Nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with therapeutics provide a way to target the delivery of drugs to specific locations in the body. When injected intravenously, however, nanoparticles are often recognized by the immune system and rapidly cleared from the body. Efforts to extend their residence time in vivo have focused on modifying particle surfaces to evade the body’s natural defenses. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is currently the gold standard for such nanoparticle stealth coating, but the recent observation of an anti-PEG immunological response has spurred the search for improvements. To address this challenge, researchers have looked to nature, which has created the ideal drug-delivery vehicle — red blood cells (RBCs).
Bruce Dale, Charles Wyman
Whether the feedstock is sugarcane, corn, or lignocellulose, the fermentation and ethanol recovery operations are similar. The differences arise in the way the sugars are released and the co-products produced.
Cheap and Abundant Potassium Outperforms Precious Metal Catalyst; Engineering Bioethanol without the Food Gap; Supercomputers Identify Optimal Zeolites; Synthetic Biology Pushes Gene Therapy Forward; and more.
Mark Holtzapple, Sagar Lonkar, Cesar Granda
The carboxylate platform ferments a wide variety of biomass feedstocks into mixed carboxylic acids and their salts, which in turn can be transformed into hydrocarbon fuels.
Chau-Chyun Chen, Soraya Honarparvar, Sina Hassanjani Saravi
Accurate thermodynamic models are needed to simulate processes involving electrolytes, which range from hydraulic fracturing to CO2 capture and sequestration and basic chemicals manufacturing. Follow these steps to develop thermodynamic models for your electrolyte system.
Seth Gottlund, Pablo Duarte
In a unique collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) program, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APCI) has developed an innovative process to capture CO2 at its Port Arthur, TX, facility. The captured CO2 is purified, dried, compressed, and transported via pipeline to Denbury Resources, where it is used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The high-purity CO2 is injected into oil wells to reduce the viscosity of the oil mixture, which enables higher oil-well production rates and overall yield, and increases the crude oil flowrate.
The stage-gate technique used for traditional chemical processes must be modified for bioenergy technologies. Follow these recommendations to minimize risk and maximize success.
Considering that the price of oil has plummeted to less than half of what it was a year ago, this SBE supplement on biofuels is quite well-timed. What role can and will biofuels play, both today and in the future?
Whatever your job — operations, maintenance, supervision, engineering, management — pay attention to the details in your work. There are no unimportant details in process safety. You never know which apparently minor detail can initiate a major event, so you have to pay attention to all of them.
Robert Brown, Vonnie Estes, Tristan R. Brown
A few cellulosic biofuel facilities have begun operation, and others are slated to start up in the coming years.
Bruce Dale, Mark Holtzapple
As fossil energy resources decline, we must develop and deploy renewable energy systems. An attractive alternative is to convert lignocellulosic biomass into transportation fuels.
Bruce Dale, Robert Brown, Charles Wyman, David Edwards, Mark Holtzapple, Darlene Schuster, Sagar Lonkar, Cesar Granda, Tristan R. Brown, Vonnie Estes, Sergio C. Capareda
SBE Update; The Need for Biofuels; Producing Biofuels via the Thermochemical Platform; Producing Biofuels via the Sugar Platform; Producing Biofuels via the Carboxylate Platform; Scaling Up Bioenergy Technologies; Commercial-Scale Production of Lignocellulosic Biofuels
Last year, when we chose biofuels as the topic for this issue’s Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) supplement, we did not anticipate the precipitous drop in oil prices of recent months. As we were pulling the articles together, guest editor Mark Holtzapple expressed concern that oil prices would be low when the issue appears. “If readers do not think too deeply, they might say ‘These academics are sure out of touch. Don’t they know oil prices are low?’”
The opportunities and implications of big data analysis and the emergence of unconventional crude oil are just two of the timely topics to be explored at AIChE’s 2015 Spring Meeting and 11th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS). This year’s conference is in Austin, TX
Promethean Power Systems, a Somerville, MA-based small business with grants from the National Science Foundation, has developed a thermal battery-based refrigeration system to address the challenges of unreliable electricity supply in rural areas.
