US petroleum demand flirts with record highs | Prexton purchased by Lundbeck for $1.1B | US still an obstacle in Bayer-Monsanto talks
March 20, 2018
AICHE SmartBrief
Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers
Business Update
US petroleum demand flirts with record highs
Demand for gasoline and heating fuels drove US petroleum consumption to 20.3 million barrels per day in February, marking an increase of more than 1 million barrels per day from February 2017 and approaching record levels not seen in over a decade, according to the American Petroleum Institute. "With US oil and NGL production at record levels -- and a resilient industry value chain that has absorbed the growth -- consumers are benefiting from this momentum and enjoying affordable and reliable fuels made right here at home," said API Chief Economist Dean Foreman.
Oil & Gas Journal (3/15) 
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Prexton purchased by Lundbeck for $1.1B
Prexton Therapeutics was purchased by H. Lundbeck in a deal that will give Prexton $122.9 million upfront and up to $989.1 million tied to achieving milestones. Under the deal, Lundbeck will add Prexton's midstage Parkinson's disease candidate to its pipeline of drugs for the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (3/16) 
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US still an obstacle in Bayer-Monsanto talks
Antitrust regulators in the US may not be satisfied with Bayer's proposed asset sales as part of its deal with Monsanto and may require additional divestments, sources say. Separately, Bayer said negotiations with Russian regulators are advancing.
Bloomberg (free registration) (3/15),  Reuters (3/14) 
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Other News
Radiometric measurement solutions
Refining, chemical, and petrochemical processes are full of complex applications that require unique measurement solutions. Join VEGA technology expert David Williams on April 11 from 2:00-3:00pm EST for a live webinar about overcoming these challenges with radiometric instruments. Learn More.
Chemical Technology News
Transistors could be made with graphene flakes
A study by Italy's SISSA says nanoelectronics could be fabricated with graphene nanoflakes. The magnetic properties of such nanostructures could also benefit the development of spintronics technology.
New Electronics (3/14) 
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Energy, Sustainability & Safety
Land-based wind could be the cheapest energy source by 2050, says BP
Land-based wind is on track to become the most economical energy source by 2050, especially since costs have already declined 23% since 2010, according to BP. The report said wind and solar are both competitive with fossil fuels and that wind prices will continue to drop as turbines get taller and other advances occur.
United Press International (3/15) 
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Part-Time Graduate Options for Full-Time Engineers
Flexibility ranks as one of the top reasons students choose Villanova University to pursue a graduate degree in chemical engineering. Working professionals enjoy the freedom to take classes online from the comfort of home, the office, or on campus, as their schedules permit. Apply for fall by 6/1!
Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
Biotech company studies dehydration of red blood cells using trehalose
DesiCorp is studying the role of the molecule trehalose in allowing animals such as sea monkeys to survive dehydration and rehydration, and whether it could be used to extend the shelf life of red blood cells. The biotech has used sound waves to place the molecule in red blood cells, and its most successful tests have resulted in rehydration of about 50% of dehydrated red blood cells.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Louisville, Ky. (3/13) 
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Materials & Nanotechnology
Researchers create new type of glass
A new type of glass made for the first time from metal and two organic compounds has the advantage of much greater pliability than glass made from silica. An international research team is still exploring the qualities of the zinc-based glass, which succeeds in recreating the smooth, non-crystalline structure of the glass we're all familiar with.
New Atlas (3/13) 
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Team crafts bendable silicon wafer for flexible electronics
Researchers at Scotland's University of Glasgow report development of a bendable silicon wafer just 15 microns in thickness. Such wafers could lead to the manufacturing of bendable microchips for flexible electronics in the future.
Electronics Weekly (UK) (3/14),  New Electronics (3/14) 
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Education & Government Update
FERC ends income-tax allowance for pipeline MLPs
Oil and natural gas pipeline companies organized as master limited partnerships (MLPs) will no longer benefit from an income-tax allowance that permitted them to recover income-tax costs twice, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled. Shares of several companies plunged in the wake of the FERC decision, which essentially threatens the survival of many MLPs.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/16) 
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Other News
Institute News
Help shape AIChE's strategic plan -- deadline is Friday
AIChE is redeveloping the Institute's strategic plan -- with the aim of guiding the Institute toward future success. AIChE invites all chemical engineers and bio-related engineers -- across industries and specializations -- as well as student engineers and stakeholders in allied professions -- to complete this survey by this Friday, March 23.
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Today and tomorrow -- AIChE webinars cover dust hazards, process intensification, "better plants"
Today (Tuesday, Mar. 20) from 2-3 PM Eastern, ioKinetic sponsors a free webinar detailing how companies can meet the NFPA's requirements for Dust Hazard Analyses. Wednesday (Mar. 21) from 11 AM - Noon Eastern, AIChE's RAPID Manufacturing Institute presents the latest of its webinars on process intensification principles. (The webinar is free to RAPID members.) Wednesday from 2-3 PM Eastern, Robert Lung (U.S. DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office) explains DOE's Better Plants program and how manufacturers can use it as a model. PDHs are available. Register now.
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Career Focus
Ask for a new job title, not just a higher salary
Negotiate for a better job title to position yourself for higher pay throughout your career, writes John McDermott. Provide your employer with reasons you've earned this title after researching how other jobs in your industry are defined, he writes.
MEL Magazine (3/13) 
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