Dispersion Without Agglomeration: Keep it Clean!


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Dispersion Without Agglomeration: Keep it Clean!

  1. 1. July revamps: 2009 Smooth turnaround strategies Page 34 www.che.com 7Disperse Difficult Solids • Revamps: Smooth turnaround strategies Page 40 Separation Processes Achema 2009 Removing Fouling Deposits Offer More Doesn’t Disappoint From Heaters Facts at Your Fingertips: Weighing andV ol. 116 No. 7 July 2009 Flowmeter Selection Proportioning 01_CHE_070109_COV.indd 1 6/23/09 9:39:39 AM
  2. 2. mighty powerful With Experion LS even small plants can carry a heavy load. Improve cycle time, quality and compliance with the power of a distributed control system delivered in a compact package. Honeywell provides process manufacturers of all sizes with optimum productivity and profitability. With powerful batch features, Experion LS helps small sites better respond to market changes and increase process uptime without the cumbersome engineering and lifecycle support of traditional PLC-based solutions.Let the process control experts help you transform your business with an agile system designed toreduce lifecycle costs and improve process efficiencies.  To learn more about Experion LS, please call 1-877-466-3993 or visit  /© 2009 Honeywell International, Inc. All rights reserved. Circle 01 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-01
  3. 3. Circle 04 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-04
  4. 4. Circle 05 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-05
  5. 5. Month 2009 In ThIs Issue VoluMe 116, no. X Commentary 5 Editor’s Page Keep one foot in your own yard A new study challenges traditional business www.che.com models, suggesting per that “home teams per- form best”. It revealsCover story that high-performance40 Cover Story Disperse Difficult chemical companies Solids Recent advances in mix- have no more than ing technology offer increased 45% of sales outside efficiency in dispersing pow- their home markets dered additives in both low- and other surprising and high-viscosity applications insightsneWs11 Chementator A gypsum-free, departments energy-saving route to lactic Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 acid; New catalyst boosts liquid- Bookshelf . . . . . . . . 8, 11 fuel yield from heavy hydrocar- bons; Direct conversion of cel- Who’s Who . . . . . . . . . 32 lulose to HMF demonstrated; A Reader Service page . . 54 new support for biofilters; Using Economic gold to catalyze oxidation reac- Indicators . . . . . . . 55, 56 tions; Scaleup is set for an air- separation membrane; A less-expensive way to make platinum catalysts; Water advertisers from air; This photocatalyst works with eqUipment serviCes Product Showcase. . . . 49 visible light; Greener solar panels; The 28 Focus Weighing and Proportioning Classified missing piece for wireless process control; Distribute and weigh solid library com- Advertising . . . . . . 50–52 and more pounds automatically; These bulk-bag fill- Advertiser Index . . . . . 5320 Newsfront Separa- ers have options for automatic operation; tion: More, More, For explosive areas, this weight indicator More The CPI are is flexible and mobile; Collect dust while Coming in aUgUst asking for more ef- dumping materials with this unit; Dust Look for: Feature Re- ficiency and higher buildup won’t affect this scale; and more ports on Particle Size purity from their Reduction; and Mea- separation processes 32D-1 New Products Services (Domes- tic Edition) Examine reaction kinetics and suring Fluid Behavior;25 Newsfront Achema 2009 more with this system; This infrared thermome- Engineering Practice Doesnt Disappoint ter has variable configuration software; Screen articles on REACH; and Despite global economic large particles while drawing out air and Energy Conservation in turmoil, attendance didn’t dust; A power supply for a wide range Wastewater Treatment slump of welding applications; These vapor- Plants; A Focus on Boil- degreaser solvents are safer and greener; ers and Steam Handling;engineering For clean processes, this magmeter has A News article on Safety Instrumentation;31 Facts At Your Fingertips Flowmeter onboard sensor memory; This microfluidic chip offers rapid fluid mixing; Two-way A Technology Show- Selection This one-page guide details im- valves with online configuration tool for easy case on Air Pollution portant facts for selecting a flowmeter ordering; Communication modules for ex- Monitoring; Facts at34 Feature Report Revamps: Strategies for Your Fingertips on Ad- A Smooth Turnaround Tie-in opportuni- treme environments; and more sorption; and more ties are few and far between. These rules 32I-1 New Products Services (Interna- of thumb will help make sure everything tional Edition) A new range of dosing Cover Photo: The classic and everyone line up in time pumps; This positioner is SIL 2 certified; A rotor/stator mixer – the44 Engineering Practice Removal of Foul- new IR thermometer for industrial appli- basis of the advanced ing Deposits on Heat Transfer Surfaces cations; New features for this mag-drive rotor/stator mixing and in Coal-Fired Process Heaters and Boil- pump; Solvent recycling for HPLC analyz- dispersion technology ers When conventional soot blowers are ers; A smart seal for screw pumps; An ex- available today. inadequate, an automated shot-blasting panded line of temperature-measurement Courtesy of Charles Ross system offers a powerful solution devices; and more Son Company ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com July 2009 3
  6. 6. The information you need at your fingertips.Information at your fingertips in seconds! Whether you’re planning, procuring, installing and commissioning or operatinga plant, W@M – Life Cycle Management from Endress+Hauser keeps you up to date on the complete installed base of pro-cess automation equipment, even for non-Endress+Hauser products. W@M is designed as an open and flexible informationplatform with software applications and services that reduce equipment failure and plant downtime, and minimize repairand maintenance costs, cutting total life cycle costs. Talk to us today. We’ll be glad to tell you more about how W@M canhelp improve your business. www.us.endress.com/W@MEndress+Hauser, Inc2350 Endress PlaceGreenwood, IN 46143 Sales: 888-ENDRESSinquiry@us.endress.com Service: 800-642-8737www.us.endress.com Fax: 317-535-8498 Circle 06 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-06
