Neste Jacobs maximizes production of Forchem Oy Tall Oil Distillation Plant with NAPCON Controller

neste-jacobs-maximizes-production-of-forchem-oy-tall-oil-distillation-plant-with-napcon-controllerTechnology, engineering and project management company Neste Jacobs has implemented NAPCON Controller to Forchem Oy’s tall oil distillation plant. Forchem Oy owns and operates a world scale tall oil distillation plant in the city of Rauma on the West Coast of Finland. The main products are Tall Oil Rosin (TOR) and Tall Oil Fatty Acid (TOFA) and the plant is flexible in the sense that different types of Crude Tall Oil can be used as feedstock. The process is mainly based on a vacuum distillation technology originally developed and designed by Neste Jacobs, presently known under the trademark ArxPinus.

Many biochemical processes offer opportunities for substantial improvement in terms of increased production. In spring 2015 Forchem Oy already awarded Neste Jacobs a NAPCON Performance Analysis project for quantifying the benefits of Advanced Process Control (APC). The NAPCON Performance Analysis lasted for two months and Neste Jacobs was able to demonstrate already then a production increase of 9%. After implementation of NAPCON Controller, a multivariable, model-predictive APC, Neste Jacobs could increase production with further 8%. Continue reading “Neste Jacobs maximizes production of Forchem Oy Tall Oil Distillation Plant with NAPCON Controller”

Drinking water confirmation sample results


drinking-water-confirmation-sample-resultsContact Information:

David Gray
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DALLAS – (December 23, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Department of State Health Services (DSHS) completed review of sample results following reports of possibly related symptoms from prohibited water use by people living in Corpus Christi to assess current water quality.

None of the ten drinking water samples collected from specific locations within the City of Corpus Christi water supply system tested positive for the presence of Indulin AA-86 in drinking water at method detection levels of 0.05 mg/l for LCMS and 0.26-0.27 mg/l for GCMS. The EPA and TCEQ toxicologists established a health-based action level of 2.6 mg/l in drinking water. Continue reading “Drinking water confirmation sample results”

EPA’s SmartWay Honors Green Leaders in the Freight Industry

Contact Information:
Christie St. Clair
Tel: 202-564-2880


WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2016 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the 2016 winners of the SmartWay® Excellence Awards, which honors logistic companies and shippers in the retail and manufacturing sectors. The awards recognize the top-performing SmartWay shipper partners that demonstrate how businesses can mitigate their carbon footprints and contribute to cleaner, healthier air, while saving on fuel costs as they move goods across America.

“EPA is honoring its top environmental performers – those SmartWay Partners that have taken significant steps towards a sustainable freight transportation energy future,” said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “SmartWay Excellence Award recipients have become leaders in this crucial sector of our economy by embracing the mutual benefits that efficiency brings for both operational performance and environmental results.”

The 2016 SmartWay Excellence Awardees for retailers, manufactures and logistics companies are:

● Bacardi USA, Inc. (Coral Gables, Fla.)
● Hewlett-Packard Inc.
● Johnson & Johnson (Skillman, N.J.)
● Kimberly-Clark Corporation (Knoxville, Tenn.)
● Lowe’s Companies Inc. (Wilkesboro, N.C.)
● The Home Depot U.S.A. Inc (Atlanta, Ga.)
● Transportation Insight LLC (Hickory, N.C.)
● Union Pacific Distribution Services (Omaha, Neb.)
● Whirlpool Corporation (Benton Harbor, Mich.)

Award winners demonstrate a commitment to environmental leadership by achieving lower emissions and by demonstrating effective collaboration, advanced technology and operational practices, robust SmartWay data validation and reporting, communication and public outreach, and implementation of sustainability practices in local communities.

EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership supports companies who demonstrate their commitment to corporate sustainability and social responsibility by moving goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible. Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have avoided emitting more than 72 million metric tons of the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change, while saving more than 170 million barrels of oil and $24.9 billion in fuel costs – equivalent to eliminating annual energy use in more than six million homes. SmartWay also contributes to cleaner air and healthier citizens by significantly reducing emissions of the pollution that contributes to smog, including fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides.

