AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

Process Safety Beacon: Plugged Flame Arrester Causes Explosion

April
2016
Process Safety Beacon
In Safety Alert No. 290 (Oct. 2010), the U.S. Dept. of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) explains an incident in which an explosion ruptured two oil tanks on an offshore platform. The explosion caused about $500,000 worth of damage and approximately 1,200 gal (4.5 m3) of oil to spill into the sea.

Editorial: Swimming Against the Tide: Making Water Management a Priority

April
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Just after I finished reading Sharon Nolen’s Critical Issues article, “Leveraging Energy Management for Water Conservation” (pp. 41–47), the headline of a New York Times op-ed piece by Charles Fishman, “The Water Data Drought,” caught my attention...

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.

Making Sense of Combustible-Dust Hazard Analysis

April
2016
Safety
Michelle Murphy
Several standards on combustible dust contain provisions for conducting process hazard analyses. This article summarizes the requirements and presents a simple approach to meet them.

Material Matters: Disappearing Materials in Aging Plants

April
2016
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
Replacing materials and equipment as they corrode or reach the end of their service life is one of the challenges of managing an aging plant. When a material or part is no longer available because the supplier discontinued the product line, was acquired by another company, or went out of business, it can be difficult to find another source or suitable replacement.

Prevent Caking of Bulk Solids

April
2016
Fluids and Solids Handling
Greg Mehos, P.E.
Understanding the mechanisms behind caking, identifying key process variables and product specifications, and testing samples to predict the increase in cohesive strength of a powder over time are key to preventing and solving caking problems.

New Products: April 2016

April
2016
New Products
Product Focus: Safety Equipment Absorbent Pads Clean Up Drips and Spills Oil Eater Naturals is a line of ecofriendly absorbent pads, rolls, and socks designed to help users meet environmental, health, and safety requirements. The oil-only pads and...

Books

April
2016
Books
Optimization Methods in Metabolic Networks Costas D. Maranas and Ali R. Zomorrodi, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, $125, 288 pages, Feb. 2016, ISBN: 978-1-119-02849-9 Analysis and redesign of metabolic networks often requires the calculation of...

Profile: Improving Earth and Reaching for Mars

April
2016
Profile
As a chemical engineer for NASA at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Annie Meier has put five years of effort into creating solutions to some of the most pressing problems that astronauts — and even society — will encounter. “The technologies we produce for space can help our planet Earth as well,” she says. “We need to think of Earth as our spacecraft. How can we live here without damaging it with polluting gases and harmful byproducts?”

Career Corner: Transitioning to a Career in Sales Engineering

April
2016
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Does the business side of chemical engineering capture your interest? Are you drawn to a hands-on role with customers, so that you can help them with their technical and business challenges? If you answered yes to either of those questions, consider a career in technical sales.

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.

2018 AIChE Annual Meeting

October 28 - November 2, 2018
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.

2017 AIChE Annual Meeting

October 29 - November 3, 2017
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.

Optimization Methods in Metabolic Networks

March, 2016
This book provides a tutorial on the computational tools that use mathematical optimization concepts and representations for the curation, analysis and redesign of metabolic networks. Such analysis and redesign often requires the calculation of product yield, gene essentiality prediction,...

Optimize Aerobic Fermenter Operation

March
2016
Reactions and Separations
Gregory Benz
Fermenter optimization involves determining a profile of agitator and compressor speeds that satisfy the required oxygen transfer rates. Optimization minimizes power consumption, which will save you money.

Big Data: Challenges and Future Research Directions

March
2016
Special Section
Marco S. Reis, Richard D. Braatz, Leo H. Chiang
The big data movement is creating opportunities for the chemical process industries to improve their operations. Challenges, however, lie ahead.

New Products: March 2016

March
2016
New Products
Product Focus: Flowmeters Flowmeters Measure Three Variables SwirlMaster standard (FSS430) and extended (FSS450) boast volume, mass, and energy flow measurement in one device. They leverage a unique swirl-flow measurement technology that permits...

