Pd-alloy membranes in a fluidized-bed environment. The unit is designed to produce H2...
http://www.che.com/chementator/H2-unit-combines-production-purification-and-compression_5736.html
June 1, 2010
Algae has recently become an R&D focus for making third-generation biofuels because these oil-containing microorganisms reproduce so quickly and can be grown away from arable farmland. However, getting the oil from the cells — and the water — is energy intensive. Traditionally, the cells are first concentrated into a slurry by compression or centrifugation. Then, the cell walls are broken...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Using-DME-to-extract-green-crude-from-algae_5737.html
June 1, 2010
Oasys Water Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.; www.oasyswater.com) has commercialized a forward-osmosis (FO) membrane as the next step toward introducing its lower-cost desalination and water-reuse technology. The membrane, developed by Professor Menachem Elimelech, chair of chemical engineering at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.; www.yale.edu), is a polyamide thin-film composite that can be produced on...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Forward-osmosis-moves-a-step-closer-to-commercialization_5738.html
June 1, 2010
At the Hannover Messe 2010, Alumina do Norte do Brasil S.A. (Alunorte; Barcarena, Brazil; www.alunorte.net) and Outotec Oyj (Espoo, Finland; www.outotec.com) received the X Prize (special recognition) for energy efficiency in alumina production. The award, part of the German Energy Agencys (dena; Berlin, Germany; www.dena.de) Initiative EnergieEffizienz, was bestowed to Alunorte for using an energy...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Energy-efficiency-prize-for-alumina-production_5739.html
June 1, 2010
An new olefins process A 40,000-m.t./yr demonstration plant for a new process that produces olefins by catalytic cracking of paraffins-rich naphtha will be started up in October by SK energy (Seoul, South Korea; www.skenergy.com) at Ulsan, South Korea. Developed jointly with KBR (Houston; www.kbr.com), the Advanced Catalytic Olefin (ACO) process uses a proprietary granular zeolite catalyst in a fluidized...
http://www.che.com/chementator/June-Chementator-Briefs_5740.html
May 1, 2010
A low-cost method for fabricating microfluidic diagnostics devices using cotton, paper, or other multifilament threads has been developed by a team from Monash University (Melbourne, Australia; www.eng.monash.edu.au). The devices can be used to provide qualitative and, at least, semi-quantitative analyses of fluids, such as blood and urine for medical diagnostic purposes. They can also be used to detect...
http://www.che.com/chementator/These-microfluidic-sensors-can-be-made-with-a-sewing-machine_5614.html
May 1, 2010
  A new Cl2 process Oxygen-depolarized cathodes (ODCs) will be used for the first time to produce chlorine on an industrial scale in a 20,000 metric ton per year (m.t./yr) electrolyzer at the Krefeld-Uerdingen chemical park in Germany. The plant will be constructed for Bayer MaterialScience AG (BMS; www.bayermaterialsciences.com) by Uhde GmbH (Dortmund, both Germany; www.uhde.eu), and is slated for...
http://www.che.com/chementator/May-Chementator-briefs_5615.html
May 1, 2010
In late March, the world’s first demonstration plant for converting sugars directly into gasoline started up at the Madison, Wisc., facilities of Virent Energy Systems, Inc. (www.virent.com). The demonstration plant — part of a joint R&D collaboration of Virent and Shell (The Hague, the Netherlands; www.shell.com) — has the capacity to produce 10,000 gal/yr of biogasoline from beet...
http://www.che.com/chementator/This-new-process-makes-biogasoline-from-carbohydrates_5622.html
May 1, 2010
Honeywells UOP LLC (Des Plaines, Ill.; www.uop.com) has developed a process that makes a renewable, “drop-in” jet fuel from sustainable oils, including camelina, tallow, jatropha or algae. Similar to the the UOP/Eni Ecofining process for making Green Diesel fuel (CE, May 2007, p. 18), the Renewable Jet Process is a two-stage process. In the first step, the natural oils are first hydroprocessed...
http://www.che.com/chementator/A-process-that-makes-green-jet-fuel-is-slated-for-commercialization_5623.html
May 1, 2010
Efforts to make a completely sustainable route to polymers based on vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) are progressing at Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; www.wacker.com). VAM — a precursor for polyvinyl acetate and ethylene-vinyl-acetate copolymers used for making dispersible polymer powders — is normally made by the reaction of acetic acid and steam-cracker-derived ethylene. Wacker is developing...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Bioethanol-as-a-feedstock-for-green-polymers_5624.html
May 1, 2010
Co-processing of biomass-derived feed with petroleum feed for the production of diesel fuel is a tricky business, given that the former (unlike petroleum) contains oxygen. The oxygenates can be removed by hydrotreating, which converts the biofeed to normal paraffins, but this consumes large amounts of H2 and the exothermic reactions can cause excessive temperatures. Also, biomass contains acids that can...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Revamped-hydrotreater-co-processes-light-gas-oil-and-tall-oil-derivative-to-produce-ULSD_5625.html
May 1, 2010
A process that destroys hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and recovers high-purity calcium fluoride has been developed by chemical-engineering professor Hideki Yamamoto at Kansai University (Suita City, Osaka; www.cheng.kansai-u.ac.jp/Process) in cooperation with Shiraishi Kogyo Kaisha Ltd. (Amagasaki City, Osaka; both Japan...
http://www.che.com/chementator/Destroy-HFCs-and-recover-CaF2-with-this-process_5626.html
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