Archives :: Chementator

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October 1, 2011
A 60% reduction in the sludge volume was achieved at the sewage treatment plant of Noboribetu City, Hokkaido, Japan, after installing a Bio-Diet SBD-1200 system from Nippon Steel Kankyo Engineering Co. (NSKE; Tokyo, The demonstration unit, developed at the Wakayama Cleanup Center of Noboribetu City, was tested during the...
October 1, 2011
A rapid pressure-swing-adsorption (rPSA) system to separate carbon dioxide from fluegas is being developed by W.R. Grace & Co. (Columbus, Md.; and three partners under a $3 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE; Washington, D.C.; The goal is to develop a process that costs half as much as current amine systems, whose cost is $50–70 per ton...
October 1, 2011
A huge market for lithium ion batteries is expected to develop as car makers move toward electric vehicles. However, improvements in the batteries’ energy and power density are needed. It is also desirable to replace the common, high-cost lithium cobalt oxide cathodes with those based on more abundant and more environmentally friendly materials. Now, a group from the Dept. of Energy Engineering...
October 1, 2011
  Renewable jet fuel Houston-based bioenergy company Terrabon Inc. ( has been awarded a $9.6-million, 18-month contract from Logos Technologies (Arlington, Va.; www.logos-technologies) to produce 6,000 L of renewable jet fuel for the Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA; Arlington, Va.; using its MixAlco biorefining process. The MixAlco process converts...
October 1, 2011
An underground coal-to-liquids (UCTL) technology is undergoing pilot testing at Oak Park, near Melbourne Australia, where a metric ton of brown coal is expected to yield about one barrel of oil suitable for use as refinery feedstock on an oil-parity price basis. UCTL takes place within the underground coal seam, whereby low rank coals are liquefied into crude oil substitute product at 300°C. Heat...
October 1, 2011
At the 2nd Annual ChemInnovations Conference and Expo (Houston; September 13–15), Hemi-O Technologies LLC (Corpus Christi, Tex.; introduced its patent-pending technology that enables external access to individual tubes in a heat exchanger while the exchanger is in service and operating at full capacity. The so-called Hemi-O (heat exchanger maintenance and inspection...
October 1, 2011
A technique that improves the efficiency of ethanol plants by lowering the cost of dewatering the byproduct stillage (a slurry of corn solids and water) from the fermentation process has been developed by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Eastern Regional Research Center (Wyndmoor, Pa.; The process has been demonstrated at full scale in a commercial plant...
October 1, 2011
Professor Yuki Taniguchi at the Chemicals Research Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan, has developed a new catalyst system that decomposes volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at lower temperatures than that required by conventional catalysts. The SILP (supported ionic liquid phase) catalyst is composed of silica gel impregnated with an ionic...
September 1, 2011
Cellulosic biomass pretreated with ammonia undergoes structural changes that make it more susceptible to enzymatic attack, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, N.M.; and collaborators at the...
September 1, 2011
Anew process to make BTX (benzene, toluene and xylenes) from light cycle oil (LCO), an oversupplied product of petroleum refineries that can supplement the dwindling supply of BTX precursors, is being developed by JX Nippon Oil & Energy (JX Energy; Tokyo, Japan; Whereas conventional technology requires...
September 1, 2011
A project aimed at using geothermal heat to power an electricity-producing turbine with supercritical carbon dioxide has received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE; Washington, D.C.; The project also incorporates an element of CO2 sequestration in sedimentary rock, whereby a portion of the CO2 injected into the hot sedimentary layer remains there, so that the process...
September 1, 2011
Phosgenation scaleup At the end of July, Bayer MaterialScience AG (BMS; Leverkusen, Germany; successfully tested its new gas-phase phosgenation technology at a new plant being commissioned for making toluene diisocyanate (TDI) — a raw material for making polyurethane — at its integrated production site at Caojing in Shanghai, China. The TDI facility is expected to come...
September 1, 2011
A process to greatly enhance the ability of sand to filter heavy metals from water has been developed by researchers from Monash University, of Melbourne, Australia (, Rice University (Houston; and Nanoholdings LLC (Marietta, Ga.; Historically, the researchers say, water purification has utilized high-surface-area carbon materials in the form of...
September 1, 2011
Metabolix Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.; has successfully demonstrated and completed research and development for scaleup on a fermentation process that produces gamma -butyrolactone (GBL) from genetically engineered bacteria. The process is built upon the company’s technology for engineering metabolic pathways into microbes that produce specific biopolymers. “We’ve been able...
September 1, 2011
Since the isolation of graphene by the “Scotch tape” method, many researchers have tried to synthesize solution-dispersible graphene. The challenge has been to develop a high-yield method that can exfoliate graphite efficiently into solution-dispersible graphene sheets without collateral damage to the graphene due to oxidation, or due to the use of a strong acid. A nonoxidative electrochemical...
September 1, 2011
Today only a few percent of Canada’s oil sands resource is accessible by traditional surface mining, so the rest has to be recovered in situ, mostly by steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). In this process, steam is injected into a horizontal well in the oil formation to mobilize the viscous bitumen, which is recovered by a producer well at a lower level. An in-situ process that promises to be more...
September 1, 2011
A new yeast strain that could one day substitute for petroleum as a source of surfactants for detergents, soaps and cosmetics has been identified by researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (Peoria, Ill.; The yeast, not yet named, is a member of the Candida genus of yeasts and produces sophorolipids (a sugar-based...
September 1, 2011
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo,, MCC) is developing bio-based technology for producing propylene, butadiene, 1,4-butanediol (BDO), terephthalic...
September 1, 2011
A joint venture (JV) between Vadxx Energy LLC (Akron, Ohio; and Greenstar Recycling (Houston; plans to start up a facility in mid-2012 to convert recovered plastics to synthetic crude oil. When complete, the facility will produce 80,000 bbl/yr of synthetic crude oil from 12,000 ton/yr of solid municipal plastics. Using a thermal depolymerization process, the JV...
August 1, 2011
An alternative desalination process that reduces energy consumption by over 50% compared to best available technology (BAT) has been successfully piloted by the Industry Sector of Siemens AG (Munich, Germany;, in collaboration with Singapores national water agency, PUB, and Singapores Environment and Water Industry Program (EWI). Results of the Siemens demonstration unit, which has been...
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