Archives :: Chementator

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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...
July 1, 2014
A less expensive process for producing biodegradeable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) plastics from renewable feedstocks is being scaled up by a factor of six, resulting in a 30,000–60,000-lb/mo pilot facility. The improved PHA process — developed by Meredian Inc. (Bainbridge, Ga.; — stems from a patent portfolio initially established by Proctor and Gamble. The microbial...
July 1, 2014
New bio-based polyimides (PIs) that withstand temperatures up to 390°C — the highest ever reported for a bioplastic — have been developed by Tatsuo Kaneko at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST, Nomi City;, in collaboration with Naoki Takaya at the...
July 1, 2014
A new thermoset polymer has been discovered by researchers at IBM Research Almaden (San Jose, Calif.; The new material, polyhexahydrotriazine (PHT), has a very high Young’s Modulus (up to 14 GPa, compared with a Young’s Modulus of 4 GPa for typical polyimide thermosets), along with many other characteristics that make it a suitable thermosetting material. However, unlike...
July 1, 2014
NEC Corp. (Tokyo, Japan; has developed a two-stage, heterogeneous synthesis for making a high-functionality bioplastic (70 wt.% plant content) from non-edible plant cellulose. The new bioplastic is said to have excellent thermo-plasticity (275 MFR), heat resistance (140°C glass transition...
July 1, 2014
While super glassy polymers are initially very porous and ultra-permeable — a property that makes them suitable as gas-separation membranes — they quickly pack into a denser phase becoming less porous and permeable. Now, new materials that prevent such aging of these plastics have been developed by researchers from CSIRO Division of Materials Science and Engineering (Melbourne;
July 1, 2014
  Oil-water separation A complex formed by combining maleic anhydride copolymers with a cationic fluorosurfactant can separate oil from water when coated on a wire mesh. Researchers at Durham University (U.K.; devised a method of preparing the complex in a single step. This may render it more readily produced at industrial scales compared to previous efforts, the researchers say. In...
July 1, 2014
Biosynthetic Technologies (Irvine, Calif.; has developed a continuous-flow process to convert any animal- or plant-based fatty acids with high oleic-acid content into synthetic esters that can be used in formulations for motor oils and industrial lubricants. These biosynthetic esters have extremely high oxidative stability, good hydrolytic stability and very low evaporative loss, the...
July 1, 2014
Last month, The Linde Group (Pullach, Germany; and BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; announced plans to cooperate in developing and licensing processes for the on-purpose production of linear butenes and butadiene. BASF has developed process technology and catalysts as well as the extraction technologies, while Linde is providing its expertise for the integration, optimization...
July 1, 2014
Water scarcity is one of the most serious global challenges of our time. Desalination and water reuse are effective and reliable means to provide new water resources. Among the many methods available to treat water, reverse osmosis (RO) has widely demonstrated superior reliability and cost-effectiveness at removing dissolved species, such as salts and trace contaminants. This article reviews the...
June 1, 2014
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO; Kawasaki, Japan; and Global Water Recycling and Reuse Solution Technology Research Assn. (GWSTA) have developed a new water-treatment system that integrates seawater desalination with recycle water from a sewage treatment plant. In a demonstration unit installed at the Water Plaza Kitakyushu (deveolved to Kitakyushu City...
June 1, 2014
An inexpensive and scalable composite catalyst that is said to outperform platinum for oxygen reduction in metal-air batteries and fuel cells has been developed by a research team led by professor Jaephil Cho from Ulsan National Institute for Science and Technology (Ulsan, South Korea; The team includes people from Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (Pohang, South Korea), Los Alamos National...
June 1, 2014
Electrochem Technologies & Materials Inc. (Montreal, Canada; has recently patented a process for recovering rare-earth elements (REEs) from mercury phosphor powders — a byproduct from recyclers of fluorescent lamps and light bulbs. This technology offers a sound and profitable alternative for the production of REEs compared to the mining of low-grade ores, which...
June 1, 2014
With a separate algae-based technology, Algal Scientific has invented a sterile fermentation process for making beta-1,3-glucan from algae that has lower costs than those associated with fermenting the molecule with yeast. Beta-1,3-glucan is a polysaccharide that boosts immune-system function in humans and livestock animals. As a feed supplement, beta-glucan can eliminate the use of antibiotics as growth...
June 1, 2014
Technology developed by Algal Scientific Corp. (Northville, Mich.; uses algae to remove soluble organics, nitrogen and phosphorous from medium- to high-strength wastewaters in a single step. The technology is an alternative to multistep treatment processes involving the use of bacteria and chemical treatment. The...
June 1, 2014
Conventional hydrogen-based systems designed to store electrical energy (from solar arrays, for example) typically feed electricity to a proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) electrolyzer to generate H2 from water. This H2 is then compressed and stored in a cylinder, or as a metal hydride in a canister containing a powdered metallic alloy. When electricity is required, H2 is supplied from the storage cylinder to...
June 1, 2014
In April, a demonstration plant started up that makes bioethanol from cassava residue — a byproduct of tapioca production. The demonstration plant, located at the cassava starch plant of EBP Ethanol Co. in Sa Kaeo Province, Thailand, is part of a four-year, $7-million project of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Thailands National Innovation Agency. The project...
June 1, 2014
  Pilot bioreactor A next-generation photobioreactor is scheduled to be installed in June at the Orlando, Fla. pilot facility of biofeedstock company Proterro (Ewing, N.J.; Proterro is working with advanced fabrics and engineering firm ILC Dover (Dover, Del.; on developing the updated photobioreactor, which is a key element of Proterros process for converting CO2...
June 1, 2014
Last April, Siemens Energy (Erlangen, Germany; introduced the Siemens organic Rankine cycle (ORC) modules, which enable operators of industrial plants to generate power from low-temperature (around 300°C) waste heat. Unlike a conventional Rankine cycle, which converts water to steam, the ORC vaporizes an organic fluid with a high molecular weight. The organic fluid has a boiling...
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