AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

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.

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

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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...

CEP: Editorial - Engaging in Public Affairs

February
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
As a student unsure of what chemical engineers actually did in the real world, I wondered whether I would like being a chemical engineer. A double major, I reasoned, would provide a safety net — just in case. Students in the engineering and public policy (EPP) department worked on projects at the intersection of technology and society, like energy, the environment, and risk analysis. Those sounded interesting, so I enrolled in the ChE/EPP double-major program. Electives on topics such as energy policy, organizational behavior, social analysis, and arms control and defense policy, and projects on product liability, diagnostic radiation, and coal mine safety, gave me an appreciation for the interdependence of engineering and the public welfare.

New Products: June 2016

June
2016
New Products
Product Focus: Instrumentation Thermal Calibrator Works in the Field or in the Lab The PIEcal Model 525B is an automated calibrator for industrial temperature sensors that accommodates resistance temperature detectors (RTDs) and thermocouples with...

Ethics — Examining Your Engineering Responsibility

February
2015
Career Catalyst
Deborah Grubbe
Engineering ethics frequently has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with communication, thought and decision-making patterns, and conflicts around time and money.

Patent Update: Can a Patent Be Infringed Before It Issues?

June
2016
Patent Update
Henry Heines
How long does a U.S. utility patent remain in force? If asked this question, many might say 20 years. This is not correct, however. The term of a patent is the period of time extending from the issue date of the patent to 20 years from the date on...

Big Data Analytics: Meet the Authors

March
2016
Special Section
Richard D. Braatz / Leo H. Chiang / Lloyd F. Colegrove / Salvador GarcÍa Muñoz / Chaitanya Khare / John F. MacGregor / Marco S. Reis / Mary Beth Seasholtz / David White

Profile: Cultivating Teamwork as an Engineer and Volunteer

June
2016
Profile
As a biochemical engineer with over two decades of experience, an AIChE board member, and a Coast-Guard-licensed tall-ship captain, Gregory Frank has a deep appreciation of teamwork and the importance of being open to the perspectives and insights...

CEP: Editorial - Navigating Ethical Dilemmas

February
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
It seems not a day passes without news reports of a politician or corporate executive taking bribes, engaging in insider trading, or getting caught up in some other ethical dilemma. As engineers, though, we will more likely find ourselves in situations that have subtler, less-obvious ethical undertones.

Technical Entity Trends: Growing Research in Plant Technologies

June
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay
Plant synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology to develop technologies for bioengineering plants. Plant bioengineers are responsible for the emergence of new technologies related to medical...

Humanitarian Chemical Engineering

April
2015
Career Catalyst
Jeremy D. Bendik-Keymer, Nwaynay Hlaing, Daniel Lacks, Evelyn B. Taboada
A broader view of ethics and professional responsibility considers the engineer’s impact on humanity.

Career Corner: Brush Up on Your Interview Skills

June
2016
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Are you considering changing jobs? You may think that with an updated resumé and rehearsed answers to standard questions such as “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” you are ready to interview for that next opportunity. Not so fast. Today,...

Editorial: Be a Good Employee — Take a Vacation

June
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Summer vacation season is here! Will you be taking a vacation this year? According to a survey conducted by Skift, a travel industry intelligence platform, 40% of Americans did not take a single day of vacation in 2015.

CCUS: Utilizing CO2 to Reduce Emissions

June
2016
On The Horizon
Marcius Extavour, Paul Bunje
Converting carbon dioxide emissions into valuable products is an exciting concept for the chemical processing industries (CPI).

4th Middle East Process Engineering Conference & Exhibition (MEPEC 2017)

October 9-11, 2017
MEPEC 2015 is the 3rd Edition of the largest downstream process engineering conference in the Gulf region, and will be by far the biggest event to date. The conference & exhibition will be held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre on the 15th to 17th of September 2015 and will feature the Middle East Regional Chem-E-Car Competition.

Preparing for a Successful Energy Assessment

May
2016
Back To Basics
Thomas R. Theising
If your facility has an upcoming energy assessment, you might be overwhelmed with the list of things you need to do, data you need to organize, and people you need to contact. This article streamlines the planning process and recommends steps you can take to optimize your facility’s energy costs.

Process Safety Beacon: Prevent Repeat Incidents

May
2016
Process Safety Beacon
On Jan. 29, 2016, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued a report and video animation of an April 17, 2013, explosion in an agricultural chemical storage facility in West, TX. The explosion caused 15 fatalities, more...

Letters

April
2016
Letters
Thoughts On Grammar and Gender I came across your editorial “An Editor Changes Their Mind about They ” ( CEP , Feb. 2016, p. 3). I can say that I read it with great pleasure. Though I already use “they” now and then (on the strength of such classic...

Editorial: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

May
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Many leaders and managers consider Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, required reading. Three articles in this issue evoke Covey’s Habit 2: begin with the end in mind.

Consider Moving to Fixed Valves

May
2016
Reactions and Separations
Scott Hebert, Neil Sandford
CPI companies are switching to fixed valves despite a slight loss in operational flexibility. Fixed valves offer better reliability, fouling resistance, and more robust valve designs.

New Products: May 2016

May
2016
New Products
Product Focus: Heat Transfer Heat Exchanger Delivers Hot Water On Demand The EasiHeat domestic hot water (DHW) system incorporates Spirax Intelligent Monitoring System (S.I.M.S) technology to deliver a constant supply of hot water at a stable...

Spotlight on Safety: Prepare to be Safe at a First Job or Internship

May
2016
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
If you are a new graduate starting your first job or a student beginning a summer internship at a chemical plant, laboratory, or manufacturing facility, this might be your first time working in the presence of heavy machinery and chemicals. Although...

Books

May
2016
Books
Inherent Safety at Chemical Sites: Reducing Vulnerability to Accidents and Terrorism Through Green Chemistry Paul T. Anastas and David G. Hammond, Elsevier, New York, NY, $49.95, 134 pages, Oct. 2015, ISBN: 978-0-128-04190-1 Accidental or deliberate...

YPOV: Persuade Your Boss to Send You to an AIChE Conference

May
2016
YPOV
Giselle Schlegel
The wealth of information and knowledge that you can gain at an AIChE conference is extraordinary. At every turn, professionals, graduate students, and undergraduates are sharing their ideas and accomplishments with other conference-goers. The week...

An Introduction to Mammalian Cell Culture

April
2016
Back To Basics
Tung S. Le, Meghan McCann, Samira M. Azarin, Dr. Wei-Shou Hu
Mammalian cell culture is at the core of biomanufacturing therapeutic proteins and viral vaccines. Find out how mammalian cells are derived and cultivated, and what opportunities this field holds.
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