  7. 7. Winner of Eight Jesse H. Neal Awards for Editorial Excellence Editor’s Page Published since 1902 An Access Intelligence Publication Keep one foot in your own yard IPublisHEr Art dEsiGN n offering up strategies for the chemical process industries (CPI), manyMikE O’rOurkE dAvid WHitCHEr business experts turn to the virtues of a global stage. For decades now,Publisher Art Director/ CPI companies in developed countries have eagerly followed the urge tomorourke@che.com Editorial Production Manager dwhitcher@che.com expand into emerging regions. Likewise, geographical expansion is becom-EditOrs PrOduCtiON ing attractive for companies in developing areas as they look to catalyzerEbEkkAH J. MArsHAllEditor in Chief MiCHAEl d. krAus their own growth. A new analysis, however, shows that the grass is not VP of Production Manufacturingrmarshall@che.com mkraus@accessintel.com necessarily much greener on the other side and instead advocates more ofdOrOtHy lOzOWski stEvE OlsON a straddle-the-fence approach.Managing Editordlozowski@che.com Director of Production The Accenture Research (New York; www.accenture.com) study of ap- ManufacturingGErAld ONdrEy (Frankfurt) solson@accessintel.com proximately 100 chemical companies and business units aims to under-Senior Editorgondrey@che.com WilliAM C. GrAHAM stand how chemical companies most effectively manage the cyclical nature Ad Production ManagerkAtE tOrzEWski bgraham@che.com of the industry. Perhaps surprisingly, the results show that while manyAssistant Editor MArkEtiNG companies only consider foreign markets for growth, “home teams performktorzewski@che.com HOlly rOuNtrEE best,” says Paul Bjacek, Accenture Research global chemicals and naturalsuzANNE A. sHEllEyContributing Editor Marketing Manager hrountree@accessintel.com resources lead, and coauthor of the study findings. In fact, the researchsshelley@che.com AudiENCE shows that high-performance chemical companies have no more than 45%COrrEsPONdENts dEvElOPMENt of sales outside of their home markets.CHArlEs butCHEr (U.K.) sylviA siErrA This phenomenon can be explained, Bjacek says, by the fact that producerscbutcher@che.com Senior Vice President, Corporate Audience Development with a stronger emphasis on their home markets adjust to cycles better thanPAul s. GrAd (Australia) ssierra@accessintel.compgrad@che.com those more geographically diversified. Domestic companies (in any particular JOHN rOCkWElltEtsuO sAtOH (Japan) Vice President, region) have an advantage because they know how to manage their countries’tsatoh@che.com Audience Development Chemical inherent risks and excel within their own business environments, he adds.JOy lEPrEE (New Jersey) jrockwell@accessintel.comjlepree@che.com lAuriE HOfMANN Consider, for instance, that North American and Western European compa compa-GErAld PArkiNsON Audience Marketing Director nies’ divisional operations in regions such as Asia, Latin America, Africa and lhofmann@Accessintel.com(California) gparkinson@che.com the Middle East experience more volatility than the domestic producers in tErry bEstEditOriAl Audience Development Manager those regions, he says. Meanwhile, companies that perform best in foreignAdvisOry bOArd tbest@accessintel.com markets do so through joint ventures with local companies.JOHN CArsON GEOrGE sEvEriNEJenike Johanson, Inc. Fulfillment Manager Contrary to popular perception, the CPI in developed economies such asdAvid diCkEy gseverine@accessintel.com Europe, Japan and the U.S., continue to grow, maintain margins and experi experi-MixTech, Inc. JEN fElliNG ence fewer swings in profitability, the study reveals. Therefore, Bjacek warnsMukEsH dOblE List Sales, Statlistics (203) 778-8700IIT Madras, India j.felling@statlistics.com that chemical companies in developed economies should not abandon theirHENry kistEr CONfErENCEs home markets. He admits that competition is fierce in these regions, re re-Fluor Corp. dANA d. CArEy quiring unique innovation to serve customers that are themselves growing, Director, Global Event SponsorshipstrEvOr klEtz dcarey@chemweek.com inventive and internationally competitive. Still, with this complementaryLoughborough University, U.K. PECk siM edge on developing new and better products, developed regional marketsGErHArd krEysADECHEMA e.V. Senior Manager, continue to maintain the world’s highest overall margins (except for large- Conference ProgrammingrAM rAMACHANdrAN psim@chemweek.com volume chemicals in the Middle East), he says.BOC bEAtriz suArEz Ironically, these so-called market makers attain the highest margins with Director of Conference OperationsiNfOrMAtiON bsuarez@chemweek.com the lowest productivity in terms of revenue per employee. They require moresErviCEsrObErt PACiOrEk COrPOrAtE high-skilled labor, such as engineers and chemists for technical service, tech tech-Senior VP Chief Information Officer stEvE bArbEr nology support and RD, to address customers’ increasingly intense technol technol-rpaciorek@accessintel.com VP, Financial Planning Internal Audit sbarber@accessintel.com ogy needs. Market makers are not focused on scale or production. Instead,CHArlEs sANdsSenior Developer briAN NEssEN they focus on increasing margin through better ideas and revenue growth.Web/business Applications Architect Group Publisher Of course, none of this is to say that geographic expansion should becsands@accessintel.com bnessen@accessintel.com avoided altogether, or that such a trend should be expected. In fact, BjacekHEAdquArtErs says that more investment capacity is headed into “risky territory” — risk110 William Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038, U.S.Tel: 212-621-4900 Fax: 212-621-4694 in this case being defined by either political risk, politi-EurOPEAN EditOriAl OffiCEs cal terror or corruption. For the study’s projected periodZeilweg 44, D-60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany of 2008–2020, less than 10% is going to be invested inTel: 49-69-2547-2073 Fax: 49-69-5700-2484 “low-risk” regions such as Canada, Australia, JapanCirCulAtiON rEquEsts:Tel: 847-564-9290 Fax: 847-564-9453 and New Zealand, while more than 80% is destined forFullfillment Manager; P.O. Box 3588, “high-risk” regions such as China and Russia.Northbrook, IL 60065-3588 email: clientservices@che.com In any case, the overall message is encouraging forAdvErtisiNG rEquEsts: see p. 54 chemical engineers in developed and developing countriesFor photocopy or reuse requests: 800-772-3350 or info@copyright.comFor reprints: chemicalengineering@theygsgroup.com alike. Each group still has an edge, especially at home. ■ Rebekkah Marshall ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com July 2009 5
