AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

CEP: Process Automation Corner - Process Simulation and Process Control

September
2013
Process Automation Corner
Terry McMahon
Chemical engineers have been practicing process simulation since the advent of the profession in the early 20th century. It was called process design and inevitably involved simplifying assumptions, including that steady-state process conditions had...

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.

Understand Advanced Process Control

June
2016
Back To Basics
Perry Nordh, P.Eng.
Multivariable processes are controlled by a hierarchical structure of control layers. Field devices and regulatory controls manage individual variables, while advanced process control and production control systems coordinate multiple variables to optimize operation.

Ionic Liquids for Aromatic Extraction: Are They Ready?

December
2006
Reactions and Separations
Sachin T. Anjan
Ionic liquids have already moved into the commercial arena as reaction solvents. This article compares them to conventional solvents and examines their potential for the extraction of benzene, toluene and xylene from reformate.

A Renewable Route to Propylene Glycol

August
2007
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Rapid expansion in biodiesel production has spurred a bumper crop of competing processes to turn byproduct glycerin into propylene glycol.

Best Practices for Pilot-Plant Piping

April
2014
Fluids and Solids Handling
Richard Palluzi
Pilot-plant piping is subject to more-frequent modification than typical process plant piping, and must be able to accommodate a range of media, temperatures, and pressures during its lifetime. Use this guide to determine which piping, tubing, and fittings are optimal for your pilot plant application.

Nanotechnology: A Guide to Nano-Objects

May
2011
On The Horizon
Sravani Gullapalli, Michael Wong
Rapid change in the field of nanotechnology can make it hard to keep track of the latest nanomaterial developments. Here's a primer on the most common shapes, sizes, and compositions of nano-objects.

Modeling Chemical Reactors

February
2015
Reactions and Separations
Ed Fontes
Models can be used to describe chemical reactors to help solve problems and optimize processes, while saving time, money, and resources.

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage - Technology Integration Challenges

August
2011
Special Section
Jared P. Ciferno, John J. Marano, Ronald K. Munson
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be an important part of the transition to lower-carbon energy sources. However, widespread integration of CCS with existing power-generation plants and technologies — on a commercial scale and in a cost-...

Selecting Sensors for Safety Instrumented Systems

July
2015
Back To Basics
Jessica Lo, Erik Mathiason, 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.

Books

July
2016
Books
Eight Dollars and a Dream: My American Journey Raj Gupta with Syd Havely, Lulu Publishing Services, Raleigh, NC, $13.24, 256 pages, March 2016, ISBN: 978-1-483-44756-8 This is a modern rags-to-riches story of an Indian immigrant who came to the U.S...

Understand the Basics of Membrane Filtration

April
2013
Back To Basics
Hua Wang, Hongyi Zhou
Membrane filtration is an integral part of many industrial processes, as it is often more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective than other separation technologies

SBE Special Section: Biopharmaceuticals - Continuous Processing in Upstream Operations

December
2015
SBE Special Section
Chun Chen, Chetan T. Goudar, Huong Le
Perfusion technology offers many benefits over fed-batch processing, such as reducing the size of the bioreactor, which reduces capital costs and enables the use of single-use bioreactor technology. Despite these advantages, a shift to continuous perfusion will likely be gradual.

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage (Full 24-Page Supplement)

August
2011
Special Section
Daniel Brantley, Jared P. Ciferno, Richard A. Esposito, Nick Irvin, Arnold W. Reitze, Jr., John J. Marano, Ronald K. Munson, John Shafer, Mary Ellen Ternes
Technology Integration Challenges; Navigating the Legal Landscape; Characterizing a Geologic Formation; Demonstrating CCS Integration

Special Section: Energy (Full 25-Page Supplement)

July
2016
Special Section
Tomorrow's Technology is a Reality Today; Fuel Cells and the Hydrogen Economy; Establishing the Fuel Cell Industry; Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Membranes; Fuel Cells for Mobile Applications

Biorefinery Process Economics

October
2005
SBE Special Section
Gregory M. Bohlmann
With oil and natural gas prices surging, bio-based feedstocks are becoming increasingly competitive. This article examines, in depth, the technical and economic aspects of the biorefinery concept.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - An LPG Tragedy

November
2014
Process Safety Beacon
At about 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 19, 1984, there was a major fire and a series of explosions at a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and distribution terminal at San Juan Ixhuatepec, Mexico City, Mexico. There were over 500 fatalities, about 7,000 injuries, 200,000 people were evacuated, and the terminal was destroyed. The blasts were recorded on a seismometer 20 km (12.4 miles) away. Most of the injuries and fatalities were in the surrounding community — people were living as close as 130 m (425 ft) from the terminal. The cause of the accident could not be definitively established because of the destruction of the facilities and absence of witness reports.

