ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: A NEW REALITY FOR CHEMICAL ENGINEERS

MARY PAGE BAILEY | February 1, 2019 | 122 views

As in many other sectors, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are beginning to emerge in the chemical process industries (CPI). While AI-assisted solutions, and other associated technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), Internet of Things (IoT), automated drones and quantum computing, are still relatively new for many CPI applications, developers and users alike are realizing their potential benefits for expediting research and development (R&D), predictive maintenance, process optimization and more.

Spotlight

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in the North San Diego County city of Carlsbad, was founded in 1989 to create advanced, novel medicines to treat complex and challenging diseases. We are the pioneer in the discovery and development of antisense drugs with more than 1300 patents. Ionis is a challenging, motivating and rewarding environment designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. Our founding goals have changed little in over 27 years and our success is a direct result of our outstanding employees. We are interested in bringing together individuals with different skill sets into this creative environment to be part of a productive team. Join us and experience our unique culture while you develop and expand your career.

OTHER ARTICLES
SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

Organic Catalyst Boasts Big Benefits

Article | June 27, 2021

An enzyme-mimicking catalyst opens a new route to important organic molecules such as glycolic acid and amino acids from pyruvate, report researchers in Japan. Moreover, the new catalyst is cheaper, more stable, safer and more environmentally friendly than conventional metal catalysts used in industry, they note, adding that it also displays the high enantioselectivity required by the pharmaceutical industry. “On top of these advantages, our newly developed organic catalyst system also promotes reactions using pyruvate that aren’t easily achievable using metal catalysts,” says Santanu Mondal, a PhD candidate in the chemistry and chemical bioengineering unit at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University, Okinawa, Japan, and lead author of a study recently published in Organic Letters. “Organic catalysts, in particular, are set to revolutionize the industry and make chemistry more sustainable,” he stresses. The researchers use an acid and an amine mixture to force the pyruvate to act as an electron donor rather than its usual role as an electron receiver (Figure 1). Effectively mimicking how enzymes work, the amine binds to the pyruvate to make an intermediate molecule. The organic acid then covers up part of the intermediate molecule while leaving another part that can donate electrons free to react to form a new product. Currently, the organic catalyst system only works when reacting pyruvate with a specific class of organic molecule called cyclic imines. So, the researchers now are looking to develop a more-universal catalyst, i.e., one that can speed up reactions between pyruvate and a broad range of organic molecules. The challenge here is to try to make the electron-donating intermediate stage of pyruvate react with other functional groups such as aldehydes and ketones. However, different catalysts create different intermediates, all with different properties. For example, the enamine intermediate created by the researchers’ new reaction only reacts with cyclic imines. Their hypothesis, currently being investigated, is that creation of other intermediates such as an enolate, if possible, would achieve a broader pyruvate reactivity. In terms of cost, the researchers note that a palladium catalyst used in similar reactions is 25 times more expensive than their organic acid — which also is made from eco-friendly quinine. In addition, they believe scale-up of the process for industrial use definitely is possible. However, the researchers caution that the current amine-to-acid-catalyst loading ratio of 1:2 probably would need to be optimized for better results at a larger scale.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Transporting biological and chemical materials - what you need to know

Article | June 15, 2021

The landscape of biological and chemical logistics has changed rapidly - as have the regulatory frameworks around it. What has not necessarily kept pace is the end-user understanding of the nature of these logistical processes, their opportunities and their constraints. Twenty years ago, the transmission of biological and chemical materials was limited to a small range of organisations: usually national and international research companies, hospitals, major university departments, police and military departments with forensic responsibilities.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Setting record straight on testing harm in chemicals

Article | June 6, 2022

The modern world is built on chemicals, be it the medicines we use, or cleaning fluids, crop protection products, or the raw materials for everything from laptops and mobile phones to clothes and furniture. Across all, we have created an entire modern society with chemicals, and, as a result, constantly stretched the size of the world population we can feed, clothe and shelter. Yet, balancing all the gains from the modern chemistry around us against any negative environmental and human impact has been a rising concern, making for ever greater focus on testing and on risk assessment.

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Why chemical characterization is the best way to assess patient risk

Article | February 11, 2020

Everyone is very familiar with the phrase when buying a house: All that really matters are three things - location, location, and location. This same principle applies to extractables and leachables chemistry analysis – the three things that truly matter are identification, identification, and identification. The greatest growth in the past ten years in demonstrating the safety of medical devices and container closure systems for drugs has been using analytical chemistry to determine what chemicals can leach from the device and what the patient is exposed to during its intended use.

