AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

Graphically Assess a Reactor's Characteristics

March
2006
Reactions and Separations
Professor David Glasser, David Milne, David Glasser, Diane Hildebrandt and Brendon Hausberger
Use this technique to analyze reactor/reaction systems for which dependable kinetic data are available, or to quickly find the operating characterisitics needed for the maximum selectivity of a reactant.

Nuclear Waste Policy in the United States

July
2010
Special Section
Bond Calloway, Sarah Widder
The current U.S. reactor fleet produces 2,100–2,400 ton/yr of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). After 50-plus years of nuclear power generation, 64,000 tons of SNF has accumulated in temporary storage at the reactor sites. How did we get where we are, and...

Assess Hazards with Process Flow Failure Modes Analysis

March
2013
Safety
Rosalynn MacGregor
Process flow failure modes (PFFM) analysis is an intuitive, process-flow-directed way to identify potentially hazardous scenarios. Learn how to apply this technique to your process hazard reviews.

Minimize Electrostatic Hazards During Process Operations

June
2013
Safety
Vahid Ebadat, Ph.D.
Understand the electrostatic hazards of your process so you can limit the accumulation of charge and prevent static discharge in flammable atmospheres. Select the appropriate combination of electrostatic mitigation measures to ensure safety from electrostatic ignition hazards.

Take the FUN Out of Process Safety

February
2014
Safety
Peter Lodal
Process safety can be approached in many different ways. This article provides an unconventional way of looking at process safety that ties together wide-ranging ideas from seemingly disparate fields.

CEP: Editorial - Getting ChE Education Right

April
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
When I was in college, I earned some spending money as a shoe model for a local freelance photographer. Little did I know I would become a cover girl. But a few years later, shortly after I began my career as an editor (at a different magazine), I was tapped for just that role. Wearing a black cap and gown and photographed looking out into a maze of piping in a chemical plant, I represented a young graduate facing my first job in industry. The cover line — “Chemical engineering education: How good is it, really?” — referred to an article that discussed the results of a reader survey conducted by two of my colleagues. That was 31 years ago. Today, we are still pondering the same question.

Submitting Your First GHG Report

March
2010
Environmental Management
Kristine Baranski, Mary Ellen Ternes
This overview of EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting rule explains the regulation’s requirements and suggests strategies for compliance. It also provides insights regarding enforcement and confidential business information.

Avoid Problems with Units of Measurement

February
2013
Back To Basics
Faruk Civan
Engineers need to clearly understand units, and be able to convert, express, document, and communicate them in correspondence, operating instructions, and publications.

CEP: Career Corner - Transitioning to Management

June
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
One of the proudest moments of my early career was when I received a promotion from senior engineer to first-line manager. It took about a week for the elation to wear off, as I began to realize how much responsibility I had for producing results...

CEP: Spotlight on Safety - Discover Your Personal Process Safety Culture

February
2014
Spotlight on Safety
John Herber
Culture can be defined as a collective group of shared beliefs and values that shape how we act. We think of culture as it relates to the actions and reactions of a group, company, or society. However, it can also characterize an individual — what influences how you make day-to-day decisions or handle various situations. Personal process safety culture can be assessed by observing someone’s (yours or another person’s) response to situations involving a safety violation.

SBE Supplement: A Decade of Progress (Full 28-Page Supplement)

November
2014
SBE Special Section
Arpan Bandyopadhyay, Daniel Blashki, Rachel M. Buchanan, Abigail Engelberth, Hsu-Yuan Fu, Wei-Shou Hu, Michael Ladisch, Nathan Mosier, Matthew B. Murphy, Gauri Nabar, Kimberly Ogden, Gregory Stephanopoulos, Nandita Vishwanathan, Jessica Winter, June Wispelwey, Eduardo Ximenes
Celebrating a Decade of Progress in Biological Engineering; Genomics and Systems Biotechnology in Biopharmaceutical Processing; Block-Copolymer Nanocomposites for Biomedical Applications; Stem Cell Therapy for Regenerative Medicine; Biological Engineering and the Emerging Cellulose Ethanol Industry; Algae as a Bio-Feedstock.