  8. 8. Letters Passionate GHG arguments I must applaud you on your May Editor’s Page com- ments in “Keep the GHG debate on point”. I believe there are three distinct aspects to the issue that should not be commingled. First is “global warming”, which is a natural phenomena that has occurred about every 1,500 years for the last million or so years that we can track it. It’s happening, and there is nothing we can do about it. The second is the role that CO2 plays in this, which is little to nothing, certainly nothing that puts responsibility on human factors. The third aspect is improving energy effi- ciency, and reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Certainly it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gases that clearly have an impact on the world, basically pol- lution and health. But CO2 isn’t one of them. I have seen people use the numbers you quote in the reverse, by mak- ing them into “CO2 equivalents”, to emphasize a reduction in CO2, not the GHG itself. To move to a so-called cap-and-trade approach to reduc- ing CO2 emissions, which could mean severe limitations (taxes) on coal energy production or exhaust emissions, is a big mistake. Making efforts to increase fuel efficiency to either make our fossil fuels last longer or reduce de- pendence on foreign oil, is probably a good thing, and if that can be done by mandating better fuel efficiency for vehicles, well maybe that’s a better idea. Tom Rolfes Rolfes International LLC, Wyoming, Ohio I just finished reading your editor’s page comment on anthropogenic global warming. I would recommend the following areas of study for you or your magazine in order for you to have a more rounded opinion on an- thropogenic global warming.Circle 07 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-07 • Ice core data and CO2 • eaf stomata and CO2 atmospheric levels L • CO2 atmospheric sampling pre and post 1957 • 13C isotopic concentration of the atmosphere • cean currents and their effects on weather patterns O • O2 concentrations of seawater and their variations C due to locale This is just a small list of topics that when researched would give any scientist doubt as to the validity of CO2 induced global warming. I will not go on and make any negative remarks about your insulting comment that any belief against anthropogenic [CO2] induced global warming is nonsensical and likening those who fight this belief as being akin to possessing elementary-school-like minds as it pertains to science. John Benkovic Plant manager, CIL Isotope Separations The editorial does not make any arguments for or against the premise of anthropogenic global warming. It merely argues that life-giving characteristics ALONE do not form the basis for a pollution exemption. Nor does it suggest that those who fight this belief possess elementary-school-like minds. Instead, it calls for deeper scientific education on the issue than that related to CO2’s life giving characteristics. — Ed.
  9. 9. Centrifuges Filters Dryers Systems -Maffei Krauss fuges Centri ryers D Filters, d an s System I count on Which Krauss-Maffei Centrifuge best meet your company’s requirements are ward better to be discussed face-to-face. You can count on more than 80 years Gold A LRQArs of experience and the dedicated know-how of our engineers. As a benefit a 10 ye ous of our in depth consultation and experience, your operating and investment n c ontinu Certificatio costs can be reduced. Take advantage of KMPT´s Tradition with approved DIN ISO Krauss-Maffei Centrifuges, Filters and Dryers. Further information on KMPT is available at www.kmpt.com/active Circle 08 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-08
  10. 10. Bookshelf Advanced Membrane Technologies and Applications. Edited by Norman N. Li. Wiley. 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. Web: wiley.com. 2008. 994 pages. $150.00. Reviewed by Peter S. Cartwright, Cartwright Consulting Co., Minneapolis, Minn. T he crossflow-pressure-driven membrane separa- tion technologies of microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis have been commercially available for less than 50 years, yet criti- cal shortages of water of acceptable quality for drinking, commercial, industrial and agricultural uses, as well as the opportunities for innovative chemical processing and manufacturing are fueling exceptional research and de- velopment activities in these technologies, with no end in sight.These seemingly frenetic activities in membranes have produced a number of technology offshoots utilized either in non-water applications or to meet specialized separation requirements. Circle 09 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-09 This book is comprised of six categories with 35 chap- ters, addressing applications from traditional and rela- tively mature water and wastewater treatment and gas separations, to membrane contactors, reactors and fuel cells. This book offers something for every reader: what’s new in water purification and wastewater treatment, membrane polymer chemistry, biomedical membrane applications and numerous specialized membranes still under development. There is almost no membrane appli- cation, whether commercially developed or still a labora- tory curiosity, that is not addressed in this book. With well over 35 authors, there is some redundancy, and with those for whom English is not their first lan- guage, spelling, grammar and punctuation were some- times a problem. Some chapters have glossaries; however, it would have been beneficial to have had one for the entire work, and HIGH ACCURACY FLOW METERS for all of the authors to have used the same acronyms FOR HIGH TEMPERATURES throughout. Units of measurement should have included both metric and English in every chapter. AND HIGH PRESSURES It was a relief to note that the figures and tables are virtually on the same pages where they are addressed; – non-intrusive ultrasonic clamp-on technology however, using different numbering systems for figures – for temperatures up to 750 °F and tables would have been less confusing. – independent of process pressure – multi-beam for high accuracy www.flexim.com It would have been helpful to have had one chapter de- usinfo@flexim.com – wide turn down voted to the history of membrane development, as it was – installation without process shut down FLEXIM Instruments LLC repeated by a number of authors. – no maintenance CA: (510) 420-6995 The mix of authors from membrane manufacturing – no pressure loss NY: (631) 492-2300 – standard volume calculation TX: (281) 635-2423 companies and academia is refreshing, as the book is nei- ther too commercial nor too theoretical. The six categories comprised of water and wastewater, TYPICAL APPLICATIONS: HEAT TRANSFER OILS | BITUMEN | PITCH/TAR | COKER FEED | CRUDE OILS/SYNTHETIC biotechnology, gas separation, contactors/reactors, envi- CRUDE | GAS OILS | REFINED PETROLEUM PRODUCTS | HOT OR TOXIC CHEMICALS ronmental/energy and materials/characterization enable the reader to quickly focus on the chapter of interest. Circle 10 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-10 8 Chemical Engineering www.che.com July 200987_Flexim-Anzeige-ChemEngin 1 11.01.2008 11:18:49 Uh
  11. 11. Circle 11 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-11
  12. 12. Circle 12 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-12
