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November 1, 2010
A new SM process Exelus Inc. (Livingston, N.J.; received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE; Washington, D.C.) to help pilot the company’s styrene monomer (SM) process ( CE, January 2007, p. 13). The funds are part of DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research XLerator program, designed to help develop scaled-up manufacturing processes. The ExSyM process...
October 1, 2010
North America ChemInnovations. Chemical Engingeering (New York) and Access Intelligence (Rockville, Md.). Phone: 713-343-1880; Web: Houston Oct. 19–21 Using WirelessHART Communication in the Process Industries. HART Communication Foundation (Austin, Tex.). Phone: 512-794-0369; Email: Houston Oct. 21 Huntington Beach, Calif. Oct. 26 Bakersfield, Calif. Oct. 28 Coating and...
October 1, 2010
Standardized steam-methane-reforming (SMR) reactor units recently commercialized by Air Liquide (Paris, France; allow direct hydrogen production at customer sites at costs much lower than those associated with alternative H2 supply modes, including electrolysis and transporting compressed or liquefied H2. Because of the technology’s specific applicability to facilities that...
October 1, 2010
A group of Singapore researchers have reported a new approach to induce the coiling of prefabricated gold nanowires (AuNWs) inside polymer shells, leading to structures resembling torsion springs. In contrast to gas-phase methods that require high temperatures and are limited to non-metallic nanomaterials, the transformation of straight wires into circular rings takes place in a colloidal solution by...
October 1, 2010
Photos: Teijin Group Toho Tenax Co. (Tokyo;, the main company of the Teijin Group’s carbon fibers business, has commercialized a gas-diffusion layer (GDL) made of carbon fiber fabric for use as an electrode component for fuel cells. GDLs are a key component of the electrode in fuel cells, supplying hydrogen and oxygen while collecting electrons generated and discharging...
October 1, 2010
A plasma-based process has achieved a 30% yield of methanol from methane in a microreactor system developed by a research team led by Tomohiro Nozaki, associate professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology (TiTech; Tokyo, The yield is nearly the same as that obtained in conventional methanol-synthesis reactors (in single pass), which catalytically convert...
October 1, 2010
Westec Environmental Solutions, LLC (WES; Chicago, Ill.; has developed a gas-liquid absorption technology that can dramatically enhance mass transfer in gas-liquid absorption, extraction and scrubbing systems. The patented WES Absorber operates co-currently and creates a micro-froth matrix that intensifies mass transfer. Co-current operation allows the column to operate at gas...
October 1, 2010
Crystallization is a key purification technique for various sectors of the chemical process industries (CPI). Several approaches for industrial crystallization have evolved over time and highly specialized crystallizer designs have been developed, especially in long-established industries. Solution crystallization is an important unit operation because the process can generate high-purity products from...
October 1, 2010
Every distillation engineer west of the River Neretva is familiar with the work of Professor Zarko Olujic. His distillation laboratory at the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands; is one of the largest and best facilities in the history of distillation. His work is typically funded by a consortium of companies that, most recently, included Bayer, BASF, Evonik, DSM, Montz...
October 1, 2010
As demand for rare-earth metals in a wide range of technology applications continues to increase, efforts to reestablish mining and production of rare-earth elements (REEs) is underway outside China, currently the dominant force in REE production. Future supplies of REEs and the myriad products in which they appear will depend less on absolute geological reserves and global trade politics and more on...
October 1, 2010
To achieve success in today’s marketplace of global competition, chemical processors need to improve productivity while minimizing the total cost of ownership, which requires new measures and concepts. Wireless solutions offer far more benefits than just the elimination of cables and installation costs. Users also profit from more efficient maintenance and greater flexibility and mobility. Wireless...
October 1, 2010
The inaugural ChemInnovations 2010 Conference and Expo ( will take place at the Reliant Center in Houston on October 19–21. The event is designed to provide engineers in the chemical process industries (CPI) with tools and knowledge for solving today’s complicated processing challenges. ChemInnovations is expected to attract over 150 exhibitors and more than 2,000 attendees. A...
October 1, 2010
Keiser Kulp Crofton Roberts Duncan Bill Keiser joins NewAge Industries (Southampton, Pa.), a maker of plastic tubing, as director of quality. Mark Kulp becomes sales manager of Hawk Measurement (Middleton, Mass.), a manufacturer of positioning and flow-measurement technology. Wayne Osborne joins the firm as technical support specialist. Huntsman (The Woodlands...
October 1, 2010
ESCO Technologies Boiler-tube expanders with precise torque control A full line of air-powered tube expanders and rolling motors for creating steel-to-steel mechanical seals in boilers, heat exchangers and condensers is available for sale or rent from this company. The Millhog tube expanders and rolling motors (photo) are air-powered and feature precise torque control from 25 to 325 ft-lb. Once the proper...
October 1, 2010
Improvements to the performance of basic, regulatory control systems have a great return on investment and are some of the least expensive control improvements to make [1]. Control valves have a major impact on control loop performance and, therefore, improvements in valve performance can have significant economic benefits. This article shows how poor control-valve performance can be identified and...
October 1, 2010
Because the global chemical process industries (CPI) encompass so many varied industry segments — including the conversion of raw materials and intermediates into chemicals and petrochemicals, fats and oils, paints and coatings, food and beverages, the refining of petroleum, the production of pharmaceuticals and others — there is considerable overlap in terms of the types of equipment...
October 1, 2010
Spheripol process technology is chosen for new PP plant in China September 15, 2010 — LyondellBasell’s (Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Spheripol process technology has been selected by Pucheng Clean Energy Chemical Co. for a new 400,000-ton/yr polypropylene (PP) plant to be built in Pucheng County in the Peoples Republic of China. Startup is planned for 2013. Veolia to...
October 1, 2010
This decanter uses less energy for sludge dewatering Pieralisi Launched at IFAT last month, this new series of decanters (photo) has been designed specifically for the dewatering of sludge from industrial wastewater. The designers of the new decanter series have given particular attention to energy savings: thanks to the innovative internal fluid dynamics, it is possible to reduce the energy absorber, thus...
October 1, 2010
At K 2010 — the 18th International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber (Düsseldorf, Germany; October 27–November 3) — some 3,100 exhibitors from 57 countries will present the latest developments from all sectors of the plastics and rubber industry. The exhibition occupies 17 halls and covers an exhibit area of about 1.7-million ft2. Manufacturers of machinery and equipment are...
October 1, 2010
These days, there seem to be more reasons than ever to change feedstocks throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). Whether environmental, or more directly based on financial and market drivers, big benefits usually require big changes. This is especially true in switching to many renewable feedstocks, which either add or compound challenges related to processing solids. When Columbia Forest...
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