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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Unknown facts about Caesium

Caesium is a metal denoted as Cs in the period table with the atomic number of 55. It is one of the most reactive metal. It is found in the s-block which is because the outermost electron of Caesium is in s-orbital. Caesium is a soft, shiny-gold alkali metal which is having a melting point of 28.5 °Celsius (83.3 °Fahrenheit), which is one of five rudimentary metals that can become liquid at room temperature.
The Discovery of Caesium
Chemists such as Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff who discovered cesium in 1860 when investigating the spectrum in mineral water. The name designated from the Latin word "caesius", which denotes "sky blue". This defines to the color of the line that the spectrum the chemists saw when they were discovering the spectrum. This later on tipped them of a new element caesium.
Possessions of Caesium
  • Samples of cesium are kept in sealed containers, under an inert liquid or gas or in a vacuum. The element is highly reactive that it would react with water and air.
  • Cesium instinctively ignites in air which describes that it is pyrophoric in nature.
  • It is the one of the supreme alkaline of all the elements and oxidizes explosively with water to give rise to caesium hydroxide (CsOH), which is a strong base in nature.
  • Allen scale of electronegativity indicates cesium as the most electronegative element.
  • It is drawn into fine wires because of its softer-ductile character.
  • Cesium-133 is the only one isotope of cesium that occurs naturally. Although there are numerous radioactive isotopes that has been produced.
  • Caesium atom has an electron resonance frequency of 9,192,631,770 cycles per second.

Read more: Unknown facts about Caesium

TechnipFMC donates $1 million for Hurricane Harvey flood relief

LONDON, UK/ PARIS, FRANCE/ HOUSTON, US: TechnipFMC (FTI) has made a donation of $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston to support the work being carried out across Houston and Gulf Coast communities to assist in the recovery from Hurricane Harvey.
This effort supports our fundamental belief of sustainability and is in-line with the company’s long-term commitment to the United Way.
“Our priority is to support our colleagues, families and neighbours across the Gulf Coast region who have been impacted. This donation to the United Way of Greater Houston reinforces our commitment to the communities in which we live and work. Our management team is supporting our employees affected by this terrible event while we continue to assess the situation. I am tremendously proud of the solidarity shown by all our people to support those in need,” said Doug Pferdehirt, CEO of TechnipFMC.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

KPPC to implement Honeywell connected plant services

Honeywell (HON) announced that Kuwait Paraxylene Production Co (KPPC) will use two Honeywell Connected Plant services to improve the performance of its CCR platforming and aromatics complex, which produces paraxylene for plastic fibres and films, at its Shuaiba petrochemical facility in Safat, Kuwait.
KPPC will use Honeywell connected plant's process reliability advisor for ongoing monitoring, early event detection and mitigation of performance issues before they become costly. The company also will use process optimization advisor, which continuously monitors streaming plant data and applies Honeywell UOP process models to determine the most economical mode of operations. Both services use big-data analytics and machine learning to improve plant operation.

CNPC to build gas hydrate pilot site in South China Sea

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and the Ministry of Land and Resources, Guangdong province have signed a strategic cooperation agreement on promoting the building of a pilot site for exploring and exploiting gas hydrate in the Shenhu Area of the South China Sea.
The conclusion of this agreement will help accelerate the industrial development of gas hydrate in China and is of great strategic significance to securing the country’s energy security and optimizing its energy mix.
Under the agreement, CNPC will continue to take advantage of its technologies and experience in onshore natural gas development and deep-sea hydrate test production in building the pilot site.

Indian Oil to invest INR 32,000 cr in petrochemicals sector by 2021

To meet the rising demand for petrochemicals, especially plastics and polymers, largest public-sector company Indian Oil Corporation will invest Rs 32,000 crore to ramp up its output by fiscal 2021.
This investment is part of the overall Rs 1.8 trillion capex planned for the next five to seven years, IOC chairman Sanjiv Singh said.
The petchem business contributes a quarter of the most profitable PSUs profit, which rose to the highest at Rs 19,106 crore in fiscal 2017.
Indian Oil has already executed petchem projects worth Rs 20,800 crore and is close to commission a Rs 3,150-crore polypropelene plant at its 15-million tonne refinery at Paradip in Odisha.
"In view of the growing demand for petrochemicals products, especially for plastics and polymers, the company will invest in capacity augmentation. The capex for this is planned at Rs 32,000 crore over the next few years," said Singh.
The new projects include MEG (mono ethylene glycol), PTA (purified terephtalic acid) and petcoke gasification plants at the Paradip refinery and value addition at C-4 and C-5 at Panipat and a polypropylene unit at Barauni Refinery, he added.
Singh said the company reported its highest profit at Rs 19,106 crore in fiscal 2017 on the back of best ever sales, refinery production and became the most profitable PSU. During the year, company’s sales rose to Rs 4,38,710 crore.
On the overall capex plan, he said, the PSU has lined up a capex of Rs 1.8 trillion over the next five to seven years.
"This capex is to scale up our investments in areas to ensure that IOC grows profitably in terms of volumes and revenue. This will see investment of around Rs 30,000 crore per annum in asset creation such as the expansion of the Gujarat, Barauni, Panipat and Paradip refineries.
On the gas pipelines, he said, IOC will have over 20,000-km of natural gas and liquid fuel pipes by fiscal 2021.
Currently, the oil and gas major has 13,000-km of the 15,000-km operational pipelines, making it the largest player in the country.
The government has set a target of doubling the 15,000-km gas pipeline to 30,000-km by then.