CEP: Editorial - The Uninhibited Editors

July
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
The week before we send an issue to the printer can be both exhilarating and exhausting. So, I was intrigued by an article on scientificamerican.com, “Overworking Your Brain Can Spark Ideas,” which reported on research that found people generate the most creative ideas when they’re mentally exhausted. It never occurred to me that this might be an especially fruitful time for coming up with good ideas. I wondered how that research might apply to me, and whether it might suggest new ways to push the CEP staff even harder.

Patent Update: Patent Validity Could Come Down to Clarity

December
2015
Patent Update
Henry Heines
A patent is intended to expand the public’s knowledge in a particular area of technology, and it must clearly convey exactly what the patent covers and what it does not. An individual learns that information by reading the patent’s claims, a...

Streamline Your Process Hazard Analysis

January
2013
Safety
Molly R. Myers, Judy Perry
A little creativity during preparation — developing checklists, grouping similar processes, pre-populating worksheets, and considering possible deviations and safeguards before meeting face to face — goes a long way toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your PHA efforts.

CEP: YPOV - Negotiating for Financial Success

May
2013
YPOV
Arjun Gopalratnam
A discussion among graduating seniors and AIChE young professionals at the recent 2013 Southern Regional Student Conference turned to questions about negotiating job offers. The compensation you first receive often dictates your future growth at a...

CEP: YPOV - The Virtual Chemistry Set of the 21st Century

July
2013
YPOV
Arjun Gopalratnam
It is beyond cliché to say that most New Year’s resolutions are forgotten by the second week of January. Similarly, I’ve noticed that spring cleaning rarely has the impact it was intended to have. The best time to work on self-improvement is during...

Select Appropriate Chemical Protective Clothing

September
2013
Safety
Michael Ziskin
From gloves, goggles, and safety shoes, to total encapsulating ensembles, protective clothing provides a barrier to chemical exposure. Follow these guidelines to determine the most-effective protection for your work environment and task.

Special Section: Measuring Sustainability - Full 24-Page Supplement

January
2015
Special Section
Beth Beloff, Botond Bertok, Heriberto Cabezas, Kevin Chin, Calvin B. Cobb, Ferenc Friedler, István Heckl, Reed M. Izatt , Darlene Schuster, Dicksen Tanzil
Sustainability: What We Measure We Can Improve; Sustainability Trends in the Chemical Industry; Use the P-graph Framework to Design Supply Chains for Sustainability; Recovering Metals from Electronic Wastes

CEP: Editorial - Stand Up for Change

April
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
In the article “Recognize Hazards to Recognize Change” (pp. 40–44), Donald Lorenzo, Della Wong, and Mark Suyama liken managing change in the chemical process industries (CPI) to the challenge of piloting a ship on a voyage. Subtle changes in winds, waves, currents, and tides are difficult to discern, but each small change becomes the new normal, and the next change seems to be only a small difference. Only after the ship hits an obstruction does the captain realize how severely the ship has veered off course. That was the inspiration for this issue’s cover.

Engineered Protein Templates Synthesize Inorganic Nanomaterials

December
2012
SBE Special Section
Arunagirinathan Adhimoolam, Sarah Heilshorn, Kelly N. L. Huggins, Alia Schoen, David T. Schoen
This powerful biomimetic method is a fast, flexible way to produce a wide range of inorganic nanostructures from a single protein scaffold.

Special Section: Energy - Shale Gas [Full Supplement]

August
2012
Special Section
Jesse F. Goellner, William Liss, Stephen A. Holditch, P.E., Trevor Smith, Mary Ellen Ternes
The production of natural gas from shale formations is one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. oil and gas industry today.

CEP: Editorial - Turn Our Hindsight into Your Foresight

May
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Turn Our Hindsight into Your Foresight This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, May 2014. Reflecting on the first year of her chemical engineering career, Samantha Schmidt...

