Much hard work goes into developing new processes and products, and few of these developments make it to commercialization. Those innovative technologies that have been commercialized are honored by Chemical Engineering through the Kirkpatrick Chemical Engineering Achievement Award, which is bestowed every other year. This year, six finalists were selected from the many nominations that we received. While we at Chemical Engineering organize the award, the finalists are not chosen by our staff, but by heads of chemical engineering department at accredited universities. The finalists will have the opportunity to present their technologies at the Chem Show in New York City on November 1. The winner will be announced that evening. Here is a brief summary of the six technologies that made it to the finals:
CB&I/Albemarle — Solid catalyst alkylation process. The AlkyClean technology eliminates the use of liquid acids for the production of motor fuel alkylate, and thus eliminates the hazards and operating issues associated with handling liquid acids. The world’s first solid catalyst alkylation process was commercialized with this new catalyst and process.
Chemetry — eShuttle technology. This technology eliminates chlorine generation from the traditional chlor-alkali process used to synthesize chlorinated organic compounds. In addition to eliminating the safety concerns and costs associated with chlorine handling, the technology requires less energy to operate.
Dow Coating Materials — Canvera, Polyolefin Dispersion Technology. Metal food and beverage containers require an interior coating to protect the contents and the container itself. With this innovative technology, a polyethylene film can be applied to the metal, using an aqueous dispersion of polyethylene. These coatings address concerns about leaching of other materials that have been used in the past.
Dow Coating Materials — Paraloid Edge Technology. Paraloid Edge technology produces urethane coatings without isocyanate or formaldehyde. The polyurethane coating is formed by a reaction between a polycarbamate and a di-aldehyde. In addition to being safer, the product is said to be superior to conventional urethanes in performance.
Microvi — Denitrovi Biocatalytic Nitrate Removal.Denitrovi addresses the challenge of removing nitrates from drinking water. With this technology, organisms housed in biocatalysts degrade nitrate and convert it into nitrogen gas. One of the key achievements in this process is that no sludge is formed. The technology is also said to be more cost efficient than other technologies, such as ion-exchange.
Praxair — Oxygen-fired combustion with thermochemical regenerators. The Optimelt thermochemical regenerator process is said to be the first commercial oxy-fuel glass melting process that utilizes endothermic chemical reactions for waste heat recovery. Savings of 15–18% in fuel and oxygen along with low NOx emissions have been demonstrated. ■
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