In Memoriam: John Chen, AIChE Fellow and Former President Jack Weaver, Former AIChE Director of Technical Programs
AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers
Process safety has come a long way since the Bhopal tragedy in 1984. However, accidents in the chemical process industries continue to occur. Post-mortem analysis has indicated that many were preventable and had similar systemic causes. This begs the question: Why do we fail to learn from past events and make adequate changes to prevent their recurrence? In the January AIChE Journal Perspective article, “A System-Theoretic, Control-Inspired View and Approach to Process Safety,” Nancy G. Leveson and George Stephanopoulos of MIT offer their take on this question.
Harmless Virus Helps Assemble Li-O2 Cathode for Batteries; A Sticky Solution for Tissue Engineering; Biopatch Catalyzes Bone Regeneration; Shape-Shifting Material Heats Up; and more
President’s Corner: Our Evolving Profession; AIChE Gala Spotlights Ethics; Southwest Process Technology Conference; Award Nominations; Member News
Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is corrosion of piping, tanks, or other equipment that occurs due to water under insulation or ﬁreprooﬁng. Faulty or damaged insulation is frequently a source of the water that causes corrosion, and the insulation may also hide the damage so you are not aware of it.
Sujata K. Bhatia
A fermentation process leverages live cells to manufacture a variety of products. Choosing the correct host cell, as well as the optimal production equipment and method, are the fundamental ﬁrst steps of these complex processes.
CUI is common in processing plants and reﬁneries operating equipment in a temperature range of 25–400˚F. The cost to industry in time, money, and risk is staggering, drawing the interest of the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) and others in the chemical process industries.
AIChE is pleased to announce publication of the third edition of the trusted guide, “Equipment Testing Procedure for Trayed and Packed Columns: A Guide to Performance Evaluation.”
Annual Meeting Wrap-Up, President’s Corner: To Shape the Future We Want, AIChE Foundation Honors Stuart Churchill, AIChE Foundation Heralds ChE’s “Promise” in New Film, and more.
Michael Davies, Thomas Heidermann
A flame arrester may be installed to keep an external flame out of a tank or vessel or to ensure that a flame burning within a pipeline does not propagate to other equipment. Use the information presented here to determine what type of device is appropriate for your application.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the leadership of Ajaz Hussain, then the Associate Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), launched the Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Initiative a decade ago, it set in motion a multifaceted search for a more scientifically based approach to pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality assurance. Hussain’s call for more PAT in the industry’s manufacturing operations was really more of a challenge to current practices than a proscriptive program. The pharmaceutical industry has responded with a renewed emphasis on understanding the scientific basis of its processes, and toward that end has made significant investments in personnel and tools.
Made-to-Order Materials Move Forward; 3D Photonic Crystal Stands Up to the Heat; Battery Electrode Acquires Self-Healing Power; GHG Emissions Decline as Power Plants Switch to Natural Gas; and more.
In an increasingly competitive global environment, how can chemical engineering students and companies alike align to meet the challenges ahead? Simply put, through AIChE’s ScaleUp program.
A worker was asked to move two open-top 5-gal pails containing aqueous sodium permanganate solution from one location to another. When he picked up the pails, the contents of one of them erupted, spraying him with the solution. Sodium permanganate is a strong oxidizer, and the splashed material set the worker’s clothing on fire. His injuries required hospital treatment.
Batteries come in a variety of chemistries and designs. Using fundamental principles, the theoretical performance of these electrochemical cells can be determined, enabling you to engineer the optimal device.
Genetically Engineered Yeast Consume Toxic Byproduct; New Device Performs Double Duty; Simulations Shine Light on Future Solar Materials; Closing the Voltage Gap; and more.
Climate models use mathematical equations to represent interactions between and within the ocean, land, ice, and atmosphere — providing a means to understand the climate system and predict future climate changes. They are becoming increasingly...
Michael R. Muller, Michael B. Muller, Prakash Rao
Potential energy savings for chilled-water cooling systems are often overlooked. A detailed review of the cooling system along with the appropriate temperature and flowrate measurements will help you identify ways to cash in on these savings.
