Sunday, May 23, 2010

A biomass gasification case study – must read by energy engineers

A sri lankan energy engineer Shehal has wrote a complete case study about his boiler retrofit with a Fuel Wood (Gliricidia). It is a project in Samson Industries Ltd, a subsidiary of the DSI group, is a leading rubber producer in Sri Lanka which located in Bogahagoda, Galle.

Biomass gasification case study

Monday, May 17, 2010

Industrial Chemicals

Sulfuric Acid -- Probably the most common industrial acid. Used widely in mineral leaching and gas scrubbing (removing dangerous substances). Also used to neutralize alkaline substances.

Nitrogen – Most common inert substance used in industry. Used for everything from tank blanketing (so vapors don’t combine with oxygen to form explosive mixtures) to controlling reaction temperatures in exothermic reactions. Also widely used as a solid conveying gas carrier when air cannot be used due to explosion threats (ex/ fertilizers).

Oxygen – The ultimate oxidizer. Used in any application where the introduction of oxygen to the reaction mixture is necessary.

Ethylene – Probably the most popular industrial precursor to polymer manufacturing (ex/polyethylene).

Ammonia – Very popular scrubbing solvent to remove pollutants from fossil fuel combustion streams before they can be released to the atmosphere. Also a popular refrigerant.

Phosphoric Acid – Main use is in fertilizer production, other uses include soft drinks and other
food products.

Sodium Hydroxide – The most popular alkaline substance in industry. Widely used in dyes and
soap manufacturing. Also a good cleaning agent and can be used to neutralize acids. Also known
as lye.

Propylene – Another industrial polymer precursor (polypropylene).

Chlorine – Used in the manufacture of bleaching agents and titanium dioxide. Many of the bleaching agents based on chlorine are being replaced by hydrogen peroxide due to environmental restrictions placed on chlorine.

Sodium Carbonate – Most commonly known as soda ash, sodium carbonate is used in many cleaning agents and in glass making. Most soda ash is mined from trona ore, but it can be manufactured by reacting salt and sulfuric acid.

Sodium Silicate – Perhaps the most widely used industrial insulation.

Cyclohexane – While cyclohexane is a common organic solvent, its crowning achievement is it’s use as a reactant in the production of a nylon precursor (later).

Adipic Acid – This is the chemical that is made from cyclohexane and in turn is polymerized to nylon.
Nitrobenzene – Primary use is in the manufacture of aniline, which is in turn used as a rubber additive to prevent oxidation (antioxidant).

Butyraldehyde – Used to manufacture 2-ethylhexanol which is then used to manufacture hydraulic oils or synthetic lubricants.

Aluminum Sulfate – Widely used in the paper and wastewater treatment industries as a pH buffer.

Methyl tert-butyl ether – Also known as MTBE, it is most famous for its role as a gasoline additive (oxygenate). Due to its toxic affect on mammals, the EPA has been ordering a decrease in its use and an increase in the use of ethanol as a replacement.

Ethylene Dichloride – Nearly all ethylene dichloride produced is used to produce vinyl chloride
which is then polymerized to polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Nitric Acid – Most common application is its reaction with ammonia to form the solid fertilizer ammonium nitrate.

Ammonium Nitrate – Probably the most widely used solid fertilizer

Benzene – The two largest uses for benzene are as reactants to produce ethylbenzene (used to produce styrene) and cumene (used to produce phenols). Also a very common organic solvent as well as a precursor to cyclohexane.

Urea – The majority of urea is used in fertilizer production. Some is also used in the manufacture of livestock feed.

Vinyl Chloride – As previously mentioned, this is the monomer form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which finds uses as a building material and other durable plastics.

Ethylbenzene – Used almost exclusivley as a reactant for the production of styrene

Styrene – Monomer form of polystyrene. Polystyrene is used in pure form and expanded. Styrene can also be used in mixed forms or copolymers such as ABS (acrylonitrile-butadienestyrene).

Methanol – Used as a reactant to make methyl tertbutyl ether (MTBE), formaldeyde, and acetic acid. Typically produced from synthesis gases, namely carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

Xylene – o-xylene (ortho) is used primarily to manufacture phthalic anhydride which is in turn
used to make a variety of plasticizers and polymers. p-xylene is used to manufacture terephthalic
acid, a polyester feedstock.

Formaldehyde – Commonly used as part of a copolymer series (Urea-formaldehyde resins) or
as another polymer additive used to bring out desired characteristics.

Terephthalic Acid – Almost exclusively used in the manufacture of polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) or polyester.

Ethylene Oxide – Majority of ethylene oxide is used to manufacture ethylene glycol which is
described later.

Hydrochloric Acid – Two main uses include production of other chemicals (by acting as a reactant or a catalyst) and the pickling of steel. Also widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.

Toluene – Used primarily to manufacture benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is a precursor to phenol (later), various dyes, and rubber products.

Cumene – Nearly all cumene produced is oxidized to cumene hydroperoxide, then cleaved (splitting a molecule) to form phenol and acetone.

Ethylene Gylcol – Most common use is as a reactant to form polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Also used a primary ingredient in antifreeze.

