AIChE

AIChE Journal Highlight - Diversifying the Chemicals Industry’s Feedstock Portfolio

August
2015
Journal Highlight
In the August AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Future Feedstocks for the Chemical Industry — Where Will the Carbon Come From?,” Scott F. Mitchell of SABIC Technology Center and Daniel F. Shantz of Tulane Univ. outline the opportunities for various sources of carbon that could be used for chemicals production, including shale gas, biomass, coal, and recycled CO2 and plastics.

Special Section: Natural Gas - Electric Power

August
2015
Special Section
Richard Dennis, Shailesh Vora, Jared Ciferno
The role of natural gas for electricity generation is expanding, as utilities take advantage of the low cost and lower emissions of natural gas, as well as the ability of natural-gas-based systems to provide on-demand power during periods of peak consumption.

CEP: News Update

August
2015
News Update
Sponge-Like Catalyst Makes Bioplastic Cheaper and Greener; LED Combines Optoelectronic Powerhouses; New Water Splitter Produces Hydrogen; Algal Fuel Gets a Boost; and more.

CEP: New Products

August
2015
What's New
Read about new products and services in the areas of fluids and solids handling, materials and chemicals, bioprocessing, and operations and maintenance.

Special Section: Natural Gas - Chemical Synthesis

August
2015
Special Section
John Marano, James Spivey, Bryan Morreale
Plentiful, low-cost natural gas will invigorate the chemicals industry over the next decade, as producers look to increase the role of natural gas as a feedstock in established processes, as well as develop new processes to convert methane into chemicals currently derived from petroleum.

Automate Your Batch Process — Part 1

August
2015
Instrumentation
Cecil Smith
It is important to understand the process to automate it effectively. Learn about the automation requirements of cyclical, multigrade, and flexible batch processes, as well as the status of this developing field.

CEP: Career Corner - Getting Results through Others

August
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Sooner or later in our professional careers, we find that we are no longer individual contributors. Instead, we are responsible for delivering results through others. For many of us, this is not an easy transition.

CEP: Editorial - Don't Cross the Line

August
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
The word deadline has its roots in the American Civil War. Camp Sumter (also known as Andersonville Prison) was the largest and most infamous military prison of the war. The prison pen was surrounded by a 15-ft-high log fence with sentries stationed at 90-ft intervals. Inside the stockade, about 20 ft from the wall, was the “dead-line,” which prisoners were forbidden to cross. It was marked by a post-and-rail fence, and the guards had orders to shoot anyone who tried to cross it, or even reach over it.

Special Section: Natural Gas - Transportation

August
2015
Special Section
Claudio Corgnale, Martin Sulic, Donald Anton, David Tamburello, Bruce Hardy
Development of natural gas as a fuel for light-duty vehicles will require innovative methods of onboard storage. One option under investigation is the use of adsorbents.

Automate Your Batch Process — Part 2

August
2015
Instrumentation
Cecil Smith
A chemical engineer’s knowledge of the process is an asset to batch process automation efforts. Learn what aspects of batch process automation deserve special consideration, as well as issues on the horizon for this developing field.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Operational Readiness

August
2015
Process Safety Beacon
Any time that you introduce material or energy into equipment that is not currently being used, it is essential that you confirm that the equipment is ready. Are all of the parts of the equipment actually there and properly installed, or is something missing? Are all the valves that are supposed to be open actually open, and are all the valves that are supposed to be closed actually closed? Is everything else ready to use?

Special Section: Natural Gas (Full 27-Page Supplement)

August
2015
Special Section
E Nicholas Jones, Martin Sulic, John Marano, James Spivey, Claudio Corgnale, Bryan Morreale, Donald Anton, David Tamburello, Todd W. Onderdonk, Lynne D. Taschner, Shailesh Vora, Richard Dennis, Bruce Hardy, Jared Ciferno
Natural Gas: Opportunities and Challenges; Natural Gas: The Energy Outlook; Natural Gas: Electric Power; Natural Gas: Chemical Synthesis; Natural Gas: Transportation

CEP: Institute News

August
2015
Institute News
AIChE Gala Will Showcase Excellence in Process Safety, Nov. 3 3rd Middle East Process Engineering Conference, Sept. 14-17, in Bahrain Body of Knowledge Will Guide ChE Training, Skills Development Commercializing Industrial Biotechnology Workshop...

