Record refinery runs put pressure on profit margins | Takeda to sell Osaka headquarters ahead of Shire purchase | US-Chinese trade dispute likely to hit commodities
July 10, 2018
AICHE SmartBrief
Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers
Business Update
Record refinery runs put pressure on profit margins
The Nymex gasoline crack spread, a proxy for refiner margins, dropped over 30% in June, dragged by record US refinery runs and a narrowing WTI-Brent spread. US refiners processed over 18 million barrels of crude per day in the week ending June 22, causing crude inventories to post the biggest June decline on a percentage basis in nine years.
BloombergQuint (India) (7/3) 
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Takeda to sell Osaka headquarters ahead of Shire purchase
Takeda Pharmaceutical intends to sell its Osaka, Japan, headquarters ahead of the planned purchase of Shire for $62 billion. The sale of the headquarters property could net Takeda more than $540 million.
Reuters (7/5) 
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Other News
Single method process monitoring for titration, pH, ISE and colorimetry
Metrohm's new series of Process Analyzers can be set up to monitor a wide range of substances and parameters. Whether you're applying calibration-free titration, batchwise pH, ISE measurements or colorimetry, these compact online analyzers can measure levels ranging from percentage down to low parts-per-billion. Learn more
Chemical Technology News
BASF strengthens 3D printing footprint with 2 acquisitions
BASF has purchased Advanc3D Materials and Setup Performances SAS -- a pair of companies that recently collaborated on materials for laser sintering in 3D printing applications. "These acquisitions are a further step toward our objective to become a leading supplier of powder-based materials and formulation for the 3D printing industry," BASF's Dietmar Bender says.
TCT Magazine (UK) (7/4) 
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Energy, Sustainability & Safety
EPA grants Utah oil drillers exemptions from pollution rules
Outgoing Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt offered Utah oil and natural gas producers relief from Obama-era ozone pollution rules, according to emails obtained by the Sierra Club in a lawsuit. The standards were "entirely unfair" in restricting oil and natural gas production in Utah, said Ryan Jackson, Pruitt's chief of staff, adding that the EPA may revise the rule.
Politico (7/3) 
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R.I. brings lawsuit against oil companies
Rhode Island has filed a lawsuit in Providence County Superior Court against multiple top oil companies, saying they have contributed to infrastructure damage, harming coastal communities. This reportedly marks the first time a state has tried to legally place climate change accountability on oil companies.
The Hill (7/2),  Reuters (7/2) 
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Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
Bacteria is key to solar cell that's effective on cloudy days
Researchers at the University of British Columbia genetically engineered E. coli to create biogenic solar cells so sensitive to light that they generate power even on cloudy days. The bacteria were designed to overproduce photosynthesis-friendly lycopene and then were coated in a semiconductor material to be affixed to a glass plate.
New Atlas (7/6) 
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Researchers develop lignin-based 3D printing material
Researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Materials Science and Technology Division developed a composite 3D-printer filament made from lignin, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene polymer, carbon fiber and rubber. Their study "offers a route toward utilizing lignin for replacement of petroleum-based thermoplastics used in additive manufacturing and methods to enhance printability of the materials with exceptional mechanical performance," the authors say.
3D Printing Industry (UK) (7/2) 
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Materials & Nanotechnology
NIST team crafts computing in a saline solution
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology report that trapping ions in a graphene sheet floating in a saline solution can provide computational logic operations in a liquid medium, rather than silicon. The technology has potential applications in energy storage, sensors and water filtration, in addition to computing, they say.
Xinhua News Agency (China) (7/1) 
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Education & Government Update
Scott Pruitt resigns as EPA administrator
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt submitted his resignation in a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday, citing "unrelenting attacks" on him and his family. Andrew Wheeler will become acting administrator of the EPA starting Monday.
Reuters (7/5),  CNBC (7/5) 
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Other News
Institute News
Women engineers will take the spotlight at AIChE's 2018 gala
The AIChE Foundation has announced the theme of the Institute's 2018 gala. The event -- to be held December 11, 2018, in New York City -- will recognize companies and their leaders for inspiring and empowering women engineers. Funds raised will underwrite the expansion of women's leadership programs, improve pre-college STEM education, and advance retention programs for women engineering undergraduates, graduate students, and young professionals. Mark your calendar and read the latest gala news.
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Career Focus
Interview mistakes that get an immediate rejection
Hiring managers may cringe if you can't explain why you're leaving a particular job or if it seems you struggle to manage your emotions, Stacy Pollack writes. A display of arrogance will also be treated as a red flag.
Glassdoor (7/5) 
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