Big Data: Getting Started on the Journey

March
2016
Special Section
Lloyd F. Colegrove, Mary Beth Seasholtz, Chaitanya Khare
This article discusses some experiences and challenges in establishing an enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) platform at a major chemical manufacturing company, and recommends steps you can take to convince your management to harness big data.

Patent Update: When Does Patent Infringement Become a Federal Offense?

March
2016
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
Patent infringement cases are generally civil matters between the patent owner and the infringer. The two sides present opposing arguments as to, on the one hand, whether the alleged infringer’s actions are actually infringing and, on the other,...

Profile: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers

February
2016
Profile
Lydia Beall, Tech Studio Program Manager at the Museum of Science, Boston ( www.mos.org ), creates innovative and engaging exhibits that encourage children to pursue science and engineering. As the driving force behind the museum’s Design Challenges...

Going It Alone

October
2015
Career Catalyst
Alan P. Rossiter
An independent consultant faces unique demands, but can reap many rewards.

Modeling Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte Systems

February
2016
Computational Methods
Meng Wang, Yue Yu, Chau-Chyun Chen
The fundamental thermodynamic equations developed for aqueous electrolyte systems provide a springboard for modeling the more-complex and less-understood mixed-solvent electrolytes.

Technical Entity Trends: When Resources are Few

March
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Alexander
The food-energy-water (FEW) nexus, a concept that describes the interdependence of the world’s complex resource systems, has been drawing much interest and activity in the sustainability community recently. The food-energy-water nexus approach (or...

Leadership Q&A: Taking a Leading Role in Process Safety

January
2016
Leadership Q&A
This is the inaugural article of CEP ’s new column, Leadership Q&A. Here, C-suite executives will discuss how they have overcome challenges, strategies for successful leadership, and tools and skills that they have found effective during their...

Books

March
2016
Books
The Right Kind of Crazy Adam Steltzner and William Patrick, Portfolio, London, U.K., $28, 256 pages, Jan. 2016, ISBN: 978-1-59184-695 Author Adam Steltzner led the entry, descent, and landing teams responsible for the Curiosity rover’s mission to...

Big Data: Success Stories in the Process Industries

March
2016
Special Section
Salvador García-Muñoz, John F. MacGregor
Big data holds much potential for optimizing and improving processes. See how it has already been used in a range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to pulp and paper.

YPOV: What to Ask During an Interview — and What Questions to Avoid

March
2016
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
Interviews are a great way for an employer to get to know more about you and determine whether or not you are right for an open position. However, all too often, young professionals overlook the fact that interviews are also a time to gauge whether...

Big Data: The Four Vs

March
2016
Special Section
Big data is a big topic with a lot of potential. Before realizing this potential, however, we need to get on the same page about what big data is, how it can be analyzed, and what we can do with it.

Process Safety Beacon: Hydrate Hazards

January
2016
Process Safety Beacon
Water can be a hazard in process plants. When water is mixed with some materials, typically gases but also liquids, it can form a crystaline, ice-like solid. This solid is called a hydrate. When a hydrate forms, it can plug piping, instrument connections, valves, and other equipment, which causes process upsets that may be hazardous. Hydrogen sulfide, acetylene, methyl mercaptan, chlorine, vinyl fluoride, carbon dioxide, ethylene, methane, ethane, natural gas, and other hydrocarbon gases can form hydrates.

Editorial: I See Your Point

March
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
I hear what you’re saying. I catch your drift. How do you express understanding? Most of us have a preferred communication and learning style — visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Some literature includes a fourth style, reading/writing. To deliver a...

Navigating Oil Price Volatility

January
2016
Business
David Burns, Jason McLinn, Mark Porter
After several years of stability, oil prices plummeted to record lows in mid-2014. This, along with increased natural gas production in North America, has radically changed the basic economics of the chemical industry.

Big Data: What Is It?

March
2016
Special Section
David White
Big data can pave the way to greater business and operational insight. New approaches and technologies are poised to help you navigate your journey.

