Archives :: Chementator

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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...
December 1, 2010
At last month’s Sulfur 2010 Conference (November 1–4; Prague, Czech Republic), Haldor Topsøe A/S (Lyngby, Denmark; introduced its latest sulfuric-acid catalyst, VK-701 Leap5, which promises to help operators of sulfuric acid plants meet more-stringent SO2-emission limits. When used in the final pass of single absorption H2SO4 plants, VK-701 Leap5 reduces SO2 emissions by...
December 1, 2010
A demonstration plant for a biological process that produces ethanol and 2,3 butanediol (2,3-BD) from the offgases of industrial plants will be started up in the third quarter of 2011 at a steel mill operated by Bao Steel (Shanghai). Developed by LanzaTech (Auckland, New Zealand;, the process will produce about 100,000 gal/yr of ethanol from a slipstream of stack gases, says Mike...
December 1, 2010
A nanotechnology-based, bottom-up approach to synthesizing catalysts for converting natural gas to ethylene could enable an alternative to the steam-cracking of crude oil, an energy-intensive process conventionally used to produce ethylene, the world’s most valuable commodity chemical. Scientists at the startup Siluria Technologies Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.; have developed a...
December 1, 2010
A green hydrometallurgical process for recovering gold from ore, developed by Haber, Inc. (Arlington, Mass.;, may make its commercial debut in Suriname. Albert Conti, Haber’s CEO, says the Republic of Suriname has made a commitment to develop a strategic partnership with the company for the use of the process. The elimination of mercury pollution is a goal of the government in...
December 1, 2010
Professor Shu Kobayashi, University of Tokyo (Tokyo, Japan;, has discovered that bimetallic nanoclusters can catalyze the oxidation of alcohols. Kobayashi’s group has demonstrated the ability to control the reaction pathways of alcohol oxidation to aldehydes, carboxylic acids or esters using nanoclusters composed of a few to...
December 1, 2010
A miniaturized electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometer developed by Active Spectrum Inc. (Foster City, Calif.; can facilitate studies of chemical species with unpaired electrons, such as organic free radicals and transition metal complexes. Available in both online and benchtop models, the Micro-ESR spectrometer greatly reduces the size, cost and complexity of ESR measurements...
December 1, 2010
A team of engineers from the Center for Energy Technology, University of Adelaide (South Australia;, the University of Nantes (France) and Mie University (Japan), have proposed a more efficient way to generate power from low to medium temperature (90–260°C) solar and geothermal resources. In the new system, called Renewable Assisted Power Generation (RAPG), the renewable...
December 1, 2010
Researchers from the Department of Environmental and Applied Chemical Engineering, Gangneung-Wonju National University (Gangneung, South Korea; are developing a two-step enzymatic route to biodiesel fuel that promises to reduce production costs. The process employs a lipase-producing bacterium and, sequentially, a commercial enzyme. The...
November 1, 2010
Aerzen Maschinenfabrik GmbH (Aerzen, Germany; has commercialized the first rotary lobe compressor, the Delta Hybrid, which combines the technologies of both a rotary lobe blower and a screw compressor. This union reduces the energy consumption by up to 15% compared to conventional compressors, says the company. Whereas the Roots principle of isochoric compression is most suitable for...
November 1, 2010
A microreactor system for producing hydrogen peroxide from H2 and O2 has been developed by Sohei Matsumoto and Tomoya Inoue at the Research Center for Ubiquitous MEMS and Micro Engineering, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST; Tsukuba, Japan;, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Inc. (MGC, Tokyo, (, with funding from...
November 1, 2010
In order to shift the country’s energy base from petroleum, the Indonesian government has implemented a policy aimed at shifting to coal. Because low-rank coal (LRC) accounts for about 80% of the nation’s coal resources, effective utilization of these reserves will be vital to its energy security. A step in this direction is being taken by JGC...
November 1, 2010
BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; has developed an industrially viable process for synthesizing metal organic frameworks (MOFs), and plans to scaleup the process within the next two years. MOFs are crystalline compounds consisting of metal ions or clusters coordinated to often rigid organic molecules to form one-, two-, or three-dimensional...
November 1, 2010
Construction has started in Qinzhou, China, on the first commercial plant to use a new process for producing fuels from oil shale, to be imported from Indonesia. The process was developed by China Chemical Economical Cooperation Center (CCECC) and AuraSource, Inc. (Chandler, Ariz.;, which is building the plant in a joint venture with two Hong Kong partners. When the plant starts up...
November 1, 2010
A combined coal-gasification and methane-reforming process using coal char as catalyst has been developed by a team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences [Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy & Bioprocess Technology (, and the Institute of Coal Chemistry (] and from the Center for Energy, University of Western Australia (UWA; Perth; Team leader...
November 1, 2010
A hydrometallurgical process for nickel laterite deposits — believed to be the only process capable of treating any laterite deposits, from limonitic to saprolitic ores, in a single flowsheet — has been developed by Direct Nickel Pty. Ltd. (DNi; Sydney, Australia; Researchers from CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under Flagship (, are supporting DNi’s...
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