Archives :: Processing & Handling :: Reaction Engineering

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June 15, 2008
Petroleum refiners can have the option to produce more diesel fuel or propylene from their fluid catalytic crackers, depending on the demand, through a new process offered by Shell Global Solutions ( The process enables a typical FCC (processing a large percentage of residual feed) to produce up to 19.3 wt.% light cycle oil (LCO, for diesel fuel) with 10 wt.% propylene, or about...
June 15, 2008
Nissan Chemical Industries Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; is commercializing "ultrahighly active" catalysts, based on the catalyst technology developed by professor Yoshiharu Iwabuchi of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tohoku University (Sendai, Japan), which catalyzes the oxidation of alcohols into carbonyl compounds. Conventional catalysts, such as...
June 15, 2008
Researchers from the Organic Chemistry Dept. at Newcastle University (U.K.; have developed aluminium (salen) complexes that exhibit "exceptional" activity for catalyzing the synthesis of cyclic...
June 15, 2008
TubeMaster, Inc. (Louisville, Ky.; has filed U.S. and foreign patents for Dog-leg — claimed to be the world’s first articulating catalyst-loading...
June 15, 2008
Scientists from CSIRO (Melbourne, Australia; have succeeded in engineering the model plant Arabidopsis to produce 30 wt.% of vernolic acid, an unusual fatty acid (UFA), in its seed oil. The project’s leader, Allan Green — who presented the findings at the Fifth Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioprocessing (Chicago, April 27 – 30) —...
June 15, 2008
Soy-oil-based hydrogels developed by the U.S. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) show promise as biodegradable encapsulants for drug delivery. Scientists at ARS’ National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (Peoria, Ill.; have collaborated with researchers at the University of Toronto to encapsulate the breast-cancer drug doxorubicin in hydrogel nanoparticles. In...
May 15, 2008
Normally, only the ultraviolet (higher energy) component of the solar spectrum is usable for the photo-catalytic electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen, which takes place in photochemical cells with an anode made of single-crystalline, rutile-type titanium oxide and a platinum electrode. Now, water can be photolyzed into H2 and O2...
May 15, 2008
Researchers at Oxford Catalysts Ltd. (Oxford, U.K.; have shown that the method of preparation — rather than the identity or combination of metals used — has the greatest influence on the performance of hydrodesulfurization (HDS) catalysts. The results of laboratory trials, presented at the annual ACS meeting last month (New Orleans, La.; April...
May 15, 2008
CLC bio (Aarhus, Denmark; and partners from Danish research institutions and crop-enhancing firms have started a project to develop potatoes into a...
May 15, 2008
Small-scale chemical producers that use chlorine often rely on larger producers, which sell them the excess Cl2 produced by dedicated chlor-alkali plants. However, such Cl2 supplies are being threatened on a number of fronts, at least in Europe, where new legislation forbidding the import or export of mercury (after 2010) could force older Hg-based chlor-alkali plants to convert to membrane technology or...
April 24, 2008
Uhdenora S.p.A. (Milan, Italy; received a contract from AO KAUSTIK for  the new membrane chlor-alkali plant to be erected in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan. The new plant will have a capacity of 91 m.t./d of sodium hydroxide, and is scheduled to come on stream  in...
April 15, 2008
  While it may be one of the oldest chemical processes known to mankind, fermentation is getting a high-tech face lift as industrial biotech firms put a fresh spin on the age-old technology in an effort to develop advanced products in a more environmentally friendly and less costly way. "The technology is generally the same — using microbial systems and metabolic fermentation — but by...
April 15, 2008
Although theoretically promising 80% more energy than is required to grow and convert to cellulosic ethanol, switchgrass has proven to be a difficult fuel source to break down cost effectively. With $1 million from the U.S. Depts. of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE), a team led by Professor Alan Weimer of the...
April 15, 2008
In cooperation with several universities, Clariant International Ltd. (Muttenz, Switzerland; has developed a process to manufacture high-quality nano-sized zeolite L (Linde Type L) in technical quantities. This new range of nano-scale aluminosilicates, tradenamed Lucidot, open up a new range of possibilities in biochemical processes, including molecular sieves, ion...
April 15, 2008
Nippon Steel Materials Co., Ltd. (NSM; Tokyo, Japan; has developed a new catalyst for combustion engines that contains 70% less precious metals than conventional catalytic converters. The catalyst is expected to not only lead to lower costs, but also outperform conventional catalysts...
April 15, 2008
A new nanomaterial which doubles as a filter and a reactor capable of destroying unwanted substances, has been developed by a team from Nanyang Technological University (NTU; Singapore;, and the Singapore Public Utilities Board. The material consists of nanosized crystals of titanium dioxide, which can capture unwanted matter in water and can act as a catalyst under the application of...
April 15, 2008
Unidym, Inc., (Menlo Park, Calif.; has entered into a joint development agreement with Nippon Kayaku (Tokyo, Japan;, to...
March 31, 2008
Genencor International, Inc., a part of Danisco US Inc., has completed a commercial license agreement for the use of the Red/ET recombination technology from Gene Bridges GmbH (Heidelberg, Germany; Under the terms of the agreement, Gene Bridges has licensed...
March 15, 2008
The batch reactor is the workhorse of the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Within it, many different unit operations are performed such as chemical reactions, bioreactions, crystallization, distillation and dissolution. Despite their significance to the industry, batch reactors have been controlled by the same underlying method for the past 50 years. This article discusses a relatively...
March 15, 2008
Next month, Taiyo Kagaku Co. (Yokkaichi, Japan; will start up a 20-m.t./yr plant — said to be the world’s first — for the production of mesoporous silica. Taiyo Kagaku developed the new production process based on technology first introduced by Toyota Central R&D Laboratories, Inc. (Aichi, Japan; CE, April 2004, p. 17). The commercial grade mesoporous silica...
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