Author Archives: Peter Spitz

Silicone wristbands for monitoring exposure to hazardous chemicals

I just came across an article in the current issue of Chemical and Engineering News magazine that caught my interest. A company called MyExposome are making available lightweight silicone wristbands that trap minute amounts of the multitude of chemicals that people are … Continue reading

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Young Liberals opposed to Fracking: Look at facts before making judgments

As the New York State Democratic primary heats up, it has become evident that “fracking” is becoming a political “football”. It’s not surprising that opposition to fracking, in principle, has become an election issue in New York, since Governor Cuomo, … Continue reading

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High End Plastics: A niche product is finally growing

I just got back from Dubai where I gave a keynote speech to the Gulf Coast Petrochemical and Chemical Association (GPCA) on the history of petrochemical research and process development. Plastics started making major inroads in substituting for traditional materials … Continue reading

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Large scale desalination with renewable energy: Breakthrough in Saudi Arabia

The fresh water-short desert kingdoms of the Middle East have long been the largest installers of desalination technology. How large can be deduced from the fact that the Saudis use 1.5 million barrels a day of crude oil to supply energy to its … Continue reading

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Fusion becoming real?

Remember the time a decade or two ago when two professors announced that they had carried out a fusion reaction? Well, that didn’t work out so well and was soon forgotten. More recently it became known that a multi-national consortium … Continue reading

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The chemical landscape changes: Dow and DuPont merge and unscramble

For those of us who have followed the development of the U.S. chemical industry for a number of decades, the newly announced “blockbuster” Dow-DuPont deal is the latest fascinating development. Here is a synopsis of industry history (Time periods are approximate): 1900 … Continue reading

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Kemper power plant dooms “Clean coal” approach

The concept of scrubbing carbon dioxide from power plant flue gases has been around ever since global warming and climate change became part of our vocabulary. When it quickly became evident that flowing the huge amounts of flue gases from coal-burning … Continue reading

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