Chemical engineering professor Frank Morton had some very good ideas – perhaps because he left school aged 14 and worked his way through night school and then university to achieve global recognition for his dedication to future generations of chemical engineers.
Frank was also distinguished by his care for the sporting and social side of his students’ lives (see my blog ‘Work hard, play hard‘ for the 2015 Frank Morton sports day).
In my blog, ‘the sweet smell of success‘, I discussed the use of ionic liquids – salt in a liquid state as a result of poor ionic co-ordination – in perfumes and alluded to other fields of research where they are used. Today I’m delving a little further and shining a light on the use of ionic liquids in biofuels.
Researchers at North Carolina State University, US, (NCSU) are investigating the use of ionic liquids to strip lignin from plant cells. Their aim is to find a cost-effective method of processing biomass for biofuel production.
Lignin is a complex phenolic polymer that is found in plant cell walls. It plays an important structural role, providing the plant with strength and rigidity due to a cross-linked structure that is difficult to break down. After cellulose, it is the most abundant source of renewable carbon on earth.
IChemE’s Corporate Partners make a major contribution to the chemical engineering profession and to the world around us. The list of Corporate Partners is growing and it’s worth highlighting some of their success stories in my blog.
Our three-tiered Corporate Partner scheme was launched in 2009 to build links with industry. Corporate Partnership recognises a company’s commitment to engineering excellence, employee professional development and inspiring the next generation.
Bechtel is a global leader in the design, procurement, construction, and project management of oil, chemical, and natural gas facilities.
They employ 500 chemical engineers worldwide and became a Gold Corporate Partner in 2013. They even baked us a cake to help celebrate!
Since 1898, Bechtel have completed more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents. That’s no mean feat. And recently, they constructed the biggest oil refinery in the world.