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October 1, 2013
A continuous fermentation process for making biologically derived butanol from a variety of sugar feedstocks is operating at what developers call “lab-pilot” scale, producing 2.5 liters per day. Engineering studies conducted by the research team forecast that it could be produced for the same cost as existing sugar-based bioethanol processes. The technology developer, Optinol Inc. (San...
September 1, 2013
Researchers from the U.S. Dept. of Energys Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI; Emeryville, Calif.; have reported the first demonstration of a one-pot, wash-free process for the ionic-liquid pretreatment and saccharification of switchgrass — a leading potential biofuel feedstock. By combining ionic liquid pretreatment and saccharification into a single...
September 1, 2013
AMT International Inc. (Plano, Texas; and LG Chem, Ltd. (Seoul, Korea; have successfully converted an existing sulfolane liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) unit at LG Chem’s Yeosu plant using a new extractive-distillation (ED) process for aromatics recovery. This technology was jointly developed by AMT International Inc. and CPC Corp. (Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C....
September 1, 2013
Cement manufacturing is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions due to two factors: carbon dioxide is released when calcium carbonate calcines to lime (CaO) in the cement manufacturing process; and cement kilns are operated at temperatures of 1,500°C, which requires significant fuel consumption. Cement is the agent that binds sand and crushed rock together to form concrete. Solidia Technologies...
September 1, 2013
The selective, one-step biocatalytic hydroxylation of benzene to phenol — at ambient pressure and temperature — has been demonstrated by professors Yoshihito Watanabe and Osamu Shoji at Nagoya University (Nagoya, Japan; The achievement was made using a wild-type of Cytochrome P450BM3 with the simple addition of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) as decoy molecules...
September 1, 2013
Solar steam The Middle East’s first solar enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) project was recently commissioned by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO; Muscat, Oman; The project uses Enclosed Trough technology from GlassPoint (Fremont, Calif.; to produce an average of 50 ton/d of steam that feeds directly into existing thermal EOR operations at PDO’s Amal West field in...
September 1, 2013
Although the inactivation of bacteria by high-power ultrasound has been extensively studied, the relationship between the effectiveness of ultrasound to inactivate bacteria and their physico-chemical properties is not yet well understood, says Muthupandian Ashokkumar, professor at the University of Melbourne (Australia; Hence, a team from the University of Auckland (New Zealand...
September 1, 2013
Launched this month at drinktec (Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry; September 16–20; Munich, Germany), Eco-IcePush is a new technology for recovering products during equipment purging, and is being offered by GEA Process Engineering A/S (Søborg, Denmark), a business segment of GEA Group AG (Düsseldorf, Germany; The Eco-IcePush service requires no capital...
September 1, 2013
Many investigations are ongoing to achieve ammonia synthesis at energy-saving mild conditions instead of the high temperatures and pressures (500°C, 300 atm) required by the commonly used Haber-Bosch process, which consumes more than 1% of the world’s power production. Now, Zhamin Hou, Takanori Shima and...
September 1, 2013
High fluxes and micro-contaminant reduction have been achieved in a 2.5-m3/h pilot plant to test the performance of ceramic membranes and ozonation in treating wastewater at Melbourne Water’s ( Eastern Treatment Plant. The project, to be completed in a few months, is testing CeraMac technology from PWN Technologies (Velserbroek, the Netherlands;
September 1, 2013
Researchers from EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (St. Gallen, Switzerland; have developed organic phosphorous-containing...
September 1, 2013
The petroleum refining sector in India plays a vital role in the country’s industrial development and provides a major source to meet India’s energy requirements. Today, the refining sector satisfies about 30% of the total energy demand of India [ 1]. As of April 1, 2013, the total installed capacity of Indian refineries was 215 million metric tons per year (million m.t./yr), of which 80...
August 1, 2013
Technology originally developed for harvesting oil from algae has now been applied to sanitize water and remove ammonia from commercial aquaculture ponds. Electro Water Separation (EWS) technology, developed by OriginOil Technologies (Los Angeles, Calif.;, applies pulses of tuned electromagnetic waves in specific patterns to a series of long tubes containing the fluid needing separation...
August 1, 2013
Sapphire Energy, Inc. (San Diego, Calif.; and The Linde Group (Munich; have signed an agreement, with a minimum span of five years, to commercialize Sapphire’s process for producing crude oil from algae. The agreement expands an existing partnership in which the two companies have developed a low-cost method for delivering CO2 to algae ponds. Linde will now help...
August 1, 2013
CSIRO Minerals Down Under Flagship (Perth, Western Australia; has developed a method that uses hydrotalcite formation to simultaneously remove contaminants from mining and industrial wastewaters in a single step. Current wastewater-treatment processes typically produce lime-based slurries, often with large amounts of water, which requires additional treatment. In contrast, hydrotalcites...
August 1, 2013
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin ( and the University of Marburg (Germany; are developing a process, called electrochemically mediated seawater desalination, that promises to be an inexpensive way to...
August 1, 2013
A process that is expected to produce high-octane gasoline from non-food biomass for an average cost of $1.50/gal, depending on feed costs, will be commercialized by Cool Planet Energy Systems (Denver, Colo.; The company has tested the process in a 200,000-gal/yr pilot plant in Camarillo, Calif., and now plans to install 400 10-million-gal/yr microrefineries across the U.S. by 2020...
August 1, 2013
Last month, Southwest Research Institute (SWRI; San Antonio, Tex.; was awarded $1.5 million by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA; Arlington, Va.; for a three-year project to develop alternative technologies for depositing thin films. The project is part of...
August 1, 2013
A typical fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCC) generates about 200 tons/d of dry gas — a mixture of off-gases that is burned as refinery fuel. However, about 40 tons of that gas is ethylene, which would have much greater value as gasoline or diesel fuel. A process that converts better than 40% of the ethylene to motor fuels in a single pass is being developed by UOP LLC, a Honeywell...
August 1, 2013
  Anti-hydrolysis agent Teijin Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; has developed a new carbodiimide anti-hydrolysis agent that is said to exhibit “superior” anti-hydrolysis properties to improve the durability of plastics. The agent has the additional advantage of not emitting isocyanate gas, which is usually generated during the use of carbodiimide agents. Thus, the new agent is...
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