The awards were presented today at the 2016 Annual Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals conference in Orlando, Florida.

Awards for SmartWay carrier partners – such as trucking companies, multimodal transport companies and barge transport companies – will be announced next week at the 2016 American Trucking Association Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information about SmartWay Excellence Awards, please visit:

For more information about SmartWay, please visit:

Better Buildings Initiative Expanding to Increase Efficiency of U.S. Laboratories

Washington, DC., Sept. 27, 2016 – As part of the Obama Administration’s effort to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings and facilities, today the U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator to advance energy efficiency in laboratory buildings owned and operated by universities, corporations, national laboratories, hospitals, and federal agencies. Through the new Better Buildings Smart Labs Accelerator, partners will pursue ambitious energy-saving targets and strategies that will address key barriers to improving energy efficiency.

A typical laboratory is nearly four times more energy intensive than an average commercial building and can account for up to 70% of a given campus’ energy footprint. It’s estimated that if all laboratory buildings improved their energy efficiency by 20%, annual energy and cost savings could reach about 40 trillion British Thermal Units or $1 billion. Continue reading “Better Buildings Initiative Expanding to Increase Efficiency of U.S. Laboratories”

SepticSmart Week, Sept. 19-23: EPA Urges Maintenance of Septic Systems to Protect Health, Environment, and Save Money

septicsmart-week-sept-19-23-epa-urges-maintenance-of-septic-systems-to-protect-health-environment-and-save-moneyContact Information:
Chris Whitley
Tel: 913-551-7394


Lenexa, Kan., Sept. 15, 2016 – On Monday, September 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – in conjunction with federal, state and local government and private sector partners – will kick off its fourth annual SepticSmart Week (Sept. 19-23) to encourage American homeowners and communities to properly maintain their septic systems.

More than 26 million homes in the United States – or one in five households – depend on septic systems to treat wastewater. If not maintained, failing septic systems can contaminate groundwater and harm the environment by releasing bacteria, viruses, and household toxics to local waterways. Proper septic system maintenance protects public health and the environment and saves the homeowner money through avoided costly repairs.

“By taking small steps to maintain septic systems, homeowners not only protect our nation’s public health and keep our water clean, but also save money and protect their property values,” said Joel Beauvais, deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.

Simple tips for homeowners:

● Protect It and Inspect It: Homeowners should generally have their system inspected every three years by a qualified professional or according to their state or local health department’s recommendations. Tanks should be pumped when necessary, typically every three to five years.

● Think at the Sink: Avoid pouring fats, grease, and solids down the drain. These substances can clog a system’s pipes and drainfield.

● Don’t Overload the Commode: Only put things in the drain or toilet that belong there. For example, coffee grounds, dental floss, disposable diapers and wipes, feminine hygiene products, cigarette butts, and cat litter can all clog and potentially damage septic systems.

● Don’t Strain Your Drain: Be water-efficient and spread out water use. Fix plumbing leaks and install faucet aerators and water-efficient products. Spread out laundry and dishwasher loads throughout the day – too much water at once can overload a system that hasn’t been pumped recently.

● Shield Your Field: Remind guests not to park or drive on a system’s drainfield, where the vehicle’s weight could damage buried pipes or disrupt underground flow.

EPA’s SepticSmart Program educates homeowners about proper septic system care and maintenance all year long. In addition, it serves as an online resource for industry practitioners, local governments, and community organizations, providing access to tools to educate clients and residents.

For information on SepticSmart Week or tips on how to properly maintain your septic system, visit

Harvesting water from air with less energy

Liquid-Desiccant Vapor Separation Reduces the Energy Requirements of Atmospheric Moisture Harvesting
Liquid-Desiccant Vapor Separation Reduces the Energy Requirements of Atmospheric Moisture Harvesting

An energy-saving, liquid-desiccant vapor separation (LDS) system removes vapor from air before cooling the vapor and condensing it into potable water — a new concept for atmospheric moisture harvesting (AMH). Credit: American Chemical Society

Getting clean water to communities in parched areas of the planet remains an ongoing challenge. Recent developments that harvest water from air have been proposed as a solution. However, the technology to do so consumes a lot of energy. But based on new modeling results, scientists now report in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology that a new system design would require less energy and produce high-quality water.