  13. 13. Bookshelf This book captures the current “state of the art” for Westfalia Separator ®membranes on a global scale, encompassing today’sextremely diverse membrane climate and provides the caretechnology reader with a vision of some of the interesting membrane developments that may be tomorrow’s commercial applications. Magnetic Nanoparticles. Edited by Sergey P. Gublin. Wiley. 111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. Web: wiley.com. 2009. 484 pages. $200.00. Predictive Functional Control: Principles and Industrial Ap- plications. By Jacques Richalet and Donal O’Donovan. Springer. 233 Spring St., New York, NY 10013. Web: springer.com. 2009. 244 pages. Engineered $149.00. Lean For the Process Industries: with Care Dealing with Complexity. By Peter L. King. Productivity Press. 7625 Empire Dr., Florence, KY 41042. Web: productivitypress.com. 2009. 358 Protecting people and the environment while pages. $49.95. boosting separation efficiency and reducing operating costs – Westfalia Separator caretechnology Computational Transport Phe- combines these parameters in a single concept. nomena for Engineering Analy- ses. By Richard C. Farmer, Ralph Our separators and decanters, developed specially W. Pike, Gary C. Cheng and Yen-Sen for the chemical industry, ensure safe production. Chen. CRC Press, 6000 Broken Sound They fulfil all applicable explosion proof regulations Parkway, NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487. Web: crcpress.com. 2009. and are rated for overpressure conditions. 530 pages. $139.95. Profitable production is assured thanks to design Elastomer Shaping Processes. features such as the special corrosion-resistant By Andre Cheymol. ISTE Publishing lining of the separator bowls and the option of Company. 3rd Floor, Tuition House, direct drive. 27/37 St George’s Road, London SW19 4EU, UK. Web: iste.co.uk. 2009. 576 Safety and productivity in ideal combination – pages. $289.95. Westfalia Separator caretechnology for the chemical industry. Biomass and Alternate Fuel Sys- tems. By Thomas McGowan. Wiley- You will find further information at: AIChE. 3 Park Ave., New York, NY www.westfalia-separator.com, SMARTSearch Code 2505CE 10016-5991. Web: iste.co.uk. 2009. 264 pages. $89.95. Circle 13 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-13 Pipeline Rules of Thumb Hand- book, Seventh Edition: A Manual of Quick, Accurate Solutions to Everyday Pipeline Engineering Problems. By E. W. McAllister. Gulf Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2608, Houston, TX 77252. Web: gulfpub. GEA Westfalia Separator Process GmbH WSPC-2-50-005 com. 2008. 800 pages. $125.00. ■ Werner-Habig-Straße 1 · 59302 Oelde (Germany) Kate Torzewski Phone +49 2522 77-0 · Fax +49 2522 77-2828 ws.process@geagroup.com · www.westfalia-separator.com
  14. 14.        Powder Inlet Liquid Inlet Completed DispersionAn intense vacuum draws powders including silica, SLIM eliminates the clogging and poor dispersion qualitythickeners and pigments into the mix chamber of the associated with eductor-based systems. It also eliminatesSLIM Solids/Liquid Injection Manifold. They are injected the need for an auxiliary pump in most applications.through a ported rotor directly into the high shear zone Operation is simple – and the portable inline SLIM easilyand dispersed instantly. serves multiple process lines.                         Circle 14 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-14
  15. 15. Edited by Gerald Ondrey July 2009 NH3A gypsum-free, energy- Watersaving route to lactic acid Sugar Fermentation Precoat- Ultra- SMB- Evaporation filtration filtration chrom.U hde GmbH (Dortmund, Germany; www. Nitrogen uhde.biz) is developing a new process for H2SO4producing lactic acid (LA) — a monomer for Lactic acidmaking the biodegradable plastic polylactic with ammonia, which is added to adjust the Amm.sulfate evaporationacid (PLA) — that does not require a distil- pH. After the fermentation — which produceslation step. As a result, savings in steam and more than 130 g/L LA titer (productivity 4electrical power are calculated to be up to g/Lh) — the broth is filtered and sulfuric acid Amm.sulfate€100/ton of LA, says Joachim Schulze, head is added to release the LA. Finally, simulated- crystallization/ granulationof Uhde’s biotechnology division. moving-bed (SMB) chromatography and In conventional routes, lactic acid is made evaporation are used to recover LA with pu- (NH4)2SO4by the fermentation of sugar using bacteria, rity sufficient for making PLA. The LA yieldsuch as lactobacillus, streptococcus or pedio- is better than 90%, says Schulze. Instead ofcoccus. As LA is produced, lime milk [satu- producing low-value gypsum, the new routerated aqueous Ca(OH)2] is added to keep the generates ammonium sulfate, which can be FutureGenpH from becoming too acidic for the bacteria made into fertilizer granulate. The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE;to survive. After fermentation, sulfuric acid is Uhde has been developing the new pro- Washington D.C.; www.doe.added to convert the calcium lactate into free cess at a test facility in Leipzig since 2007, gov) has revived a programacid, producing gypsum (CaSO4) as a byprod- and recently performed a toll operation (50 for a commercial-scale dem- onstration of a fully integrateduct. The crude LA is separated by filtration m3 fermenter) in the Czech Republic. Plans plant that would combine coaland clarification of the broth and evaporation are underway to build a pilot plant, and gasification, H2 production,of the water, and then purified by distillation. ultimately integrate the LA process into electricity generation, and The new process (flowsheet) uses a thermo- the PLA process of Uhde Inventa-Fischer CO2 capture and undergroundphyllic bacteria strain that is also compatible GmbH (Berlin). storage. The program, called FutureGen, had been dropped by the Bush Administration inNew catalyst boosts liquid-fuel yield 2008 because of the cost. DOE has signed an agree-from heavy hydrocarbons ment with the FutureGen Alliance (Washington, D.C.;A new zeolite catalyst that increases yields of light cycle oil (LCO) from high molecu-lar weight “bottoms” hydrocarbons in petro- with more acidic-active sites and pore struc- tures that blunt the poisoning effects of con- taminant metals (Fe, Ca, Ni, V), improves the www.futuregenalliance.org), an industrial sponsorship group, with the goal of build-leum fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units selectivity of the catalyst in gasoline- and ing a plant in Mattoon, Ill. Thewas commercialized last month by Grace- LCO-forming reactions compared to conven- agreement calls for $1.073 bil-Davison, an operating segment of W.R. tional FCC catalysts, says Schiller. Midas lion to be contributed by DOEGrace Co. (Columbia, Md.; www.grace. 