Robert Brown, Sergio C. Capareda
Thermochemical conversion of biomass to liquid fuels employs many of the same processes and equipment as are used with fossil fuel feedstocks.
These ﬁve incidents demonstrate how seemingly small mistakes or temporary lapses in judgment can result in disaster.
Programming for an AIChE conference — i.e., developing the technical program — takes a lot more than the work put in by the meeting chairs; the details and ideas that go into every session and its roster of speakers take a whole force of volunteers. As a co-chair for the upcoming 2014 Spring Meeting in New Orleans who also happens to be a young professional (YP), I’ve realized that the best way to prepare for programming a large-scale conference is to build relationships across all levels of the organization.
The recent development of new sources of shale-gas methane and shale-gas condensate will significantly impact fuels and chemical feedstocks in the U.S. and around the world, says Jeffrey Siirola of Purdue Univ. and Carnegie Mellon Univ. in the March AIChE Journal Perspective article, “The Impact of Shale Gas in the Chemical Industry.”
Organizers are putting the finishing touches on the schedule of events for AIChE’s 2014 Spring Meeting and 10th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS), to be held Mar. 30 – Apr. 3 at the Hilton New Orleans – Riverside, in New Orleans, LA.
Read about new products and services in the areas of fluids and solids handling, instrumentation, and materials and chemicals.
You’ve spent hours writing your paper, preparing the slides for your presentation, and practicing your talk. You’ve endured the humiliation of the airport security inspection, the frustration of the weather-related flight delay, the discomfort of the cramped airplane seats, and the disruption of your circadian rhythm after crossing several time zones. You arrive at the meeting room early, check your slides on the session chair’s laptop, get comfortable with the remote, and test the mic. You are excited to be part of this group of experts, and are looking forward to sharing your thoughts and engaging in a lively dialogue.
Use a phase diagram to identify the best temperature, pressure, and composition conditions, as well as the optimal sequence of process operations to achieve a desired crystallization.
The outlook is bright for the process automation enterprise in the U.S. through this decade and into the next. Process automation skills and know-how are honed through challenging projects and are perfected by maintaining these systems at peak efficiency. Without constant renewal based on new and different challenges, these skills tend to atrophy and become obsolete. Fortunately, after more than a decade of decline, the U.S. process industries are entering a period of highly advantaged resource and energy availability.
Paul Martin, Grant Girouard
Existing equations used to size control valves are inadequate for laboratory- and pilot-scale work. Use the simple equation introduced in this article to accurately size needle control valves for laminar and transitional flow.
AIChE Members Are Elected to the National Academy of Engineering Minority Affairs Committee Salutes Members in the News
While the Beacon focuses on process-related incidents, never forget that occupational safety is also important. For a safe workplace, we must have effective programs for both process and occupational safety.
Silicon Anode Gets a Fruity Makeover; New Anode Provides a Home for Plus-Sized Na+ Ions; A Flicker of Hope for Nonflammable Li-Ion Batteries; Bio-Inspired Glass Is Bendable; and more.
A process designed to lower the cost of magnesium metal, making it competitive with aluminum, has been an industry goal for over a century. Although magnesium metal makes up millions of today’s lightweight cell phone and laptop cases, its persistently high cost (twice that of aluminum today) has impeded broad, high-volume use in other areas, including the automobile industry. This could soon change, thanks to researchers at INFINIUM, based in Natick, MA, who have developed a low-cost, energy-efficient, zero-emissions process for making this lightweight, strong metal.
Pressure-measuring devices come in a wide variety of designs and sizes to suit almost any application. This article describes the basics of pressure measurement and provides guidance on instrument selection.
Mary Ellen Ternes, Kristine Baranski
This overview of EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting rule explains the regulation’s requirements and suggests strategies for compliance. It also provides insights regarding enforcement and confidential business information.
