Thoughts On Grammar and Gender I came across your editorial “An Editor Changes Their Mind about They ” ( CEP , Feb. 2016, p. 3). I can say that I read it with great pleasure. Though I already use “they” now and then (on the strength of such classic...
Several standards on combustible dust contain provisions for conducting process hazard analyses. This article summarizes the requirements and presents a simple approach to meet them.
Replacing materials and equipment as they corrode or reach the end of their service life is one of the challenges of managing an aging plant. When a material or part is no longer available because the supplier discontinued the product line, was acquired by another company, or went out of business, it can be difficult to find another source or suitable replacement.
Greg Mehos, P.E.
Understanding the mechanisms behind caking, identifying key process variables and product specifications, and testing samples to predict the increase in cohesive strength of a powder over time are key to preventing and solving caking problems.
Product Focus: Safety Equipment Absorbent Pads Clean Up Drips and Spills Oil Eater Naturals is a line of ecofriendly absorbent pads, rolls, and socks designed to help users meet environmental, health, and safety requirements. The oil-only pads and...
Optimization Methods in Metabolic Networks Costas D. Maranas and Ali R. Zomorrodi, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, $125, 288 pages, Feb. 2016, ISBN: 978-1-119-02849-9 Analysis and redesign of metabolic networks often requires the calculation of...
As a chemical engineer for NASA at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Annie Meier has put five years of effort into creating solutions to some of the most pressing problems that astronauts — and even society — will encounter. “The technologies we produce for space can help our planet Earth as well,” she says. “We need to think of Earth as our spacecraft. How can we live here without damaging it with polluting gases and harmful byproducts?”
Does the business side of chemical engineering capture your interest? Are you drawn to a hands-on role with customers, so that you can help them with their technical and business challenges? If you answered yes to either of those questions, consider a career in technical sales.
Sharon Nolen, P.E.
Growing concerns about the availability of clean water are driving companies to include water conservation in their sustainability initiatives. Instead of reinventing the wheel, adapt your energy-management program for water conservation.
Brewing your own medicines (e.g., drugs, vaccines, anti-cancer molecules), producing biofuels, and regenerating tissues inside the body are facets of biomolecular engineering that are becoming a reality. In an increasingly resource-scarce world, biomolecular engineering can help create an ever-more-productive planet.
The burgeoning printed electronics industry has the potential to revolutionize consumer electronics, with standard industrial printing equipment operating at ambient conditions producing high-performance electronic devices at a significantly lower cost.
Human-Size Tissues Roll Off the Printer A 3D printer that has been 10 years in the making has created a life-like ear and a jawbone from biological cells and biodegradable polymers.The tissues embody the size, shape, and structural integrity of...
In Safety Alert No. 290 (Oct. 2010), the U.S. Dept. of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) explains an incident in which an explosion ruptured two oil tanks on an offshore platform. The explosion caused about $500,000 worth of damage and approximately 1,200 gal (4.5 m3) of oil to spill into the sea.
Just after I finished reading Sharon Nolen’s Critical Issues article, “Leveraging Energy Management for Water Conservation” (pp. 41–47), the headline of a New York Times op-ed piece by Charles Fishman, “The Water Data Drought,” caught my attention...
Tung S. Le, Meghan McCann, Samira M. Azarin, Dr. Wei-Shou Hu
Mammalian cell culture is at the core of biomanufacturing therapeutic proteins and viral vaccines. Find out how mammalian cells are derived and cultivated, and what opportunities this field holds.
Donald Lorenzo, Mark Suyama, Della Wong
Improve your management of change (MOC) system by training workers to recognize hazards as indicators of change.
Professor David Glasser, David Milne, David Glasser, Diane Hildebrandt and Brendon Hausberger
Use this graphical technique to choose a reactor configuration based on optimizing residence time.
Accurate process safety information is the cornerstone of effective process safety management. Follow this three-phase approach to create and maintain an effective PSI program.
Snehal Desai , David A. Klanecky
Water is required to produce energy, and energy is required to make use of water — the two are, and always will be, inextricably linked. Engineers must understand the water-energy nexus in order to manage both efficiently and sustainably.