CEP: Career Corner - How to Communicate Difficult Messages

April
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Have you had to deliver a difficult message to someone lately? Perhaps it was to an individual whose performance was below expectations. Or maybe it was to a group of employees about upcoming layoffs or cancelled bonuses. It wasn’t fun, was it? As a past corporate manager and now as a business owner, I have been on both sides of these difficult conversations and know it can be just as stressful to deliver bad news as it is to receive it.

Select the Right Impeller

June
2015
Back To Basics
Julian Fasano
The key to effective, efficient mixing is selecting the appropriate impeller.

Editorial: Quiet, Please!

October
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Environmental management strategies have evolved from end-of-pipe treatment to waste minimization and pollution prevention to sustainable development. An important tool in managing for sustainability is life cycle assessment (LCA). In the article...

Navigating NFPA Codes and Standards

May
2012
Safety
Jeremy Lebowitz
Follow the recommendations and how-to Guidance provided by the National Fire Protection Association to safeguard against fires and explosions.

Consider Chemical Reactivity in Process Hazard Analysis

January
2015
Safety
Paul Baybutt
Managing chemical reactivity hazards is more complex than other major hazards. Learn how to use process hazard analysis (PHA) to identify such hazard scenarios and determine whether additional risk-reduction measures are needed for your process.

Toxicology 101

November
2015
Back To Basics
Christin Grabinski
Every substance can be toxic, depending on the dose and frequency of exposure. This article outlines the basics of toxicology and explores where the research in this field is heading.

Calendars

December
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Academy Calendar; Webinars

Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

December
2012
Alan P. Rossiter, Veerasamy Venkatesan
Managing the energy consumption of a process does not need to be complicated. This article presents some examples of less-complicated strategies.

SBE Update: Drug Delivery and Chemical/Biological Engineering

March
2013
SBE Special Section
June Wispelwey
Although you might not associate drug delivery with chemical engineering, the principles of chemical engineering — such as mass and energy balances, transport phenomena, reaction kinetics, and particle technology — are intimately involved in drug...

Nigeria: Chemical Engineering—Development, Challenges, and Prospects

June
2013
Global Outlook
John Erinne, Oluwafem Taiwo
Nigeria is a nation endowed with abundant natural resources and engineering talent. Current policy and reforms in the downstream and natural gas sectors are expected to boost Nigeria’s economy and restore growth and vibrancy to its chemical process industries.

Hit the Ground Running on Your Next Project

May
2013
Career Catalyst
Glen Rosentrater
Despite the progress made in project management theory, these advances are just starting to make their way into the chemical process industries. Use this step-by-step framework to implement some key best practices.

Biology as a Basis for Biochemical Engineering

July
2013
Back To Basics
Sujata Bhatia
Biochemical engineering demonstrates the versatility of the living cell as a miniature reactor. Living cells can be genetically engineered to produce specific proteins, tuned to manufacture novel enzymes, and optimized to guarantee genetic stability and consistent production of desired products.

A Root-Cause Approach to PSM Audits

October
2013
Safety
David Heller, David Kahn
Tracing audit findings back to the management system that allowed the failure to occur is an effective way to uncover deficiencies in an organization’s process safety management system. Follow the guidance provided in this article to apply root-cause-based auditing to your facility.

Producing Fuels and Chemicals from Lignocellulosic Biomass

August
2008
SBE Special Section
Mark Holtzapple, Rocio Sierra, Aaron Smith, Cesar Granda and Mark T. Holtzapple
As oil and natural gas prices rise, lignocellulosic biomass becomes a viable feedstock for the fuel and chemical industries— provided key issues are addressed.

Tackling Difficult Mixing Problems

August
2015
Fluids and Solids Handling
Dr. David S. Dickey
Some difficult mixing problems cannot be solved, but their impacts can be lessened. Here’s how you can deal with difficult processes or products, misunderstandings about good mixing, and obstacles to improvements.

Process Safety Beacon: Stop! Look! Listen!