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Spotlight

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., located in the North San Diego County city of Carlsbad, was founded in 1989 to create advanced, novel medicines to treat complex and challenging diseases. We are the pioneer in the discovery and development of antisense drugs with more than 1300 patents. Ionis is a challenging, motivating and rewarding environment designed to foster innovation and scientific excellence. Our founding goals have changed little in over 27 years and our success is a direct result of our outstanding employees. We are interested in bringing together individuals with different skill sets into this creative environment to be part of a productive team. Join us and experience our unique culture while you develop and expand your career.

Related News

CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

LG Energy Solution partners with Compass Minerals to enhance steady flow of supply chain

LG Energy Solution | June 30, 2022

LG Energy Solution is branching out in its efforts to secure supply chain of materials as it ramps up its battery production to satiate the growing market demand. LGES today announced that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Compass Minerals a leading provider of essential minerals, critical to producing battery-grade lithium. Under the terms of the MoU, Compass Minerals would supply LGES with lithium carbonate and hydroxide. The MoU states that LG Energy Solution would be supplied with as much as 40% of Compass Minerals' planned annual phase-one lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide production for 7 years starting in 2025. LGES and Compass Minerals have committed to continuing good-faith negotiations toward a binding supply agreement. Compass Minerals is widely known to deliver essential minerals like Sulfate of Potash, Sodium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride and is currently pursuing development options available to service growing U.S. market demand for battery-grade lithium. The battery manufacturer added that this is the first lithium producer, based in the U.S., to partner up with the company as it looks to solidify its supply chain in the U.S. and cater to the growing market demand for EVs in North America. "Securing key raw materials has become critically important, in order to maintain our lead position in the global battery market. LGES will make sure to support establishment of steady supply chain in North America, while it continues to seek and acquire environmentally friendly produced battery-grade lithium worldwide." Dongsoo Kim, Senior Vice President of Procurement Center at LG Energy Solution LG Energy Solution has been at the forefront in securing key raw materials for EV battery production. Apart from the MoU with Compass Minerals, LGES signed an MoU with SQM of Chile as the two firms agree to commit to investigate and develop joint investment projects of electro-mobility industry value chain. LGES also executed an offtake agreement with Liontown Resources Limited for the supply of spodumene concentrate from the Kathleen Valley Lithium Project. The deal states that LGES be supplied of up to 150,000 dry metric tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate, starting 2024. The battery manufacturer signed a binding lithium hydroxide offtake agreement with Germany's Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd. earlier this year for at least 41,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium chemicals over the 5 years starting 2025. About LG Energy Solution LG Energy Solution a split-off from LG Chem, is a leading global manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, mobility, IT, and energy storage systems. With 30 years of experience in revolutionary battery technology and extensive research and development the company is the top battery-related patent holder in the world with over 24,000 patents. Its robust global network, which spans North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, includes battery manufacturing facilities established through joint ventures with major automakers such as General Motors, Stellantis N.V. and Hyundai Motor Group. At the forefront of green business and sustainability, LG Energy Solution aims to achieve carbon neutral operations by 2050, while embodying the value of shared growth and promoting diverse and inclusive corporate culture.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

FMC Corporation significantly expands biologicals platform with agreement to acquire BioPhero

