Category Archives: Manufacturing

Metamaterials: A possible nano breakthrough

    Readers of my blog have probably recognized that I write more about energy than about chemical developments. This is not by choice, but because I have over the last year found little to write about in the chemical world. … Continue reading

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U.S. Chemical Balance of Trade Will Turn Positive If New Administration Changes Tax Law

As an unreconstructed cheerleader for the petrochemical industry and its massive exports, it has always been annoying to me that our balance of trade is nevertheless negative due to our similarly massive import of pharmaceuticals. The line with dots represents the … Continue reading

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Fish drowning in plastic garbage!

Here is an interesting sequence from someone who has happily chronicled the amazing growth of petrochemicals over the past sixty years: (a) Dustin Hoffman learns about  “plastics” from a Dutch uncle upon graduation (b) Ethylene becomes the largest-growing petrochemical and … Continue reading

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Intelligent textiles: Another technology breakthrough

In my previous post I discussed how chemical companies are trying to cope with how technology is changing the workplace: the need to train insufficiently skilled/ educated workers to use the automated controls and robotics now increasingly used in plants that … Continue reading

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Chemical Manufacturing: Worker education a new priority

 First, the good news! The U.S., perhaps surprisingly to some, has now topped China in Manufacturing Competitiveness, according to a Deloitte study. The other news is not necessarily bad, but is worth noting. Jobs in manufacturing have been changing rapidly, … 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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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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Projecting carbon fiber composites for mass auto market: Several factors are involved

This blog has periodically posted articles on the growing use of carbon fiber composites, noting their strength and light weight, relative to steel, and their downside of high cost.  These materials are now in prime use in large airliners and in … 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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