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February 1, 2009
Thanks to a €171-million financing deal, construction can begin on what is claimed to be the world’s first utility-grade solar power plant with central tower and salt receiver technology. When the so-called Gemasolar plant — located in Fuentes de Andalucia, Spain — is operational in 2011, it will produce 17 MWe of power, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 50,000 metric tons per year...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Construction-to-begin-on-a-large-solar-plant-in-Spain_4515.html
February 1, 2009
A continuous process for producing biodiesel that has a residence time of about one minute, versus several hours for a conventional batch process, has been developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; www.ornl.gov). The process uses a centrifuge for simultaneous synthesis of biodiesel and separation of the biodiesel from the glycerol byproduct. ORNL has done laboratory tests and is...
http://www.che.com/news/This-centrifugal-reactorseparator-speeds-up-biodiesel-production_4517.html
February 1, 2009
Mitsunori Shimura and colleagues at the R&D Center of Chiyoda Corp. (Yokohama, Japan; www.chiyoda.co.jp) have developed a new catalyst for producing a synthesis gas (syngas; hydrogen and carbon monoxide) from steam reforming of methane. The catalyst consists of precious metals selectively loaded on the surface of the firm’s commercial, egg-shell-shaped support, which results in an effective...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-A-new-syngas-catalyst-passes-pilot-tests-_4518.html
February 1, 2009
Lurgi GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany; www.lurgi.com) is building a pilot plant to demonstrate the viability of its three-stage bioliq process for producing liquid fuels from biomass. The pilot plant — an entrained-flow gasifier for the production of synthesis gas — will be located at the Karlsruhe Research Center (FZK; Germany; www.fzk.de), and is part of a joint project with the Karlsruhe Institute of...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-A-pilot-step-closer-to-second-generation-biofuels_4519.html
February 1, 2009
For separating two components with similar volatilities, extractive distillation is typically used, whereby a high-boiling, non-volatile solvent is added to "break the azeotrope" — a process that is both energy intensive and often involves the use of hazardous solvents. In an effort to reduce the energy requirements and avoid the use of hazardous solvents used in extractive distillation, an...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Progress-on-a-promising-separation-technology_4520.html
February 1, 2009
Ultrasound has been applied, with limited success, for the remediation of contaminated soil. Up to now, the approach has been to first extract the contaminant from the soil into a liquid, which is then passed through a sono-reactor where the contaminants are destroyed by high temperatures and pressures (more than 5,000K and 1,000 atm) generated by cavitating bubbles. A new process developed by a team from...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Sonicating-slurries-speeds-soil-remediation_4521.html
February 1, 2009
In a so-called thermoacoustic engine, researchers from the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN; Petten, Netherlands; www.ecn.nl) have achieved a record efficiency in the conversion of heat to sound, improving the existing record of 41% to 48% of the maximum possible efficiency (Carnot efficiency). The engine is being developed as a way to utilize the huge quantities of waste heat, which normally...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-A-sound-way-to-reuse-low-temperature-waste-heat_4522.html
February 1, 2009
In late 2009, Microbia PE, Inc. (Lexington, Mass.; www.microbia-pe.com) will begin commercialization of its initial carotenoid products. Microbia plans to produce β-carotene, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, cathaxanthin and lutein — all five carotenoid products that currently have significant commercial value. These carotenoids have primary applications as food ingredients, dietary supplements and...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Commercialization-nears-for-producing-cartenoids-from-engineered-yeasts_4523.html
February 1, 2009
A new bioplastic Up to now, the main plastic produced from renewable resources has been polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from corn starch. However, because PLA does not have the same level of performance as petroleum-derived plastics, PLA has not been actively adopted by certain industries, according to Teijin Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; www.teijin.co.jp/english). The company plans to change this situation...
http://www.che.com/news/February-Chementator-Briefs_4524.html
January 1, 2009
Many of you know of a company — perhaps your own employer — that has recently commercialized an innovative process, product, or other chemical-engineering development. If so, we would like to hear from you. Nominations are open for this magazine’s 2009 Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award. We aim to honor the most-noteworthy chemical engineering technology commercialized...
