Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 586 research/teaching positions and 65 teaching positions

The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 586 research/teaching positions and 65 teaching positions. 

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

On February 1, 2022, the 2022 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 544 research/teaching positions and 809teaching faculty positions. On February 2, 2021, the 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 270 research/teaching positions and 37 teaching faculty positions. 

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Here's a link to the current (third) thread. 


Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 148 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 148 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson) and Andrew S. Rosen (@Andrew_S_Rosen).

Go to the open thread for this year's search.

Monday, January 30, 2023

China Daily: Chinese government to follow up on Liaoning plant explosion

Via Chinese government media site China Daily, this followup from the recent Liaoning plant explosion: 
The Work Safety Committee of the State Council has decided to directly oversee the investigation of a chemical plant explosion that killed 13 and injured 35 others in Panjin, Liaoning province, according to a media release from the Ministry of Emergency Management on Friday.

The blast occurred while workers were doing maintenance at an alkylation facility at Panjin Haoye Chemical on Jan 15.

On Jan 19, the committee ordered Liaoning authorities to determine the cause of the explosion and identify those responsible as soon as possible. The provincial government should submit an investigation report to the committee for review and approval before making it public, the committee said.

The committee's office is based in the ministry.

The blast, which happened as the Spring Festival holiday approached, has had a significantly negative impact on society and has taught the nation a sobering lesson, the Friday release said.

The festival - China's most important occasion, during which hundreds of millions typically return to their hometowns for family reunions - began on Jan 22.

The release noted a series of problems that have been uncovered in the ongoing investigation. For example, to ensure profits, the company's leaders neglected safety management and failed to reconcile hazards for an extended period of time, it said.

It would be really interesting to know which incidents attracted the most government attention and why in China. I can't imagine this incident is too much different than incidents in the past - I'll have to pay attention to this more... 

Lipscomb University students exposed to n-bromosuccinimide

Via Nashville local channel WTVF, this story with a statement from Lipscomb University: 
Last night while conducting a routine lab experiment, three students came in contact, on their hands, with a substance identified as n-Bromosuccinimide (NBS). Out of an abundance of caution, the three students were transported last night to a medical facility for an examination of the skin irritation. They were evaluated, cared for, released last night and are back on campus today and attending classes as scheduled.

Sounds like someone decided that it was okay to run bromination experiments without gloves, which doesn't seem particularly wise.  

Friday, January 27, 2023

Have a good weekend

A busy week, but a good one. Here's hoping that you had a good week, and that you have a good weekend. We'll see you on Monday. 

C&EN: Dow 2022 earnings down 32%, cutting 2000 workers

Via C&EN's Alexander H. Tullo: 
Dow is launching a workforce reduction—2,000 workers, over 5% of its total workforce—as the company continues to grapple with economic turbulence, primarily in Europe.

Dow is the first major chemical company out of the gate with full-year 2022 financial results. Dow managed a 3.5% sales increase, but earnings declined by a sharp 32.5%.

On a Jan. 26 call with analysts, Dow CEO Jim Fitterling said the year began well, with strong demand across the company’s businesses. The picture changed in the second half. “Economic conditions deteriorated, driven by record inflation, rising interest rates, ongoing pandemic lockdowns in China, and continued geopolitical tensions,” he said.

Europe, where Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up energy prices and caused many chemical producers to shut plants, was responsible for 60% of Dow’s earnings decline.

The layoffs are part of a Dow program, originally unveiled when Dow released third-quarter earnings in October, to save $1 billion in 2023. Half the savings will come from structural improvements, including the job cuts. Dow will also shut plants, particularly in Europe. It says it will announce the locations set for closure later this quarter. The company says that for now the program will focus on smaller facilities.

That's a pretty frightful decline in earnings! Best wishes to those affected, and best wishes to all of us.  

Thursday, January 26, 2023

21 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

At Common Organic Chemistry, curated by Brian Struss, there are 34 new positions for January 21The jobs can be viewed on the website or spreadsheet.

