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August 1, 2009
By definition, integrated safety instrumented systems (SIS) have the potential to reduce risks. But recent advancement is also enabling the use of more sophisticated instruments and tools that can benefit the process. For these reasons, integrated control and safety systems (ICSS) are receiving recognition across the chemical process industries (CPI). “There have been developments from a technology...
August 1, 2009
Substantial technological advances to meet the growing regulatory scrutiny of a wide variety of pollutants have taken place over the past 50 years. In the last few years, the increased complexity in regulations in developed countries has been even more accelerated, challenging the chemical process industries (CPI) and their suppliers of air-monitoring equipment to reach new heights. In addition, developing...
July 1, 2009
On Sunday morning before the start of Achema 2009 (May 11–15; Frankfurt, Germay) — organizers of the world’s largest exhibition and congress on chemical engineering and biotechnology, Dechema e.V. (Frankfurt;, as well as industry experts participating in the traditional press conference, were somewhat edgy. Even though the ten halls’ 134,000 m2 of exhibition space...
July 1, 2009
“When you improve the efficiency or capacity of a product, it almost always can be used to improve the process economics with respect to investment costs or operating costs,” says Mark Pilling, manager of technology with Sulzer Chemtech (Tulsa, Okla.). To help processors do this, separation-technology providers strive to maintain a strong base of engineering expertise to assist customers in...
June 1, 2009
With traditional petroleum-derived feedstocks facing relentless economic and environmental pressures, it’s no surprise that stakeholders throughout the chemical process industries (CPI) have been in hot pursuit of alternative routes for producing commodity and specialty chemicals and polymers from cheap, plentiful renewable feedstocks. The most promising routes are based on agriculturally derived...
June 1, 2009
Figure 1.  Style 212-ULE valve stem packing is said to outperform engineered sets, meeting global emission standards Garlock Sealing Technologies Figure 2.  The EnDura family of seals was developed to cope with temperature extremes, increasing pressures and higher levels of hydrogen sulfide in the oil and gas industry Precision Polymer Engineering Chemical processors rely on seals and gaskets to...
June 1, 2009
Today, stakeholders seeking to produce platform chemicals from renewable feedstocks are evaluating competing routes — based on, for example, oxidation, reduction, selective bond breaking, selective bond formation, and the selective dehydration of sugars — for breaking down complex starting materials into simpler, more versatile building block molecules. “The focus of this approach is to zero in on a...*_4841.html
June 1, 2009
Because of the difficulties associated with separating it from lignocellulosic feedstocks, “lignin has typically been burned by papermakers to produce process heat or power. This is a tragic waste of a good source of carbon,” says Joseph J. Bozell, associate professor, Biomass Chemistry, Forest Products Center, University of Tennessee (Knoxville). Though challenging, the use of lignin to...*_4842.html
June 1, 2009
Dow is currently building a 770-million-lb/yr train to produce Dowlex linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) in the middle of a sugar cane field in Brazil. Once online, the unit will be the first fully integrated sugar-cane-to-polyethylene complex in the world, according to the company. In the process, sugarcane juice is fermented, centrifuged and distilled to produce ethanol, which is then converted into...*_4843.html
May 1, 2009
Petroleum refiners throughout the world are faced with increasing uncertainty regarding future refining margins, crude prices and project costs. These factors, along with falling demand for refined products, a global recession, and tighter credit markets, are forcing global refiners to reconsider, postpone, or cancel expansion projects. At the same time, mandated reduction of sulfur levels in refined...
May 1, 2009
As it is with all chemical processors, the current economic climate is forcing batch processors to produce more saleable product at a better profit margin from the same assets. Increasing flexibility, reliability and visibility while decreasing batch cycle times via integrated automation systems can help increase throughput and the chance of survival. Staying afloat Figure 1.  Many batch automation...
May 1, 2009
Strategies for extracting more distillate from petroleum to meet the growing demand for diesel fuel constituted a major theme of the recent annual meeting of the National Petrochemical and Petroleum Refiners Association (NPRA, Washington D.C.; in San Antonio, Tex. Worldwide, the demand for distillate is expected to increase by more than 5 million bbl/d over the next 10 years, says Richard...
April 14, 2009
Brooks Instrument (Hatfield, Pa.;, a flow measurement and control provider, has acquired Key Instruments, Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Key Instruments is a flowmeter manufacturer that offers precision-machined acrylic, molded-plastic, glass-tube and...
April 1, 2009
As CRTs become an obsolete form of video display technology, recycling their lead-filled glass is increasingly important Earlier this decade, liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma screens surpassed cathode ray tubes (CRTs) as the visual display of choice in computers and televisions. While the production of CRTs has dwindled to nearly nothing, we will still deal with end-of-life (EoL) units for years to...
April 1, 2009
Project management can be a messy, complex issue for all involved parties and, likely, the most hair-raising aspect of all is project handover from the EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) contractor to the chemical processor. In the past, this literally involved a truck pulling up with cartons and boxes chock full of engineering documents, drawings, operations manuals and catalogs. From there, the...
April 1, 2009
  The current economic recession has hit trade show attendance especially hard. A number of events for 2009 have been cancelled, while others are implementing contingencies. Discounted registration fees are common, while at least one event offered to cover attendees airfare before finally deciding to postpone altogether. Some of the more resilient organizations are offering the alternative of live...
April 1, 2009
With the exception of Oslo-type crystallizers, the main commercial crystallizers are agitated systems that use an agitator [agitated tank or draft-tube baffle (DTB)] or a circulation pump [forced circulation (FC) crystallizers]. In such systems, however, large crystals become damaged by the pump or impeller, which leads to the generation of fines, says Michel Malfand, president of Crystal Evap consult...
April 1, 2009
Many methods have been developed for the encapsulation of "active" materials within a carrier nanoparticle, such as a polymer. These composite structures can be used in many biomedical, cosmetics, and food processing applications for the controlled release of pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, and flavors. However, most of the proposed encapsulation methods developed so far involve multiple steps...
April 1, 2009
Aqueous Recovery Resources, Inc. (ARR; Bedford Hill, NY;, has developed the Suparator, an oil/water separation system that involves no moving parts or media, for low operational costs and minimal maintenance. The separator (diagram) is based on the Bernoulli effect, whereby increased stream velocity in a fluid results in internal pressure reduction, which enables liquids of different...
April 1, 2009
Cambrios Technologies Corp. (Sunnyvale, Calif.; has formed a strategic partnership with Chisso Corp. ( and Sumitomo Corp. (both Tokyo; for commercialization of Cambrios’ first product, ClearOhm coating material. Targeted for the liquid crystal display (LCD) market, ClearOhm is seen as a solution to some of the problems with the currently...
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