Special Section: Natural Gas - Electric Power

August
2015
Special Section
Jared Ciferno, Richard Dennis, Shailesh Vora
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.

Technical Entity Trends: A Critical Problem to Solve

May
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Derrick Wu
We treat our phones as necessary extensions of ourselves, and it is now hard to imagine life without what has become like an additional limb. Similarly, we have grown so used to computers, cars, and items requiring batteries that many of us would...

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.

Applying Mass and Energy Balances to Spray Drying

December
2009
Back To Basics
Tim Langrish
Mass and energy balances are not just for process and equipment design. They can also be used to improve dryer operations by answering various “what-if” questions about temperatures, flowrates, and moisture contents. <br><br>

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage - Navigating the Legal Landscape

August
2011
Special Section
Arnold W. Reitze Jr., Mary Ellen Ternes
A legal framework governing carbon sequestration will need to be put in place before major carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects can get underway. A final rule issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act sets minimum requirements, but this is just...

Nano-technology: Fueling the Chemical Industry's Future

November
2003
Special Section
Daniela L. Carrillo, Tim Harper, Paul Holister, Mindy Rittner, Mihail C. Roco, Cristina Roman Vas
Nanotechnology, as a whole, is still an emerging area with the need to make progress in both scientific and technological terms before enormous commercialization of products may occur. Nevertheless, commercial products are out there — more in some...

Predict Incidents with Process Safety Performance Indicators

February
2016
Safety
Wahid Azizi
Become a seer of process safety incidents with carefully chosen process safety performance indicators (PSPIs). A PSPI program developed using the barrier-based or tier-based approach will serve as your crystal ball.

Use Spreadsheets for ChE Problem-Solving

August
2016
Back To Basics
David E. Clough
This article will help you improve your Excel spreadsheet skills and will provide you with tools to solve common chemical engineering problems.

Green Reactors

August
2008
Reactions and Separations
Mukesh Doble
Compare these microreactor technologies, along with the intrinsic advantages and disadvantages of miniaturization, to achieve process intensification.

Predictive Modeling in Catalysis - From Dream to Reality

June
2009
On The Horizon
Ana G. Maldonado
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.

Reduce Piloting Time and Cost

July
2011
Process Development
David A. Berg, Michael T. Cleary
Pilot-scale experimentation is essential to establish a sound foundation for a new chemical processing unit. These best practices can reduce the time and cost involved in process development.

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.

Design Principles for Liquid-Liquid Extraction

November
2015
Reactions and Separations
Joerg Koch, Glenn Shiveler
Many factors must be evaluated when developing a liquid-liquid extraction process. Here are some of the important parameters to consider as you go from laboratory testing to commercial-scale operation.

Put More Punch Into Catalytic Reactors

March
2003
Reactions and Separations
Ed Fontes, Olof Hernell, Phil Byrne
Using equation-based modeling to design these reactors can optimize their efficiency and throughput.

Developing Crystallization Processes

March
2011
Reactions and Separations
Christianto Wibowo
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.

Designing Multistage Agitated Reactors

January
2014
Reactions and Separations
Gregory Benz
This article bridges the gap between theory and practice for the design of continuous-flow mechanically agitated reactors, with a focus on mechanical and hydraulic issues.

Increase Powder Flow via Gas Injection

July
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
John W. Carson, Herman Purutyan, Thomas G. Troxel
Fluidization and air-assisted discharge are two ways to optimize fine-solids handling. However, the choice of technology is as important as designing and operating the system properly.

Understand Discrete Nanoscale Transport

June
2008
On The Horizon
Anh-Tuan Dinh, Samir Mitragotri, Chinmay Pangarkar
Unlike mass, energy and momentum transfer, which are described by continuum equations, the movements and interactions of the nanoscale entitites within a cell constitute the transport phenomenon known as discrete nanoscale transport (DNT).

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Natural Gas Transforms the Chemical Industry

March
2014
Journal Highlight
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.”