Don't forget to check out the Common Organic Chemistry company map, a very helpful resource for organic chemists looking for potential employers. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

C&EN: Carus fire impacts US permanganate supply

C&EN's Rick Mullin on the fire that shut down the Carus plant in Illinois: 

A fire at a Carus plant in LaSalle, Illinois, has temporarily shut down the only US producer of potassium permanganate and sodium permanganate and is raising concern about availability of the important water treatment chemicals.

The Jan. 11 fire destroyed a warehouse and caused extensive damage at the facility, Carus says. The firm declared force majeure on Jan. 18, saying it will be at least 90 days before it can fulfill orders for permanganate chemicals.

The company supplies about 80% of the US market for the chemicals, which are used in municipal water treatment to oxidize dissolved iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide into solids that can be filtered out. The bulk of imported potassium permanganate and sodium permanganate comes from India. China is the world’s largest producer of the chemicals, but companies there are hobbled by a US antidumping tariff on potassium permanganate.

A salesperson's dream for those who have permanganate in stock: 

“I’m getting an insane amount of calls for an insane amount of volume,” says one distributor who supplies imported permanganate, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of his company’s policy. “I’m getting unsolicited orders for six to eight months.” He and others anticipate an outage of considerably longer than 90 days.

Can't imagine the pressure that's on Carus to rebuild and start production again. Will be interesting to see if there are any manufacturers in Canada or Mexico who will try to pick up the slack...

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 583 research/teaching positions and 63 teaching positions

The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 583 research/teaching positions and 63 teaching positions. 

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

On January 25, 2022, the 2022 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 540 research/teaching positions and 80 teaching faculty positions. On January 26, 2021, the 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 259 research/teaching positions and 31 teaching faculty positions. 

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Here's a link to the current (third) thread. 


Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 148 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 148 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson) and Andrew S. Rosen (@Andrew_S_Rosen).

Go to the open thread for this year's search.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Reactions to C&EN's reorganization

Also in this week's C&EN, letters to the editor: 
I have always been impressed by the excellent journalism by C&EN. The scope of the magazine as well as the skill caused a number of friends who are not chemists to become American Chemical Society members solely for a C&EN subscription.

So the current staff trouble at the flagship magazine is deeply concerning, and I hope something will be rapidly remedied. If not, C&EN has no hope of replacing the likes of Newsweek, Bloomberg Businessweek, or the Financial Times for the nonchemist.

James Morris
Foster City, California

I have been an ACS member for decades. By far the most valuable benefit of membership to me is C&EN, which I read regularly, along with Science and Nature. I have been consistently impressed with the quality and independence of the reporting, even when it runs counter to the financial interests of CAS (a division of ACS).

I recently renewed my ACS membership for 2023, but if the changes in editorial control at C&EN degrade this treasured institution, I don’t think I will do so for 2024.

Daniel Erlanson
San Francisco

I am an ACS member. I was concerned by the Dec. 12/19 editorial (page 4). The environmental policy news is the most valuable thing in C&EN, with second place going to the industry and technology trend articles. Frankly, the news about society business, programs, and activities is of low interest to me most of the time.

Chris Lutes
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

 I couldn't agree more. 

Ting Guo fired by UC regents

In this week's C&EN, this news (article by Andrea Widener): 
Ting Guo, a chemistry professor at the University of California, Davis, was fired by the UC Board of Regents Jan. 19 after an investigation into whether he raped a high school student he was mentoring in 2010.

UC Davis released a statement Jan. 12 confirming the investigation. Guo had been on paid leave since January 2021.

Guo was named in a 2020 civil lawsuit by the student, listed as Jane Doe. The suit says that in 2010, the student, who lived in Davis, met Guo after her Advanced Placement chemistry teacher asked the class to shadow a chemist.

 

Friday, January 20, 2023

Have a good weekend!


It's been a productive week here, and I am looking forward to the weekend. I hope you had a good week, and I hope you have a great weekend as well! (新年快樂 to those who celebrate, by the way!) See you on Monday. 

 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

39 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

At Common Organic Chemistry, curated by Brian Struss, there are 9 new positions for January 14 and 30 positions posted on December 24. The jobs can be viewed on the website or spreadsheet.