FMC Corporation | June 30, 2022

FMC Corporation an agricultural sciences company, announced a definitive agreement to acquire BioPhero ApS, a Denmark-based pheromone research and production company. The acquisition adds biologically produced state-of-the-art pheromone insect control technology to FMC's product portfolio and R&D pipeline, underscoring FMC's role as a leader in delivering innovative and sustainable crop protection solutions. BioPhero has pioneered a highly efficient yeast fermentation process for manufacturing pheromones at significantly lower costs and with fewer production steps compared to competitors' traditional chemical synthesis methods. Lower costs expand the pheromone addressable market from today's focus on specialty fruit and vegetables to now include the large row crop market. FMC expects pheromones and pheromone-based products to contribute approximately $1 billion in revenue at above company-average EBITDA margin by 2030. "This acquisition demonstrates our continuing commitment to invest in biologicals and adjacent technologies, expanding our world-class portfolio while advancing sustainable agriculture," said Mark Douglas, FMC president and chief executive officer. "BioPhero is a pioneer in the production of pheromones through a unique, highly efficient bioprocessing method—a game-changer in pheromone manufacturing technology. FMC's broad market access, leadership position in the high-value insecticide market, formulation know-how and application expertise provide significant opportunities to bring sustainably advantaged pheromone technology to more agricultural markets around the world. We look forward to adding an extensive pheromone platform to our biologicals business and welcoming the BioPhero team to FMC." "BioPhero is excited by the opportunity to accelerate our development and the road to market with the objective to make pheromones widely available. Given FMC's leadership position in the development of biological plant health products, manufacturing and formulation expertise, and existing operations in Denmark, we believe FMC is an excellent company to take this business forward. FMC's global market access and significant investments in R&D will accelerate our ability to bring highly advanced pheromone insect control technology to growers around the world." Dr. Irina Borodina, co-founder and chief scientific officer of BioPhero Pheromones can be used in an integrated pest management program to control the buildup of insect populations in farmers' fields by disrupting the insect mating process, reducing overall egg-laying by adults and decreasing the next generation of the target insect population. Pheromones do not have an impact on the environment, promote biodiversity and do not harm beneficial insects, such as pollinators, since they precisely target specific pests. "FMC directs 100 percent of its R&D investments to discover and develop more sustainable products," said Dr. Kathleen Shelton, FMC executive vice president and chief technology officer. "We're excited to add BioPhero's innovative pheromone molecules to our new product pipeline, and we expect to launch five new pheromone products over the next three to five years. The opportunities for advanced biomanufacturing technology extend well beyond insect control. Working together, we can significantly expand the use of fermentation technologies across a wider set of crops targeting a variety of pests, including fungi and weeds." Novo Holding A/S, a world-leading science investor focused on creating long-term value, has supported BioPhero for six years. "Novo Holdings believes that biotechnology is a key component in the transition towards a more sustainable society," said Søren Møller, managing partner at Novo Holdings. "The technology developed by BioPhero is an excellent example of using nature's own pheromones to combat pests in a safe and yet efficient way. Novo Holdings has invested in BioPhero since inception and has renewed its commitment to the company in each financing round. We are very satisfied to see the rapid development of the company, and this sale demonstrates that FMC shares our vision of introducing new sustainable solutions in agriculture." The purchase price of approximately $200 million will be paid at closing. Following regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the acquisition of BioPhero is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2022.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Italmatch Chemicals acquires Aubin Group

Italmatch Chemicals | June 29, 2022

Italmatch Chemicals, a leading global specialty chemical group focused on the production and marketing of performance additives for the processing and treatment of water, oil & gas, industrial lubricants and plastics, has acquired Aubin Group from BGF, investor of equity capital in the UK and Ireland. Headquartered in Scotland, Aubin is a key strategic developer and supplier of innovative chemical solutions for the oil and gas industry and the renewable energy sector with office and warehouses across the UK and the Middle East. The acquisition further strengthens Italmatch Chemicals' position in the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors of key strategic markets such as the Middle East, the USA, and the North Sea. The operation will also expand Italmatch Chemicals' product portfolio with new sustainable solutions, consistent with its ESG strategy. This is a testament to the group's continued commitment to R&D projects dedicated to developing and delivering sustainable solutions for various sectors, including products for renewable energy market as well as "decommissioning" activities. "The acquisition of Aubin Group represents another step of Italmatch Group's growth strategy in areas of interest, such as the Middle East, and in our journey of sustainability. Our company has always invested in the continuous transformation of its product portfolio, with increasing focus dedicated to sustainable and circular solutions in all the end markets it caters to, including oil & gas. Thanks to its sustainable solutions, Aubin likewise embodies excellence in the renewable energy market. This synergy will further boost our R&D efforts as a Group." Sergio Iorio, CEO of Italmatch Chemicals Group "Ever since its foundation 25 years ago, Italmatch has pursued a development strategy focused both on organic growth through research and innovation as well as strategic M&A" said Maurizio Turci, General Manager Corporate and CFO of the Italmatch Chemicals Group. "Now more than ever our focus is on following an approach rooted in ESG principles. Our priority is enhancing our positive impact and creating sustainable value for our clients, employees and all our stakeholders." "Aubin is a key player in well services and technologies that complement Italmatch's portfolio. The company is also positioned to be at the forefront of the energy transition through its portfolio of innovative technology tailored to solving unique challenges. These include offshore wind developments as well as a disruptive solution to plug disused oil wells even in the harshest conditions, guaranteeing their long-term integrity and reducing their environmental impact" explained Scott Miller, Italmatch's O&G Sales & Marketing Director and recently appointed CEO of Aubin Group. "The acquisition will strengthen Italmatch's position in the Middle East, North Sea, and United States. Moreover, it will bring into the fold a world-class well services business, many highly qualified professionals and a strategically placed headquarters in Aberdeenshire with a well-equipped laboratory" concluded Miller.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

