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August 7, 2012
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Business and technology news exclusively for chemical engineers

  Business Update 
  • Refineries to benefit from shale drilling boom, report states
    The U.S. refining industry is expected to be transformed by the shale drilling boom over the next three years, according to Hart Energy. Refineries that can easily access unconventional oil formations will have the opportunity to improve margins, but facilities without access and that depend on crude imports "will likely succumb to bearish cyclical and secular global refining market forces," Hart Energy said in a report. (8/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ashland's 10-year transformation to specialty chemicals
    Ashland CEO Jim O'Brien engineered the company's transition from a strategically fragmented company in 2002 into the core specialty-chemicals maker that it is today, according to this analysis. Ashland's biggest sales contributor is its specialty chemicals unit, followed by Valvoline, water treatment and performance materials. The transformation has been brought about by careful planning and a defined vision, O'Brien said. Chemical Week (subscription required) (8/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Chemical Technology News 
  • Researchers use solution processing to develop polymer solar cell
    A polymer solar cell that is capable of letting through 66% of green light and approximately 60% of the rest of the visible spectrum has been created by a research team led by Yang Yang, the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas Jr. Endowed Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California in Los Angeles. The researchers used a layer of titanium dioxide and a network of silver nanowires to make an electrode, considered the cell's most important component. The solution-processing method could open opportunities for creating polymer solar cells on a large scale. New Scientist/One Per Cent blog (8/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Energy, Sustainability & Safety 
  • Shale could help Nova expand cracking, polyethylene output
    Nova Chemicals is looking to expand its ethane cracker in Corunna, Ontario, which could lead to increased polyethylene production. "In June of this year, we began cracking an ethane/propane mix from Conway, Kansas, and in the second half of next year we expect to begin cracking ethane from the Marcellus Shale basin," said Chris Bezaire, senior vice president for polyethylenes. Canadian Plastics (8/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals 
  • Presidential commission readies genomic privacy recommendations
    The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues is close to completing a set of recommendations designed to address privacy concerns associated with the use of personal genomic information for research and medical applications. The recommendations could be released in autumn. "The commission's recommendations clump into two big categories: One is consent to whole-genome sequencing and to the possible findings and how they will be treated, and the other is oversight," said Amy Gutmann, chairwoman of the commission and president of the University of Pennsylvania. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (8/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Studies point to potential of cancer stem cells as drug targets
    Three studies have found that cancer stem cells not killed by chemotherapy can trigger the regrowth of cancer tumors. The three studies evaluated tumors from an aggressive brain cancer called glioblastoma, intestinal tumors and squamous cell skin tumors, respectively. Currently, cancer treatments mainly target rapidly dividing cells, but experts said the findings indicate that there's a need to explore cancer stem cells as possible drug targets. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (8/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Materials & Nanotechnology 
  • Eastman Chemical expects bigger market for acetylated wood
    Acetylated wood is being embraced by Eastman Chemical and Accsys Technologies, which are chemically treating wood to increase performance in building applications. "One of the beautiful things about wood is its uniqueness. Every piece of wood is different. That same character is a nightmare for a chemist," said Jimmy Dickerson of Eastman. Chemical & Engineering News (8/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Education & Government Update 
  • Lautenberg bill not expected to pass Senate or House this year
    The Safe Chemicals Act, which would overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act, lacks Republican support and is seen as unlikely to pass in the Senate or House of Representatives. "We're looking for some Republican co-sponsors right now, and we don't have any," said Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. "It may make it to the floor, but it dead-ends at the floor," said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla. (free content)/E&E Daily (8/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Career Focus 
  • 4 success strategies for a world where lifelong employment is history
    If you want to survive and thrive in today's employment culture of frequent job changes, map out your career and know your destination, Mike Figliuolo writes. Make sure your skills keep up with market demand and use benefits from your current position to learn new skills for your next job. "[A]t the end of the day, the only ones looking out for you are you and your family. The paternalistic corporation is dead," Figliuolo concludes. ThoughtLeaders blog (7/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Institute News 
  • "Career Engineer" features special offer during August
    Career Engineer, AIChE's online job board, is offering recruiters a 15% discount through Aug. 31. Postings include resume access, logo, company profile, and more. Recruiters who select a 45-day posting can enter the coupon code "aichexchange15" at checkout to receive the discount. Learn more. Job seekers can browse the more than 1,300 current openings online. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • One-day symposium on critical materials slated for Aug. 21
    AIChE is partnering with the American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation on "Ensuring the Sustainability of Critical Material and Alternatives: Addressing the Fundamental Challenges in Separation Science and Engineering." This one-day symposium will be held Tuesday, Aug. 21, at the Sheraton City Center during the ACS meeting in Philadelphia. Find out more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Success is sweet and sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats."
--Amos Bronson Alcott,
American educator, writer and reformer

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