Process Safety Beacon: Safety Devices Used as Control Devices

March
2016
Process Safety Beacon
A volunteer at a vintage railroad tourist attraction describes how he prepares a steam locomotive for operation by building up the fire to warm the firebox and increasing the boiler pressure. He explains that he knows that the locomotive is ready...

Process Safety Beacon: Overflowing Tanks

February
2016
Process Safety Beacon
Although the operations in your storage tank farm may not seem to be very complex, they may actually be more complicated than you think. There may be many interconnections between tanks. You may have to put material in tanks that are already...

Leadership Q&A: Transforming a Business

March
2016
Leadership Q&A
Mark Vergnano, President and CEO of The Chemours Co., talks to CEP about how his team is transforming the performance chemical division (which spun off from DuPont on July 1, 2015) into a higher-value chemistry company, as well as his own transition...

Editorial: An Editor Changes Their Mind About They

February
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
When I began my career in 1980, women were a small fraction of the engineering workforce, and engineers were typically referred to by the pronouns he and him . That sexist language bothered me, so wherever I could, I used gender-neutral terms — such...

Society for Biological Engineering News

October
2005
SBE Special Section
June Wispelwey
Student Chapters Have Arrived! SBE Frontier Tutorial Second Bioengineering and Nanotech Conference Michael Shuler Wins Inaugural James E. Bailey Award Fishing Out Unusual DNA Enzyme is Linked to Neurological Disease

France’s Chemicals Industry is Rooted in Tradition

December
2015
Global Outlook
Didier Le Vély
France played a central role in the chemistry revolution and now has a leading role in the modern chemicals industry. Manufacturing a wide range of chemicals, from basics and specialties to fine chemicals for pharmaceuticals, the industry is a major contributor to France’s economy.

New Products: February 2016

February
2016
New Products
Product Focus: Solids Handling Centrifuge Classifies Very Small Particles The Tiocent Model V 630 BK centrifuge is designed for continuous wet classification of fine, ultrafine, and nanoparticles in slurries. Common applications are separations of...

Biotransformations for a Green Future

October
2005
SBE Special Section
Susan Truesdell
Enzyme and microbial biotransformations offer green chemistry alternatives for performing difficult or non-selective chemical reactions.

Enzyme Discovery: Screening, Cloning, Evolving

October
2005
SBE Special Section
Per Falholt, Glenn Nedwin, Thomas Schaefer
Enzymes are nature’s answer to many industrial and environmental challenges. This article details the latest approaches to enzyme discovery and evolution.

Spotlight on Safety: Process Safety Begins in the School Laboratory

February
2016
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
Resources — money, personnel, raw materials, etc. — are finite, and it is vital we value and protect them. Perhaps our most precious resource is the youth who are poised to pursue careers in chemical engineering, where they will take up the mantle...

Specifying Vessels for High-Pressure Dust Collectors

October
2005
Environmental Management
Todd Russelburg
ASME codes and standards govern the design, fabrication, testing and certification of high-pressure dust collector vessels. This article will assist you in working with a code vessel designer and/or manufacturer.

Technical Entity Trends: Reducing GHGs through CCUS

February
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Derrick Wu
With a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C above preindustrial levels, representatives from 195 countries met in Paris last year for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The participants negotiated the Paris...

Integrate Process Simulation and Process Synthesis

October
2005
Computational Methods
Dominic Chwan Yee Foo, Zainuddin Abdul Manan, Michael Lynn McGuire, Murugan Selvan
The design of a new process using computer simulations to analyze a process flowsheet based on the onion model can save time, effort and, ultimately, money.

Career Corner: Volunteering is Good for Your Career

February
2016
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
“Give and you shall receive.” This powerful proverb can help you build a fulfilling career when your giving takes the form of volunteering. I learned the value of volunteering early in my first year as a management consultant, when I joined 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.

Books: January 2016

January
2016
Books
Ludwig’s Applied Process Design for Chemical and Petrochemical Plants, Vol. 3, 4th Ed. A. Kayode Coker, Gulf Professional Publishing, Waltham, MA, $175, 1,296 pages, Jan. 2015, ISBN: 978-0-75068-5-245 I bought my copy of Ludwig’s original Applied...

