The 2015 PDS Keynote will be delivered by David West, Corporate Fellow and General Manager of Corporate Research & Innovation, SABIC.
David's Keynote Address is titled, "Some Challenges and Opportunities for Process Development in the 21st Century."
8:00am - 8:10am
8:10am - 8:45am
The basic chemicals and plastics industry is built on a simple idea: convert a cheap feedstock into something more valuable. Because of recent trends in oil production, we have seen some interesting changes in feedstock availability and price. These have caused a major shift in the economy of producing basic chemicals and polymers; restoring competitiveness in the US, while reducing it in Europe. This situation will likely persist for the near future. Nothing else effects the profitability of the chemical industry more than the feedstock. So what can be done in the way of process development? Many of the transformative process innovations of the 20th century were driven by innovations in catalysis: the Haber-Bosch process for ammonia; zeolite-Y and fluidized catalytic cracking for gasoline; methane reforming; Fischer-Tropsch chemistry; Ziegler-Natta, and more recently, metallocene catalysts for polyolefins. What is left to do? I will discuss some process development opportunities that remain and some approaches to those challenges that we are exploring at SABIC.