300 “selectively cracks naptheneoaromatic and $400–600 million by thecom). Observed gains in LCO (boiling point compounds without a coke or gas penalty.” Alliance, a group of interna-430–650°F) yields of up to 6% are significant Midas 300 optimizes catalysis of three tional companies that includesto petroleum refiners seeking to improve bottoms-cracking mechanisms, including electric utilities and coal com- panies. A final decision eitherproduction of valuable liquid products, such pre-cracking of large molecules on the cata- to move forward or discontinueas transportation fuels and chemical feed- lyst matrix, zeolite-catalyzed dealkylation of the project will be made instocks, from heavy hydrocarbons (HCs), says aromatics and long-chain breakage, as well early 2010, following a detailedproduct manager Rosann Schiller. as the destruction of napthene rings. cost study. Known as Midas 300, the USY- (ultra- Midas 300 catalyst has been in commer-stable Y-type) zeolite-containing catalyst de-rives its enhanced activity from an increase cial use at two FCC units in North America and an additional plant in the Asia-Pacific Li-ion cathode Last month, BASF Corp.in mesoporosity of the catalyst matrix. Mes- region since late 2008. The facilities include (Florham, N.J.; www.basf.oporosity refers to pore sizes in the range a small gas-oil refinery and a large, residual com) signed a global licenseof 100 to 600 Å — critical for allowing free fuel-oil processor. Schiller notes that the eco- agreement with DOE’s Ar-diffusion of heavy HCs into the catalyst. nomic value of a 6% yield increase in liquid gonne National LaboratoryGreater mesoporosity improves overall se- products varies depending on the size of the (ANL; Argonne, Ill.; www.anl.lectivity by converting coke precursors into FCC unit, the type of feed and the operat- gov) to mass-produce andliquid product, explains Schiller. ing conditions, but benefits in the range of (Continues on p. 14) Enhanced catalyst mesoporosity, coupled $0.75–1.50/bbl have been reported.Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit numberon p. 54, or use the website designation. Chemical Engineering www.che.com July 2009 13
  16. 16. C hementato R (Continued from p. 13) market ANL’s patented com- posite cathode materials for advanced lithium-ion batteries.Direct conversion of cellulose to HMF demonstrated BASF will further develop the technology at its Beachwood,R esearchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL; Richland, Wash.;www.pln.gov) have published the first di- CrCl2) dissolved in an ionic liquid (1-ethyl- 3-methylimidazolium chloride) at tempera- tures of 80 to 120°C to catalyze the single- Ohio facility. ANL’s cathode is a combina- tion of lithium- and maganese-rect route for converting plant cellulose to step conversion of cellulose to HMF. In the rich, mixed-metal oxides5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a valuable laboratory, the process achieves an unrefined designed to extend operat-platform chemical for the production of both purity of 96% among recoverable products, ing time between charges,plastics and biofuels. Appearing in the June and an overall HMF yield of about 55%. increase the lifetime andissue of Appl. Cat. A, the research could Principal investigator Conrad Zhang, who improve the inherent safety ofmark a pathway to less expensive, large- has since left PNNL, says that cellulose de- Li-ion cells. Enhanced stabil-scale production of HMF. polymerization occurs at a rate one order of ity of the composite material Although a two-step process of HMF magnitude faster than conventional acid- permits batteries to charge to higher voltages, which leads toformation from plant biomass via simple catalyzed hydrolysis. The research group a “substantially” higher energy-sugars has been demonstrated previously, evaluated a wide range of metal chlorides storage capacity, says ANL.a mild-temperature, single-step process to and found that a combination of CuCl2 and BASF plans to commercial-convert cellulose directly to HMF has re- CrCl2 at a catalyst load of 37 μg/mol gener- ize these cathode materials formained elusive. ated the highest HMF yields. Experiments transportation and other appli- PNNL’s conversion process relies on the are underway to elucidate the reaction cations. Contingent upon win-use of twin metal chlorides (CuCl2 and mechanism, which is not yet understood. ning a DOE grant under the Recovery Act (Electric DriveA new support for biofilters Vehicle Battery and Compo- nent Manufacturing Initiative), the company plans to build aR esearchers from the Environmental Bio- technology Cooperative Research Center(Sydney and Perth, Australia; www.ebcrc. face of the zeolite and the internally porous crystalline structure of regularly spaced cavities provide large surface area and mo- cathode-material production plant in Elyria, Ohio.com.au) have developed a new way to har- lecular sieve properties. According to theness bacteria to biodegrade odor-causing researchers, those properties make zeolite CO2 capturesubstances. Traditional biofilters typically a filter bed material capable of adsorbing Last month, Alstom (Paris,; www.alstom.com) signed anemploy compost supported on wood chips odors, as well as provide surfaces for micro- engineering, procurementto trap the odor-producing substances, and organisms to form a biofilm to biodegrade and construction (EPC) con-rely on micro-organisms in the compost to the adsorbed odors. Since zeolite is inert, tract with StatoilHydro ASAbreak down those substances. The center’s there is no need to replace it. Backflush or (Stavanger, Norway; www.sta-executive director, David Garman, says that backwash should be enough to reduce block- toilhydro.com) on behalf of the“while bacteria can deal with a wide range age caused by biofilms. partners of the European CO2of odors, their unreliability, poor viability A fully automated laboratory-scale (1-L) Technology Center Mongstadand poor performance in normal biofilter plant, with two separate filter reactors, has (TCM; Norway) for a chilled-systems mean that often operators prefer to been constructed. Using ammonia as a model ammonia, CO2-capture plant.use simpler chemical systems. Some of these compound to understand the mechanism The demonstration plant will be the first one of its kind to treatsystems are effective at masking the odors of odor removal, experiments have demon- fluegas (FG) from a gas-firedbut do not remove or break them down.” strated that the adsorption capacity of the power plant, says Alstom. The center’s new technology replaces the zeolite bed is comparable to that of conven- Alstom will supply and installcompost and wood chips by a non-biodegrad- tional biofilters. The next step will be to dem- the demonstration plant —able matrix that also acts as an adsorbent. onstrate the system using odor-degrading scheduled to start up in No-A naturally occurring zeolite is used for micro-organisms. A full pilot plant will be set vember 2011, which will use thethat purpose. The electrically charged sur- up shortly in Perth, Western Australia. companys chilled ammonia, post-combustion technology (for process details, see CE,Using gold to catalyze oxidation reactions April 2008, p. 13) to capture CO2 from FG of a combinedP olymer-supported nanoclusters of gold have recently been shown to catalyzethe oxidation of alcohols to ketones at room dation reactions continuously. The catalyst strongly binds to the 0.25-µm-thick polysi- loxane coating of a commercially available heat and power plant at Mong- stad. It will also treat FG from a petroleum processing plant attemperature in air by the research group of gas-chromatography capillary tube [Inert- the nearby Mongstad refinery,chemistry professor Shu Kobayashi, Uni- Cap 225 from GL Science Co. (Tokyo)]. As a which has a CO2 output equalversity of Tokyo (www.chem.