Acetic Acid – Used primarily to manufacture vinyl acetate monomer (later) and acetic anhydride
which is used to manufacture cellulose acetate.

Phenol – Used to manufacture Bispenol-A (later) as well as phenolic resins and caprolacturm.
Propylene Oxide – Two primary uses include urethane polyether polyols (both flexible and rigid
foams) an propylene glycol which is used as a polymer additive as well as a common refrigerate.

Butadiene – Uses include styrene-butadiene rubber, polybutadiene, and other copolymers.

Carbon Black – Most common use is a rubber additive

Isobutylene – Most production is used to make butyl rubbers.

Potash – Used in agriculture as a crop fertilizer.

Acrylonitrile – Used as a reactant to form various copolymers along with acrylic fibers.

Vinyl Acetate – Monomer form a polyvinyl acetate, a common emulsion polymer and resin. PVA is the "sticky" agent in ordinary white glue.

Titanium Dioxide – Used as a white pigment for many products ranging from paints and
polymers to pharmaceuticals and food items. In short, if it’s white, it probably has titanium
dioxide in it.
Acetone – Used primarily to manufacture methyl methacrylate and Bisphenol-A

Bisphenol-A – Used as the main feedstock for polycarbonate resins and epoxy resins.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Renewable Energy Leaders from Across the Globe Pack theRETECH Conference & Exhibition; 2011 Dates Announced

More than 3,000 government, business and technology leaders from 51 countries attended RETECH 2010, the world's premier event for the renewable energy technology industry.  Based on the much bigger than expected international turnout and the burgeoning renewables marketplace, TradeFair Group, the event's producer, is planning for an even bigger conference and trade show next year.  TradeFair Group is pleased to continue its partnership with the event's founder, The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE).  The partners also announced the 3rd Annual RETECH Conference & Exhibition will be held September 20 - 22, 2011, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, once again where Government, Finance, Utility and Technology Leaders Connect for Renewable Energy.

"The industry support we received for RETECH 2010 far surpassed our expectations," said Hunter Jones, RETECH Show Director. "It is clear from the strong worldwide attendance of movers and shakers in the renewables space, and extremely positive feedback from all industry stakeholders that RETECH has established itself as the meeting place for the renewable energy business.  Working together with ACORE's visionary leadership, we will continue to distinguish RETECH as an unmatched platform for connecting with the global renewables industry."

"ACORE is delighted to be continuing its successful partnership with TradeFair Group," said Michael T. Eckhart, ACORE President. "We look forward to continuing to build the RETECH Conference & Exhibition as the leading all-renewables trade show in the U.S., bringing renewable energy into the mainstream of our country and being the major event of the year for the renewable energy professional services community."

In addition to a cutting-edge conference featuring more than 250 speakers at standing room only sessions covering wind, solar, hydro, ocean, geothermal, biomass, biofuels and waste, RETECH 2010 featured the nation's leading all-renewables exhibition. The show floor featured over 200 exhibitors across all renewable energy sectors, including equipment manufacturers and suppliers, finance and investment firms, research & development companies, project developers and operators, law firms, construction companies, NGOs, trade associations, government agencies, and renewable energy development, equipment and technology companies. A variety of RETECH Side Events produced by sponsors, NGOs and international governments also helped to drive the buzz and excitement about emerging developments around the world in renewable energy.

Exhibitor feedback and post show surveys indicated activity on the show floor was robust as exhibitors showcased thousands of products and services that are driving the growth of the multibillion dollar renewables marketplace. Walker Rutherfurd, Managing Partner, KRK Capital Partners, LLP commented, "RETECH 2010 was a great example of the technologies, people, and solutions that will redefine our world and secure a bright future for generations to come."

For more information on RETECH 2011, including opportunities to speak, exhibit, or attend, contact Hunter Jones, Show Director at or (713) 343-1875.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EXMO - 2010 – Exhibition of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Moratuwa

EXMO-2010 will be held at the University of Moratuwa, during the period 10-13 June 2010. The main highlights of this exhibition are as follows. All the departments of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Moratuwa, which consists of, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Earth Resources Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Textile and Clothing Technology, will exhibit the latest developments in each field of engineering, with special emphasis on nationally relevant R & D Activities. 4. A large number of public and private institutions involved in engineering, utilities and other services will actively participate in EXMO-2010, with exhibition stalls. University of Moratuwa expecting large crowd on the four days!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wood Energy

Wood Energy, like the oldest profession, has been around since time immemorial, like prostitution, it is ignored or regarded as an embarrassment by many decision makers at the national and international level. However for about half of the world's population is a reality and will remain so for many decades to come. – Openshaw 2000

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sri Lanka Nuclear Energy Project for power generation and peaceful use

Sri Lanka's Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) is in the process of exploring the possibility of using nuclear energy for future power generation. Cabinet approval would be sought shortly to initiate a program for Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Use!!!

Nuclear fission energy (generating energy by splitting atoms) is usually generated with Uranium or Plutonium, but Thorium could be enriched to a fissile Uranium isotope by bombarding with neutrons. Thorium is also believed to be more abundant than Uranium. Australia and India are believed to have the largest Thorium deposits in the World. In Sri Lanka it is believed that there are enough Thorium deposits.