http://www.che.com/news/Nominate-an-innovative-process-or-product-for-the-2009-Kirkpatrick-Chemical-Engineering-Achievement-Award_4429.html
January 1, 2009
With the challenging global marketplace and these unstable financial times, the chemical process Industries (CPI) must do everything possible to economically maintain production while providing innovative and high quality products for their customers. To achieve both these goals, predictive and preventive maintenance programs are possibly the most important gear in any processors toolbox. Not only will...
http://www.che.com/news/PM-and-PDM-Crucial-Gear-in-the-CPI-Toolbox_4430.html
January 1, 2009
As an energy resource, global coal reserves represent 2,000 billion barrels of oil equivalent. In 2007, global oil reserves were about 1,300 billion barrels of oil. World wide, oil demand will grow 40 to 50% by 2030. But coal offers an opportunity to diversify worldwide liquid-fuel supplies and coal utilization to produce fuels that can extend the lifetime of world oil reserves. This is a strategic...
http://www.che.com/news/A-primer-on-coal-to-liquids_4431.html
January 1, 2009
  Lummus Technology, a CB&I company (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.cbi.com) and SYN Energy Technology Co. (Dalian, China; www.syn.ac.cn) have signed a global, cooperative market agreement to license a methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process. The technology, called DMTO, was developed by the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Dalian, China), which has a controlling interest in...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Commercialization-is-set-for-a-methanol-to-olefins-technology_4454.html
January 1, 2009
Aiming at bringing down the barriers to the commercial deployment of post-combustion capture (PCC) of CO2, an Australian team from CSIRO Energy Technology (Newcastle, New South Wales; www.csiro.au), CSIRO Energy Technology (Clayton South, Victoria), and several other research organizations has developed an integrated PCC R&D and pilot plant program. The program includes four pilot plants: The Latrobe...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-More-efforts-to-capture-CO2-from-power-plants_4455.html
January 1, 2009
For wastewater treatment, membrane bioreactors (MBRs) provide superior effluent quality in a small footprint compared to alternative activated-sludge treatment methods. However, MBRs are prone to fouling, and thus may require frequent membrane cleaning with the associated manpower and chemical costs. Microdyn-Nadir GmbH (Wiesbaden; www.microdyn-nadir.de), in cooperation with Darmstadt University (both...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-This-mechanical-cleaning-process-reduces-fouling-in-MBRs-without-chemicals_4456.html
January 1, 2009
Coal is typically cleaned by gravity separation to reduce ash and pyrite content, with flotation used to recover fines. Various methods have been applied to disperse fine clay particles from the surface of coal particles and thus improve coal flotation performance. A team of researchers from the Ian Wark Research Institute, University of South Australia (Adelaide; www.unisa.edu.au), has studied the effect...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Pretreatment-helps-recover-more-coal-from-primary-flotation-step_4457.html
January 1, 2009
Researchers at the Nanotube Research Center of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST; Tokyo; www.aist.go.jp) have developed a process for making organic nanotubes of metal complexes (photo, left). The scientists have produced organic nanotubes with metal ions (Zn+2, Cu+2, Co+2, Ni+2, Fe+2 and Mg+2) complexed at the inner and outer surfaces of organic nanotubes (diagram...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Mass-production-technology-for-making-functionalized-organic-nanotubes_4458.html
January 1, 2009
When completed in early 2010, Shell Chemicals’ B.V. (The Hague, Netherlands; www.shell.com) 750,000-m.t./yr facility at the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex in Singapore will be the world’s largest plant to produce mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) using Shell’s Omega process. This plant marks the fifth license of the Omega technology since the first commercial application came on stream...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-Continued-commercial-success-for-a-new-MEG-process_4459.html
January 1, 2009
Solvay Solexis S.p.A. (Bollate, Italy; www.solvaysolexis.com) has commercialized a new perfluorosulfinic acid (PFSA) polymer, tradenamed Aquivion, which was specifically designed for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Aquivion ionomer...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-A-new-PFSA-polymer-for-membrane-and-other-applications_4460.html
January 1, 2009
Researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE; Washington, D.C.) Ames Laboratory (www.ameslab.gov) and Iowa State University (both of Ames, Iowa) have developed a hard, smooth coating that can be applied to industrial equipment, such as pumps, gears and cutting tools, to reduce friction and extend the life of the equipment. Ames has been working with various companies, including Eaton Corp...
http://www.che.com/news/Chementator-A-hard-coating-promises-to-reduce-wear-and-power-use-in-rotating-equipment_4461.html
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