Archives :: Processing & Handling :: Thermal & Energy Management :: Fuels

Displaying 1 - 20 of 143 stories.
April 1, 2012
The closure of several U.S. petroleum refineries over the past few months carries a simple message: petroleum refining is a tough business to be in these days. Paradoxical as it may seem to consumers, the recent rapid increase in fuel prices does not represent higher profits for refiners, which are generally operating with low margins, but is simply due to the higher cost of crude oil. Sunoco, Inc...
January 20, 2012
Green Biologics Ltd. (GBL; Abingdon, Oxfordshire, U.K.;, an industrial biotechnology company has merged with Butylfuel Inc., a U.S.-based renewable chemicals and biofuels company. The new company will operate under the Green Biologics name and will continue to be...
January 11, 2012
In the long run (a few hundred years, perhaps) humans will exhaust the Earth’s current supply of fossil fuels. It is more accurate to say that before we exhaust the supply, humans will stop burning fossil fuels to produce electricity and power our vehicles because fossil fuels will have become too valuable. From a chemical engineering perspective, would it not be more appropriate to use fossil fuels...
October 1, 2011
Velocys Inc. (Plain City, Ohio;, a part of the Oxford Catalyst Group (Abingdon, U.K.;, has been awarded the Kirkpatrick Award for Chemical Engineering Achievement from Chemical Engineering. The company’s winning technology features microchannel reactors for producing synthetic fuels. The award was announced at a reception September 12 in Houston. The...
September 27, 2011
Codexis, Inc. (Redwood City, Calif.; and Raizen Energia S.A. (Sao Paulo, Brazil; have signed a joint development agreement to develop an improved first-generation ethanol process with enhanced performance economics. Raizen is a joint venture between Shell and Cosan, and is Brazil's largest sugar and ethanol producer. Under the terms of the agreement, Raizen and Codexis will...
June 1, 2011
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA; Washington, D.C.) recently released the complete version of its Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (AEO2011;, which includes projections for energy production, consumption, technology and market trends, and the direction they may take in the future for the world’s second-largest energy user. “EIA’s projections indicate...
May 1, 2011
Motorists filling up at U.S. gasoline stations these days may think that petroleum refiners are making good profits, but it depends on where the station gets its fuel. The industry is plagued by overcapacity and is concerned about government regulations that call for greater use of renewable fuels and tougher pollution control. The National Petrochemical & Refiners Assn. (NPRA, Washington, D.C....
September 1, 2010
On May 5, 2010 Texas Lehigh Cement (Buda, Tex.; was awarded an Environmental Excellence Award by the state environmental agency Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ; Austin; The company won for its alternative fuel project because of its outstanding community partnership process. Judges for the award said they could see potential for...
August 25, 2010
A $12-billion joint venture (JV) between Shell International Petroleum Co. (Shell; The Hague, The Netherlands; and Cosan S.A. (Cosan; Brazil; moved closer to reality today when the two companies signed binding agreements. The proposed JV, which still requires regulatory approval, will produce and commercialize ethanol and power from sugar cane and distribute a variety of...
August 1, 2010
The research group of Kazuo Tajima at Kanagawa University (Yokohama, Japan; have developed a new emulsification process that enables biodiesel fuels (BDFs) to be used without any purification process, thereby reducing production costs by one fourth. Tajima estimates that the process...
May 1, 2010
In late March, the world’s first demonstration plant for converting sugars directly into gasoline started up at the Madison, Wisc., facilities of Virent Energy Systems, Inc. ( The demonstration plant — part of a joint R&D collaboration of Virent and Shell (The Hague, the Netherlands; — has the capacity to produce 10,000 gal/yr of biogasoline from beet...
May 1, 2010
Honeywells UOP LLC (Des Plaines, Ill.; has developed a process that makes a renewable, “drop-in” jet fuel from sustainable oils, including camelina, tallow, jatropha or algae. Similar to the the UOP/Eni Ecofining process for making Green Diesel fuel (CE, May 2007, p. 18), the Renewable Jet Process is a two-stage process. In the first step, the natural oils are first hydroprocessed...
May 1, 2010
Co-processing of biomass-derived feed with petroleum feed for the production of diesel fuel is a tricky business, given that the former (unlike petroleum) contains oxygen. The oxygenates can be removed by hydrotreating, which converts the biofeed to normal paraffins, but this consumes large amounts of H2 and the exothermic reactions can cause excessive temperatures. Also, biomass contains acids that can...
May 1, 2010
Less than two years ago, U.S. petroleum refiners were in the middle of an expansion and modernization program that was designed to add more than 1-million bbl/d to meet the growing demand for fuels, especially diesel fuel. Much of the investment was for cokers, in anticipation of increasing imports of heavy oil from Mexico, Venezuela and Canada. As it turned out, the demand for petroleum fuels has dropped...
May 1, 2010
Last year (2009) was a record year for U.S. ethanol production, with 200 biorefineries producing an estimated 10.6-billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Assoc. (RFA; Washington, D.C.; in its recently published report, The 2010 Ethanol Industry Outlook. An additional 20-billion gallons of ethanol were produced elsewhere around the globe in 2009 — a 400% increase over...
March 29, 2010
Biodiesel, the methyl ester of fatty acids, has been accepted as a renewable-sourced alternative to fossil-derived diesel fuel. Today in many parts of the world, biodiesel is already blended with diesel fuel up to about 5%. Presently the demand for biodiesel is only approximately 40–50% of the production capacity, but the global biodiesel market is expected to experience strong growth in the next few...
November 18, 2009
Among the most pressing concerns for the chemical process industries (CPI) are weathering the global economic recession and dealing with anticipated carbon emissions regulations. Switching from oil and gas to biomass for fuel in a CPI plant is a relatively simple way to ratchet down greenhouse gas emissions and cut costs simultaneously. Biomass fuels can help cut operating costs, improve fuel flexibility...
September 17, 2009
A worldwide shift to energy-efficient and low-carbon technologies for power generation and transportation offers enormous economic opportunities, but the investment community will not be able to realize economic growth without a credible, global climate-change-framework treaty, says an international group of institutional investors.   At a Sept. 16 press conference in New York, a group of 181...
August 1, 2009
Outotec GmbH (Oberursel, Germany), a 100% daughter company of Outotec Oy (Helsinki, Finland; has received a €109-million contract for the design, delivery, construction and commissioning of a new oil-shale processing plant to be built in Narva, Estonia for Eesti Energia (Tallin, Estonia; Scheduled for commissioning in early 2012, the facility will process over...
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