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Oil and gas industry news: 25 November 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers has announced that Brendan Williams has been promoted to executive vice president effective January 1 2015. Williams joined the AFPM in 2007 as director of government relations and advanced to become senior vice president of advocacy in 2013.

Charles T. Drevna, President, AFPM said, ‘Brendan was a valuable asset from the moment he joined AFPM, but his growing knowledge of and insight into the industry have proven immeasurable. He has made significant contributions as AFPM transitioned to become the recognised voice of the fuel and petrochemical industries and will help manage the association’s broadening reach as we continue to advocate on behalf of our members.’

Gulf Oil

Gulf has been honoured at China’s 2014 Lubricants Industry Award. At the prestigious event, held in Beijing earlier this month, Gulf Oil China won the award for the lubricant brand with the most growth potential. The evaluation was independently carried out and covered most of the Lubricant brands available in the Chinese market. It was compiled by with the assistance of Lub Market magazine, China Inter Lub and the China Construction Machinery website.

Jan Trocki, VP of Strategy, Gulf Oil International said, ‘it is a measure of how far Gulf has come in a relatively short period of time. This year, we have opened up new offices in Shanghai and Biejing, set up an OEM focused team, increased productionin our Yantai plant, where we are also building a new warehouse, and have almost doubled the size of our distributor network.’

KU Leuven

Researchers at KU Leuven’s Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, in Belgium, have successfully converted sawdust into building blocks for gasoline. Using a new chemical process, they were able to convert the cellulose in sawdust into hydrocarbon chains. These hydrocarbons can be used as an additive in gasoline, or as a component in plastics. Cellulosi is the main substance in plant matter and is present in all non-edible plant parts of wood, straw, grass, cotton and old paper. ‘At the molecular level, cellulose contains strong carbon chains. We sought to conserve these chains, but drop the oxygen bonded to them, which is undesirable in high grade gasoline. Our researcher Beau Op de Beeck developed a new method to derive these hydrocarbon chains from cellulose,’ explained Professor Bert Sels.

Bert continued, ‘this is a new type of biorefining, and we currently have a patent pending for it. We have also built a chemical reactor in our lab: we feed sawdust collected from a sawmill into the reactor and add a catalyst, a substance that sett off and speeds the chemical reaction. With the right temperature and pressure, it takes about half a day to convert the cellulose in the wood shavings into saturated hydrocarbon chains, or alkanes. Essentially, the method allows us to make a petrochemical product using biomass, thus bridging the worlds of bioeconomices and petrochemistry.’


The Pennsylvania Public-Private Transportation Partnership Office is inviting the private sector to submit their qualifications to compete for the opportunity to develop clean burning CNG fuelling stations at public transit agencies around the state that would also be available for public use. The selected private partners will design, build, finance, operate and maintain CNG filling stations at up to 37 transit facilities. Each fuelling site must provide access to CNG for public transit and other CNG vehicles.

Barry J. Schoch, PennDOT Secretary said, ‘natural gas is a valuable resource that provides affordable, cleaner options for vehicles in Pennsylvania. This project will ensure we can capitalise on this resource and also benefit the authorities that provide vital transportation services.’

Edited from various press releases by Claira Lloyd

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