Arthur Dehon Little - The pioneer of the term unit operations

Arthur Dehon Little – coined unit operations term

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Biography & contributions

Arthur Dehon Little was an American chemist and chemical engineer born on December 15,1863 – died on August 01,1935. Arthur was credited for introducing the term unit operations to chemical engineering.

Arthur promoted the concept of industrial research. In 1931, he was awarded the Perkin Medal. He found cellulose acetate could be used in producing nonflammable wire insulation and artificial silk.

Cellulose Acetate


Cellulose acetate is synthetic compound, acetate ester of cellulose. It was first prepared in 1865. Cellulose acetate is used as a film base in photography, as a component in some coatings, and as a frame material for eyeglasses. It is also used as a synthetic fiber in the manufacture of cigarette filters and playing cards. The basic raw material used to manufacture cellulose acetate polymer is purified plant derived cellulose.

Cellulose acetate is most commonly prepared by treating cellulose with acetic acid and then with acetic anhydride in the presence of a catalyst such as sulfuric acid. When the resultant reactions are allowed to proceed to completion, the product is a fully acetylated compound known as primary cellulose acetate, or, more properly, cellulose triacetate. Cellulose acetate gives fabrics a silk-like appearance and it can be blended easily with fibers from other materials. Its texture is soft and cool against the skin, is naturally absorptive, breathable.

Cellulose acetate magnetic tape was introduced by IBM in 1952 for use on their IBM 726 tape drive in the IBM 701 computer. It is a tough thermoplastic available in a full colour range, including transparent. It has a good gloss and was widely used for toys until ABS plastics were developed. Cellulose acetate (CA) in combination with plasticizers, such as diethyl phthalate and dimethyl phthalate, produces a plastics material which can be heat softened and forced under pressure into a cool mould.

It is frequently used for linings in suits or coats for formal wear including wedding growns. Cellulose acetate has prevailed as the filter material of choice because it combines good filtration properties with good acceptance of the taste signature. It also has a good biodegradability profile which is an advantage in the event the filters end up in the environment.

Cellulose acetate was one of the first materials used in membrane separation technology and still finds utility in many filtration applications. Cellulose acetate helps impart certain favorable characteristics into plastic, such as no odor, no taste, it is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, enables a variety of coloring possibilities, is tough, transparent, glossy, imparts anti-fog properties

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