Monthly Archives: November 2011

Fracking: Rewards and risks

The controversy regarding the benefits versus the downsides of “fracking” (the use of hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling to release large quantities of natural gas and some oil from vast shale formations) will not be resolved any time soon.  What … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Industry, Energy Industry | Tagged | 4 Comments

Thanks – for the chemistry (on Thanksgiving)

Shades of Bob Hope and his theme song “Thanks…. for the memory”. Well, I’m showing my age.  But, as we celebrate one of our traditional holidays, we should consider how much chemistry has contributed to our way of life and to celebrate its … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Industry | 1 Comment

U.S. begins lithium production

There is great interest in lithium due to its unique use in batteries for electric cars or plug-ins. Much of the world’s lithium is produced from a concentrated brine from salt flats in an area common to Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Industry, Energy Industry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Defying Malthus: Chem. E’s are helping

Recently, I was privileged to attend a conference :Feeding the World” sponsored by the Chemical Heritage Foundation in conjunction with the International Year of Chemistry 2011. A range of eminent speakers from universities, NGO’s and companies involved in agricultural chemicals … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Industry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Creating the Future

U.S. economic strength and quality of life are the result of our country’s history of successful technological innovation and creation of engineering knowhow. However, research has shown that adults and children have a limited understanding of what engineers do and … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Industry, Energy Industry | Tagged | Leave a comment

Car Must Become Lighter: A Chemical Opportunity

The government’s recent proposal to raise the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 is too extreme to be adopted, but the figure will certainly keep rising to reduce crude oil consumption and the import … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Industry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chemical Engineering Students: Stay the course!

Part of the problem of not getting enough university graduates in STEM fields is the unfortunate fact that a number of students initially enrolled in such courses change their minds and switch to other majors, most often to Liberal Arts. An article … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Engineering | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rare Earth Metals: U.S. needs selfsufficiency

There are few products more in need of a revival of U.S. manufacturing than rare earth metals. Once an important producer, the U.S. ceded its position to China when prices fell sharply a number of years ago. But with prices now … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Industry | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chem.E. Challenges and Opportunities

For students considering Chemical Engineering as a major, as well as for those who have already decided on a career in Chemical Engineering, I recommend taking a look at two excellent references. They are not easy reading, as I will be the … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Engineering | Tagged | 1 Comment