Oil, natural gas boom demands expertise of chemical engineers | Chevron Phillips Chemical shifts attention to U.S. for new investment | Nova CEO: It's dawn for North American petrochemicals
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December 4, 2012
AICHE SmartBrief
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Oil, natural gas boom demands expertise of chemical engineers
The U.S. oil and natural gas boom presents employment opportunities for chemical engineers, said James Turner, chairman of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' South Texas Section. "We are seeing many companies take advantage of the new situation by moving forward with major expansion projects, which require engineers of all types and experience levels," Turner said. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (11/27)
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Chevron Phillips Chemical shifts attention to U.S. for new investment
Chevron Phillips Chemical is focusing on cost advantages in natural gas feedstock in the U.S. because of the increased supply of natural gas. The company expects environmental approval next summer for an ethane cracker and two polyethylene units in Texas, with operations projected to begin in 2017. Chemical Week (subscription required) (11/30)
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Nova CEO: It's dawn for North American petrochemicals
Nova Chemicals is already planning to expand capacity in ethylene and polyethylene because of North American shale natural gas, and CEO Randy Woelfel says the benefits are industrywide. "Ethylene producers are naturally very excited. We have gone from being a sunset industry to suddenly a sunrise business," he said. Platts (11/29)
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Chemical firms are leaders in using risk analytics
Actively managing operational risks is key for chemical producers, which do so at higher rates than other industries, according to an Accenture survey. "For chemicals companies, as for other industries we surveyed, risk analytics presents an opportunity," writes Steve Culp. "The opportunity they seek is the delivery of insights and timely information to make more effective decisions to out execute their peers and competitors." Forbes (11/27)
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Chemical Technology News
Company develops cost-effective, green polyester polyols
Piedmont Chemical plans by year's end to make available samples of its renewable polyester polyols, which use propanediol from a DuPont subsidiary and Myriant's bio-succinic acid. The product is fully renewable and has high purity, Piedmont said. PlasticsNews.com (12/3)
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Energy, Sustainability & SafetySponsored By
Dow Chemical sustainability chief shares innovation-led practices
Neil Hawkins, Dow Chemical's sustainability chief, explains the importance of sustainability practices in this interview. "At Dow, we know that our progress will be driven by our innovations, but we also see sustainability as the cornerstone of our continued success. Because of this, we focus on innovation that not only helps us reduce our own footprint, but that enables our customers to deliver sustainable solutions to their marketplaces," he says. Sustainable Plant (11/30)
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Other News
Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
Survey of biotech startups finds tough financing landscape
Perhaps as few as 28 life sciences companies in North America and the U.K. raised at least $5 million in a first-time financing in 2012, writes Luke Timmerman. Of the companies he identified, seven were based in Boston and five in San Francisco. "Any way you choose to look at it, there is so little money now being put into biotech startups that any rational person has to wonder where the new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics are going to come from in the 2020s and beyond," he writes. Xconomy (11/26)
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Materials & Nanotechnology
Energy Department funds development of flow battery at Harvard
The Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or ARPA-E, has awarded a $600,000 grant to researchers at Harvard University for development of a flow battery, a type of fuel cell that could be used to store energy from renewable power sources. "We think our particular approach could have advantages over other flow batteries, such as higher power density, high efficiency, inexpensive chemicals and a safer type of energy storage," professor Michael Aziz said. "The success of this program would render intermittent renewables like wind and photovoltaics dispatchable at will and thereby permit them to supply a large fraction of our electricity needs." EE Times Europe (11/30)
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Education & Government Update
Universities are spending more on engineering research
Funding for engineering research at the university level increased 7.7% during fiscal 2011, reaching a total of about $10 billion, according to a new report issued by the National Science Foundation. Chemical engineering received a 12.9% boost in fiscal 2011, according to the report. EE Times (11/29)
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Career Focus
How to get your career out of a negativity rut
If you feel yourself getting mired in negativity that stymies your career, some ways to get unstuck include doing something creative that brings you joy or saying "yes" to something unusual for you, Kathy Caprino writes. "You'll discover just how versatile, courageous, powerful, contributive and unique you truly are," she writes. Forbes (11/30)
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Institute News
Registration opens for spring meeting and process safety congress
Registration is now open for AIChE's 2013 Spring Meeting and the 9th Global Congress on Process Safety. Highlights of the program, which runs from April 28 to May 2 at the Hyatt in San Antonio, include ethylene production, gas utilization and refinery processing. Featured speakers include Lane Riggs, senior vice president of refining operations for Valero, and Dan Romasko, executive vice president of operations for Tesoro. Discounted early-bird rates are in effect. Learn more.
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Webinar focuses on safety in LNG value chain
On Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. EST, George Melhem and Henry Ozog of IoMosaic will lead a live webinar on "Safety in the LNG Value Chain." The session will cover potential liquefied natural gas hazards, and methods for reducing risks during liquefaction, transportation, storage, and re-gasification, both on-shore and off. Read more.
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Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time.
Betty Smith,
American author
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