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December 1, 2012
Lately there has been much renewed interest in fermentative production of n-butanol from renewable biomass as an industrial solvent and liquid fuel superior to ethanol that could be used as a substitute for gasoline. An improved butanol production through the reinforcement of the direct butanol-forming route in Clostridium acetobutylicum has been reported by a Korean team, which includes scientists from...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-boost-for-bio-butanol-production_9971.html
December 1, 2012
A demonstration plant for the production of acetic acid from the carbon dioxide in industrial offgases will be built at an operating plant of Petronas (Kuala Lumpur; www.petronas.com.my), Malaysia’s national oil company, under an agreement with LanzaTech (Roselle, Ill.; www.lanzatech.com), developer of the process. Scheduled for startup in late 2013, the plant will be similar in size to a...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Scaleup-for-a-microbial-process-that-produces-acetic-acid-from-offgases_9973.html
December 1, 2012
The volume of heavy, sour crude oil processed by North American refineries is steadily increasing, and along with it a commensurate demand for hydrogen to upgrade that oil. A steam-reforming process that would allow refiners to produce their own H2 from heavy oil and residuum is being developed by TDA Research, Inc. (Wheat Ridge, Colo.; www.tda.com). Currently, refiners make a lot of their own hydrogen by...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-new-way-to-obtain-hydrogen-from-heavy-oil_9974.html
December 1, 2012
Newlight Technologies (Irvine, Calif.; www.newlight.com) has launched commercial production of a polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) thermoplastic made from air and greenhouse gases, such as methane, that can be manufactured less expensively than conventional petroleum-derived alternatives, using a novel high-efficiency biocatalyst and bioreactor system. While considerable effort has previously been directed toward...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Low-cost-production-of-PHA-from-air-and-greenhouse-gases_9975.html
December 1, 2012
The research groups of Hideo Hosono and Michikazu Hara at the Materials and Structures Laboratory, Tokyo Institute of Technology (TiTech; Yokohama, Japan; www.msl.titech.ac.jp) have developed a high-performance catalyst for the synthesis of ammonia. In the laboratory, the catalyst is found to be an order of magnitude more efficient than commercial ruthenium-based catalysts because it cuts the energy...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-highly-active-catalyst-for-making-NH3_9976.html
December 1, 2012
Meanwhile, professor Kazuhito Hashimoto at the University of Tokyo (Japan; www.light.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp) has developed new photocatalyst materials based on copper-titanium oxide, which exhibits superior antiviral effectiveness and enhanced antibacterial properties compared to existing systems. Developed with support from NEDO...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-photocatalyst-for-destroying-viruses_9978.html
December 1, 2012
Lithium producer Galaxy Resources Ltd. (Perth, Western Australia; www.galaxylithium.com) says that lithium carbonate product from its wholly owned Jiangsu Lithium Carbonate Plant has achieved battery grade quality using the company’s patented process (flowsheet). The Jiangsu plant is located in the Yangtze River International Chemical Industrial Park of the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone in...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-patented-process-produces-battery-grade-lithium_9979.html
November 1, 2012
In the production of deionized (DI) water from river water, sand filters are commonly used to remove solid particles prior to the ion-exchange units. However, sand beds occupy a large space — as large as 3-m wide and over 5-m high — and need to operate with very low filtration speeds to ensure the output has a solids content of less than 1 mg/L (1 ppm) to prevent fouling of the ion-exchange...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/This-filtration-system-saves-space-time-and-money_9889.html
November 1, 2012
A partnership between New Sky Energy (Boulder, Colo.; www.newskyenergy.com) and 212 Resources (Houston, Tex.; www.212resources.com) combines the two companies’ technologies to generate freshwater and usable inorganic chemicals from produced water in petroleum and natural-gas drilling operations.     212 Resources has developed a vapor compression distillation process that concentrates brine...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Two-technologies-combined-to-treat-oil-and-gas-wastewater_9890.html
November 1, 2012
Among the many different ways being investigated for making hydrogen “from water” is the so-called sulfur-iodine (S-I) cycle, which involves three chemical reactions whose net products are H2 and O2: the decomposition of sulfuric acid into SO2, H2O and O2; the decomposition of hydrogen iodide into H2 and I2; and the regeneration of H2SO4 and HI by the Bunsen reaction (I2 + SO2 + 2H2O → 2HI...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-new-catalyst-enables-lower-temperature-H2-production-using-the-sulfur-iodine-cycle_9891.html
