Category Archives: Chemical Industry

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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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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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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Promising startups using novel chemistry

 In its November 2, 2015 issue, Chemical and Engineering News described ten new startups that show considerable promise. One of these, Bolt Threads, which has discovered how to make synthetic silk, was covered in my June 8th, 2015 post. Like … Continue reading

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3D Printing advancing rapidly

As I have pointed out before, there should be more appreciation of the key role that chemistry is playing in today’s high tech world. The most obvious areas are in electronics where a multitude of polymers and other chemicals are used in the manufacture … Continue reading

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Making “Petrochemicals” without petroleum feedstocks: China successfully uses coal

Ethylene has historically been the most important petrochemical building block: a highly reactive molecule made by the high temperature cracking of hydrocarbons ranging from ethane to heavy gas liquids. This is actually not a specific process in that it produces a number of other … Continue reading

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