Celanese declares force majeure on vinyl acetate monomer in US

Celanese Corporation (CE) announced that as a result of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Celanese’s operations, suppliers and service providers in the Texas Gulf Coast, Celanese is temporarily unable to supply the vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) needs of its customers in the Americas.
Celanese is continuing to assess the regional and global impact of this force majeure event, and given that this is a rapidly developing situation, Celanese cannot provide any specific details or timing of the full impact to all customers. 

LyondellBasell Hostalen technology selected for Shandong’s polyethylene unit

LyondellBasell Industries NV (LYB) said that Shandong Shougang Luqing Co Ltd has selected LyondellBasell’s industry-leading Hostalen ACP polyethylene process technology for a 350 KTA high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit to be built in their petrochemical complex, at Bohai Industry Park, Shouguang, China.
The Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (ACP) offers manufacturers increased flexibility and versatility in the production of multimodal HDPE resins compared to other HDPE technologies. These multi-modal HDPE resins display a superior stiffness/toughness balance, impact resistance, high stress cracking resistance and processing advantages that make them valuable in film, blow moulding and pipe applications.

Dow donates $1 million for Hurricane Harvey flood relief

The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation have announced the allocation of $1 million to support immediate relief and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts associated with the Hurricane Harvey storm and its aftermath, as well as support for the company’s impacted employees.
As a part of this commitment, Dow is collaborating with national and local partners providing critical services to individuals immediately effected by the flood. To help meet this immediate need, Dow will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, $100,000 to Team Rubicon, and $200,000 to other local nonprofit organizations assisting the region.

Total starts production at Edradour-Glenlivet gas field

Total SA has started-up production from the Edradour & Glenlivet gas and condensate fields, located in about 300 to 435 meters of water in the West of Shetland area (Scotland), close to the Laggan-Tormore fields which came on stream in February 2016.
The Edradour and Glenlivet development will bring additional production capacity of up to 56,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boe/d). 
The Edradour and Glenlivet development consists of a 35-kilometre tie-back of three subsea wells to the existing Laggan-Tormore production system, which includes the 143-kilometre pipeline and the onshore Shetland Gas Plant. Following treatment at the gas plant, the gas is exported to the UK mainland via the Shetland Island Regional Gas Export System (SIRGE) and FUKA pipeline and will serve the UK domestic market. The condensates are exported via the Sullom Voe terminal. 

BASF, SAP collaborates on global network for technical assets project

BASF SE and SAP SE announced the start of a project at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site to evaluate digital collaboration among business partners in the domain of engineering and maintenance.
SAP Asset Intelligence Network, a cloud-based collaborative network, will provide BASF with a digital data connection to multiple original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers and their respective asset data. The project’s goal is to establish a fully integrated and centrally managed asset information repository, helping ensure data consistency and availability.
By establishing such a single source of truth for asset information, BASF aims to further improve the efficiency of its engineering and maintenance processes throughout the asset lifecycle.
The evaluation project is expected to run for several months. It is part of “BASF 4.0”, a global project that drives the digital transformation of BASF.
“BASF constantly works on optimizing its sites, plants and production processes. SAP Asset Intelligence Network is an approach that has the potential to further improve our engineering and maintenance processes by establishing a fully integrated digital information chain between OEMs, service providers and BASF over the whole asset lifecycle. A more integrated digital approach with our business partners would allow us to easily access the latest and current information when and where needed, leading to quicker and better decision-making and, in consequence, higher asset effectiveness,” said Andreas Wernsdorfer, senior vice president technical site services Ludwigshafen, BASF.