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp), test of the system, 1-phenyl ethanol was oxi- to that of a coal-fired powerin a project supported by Japan Science dized to the corresponding ketone with high plant. The TCM facility will cap-and Technology Agency (JST). Now, the re- yield. After four days of continuous opera- ture up to 100,000 metric tonssearchers have developed a procedure to de- tion, no loss of catalyst or catalyst activity (m.t.) per year, of which chilledposit the gold catalyst onto the inside walls was observed. Improved yields and selectiv- NH3 will capture 80,000 m.t./yr — the equivalent of a 40-MWthof glass capillary tubes, which can then be ity have also been observed by oxidation in a power plant.used as tubular reactors for performing oxi- palladium-gold-supported capillary system. 14 Chemical Engineering www.che.com July 2009
  17. 17. Too good to be true? We’ll let you decide. Try the AT9000 before youbuy. We think that you’ll be impressed with its consistent performancefrom day one to year ten, thrilled by its ease of customization, andpleasantly surprised by the window sticker.The Yamatake AT9000 Advanced TransmitterReliability you need. Performace you want. Pricing you crave. Circle 15 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-15888-262-4639YamatakeAmerica.com
  18. 18. C hementato R Planar membrane wafer stack Thin membraneScaleup is set for an Porous membraneair-separation membrane supportT he Electric Power Research Institute Dense, slotted (EPRI, Palo Alto, Calif.; www.epri. backbonecom) has signed an agreement with Air Air (vitiated)Products (Allentown, Penn.; www.air-products.com) to support the company’s 800-900°C Spacerdevelopment of a ceramic ion transport 200-300 psig between wafersmembrane (ITM) for air separation. Themembrane is being tested and scaled Productup under a cooperative agreement with withdrawalthe U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE, Wash- tubeington D.C.; www.doe.gov). The goal is to substitute the mem-brane for cryogenic air separation forintegrated gasification combined cycle Pure oxygen(IGCC) and oxycombustion systems. Inoxycombustion, oxygen replaces combus- velopment for advanced gas separation 19). Under the agreement with DOE,tion air, thus producing a fluegas that is with Air Products. Air Products has been testing the mem-nitrogen-free, but rich in carbon diox- Air Products’ ITM consists of a stack brane at a scale of 5 ton/d of O2 and haside, which can be readily captured. ITM of wafers made of doped, complex metal achieved an O2 purity of 99%. Startingtechnology is expected to reduce power oxides. Air is heated to above 700°C in 2010, the company plans to test aconsumption for air separation by up at 280 psi, and O2 is ionized, passes 150-ton/d system and integrate it withto 30% and capital costs by about 30%, through the membrane, then reforms a gas turbine. Several of EPRI’s utilitysays Ted Foster, director of business de- into molecules (CE, December 2008, p. members are cooperating in the project. Helping you keep your cool under any circumstances 24/7/365. Aggreko Cooling Tower Services (ACTS) ACTS provides proven rental cooling is the world’s largest provider of rental tower solutions to: cooling tower solutions. For over • Maintain cooling capacity during 20 years, we have successfully helped partial or complete tower repair customers solve their cooling water limitations - under any circumstances. • Reduce cooling water temperatures during peak summer conditions From the planning stages to the turnkey • Minimize post-disaster downtime installation of convenient modular cooling towers, ACTS has the solutions to help • Add cooling water capacity with no you keep your cool, 24/7/365. capital commitment Contact Aggreko today for all your rental cooling tower needs. Performance Certified by Cooling Technology Institute 866.310.0870 www.coolingtowers.com Circle 16 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-16 Circle XX on p. XX or go to adlinks.che.com/230XX-XX 16 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com July 2009
  19. 19. A less-expensive way to make platinum catalystsT he cost of producing platinum cata- lysts could be reduced by up to 90%by a process being developed jointly by atomic-level control of film thickness. The catalyst structure has been tested for conversion of CO to CO2 and achieved with surface areas of up to 3,000 m2/g. The high surface area allows more of the catalyst to be exposed, notes Biener.Lawrence Livermore National Labora- nearly 100% conversion efficiency with a In the ALD process, an organic platinumtory (LLNL, Livermore, Calif.; www. platinum content of as little as 0.05 mg/ precursor in the vapor phase is depositedllnl.gov) and Stanford University (Stan- cm2. “We get a very fine dispersion, so a on aerogel disks at around 300°C in a ni-ford, Calif.; www.stanford.edu). The pro- small amount of catalyst can do a lot,” trogen atmosphere. Biener points out thatcess involves the deposition of minute says Juergen Biener, a materials scien- the process differs from chemical vapor de-amounts of platinum onto disks of car- tist with LLNL. position in that the deposition is surface-bon aerogel by a technique called atomic The carbon aerogels, made by sol-gel catalyzed and self-limiting, so that onlylayer deposition (ALD), which permits chemistry, are strong, yet highly porous, one atomic layer is deposited at a time.Extracting drinking water from humidityA n energy-autonomous process for cap- turing air humidity for drinking waterhas been developed by scientists at the gle households or hotels in regions where there is no electricity infrastructure. In the process, water from the atmo- condensed and runs through a com- pletely filled column, creating the vac- uum needed for the brine tank. Recon-Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial En- sphere is absorbed by hygroscopic brine, centrated brine then repeats the cycle.gineering and Biotechnology (IGB; Stutt- which runs down a tower-shaped unit. Prototypes for both system componentsgart; www.fraunhofer.de) and Logos-Inno- The brine is then sucked up to an ele- — absorption and vacuum evaporationvationen GmbH (Bodnegg, both Germany; vated tank, which is under vacuum, and — have been built, and the combinationwww.logos-innovationen.com). The con- heated by solar collectors thereby evap- tested on a laboratory scale. A demon-cept is suitable for supplying water to sin- orating the water. Water vapor is then stration facility is the next step. Circle 17 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-17www.che.com July 2009 Chemical Engineering 17