November 1, 2012
Conventional lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are unsuitable for high power applications as in electric vehicles, because they take a long time to charge, according to a team from the Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy, of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (Ulsan, South Korea; www.unist.ac.kr). Now the team, led by professor Jae-phil Cho, found...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Quick-charging-lithium-ion-batteries-on-the-horizon_9892.html
November 1, 2012
A team headed by professor Zhiguo Yuan, from the Advanced Water Management Center, University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia; www.awmc.uq.edu.au) claims to have developed a new method for corrosion and odor control in sewers that is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than other chemicals commonly used by the water industry. Corrosion and odor problems are caused by hydrogen sulfide (H2S)...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Odor-control-in-small-doses_9893.html
November 1, 2012
Japan Blue Energy Co. (JBEC; Tokyo, Japan; www.jpo-net.co.jp), Daiwa Lease Co., Toyota Tsusho Corp., and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. have established the Business Research Group of Hydrogen Innovation Town (BRG-HIT) to start verification tests for a new technology for making hydrogen from biomass and sewage sludge. Construction on the world’s first biomass-to-H2 plant began October 2011 at Idex Eco Energy...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Demonstration-for-a-process-that-makes-H2-from-sewage-sludge_9894.html
November 1, 2012
Water treatment The recently introduced FoodPro ST line of water-treatment chemicals from GE Power & Water (Trevose, Pa.; www.ge.com) prevents corrosion and scale in stainless-steel sterilizers and pasteurizers in the food and beverage industry, and they are less expensive than alternatives because they contain no molybdate. When calculated on the costs to treat 1 m3 of water, FoodPro ST chemicals are...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Chementator-briefs_9895.html
November 1, 2012
Extraction of metals, such as lithium, from laterite ores is usually carried out through solubilization of metals by acids, such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acids. However, substantial metal recoveries from laterites have been achieved only through thermal pre-treatment of laterites, using high concentrations of acids at high temperatures.  Microbial processing of laterite ores at ambient conditions...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Microbial-processing-of-ore_9896.html
November 1, 2012
Aither Chemicals LLC (South Charleston, W.Va.; www.aitherchemicals.com) is planning to build a commercial-scale plant based on a catalytic ethane-cracking process that uses 80% less energy and generates 60% less carbon dioxide than conventional steam-cracking of ethane.  The company has refined a mixed metal-oxide catalyst that was originally developed by Union Carbide in the 1980s. The catalyst...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Catalytic-ethane-cracking-process-allows-lower-temperature-operation_9897.html
October 1, 2012
  Flexible aerogels Researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center (Cleveland, Ohio; www.nasa.gov) have developed new flexible aerogels that could eventually be used in highly insulating materials and linings. Aerogels, sometimes called “solid smoke,” are superlightweight structures of silica reinforced with polymer to add flexibility. Traditional silica aerogels were brittle, and crumbled...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/October-Chementator-Briefs_9760.html
October 1, 2012
A process developed by Lehigh Technologies (Lehigh; Tucker, Ga.; www.lehightechnologies.com) for embrittling and milling rubber from end-of-life vehicle-tire material is capable of generating micron-scale rubber particles that can be used in a host of rubber, foam and plastic products to lower costs while maintaining performance. The process (flowsheet) depends on a specially designed turbo mill that...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-cryogenic-turbo-mill-generates-rubber-powder-from-recycled-tires_9761.html
October 1, 2012
Air Fuel Synthesis Ltd. (AFS; Darlington, U.K.; www.airfuelsynthesis.com) has recently demonstrated a process for producing carbon-neutral liquid hydrocarbon (HC) fuel from air-captured carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The proof-of-concept demonstration facility, located at Teesside, England produces 5–10 L/d of liquid HCs. The next step of the company’s three-year (2012–2015)...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/A-concept-for-making-gasoline-from-air_9762.html
October 1, 2012
Last month marked the completion of the three-year, €3.6-million E.U.-funded research project, Self-assembled Polymer Membranes (SelfMem). Coordinated by the Institute of Polymer Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG; Germany; www.hzg.de), with twelve partners from industry and academia in Israel, Canada and Europe, the SelfMem network studied self-organizing isoporous block copolymer...
http://www.chemengonline.com/chementator/Progress-for-making-smart-membranes_9764.html
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