Don't forget to check out the Common Organic Chemistry company map, a very helpful resource for organic chemists looking for potential employers. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Warning Letter of the Week: vermin edition

In a letter to the general manager of Optum Infusion Services, this observation: 

The FDA investigator noted that drug products intended or expected to be sterile were prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions, whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health, causing your drug products to be adulterated under section 501(a)(2)(A) of the FDCA. For example, the investigator observed that:

1. You did not perform adequate product evaluation and take appropriate corrective action after vermin was observed in your production area. Vermin are a source of microbial contamination. Therefore, your products intended to be sterile were produced in an environment that may not provide adequate protection against the risk of contamination.

Seems bad for a compounding pharmacy!  

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

RUMINT: Hearing rumors of a Pfizer reorganization?

There have been the initial rumblings of a Pfizer reorganization, in terms of comments about Pfizer's decision to "externalize" some of its rare disease research and some vague comments from Pfizer's CEO about the importance of the organization's next 18 months. 

A reliable source indicates that some layoffs have begun at one site on the research side, and possibly more on the way. 

This is sad news. Unfortunately, a reality of Pfizer is that there has long been a pattern of regular reorganizations and waves of layoffs, and it's ~2019-2022 that has been the abnormal time. If true, I suppose the leadership is reverting to the mean. 

Best wishes to those impacted, best wishes to the larger Pfizer organization as a whole, and to all of us.


The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 570 research/teaching positions and 60 teaching positions

 The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 570 research/teaching positions and 60 teaching positions. 

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

On January 18, 2022, the 2022 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 534 research/teaching positions and 79 teaching faculty positions. On January 19, 2021, the 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 252 research/teaching positions and 31 teaching faculty positions. 

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Here's a link to the current (third) thread. 


Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 146 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 146 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson) and Andrew S. Rosen (@Andrew_S_Rosen).

Go to the open thread for this year's search.

Monday, January 16, 2023

C&EN: "UC Davis chemistry professor under investigation for alleged sexual assault of a high school student"

Via C&EN's Andrea Widener: 

Ting Guo, a chemistry professor at the University of California, Davis, is under investigation for allegedly raping a high school student he was mentoring in 2010. UC Davis released a statement Jan. 12 confirming the investigation. Guo has been on paid leave since January 2021.

The firing of a UC Davis faculty member is on the agenda for the UC Board of Regents meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19, but the person’s name is not listed.

Guo was named in a 2020 civil lawsuit by the student, listed as Jane Doe. The suit says that in 2010, the student, who lived in Davis, met Guo after her Advanced Placement chemistry teacher asked the class to shadow a chemist. Guo continued to mentor the student after that initial meeting.

Several months later, the student took gifts to Guo at his Davis home, where he raped her, according to the lawsuit. Guo raped the student two more times in separate incidents, also at his home. In one case he offered to give her $60, the suit says.

Full article here. What grim news. 

Chemical plant explosion in Liaoning province in China

Via Chinese government website China Daily: 
A chemical plant in Panjin, Northeast China's Liaoning province exploded on Sunday afternoon, according to Panshan county government.

So far, two people were killed, 12 were missing, four were seriously injured and 30 had minor injuries in the explosion. The injured were hospitalized.

The accident occurred in the maintenance process of the facility applied in alkylation reaction of Panjin Haoye Chemical Co Ltd, around 1:25 pm.

Local authorities carried out emergency response and rescue work, the statement from the county's publicity department said. The wounded are being treated and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

If it's an alkylation reaction, I presume that's a refinery (especially if it happened during maintenance.) I suppose we'll find out what happened...  

 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Have a good weekend

Well, this has been a pretty good week (other than that whole range hood thing). I hope that you had a good week, and a great weekend. See you on Monday! 

Permanganate plant catches fire in LaSalle, IL

Via CBS Chicago: 

LASALLE, Ill. (CBS) -- It took five hours to bring a fire under control at a chemical plant in the small city of LaSalle on Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was still smoldering for several more hours after that in the city of less than 10,000...

...The fire sent plumes of thick, colorful smoke billowing into the air as if a volcano were erupting. Residents were told to stay in their homes for safety.

The fire started around 9 a.m. at Carus LLC in LaSalle, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago. In a statement, company officials said the fire started in the plant's shipping area.

