BPA and Plastics

BPA (Bisphenol A), is a chemical widely used to make hard, clear plastics. Its strength, structural stability, and light weight have made it excellent for use in things like eyeglasses and water bottles.  However, BPA has been linked to several health problems as it disrupts how hormones function in the body. For many years BPA…

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Process Development: Bench to Commercialization

Process development -leading a process from bench-scale optimization and characterization through scale-up to piloting and commercialization requires a variety of knowledge and skills for the process development engineer and scientist.  Beyond core competencies (e.g. chemistry, thermodynamics, mass and energy balances, etc.) of those that work in process development teams, there are additional skills that help…

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Torrefied Biomass

Torrefied biomass is available, efficient, CO2 neutral and economic, and likely the best solid biomass on the market.  Torrefaction is a thermal pre-treatment technology used to upgrade lignocellulosic biomass to higher quality and more attractive biofuel. In the torrefaction process, biomass is heated to 250-350°C in a low oxygen atmosphere, so that all moisture is…

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The 30-30 Rule: Lessons from the Field in Wood Power

By Charles Loos, P.E., Lee Enterprises Consulting From an operations standpoint, a wood-fired power plant can be described as a fuel handling system first, and a power plant second. The biggest challenges stem from the fuel itself – procurement, supply, handling, and combustion. By contrast, the steam turbine and power cycle seem relatively trouble-free. Fuel-related problems…

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Opportunities to Transition Ethanol Facilities to Biochemical Refineries

By: Daniel A. Lane and Joel A. Stone, Lee Enterprises Consulting Opportunities to Transition Ethanol Facilities to Biochemical Refineries? The US commercial petroleum industry started with the drilling by retired railroad conductor Edwin Drake of a well near Titusville, PA in 1859.  Drake’s well sparked an oil boom and over the next couple of years,…

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Biomass Pyrolysis Comes of Age

By Dr. Lorenz Bauer, Lee Enterprises Consulting After many years of development biomass pyrolysis is finally maturing as a commercial technology.  Pyrolysis is not incineration.  The goal is to use heat in the absence of oxygen to convert the biomass to a more useful form while preserving as much of the carbon as possible.  The water…

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Process Integration in Industrial Biotechnology / Synthetic Biology

What does an expert in process integration in the field of industrial biotechnology or synthetic biology do?  First, let’s define terms.  These two terms are frequently interchanged, but are not exactly synonymous; synthetic biology should be considered one of the tools used to build a commercially useful process in the field of industrial biotechnology.  The…

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Anaerobic Digesters: U.S.

Anaerobic Digesters in the U.S.? The average price of methane (GNG) around the world hit 2.94 U.S. Dollar per U.S. gallon, as of October 5, 2020 and in 3 days it increased 10%. This commodity is becoming more and more relevant to normal day operations at manufacturing plants, Farms, distilleries, among other manufacturing companies in…

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