Editorial: What the New Year Brings to CEP

January
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Eight years ago, I wrote that I was excited about the January 2008 issue because it marked the beginning of my new role as editor-in-chief. I was eager to try new things to make CEP an even better magazine, and — being the start of a new year — I...

Bioreactor Design for Chemical Engineers

August
2011
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz
Fermentation processes are based on chemical engineering principles. Understand these concepts to achieve optimal bioreactor design.

YPOV: A New Norm for the PhD Workforce?

November
2015
YPOV
Chris Lowe
Historically, PhD students in fields such as humanities and social sciences were likely to seek a tenure-track faculty position at a research university. But, the increasing number of young professionals pursuing PhDs far outstrips the number of...

Material Matters: Predicting High-Temperature Hydrogen Attack

January
2016
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
During a nonroutine maintenance operation at the Tesoro petroleum refinery in Anacortes, WA, on April 2, 2010, a nearly 40-year-old heat exchanger located in a naphtha hydrotreater unit catastrophically failed. An explosion and intense fire killed...

5 Reasons You Need to Attend Trade Shows

August
2011
Career Catalyst
Joe Bevacqua
Convincing your boss to send you to a trade show can be challenging. Here are five ways you and your employer will benefit, plus tips on how to get the most out of your visit.

New Products: January 2016

January
2016
New Products
Product Focus: Materials Enzyme Boosts Profits for Ethanol Plants Avantec Amp is an enzyme that improves yield and throughput in corn ethanol production, while increasing corn oil extraction and significantly reducing the need for some of the harsh...

CEP: YPOV - A Grad Student’s Right Decision

November
2013
YPOV
Chris Lowe
About two years ago, I was faced with a decision. I was a few weeks away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering when I received an email from a friend. He was recruiting graduating students to act as liaisons between AIChE...

Designing Dust Collectors

September
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Greg Mehos, P.E.
To assure reliable and safe operation of a dust collector, apply the basic principles of chute and hopper design — which are based on the dust's fundamental flow properties.

Technical Entity Trends: Welcome to the TENT

January
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Alexander, Derrick Wu
Welcome to Technical Entity Trends (TENT), a new monthly CEP column written by the staff of AIChE’s Technical Entities (TEs). The TEs are communities of chemical engineers and other professionals that address some of society’s grand challenges:...

YPOV: Consider a Career in the Water Industry

January
2016
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
The American water market is on the brink of change, and the push for greater water security and sustainability has increased over the past decade. Industrial water users are realizing that sustainable water use is not only good for the environment...

Using Aspen Plus in Thermodynamics Instruction: A Step-by-Step Guide

February, 2015
Stanley I. Sandler offers a step-by-step guide for students and faculty on the use of Aspen in teaching thermodynamics. The book shows how easily-accessible, modern computational techniques are opening up new vistas in teaching thermodynamics, using a range of applications of Aspen Plus for the...

First to File: Patents for Today’s Scientist and Engineer

October, 2014
Inventors may be baffled by the complexity of the patent system. This book from an attorney is written for engineers and scientists, rather than patent professionals. It uses lay terms and practical examples to explain the latest updates to patent law, sets out the changes in determinations of patentable novelty, and focuses on the growth of new technologies industry versus the laws protecting them.

Control of Batch Processes

June, 2014
Approaching batch processing from the process perspective, with emphasis on the advantages of using structured logic in the automation of all but the simplest batch processes, this book provides engineers with real-world insight into analyzing control requirements, developing control logic to meet these requirements, and troubleshooting controls in batch processes.

Cybersecurity for Executives: A Practical Guide

June, 2014
This essential cybersecurity text for executives in all sectors and at all levels provides practical advice that equips executives with the knowledge they need to make the right cybersecurity decisions. In plain language, you’ll learn how to recognize and act on threats to you and your business, along with how to act decisively to mitigate and recover from cyber incidents.
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