December 10, 2013

A line drawing showing many interlocking cogs and wheels, some with numbers and indicators marked on them, with a hand crank at the top

Advent Computing: A historical divergence: Babbage and Lovelace

Back in the 18th century, a “computer” was a person who performed computations. They would calculate mathematical tables by hand – long lists of numbers that could be referenced for calculations. It would be a slow and arduous process prone to error, but was vital...

Advent Oil & Gas: Processing 3 – gas gathering and treatment

Natural gas is processed in a broadly similar way to crude oil, but with a number of important differences. Significantly, the first stage is the cooling of the gas to separate condensate – the liquids that are naturally present as vapours in natural gas.  These...

Advent Chemistry: Recrystallisation

Once you’ve collected your product, in its lovely freshly-grown crystal form, you need to purify it. This first version is full of bits of unspent reactant and solvent and side products and waste products, and everything would be better if it were not. Washing it...