CEP: Spotlight on Safety - Sensing Safety

August
2015
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
Most of us are fortunate enough to have five working senses — sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. We use these personal, internal feedback loops to perceive and understand our surroundings, which makes our senses some of our most valuable and essential safety equipment. Before the advent of optical, vibrational, and auditory sensors, the chemical process industries (CPI) depended on sensory perception to identify operational upsets or changes. Although sensing equipment is now ubiquitous in CPI facilities, we must also use our senses to collect critical safety data, rather than blindly relying on equipment to signal unsafe conditions.

CEP: Calendars

August
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar AIChE Academy Calendar Webinars

CEP: YPOV - Vote for Your Favorite Student Videos!

August
2015
YPOV
Of all of the engineering disciplines, it is toughest to describe what exactly a chemical engineer does. “Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that the other engineering disciplines build more tangible things,” says Stas’ Gawel, subcommittee chair of AIChE’s Global Undergraduate Student Video Competition. “Civil engineers build bridges, mechanical engineers build engines, and electrical engineers build circuits.” Chemical engineers, on the other hand, are more versatile and work in a wider variety of industries and positions than many other types of engineers. Two years ago, the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) conceived of the Global Undergraduate Student Video Competition to give high school students a better idea of what chemical engineers do, and to encourage students to pursue this major in college.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Sensitive Inline Analyzers Set to Transform the Cement Industry

August
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Portland cement manufacturing is an energy-intensive process that accounts for 6–8% of the world’s fuel use and approximately 5% of man-made global CO2 emissions. The industry uses a nuclear radiation-based technology called prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA), which offers highly accurate (within 0.1 wt%) inline measurement of the elemental composition of 100% of the raw material input. Although PGNAA systems are widely utilized, they are suitable only for heavy, dense materials that produce strong signals, such as cement raw materials. XRSciences — a Carlsbad, CA-based startup funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) — has overcome the PGNAA signal-strength limitation.

Special Section: Natural Gas - The Energy Outlook

August
2015
Special Section
E Nicholas Jones, Todd W. Onderdonk, Lynne D. Taschner
Natural gas production is projected to grow in almost all regions of the world, with demand coming from the electric power generation, industrial, and transportation markets.

CEP: Profile: - Charlie Bamforth: Tapping into Brewing Science

August
2015
Profile
Charlie Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at the Univ. of California, Davis, has lectured extensively on the nature of beer and brewing at venues such as Google, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Smithsonian Institution. Throughout his many interviews and lectures, he never wastes an opportunity to take a jab at wine makers. One key point that he frequently reiterates: beer is superior. “It’s okay to dislike beer. It does not make you a bad person,” says Bamforth. “But never try to tell me that wine is better. Wine is not as complex a product, it is not so complicated to make, it is not a better accompaniment to food, and it is not better for you,” he states. “I like wine — but I like beer better and respect it more.”

Tackling Difficult Mixing Problems

August
2015
Fluids and Solids Handling
David Dickey
Some difficult mixing problems cannot be solved, but their impacts can be lessened. Here’s how you can deal with difficult processes or products, misunderstandings about good mixing, and obstacles to improvements.

2015 AIChE Annual Meeting

November 8-13, 2015
The AIChE Annual Meeting is the premier educational forum for chemical engineers interested in innovation and professional growth. Academic and industry experts will cover wide range of topics relevant to cutting-edge research, new technologies, and emerging growth areas in chemical engineering.

CEP: News Update

July
2015
News Update
Inks from Silk Show Biomedical Promise; Activated Carbon Gets a Designer Label; Graphene Coating Promises to Improve Condenser Efficiency; Solar Materials Self-Assemble for Lengthy Energy Storage; and more.

CEP: Institute News

July
2015
Institute News
AIChE Election; Candidate Platforms; Your AIChE Membership — Technical Divisions and Forums; Member News

CEP: New Products

July
2015
What's New
Read about new products and services in the areas of instrumentation, materials and chemicals, and fluids and solids handling.

When Mixing Matters: Choose Impellers Based on Process Requirements

July
2015
Fluids and Solids Handling
Marcio Machado, Suzanne Kresta
The power number is one consideration in impeller selection. Other important factors include bulk flow, turbulence at the impeller, and mixing conditions at the bottom of the vessel and at the liquid surface.

CEP: Calendars

July
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Academy Calendar; Webinars

CEP: Patent Update - What Constitutes Inducement to Infringe a Patent?

