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Separation Processes

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A more-sensitive way to differentiate chiral compounds

Circular dichroism (CD) is the established method for distinguishing between enantiomers — the optical isomers of molecules that are mirror images of each other. In this approach, circularly polarized light is passed through the sample and is absorbed differently by…

Extending the operating temperature of biological phosphorus removal

Currently, enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) techniques in municipal wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs) do not work well at temperatures above 25°C, which is common in warm countries. This limitation is expected to extend to more countries with the advent of global…

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Scrolling or Pushing? Choosing the Right Type of Filtration Centrifuge

Understanding the working principles of scrolling and pushing centrifuges can help when deciding which type to use. Feed properties and other factors also play a role When looking for a proven solution for mechanical dewatering, you will most likely come…

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Tower Doctor: A Quick Diagnosis Makes a Short Assignment

Henry Kister shares lessons learned from troubleshooting distillation towers On an assignment to troubleshoot a vacuum tower for a petroleum refinery, my team was tasked to “run simulations to determine why the heavy vacuum gas oil (HVGO) has a very…

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Upcycling aerospace scrap materials into new membranes

A new membrane for separating emulsions is being fabricated using recycled carbon-fiber production scraps from aerospace manufacturing. “We think this is the first membrane of its type to be constructed from recycled carbon fibers,” explains Shuaifei Zhao, senior research fellow…

One-stage Filtration for Silicone Production

Presented here is a fast and flexible solution that removes solids, traces of water and gel in a single operation, therefore significantly reducing the time it takes to perform the process during silicone production Reliable silicone manufacturing operations depend on…

Global cement industry supports startups in drive to achieve ‘net zero’ by 2050

Last month, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA; London, U.K.; https://gccassociation.org) revealed the first six startups that will be backed by its member companies as part of the first ever Innovandi “Open Challenge” in the race to achieve “net…

New Membranes Support Sustainability Trends

Advances in membrane technologies allow processors to delve into gas- and water-separation applications more effectively and efficiently Conventional membranes have a reputation for being “finicky” and “high maintenance” because they don’t operate well under high pressures or temperatures, are subject…

PFAS separation-concentration system introduced in North America

A technology initially developed in Australia by OPEC Systems (Emu Plains, NSW, Australia; www.opecsystems.com) for separating and concentrating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a range of water applications has now been introduced in North America. The technology, known as…

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Should the Doctor Believe a Flowmeter?

Henry Kister shares lessons learned from troubleshooting distillation towers Many cooling-water systems do not have flowmeters. This is a tale about a cooling-water flowmeter that made a difference. As a startup superintendent at ICI Australia in the late 1970s, the…