February

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - A Biodegradable Plastic Made from Waste Methane

February
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
What if we could make the Great Pacific Garbage Patch just disappear? What if plastics didn’t accumulate in our landfills? What if we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions while replacing up to 30% of the world’s plastics with a biodegradable substitute? Researchers have tried for decades to achieve these goals. One approach being taken is the development of an efficient production process for poly-hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) — a biodegradable polymer similar to the polypropylene used to make yogurt containers.

CEP: What's New

February
2014
What's New
Read about new products and services in the area of solids and fluids handling.

Argentina's Chemicals Industry: Challenges and Opportunites

February
2014
Global Outlook
Claudio Delpino
Boosted by domestic and international companies, Argentina’s chemicals industry continues to grow as demand for its products increases— even in the face of challenges posed by feedstock availability and the need for increased investment.

CEP: Institute News

February
2014
Institute News
In Memoriam: John Chen, AIChE Fellow and Former President Jack Weaver, Former AIChE Director of Technical Programs

CEP: Patent Update - An On-Sale Bar to Patentability Can Arise in Various Ways

February
2014
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
One of the ways in which companies often trip up in their attempts to develop a patent portfolio is by selling a product, or even offering it for sale, before filing a patent application. If more than a year passes between the date of a sale or offer and the application filing date, the application is disqualified from receiving a patent. Likewise, if a sale or offer a year before the filing date is revealed only after the patent has been granted, the patent is declared invalid. In either case, the applicant is barred from obtaining a patent, and this is known as an “on-sale bar.”

CEP: News Update

February
2014
News Update
Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Last a Lifetime; A Bright Future for Organic Electronics; New Glue Fixes Broken Hearts; Hydrogels Release Drugs On Demand and more.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Are We Reliving Past Incidents?

February
2014
Process Safety Beacon
The short answer to this questions is YES. In 1993, Trevor Kletz, who passed away on Oct. 31, 2013, at the age of 91, wrote a book titled Lessons from Disaster: How Organizations Have No Memory and Accidents Recur. Twenty years later, we still fail to learn from accidents, and we repeat them.

Take the FUN Out of Process Safety

February
2014
Safety
Peter Lodal
Process safety can be approached in many different ways. This article provides an unconventional way of looking at process safety that ties together wide-ranging ideas from seemingly disparate fields.

CEP: Spotlight on Safety - Discover Your Personal Process Safety Culture

February
2014
Spotlight on Safety
John Herber
Culture can be defined as a collective group of shared beliefs and values that shape how we act. We think of culture as it relates to the actions and reactions of a group, company, or society. However, it can also characterize an individual — what influences how you make day-to-day decisions or handle various situations. Personal process safety culture can be assessed by observing someone’s (yours or another person’s) response to situations involving a safety violation.

CEP: Meeting Preview - AIChE Spring Meeting and 10th Global Congress on Process Safety

February
2014
Meeting Preview
A new topical conference devoted to the hot topic of shale gas and tight oil, special programs spotlighting the progress made within the process safety community, and a new luncheon are just a few of the opportunities to learn and collaborate at AIChE’s 2014 Spring Meeting and 10th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS).

CEP: Calendars

February
2014
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; Webinars; AIChE Education Calendar

Ten Distillation Revamp Pitfalls to Avoid

February
2014
Back To Basics
Doug Bouck
Projects aimed at improving distillation column operation may encounter a variety of hurdles. This article looks at ten common problems and provides guidance on how to avoid them.

CEP: Profile - Kelli Fereday: Interweaving Career and Family Life

February
2014
Profile
As the Director of Discipline Capability within BP’s Global Wells Organization, a private pilot, and mother, Kelli Fereday has demonstrated that an adventurous, rigorous career and strong family life are not mutually exclusive. Fereday has spent nearly 20 years with BP, cultivating a stimulating and challenging livelihood, and championing female engineers — especially those who have or want a family — by encouraging them to take control of their careers.

CEP: Career Corner - Add Career Fairs to Your Job Search Strategy

February
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
If your New Year’s resolution is to find a new job or career, consider adding a career fair or two to your job search strategy. Although usually associated with entry-level positions, career fairs can put more-experienced chemical engineers face to face with hiring managers or human resource representatives, a critical step to landing a new position in today’s competitive job market.

