Author Archives: Peter Spitz

Shale gas-based ethylene boom: Future planning is essential

 The availability of cheap ethane (best ethylene feedstock) from shale gas and from new, light crude oils has resulted in boom times for the U.S. petrochemical industry. From a position of relative lack of competitiveness, U.S. olefin plants are now the low cost world … Continue reading

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Unusual forms of carbon: Growing Commercial Uses

 Richard Smalley’s team’s discovery of Buckyballs( Fullerene) at Rice University in 1985 was a breakthrough in the knowledge of so-called allotropic forms of carbon. Thirty years have now gone by, but commercial applications of these interesting shapes of carbon are still … Continue reading

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NAFTA can work both ways: Mexico starts to privatize energy

The North American Free Trade Agreement, now over twenty years old,  has been very good for Canada and, even more, for Mexico with both countries’ enjoying highly favorable balances of trade with the U.S.  Mexico is increasingly replacing China as a source … Continue reading

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3D Printing comes of age

This blog is about chemical and energy developments of interest to me and, I trust, also to readers following these posts. Since I have wondered for some time about how 3D printing works, I decided to investigate and this is the result. (Full disclosure: … Continue reading

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GW/Climate Change: Why methane is so important

For some time now, it has become obvious that natural gas and crude oil production from shale deposits results in significant emissions of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Efforts by drillers and gas distributors to … Continue reading

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Flue gas carbon removal: Skyonic’s approach

A new EPA ruling, just validated by the U.S. Supreme Court, is aimed at substantially reducing carbon dioxide emission in the flue gas from coal-fired power plants and other large coal-burning plants. In previous posts on this blog I have discussed … Continue reading

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Westlake MLP opens new chapter

Wow! How the U.S. petrochemical world has changed! The shale gas “revolution” has made the production of ethylene from ethane so profitable that a downstream integrated ethylene producer can now “donate”( well, actually sell, but under favorable conditions) some of his profits to investors in … Continue reading

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