Work-life balance is a challenge for many of us, but how do we get there from here? First, it helps to adjust our thinking. “It’s not about balance, like weights on a scale,” says Mary T. Scott, a certified professional coach. “It’s more about...
Jeremy D. Bendik-Keymer, Nwaynay Hlaing, Daniel Lacks, Evelyn B. Taboada
A broader view of ethics and professional responsibility considers the engineer’s impact on humanity.
Jan Berry, Bond Calloway
An international R&D effort to build a fusion reactor and demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power is underway.
From Apple to Coca Cola to Nike, we are surrounded by corporate branding. But did you know that branding is important to you and your career as well?
Eric Maynard, Eric Maynard
Powder blend consistency can be difficult to maintain during processing. This article provides an overview of common segregation mechanisms, highlights key sampling techniques, and offers practical guidance on preventing and solving segregation...
In the article “Recognize Hazards to Recognize Change” (pp. 40–44), Donald Lorenzo, Della Wong, and Mark Suyama liken managing change in the chemical process industries (CPI) to the challenge of piloting a ship on a voyage. Subtle changes in winds, waves, currents, and tides are difficult to discern, but each small change becomes the new normal, and the next change seems to be only a small difference. Only after the ship hits an obstruction does the captain realize how severely the ship has veered off course. That was the inspiration for this issue’s cover.
Have you had to deliver a difficult message to someone lately? Perhaps it was to an individual whose performance was below expectations. Or maybe it was to a group of employees about upcoming layoffs or cancelled bonuses. It wasn’t fun, was it? As a past corporate manager and now as a business owner, I have been on both sides of these difficult conversations and know it can be just as stressful to deliver bad news as it is to receive it.
If you are a young professional under the age of 35 and are willing to assume a leadership role in AIChE (on a project of your choice), the AIChE Foundation, through its Young Professionals Apprentice program ( CEP, Sept. 2012, p. 72), will...
Jack Chosnek, Victor H. Edwards, Ralph Ellis , Alan English, Edward Geaslin , Sandra L. Jones, Myra A. Ray
Apply HSE principles during front-end engineering design to assure safe, operable, and economical facilities.
With so much graphene research underway, it can be hard to keep track of the progress, as well as to evaluate the commercial viability of such developments. Here’s a look at what scientists and engineers are doing and saying about graphene.
When I was in college, I earned some spending money as a shoe model for a local freelance photographer. Little did I know I would become a cover girl. But a few years later, shortly after I began my career as an editor (at a different magazine), I was tapped for just that role. Wearing a black cap and gown and photographed looking out into a maze of piping in a chemical plant, I represented a young graduate facing my first job in industry. The cover line — “Chemical engineering education: How good is it, really?” — referred to an article that discussed the results of a reader survey conducted by two of my colleagues. That was 31 years ago. Today, we are still pondering the same question.
The TRIZ methodology encourages you to approach problems from a different angle. Here’s a primer on the basics of the technique and the tools available to implement it.
Pilot-plant piping is subject to more-frequent modification than typical process plant piping, and must be able to accommodate a range of media, temperatures, and pressures during its lifetime. Use this guide to determine which piping, tubing, and fittings are optimal for your pilot plant application.
Crude oil derived from shale plays is less expensive and more readily available than traditional crudes, but it poses unique challenges to refiners.
Surveys of the energy-related papers presented at AIChE's annual meetings provide insights into the role of chemical engineers in energy science and engineering.
Henry Z. Kister
Push valves, multiple downcomers, and truncated downcomers boost tray capacities, but they also present troubleshooting challenges. Use quantitative gamma-scan analysis to measure froth heights, froth densities, and blowby in order to solve...
Read about the new products and services on display at the 2014 International Powder and Bulk Solids Expo.
Read about the new products and services on display at the 2014 Offshore Technology Conference Expo.
The term safe work practices refers to the processes we use to authorize nonroutine work activities, and to control the hazards and manage the risks associated with these activities. Safe work practices often authorize work through permits, which frequently include checklists of potential hazards associated with the work. A nonroutine activity has nothing to do with how often the activity is done. Instead, it refers to activities that are not part of the normal process for converting raw materials to finished product, and not covered by the plant’s standard operating procedures for normal operations.