December
2015
Process Safety Beacon
Railroad crossings that are not protected by gates or warning lights typically include signs to alert you of the potential for danger. Versions of the sign all have one thing in common — the reminder to stop, look, and listen. Only after stopping...

SBE Update

July
2009
SBE Special Section
June Wispelwey
Improving Biopharmaceutical Development

A New Strategic Plan Catalyzes AIChE

November
2008
Centennial
Lawrence B. Evans, Dale L. Keairns, H. Scott Fogler, John A. Sofranko, and Rick Cain , Richard Cain, Lawrence B. Evans, H Scott Fogler, Dr. Dale L. Keairns, John Sofranko
In its second century, AIChE will be a globally recognized leader serving the diverse needs of the chemical engineering profession and society. Implementation of the strategic plan will focus on specific goals that reach beyond traditionalboundaries.

The ChE's Role in Energy Research and Technology

April
2009
Special Section
Bond Calloway
Surveys of the energy-related papers presented at AIChE's annual meetings provide insights into the role of chemical engineers in energy science and engineering.

Meeting the Needs of the Water-Energy Nexus

April
2011
Critical Issues
Snehal Desai , David A. Klanecky
Water is required to produce energy, and energy is required to make use of water — the two are, and always will be, inextricably linked. Engineers must understand the water-energy nexus in order to manage both efficiently and sustainably.

CEP Editorial: Slightly Scathed, but Mostly Safe and Sound

December
2012
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
I was really excited that this year’s Annual Meeting was being held in Pittsburgh. Having grown up in southwestern Pennsylvania and gone to school at Carnegie Mellon, I was eager to get back to my roots and share my hometown with my coworkers — the excitement of a home Steelers game, a ride up the incline to gaze down at the city from Mount Washington, and maybe a cruise on the three rivers on the Gateway Clipper. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy forced me to rethink some of my plans, especially those that involved being outdoors. Although we were physically out of the storm’s direct path, we did feel some of its effects. (The nearly constant, cold, windy rain was hard to ignore.) Outwardly, we did what we normally do to orchestrate an annual meeting — which was a great success (pp. 54–55) in spite of the weather.

CEP: Career Corner - Managing Your Career Transition

February
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Sooner or later during our professional careers, most of us will change jobs, get promoted, move into a different line of work, or even get laid off. My experience is a good example. I moved from an entry-level R&D engineer to a commercial...

Improve Process Safety with Near-Miss Analysis

May
2013
On The Horizon
Ulku Oktem, Ankur Pariyani, Dr. Warren Seider, Masoud Soroush
Valuable information about unsafe conditions resides in the large alarm databases of distributed control systems and emergency shutdown systems. This overlooked and underutilized information can be analyzed to identify process near-misses and determine the probability of serious accidents.

CEP: Editorial - Lightbulbs in the Shower

December
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Metaphoric lightbulbs, that is — ideas. Many of my best ideas have come to me in the shower. So, I did some reading about creativity that shed a bit of “light” on why this is the case

CEP: Career Corner - Add Career Fairs to Your Job Search Strategy

February
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
If your New Year’s resolution is to find a new job or career, consider adding a career fair or two to your job search strategy. Although usually associated with entry-level positions, career fairs can put more-experienced chemical engineers face to face with hiring managers or human resource representatives, a critical step to landing a new position in today’s competitive job market.

Minimize Errors in Temperature Measurement

June
2015
Heat Transfer
John Garvin
Temperature measurements are most useful when they are accurate. Find out how to estimate the error attributable to a temperature probe and ways to minimize it.

Succeed at Process Integration

January
2004
Career Catalyst
Alan P. Rossiter
In the application of pinch analysis for energy efficiency improvement and process optimization, technical excellence is necessary and human interactions are important for project success.

Rapid Process Design

September
2006
Reactions and Separations
Professor Michael F. Doherty, Sagar B. Gadewar
Use this structured approach, which combines preliminary experimental data with predictive methods and heuristics, to quickly generate and screen process alternatives at the early stages of a new venture.

