Category Archives: Chemical Engineering

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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Rare earths revisited: Monopoly broken but security issues remain

As readers of my blog know, I have an abiding interest in rare earth metals, since they are such a fundamental source of technology for use in computers, TV and other displays, windmills, medical imaging….the list goes on and on.  As … Continue reading

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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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California water crisis deepens: Graphene membranes could provide a breakthrough

This blog has recently featured articles on the growing worldwide water crisis and on the potential of a new material called graphene which has exhibited amazing characteristics (strength, chemical resistance, flexibility) that could lead to breakthroughs in a number of areas. It … Continue reading

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Chemicals Manufacturing: New Technologies, New Thinking

Consider this quote from a high level Chinese spokesman: As supply of capital, land and other factors is on the decline and resource and environmental restriction become more serious, the proportion of first and second industries, which consume capital, land … Continue reading

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An immigrant’s son succeeded while “Big Oil” was seeking new oil fields abroad

 George Mitchell, son of a Greek goatherder immigrant with an unpronounceable name, was born in Galveston in 1919 and graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in petroleum engineering and geology. He recently died with a legacy: “cracking the … Continue reading

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Sea water desalination: becoming a reality here

The technologies that can be used to make fresh water from sea water or partly salty bracking water have been used for a long time in locations where little fresh water exists (e.g. the Middle East).  The processes employed are … Continue reading

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