New biofuel cells use sweat energy to power wearables

A team of engineers from the University of California San Diego have developed stretchable fuel cells that extract energy from sweat and are capable of powering electronics, such as LEDs and Bluetooth radios. The biofuel cells generate 10 times more power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells. The devices could be used to power a range of wearable devices.
The epidermal biofuel cells are a major breakthrough in the field, which has been struggling with making the devices that are stretchable enough and powerful enough. Engineers were able to achieve this breakthrough with a combination of clever chemistry, advanced materials and electronic interfaces. This allowed them to build a stretchable electronic foundation by using lithography and by using screen-printing to make 3D carbon nanotube-based cathode and anode arrays.
The biofuel cells are equipped with an enzyme that oxidizes the lactic acid present in human sweat to generate current. This turns the sweat into a source of power.
The results are reported in the journal Energy & Environmental Science. They describe how they connected the biofuel cells to a custom-made circuit board and demonstrated the device was able to power an LED while a person wearing it exercised on a stationary bike.
Professor Joseph Wang, who directs the Center for Wearable Sensors at UC San Diego, led the research, in collaboration with electrical engineering professor and centre co-director Patrick Mercier and nanoengineering professor Sheng Xu, both also at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.
Islands and bridges
To be compatible with wearable devices, the biofuel cell needs to be flexible and stretchable. So, engineers decided to use what they call a “bridge and island” structure developed in Xu’s research group. Essentially, the cell is made up of rows of dots that are each connected by spring-shaped structures. Half of the dots make up the cell’s anode; the other half are the cathode. The spring-like structures can stretch and bend, making the cell flexible without deforming the anode and cathode.
The basis for the islands and bridges structure was manufactured via lithography and is made of gold. As a second step, researchers used screen printing to deposit layers of biofuel materials on top of the anode and cathode dots.

Researchers identify 12 natural dyes for textiles

Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has identified 12 indigenous plants for manufacturing natural textile dyes.
A study by the College of Agriculture (CoA), Vellayani, as part of the Western Ghat Development Programme (WGDP), has identified 12 indigenous plants capable of giving colour to cotton and silk textiles. This will provide an organic option for dyeing.
The technology for using these plants for the commercial textile industry has been standardised under another research project sponsored by the RKVY (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana).
The technology will be of great value in the development of eco-friendly and safe clothing, especially for newborns and people allergic to synthetic dyes.
“The research has opened up the possibility of using indigenous plants of Kerala as potential dye yielders. We are looking forward to the industrial production of natural dyes for a commercial textile industry,” said Rajendran, KAU vice chancellor.
The KAU has not revealed the names of the plants owing to patent issues. Plant dyes were used for garment dyeing and wall paintings until the advent of synthetic dyes in the 16th century.

TechnipFMC bags EPCI contract for Husky Energy project

TechnipFMC (FTI) has been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract from Husky Energy for the West White Rose project in Eastern Canada.
The contract covers the supply and installation of subsea equipment including tie-in manifolds, flexible flow lines, and control umbilicals, which will connect the recently announced West White Rose Platform to the existing SeaRose FPSO (floating, production, storage and offloading) vessel.
The Husky West White Rose project will use a fixed platform tied back to the SeaRose FPSO vessel. The main White Rose field is located approximately 350 kilometres (217 miles) east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, on the eastern edge of the Jeanne d’Arc Basin in water depths of about 120 metres (393 feet).

Inorganic biomaterials for soft-tissue adhesion

Researchers at Okayama University describe in Acta Biomaterialia a new type of biocompatible adhesive material. The adhesive, made from nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite, glues both synthetic hydrogels and mouse soft tissue, providing a promising alternative to organic materials currently in use for clinical applications.
As an alternative to surgical stitching with suture, the practice of using adhesive organic materials for joining soft tissue has been around for decades. However, the currently used clinical adhesives often suffer from limited biocompatibility and/or sub-optimal adhesive strength. A team of researchers led by Takuya Matsumoto from Okayama University and colleagues has now identified a class of biocompatible–biodegradable compounds showing promising adhesion properties when applied to mouse soft tissues.
The scientists relied on the recent discovery that certain nanostructured materials display remarkable adhesiveness. For example, introducing a dispersion of silicon oxide nanoparticles between two hydrogels results in rapid adhesion of the hydrogels — an effect now developed further for industrial, non-clinical applications. In order to achieve the level of biocompatibility required for clinical usage, Matsumoto and colleagues experimented with nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite (HAp), an inorganic material found in human hard tissues such as bones and teeth. HAp-composites are routinely used for orthopedic and dental implants, as well as in tissue engineering. The researchers reckoned that dispersions of nanoparticulate HAp should behave as biocompatible adhesives — an idea they were able to confirm experimentally.