CEP: Editorial - Plunging into a Time Warp

January
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
When reporting on events, writers and editors always need to be mindful of when the reader will receive the publication. This is especially critical for a monthly magazine like CEP. An event that is considered breaking news when we experience it or...

Apply Quantitative Gamma Scanning to High-Capacity Trays

April
2013
Reactions and Separations
Henry Z. Kister
Push valves, multiple downcomers, and truncated downcomers boost tray capacities, but they also present troubleshooting challenges. Use quantitative gamma-scan analysis to measure froth heights, froth densities, and blowby in order to solve...

Special Section: Energy (Full 32-Page Supplement)

October
2013
Special Section
Michelle Bryner, Gerry M. Clarke, Andrew N. Jansen, Avani Patel, Robert Spotnitz
Lithium-Ion Batteries: The Basics; Raw Material Considerations; Component Materials; Endless Uses

Calculating the Capacity of Chemical Plants

August
2014
Reactions and Separations
Andrew Carpenter, Russell A. Ogle
Production capacity is a vital statistic for describing the performance of a chemical plant, but there is no universally accepted definition or means to evaluate it. This article provides a comprehensive definition of capacity and details the options for deriving it.

Identify Process Improvements for Energy Efficiency

September
2014
Energy
Joeseph L. Davis, Jr., Alan P. Rossiter
The energy efficiency improvement potential of chemical processes is often overlooked. A process flow diagram review is the first step toward reducing your plant’s energy consumption.

CEP: Career Corner - Three Books to Advance Your Career

October
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
One thing I’ve realized while writing the Career Corner column is that there is always more to learn about topics such as networking, leadership, personal branding, and career success. This trio of books expands on several topics I have explored in...

Minimize Degradation of Heat-Transfer Fluids

January
2015
Back To Basics
Christopher Armstrong, Gaston Arseneault
The key to maximizing the useful life of heat-transfer fluids in liquid-phase systems is proper fluid selection. This article discusses the most common methods of deterioration and suggests potential solutions.

CEP: Editorial - What Will You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

July
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
What Will You Do on Your Summer Vacation? In this month’s YPOV column (p. 20), Arjun Gopalratnam points out that the summertime is a great time for self-improvement, and he urges us to expand, in particular, our computer programming experience. He...

CEP: YPOV - What Is a Chemical Engineer Doing Here?

September
2013
YPOV
Elizabeth Guenther
In 2011, I took a position with Mack Trucks, Inc., a manufacturer of American-assembled Class 8 heavy trucks with more than 100 years of history. Since then, I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question “What is a chemical engineer...

Control Boiler Emissions through Work Practices and Energy Management

February
2014
Environmental Management
James Robinson
The Boiler MACT regulation provides compliance options that include pollution-abatement equipment, work practices, and energy efficiency improvements. An energy management and reporting system (EMRS) can be a part of a plant’s compliance strategy.

CEP: YPOV - Preparing for Chairing? Build Some Relationships!

March
2014
YPOV
Meagan Lewis
Programming for an AIChE conference — i.e., developing the technical program — takes a lot more than the work put in by the meeting chairs; the details and ideas that go into every session and its roster of speakers take a whole force of volunteers. As a co-chair for the upcoming 2014 Spring Meeting in New Orleans who also happens to be a young professional (YP), I’ve realized that the best way to prepare for programming a large-scale conference is to build relationships across all levels of the organization.

Incorporate Rigorous Heat Exchanger Models in Simulation

July
2014
Back To Basics
Ron Beck, Shelby Hegy, Tom Ralston
Embedding a rigorous heat exchanger model within an established simulation environment can help engineers increase process yields, while minimizing heat exchanger energy consumption and capital expenditures.

Choosing a Fine-Particle Filtration System

December
2014
Reactions and Separations
Barry A. Perlmutter
Filtration technology has advanced to meet the demand to remove small particles at low concentrations. When designed correctly, a candle filter or a pressure plate filter may be a more-efficient replacement for a traditional filtration scheme.

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