Tag Archives: petrochemical

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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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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New, Middle West cracker breaks the mold

 Last week The Joseph Priestley Society of Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia hosted a luncheon and a speech by Fernando Musa, head of Braskem USA, which is now the largest polypropylene producer in the Americas. The most interesting part of the speech … Continue reading

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Westlake MLP opens new chapter

Wow! How the U.S. petrochemical world has changed! The shale gas “revolution” has made the production of ethylene from ethane so profitable that a downstream integrated ethylene producer can now “donate”( well, actually sell, but under favorable conditions) some of his profits to investors in … Continue reading

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North American competitveness: Mexico rising

In several previous posts and in my Ted speech I talked about the “renaissance” of the North American manufacturing industry with emphasis on our energy and petrochemical industries. Let me now broaden this to include Mexico, our NAFTA neighbor, which is a … Continue reading

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Ethanol from Natural Gas: An obvious move

With corn prices hitting new highs every day because of the nationwide drought and natural gas prices lower than anyone thought they could go and slated to stay low, there is a good reason for the government to change current legislation regarding … Continue reading

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Cheap Shale Gas: Multiplier effects

Recently, two domestic chemical companies deeply involved in the chlor-alkali chain agreed to merge their participation in this area to create a formidable competitor in the production of PVC, other chlorine derivatives and caustic soda. In a transaction valued at … Continue reading

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TED: I salute chemical engineers

In late March I was asked to speak at a TEDx conference hosted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. Although the theme of the conference was Sustainability,Professor Mike Ehrlich, who coordinated the event, said I should choose a … Continue reading

Posted in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Industry, Energy Industry | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Catalytic Ethylene Process: Interesting!

You could say that the petrochemical world has long wondered when a plant using a catalytic reactor rather than a thermal  steam cracker would produce ethylene from ethane. Now, such a plant has been announced for a site in the … Continue reading

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U.S. Natural Gas: The big picture

Controversy will continue because of continuing incidents where “fracking” has introduced chemicals and natural gas directly or indirectly into household drinking water. This situation must and will be dealt with by regulatory authorities, but we must nevertheless be steadfast in developing the resource– in … Continue reading

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