Accurately Predict the VLE of Thiol-Hydrocarbon Mixtures

September
2004
Reactions and Separations
Wayne Sim, Vince Tassone, Chorng H. Twu
This methodology can be used to calculate vapor-liquid equilibria (VLE) between thiols and hydrocarbons at any composition, temperature or pressure to improve gasoline fractionation processes.

Leadership Q&A: Control What You Can Control

July
2016
Leadership Q&A
Craig Rogerson, chairman, president, and CEO of Chemtura, talks to CEP about leading a global specialty chemicals company out of bankruptcy to profitability by pruning first — i.e. , divesting nonstrategic businesses — to stimulate new growth...

Real World Modeling of Distillation

July
2003
Reactions and Separations
Harry Kooijman, Rajamani Krishna , Ross Taylor
Previously, simulations based on nonequilibrium, or rate-based, models were considered impractical due to their complexity. However, with ever-increasing computing power, these simulations are not only feasible, but in some circumstances they should...

Designing Polymerization Reaction Systems

February
2016
Reactions and Separations
Shrikant Dhodapkar, Pradeep Jain, Carlos Villa
Important considerations in polymerization reactor design include heat removal, kinetics, and process dynamics, as well as polymer properties and product quality.

Determining Manufacturing Costs

January
2009
Back To Basics
John Anderson
Making early estimates of a product's cost components enables developers to manage resources wisely and evaluate the product's economic viability.

Engineering Organs: Heart and Esophagus

December
2007
SBE Special Section
Buddy D. Ratner
The potential for tissue engineering to transform the practice of medicine is enormous. Chemical engineers will play important roles in this revolution.

Supplemental Nanobiotechnology Tables

February
2006
SBE Special Section
These tables offer a snapshot of the many companies, research organizations and universities working in nanotechnology, nanoscience, nanobiotechnology and other variations of the term that has been coined to describe a revolutionary approach to...

Special Section: Natural Gas - Transportation

August
2015
Special Section
Donald Anton, Claudio Corgnale, Bruce Hardy, Martin Sulic, David Tamburello
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.

Understand Flow Patterns in Glass-Lined Reactors

November
2004
Reactions and Separations
Kevin J. Bittorf, David S. Dickey, Keith E. Johnson , Christopher J. Ramsey
Physical modeling and computer simulation provide insights into the performance of a glass-lined reactor.

Process Safety Beacon: Understand Chemical Compatibility

July
2016
Process Safety Beacon
Chemical compatibility charts can be used to determine the chemical reactivity of thousands of common hazardous chemicals, the compatibility of absorbents, and the suitability of materials of construction in chemical processes.

Selecting Laboratory Reactors

August
2007
Reactions and Separations
Francesco Picciotti, Marcello Picciotti
This article outlines some of the considerations involved in selecting and specifying a reactor system for research and development applications.

Introduction to Fluidization

November
2014
Back To Basics
Raymond Cocco, S. B. Reddy Karri, Ted Knowlton
Fluidized beds offer excellent heat transfer, and have the unique ability to move a wide range of solid particles in a fluid-like fashion. This article explains the basics of fluidization theory and outlines how to design a typical fluidized bed.

Optimizing Crystallizer Scaleup

June
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Wayne Genck
Explore how mixing parameters impact the crystallization process and recommend ways to improve the likelihood of successful scaleup. The concepts of nucleation and growth, types of mixing, design considerations, agitator parameters and scaleup...

Special Section: Energy - Meet The Authors

July
2016
Special Section
Steve Baxley, P.E. / Kyle Brinkman / Amgad Elgowainy / Kevin Huang / Noah D. Meeks / Krishna Reddi / Sunita Satyapal / Shailesh D. Vora / Michael Wang

CEP: Chem Economics - Manufacturing Renaissance Takes Hold in the U.S.

October
2012
Chem Economics
T. Kevin Swift
Many living in the Rust Belt — the northeastern region of the U.S. that experienced significant de-industrialization during the 1970s through the 2000s — got an up-close look at the decline in manufacturing in the U.S. In the wake of the Great...

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.”

People - The Key to Successful Project Management

September
2004
Career Catalyst
Eldon R. Larsen
While Gantt charts, timelines, budgets, resource constraints, quality challenges, performance measures, and other tools are important, they are neither meaningful nor effective without people.

Modeling Reactive Absorption

January
2009
Reactions and Separations
Eugeny Kenig, Panos Seferlis
Effective modeling of reactive absorption enhances system design, improves experiment planning for parameter-estimation, and facilitates process operation and control decisions.
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