CEP: Editorial - Engaging in Public Affairs

February
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
As a student unsure of what chemical engineers actually did in the real world, I wondered whether I would like being a chemical engineer. A double major, I reasoned, would provide a safety net — just in case. Students in the engineering and public policy (EPP) department worked on projects at the intersection of technology and society, like energy, the environment, and risk analysis. Those sounded interesting, so I enrolled in the ChE/EPP double-major program. Electives on topics such as energy policy, organizational behavior, social analysis, and arms control and defense policy, and projects on product liability, diagnostic radiation, and coal mine safety, gave me an appreciation for the interdependence of engineering and the public welfare.

Control Boiler Emissions through Work Practices and Energy Management

February
2014
Environmental Management
James Robinson
The Boiler MACT regulation provides compliance options that include pollution-abatement equipment, work practices, and energy efficiency improvements. An energy management and reporting system (EMRS) can be a part of a plant’s compliance strategy.

CEP: YPOV - Building a Leadership Portfolio

February
2014
YPOV
Janet Werner
When talking with college students at local section meetings, I’m often asked about my responsibilities within AIChE with a simple question: “So, what do you do?” The answer, however, is not so simple. As a leader in the Chicago Local Section, Chicago Young Professionals Committee (YPC), national YPC, and President’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Local Sections, I could answer this question in several ways.

Selecting Baffles for Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers

February
2012
Heat Transfer
Salem Bouhairie
Baffles play a crucial role in regulating shellside fluid flow and improving heat transfer between shellside and tubeside process fluids. Here's how to choose the correct baffle to meet process requirements.

Environmental Law for Chemical Engineers

February
2012
Back To Basics
Mary Ellen Ternes
A basic understanding of environmental law is beneficial for all chemical engineers. Learn how laws are proposed, made, and implemented, and ways to avoid incurring unnecessary penalties.

Determining Torque Split for Multiple Impellers in Slurry Mixing

February
2012
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Yield-stress slurries, such as those used in paper, biofuel, and polymer production, can be difficult to mix. This article explains how to determine torque requirements for multiple-impeller slurry-mixing systems to optimize tank geometry and...

CEP: What's New

February
2013
What's New
Read about new products and services in the areas of instrumentation; fluids and solids handling; operations and maintenance; and environmental, health, and safety.

Avoid Problems with Units of Measurement

February
2013
Back To Basics
Faruk Civan
Engineers need to clearly understand units, and be able to convert, express, document, and communicate them in correspondence, operating instructions, and publications.

Beware of the Dangers of Cold Traps

February
2013
Safety
James R. Risko
Cold traps — steam traps that no longer drain condensate — are often ignored in lieu of less-critical leaking traps, until a catastrophic event, such as a plant shutdown or personal injury, occurs. Use historical data to accurately estimate the annual cost of these cold traps to justify their swift repair.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - What is Supporting Your Equipment?

February
2013
Process Safety Beacon
Pipes and equipment that are not properly supported will be subject to stress, vibration, or other problems, This can cause leaks, or even a complete collapse of piping or equipment. But, problems with inadequate support of piping and other...

Apply an Integrated Approach to Catalytic Process Design

February
2007
Reactions and Separations
James Nehlsen
To ensure a practical, efficient and economically viable process, first consider how a successful catalytic reaction system would work, then focus on making a catalyst with the desired characteristics.

Denmark’s Chemicals Industry: Progress and Challenges

February
2013
Global Outlook
Gurkan Sin, Kim Dam-Johansen
Denmark’s chemicals industry is characterized by a variety of innovative companies, especially in the life sciences. To remain competitive, these companies must continue to invest in innovation, and the country’s universities must fill a growing need for highly educated engineering professionals.

CEP: News Update

February
2013
News Update
Now Available: High-Performance Carbon Nanotube Fibers; Nanowire-Based Solar Cell Achieves Record Performance; Fireflies Share Their Light Tricks with LEDs; Tissue Adhesives Are Inspired by the Prickly Porcupine; New Coating Shields Against Nearly All Liquids; and more.

CEP: Editorial - Moving Beyond the Black Swan Excuse

February
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Days after Superstorm Sandy hit the northeastern U.S., I attended the session “Accounting for Beyond Design Basis Events” at the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, where CCPS Consultant John Murphy gave a talk entitled “Beware the Black Swan...