  20. 20. C hementato RThis photocatalyst works with visible lightA photocatalyst that uses visible light to deodorize and disinfect air hasbeen developed by Hiroshi Taoda at sumer applications, such as car interi- ors, bathrooms and smoking rooms. An optimized composition of TiO2, (UV) irradiation. For disinfection, the catalyst was shown to reduce the num- ber of Staphylococcus aureus by nearlythe Materials Research Institute for apatite and iron has been shown to be five orders of magnitude to below 10Sustainable Development, National In- nearly six times more effective at de- after 8 h irradiation with white fluores-stitute of Advanced Industrial Science composing formaldehyde than existing cent light — an efficiency of 99%. Theand Technology, Chubu, Nagoya, (AIST; photocatalysts, which also do not re- catalyst also eliminates 90% of oxidesChubu, Nagoya, Japan; www.aist.go.jp). spond to visible light, says Taoda. Also, of nitrogen (NOx) by UV irradiation ofThe catalyst is made from inexpensive acetaldehyde is completely broken down a gasflow containing 1 part-per-millioncomponents, such as titanium dioxide, to CO2 and water after 3-h irradiation. (ppm) NOx. The researchers estimateapatite mineral and iron, without using Furthermore, the photocatalyst showed that the cost for producing a catalystmore costly noble and rare-earth metals, enhanced performance for the decompo- slurry would be a few thousand Yenthus making it suitable for use in con- sition of acetaldehyde under ultraviolet (around $10) per kilogram.Making solar panels even greenerL ast month, Malibu GmbH Co, KG (Bielefeld, Germany; www.malibu-solar.de) started up a thin-film photo- icant global warming potential — from the manufacturing process. The facil- ity uses an improved cleaning process payback time — the time it takes the use of photovoltaic panels to offset the environmental impact of their manu-voltaic-module fabrication facility that based on fluorine (F2), which is gener- facture — is reduced by one year, saysis claimed to be the world’s first to ated onsite by a patented technology the firm. The process is being used ineliminate the use of nitrogen trifluoride from Linde Gases (Munich, Germany; Malibu’s new, 40-MW production facil-(NF3) — a greenhouse gas with a signif- www.linde.com). As a result, the carbon ity in Osterweddingen, Germany. The new RecipCOM delivers diagnostics, protection and therapy for your reciprocating compressors. Spread the word!
  21. 21. The missing piece for A new way to make BDO from sugarswireless process control Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.; www.genomatica.com) has developed a process for the production of commercial-grade 1,4-butanediol (BDO) from renewable feedstocks, announcing last month that it can produce BDO at greater than 99% purity. In additionL ast month, Honeywell Process So- lutions (HPS; Phoenix, Ariz.; www.honeywell.com/ps) unveiled the process to glucose and sucrose, the ability to use xylose has also been demonstrated, which may lead to the development of second-generation processes that consume the carbo- hydrates of lignocellulosic biomass.industry’s first redundant wireless sys- In the cost-efficient, scalable process, BDO is produced directly in a fermentation brothtem gateway (WSG), connecting the last from sugars by strains of bacteria that are tolerant of the commercial target concentra-major gap in the path to wireless process tions. The yield and rate of BDO production needed on a commercial scale are achieved.control. WSGs manage data between Operations at a demonstration plant will be underway by 2010 with an expected ca- pacity of approximately 1 ton/d. When the demonstration plant validation is complete,wireless field instrumentation and a Genomatica plans to commercialize the process through partnerships. ❏plant’s process control network. Redun-dancy between the wireless instrumentsthemselves and their assigned gateway do that wirelessly?” says Becker. advantage, he points to one of the firstwas already a reality since the introduc- The redundant WSG overcomes impor- commercial installations planned fortion of so-called wireless mesh networks. tant programming hurdles, such as the the new system, a 35-tank, monitoringPrior to this latest release, however, any- avoidance of signal confusion from dual and control system in Houston whereone using wireless networking still had a gateways without more than a 2-s delay. the quote to install a wired system wasreliability risk: that if a gateway failed, so Meanwhile, unique failure-recovery fea- 50% higher than for the wireless setup.would the signals being routed through tures help prevent data loss, Becker says. Depending on location, the savingsit, explains Jeff Becker, global wireless The release is especially timely for could be closer to 70%, he says. And,business director at HPS. “We would not the vast number of aging facilities with that completes the upfront capital forexpect our customers to run [process] control networks and instrumentation a full wireless network in which subse-control over wires without full redun- that are nearing the end of their life- quent wireless devices can be added fordancy, so why should we expect them to cycle, Becker says. To illustrate the cost “hardly anything”. ■ www.hoerbiger.com Circle 18 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-18 For more information please contact compressor-mechatronics@hoerbiger.com
  22. 22. CDS NewsfrontSeparation:More, More, More Figure 1. The CDS StatoilHydro Bulk Deboiler is a compact cyclone Chemical processors are asking for more efficiency designed to separate oil from water for a wide range of water cuts and higher purity from their separation equipment ration or you can get the same amount in an effort to produce higher-quality through with better separation,” ex- plains Rukovena. “In new construc- product at the lowest cost possible tion, the technology permits building of smaller towers. Some distillation tow- ers can get as large as 40 ft. in dia., soC hemical processors want more marketing with Fractionation Re- any foot you can take off when work- from their separation processes search Inc. (Stillwater, Calif.). For this ing at higher pressure equals a big cost these days. Whether their tech- reason, finding a technology that can savings in material and energy.” He nology choice is distillation, provide even a half-percentage change notes that in either case, by increasingmembrane or magnetic, processors in efficiency across the industry would the efficiency of the separation, less en-are asking for more energy