July
2015
Patent Update
Henry Heines
Can you be held liable for patent infringement even if you do not practice the patented invention? Can a company that sells a material to the manufacturer of a patented product be held liable? Can a vendor that supplies a component to a service provider that assembles or uses a patented system be held liable? Can a supplier of raw materials to a production plant that runs a patented process be held liable?

Synthetic Biology: Putting Together the Pieces

July
2015
On The Horizon
Michelle Bryner
Synthetic biology represents a new way of building biological systems via engineering tools and principles. Genetic components and pathways will be created to reprogram organisms, endowing them with novel functions for a wide range of applications.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Know When to Leave

July
2015
Process Safety Beacon
You cannot know when an unexpected reaction in a vessel might develop enough pressure to cause the vessel to rupture. All a large release of a flammable vapor needs in order to burn or explode is an ignition source. Never put yourself in danger by remaining in the area if this happens in your plant. Know your facility’s emergency plans, participate in drills, and know when to evacuate or shelter in a safe place.

Do Your Due Diligence

July
2015
Career Catalyst
Herbert Cooper
Use this guidance to conduct comprehensive due diligence assessments and help ensure your acquisitions — of equipment, technologies, facilities, or companies — are operationally and technologically successful.

CEP: Material Matters - Guidelines Aim to Reduce Failures

July
2015
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
MTI is in the process of developing a best practice guideline for the design, welding, repair, and inspection of DSS 2205 equipment made from thick plates (greater than 1 in.), to be completed in Oct. 2015. The guidelines will include recommendations for assessing susceptibility to SSC (low, medium, or high, based on ferrite and hardness numbers), as well as information on the scope and scheduling of inspections.

South Africa's Chemicals Industry

July
2015
Global Outlook
Patrick Veldhuizen, Thokozani Majozi
Built upon the nation’s abundant coal reserves, South Africa’s chemicals industry spent much of the 20th century isolated from world trade. The abolishment of apartheid opened doors to its full participation in global markets.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Bridging the Scale Gap to Model Heterogeneous Catalytic Reactions

July
2015
Journal Highlight
To fully harness the advantages of heterogeneous catalysis, heat and mass transfer must be optimized with respect to catalytic reaction rates. While reactions take place at the molecular length scale, industrial reactors can have dimensions as large as several meters, making reactor and catalyst design a difficult task. In the July AIChE Journal cover story, “Gas-Solid Catalytic Reactions with an Extended DSMC Model,” Georg R. Pesch, Norbert Riefler, Udo Fritsching, Lucio Colombi Ciacchi, and Lutz Mädler of the Univ. of Bremen, Germany, introduce a new modeling approach to efficiently tackle this challenge.

CEP: Editorial - The Uninhibited Editors

July
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
The week before we send an issue to the printer can be both exhilarating and exhausting. So, I was intrigued by an article on scientificamerican.com, “Overworking Your Brain Can Spark Ideas,” which reported on research that found people generate the most creative ideas when they’re mentally exhausted. It never occurred to me that this might be an especially fruitful time for coming up with good ideas. I wondered how that research might apply to me, and whether it might suggest new ways to push the CEP staff even harder.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Designer Microbes Make Green Surfactants

July
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Surfactants are typically made from petroleum-based feedstock or palm oil — using processes that produce greenhouse gases, involve the use of toxic chemicals, and generate hazardous byproducts. Massachusetts-based biotech company Modular Genetics, Inc. has engineered Bacillus subtilis strains to convert cellulosic sugar into a surfactant consisting of a fatty acid linked to an amino acid. Its approach uses no oil of any sort or toxic chemicals, and the surfactants do not generate hazardous byproducts.

Minimize Errors in Temperature Measurement

June
2015
Heat Transfer
John Garvin
Temperature measurements are most useful when they are accurate. Find out how to estimate the error attributable to a temperature probe and ways to minimize it.

CEP: Calendars

June
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Academy Calendar; Webinars

CEP: Career Corner - Build Your Negotiating Skills

June
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
For many of us, having to negotiate for anything can be akin to driving a notoriously congested, pothole-filled highway in rush-hour traffic. We know it is not for the inexperienced or faint-hearted and therefore approach it expecting the worst possible outcome.

CEP: Profile -Christina Borgese: Building Entrepreneurial Excellence

June
2015
Profile
“I see myself becoming the entrepreneurial chemical engineer,” says Christina Borgese, Director of Engineering and Development at PreProcess, Inc., a consulting company that she co-founded. Her company helps entrepreneurs commercialize their novel technologies by applying chemical engineering know-how and recruiting experts from around the world. “Creating new products, harboring new ideas — that excites me,” she says. “You never know who is calling next, or what new project you will be working on that nobody has ever done before.”

