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August 1, 2007
Davy Process Technology Ltd. (DPT; London;, a Johnson Matthey company, has received the first license of its new glycerin-to-propylene glycol (GTPG) process. The first project, planned for the Ashland/Cargill joint venture (CE, June, p. 10), will produce more than 65,000 m.t./yr of PG at a yet-to-be disclosed location in Europe. Startup is expected early in 2009. The GTPG process...
August 1, 2007
Computer models that simulate the operation of jet engines with alternative fuels will be developed by Reaction Design (San Diego, Calif.; under a two-year contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; Glenn Research Center). The...
August 1, 2007
The traditional way to check microbial growth in a fermentation process is to take a sample of slurry and analyze it in the laboratory, a procedure that is less than ideal because of the time delay in obtaining the information. Now, a method that does the job online, in real time, has been developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL; Richland, Wash.; In PNNL’s...
August 1, 2007
Researchers from the fluid-dynamics laboratories at CSIRO Manufacturing and Materials Technology (Melbourne, Australia; have developed a new heat-exchange technology, called RAMeX, which performs heat exchange and mixing of highly viscous fluids without stirrers, impellers, baffles and plates. Like the Rotated Arc Mixer (RAM; CE, February 2001, p. 17) from which it evolved, the...
August 1, 2007
Chiyoda Corp. (Kawasaki, Japan; has licensed its proprietary titania-supported catalyst for ultra-deep hydrodesulfurization (HDS) of gas oil to Axens (Paris, France; Axens is currently working on the final adjustment of industrial operating parameters, and plans to start commercial production of the new catalyst in the first...
August 1, 2007
A new catalyst that promises to cut the cost of producing biodiesel fuel from vegetable oils and animal fats by 30% has been developed by Victor Lin, a chemistry professor at Iowa State University (Ames, Iowa; The solid catalyst replaces the soluble, sodium methoxide catalyst that is currently used for the transesterification of oils in the production of biodiesel...
August 1, 2007
Alumina refining by the Bayer process involves the digestion of bauxite ore with caustic soda, which produces “green liquor,” from which alumina is recovered, and a bauxite residue, called red mud, which is stored in large disposal areas. A typical refinery (2-million m.t./yr) produces about 1.4 tons of bauxite-residue per ton of alumina recovered, which translates into about 2.8-million m.t./yr of red...
August 1, 2007
A research team from Austria and Sweden have demonstrated that nanowires of a nickel-rhodium alloy exhibit a suprisingly high reactivity to oxygen. Using physical vapor deposition, the researchers have produced quasi one-dimensional rows of Ni atoms on a single-crystal rhodium substrate, which has Rh steps...
August 1, 2007
What is billed as the first commercial-scale plant to produce ethanol from cellulosic feed will be built in Treutlen County, Georgia, by Range Fuels, Inc. (Broomfield, Colo.; The company received a construction permit from the State of Georgia last month and will shortly break ground for the plant. Scheduled for completion...
August 1, 2007
Crossflow (CF) filtration is widely used for separating substances with poor filtration properties. As the method’s name implies, a crossflow of the feed continuously flows across the filter membrane in order to wash away material accumulations that clog the membrane pores. Nevertheless, conventional methods rely on a pump to adjust the feed overflow rate, which requires substantial energy, even for...
August 1, 2007
This system, which has multiple reactors and uses microwaves for heating, has been developed by professor Yuji Wada at the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology (, in cooperation with Shikoku Instrument Co. (Takamatsu; and Sanko Kagaku Kogyo Co. (Tokyo; all Japan; A prototype of the system has...
August 1, 2007
Last month, Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc. (Columbus, Ohio; signed a definitive agreement to acquire Huntsman Corp. (Salt Lake City, Utah)...
August 1, 2007
Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.; and Crystalsev (São Paulo, Brazil; are forming a joint venture in Brazil to design and build...
August 1, 2007
At the end of June, Wuxi NutriRice Co. Ltd. — a joint venture of DSM (Sittard, Netherlands; and Bühler AG (Uzwil, Switzerland; — opened the world’s first...
August 1, 2007
Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; plans to build the first commercial-scale plant for the production of granular polysilicon for the solar industry at its Berghausen, Germany, site. The 650-m.t./yr facility...
August 1, 2007
Lonza (Basel, Switzerland; has commercialized an online monitoring system, called PyroSense...
August 1, 2007
Solvay Solexis, a subsidiary of Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium;, and Thin Film Electronics ASA (Oslo, Norway) are cooperating to develop materials for...
August 1, 2007
    Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all engineering software packages. Today, solution providers offer versions with improved integration for advanced data sharing and simplified user interfaces with the ability to multitask between the design house and the plant floor, bringing the power of engineering software to everyone from trained experts to software novices who just want to run a few...
August 1, 2007
    In the chemical process industries (CPI), pressure is constantly on to improve filtration. The filtration step has to be performed quickly (time is money), efficiently (product loss is money lost), and effectively (energy costs for pumping and drying are soaring). As a result, vendors of filtration equipment — be it for dust removal from fluegas or product recovery from a gas or liquid...
July 1, 2007
Although brown coal accounts for about 25% of Australia’s energy supply, it has a high moisture content and, when burned, is a high emitter of carbon dioxide (above 1,200kg/MWh). To address this challenge HRL Ltd. (Melbourne, Australia; has developed a variant of integrated-gasification, combined-cycle (IGCC) technology, called IDGCC (integrated drying and gasification...
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