January 25, 2022
AIChE SmartBrief
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Business Update
US refiners are increasingly confident their industry's recovery will gain momentum in 2022, underpinned by rebounding demand for refined products and the coronavirus pandemic's expected evolution into an endemic phase. Refining margins could reach multiyear-highs this year, supported by reduced inventories, robust demand and a downsized industry, Argus Consulting predicted.
Full Story: Argus Media (1/20) 
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Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, a joint venture between SABIC and ExxonMobil, has launched a cracker and derivatives project in Texas that features a 1.8 million metric ton cracker, a monoethylene glycol facility and a pair of polyethylene units. The project was scheduled to begin operations before the end of 2021 and came in under budget, said ExxonMobil President Karen McKee during an American Chemistry Council event in November.
Full Story: Reuters (1/20),  ICIS News (UK) (free content) (1/20),  S&P Global (1/14) 
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Chemical Technology News
Barrier sprays showed promise in mitigating the effect of smoke on grapes and wine, according to preliminary research from Washington State University. Levels of compounds suspected to cause smoke taint were lower in grapes that were sprayed with bentonite and kaolin clay, frozen upon picking, chemically wiped off and then peeled.
Full Story: Wine Industry Advisor (1/24) 
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Energy, Sustainability & Safety
Dow has joined the Cyclyx International consortium formed by Agilyx and ExxonMobil Chemical to scale plastic recycling rates and advance new plastic feedstock management solutions. "Our work with Cyclyx supports Dow's collaboration on leading technologies to enable a sustainable future with resource-efficient production of certified circular plastics," said Dow executive Mary-Jane Hogg.
Full Story: Plastics News (tiered subscription model) (1/21) 
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LanzaJet has received a $50 million investment from Microsoft, which will be used to build LanzaJet's Freedom Pines Fuels plant at Soperton, Georgia. "With Microsoft's support, this first plant significantly expands the production of sustainable fuels in the US, establishes Georgia as a leader in clean tech, and is the foundation for us as the first alcohol-to-jet sustainable fuels producer, and as a blueprint for the commercial plants we're developing globally," said LanzaJet CEO Jimmy Samartzis.
Full Story: Travel Daily News International (Greece) (1/17),  Windows Central (1/13) 
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Biological Engineering & Pharmaceuticals
On Thursday, the Medicines Patent Pool backed by the UN announced that Merck will allow production of COVID-19 pill molnupiravir, co-developed with Ridgeback Therapeutics, by 27 generic drug makers so that the drug can be more widely available in 105 developing countries. The agreements with the companies stipulate that they may produce both the drug's raw ingredients and the final product.
Full Story: The Hill (1/20) 
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Materials & Nanotechnology
Natural rubber nanocomposites reinforced with carbon nanotubes show great potential for prosthetic devices in terms of wear resistance and energy dissipation. The idea could be used to help the growing number of people worldwide needing prostheses, improve quality of motion and life for users, and give low-income countries a path to addressing causes of amputation such as diabetes.
Full Story: AZoNano (1/24) 
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Education & Government Update
The FDA has presented three case studies that serve as examples of innovative clinical study designs that can be accepted in the agency's Complex Innovative Trial Designs pilot meeting program. The goal is to help drug developers understand the factors that need to be considered when making a CID proposal.
Full Story: Regulatory Focus (1/20) 
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Institute News
Community of Process Engineers will host online "PEP" Talks
In February, AIChE's Community of Process Engineers will launch a series of virtual Process Engineering Perspectives (PEP) Talks, which will offer practical insights and discussions about real-world process engineering topics. The first PEP Talk takes place on Feb. 10 and will illustrate a process engineer's typical day at a Texas refinery. Read more about the Community and how to participate in the PEP Talks.
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AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety Set for San Antonio, April 10-14
Practicing chemical engineers, safety professionals and business leaders will explore the breadth of opportunities available across the chemical engineering field at the 2022 AIChE Spring Meeting and 18th Global Congress on Process Safety, to be held April 10-14 in San Antonio, TX. Sessions will be recorded and made available online beginning the subsequent week. Meeting registration is open, with reduced rates in effect through Feb. 28. Keep up with the latest program information.
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Career Focus
Paul White, author of "The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace," shares how he's persevered professionally but distinguishes that from pushing himself too hard, as he did in his family life. "Only with 'dialing it back', supportive friends and gaining a healthier perspective on career goals and achievement have we been able to move forward into a more sane pace of life," White says.
Full Story: World Class Performer (1/16) 
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About AIChE
More than 60,000 engineers, scientists, and affiliates from 110 countries are members of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). As the Global Home of Chemical Engineers, AIChE allows for the exchange of information on energy, materials, nanotechnology, sustainability, biological engineering, chemical plant safety and security, and more. Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP), the flagship publication of the Institute, provides practical information on these topics and the latest technology news. Learn more at www.aiche.org or contact us.
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