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September 1, 2014
Edeniq Inc. (Visalia, Calif.; announced progress in building demonstration facilities in Brazil and China that feature the company’s proprietary process for converting cellulosic biomass into industrial sugar for fermentation or catalytic conversion (diagram). In Brazil’s São Paulo state, Edeniq is partnering with Usina Vale to build a 10-ton/d demonstration plant that...
September 1, 2014
  CO2-to-syngas . . . Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago ( have developed a catalytic system — molybdenum disulfide and an ionic liquid — to convert CO2 into synthesis gas, (syngas; a mixture of CO and H2 that is used for making liquid fuels and chemicals, such as methanol). Unlike alternative CO2-reduction processes, which only generate CO, the new catalyst...
September 1, 2014
A microfluidic, paper-based analytical device (µPAD) — in conjunction with confirmation by a “lab-on-a-chip” analysis — was developed for detection of three explosives (trinitro aromatics) by a team from the University of Technology Sydney (Sydney, Australia;, the University of Lausanne (Switzerland;, and Florida International University (Miami...
September 1, 2014
An ultra-sensitive, low-cost and portable system for detecting mercury in water has been developed by University of Adelaide (Australia; researchers, in collaboration with the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain; Project leader Abel Santos, of the Adelaide’s School of Chemical Engineering, says there are systems capable...
September 1, 2014
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. (JX_NOE; Tokyo, Japan; plans to construct the first commercial plant to utilize its high-severity fluid catalytic cracking (HS-FCC) technology, which has been demonstrated to generate higher ethylene and propylene yields compared to conventional FCC technology. The new plant, which could start operating as early as 2018 at the company’s Kashima...
September 1, 2014
Last June, Showa Denko K.K. (SDK; Tokyo, Japan; started commercial operation of its new 100,000-ton/yr ethyl acetate plant at Oita Complex. The new plant is the first commercial facility in Japan to use the company’s proprietary production-process technology. The process technology was first demonstrated...
September 1, 2014
A sludge-optimization technology for municipal water-treatment facilities is poised for rapid growth after the exclusive worldwide patent-licensing rights for the technology were acquired by CNP Technology Water and Biosolids Corp. (Kenosha, Wisc.; The technology, known as AirPrex, was initially developed at Berlin Water Works (Germany) in 2004, and was initially licensed to the German...
September 1, 2014
The first commercial contract delivery was recently made for an emissions control product that removes mercury from fluegas without the use of activated carbon. The product, known as AS-HgX, is made by Novinda Corp. (Denver, Colo.;, and will be used in the utility power-generation industry to help users meet limits on mercury emissions. The product is a departure from the use of activated...
September 1, 2014
The presence of scale depositions in pipelines can restrict flow, limit heat transfer and decrease efficiency. The ability to monitor pipelines for depositions helps avoid issues and optimize costs. The Deposition Watch system from Flowrox Inc. (Linthicum, Md; presents a realtime, online predictive-monitoring solution for detecting scale-related issues in process...
September 1, 2014
Water and wastewater treatment are extremely important at liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and other industries that are blossoming due to the shale-gas boom. Engineering concerns are similar to those of other industrial water-treatment and power-generation systems, but with the added issue of adequate treatment for entrained hydrocarbons. With proper system design and operation, plant personnel can...
August 1, 2014
The effective removal of Cs+ ions from contaminated groundwater, seawater, and radioactive nuclear waste is crucial for public health and for the operation of nuclear power plants. Although several methods for the removal of Cs+ ions have been developed, there is still a need for better methods. Now a team of Korean researchers led by professor Kyung Byung Yoon from the Dept. of Chemistry, Sogang...
August 1, 2014
Chemists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and technology (AIST; Tsukuba City, Japan; have developed a procedure for making the catalysts used in catalytic converters for treating the exhaust from diesel engines. The process, developed with support from a New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) project...
August 1, 2014
What is said to be the world’s first fermentation pathway from methane to lactic acid has been demonstrated by Calysta, Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.; The fermentation process begins with an organism that feeds off of methane rather than typical sugar-based feedstocks and, through synthetic biology, has been altered to convert that methane to high levels of lactic acid. This lactic acid...
August 1, 2014
The research group of Shigeki Matsunaga, associate professor at the University of Tokyo (Japan;, in collaboration with Ken Sakata at Hoshi University, has developed a new Co-based catalyst system that outperforms the existing rhodium-based catalyst system for the production of N-fused indol, an important precursor for pharmaceuticals. The catalyst...
August 1, 2014
Outotec Oyj (Espoo, Finland; has developed a new chloride-based leaching process for recovering nickel from nickel matte — a commercial intermediate product of nickel smelting that contains about 65% of nickel. Developed since the 1980s, originally for Cu recovery and since extended to Ni, Zn and Au, the Outotec Nickel Matte Chloride Leaching process is a more resource-efficient and...
August 1, 2014
A new remediation approach for industrial heavy-metal waste has been developed by Lewis Environmental Services, Inc. (LES; Pittsburgh, Pa.; The patented Enviro-Clean process adsorbs heavy metals from liquid waste streams onto a bed of specially treated granular activated carbon. Then, when the activated carbon is spent and loaded with heavy metals, the activated carbon is chemically...
August 1, 2014
  Advance in UF module The latest offering of ultrafiltration systems from Evoqua Water Technologies (Alpharetta, Ga.; incorporates an advanced polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane into a hydraulically balanced, modular filtration system. Known as Memcor CPII, the product employs a PVDF membrane with a uniform, but asymmetric morphology that forms a dense, permeable...
August 1, 2014
A Korean team has developed a carbon material that is as effective as graphene in applications, such as solar cells and semiconductor chips, using a process that requires only two steps instead of the usual eight. High-quality graphene is usually manufactured using chemical vapor deposition (CVD). In this method the graphene is manufactured on the board of a metal film that serves as a catalyst. The...
August 1, 2014
Scientists at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL; Morgantown, W. Va.; have demonstrated a process for enhancing the efficiency of the water-gas shift (WGS) reaction. The process revolves around a magnesium hydroxide sorbent material that can remove CO2 from coal gasification products at elevated temperatures. The industrially significant WGS reaction, often used to increase...
July 1, 2014
The potential usefulness of 1,1-di-substituted alkenes for making performance polymers has been recognized for some time, but commercialization has been elusive because of the reactive nature of the monomers. Startup company Sirrus Inc. (Loveland, Ohio; has developed technology to stabilize monomers in this chemical class, as well as the intermediates that precede them, enabling...
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