LG Energy Solution partners with Compass Minerals to enhance steady flow of supply chain

LG Energy Solution | June 30, 2022

LG Energy Solution is branching out in its efforts to secure supply chain of materials as it ramps up its battery production to satiate the growing market demand. LGES today announced that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Compass Minerals a leading provider of essential minerals, critical to producing battery-grade lithium. Under the terms of the MoU, Compass Minerals would supply LGES with lithium carbonate and hydroxide. The MoU states that LG Energy Solution would be supplied with as much as 40% of Compass Minerals' planned annual phase-one lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide production for 7 years starting in 2025. LGES and Compass Minerals have committed to continuing good-faith negotiations toward a binding supply agreement. Compass Minerals is widely known to deliver essential minerals like Sulfate of Potash, Sodium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride and is currently pursuing development options available to service growing U.S. market demand for battery-grade lithium. The battery manufacturer added that this is the first lithium producer, based in the U.S., to partner up with the company as it looks to solidify its supply chain in the U.S. and cater to the growing market demand for EVs in North America. "Securing key raw materials has become critically important, in order to maintain our lead position in the global battery market. LGES will make sure to support establishment of steady supply chain in North America, while it continues to seek and acquire environmentally friendly produced battery-grade lithium worldwide." Dongsoo Kim, Senior Vice President of Procurement Center at LG Energy Solution LG Energy Solution has been at the forefront in securing key raw materials for EV battery production. Apart from the MoU with Compass Minerals, LGES signed an MoU with SQM of Chile as the two firms agree to commit to investigate and develop joint investment projects of electro-mobility industry value chain. LGES also executed an offtake agreement with Liontown Resources Limited for the supply of spodumene concentrate from the Kathleen Valley Lithium Project. The deal states that LGES be supplied of up to 150,000 dry metric tonnes per annum of spodumene concentrate, starting 2024. The battery manufacturer signed a binding lithium hydroxide offtake agreement with Germany's Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd. earlier this year for at least 41,000 tonnes of battery grade lithium chemicals over the 5 years starting 2025. About LG Energy Solution LG Energy Solution a split-off from LG Chem, is a leading global manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, mobility, IT, and energy storage systems. With 30 years of experience in revolutionary battery technology and extensive research and development the company is the top battery-related patent holder in the world with over 24,000 patents. Its robust global network, which spans North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, includes battery manufacturing facilities established through joint ventures with major automakers such as General Motors, Stellantis N.V. and Hyundai Motor Group. At the forefront of green business and sustainability, LG Energy Solution aims to achieve carbon neutral operations by 2050, while embodying the value of shared growth and promoting diverse and inclusive corporate culture.

Read More

CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

FMC Corporation significantly expands biologicals platform with agreement to acquire BioPhero