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - New Model Optimizes Water Use in Shale Gas Development

June
2015
Journal Highlight
In the June AIChE Journal cover story, “Investment Optimization Model for Freshwater Acquisition and Wastewater Handling in Shale Gas Production,” Linlin Yang, Ignacio E. Grossmann, and Meagan Mauter of Carnegie Mellon Univ., and Robert Dilmore of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, discuss a new mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model to optimize water use in the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The objective of the model is to minimize the capital and operating costs and maximize profit.

CEP: Process Automation Corner – The U.S. Chemicals Industry in Perspective

June
2015
Process Automation Corner
Terrence McMahon
If the U.S. economy were a professional sports league, the chemicals industry would be a franchise player. A healthy economy needs a core of financially strong, internationally competitive industries making products that can be sold in any geographic market. These industries provide highly compensated employment opportunities, which in turn creates flourishing communities and intellectual capital potential. Improved production processes and higher-quality products do not develop in a vacuum, but rather in the context of solving day-to-day production problems. Without domestic manufacturing, these opportunities are lost. Franchise industries are also export machines. This last quality is vital to a healthy economy — chronic trade deficits are a harbinger of decline.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - High-Performance MOFs Improve the Economics of Industrial Gases

June
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
The highly commoditized industrial gas sector relies on energy-intensive processes to produce, separate, and store industrial gases. The power required to compress gases accounts for up to 50% of the cost of the delivered gas. And, gas-separation adsorption units recover only a fraction of the feed product, necessitating processes with large waste or recycle streams. NuMat Technologies, an Illinois startup has developed synthetic adsorbent materials to address these challenges.

CEP: News Update

June
2015
News Update
A Simple Approach to Separating Rare Earth Metals; A Bionic Device Mimics Natural Photosynthesis; Molecules Click into Biocompatible Hydrogels; Nature-Inspired Coating Wards Off Water and Light; and more

CEP: What's New

June
2015
What's New
Read about the latest products and services in the areas of heat transfer, bioprocessing, materials and chemicals, environmental, health, and Safety, Instrumentation, and fluids and solids handling.

CEP: Editorial - From To-Do to Done

June
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
I find inspiration for my editorials in all sorts of places. This month’s topic came to me from a list of strange holidays, where I came across September 6, Fight Procrastination Day. You might expect this in the October issue, or later, given the...

2015 AIChE Salary Survey

June
2015
Salary Survey
Chemical engineers continue to earn more than the average U.S. worker. The median salary of survey respondents is $127,000 — a 5.8% increase over the median reported in 2013. This is an expanded version of an article that appeared in the June 2015 issue of Chemical Engineering Progress.

Selecting Sensors for Safety Instrumented Systems

July
2015
Back To Basics
Erik Mathiason, Jessica Lo, Chad McGuire
A plant’s safety instrumented system (SIS) is critical in preventing process safety incidents. Use this guide to help choose the proper sensors for your plant’s SIS.

Select the Right Impeller

June
2015
Back To Basics
Julian Fasano
The key to effective, efficient mixing is selecting the appropriate impeller.

CEP: Institute News

June
2015
Institute News
Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety Highlights; AIChE’s 2014 Financial Statements; Your AIChE Membership — Leadership Opportunities; Diversity Workshop Sets Agenda for Summit at Annual Meeting

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Conduct of Operations

June
2015
Process Safety Beacon
Conduct of operations can be summarized in two simple concepts: (1) Say what you intend to do (procedures). (2) Always do what you say. This means, for example, that if your operating procedures say to shut down if a critical safety parameter exceeds a specified value, you must always shut down.

2019 AIChE Annual Meeting

November 10-15, 2019
The AIChE Annual Meeting is the premier educational forum for chemical engineers interested in innovation and professional growth. Academic and industry experts will cover wide range of topics relevant to cutting-edge research, new technologies, and emerging growth areas in chemical engineering.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Enabling a New Generation of Polyolefins

May
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
With a global production of 150 million metric tons in 2013, polyolefins represent the largest class of synthetic polymers. Today, the industry uses a costly, time-consuming, “one catalyst, one material” trial-and-error approach to developing new polymers. Precision Polyolefins (PPL) intends to change the status quo by establishing a novel “one catalyst, many materials” paradigm for rapid discovery and product development of new polyolefins.
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