efficiency, present a significant energy savings. ergy is used in the process.more process efficiency and more pu- One promising area is a new “un- GEA Process Engineering (Colum-rity in an effort to make their compa- conventional” tray design, according to bia, Md.) is also working to improvenies more competitive. Rukovena, whose non-profit research energy efficiency of separation pro- “When you improve the efficiency or consortium includes 69 members in the cesses, such as evaporation and distil-capacity of a product, it almost always chemical, petroleum, engineering and lation, by integrating process steps.can be used to improve the process equipment supplier industries with an “There are major trends to highlyeconomics with respect to investment interest in separation technologies. integrate the columns in the overallcosts or operating costs,” says Mark Typically, packing and trays in dis- plant design, which allows us to offerPilling, manager of technology with tillation towers are used to mix liquid combination units where the columnsSulzer Chemtech (Tulsa, Okla.). To and vapor. The liquid and vapor move can heat each other, as well as to usehelp processors do this, separation- counter-current to each other and, hybrid units in combination withtechnology providers strive to main- as they do that under normal grav- evaporators,” explains Matthias Loe-tain a strong base of engineering ex- ity, the capacity can only get so high wenberg, application engineer withpertise to assist customers in making before vapor blows the liquid back- GEA Process Engineering.sure the separation design ultimately wards up the tower. “We are always These integrated technologies pro-provided is the proper solution with trying to figure out how to develop vide energy savings by recycling heatedrespect to the whole process. “This is something that will let more capac- steam. “In the case of integrated col-especially important when new pro- ity through and make the separation umns, you can reuse steam from thecesses are arising from the efforts between the liquid and vapor without first column in the second column,”for greener and more energy-efficient the back mixing that ruins the effi- says Loewenberg. In very basic terms,technologies,” notes Pilling. ciency,” says Rukovena. one column heats the other so proces- These new, unconventional trays sors only have to put energy into theMore efficiency might be the ticket. Instead of just first column and can conserve energyEnergy efficiency certainly plays a counting on gravity for separation of down the line in the next column.starring role in what chemical proces- liquid and vapor, the new trays use The most common duos for this en-sors are demanding from their sepa- centrifugal forces and impingement ergy efficient technology, according torations, especially when it comes to devices to accomplish separation, Loewenberg, include hybrid columns,distillation. “Distillation processes which lets processors go beyond the such as combination units of falling-that make separations for chemical separation that would normally be film evaporators in conjunction withand oils are one of the biggest consum- achieved using gravity alone. distillation columns or rectificationers of energy in the country,” explains “For existing towers, this means you columns.Frank Rukovena, vice president of can get more through at the same sepa- With compression systems, says20 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com July 2009
  23. 23. Circle 19 on p. 54 or go toadlinks.che.com/23016-19
  24. 24. CDS NewsfrontLoewenberg, GEA provides mechani- in this way will most always pro-cal vapor recompression, where in- vide payback without higher cap-stead of using steam, boiled-off vapor ital costs.is compressed and used again as a Process efficiency is also onheating source. many processors’ wish lists, espe- Membrane technology, too, is an- cially when it comes to substanceother application for reducing energy separation. “We see a lot of inter-use in separations, according to Kevin est from operators in subsea oil Figure 2. The CDS StatoilHydro Inline de-Donahue, business manager for indus- processing in doing their separa- liquidizer has been applied at a number of fields, de-bottlenecking or replacing large,trial processes with Koch Membrane tions in a more compact and ef- conventional gas scrubbers with ultra-com-Systems (KMS; Wilmington, Mass.). ficient way,” says Rune Fantost, pact separation in pipe segmentsFor example, if a plant is processing technology director of CDS Sepa-at full capacity but wants to boost pro- ration Technology (Houston), which we can offer them solutions upstreamduction further, debottlenecking the is part of FMC Technologies’ Separa- or downstream from the existing ves-evaporator could help. “In these cases, tion’s Group. “In this field they have sels that can increase capacity andthe companies should consider the use been seeking a technology that will performance,” says Fantost.of a membrane to remove water from permit inland separation using pipe CDS has worked with a variety ofthe fluid ahead of the evaporator to segments instead of large vessels.” operators to develop compact, inlinepreconcentrate the liquids or solids,” The quest for this technology is separation technology. “We’ve spent aexplains Donahue. “The membrane driven by bottlenecks and operating lot of time qualifying this technologycould provide a factor of five or ten problems offshore on the platforms, to come up with operating envelopestimes more energy efficiency com- which creates the need to find a simple and how it will perform in differentpared to an evaporator [alone].” way to retrofit. “They have a certain applications with the major oil com- While he says the exact savings number of separation vessels and they panies,” says Fantost. The result is aare plant specific, using membranes don’t want to replace those vessels, so line of inline separators based on com- “QUALITY PRODUCTS DESIGNED AND TESTED TO SATISFY CUSTOMER NEEDS.” At Valve Concepts, Inc., we realize that quality can’t be inspected into a product. Instead, it starts in the factory, where we employ an ISO 9001:2000 Quality Assurance Program to ensure compliance to international standards. Our commitment to engineering excellence also extends to our own state-of-the art, full-scale test facility, where we collect and analyze flow performance data. We’re comparing the results against our own standards — which are often higher than those stated in API requirements. It’s just one more way that “We simply make it right.” Darrin Vanderbilt, Engineering Lab Manager 7 Years Industry Experience www.cashco com Cashco, Inc., P.O. Box 6, Ellsworth, KS 67439-0006, Ph. (785) 472-4461, Fax: (785) 472-3539 Innovative Solutions Circle 20 on p. 54 or go to adlinks.che.com/23016-2022 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com July 2009 CAS-179A.indd 1 11/25/08 2:49:35 PM