The atmosphere around us contains water vapor in amounts comparable to all the surface and underground liquid freshwater on the planet, according to an International Organization for Dew Utilization study published in 2000. However, current machines that collect water from this airy reservoir have major limitations.

For example, one method uses electrical refrigeration to cool the air and condense the vapor, but that consumes 40 to 90 percent of the total system’s energy requirements.

Scientists from the Technion (Israel) compared this strategy to their new design that uses a liquid desiccant to first separate the vapor from air and then cool only the vapor.

Their calculations show that this approach would result in 20 to 65 percent energy savings over the standard system, depending on where the technology is applied and the sites’ climate conditions.

Explore further: Measuring the effect of water vapor on climate warming

More information: “Liquid-Desiccant Vapor Separation Reduces the Energy Requirements of Atmospheric Moisture Harvesting” Environmental Science & Technology

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Journal reference: Environmental Science & Technology

Provided by: American Chemical Society


Media Contact:

Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b01280
Publication Date (Web): July 20, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society
*Tel: +972-4-829-3468; fax: +972-4-822-8898; e-mail: (D.M.B.).

Chemical synthesis of a powerful, high-energy compound

Credit: Angewandte Chemie|

July 20, 2016 – Trinitrotoluene or TNT has been considered as the standard measure for explosives for 100 years, although new high-energy-density materials or HEDMs outperform this substance in terms of explosion power, safety, but also environmental compatibility. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Russian scientists present the synthesis of a highly interesting HEDM, which exhibits excellent energetic properties as well as a beautiful, butterfly-like structure.

Besides the pure performance aspect, research on new explosives has focused on finding substances that are less toxic to the environment, and less sensitive and thus more safe, but still have high explosive power. Both the environmental aspect and explosiveness can be addressed by designing compounds with high nitrogen content but low carbon content, because nitrogen-rich substances decompose mainly into environmentally benign pure nitrogen, avoiding the formation of toxic nitrosamines. On the other hand, introducing a cyclic electron delocalization and alternating ionic charges in the molecule will add thermostability and high density. A research team led by Aleksandr M. Churakov from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, has long studied the very promising compound TTTO, which was theoretically calculated to combine very favorable parameters. They have now achieved its synthesis.

TTTO is a completely symmetric compound composed of a bicyclic aromatic ring system. Eight of the ten atoms of the bicycle are nitrogen so that the double ring system comprises two fused tetrazine rings in a butterfly-like arrangement. The oxidation of two of the four nitrogen atoms in each tetrazine ring with one oxygen atom, respectively, provides perfect oxygen balance and additional structural stabilization. Thus, this compound will decompose in just pure nitrogen and carbon dioxide, and in addition, it is assumed to have excellent energetic characteristics.

Of course, the synthesis of explosives needs great care. In the case of TTTO, the scientists developed a procedure involving ten steps. Having the new compound in hand, they start to characterize it to check if the theoretical properties are fulfilled. One of the critical practical requirements its sensitivity to thermal or mechanical treatment. “In the preliminary experiments, it did not detonate when rubbed in an agate mortar, but exploded in unglazed porcelain one,” the authors wrote on their initial studies. Another requirement of new energetic materials is water resistance. In that respect, the authors admit that TTTO may be a bit weak. On the other hand, the chemical and energetic performances of new nitrogen-rich highly energetic compounds have to be carefully balanced. Therefore, TTTO serves as a particularly valid example of next-generation high-energy-density materials, which clearly outperform the traditional TNT standard.

Explore further: Converting Nitrogen to a More Useful Form

More information: Michael S. Klenov et al. Synthesis of Tetrazino-tetrazine 1,3,6,8-Tetraoxide (TTTO), Angewandte Chemie International Edition (2016). DOI: 10.1002/anie.201605611

JHournal reference: Angewandte Chemie
Angewandte Chemie International Edition


Lab discovers titanium-gold alloy that is four times harder than most steels


// discovers titanium-gold alloy that is four times harder than most steels