From rigid boards, blocks, and sheets, to flexible blankets and foams, thermal insulation comes in a variety of forms as well as different materials. Here are some of the latest developments to help you choose the right insulation.
Any safety device can create a new hazard. Any change to equipment, even one intended to improve safety, can create new hazards or make other existing hazards more severe. This is particularly true if the safety device is not properly installed.
Energy is a very important factor in process automation. Improvements in energy efficiency gained through process automation played a key role in justifying the pioneering automation projects of the early 1960s and have grown in stature over the ensuing decades. Automation-enabled improvements in energy usage have made critical contributions to worldwide prosperity over the last 35–40 years.
One of the biggest hurdles to treating disease in developing countries is the lack of portable and cheap diagnostic instruments, such as microscopes. Manu Prakash, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Bioengineering at Stanford Univ., believes that frugal science is the key to enhancing global health and science education. Prakash is creating simple, economical tools to pique interest in science exploration and even perform field-testing for specific diseases, such as malaria. One such invention, the Foldscope, is a completely functional microscope that merges the principles of origami and optical design.
Advances in energy-storage devices are a must for the widespread use of electric and hybrid vehicles, the integration of renewable energy with the electric power grid, and the development of smaller, faster, more-powerful consumer electronics. While progress has been made, several challenges remain, including limitations of nonaqueous electrolytes, which have poor transport properties and are highly flammable. The answer to this challenge: A new class of higher-performance electr-olytes being developed by Boulder Ionics Corp. (BI) for longer-lived, safer batteries and ultracapacitors.
Chemical engineers are primarily known for their tech-nical expertise. While this engineering know-how has played a key role in developing technologies essential for modern society, it will not be enough to solve the increasingly complex challenges of today’s world. Solutions to these issues, including the development of safe and sustainable food and water supplies, economical alternative energies, and more-effective pharmaceuticals, will require a multidisciplinary approach that considers political, social, and economic constraints, as well as the obvious technical challenges.
Catalytic oxidation and catalytic reduction control emissions by chemically transforming pollutants. Learn what equipment is available and how it works to treat exhaust streams from stationary sources.
The article “How Well Are We Preparing ChE Students for Industry?” in the Update section of the April issue of CEP (pp. 4–5, 14–15) meshed with my career-long concern about engineering education. I graduated in 1968, with pride in my skills, from “a strong program” that “was about to break into the top ten,” as we were told. It was a good program in many ways, but after two years in industry, I came to realize the misdirected perspectives I had acquired as a student. After 13 years in industry and 28 in academia, I have concluded that neither the academic perception of excellence nor the tasks students are required to complete align with the perceptions and tasks that lead to success in industry.
Are you considering starting your own engineering consulting practice? One of my best career moves was leaving my corporate position to open my own consulting firm. Perhaps, like me, you were bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, or perhaps your current employer is downsizing and a severance package will provide you with the opportunity you have been waiting for — not to mention the cash reserves you need to get through your first year. Consulting may seem like a glamorous career, one in which you get to work when you want and make lots of money. Nothing could be further from the truth. You must be able to work without having the structure and accountability that being employed by someone else provides.
Our discussion of chemical engineering education began in the April issue, with the news story “How Well Are We Preparing ChE Students for Industry?” and my editorial, “Getting ChE Education Right.” This month, we look at education again, with two more articles. The April articles resonated with Russ Rhinehart, a professor at Oklahoma State Univ., and inspired him to write a letter to the editor, which became this issue’s Commentary, “Educating Students to Become Engineers” (pp. 14–15). By coincidence, the AIChE Journal Highlight, “A Broader Role for the Evolving Engineer” (p. 13), also focuses on education.
Sinewy Fibers Boast Strength and Toughness; Graphene Stacks Up to Bandgap Limitations; Squishy Material Toughens Up when Stressed; A Tiny Forest of Semiconductors Mimics Nature’s Photosynthesis; and more
In April 2004, an explosion and ﬁre at a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant killed ﬁve people and severely injured three others. The explosion and ﬁre destroyed most of the reactor building and an adjacent warehouse. Because smoke from the ﬁre drifted...
Chemical engineering salaries have increased over the past two years, reﬂecting an improved economy and job market for engineers. The median salary of survey respondents is $120,000 — a 9% increase over the median reported in 2011. This expanded version of the article that appeared in print in the June 2013 issue of CEP includes addittional information, tables, charts and more detail.
Last year marked the tenth anniversary of AIChE’s Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) and its transformation into the Young Professionals Committee — which is tasked with engaging younger generations of AIChE members and leaders. Wendy Young...
Understand the electrostatic hazards of your process so you can limit the accumulation of charge and prevent static discharge in ﬂammable atmospheres. Select the appropriate combination of electrostatic mitigation measures to ensure safety from electrostatic ignition hazards.
One of the proudest moments of my early career was when I received a promotion from senior engineer to ﬁrst-line manager. It took about a week for the elation to wear off, as I began to realize how much responsibility I had for producing results...
Nigeria is a nation endowed with abundant natural resources and engineering talent. Current policy and reforms in the downstream and natural gas sectors are expected to boost Nigeria’s economy and restore growth and vibrancy to its chemical process industries.
End users must specify certain performance requirements when requesting a quote for a new centrifugal compressor. Understand your process, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each centrifugal compressor configuration, in order to choose the optimal centrifugal compressor for your application.
Highlights from the Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety; Saudi Arabia Section Will Host an Expanded Middle East Process Technology Conference — Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, in Bahrain; Calendars.
Two years ago, AIChE’s biennial salary survey found that chemical engineers’ salaries had stagnated and raises were the lowest they had been in two decades. Fortunately, the situation appears to have turned around somewhat. The 2013 salary survey (...
What a difference a few years can make! In mid-2005, I wrote a column (for another publication) entitled “The U.S. Chemicals Industry, R.I.P.” The situation got no better for the next few years, but starting toward the end of the last decade, based on improved extraction methods, U.S. natural gas production began to grow rapidly.
Chemical engineering salaries have remained stable over the last two years at a median of $110,000. Average starting salaries are nearly $66,900. This expanded version of the article that appeared in print provides the detailed survey results.
Built on a solid foundation of leadership support and employee involvement, an operational discipline program can help to prevent serious incidents and injuries, and improve overall site safety and business performance.
As China undergoes an industrial revolution, its once pristine lands are being choked by pollution from coal-fired plants. Spurred by the upcoming 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China is quickly cleaning the air. And, it has long-term plans to invest...
The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan had a devastating impact on the people and industry of this economic and cultural giant. This article reflects on the emergence of Japan’s chemical industry in the half-century since World War II that led...
Slurry agitation involves complicated processes. This article presents guidelines for understanding the rheology of cellulosic and other fibrous materials, and outlines a method for scaling up their agitation.
In silicocatalyst optimization is the ultimate application of computers in catalysis. This article provides an overview of the basic concepts of predictive modeling and describes how this technique can be used in catalyst and reaction design.
Promising nanotechnology-enabled sensors, monitoring devices and analytical instruments continue to advance toward commercialization for diverse industrial, environmental, medical and military applications— but hurdles remain.
Seven years ago, I wrote a column for another publica tion entitled “The U.S. Chemical Industry: R.I.P.” This pillar of American economic strength, which a few years earlier was the leading exporter among U.S. manufacturing sectors (with net exports of $15–20 billion annually), was shriveling due in large part to policy blunders and regulatory mistakes.