Archives :: Chementator

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February 1, 2011
A pilot plant for a process that uses a fluidized bed of sand to gasify coal and other carbonaceous materials will be started up this summer in Kanab, Utah by Viresco Energy LLC (Riverside, Calif.; Initially, the plant will convert 5 ton/d of low-rank coal into synthesis gas (syngas), says Jim Guthrie, Viresco president. Later, the company plans to add biomass and biosolids from...
February 1, 2011
A manufacturing facility for bio-based intermediate and specialty chemicals under construction by Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc. (Bolingbrook, Ill.; is on track to begin generating products late this year, according to the company. Located in Indonesia, the facility is currently undergoing site preparation work, says Elevance executive vice president of sales and market development Andy...
February 1, 2011
A pulsed-electric-field (PEF) pre-treatment technology to facilitate extraction of oils from algae cells was introduced recently by Diversified Technologies Inc. (Bedford, Mass.; Algae have drawn considerable interest as a renewable source of biofuels, but the costs of algae-derived fuels remain much higher than petroleum-derived fuels. The scalable PEF method could significantly lower...
February 1, 2011
Nippon Ketjen Co. (Tokyo; has developed two new catalysts with enhanced properties for petroleum residue hydrotreating. KFR 15 removes metallic impurities, and KFR 93 removes sulfur from residues and contributes to the efficiency of residue hydrotreating units. For the metal-removal catalyst, Nippon Ketjen adopted new support technology, enhanced pore volumes and optimized pore...
February 1, 2011
Kyoto University (Kyoto, professor Hiroshi Kitagawa has developed technology for synthesizing nanoscale particles of alloyed metals that could lead to alternatives to industrially important, but expensive, metals such as Pd and rare earth metals. Kitagawa’s group has used the technology in the first synthesis of atomic-level rhodium/silver-alloy nanoparticles using a...
February 1, 2011
A silica-based amorphous material in which silicon atoms are linked to organic groups, as well as to oxygen, creates a pore network that tolerates aggressive chemical environments more effectively than conventional polymeric or ceramic membranes. Licensed by membrane manufacturer Pervatech BV (Enter, the Netherlands; from the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN; Petten, the...
February 1, 2011
Up to now, used energy-saving light bulbs have been processed by recycling firms that recover the various components, such as glass, metal, plastics and mercury. However, the remaining luminescent powders, which contain high concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs), are currently disposed of in landfills. This situation is about to change thanks to a new, selective process...
February 1, 2011
Mesa Minerals Ltd. (Perth, Australia; has developed an alternative hydrometallurgical method for converting low-grade manganese oxide ores to electrolytic manganese dioxide of high purity for use in alkaline and lithium-ion battery production. The company claims its process consumes about half the energy required by a similarly sized plant using the conventional process. The Mesa...
February 1, 2011
A process to spray-dry Aloe vera for use in the food and cosmetics industry has been developed by GEA Niro (Søborg, Denmark; The process is expected to offer an efficient and economical alternative to freeze drying, as well as a method of producing a high-quality...
February 1, 2011
    DuPont acquisition Last month, DuPont (Wilmington, Del.; announced its plans to acquire Danisco, a global enzyme and specialty food ingredients company, for $5.8 billion in cash and assumption of $500 million of Danisco’s net debt. Danisco is a technology-driven organization, with strong research and application development capabilities. The company’s specialty...
January 1, 2011
A post-combustion process capable of separating CO2 from fluegas at one-third the cost of alternative separation processes has been developed by Inventys Thermal Technologies, Inc. (Burnaby, B.C., Canada; Tradenamed VeloxoTherm (VX), the patented process is now being tested together with a consortium of industrial partners — Mast Carbon International, BP, Suncor Energy Services...
January 1, 2011
A biological process for the destruction of sodium oxalate at Alcoa’s Kwinana alumina refinery in Western Australia has proven to be an extremely robust technology. Alcoa’s residue technical manager, David Cooling, says the plant has achieved an oxalate destruction rate of 40 metric tons per day (m.t./d), and the company plans to increase the destruction rate to 60 m.t./d. The technology has...
January 1, 2011
Phosphorous impurities in steel can lead to detrimental properties, such as reduced hardness and resistance to corrosion. Sumitomo Metal Industries, Ltd. (SMI; Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; has enhanced its SRP (simple refining process) for removing phosphorous from pig iron — a step necessary for making high-grade steels. The so-called SRP-Z process (diagram) involves blowing a...
January 1, 2011
Researchers at the University of Tokyo (Japan; have developed a new catalyst that enables the direct synthesis of ammonia at ambient conditions. The breakthrough is a step toward an alternative to the energy-intensive, century-old Habar-Bosch process, which requires high temperatures (200–600°C) and high-pressure (200–400 atm)...
January 1, 2011
Two waste products — carbon dioxide and industrial wastes — are combined to obtain marketable mineral products in a process being developed by startup company CarbonX Inc. (Santa Barbara, Calif.; The process produces precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) and silica from such wastes as steel industry slag and flyash from lignite-fired power plants, cement kilns and municipal...
January 1, 2011
A new system for detecting chemical or biological contaminants in water is made possible by analyzing the swimming pathways of one-celled protozoa that are introduced into the water sample. Alterations of the protozoa’s swimming mechanics, relative to a clean water control, indicate the presence of toxins. The Swimming...
January 1, 2011
  Last month, Outotec Oyj (Espoo, Finland; commissioned a new CO2-removal pilot plant at its R&D center in Frankfurt, Germany. The unit compliments the companys circulating...
January 1, 2011
  Betaine production A new process that produces natural betaine is being scaled up by Novasep Process (Pompey, France; and Danisco (Copenhagen, Denmark; The plant will be the first to exploit a new extraction process that uses vinasse — a byproduct of sugar-beet-derived bioethanol. The process incorporates Daniscos proprietary NS2P chromatography technology...
December 2, 2010
Catalyst recycling A new process for selectively dissolving either palladium or gold from mixed-metal catalyst systems could offer a way to improve recycling of those materials. In traditional noble-metal recycling with aqua regia (mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids), metals are often dissolved together, which introduces impurities into the recycled metals. Now scientists at the Georgia Institute of...
December 1, 2010
Next spring, Exelus, Inc. (Livingston, N.J.; plans to pilot a new process that converts crude bioethanol (beer) into Bio-Alkylate — a fuel that is chemically identical to gasoline. New Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA; Washington, D.C.) call for increasing the amount of ethanol that can be added to gasoline to 15 vol.% (so-called E15...
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