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AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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...

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...

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...

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.

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).

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.

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.

Leveraging Energy Management for Water Conservation

April
2016
Critical Issues
Sharon Nolen, P.E.
Growing concerns about the availability of clean water are driving companies to include water conservation in their sustainability initiatives. Instead of reinventing the wheel, adapt your energy-management program for water conservation.

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...

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.

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,...

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.

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