LaSalle Fire Chief Jerry Janick said there was heavy fire at the plant when the first crews arrived on the scene, and additional crews were brought in from surrounding suburbs.

...Gibbs said potassium permanganate is typically a fine powder, but will turn into purple liquid if it is exposed to water. It may look slightly pink or green when it is comes into contact with water.

The potassium permanganate turned cars brown with its stains. Much as Gibbs described it, the chemical also made nearby waterways look like they were full of grape soda.

LaSalle Police also said an oxidizer has been released in the area as a result of the fire, and people should not touch the green substance seen on cars and patios.  

It's never good when there is a chemical plant explosion, but a highly colored/staining chemical like permanganate cannot be easy to explain to the neighbors...

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Job posting: analytical scientist, Lifecore Biomedical, Chaska, MN

From the inbox, this position: 

This full time position offers incredible benefits, your choice of a 4 ½ or 5 day work week, and a company culture focused on development and growth which include promotion opportunities.

  • In this technical role you will be responsible for the development of robust analytical methods to support the characterization and release of manufactured goods for all stages of clinical development through commercialization. You will lead department projects, participate in core team meetings and interface with clients. You will be relied upon to use statistical based and data driven decisions to troubleshoot or improve analytical method related issues. You'll have responsibility to:
  • Develop robust chemical and physical analytical methods based on QbD, ICH and USP/EP requirements for analysis of medical device and pharmaceutical products
  • Perform method transfer of analytical methods (from compendial and client sources) into Lifecore
  • Serve as a technical resource for process development, quality control and manufacturing
  • Provide effective training for QC analysts on new methods and technology
  • Perform critical analysis of data using statistical calculations, interpreting results, and draw scientific conclusions
  • Present data at group meetings and other broader audiences within or outside the company
  • Perform routine and non-routine sample analysis
  • Compose well written development reports and assist in the writing of regulatory submissions
  • Support development and manufacturing investigations to identify or troubleshoot method related issues related to manufacturing and development activities
  • Help analyze new products or projects, as appropriate
  • Identify new analytical technologies that supports current or new business opportunities
  • Mentor, train and develop new colleagues to become effective method development scientists

This position could be a great fit for you have a solid understanding of and experience with analytical method development along with the following:

  • BS/BA in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, or related science
  • 8+ years of applicable industrial experience
  • Pharmaceutical method development, qualification, and validation experience
  • Experimental design and critical analysis of data (statistical software experience)
  • FDA regulated industry experience
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced work environment
Full ad here (search for "analytical scientist"). Best wishes to those interested. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

RIP Adolfo Kaminsky

Via the New York Times, this remarkable story of a World War II forger: 

Adolfo Kaminsky’s talent was as banal as could be: He knew how to remove supposedly indelible blue ink from paper. But it was a skill that helped save the lives of thousands of Jews in France during World War II...

At one point, Mr. Kaminsky was asked to produce 900 birth and baptismal certificates and ration cards for 300 Jewish children in institutional homes who were about to be rounded up. The aim was to deceive the Germans until the children could be smuggled out to rural families or convents, or to Switzerland and Spain. He was given three days to finish the assignment.

He toiled for two straight days, forcing himself to stay awake by telling himself: “In one hour I can make 30 blank documents. If I sleep for an hour 30 people will die.”

Mr. Kaminsky died on Monday at his home in Paris, his daughter Sarah Kaminsky said. He was 97.

...Needing work to help his family, Adolfo answered an ad for an apprentice dyer in a business that converted military uniforms and greatcoats to civilian wear. The owner, a chemical engineer, taught him the secrets of altering and removing colors. Adolfo became an expert at effacing the most stubborn stains.

He became so interested in chemistry that he took a side job as an assistant for a chemist at a dairy that churned butter. To gauge the fat content of the cream brought by farmers, the dairy would insert methylene blue in a sample and waited for its lactic acid to dissolve the color. That was how Adolfo learned that lactic acid was the best eraser of Waterman blue ink, the kind used on ID cards.

We live in a world of chemicals and chemistry. We are so often reminded of the bad that chemistry can do - it's good to get a reminder of the power of chemistry to save lives. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 568 research/teaching positions and 58 teaching positions

The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 568 research/teaching positions and 58 teaching positions. 

