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Separation Processes

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Ultrathin films achieve record hydrogen separation

Scientists at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL; Switzerland; www.epfl.ch) have synthesized the first ever metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) membrane with the thickness of just one unit cell. The ultrathin film yields record-high performance for the separation of hydrogen from nitrogen.…

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Piloting a chemical-recycling process for polycarbonate plastics

Covestro AG (Leverkusen, Germany; www.covestro.com) has developed a chemolysis process for recycling polycarbonate back into monomers. In laboratory trials, the process has been shown to recycle waste streams with more than 50% polycarbonate content into monomers, closing the loop to…

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Commissioning completed for a carbon-capture pilot plant that uses a novel solvent

Commissioning is wrapping up this month for a pilot facility designed to validate the capabilities of a new carbon-capture solvent. The pilot plant was constructed by Koch Modular Process Systems (KMPS; Paramus, N.J.; www.kochmodular.com) as part of Project Enterprise, a…

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Direct-air capture of CO2 via a liquid-based, low-temperature, thermochemical system

With global temperatures likely to rise beyond the 1.5°C target set by climate experts, negative emissions technologies — most notably direct air capture (DAC) — become increasingly important for addressing CO2 already in the atmosphere. A new DAC approach is…

New adsorbent removes radioactive cesium ions from nuclear wastewater

One of the major byproducts of the nuclear fission process used for power generation is 137Cs, a radioactive isotope of Cs that has a half-life of 30 years and is often removed from nuclear-power-plant wastewater via selective adsorption using ion…

Photochemistry boosts the yield of chiral compounds

Isolation and purification of pure, active enantiomers is important in the development of active pharmaceutical ingredients and drug products. However, recovering the desired optical isomer from a racemic mixture means half of the chemical produced — the undesired isomer —…

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Autonomous control of a distillation column

Eneos Materials Corp. (formerly the elastomers business unit of JSR Corp.; www.eneos.co.jp) and Yokogawa Electric Corp. (both Tokyo, Japan; www.yokogawa.com) recently reached an agreement to officially adopt Yokogawa’s autonomous-control artificial intelligence (AI) technology for use at an Eneos Materials chemical…

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Lithium metal for next-generation batteries produced from Li2CO3 in pilot facility

In May, Li-Metal Corp. (Markham, Ont.; www.li-metal.com) announced the production of refined lithium metal from lithium carbonate salt using a new electrolysis process at the company’s pilot facility in Ontario, Canada. The lithium metal produced at the pilot plant is…

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World’s largest double, re-slurry crystallization unit starts up in China

Last month, the world’s largest double re-slurry para-xylene crystallization unit was started as part of Shenghong Refining and Chemicals Co. Ltd.’s integrated refining/chemicals project in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China. Double re-slurry crystallization takes advantage of freezing-point differences among the three…

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Recovering proteins — and more — from rapeseed

Last month, a pilot plant officially opened at the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes (CBP; Leuna, Germany; www.cbp.fraunhofer.de). The plant aims to further develop a process that recovers multiple products from rapeseed, including high-grade, pre-raffinate-quality rapeseed oil, a high-grade, protein-rich…