Archives :: Chementator

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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...
May 1, 2014
Process monitoring in biotechnology processes is critical to maximizing product yield and optimizing nutrient consumption. Startup company Stratophase Ltd. (Romsey, U.K.; is now offering the first realtime, in-situ micro-optical sensor for monitoring and control of bioprocesses involving both microbes and mammalian cells. Using specially configured optical structures that incorporate...
May 1, 2014
A new plastic made from CO2 and butadiene has been synthesized by Kyoko Nozaki and her research group at the University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan; Although butadiene is already produced on a large scale for making synthetic rubber, it has previously been impossible to copolymerize CO2 and butadiene in a single-step reaction, because the...
May 1, 2014
A biomass torrefaction plant run by New Biomass Energy LLC (NBE; Quitman, Miss.; is currently undergoing an expansion that will increase its annual production capacity to 250,000 tons of torrefied wood product. The company expects the expansion to be completed by the end of 2014, says Alison Hunt, NBE’s VP of development. Torrefaction is the process of roasting wood or other...
May 1, 2014
Scientists from the A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) Institute for Chemical and Engineering Sciences (Singapore; have shown that a copper catalyst can incorporate CO2 into organic molecules under mild conditions, opening the way to an inexpensive, nontoxic source of carbon for the synthesis of products such as plastics and pharmaceuticals. Normally, a lot of energy is...
May 1, 2014
A nonionic surfactant that is derived from renewable chemicals can outperform common solvents in a range of applications, including industrial cleaning, adhesive removal, degreasing, paint and coating removal, and others. The molecule (N,N-dimethyl-9-decenamide), marketed as Steposol MET-10U, is the first result of a joint development agreement between Stepan Co. (Northfield, Ill.; and Elevance...
May 1, 2014
The first phase of a study on the feasibility of producing methane from CO2 has been completed by Hitachi Zosen Corp. (Tokyo; and Daiki Ataka Engineering Co. (Daiki Ataka) a subsidy of Hitachi Zosen, in collaboration with PTT Exploring and Production Public Co. (Thailand). The companies have been collaborating since 2012 to develop a methanation process to convert CO2, which is generated...
May 1, 2014
Last month, a new bioethanol-dehydration process was introduced by its developers Axens (, IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN; both Rueil-Malmaison, France; and Total Refining & Chemicals (Brussels, Belgium; Tradenamed Atol, the process is said to be the most profitable route for making polymer-grade bioethylene by dehydration of first- and...
May 1, 2014
The world’s first installation of the so-called Cohral technology — deploying a covered lagoon for anaerobic wastewater treatment — was completed last March at Oakey Abattoir Pty Ltd. in the farming region of Darling Downs, in southern Queensland, Australia. The Cohral technology originates with Global Water Engineering Ltd. (Brugge, Belgium;, now operating from its...
May 1, 2014
  Carbon nanofibers Researchers at North Carolina State University (Raleigh, N.C.;, in conjunction with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, Tenn.; have produced, via a plasma-enhanced vapor deposition process, vertically aligned carbon nanofibers using an acetone and ambient-air mixture. In conventional plasma-enhanced nanofabrication processes, H2 or NH3 is used...
May 1, 2014
A research group at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.; has developed a new mass spectroscopy technique, called helium-plasma-ionization mass spectrometry (HePI-MS), that enables direct sampling of materials without the need for rigorous sample preparation, as is required for conventional mass-spectroscopy approaches. “We can put any object...
May 1, 2014
North American production of crude oil, driven by a rapid increase in output of “tight oil” from U.S. shale deposits like Bakken and Eagle Ford, is surging. In many, but not all areas, petroleum refiners are incorporating an increasing amount of this cost-advantaged feedstock into their crude-oil-processing slates to capitalize on its discounted price, which is partly a result of a lack of...
April 1, 2014
A newly developed proprietary terpolymer from GE Water and Process Technologies (Trevose, Pa.; has been shown to provide improved scale control on heat-transfer surfaces in low- to intermediate- (up to 900 psig) pressure-steam boilers. Deposit formation on heat-transfer and steam-generating surfaces can result in reduced boiler efficiency and tube failures. Known as Solus AP, the GE...
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