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

On January 11, 2022, the 2022 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 531 research/teaching positions and 72 teaching faculty positions. On January 12, 2021, the 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 248 research/teaching positions and 29 teaching faculty positions. 

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Here's a link to the current (third) thread. 


Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 146 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 146 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson) and Andrew S. Rosen (@Andrew_S_Rosen).

Go to the open thread for this year's search.

Monday, January 9, 2023

More chemistry PhDs got both permanent employment *and* postdocs in 2021

I see that the Survey of Earned Doctorates has been out for a while, and the latest numbers are for the 2021 academic year. I'm very surprised to learn the number of chemistry PhDs heading to postdoctoral positions was actually up for 2021, as opposed to down (i.e. reflecting the "shortage" of postdocs that academics seemed to talk about.) 

Here are the numbers for 2021: 
  • Definite postdoctoral training plans: 39.4%
  • Definite employment plans: 31%
  • Seeking employment or study: 27.5% 
  • Other status: 2.0%

If you are one of the people who think "well, postdocs are a thing of the past, everyone's going to industry", you can see that (perhaps) in the mild uptick in the "definite employment plans" numbers and the number of people with definite employment and postdoctoral plans is going up (i.e. the "seeking" numbers are down. If you're one of the folks who are skeptical, well, here's the data to be skeptical with. 

I've long been confident about the SED's numbers - they're the only numbers we have, and the response rate for this year is (as usual) quite good at 91.5%. That said, that the numbers do not reflect intuitions can only mean one thing - either the numbers are wrong, or our (including my!) intuitions are wrong. 

*A reminder: "seeking" doesn't mean "I'm flat unemployed", it could mean "I am currently negotiating an offer" as well.)

Friday, January 6, 2023

Have a good weekend


All in all, this wasn't such a bad week back from a break, some definite bright spots. I hope you had a good week, and a good weekend. We'll see you on Monday. 

 

NYT: Federal Trade Commission moves to curtail non-compete agreements

Via the New York Times: 
In a far-reaching move that could raise wages and increase competition among businesses, the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday unveiled a rule that would block companies from limiting their employees’ ability to work for a rival.

The proposed rule would ban provisions of labor contracts known as noncompete agreements, which prevent workers from leaving for a competitor or starting a competing business for months or years after their employment, often within a certain geographic area. The agreements have applied to workers as varied as sandwich makers, hairstylists, doctors and software engineers.

Studies show that noncompetes, which appear to directly affect roughly 20 percent to 45 percent of U.S. workers in the private sector, hold down pay because job switching is one of the more reliable ways of securing a raise. Many economists believe they help explain why pay for middle-income workers has stagnated in recent decades.

Seems pretty reasonable to me! (I note this as a non-employer of other people.)  

Job posting: organic laboratory coordinator, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

From the inbox: 

The Department of Chemistry (cse.umn.edu/chem) at the University of Minnesota invites applications for a term contract non-tenure track Assistant Professor position with a 12-month, annually renewable appointment beginning summer or fall term of 2023 (May 31, 2023 or later). Both junior and senior hiring levels will be considered. We seek outstanding applicants with a Ph.D. in chemistry or a related field, with preference for a focus in synthetic organic chemistry. Successful applicants will have a strong commitment to undergraduate chemistry education and to developing innovative, high-quality curricular materials and instructional initiatives. 

The successful candidate will be the director and instructor of record for the organic laboratory (CHEM 2311) and advanced organic laboratory (CHEM 4311) in addition to other courses as well as research and service roles determined in consultation with Department of Chemistry leadership. Interest in initiating and coordinating student academic success programs to support the department’s equity and diversity goals and/or incorporation of green and sustainable chemistry are encouraged. A typical appointment would include 5-6 course equivalents per 12-month calendar year. The appointee will also have responsibilities for department and university service. 

Successful candidates will be provided clear guidelines toward promotion, annual reviews, a mentoring committee, capacity for professional development, eligibility for teaching awards, and opportunities to mentor M.S. students. Appointees must have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. or equivalent foreign degree by the date of appointment with a preferred start date for summer 2023 or fall 2023 teaching periods.