ExxonMobil increases flood relief support to $1 million

ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM) said that it is has increased its contribution from $500,000 to $1 million for the relief support and recovery efforts in Houston and other Gulf Coast communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
A contribution of $500,000 will be provided to the United Way of Greater Houston, which and follows an initial allocation of $500,000 for the American Red Cross.
"Our thoughts remain with our families, friends and neighbours in Houston and other communities impacted by flooding and other effects of Hurricane Harvey,” said Darren Woods, ExxonMobil chairman and CEO.
“We will continue to assess needs and to assist government authorities and disaster relief agencies in providing critical goods and services to those in need," added Woods.

Industrial adhesives to expand moderately in volume terms

Global Industrial Adhesives Market size is expected to expand at moderate growth rate in terms of volume during the forecast period. Healthy growth of the product is attributed to the replacement of mechanical fasteners with these adhesives in various end-user industries such as consumer durables, automotive, construction, packaging, aerospace, and other heavy industries, according to a report by Global Market Insights Inc. 
Major application of industrial adhesives is in automobile industry, using these adhesives as a substitute to metal fasteners reduces weight of the vehicle by almost 15 percent. Further, these adhesives are environment friendly as compared to other type of fixtures, as vehicle becomes more fuel efficient due to its low weight, resulting in reduced carbon emissions. These advantages are increasing the adoption of industrial adhesives in automobile application.
Automobile industry is growing significantly in South East Asia coupled with well-established market in Germany and Japan. Launch of affordable vehicle categories and consumer awareness regarding luxurious car segments are the factors boosting vehicle purchase, leading to thriving industrial adhesives market.
Industrial adhesives are preferred in consumer durables for packaging and assembling, due to ease of its use in terms of flexibility, lesser cure time and better adhesion. Increased number of attractive consumer appliances along with rising in purchase power of consumers have flourished consumer durables market in recent years, thus bolstering global industrial adhesives market.
Many internal parts of aircrafts need a high-quality adhesion to keep them intact, also adhesives are used to assemble outer body of the aeroplanes. As each gram in these aircrafts counts a lot in terms of its fuel consumption and safety, so utmost care is taken to use adhesives instead of metal or any other fasteners in manufacturing of these aircrafts.
Though aerospace industry is suffering from a stagnant growth in recent years due to economic slowdown but is anticipated to cope up with rapid pace in next 7 years. This upliftment in aerospace industry is expected to fuel industrial adhesives consumption during the forecast period.
Industrial adhesives are used in construction industry for various applications such as furniture, making plaster, false ceiling, tiles, attractive aesthetic designs etc. Additionally, escalating hospitality sector has increased the demand for exceptional quality aesthetic that can be achieved through these adhesives.

New eco-friendly coating for boats from shellfish waste

Researchers from the GREEN-CHEM network at Ghent University have developed a new coating for boats based on the recycled waste from shellfish. The classic anti-fouling coatings battle the growth of mussels, sea cubes, algae and other sea creatures with toxic substances like heavy metals. However, this new coating is environmentally friendly. The eco-friendly coating will be immediately put to the test during a sailing trip around the world.
The protecting layer mainly consists of chitosan, a biological component made from the waste of shellfish, animals like lobsters, crabs, scampi’s and shrimp.
That substance naturally works as a protection from moulds and bacteria. It is now already used in agriculture, water purification, the food industry and cosmetic industry to suppress body odour and for medical applications.
Professor Chris Stevens from the faculty of bioscience engineering at Ghent University and his team have modified the material in a way it got an extra protective function. It should now be able to keep mussels, sea cubes, algae and other sea creatures from growing on the hull of the sailing boat.
“To stop that kind of fouling, toxic substances are generally used. We accepted the challenge to do this in a more biological way without risk for the environment,” explained professor Stevens. “Besides, we have managed to convert food waste into something useful, causing a very low ecological footprint of the product.”
Sailing trip around the world
The special coating can soon be tested in the water. It has been applied to the hull of the sailing boat of sailor Erik Kiekens, who is departing in the summer of 2017 on a sailing trip around the world under the name ‘Sailing Le Grand Bleu’.
During that trip, the chitosan-derivate will have to prove it is protective enough against the growth of mussels, sea cubes, moulds and bacteria.
Kiekens is an old-chemist himself and has been doing research on anti-fouling paints for many years. However, until now those contained toxic substances. And that is one of the reasons he is going to test the product from Ghent University, next to his own product, solely based on natural ingredients. Also with Hasselt University and the University of Leuven he has started a cooperation to use nanotechnology in this application.

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