Industrial and Engineering chemistry - Industrial & Engineering


Publication Date: October 1940. ACS Legacy Archive. Note: In lieu of an abstract, this is the article's first page. Click to increase image size Free ...
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PUBLISHED

BY

THE

AMERICAN

CHEMICAL

SOCIETY

0

HARRISON

E.

HOWE,

EDITOR

EDITORIALS We Serve

will be done with funds provided by the SOCIETY.It is an undertaking which the SOCIETY is privileged and exT THE request of the Executive Office of the Presipected to assume under Section IV of its Federal Chardent of the United States, the AMERICANCHERII- ter. It is also work in which it has had previous exCAL SOCIETY has entered upon an important national perience. Those referring to the record in INDUSTRIAL service and steps taken a t the Detroit meeting will AND ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY,beginning with the enable i t to proceed without delay. October issue for 1918, will find several discussions and The task is to record chemists and chemical engineers reports of what was done during the World War to preof the United States with their qualifications. The pare a similar list, though it was not on such a broad purpose is to provide data for the National Roster of SOCIETY won basis. Indeed the AMERICAN CHEMICAL Scientific and Specialized Personnel to enable prompt and praise from the then Secretary of War Baker. who stated correct allocation of chemists and chemical engineers in his address a t the Cleveland meeting in 1918 that its among other scientists, if and when needed because of an work proved of inestimable value and was instrumental actual emergency. The roster is administered jointly in placing technically trained men where they could by the National Resources Planning Board and the render most valuable service in accordance with their United States Civil Service Commission. Its director is capabilities. Leonard Carmichael and the executive officer, James C. In the ranks of the Allies one of the irreparable O’Brien. wastes of the World War was the loss of a number of In this undertaking the AMERICANCHEMICAL distinguished scientists before it was realized that their SOCIETY is acting as agent for the enrollment of chemknowledge and training had far greater value in logical ists and chemical engineers of the United States, toward places than their physical worth for front-line trench which much of the preliminary work has been done. fighting. The change in the character of war has made The first step was to devise a questionnaire indicating this an even greater consideration today, and however the capabilities of all those to receive it. In its prepainsistent an individual may be in choosing where and ration the SOCIETYhas been fortunate in that, how he would like to fight if called upon, it is recognized through the generosity of the Eastman Kodak Comthat his country’s interest can frequently be served best pany, Erle M. Billings was made available to direct the in what appears to be the quiet pursuit of knowledge work. He has had the assistance of many of our leaders and its application to production. in the several specialties of chemistry and chemical In carrying out the work requested of the SOCIETY, engineering, and authorities to whom the finished code its members can be of greatest assistance by immediwas submitted have been sincere in their high praise of ately filling in the questionnaires with great care to this document. make them correct and by returning them to the Civil The mails will soon be carrying the questionnaire to Service Commission. A second service is to report chemists and chemical engineers, and when returned a SOCIETY the names direct to the AMERICAN CHEMICAL card of the type used in the census can be punched in of chemists and chemical engineers who may be overaccordance with information given. From then on it is looked in this census unless some such report is made. a matter of setting an electric machine and putting Without a complete roster, not only will service to the cards through it to have individuals with certain stated Nation be incomplete, but persons not listed may be qualifications quickly separated from all others. at a distinct disadvantage should they be needed and These coded questionnaires will be sent first to memtheir qualifications be unknown. bers of the AMERICAN CHEMICALSOCIETY,second to As this is written no one can do more than guess those now on the lists of other recognized chemical what the trend of world events may mean to the United societies but not members of the AMERICANCHEMICAL States. We would point out, however, that the Kational SOCIETY,and finally to those not affiliated with such Roster of Scientific and Specialized Personnel may also societies whose names are supplied by others who may have a real peacetime value. We are all concerned with know of them and their work. the resources of the United States and their efficient utilization. Few, if any, are more important to a nation The task is large, indeed, and to a considerable extent

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INDUSTRIAL AND ENGINEERIKG CHEMISTRY

than scientific personnel. It is easy to conceive peacetime uses of this census to repay many times the expense and effort involved in its compilation. In event of war, its value is beyond estimate.

N omencIat ure HE accurate use of definitive words avoids mis-

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understanding and tends toward clarification. To that end rules have been laid down to guide those who name compounds in inorganic and organic chemistry and these have been well received. The use made by the trade of various names is far more difficult to guide. In fact, there seems to be very little that can be done about it. A t our Boston meeting H. L. Fisher presented an excellent paper on this subject and after due consideration proposed “elastomers” as a coined word to be applied to the synthetic rubberlike plastics and similar compounds which the trade and the public know as “synthetic rubber”. Others propose dflerent nomenclature. H. I. Cramer uses “synthetic elastics” to cover broadly the entire field of true synthetic rubbers and rubberlike substances of all types. He reserves “synthetic rubber” as a term for those synthetic products which are derived entirely from or which contain as a principal ingredient butadiene or its homologs or substituted derivatives such as beta-chloroprene. He applies “synthetic rubberlike materials” to such elastics as Thiokol, Vistanes, polyvinyl acetals, Koroseal, and other plasticized synthetic resins. But in the trade and in popular parlance none of these terms is making headway and it appears that, like it or . not, the phrase “synthetic rubber” is likely to persist and grow until someone, in imitation of the history of “artificial silk” which became “rayon”, stirs up enough interest to have proposed, adopted, and then used a term that will be generally acceptable.

