Researchers Describe New Device to Digitize Chemical Processes

American Chemical Society | July 23, 2020

Miniaturized computer systems and wireless technology are offering scientists new ways to keep tabs on reactions without the need for larger, cumbersome equipment. In a proof-of-concept study in ACS Sensors, researchers describe an inexpensive new device that functions like a conventional magnetic stir bar, but that can automatically measure and transmit information on a solution's color, viscosity and a variety of other attributes to a smart phone or computer.

Automatic, remote data collection can make chemical processes more reliable, as well as less labor intensive and safer. This technology has begun to make inroads into chemistry labs, but options for scientists looking to remotely mix their reactions and monitor several parameters while those reactions occur remain quite scarce, limited and expensive. Nikolay Cherkasov, Dmitry Isakov and colleagues wanted to develop a device capable of simultaneously detecting numerous parameters using freely available open source software and easy-to-get, inexpensive components.

Spotlight

Natural gas liquids, a key input for plastic production, are hard to transport. Petrochemical producers relying on natural gas liquids or ethane as a feedstock typically cluster geographically near sources of natural gas.


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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Element and IPCOS Announce Partnership to Accelerate Industrial Organizations’ Time to Value from Digital Initiatives

Element and IPCOS | August 23, 2022

Element, a leading provider of operations data management software to global industrials, announced a partnership with IPCOS, a global industrial digitalization solution provider, to bring increased efficiency and predictability to chemical plant customers through the Unify platform. Unify makes siloed, fragmented operations data useful for people to deliver expert analysis and guidance from anywhere, at any time. “Through our close partnership with Element, IPCOS’ customers will gain access to the popular Unify platform closing the gap between MES and Cloud. With Unify, we can implement effective data management strategies integrating traditional data models developed at the MES layer with modern Cloud solutions. IPCOS believes this will be a significant accelerator for digitalization in the process industry, leading to increased effectiveness of their chemical processing operations,” Filip Stroobant, Managing Director Digital Assets, IPCOS “We’re excited to partner with IPCOS to enable chemical operators who are racing to turn their exponentially growing operations data into a value-generating asset so their people can make faster decisions. Together, IPCOS and Element empower people with operations data to achieve analytical insights that improve on-stream time, resiliency, sustainability and profit,” said Andy Bane, CEO of Element. Together, IPCOS and Element accelerate digital solutions that maximize the efficiency and sustainability of industrial plant operations. IPCOS’ deep knowledge of data-centric initiatives and ability to deliver greater value from industrial operations to their customers is further enhanced with the Unify operations data management platform, helping customers to reach their digital transformation initiatives faster, cheaper and at greater scale. About Element Element is a leading software provider in operations data management. Element Unify empowers people with access to operations data to make faster decisions that deliver financial impact. Element’s customers represent over $750 billion in revenue, $500 billion in fixed assets and 450,000 employees. About IPCOS IPCOS is a services provider that maximizes the performance of its customers’ assets in the international chemical and energy industries. IPCOS experts implement tailor-made, state-of-the-art technology to increase plant operations efficiency and integrate information technologies into customer workflows to improve industrial processes. With an extensive track record, IPCOS is trusted to deliver unique engineering-based, technology-independent solutions that combine domain knowledge with technology know-how.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Sekisui Specialty Chemicals To Expand PVOH Capacity In Support of Market Growth

Sekisui Specialty Chemicals | August 30, 2022

Sekisui Specialty Chemicals announced that it is beginning feasibility studies for expansion of its Polyvinyl Alcohol supply network in order to meet the growing needs of its downstream customers. SSC already operates three world scale PVOH units globally, with two in the US and one in Spain, and plans to make highly capital-efficient investments to expand its operations and help support customer growth. "Sekisui Specialty Chemicals is a global leader in the production of high-quality polyvinyl alcohol needed to meet today's highly technical application requirements. With our current footprint and growth opportunities, we believe that Sekisui is well positioned to expand and meet customer needs, particularly in the western hemisphere, which today relies heavily on PVOH imports from Asia." Cory Sikora, President of Sekisui Specialty Chemicals Sekisui Specialty Chemicals remains committed to meeting customers' needs with high quality products. When completed, the investments will increase Sekisui's PVOH capacity by as much as 25%. About Sekisui Specialty Chemicals Sekisui Specialty Chemicals' primary product is Selvol, a line of high-performance polyvinyl alcohol polymers and copolymers used in paper, adhesive, packaging, construction, personal care, and many other specialty formulations. The company also represents Durastream CPVC compounds and resins, Advancell expandable microspheres, and S-LEC BK polyvinyl acetal resins. Sekisui Specialty Chemicals is a subsidiary of the Sekisui Chemical Group, a multibillion dollar, global company that delivers a wide range of products and services to enrich people's lives. The company is comprised of core businesses and technologies in housing, social infrastructure, and chemical solutions.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Clariant signs definitive agreement to sell Quats business

