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    Imperial College London has launched the Barrer Centre focused on further pushing the boundaries of membrane separation technology — a subject the department of chemical engineering there has long specialized in. Using membranes for separation can provide a more-efficient, non-thermal alternative…

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  • EPA Speeds Review of Chemicals

    By Lynn Bergeson, regulatory editor

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing its brisk pace to be on target with implementing the new requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (see “Grasp the Gravity of the New TSCA,”…

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  • Prevent Paired-Pump Problems

    By Andrew Sloley, Contributing Editor

    The centrifugal booster pump was vibrating and running hot. The pump took liquid from two sources and pumped it to a third unit. Figure 1 shows the original pump installation — as well as equipment added later and a better option, as we’ll discuss. The original plant concept called for…

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  • Refinery Benefits from Electronic Logs

    By George Threadgill III, Ergon Refining, and Cory Engel, CapuTech

    Ergon Refining, Inc. (ERI) operates a 26,500-bbl/d facility in Vicksburg, Miss., that is the world’s largest producer of naphthenic specialty oils. The site includes two hydrotreaters, atmospheric and vacuum distillation towers, three hydrogen gas plants, a sulfur recovery unit and a propane…

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  • Powder Handling: Beware of Blending Myths

    By Tom Blackwood, contributing editor

    The problem with particulate solids is they segregate every time we turn around. Why? Because they are a two-phase material and only about half is the solid we’re interested in. In my days as a troubleshooter at corporate engineering, the most common call I got from plants was about blenders that…

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