Tag Archives | R&D

Green chemistry in ICIS

ICIS Chemical Business (the magazine I work for) published on Monday several interesting articles on the fields of green and chemistry. I already mentioned in my previous post about the growth of carbon capture technology and its potential for chemical companies. An article titled “Green is in the air“ interviewed Air Products’ head of the […]

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Coconut and rice polymers

Here are two several interesting developments in the world of natural plastics. In Texas, researchers from Baylor University have found a way to use coconut husks as a replacement for synthetic polyester fibers in compression molded composites, specifically, to make trunk liners, floorboards and interior door covers on cars out of coconut fibers. Back when […]

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Innovation to the rescue

ICIS Chemical Business (the magazine I work for) recently featured an article on how innovation and product development enabled the chemical industry to withstood the Great Depression of the 1930s. According to historians in the article, while consolidation helped streamline the industry, creation of new value-added products helped create profitable markets as well as cut […]

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Sugar-based acrylic glass

An interesting development from the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) is the manufacture of polymethyl methacrylate, also known as acrylic glass, made from natural sugars, alcohols or fatty acids using a certain enzyme called 2-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA mutase. The scientists involved in the project discovered the enzyme in a newly isolated […]

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More hydrogen research

In connection with fuel cells, I just wanted to share these new R&D breakthroughs on hydrogen production. The green blog mentioned this week about producing hydrogen using sewage feedstock but according to researchers from the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Ontario, Canada-based Kingston Process Metallurgy Inc. (KPM), you can also extract pure […]

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From garbage to gas to cash

“In California, they don’t throw their garbage away – they make it into TV shows.” – Woody Allen. And that’s how garbage is being revolutionized by following Woody Allen’s sage (or should we say green) advice. There are so many developments now of turning trash into cash, garbage into gas, and… (what else rhyme’s with […]

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Washing machines of the future

Yesterday, all in the US were celebrating the Labor Day holiday and it was indeed a labor weekend for me. I agreed to help my sister with her house moving and not only did I find myself paper lining drawers and closet shelves, I also accompanied her into shopping for a new washing machine and […]

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More green needed for biochems

Thanks to Paul from Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) for alerting me on this hot off the press market study on industrial biotechnology by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). According to the ITC, research and development within the US bio-based chemical industry (including pharmaceuticals) grew strongly from 2004 through 2007, with R&D expenditures reaching $3.4bn […]

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Fantastic plastic

Here are several recent developments in the bioplastic world ranging from renewable-based to recycle-based manufacturing. A more comprehensive article on renewable and biodegradable plastics might be coming soon in September from ICIS Chemical Business (the magazine I work for). In this BusinessWeek article, Dow Chemical and Braskem are neck- and- neck in building sugar cane-based […]

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Chemicals from glycerine

It’s been a while since I visited the glycerine industry but it seems that research for new applications for the product is ongoing despite the market’s pricing (and supply) volatility. Chemical engineers at Rice University have developed a fermentation process that can convert the biodiesel coproduct glycerine into high value organic acids such as formate, […]

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