Thermoelectric materials hold promise as a means to recover waste heat from automobile exhaust, power plants, and other systems. Their use, however, is limited by low efficiency. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a process that combines nanostructuring, compositional control, and ppm-level impurity doping. ThermoAura, Inc., a start-up company co-founded by the researchers, has scaled up this process to manufacture high-performance thermoelectrics with tunable properties.
Italy’s many small and medium-sized chemical companies are crucibles of innovation, whose exports have helped the country to establish a strong presence in the global chemicals market.
To provide guidance and disseminate reactivity data, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in conjunction with partnering companies and technical associations, developed the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW). The free software ( http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/reactivityworksheet ) allows CPI professionals to review the reactivity hazards of thousands of individual chemicals, as well as predict the consequence of mixing chemical substances. Since its release in March 2013, the CRW Version 3 (CRW3) has been downloaded approximately 80,000 times.
In the April AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Layer-by-Layer Approaches to Staging Medicine from Surfaces,” Paula T. Hammond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes her research on a method that creates layers of thin films stacked on top of one another. Each layer contains a different therapeutic, which is incorporated into the thin film via one of several mechanisms (e.g., charge, hydrogen bonding, or other complementary interaction). This technique is useful for drug therapy in applications such as bone regeneration.
Chameleon-Like Material Changes Color On Demand; New Genes for an Old Microbe Make Statins Cheaper; A Sweet Approach to Breaking Down Cellulose; New Catalyst Pushes Lignin Up on the Value Chain; and more.
Tal Golesworthy has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that weakens connective tissues throughout the body. When he learned he would need surgery to completely replace his aorta, he used engineering principles to develop a less-invasive device to strengthen the aorta — and then convinced surgeons to implant the device in his heart.
James R. Risko
Even a relatively new steam trap in seemingly good condition can fail if it is applied incorrectly. Here’s how to recognize and avoid situations that can lead to a failure.
David Saiia, co-founder of the nonprofit Reuse Everything Institute, Inc. (REII), has always been drawn to the field of sustainable development. His theory on corporate ecology, which seeks to explore the dynamic relationship between businesses and...
How Well Are We Preparing ChE Students for Industry?; Climate FAQs: Science Academies Answer 20 Questions; Electronic Shrink Wrap Conforms to a Beating Heart; Biomass and Sunlight Cooperate to Produce Electricity; and more.
Insulating materials developed for the aerospace industry may soon gain broader acceptance in the chemical process industries (CPI), thanks in part to a Materials Technology Institute (MTI) project. CPI companies are beginning to consider the use of...
Sugar could some day be used to power smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices thanks to a recent breakthrough by Blacksburg, VA-based Cell-Free BioInnovations, Inc.
The March 2014 Beacon discussed the relationship between process safety and occupational safety, as well as the importance of both in ensuring a safe workplace. For many years, industry has used established measures of occupational safety...
Best known for his defining book on transport phenomena — in which he provided chemical engineering students with an integrated view of the transport of the three physical quantities (energy, mass, and momentum) at three different scales (molecular, microscopic, and macroscopic) — R. Byron Bird has immensely impacted the field of chemical engineering.
Al Goodman, Allegra K. da Silva
Industrial facilities are increasingly turning to water reuse for a wide range of purposes. This article reviews water-reclamation technologies and explains how to determine whether water reuse is a feasible option for your plant.
Yi Cheng, Yong Jin
The need to address ecological problems stemming from China’s burgeoning industrial growth is the impetus behind many recent developments in China’s surging chemical industry.
Keith Carpenter, Wai Kiong Ng
The chemicals industry is a pillar of Singapore’s economic success. The island city-state’s emergence as a chemical industry leader has been boosted by investment in infrastructure and the creation of an industrial island complex.
Chattering is the rapid opening and closing of a pressure-relief valve. The resulting vibration may cause misalignment, valve seat damage, and, if prolonged, mechanical failure of valve internals and associated piping. Some causes of chattering...
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