FMC Corporation | June 30, 2022

FMC Corporation an agricultural sciences company, announced a definitive agreement to acquire BioPhero ApS, a Denmark-based pheromone research and production company. The acquisition adds biologically produced state-of-the-art pheromone insect control technology to FMC's product portfolio and R&D pipeline, underscoring FMC's role as a leader in delivering innovative and sustainable crop protection solutions. BioPhero has pioneered a highly efficient yeast fermentation process for manufacturing pheromones at significantly lower costs and with fewer production steps compared to competitors' traditional chemical synthesis methods. Lower costs expand the pheromone addressable market from today's focus on specialty fruit and vegetables to now include the large row crop market. FMC expects pheromones and pheromone-based products to contribute approximately $1 billion in revenue at above company-average EBITDA margin by 2030. "This acquisition demonstrates our continuing commitment to invest in biologicals and adjacent technologies, expanding our world-class portfolio while advancing sustainable agriculture," said Mark Douglas, FMC president and chief executive officer. "BioPhero is a pioneer in the production of pheromones through a unique, highly efficient bioprocessing method—a game-changer in pheromone manufacturing technology. FMC's broad market access, leadership position in the high-value insecticide market, formulation know-how and application expertise provide significant opportunities to bring sustainably advantaged pheromone technology to more agricultural markets around the world. We look forward to adding an extensive pheromone platform to our biologicals business and welcoming the BioPhero team to FMC." "BioPhero is excited by the opportunity to accelerate our development and the road to market with the objective to make pheromones widely available. Given FMC's leadership position in the development of biological plant health products, manufacturing and formulation expertise, and existing operations in Denmark, we believe FMC is an excellent company to take this business forward. FMC's global market access and significant investments in R&D will accelerate our ability to bring highly advanced pheromone insect control technology to growers around the world." Dr. Irina Borodina, co-founder and chief scientific officer of BioPhero Pheromones can be used in an integrated pest management program to control the buildup of insect populations in farmers' fields by disrupting the insect mating process, reducing overall egg-laying by adults and decreasing the next generation of the target insect population. Pheromones do not have an impact on the environment, promote biodiversity and do not harm beneficial insects, such as pollinators, since they precisely target specific pests. "FMC directs 100 percent of its R&D investments to discover and develop more sustainable products," said Dr. Kathleen Shelton, FMC executive vice president and chief technology officer. "We're excited to add BioPhero's innovative pheromone molecules to our new product pipeline, and we expect to launch five new pheromone products over the next three to five years. The opportunities for advanced biomanufacturing technology extend well beyond insect control. Working together, we can significantly expand the use of fermentation technologies across a wider set of crops targeting a variety of pests, including fungi and weeds." Novo Holding A/S, a world-leading science investor focused on creating long-term value, has supported BioPhero for six years. "Novo Holdings believes that biotechnology is a key component in the transition towards a more sustainable society," said Søren Møller, managing partner at Novo Holdings. "The technology developed by BioPhero is an excellent example of using nature's own pheromones to combat pests in a safe and yet efficient way. Novo Holdings has invested in BioPhero since inception and has renewed its commitment to the company in each financing round. We are very satisfied to see the rapid development of the company, and this sale demonstrates that FMC shares our vision of introducing new sustainable solutions in agriculture." The purchase price of approximately $200 million will be paid at closing. Following regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, the acquisition of BioPhero is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2022.

Read More

CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Italmatch Chemicals acquires Aubin Group

Italmatch Chemicals | June 29, 2022

Italmatch Chemicals, a leading global specialty chemical group focused on the production and marketing of performance additives for the processing and treatment of water, oil & gas, industrial lubricants and plastics, has acquired Aubin Group from BGF, investor of equity capital in the UK and Ireland. Headquartered in Scotland, Aubin is a key strategic developer and supplier of innovative chemical solutions for the oil and gas industry and the renewable energy sector with office and warehouses across the UK and the Middle East. The acquisition further strengthens Italmatch Chemicals' position in the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors of key strategic markets such as the Middle East, the USA, and the North Sea. The operation will also expand Italmatch Chemicals' product portfolio with new sustainable solutions, consistent with its ESG strategy. This is a testament to the group's continued commitment to R&D projects dedicated to developing and delivering sustainable solutions for various sectors, including products for renewable energy market as well as "decommissioning" activities. "The acquisition of Aubin Group represents another step of Italmatch Group's growth strategy in areas of interest, such as the Middle East, and in our journey of sustainability. Our company has always invested in the continuous transformation of its product portfolio, with increasing focus dedicated to sustainable and circular solutions in all the end markets it caters to, including oil & gas. Thanks to its sustainable solutions, Aubin likewise embodies excellence in the renewable energy market. This synergy will further boost our R&D efforts as a Group." Sergio Iorio, CEO of Italmatch Chemicals Group "Ever since its foundation 25 years ago, Italmatch has pursued a development strategy focused both on organic growth through research and innovation as well as strategic M&A" said Maurizio Turci, General Manager Corporate and CFO of the Italmatch Chemicals Group. "Now more than ever our focus is on following an approach rooted in ESG principles. Our priority is enhancing our positive impact and creating sustainable value for our clients, employees and all our stakeholders." "Aubin is a key player in well services and technologies that complement Italmatch's portfolio. The company is also positioned to be at the forefront of the energy transition through its portfolio of innovative technology tailored to solving unique challenges. These include offshore wind developments as well as a disruptive solution to plug disused oil wells even in the harshest conditions, guaranteeing their long-term integrity and reducing their environmental impact" explained Scott Miller, Italmatch's O&G Sales & Marketing Director and recently appointed CEO of Aubin Group. "The acquisition will strengthen Italmatch's position in the Middle East, North Sea, and United States. Moreover, it will bring into the fold a world-class well services business, many highly qualified professionals and a strategically placed headquarters in Aberdeenshire with a well-equipped laboratory" concluded Miller.

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