CEP: Profile - A Chemical Engineering Powerhouse

February
2013
Profile
I like to think of myself as an engineer with an ability to bring various disciplines together to tackle tough challenges,” says Narayan Ramesh, Associate R&D Director at Dow Solar, and recipient of AIChE’s inaugural Industrial Progress Award...

Piloting Bioreactors for Agitation Scale-Up

February
2008
Reactions and Separations
Gregory T. Benz
This article offers guidance on how to design appropriate experiments to measure scalable data for agitation in both aerobic and anaerobic bioreactors.

Consider Recycled Water for Your Cooling Tower Makeup

February
2013
Heat Transfer
Paul Puckorius
Many types of “used” water may be appropriate as cooling tower makeup. Here’s how to determine which waters are suitable and cost-effective for the equipment in your cooling system.

CEP: Career Corner - Managing Your Career Transition

February
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Sooner or later during our professional careers, most of us will change jobs, get promoted, move into a different line of work, or even get laid off. My experience is a good example. I moved from an entry-level R&D engineer to a commercial...

CEP: Update

February
2012
News Update
New Bandage Spurs Blood Vessel Growth; Biomass-to-Chemicals Technology Receives U.S. Patent; Zeolite Boosts Aromatics Yield from Biomass; EPA Publishes the First GHG Emissions Tally; and more.

CEP: Institute News

February
2012
Institute News
New Fellows SIOC Organizes K-12 Outreach Member News Calendar

The World of Wireless

February
2010
News Feature
Matthew McKeon-Slattery
As wireless technologies have advanced, old limits have been overcome and new challenges have sprung up. Further growth is likely to be driven by specific application and cost-reduction needs. <br>

Applications in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering

February
2006
SBE Special Section
Ali Khademosseini, Robert Langer
Nanotechnology is an emerging field that could potentially make a major impact on human health. Nanomaterials promise to revolutionize medicine and are increasingly used in drug delivery or tissue engineering applications.

Avoid Chemical Reactivity Incidents in Warehouses

February
2008
Safety
J. Wayne Chastain, William W. Doerr, Scott Berger and Peter N. Lodal, Scott Berger
Use this approach for the initial evaluation of potential reactivity hazards in storage applications.

Properly Purge and Inert Storage Vessels

February
2001
Safety
George R. Kinsley Jr.
Inert gases are used to prevent fires and explosions in the vapor spaces of equipment. Correct selection of oxygen concentration and inert gas flow rate are critical to ensuring safety.

Tackling the Human Challenges of Facility Security

February
2006
Safety
Dennis A. Attwood
The increased complexity of security systems may come at the expense of the user. Thus, they must be designed to match their operators' capabilities and limitations.

Prepare for a Different Future

February
2001
Opinion
Calvin B. Cobb
The U.S. industrial landscape is changing dramatically. This has significant implications for our profession and individual chemical engineers.

Use LOPA to Determine Protective System Requirements

February
2007
Safety
W. Kent Goddard
This article explains how to use layers of protection analysis (LOPA) to evaluate various process safeguards, determine if safety instrumented functions are required, and establish what safety integrity levels are needed to reduce risks to tolerable...

Designing the New Global Chemical Engineer

February
2009
News Feature
Joanna Ziemlewski
Universities around the world are tackling different pieces of the teaching puzzle to transform students into ideal chemical engineers.

RFID - Rx for Drug Security?

February
2008
News Feature
Gerald Parkinson
Some pharmaceutical companies are turning to radio frequency identification to protect against counterfeiting and theft of expensive drugs.

Test Your Incinerator Knowledge

February
2003
Environmental Management
Richard J. Martin
Do you feel like you're in the dark? Take this quiz to find out how much you know about thermal oxidizer selection and operation.

Track Condenser Performance

February
2003
Heat Transfer
Brad Buecker
An effective monitoring program can extend equipment life, improve operations, and yield substantial energy savings.

Dealing with Climate Change at the Local Level

February
2008
Opinion
Paul A. Jennings
Whatever problems may be caused by climate change, engineers will be expected to solve them.Now is the time to begin addressing the issues at the local and regional scale.
Subscribe to February