Educated and Trained OME time ago there appeared a discussion in a

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publication of the Frank Wiggins Trade Evening School of Los Angeles, which made clear the difference between “educated” and “trained”. It is a thought that may well be emphasized now that additional thousands of young men and women are about to enter academic halls to prepare themselves for various careers. In the discussion to which we have referred, education is defined as “the enlargement and enrichment of the mind. Education gives the mind a cubical relation-breadth, height, and depth. Education gives the mind vision and power. Training is the process of making the mind a more effective tool for doing a specific work. Training is like grinding the mind to a keen-cutting edge.”

VOL. 32, NO. 10

Illustrating this point, the unnamed author cites the case of a man whose faculties are sharp as a razor edge, and who is indeed highly trained, but who is really uneducated since he has no interests outside his routine duties and is neither broad nor deep in his knowledge and thinking. He cites another man who can talk and write entertainingly on all manner of subjects, who has the breadth, height, and depth that indicate him to be educated, but his mind is blunt and he has never been able to hold a job paying more than $35 a week. His mind can be likened to high-grade steel that has not been whetted by training to a cutting edge a t any one angle. In these days an educated mind is a luxury; a trained mind is a necessity, and the man who possesses both is fortunate indeed. To be educated in a broad sense and trained to perform a specific work of usefulness is the ideal. “Get an education by all means, if you can, but recognize its true purpose-to lend vision, power, and guidance to a mind trained to do one useful thing exceedingly well.”

A p preciat i o n

IT

IS something of a shock to learn that at least some scholarship and fellowship holders expect much without showing real appreciation in return. No doubt we should have been prepared, because a friendly professor told us a few years ago that unless more and larger fellowships could be provided to attract outstanding students many of the most capable would be lost to our profession. The idea of having to be paid to get an education or to bid for students found little enthusiasm with us. Today there are hundreds of fellowships and scholarships, and they seem to be taken for granted in many instances. One man genuinely interested in advancing chemistry, who holds a responsible administrative position in connection with a substantial fellowship fund, feels keen disappointment over the lack of appreciation among those awarded fellowships during his several years’ experience. Little was required of fellows by way of reports or other evidences of progress, but even the minimum asked was difficult to obtain. Expressions of appreciation for the benefits derived through the fund have been so few as to yield him little satisfaction for the considerable time and effort required to discharge conscientiously the detailed obligations which such tasks impose. His experience is not unique, and it begins to look as if educational opportunities may have become too easy for many who regard their fellowships as a matter of course or worth no more than what they pay for them. If a major consideration in these times is “What will you do for me?”, then the incentives so important in producing leaders of science as we have known them have disappeared.

BUTYLRUBBER A New Hydrocarbon Product

’Vhia paper presents the results of a thoroughly unorthodox approaeh to tho aynthotio rubber problem. In developing their new butyl rubber, tho F;sm kboratoriee have turned to simple olefins rathor than diolefins or more eompliaatod chemical derivatives as tht: main raw material. Not only is this an economic advantage, but tho ready availability of such simple olefins from refinery cracking op~rations makes the process seem attractive from tho standpoint of potential supply of synthetic rubber. As’only the limited amount of unsaturation required for curing with sulfiir has been provided, thc vuleitnizatcr are substantially saturated and themfore pnsacss the chemical stability characteristic of a paraffin hydrocarbon. In spite of thia F , polymer radiral differencein internal E ~ ~ U C ~ U I Ithe ean be processed in much the anme manncr as natural ru\,lx>r, and the physical propertics of natural rubber h a v e been retained to a sorpriainp extent. ILtc,ausc of the low dfgrre of unsaturntion and consequent cliernicnl inertness, tho arailablr information indicates that b u t y l rubber will he superior to rmtural rubber for many purposes.

K. iM.THOMAS, I. E. LICHTBOWN, W. J. SPARKS, P. K. FROLIC€€, AND E. V. MUKPIIREE Esso 1,sboratoriw. Standard Oil Developiaerit Cornpany, l3lilizehoth. N. J.

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HE present distiiiction between the thoughts expressed by the term8 “synthetic rubber” and “rubber synthesis” are indicative of the changes in viewpoint upon which current progress in the duplication of rubberlike properties is based. For almost fifty years after the discovery by Williams (39) that isoprene is the fundamental structural unit of rubber, research was directed toward rubber synthesis. Xouchardat (f), Tilden (Z7), Wallaeh (ZB), Hoffman ( l a ) , Mathews (ZO), and Harries (10) all made valuable coiitributions to the chemistry of rubberlike products from isoprene. That none of them accomplished the purpose of synthesizing rubber is an accepted fact. In the preparation of a rubberlike material from dimetliylbutadiene, Kondakow (14) departed from classical attempts at rubber synthesis and laid the foundation for the first eommercial “synthetic rubber” (8), the German wartime “methyl rubber”. The tradition that rubber properties were related to high unsaturation persisted and has led to numerous theories (7, If, 15) of elastic behaiior based on geometric structures result-