Evaluation of applications will begin January 24, 2023, and will continue until the positions are filled. Candidates should apply online via Interfolio at the following link: https://z.umn.edu/organiclabdirector

Full ad here. Best wishes to those interested.  

 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

C&EN: What happens in a plastics pyrolysis plant?

Also in this week's C&EN, some pretty cool details of what happens in a plastics pyrolysis plant (article by Alex Tullo): 
In Akron, Ohio, situated amid industrial buildings and auto service centers, is a small oasis of polished steel and nonslip scaffolding. The proprietors of this new facility hope it’s the future of the plastics industry.

The facility, a pyrolysis plant run by Alterra Energy, breaks down plastic waste into a crude oil–like mixture that can be fed into petrochemical plants and transformed back into new plastics...

...In the bunker, the plastics, predominantly polyethylene and polypropylene, are heaped in gray piles randomly sprinkled with colors. Fragments of packaging labels can be seen in the shredded and compacted bits of plastic.

A front-end loader drops the shreds into a hopper, and a conveyor belt carries them to an extruder. The plastic comes out of the extruder with the consistency of saltwater taffy and is sent by pipe to the reactor. The purpose of the extrusion step is to heat the plastic and give it uniform density so it can transfer heat predictably in the pyrolysis reactor.

At this stage, the plastic is mixed with calcium oxide, which scavenges for chlorine from errant PVC. Chlorine can corrode and damage downstream customers’ chemical production equipment if it remains in the pyrolysis oil. DeBenedictis said the calcium oxide reacts with chlorine to form calcium chloride, removing about 80% of the halogen. Customers handle the rest by chemically upgrading the pyrolysis oil themselves.

The pyrolysis reactor is a cylinder about 3 m in diameter and 20 m long. It rotates slowly to mix the contents and is angled downward to allow gravity to keep the fluids flowing. Inside, plastics are heated to about 400–550 °C in the absence of oxygen. This energy breaks down the long polymer chains into smaller hydrocarbons ranging from gaseous 3-carbon propane up through waxes of 30 carbons or more.

The longer-chain hydrocarbon liquids, which compose 70–80% of the plant’s output, are run through a multistage condenser system and then recombined into a final product that is solid at room temperature. One or two trucks, each capable of carrying 22,000 L of the material, depart every day from Akron, headed south to petrochemical customers on the US Gulf Coast.

The rest of the hydrocarbon output is noncondensable gases. The gases supplement the natural gas used to fire the kiln. Another 10% of the total material that exits the reactor is solid char, a mixture of carbon and inorganics such as calcium chloride. This flows into large sacks that hang near the kiln and can be used in asphalt, DeBenedictis said.

I would have not have guessed that the process uses calcium oxide to capture the chlorine, but it makes sense from an economic perspective...  

C&EN: Albemarle building a lithium R&D facility in North Carolina

From this week's Chemical and Engineering News (article by Matt Blois): 
Albemarle to build R&D facility in North Carolina

The specialty chemical maker Albemarle plans to spend $180 million on a facility in North Carolina that will research improvements in lithium products and lithium-​ extraction processes. Albemarle has a pilot-scale lithium refinery and a lithium research center in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, which is also the site of a lithium ore deposit the firm wants to mine. In addition, Albemarle hopes to build an ore concentrator in Kings Mountain and a 100,000-metric-ton-per-year lithium refinery in the US Southeast.

Cool - one imagines that (if these facilities ultimately are built) there will be a number of chemistry jobs...  

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 567 research/teaching positions and 55 teaching positions

 The 2023 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 567 research/teaching positions and 55 teaching positions. 

Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

To see trending, go to Andrew Spaeth's visualization of previous years' list.

On January 4, 2022, the 2022 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 527 research/teaching positions and 72 teaching faculty positions. On January 5, 2021, the 2021 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 242 research/teaching positions and 27 teaching faculty positions. 

Want to talk anonymously? Have an update on the status of a job search? Here's a link to the current (third) thread. 


Don't forget to click on "load more" below the comment box for the full thread. 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 145 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 145 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson) and Andrew S. Rosen (@Andrew_S_Rosen).

Go to the open thread for this year's search.