Kimberly Ogden, Kuan-Chen Cheng
The individual technical elements of the algae-to-biofuels process have already been demonstrated at the laboratory scale. Ongoing research seeks to refine the technology to enable scaleup to commercial production.
Many manufacturing processes are not run as efficiently as they could be. The Six Sigma methodology provides a foundation for continuous improvement and for solving quality, operational, and other problems.
With solid-liquid equilibrium as its foundation, this systematic approach makes it easy to identify operating regions and theoretical yield to maximize the desired product.
Increasing energy demand and dwindling energy resources have spurred interest in making transportation fuels from renewable sources such as microalgae.
Al Darzins, Eric P. Knoshaug
The production of algal biofuels involves algae cultivation, biomass harvesting and dewatering, lipid extraction, and conversion to fuel.
To maintain favorable conditions in the brain, the blood-brain barrier limits mass transfer across brain tissue. However, it also restricts the systemic delivery of compounds to treat neurological disorders. Several treatment alternatives to bypass...
Bioactive implants that combine a medical device with one or more biologic therapeutic agents show promise for the targeted treatment of complex medical conditions. Implantable medical devices, such as stents, grafts, and joint replacements, are...
Coriolis meters eliminate the need to measure and correct for pressure, temperature, and density fluctuations to determine mass flowrate. Although their capital costs may be higher, they typically have a lower overall cost of ownership than other types of meters
Process flow failure modes (PFFM) analysis is an intuitive, process-flow-directed way to identify potentially hazardous scenarios. Learn how to apply this technique to your process hazard reviews.
Although you might not associate drug delivery with chemical engineering, the principles of chemical engineering — such as mass and energy balances, transport phenomena, reaction kinetics, and particle technology — are intimately involved in drug...
John T. Santini, Jr.
Drugs can be administered by many routes, yet all emerging drug delivery technologies aim to improve drug efficacy, minimize side effects, and reduce the burden of care for patients and physicians.
W. Mark Saltzman, Junwei Zhang
Engineered nanoparticles can deliver therapeutic agents to specifically targeted cells and then release those agents in a precisely controlled manner. Improved pharmacokinetic properties, reduced toxicity, and the ability to cross biological barriers are some of the key benefits of this approach.
William Parrish, Cory Jensen
Licensure as a professional engineer is an investment in your future, and can be a beneficial — and even necessary — credential.
Many of us remember receiving our polio vaccine on a sugar cube. Indeed, that was the motivation behind A Spoonful of Sugar, a song from the classic Disney movie Mary Poppins. Walt Disney had instructed the Sherman brothers, Robert and Richard, to come up with a catchy song for the film. When Robert arrived at home, after working all day trying to come up with an idea, his wife told him that the children had gotten their polio vaccine that day. Thinking they had gotten a shot, he asked them if it hurt. His son answered that the medicine was put on a cube of sugar and he swallowed it. And so “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down was born.
Color-Shifting Fibers Take their Lead from Nature; Nanocapsules Target Cancer Cells without Harming Healthy Ones ; Graphene Straightens Out with Some Help from Copper; Silicon Made Easy for Batteries; and more.
Read about new products and services in the areas of instrumentation; fluids and solids handling; laboratory equipment; and environmental, health, and safety.
If you manage to stay afloat long enough, past associations inevitably resurface. At a recent Société de Chimie Industrielle luncheon, I reconnected with a client who I hadn’t seen in almost 30 years. In 1983, I was retained by an investment banker...
Lack of labeling can be a safety problem, and poor or confusing labels or information signs can be even worse.
To surpass the merely adequate, and to accomplish something noteworthy, requires one to take on tasks that are unstated and to solve problems that others may not have even noticed. Depending on the structure of your work environment, there may be...
Eliminate unnecessary damage in piping systems by following these guidelines to avoid pulsations from pumps and compressors.
Walter L. Frank
Changes to OSHA's PSM rule and EPA's RMP programs are underway, due to pressures from various groups and the need for greater security.
The OSHA Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program will soon apply to the chemical industry, targeting compliance with safety standards associated with chemical hazards.
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