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Chemical Manufacturing

The Chemical Manufacturing Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about process equipment and control, biotech & environmental, specialty chemicals and nano-engineering. Here, you'll find everything from application ideas, to news and industry trends, to hot topics and cutting edge innovations.

New EPA Scrutiny for Chemical Makers

Posted May 17, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Chemical makers, already heavily regulated, will face added U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scrutiny come October as a result of two new enforcement initiatives. The EPA has announced beefed up efforts to keep industrial pollutants out of the nation's water supplies and to reduce risks of accidental releases specifically at chemical and industrial sites. The first initiative involves bringing plants into compliance with the Clean Water Act and reducing pollution discharges while the second focuses on preventing leaks of hazardous substances into the air, ground, or water.


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3 comments; last comment on 05/25/2016
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A Faster Way to Beer

Posted April 18, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Just in time for spring break! A group of college students has found a faster way to make beer. The team from the University of Pennsylvania has come up with a prize-winning proposal to speed up the fermentation process in beer-making by up to nine times. They applied a microfluidic fabrication technology developed at Penn to the fermentation process, accelerating the rate at which yeast converts sugar to alcohol by increasing the surface area of the liquid sugars exposed to the yeast, all while maintaining alcohol quality and composition.


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9 comments; last comment on 04/19/2016
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Engineering Biopathway to Green Products

Posted March 17, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Agricultural products like corn and sugarcane are used to produce a host of non-food products ranging from bioplastics to automobile fuel. But there's growing concern that turning more and more farm land into non-food production will decrease the world's food supply and drive up prices. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota have taken a step to solve the dilemma by creating a new pathway to converting plant waste into 1.4 butanediol, BDO, a major building block used to produce spandex and a host of plastics, solvents, and electronic chemicals.


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1 comments; last comment on 03/18/2016
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Sustainable Growth for Renewable Chemicals

Posted February 17, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Fueled by technological innovation and consumer and government support for sustainable products, the global market for renewable chemicals is expected to grow by double digits by 2020, increasing to more than $84 billion, up from $49 billion last year. Alcohols will continue to account for more than 80% of the renewable chemicals market, with biopolymers a distant second at 5%. Bio-polyester, PET, is projected to register the highest compound annual growth rate at 15% during the period.


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More Labs Adopt LOC Technology

Posted January 14, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Conventional benchtop analytical instruments such as spectrometers, blood analyzers, and flow cytometers rule the roost in medical, chemical, and R&D labs worldwide. But an entirely new class of instruments is rapidly gaining acceptance. Called lab-on-chip, or LOC, these tiny microfluidic platforms can mix and analyze minute amounts of chemicals in fluid channels whose diameters can be measured in nanometers. Moreover, these miniature labs often can achieve faster analytic results with far less fluid consumption, thus cutting the costs of reagents and other chemicals.


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Asia Chemical Outlook Healthy

Posted December 17, 2015 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Chemical demand in China is healthy and will continue to grow, despite the country's slowing economy, IHS Chemical analysts say. China is the world's largest consumer of chemicals and analysts don't forecast a falloff in demand, even if growth isn't exactly robust. However, the outlook remains mixed in the rest of Asia and chemical manufacturers could see margins slip in 2016 due in part to concerns over the health of China's economy as well as new worldwide capacity coming online in 2017.


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