Clariant | September 05, 2022

Clariant, a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company announced that it has reached a definitive agreement for the divestment of its Quats business to Global Amines Company Pte. Ltd., a 50/50 joint venture owned by Clariant and Wilmar, Asia’s leading agricultural business and oleochemicals business globally. This divestment is a further step in Clariant’s portfolio transformation to focus operations purely on specialty chemicals. Quats are quaternary ammonium compounds, a group of chemicals used for a variety of purposes including as preservatives, surfactants, and as antistatic agents. Quats are used in a wide range of commercial, industrial, and consumer products. The business maintains an excellent reputation as a leading supplier of quats with proprietary technology and a good service reputation. The transfer will be an asset sale of the sites in Germany, Indonesia, and Brazil and will provide for tolling agreements where needed. The sales price, subject to standard closing conditions, is set at USD 113 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to be consummated in the first half of 2023. Clariant is a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company based in Muttenz, near Basel/Switzerland. On 31 December 2021, Clariant totaled a staff number of 11 537 and recorded sales of CHF 4.372 billion in the fiscal year for its continuing businesses. The company reports in three Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources. Clariant’s corporate strategy is led by the overarching purpose of ‘Greater chemistry – between people and planet,’ and reflects the importance of connecting customer focus, innovation, sustainability, and people.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Prospera and Aduro Enter into LOI to Collaborate on Pilot Plant for Partial Upgrading of Bitumen

Prospera Energy | September 13, 2022

Prospera Energy is primarily focused on optimizing hydrocarbon recovery through environmentally safe and efficient reservoir development methods and production practices. Restructured PEI has elevated gross production levels to 925 Boepd (750bpd) from 80bpd in the span of a year and a half. PEI has piloted horizontal laterals in order to assess and improve technical and economic efficiency to effectively capture the significant remaining reserves. PEI’s primary objectives are to improve profit margin through increased production levels and reduced operating expense while regulatory and environmentally complaint. The horizontal laterals allow PEI to optimize production and recovery while reducing the environmental footprint by eliminating the numerous vertical leases along the lateral path. In addition, PEI ESG initiatives are to incorporate innovative technologies to reduce carbon emission, increase carbon capture, and technologies to improve margin. PEI is pleased to announce the engagement of Aduro Clean Technologies Inc. (“Aduro” ) innovation that reduces blend down stock, improves the product specification, increases unit economics, and has a lower carbon footprint. PEI core assets are medium to heavy oil properties (12-17 API) located along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border of Cuthbert, Heart Hills, and Luseland. Recently, PEI has acquired interests in Brooks light oil property to diversify product mix from heavy oil differentials dependency. PEI is motivated by the significant potential impact that bitumen upgrader technology can have on PEI’s operating netback. Aduro Clean Technologies Inc. a Canadian developer of patented water-based technologies to chemically recycle plastics and transform heavy crude and renewable oils into new-era resources and higher-value fuels, is pleased to announce that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aduro Energy Inc., it has entered into a Letter of Intent dated September 12th, 2022 with Prospera Energy Inc. with the purpose of developing, building, and supplying a pre-commercial pilot plant to convert low API bitumen to higher value products. On September 7, Aduro announced that its scaled-up continuous flow bitumen reactor is nearing completion and readiness for customer trials and engagement acceleration. This LOI is the company’s second engagement on the bitumen vertical with a producer in Alberta. The LOI outlines an 18-month plan with three phases. Phase one, which will commence during the month of October, includes the testing of bitumen feedstocks and the evaluation of the economics. It is expected to be completed in Q1 2023. Phase two includes preliminary engineering, identification of the pilot plant site, and reviewing of licenses and permits, as well as detailed budgeting and agreement to proceed with construction. Phase two is scheduled for completion in Q3 2023. Phase three includes the procurement, fabrication, construction, commissioning, and operation of a 50 bbl/day pilot plant. Work is expected to be completed in Q2 2024. After completion of phase three, Aduro and Prospera will define a roadmap to commissioning a 3,000 bbl/day commercial facility. In consideration of the services to be provided for phase one, Prospera Energy Inc. will pay Aduro a monthly fee of $25,000CAD plus applicable taxes, with the total fees for the completion and delivery of phase one scope capped at $125,000CAD plus applicable taxes. “Aduro’s research and engineering team has been building the necessary tools to enable Aduro to test an expanded range of customer feedstock, and we are very excited to apply it to Prospera’s crude and to demonstrate our ability to unlock the value of lower API bitumen. By partnering with Samuel David and the Prospera team, we will have access to resources and support in building and operating a pilot plant facility, an important milestone on our path to commercialization.” Ofer Vicus, Chief Executive Officer at Aduro About Prospera Energy Prospera Energy Inc. is a public oil and gas exploration, exploitation, and development company focusing on conventional oil and gas reservoirs in Western Canada. Prospera uses its experience to develop, acquire, and drill assets with potential for primary and secondary recovery. About Aduro Clean Technologies Aduro Clean Technologies is a developer of patented water-based technologies to chemically recycle waste plastics; convert heavy crude and bitumen into lighter, more valuable oil; and transform renewable oils into higher-value fuels or renewable chemicals. The Company’s Hydrochemolytic™ technology activates unique properties of water in a chemistry platform that operates at relatively low temperatures and cost, a game-changing approach that converts low-value feedstocks into 21st-century resources.

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Natural gas liquids, a key input for plastic production, are hard to transport. Petrochemical producers relying on natural gas liquids or ethane as a feedstock typically cluster geographically near sources of natural gas.

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