CEP: November 2012

The November cover story, "Are We Covered? Understand the Strengths and Weeknesses of a Patenting Policy," describes how a detailed laboratory notebook is one of the most valuable assets at an engineer’s disposal when negotiating the pathway to a patent. Other topics include best practices for heat tracing plot plants, cutting agitator power costs and optimizing distillation by designing "green" columns. Also, read about the latest developments in materials, biotechnology, energy and nanotechnology.

Editorial

On the first day of our visit to Walt Disney World, my then-seven-year-old son got lost in the Magic Kingdom. Luckily, he was somewhere on Tom Sawyer Island, so our search area was limited. On the second day, he wandered off in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids attraction (also an enclosed space, thankfully).
Those experiences gave me an idea for what I called Kid LoJack — a biocompatible microchip that parents could inject under a baby’s skin, and later activate to locate the child if he or she got lost or kidnapped (or stayed out past curfew). I’ve often wondered — civil liberties issues aside — whether I could have patented such a device.

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Be Smart about Column Design

November
2012
Reactions and Separations
Daniel R. Summers, P.E., Mark Pilling, P.E.
Optimizing distillation equipment and processes can improve both the profitability and the greenness of an operation.

Cut Agitator Power Costs

November
2012
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Agitator power consumption can be minimized by judicious equipment selection and careful operating procedures. Follow these guidelines to reduce your plant’s energy costs. In some cases, it may be as simple as flipping a switch.

Best Practices for Heat Tracing Pilot Plants

November
2012
Heat Transfer
Richard P. Palluzi, P.E.
Heat tracing a pilot plant is a difficult task, but with proper design and careful installation, the tracing system can operate safely and effectively.
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