Traditional stainless steel equipment is increasingly being replaced with disposable units in new and existing processes alike, enabling more flexibility, higher efficiencies, and lower costs. Follow the guidance offered here to determine the most-effective single-use approach for your facility.
Many plants shut down or reduce operations during a holiday period. Equipment may be in a non-standard condition while processes are on hold or shut down. Even though the plant is shut down, it is likely that hazardous materials are still present in storage tanks and process vessels. Equipment that is shut down may be opened for inspection or maintenance. Some plants continue to operate during a holiday but with reduced staff, delaying less-critical activities.
Gerry M. Clarke
Among the many elements involved in converting chemical energy into electricity, lithium is currently king. This article looks at the lithium supply picture and the implications of supply and demand on lithium-ion battery technologies and markets.
2013 Institute and Board of Directors’ Award Recipients UOP’s Gautam is Selected to Receive the Inaugural AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award Anseth will Present Bailey Award Lecture at San Francisco Annual Meeting Member News
One hundred years ago, on Oct. 14, 1913, the Senghenydd Colliery in Glamorgan, South Wales, exploded, resulting in 439 fatalities. This was the worst coal mine disaster in the history of the U.K. The incident is believed to have been started by...
As chemical processing plants and related facilities age, they typically develop problems with corrosion. Allowing deterioration to progress until a piece of equipment needs to be discarded and replaced — called the “run to failure” option — can be...
Andrew N. Jansen
Lithium-ion batteries can be tailored to suit a range of products in almost any industry. This article describes the main applications for which these batteries are used, and explores some of the challenges hindering future advances.
Chaitan Khosla, the Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Stanford Univ., has always been attracted to challenges at the intersection of chemistry, biology, and engineering, particularly those...
L. P. Driskill
Engineers routinely optimize process designs; poster designs need optimization too. Use these techniques and strategies to create a poster that captures and holds the viewer's attention.
Electronic Skin Lights Up When Touched; Nature-Inspired Windows Cool Themselves Down; First Commercial Production of Cellulosic Biofuel Begins; Water-Splitting Process Produces H2 Isothermally; and more
Air is always all around us, and the oxygen it contains is necessary for life. But, compressed air (or any other compressed gas) contains a lot of energy and can cause major damage if a vessel or pipe fails.
Chemical engineering as it is known today — in which theoretical models are used to design and maintain processes — bears only a slight resemblance to the nascent field. In its beginnings, chemical engineering involved the dissection of chemical processes into unit processes and unit operations using mostly empirical methods. Material and energy balances soon entered the scene in the late 1920s, followed by the introduction of transport phenomena. While many scientists and engineers contributed to the evolution of chemical engineering, one man in particular stands out. Neal Russell Amundson, who became a full professor of chemical engineering at the Univ. of Minnesota at the age of 35, can be credited for the proliferation of scientific content within the chemical engineering field and profession.
Tony Cooper, Charlie Moore
Process mapping integrates science, engineering, and process knowledge with data and statistics to reveal opportunities for process improvement.
The answer must be yes, or we would not have a Beacon on this subject. The centrifugal pumps in the pictures are all water pumps that exploded. The explosions did not occur because of any contamination or chemical reaction with something that was...
Hot Off the Press: The World’s First 3D-Printed Battery; Nonmetal Compound Catalyzes CO2-to-Methanol Reaction; Iron Catalyst Gives Hydrogenation a Green Makeover; and more
Chemical engineers and sound engineering principles have been absent from the discussions of global challenges — energy, climate change, food, and water — for too long, assert Bill Banholzer and Mark Jones of Dow Chemical in their August AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Chemical Engineers Must Focus on Practical Solutions.” Society has thus confused what is possible with what is practical, particularly when it comes to energy, where new discoveries are greeted with over-excitement and the hope that each will provide the means to supply reliable, cheap, and almost-limitless energy, the authors say. They cite the hydrogen economy, cellulosic ethanol, and fuel cells as examples of technologies that have promised much but delivered little