July 29, 2008 at 2:32 am #3509
Architecture in Italy goes green
By Elisabetta Povoledo / International Herald Tribune Published: November 22, 2006
VENICE: When the American architect Richard Meier was asked to create a church in Rome to commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of Christianity, he designed an imposing white concrete structure dominated by three soaring “sails.”
The project’s main technical sponsor got to work on a cement that would enhance Meier’s trademark white sculptural forms. It came up with a material that essentially cleans itself, minimizing the need for maintenance.
What the sponsor, Italcementi Group, did not know at the time was that the new material – which contained titanium dioxide, a compound used as a white pigment – had another peculiarity. It “eats” surrounding smog.
Extensive testing, sponsored in part by a European Union research project into “smart” antipollution materials, has since determined that construction products containing titanium dioxide help to destroy air pollutants found in car exhaust and heating emissions, scientists say…….. (Full article at : http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/28/world/europe/28smog.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss )
July 29, 2008 at 2:52 am #6686
This Rome Church example is a really innovative / creative application that could benefit either Ref’nery building construction or applications to surrounding community (churches ect) following this principle.
The Cement industry is the largest consumer of petroleum fuel coke in the world. This article was forwarded to me by CemReview who puts out a monthly Petcoke report slanted towards the cement industry. The inclusion of TiO2 enables the cement structure to break down Nitrogen Oxides from combustion using the self cleaning properties of TiO2 seen in other applications.
I have seen several versions of TiO2 (Titanium Dioxide) using nanotechnology applications for Office Window glass (repels raindrops & dust particles ~ eliminates need cleaning big multi-story office bldg), or automobile glass (windscreen elimintates some need for wipers) using the solar activated / photocatalytic properties of TiO2 part’cles. The TiO2 industry (Chloride process) by the way consumes ~10% of all global calcined petcoke.
The construction cost in a lot of these applications is often +20-40% more than its conventional counterpart – therefore since the construction company often makes the materials final choice …… the preference is seldom made by Designer or end Customer because they put pressure on construction company to stay within budget – sort of a “Who’s on First” type comedy. The exceptions are where it is requested as in the Rome Church.
This represents a unique opportunity to circumvent the environmental impacts from refining coking application by using un’que application of materials that can be sourced back to industries that consume petroleum coke in their process.
August 7, 2008 at 3:29 am #6669
FYI – I forgot one other reason for forwarding this article around – besides the environmental /nanotechnology application and integration aspect for petcoke into consuming industries like the TiO2 and Cement. The other reason was it reminded met of growing applications of TiO2 and the China Factor for huge growth spurt for TiO2 Chloride pigment & coke consumption.
All TiO2 & Coke Forecasters should be putting a “LOT” more increase towards the production TiO2 pigment and also consumption of calcined coke into the TiO2 industry for China.
The big problems/health issues around China lead contamination & use lead paint in US goods for children & food industry contamination is going really drive the conversion away from China lead based paint (to avoid being blocked from US markets) and into using more TiO2 based paints. And because all global new plants have been the Chloride process (that consumes petcoke) and not Sulfate process (that makes 10 tons waste per ton product) which exist predominately (few new plants are Chloride) in China – there will be a 3X fold increase this market for China.
One fold increase for increasing growth demand for paint (China accounts for 80% global growth in TiO2, but
pre-2006 it has been mostly sulfate); one fold increase for conversion of existing lead plants demand into TiO2 plants; and another fold increase for conversion of existing Sulfate production into Chloride process (will likely occur as scale up of new & closing of older / smaller Sulfate plants). The past Forecast projections for China have been for a slower process that wouldn’t have all new China TiO2 plants be 90-100% Chloride until after 2010 & with a slower elimination of older operating plants. This could be a serious under-estimation of what will likely occur due US pushback on China lead issues and potential for sanctions without major program rapid change on both lead & environmental issues in general.
The Global TiO2 process has been converting from Sulfate to Chloride technology over the years (US is ~90% Chloride due DuPont focus, whereas China is about 75% Sulfate) in much the same way that Aluminum Anode process has converted from Soderberg to Prebaked technology. Prebaked became primary (+50%) technology in 1985 and most new plants became prebaked. Chloride became primary (+50%) technology in 1990 and most new plants have been Chloride (with exception China) <Another similarity newer processes both these industries is that both use ~ 0.35 mt calcined coke per ton product made.>
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