Author Archives: Peter Spitz

Aircraft biofuel blending becoming a reality

 While there is considerable controversy regarding the Greenhouse gas emission-related benefits of biofuels, a number of air lines, notably United, are starting to use a “natural” jet fuel produced by a process patented by UOP. The fact that this biofuel … Continue reading

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Tidal Power: How close to reality?

Production of electricity from the difference between high and low tide has been an area of interest since for centuries water turbines have turned in many areas of the world to drive heavy wheels used to grind wheat or make gunpowder. … Continue reading

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Finally: Synthetic silk!

Historically, garments and other textiles were made from natural fibers, principally cotton, wool and silk. Of these, silk was the most prized for its strength, dyeability, and smooth, non-slippery texture. But its supply was very limited as it was the product of the … Continue reading

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Ellen Kullman’s big win needs applause

After a long, bruising battle with hedge fund Trian Partners and Nelson Peltz, Dupont’s management headed by CEO Ellen Kullman soundly defeated an attempt by the investment fund to gain seats on the DuPont board with the stated purpose of … Continue reading

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Shell Arctic Drilling: Considerations urge caution

  The Obama administration appears to have given green light to Shell Oil Company to resume its plan to drill in the highly oil-rich Chuchki Sea in the Arctic offshore Northern Alaska. This follows an aborted effort to commence this … Continue reading

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Crude price staying down: Thanks to fracking “learning curve” and chemicals

 Like duelling banjos, the U.S. and Saudi oil producers have been carrying out a spirited contest to see who first cries “Uncle” (My apologies for these metaphors). When crude prices first started to plunge from the                $ 100/bbl level, the … Continue reading

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End of an era: Dow spins off chlor-alkali

Dow Chemical has agreed to sell its Chlor-alkali assets and associated derivatives businesses to Olin Corporation in a transaction that in one stroke separates Dow from its main heritage business and makes Olin the largest domestic chlor-alkali producer. Dow will … Continue reading

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