President’s Corner; AIChE Gala Salutes Corporate Leaders for Promoting Diversity in Engineering; AIChE Partners on Engineering and Technology History Wiki; Institute and Board Award Nominations Due Feb. 15; Annual Meeting Highlights
Increasing efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions and a changing portfolio of energy sources as a result of shale gas production are driving the development of new process technologies for the production of energy and chemicals. One such...
Heriberto Cabezas, Botond Bertok, Ferenc Friedler, István Heckl
This approach allows you to evaluate alternative supply chains based on criteria such as cost and environmental footprint to identify the most sustainable option.
Every year, millions of patients suffer bone fractures that require surgical implants. Many of these patients face painful, costly secondary operations to remove these nonabsorbable implants, which are typically made of titanium or stainless steel...
Read about new products and services in the areas of fluids and solids handling and laboratory equipment.
Reed M. Izatt
With recycling rates near zero and demand for precious and specialty metals increasing as the number and variety of high-tech products increases, the need for creative, practical ideas to improve metal sustainability is of utmost importance.
U.S. Chemicals Remain Bright Spot in the Global Economy; Hot Off the Press: Rewritable Paper; Greening Rare Earth Elements; and more
The worst process incident that can happen in your plant may not be the same as the highest process risk. Risk is a combination of how likely an incident is and how bad the consequences could be. The process incident in your plant with the worst consequences may be very unlikely to occur. Other less-severe incidents may be more likely, making the risk of these events higher than the incident with the worst consequences. You should be aware of all process risks in your plant, and your role in managing all of them.
Read about new products and services in the areas of heat transfer, instrumentation, environmental, health, and safety, and operation and maintenance.
Fossil Fuels Inspire Clean-Hydrogen Catalyst; Organic Solar Cells Heat Up; Biomass Waste Gets Upgraded; New Technique Puts Catalysts on the Right Track; and more.
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.
As exciting as an international assignment may seem, relocating overseas is more complicated than getting your shots, passport, and airline tickets, packing a few boxes, and hopping on the next flight. A typical relocation involves almost 50...
Ted Knowlton, Raymond Cocco, S. B. Reddy Karri
Fluidized beds are susceptible to such problems as bed slugging, loss of fines, and gas bypassing. This article explains how to avoid these pitfalls.
Sachi Dash, J. Ward MacArthur, Konstantinos Tsakalis, Rakesh Joshi
Robust control can be applied to design controllers that can handle process uncertainty. Learn how to use identification experiments to obtain estimates of this uncertainty.
The challenges facing the world today — including climate change, resource scarcity, food security, water access, and energy demand — are fundamentally different than those of the past. These sustainability issues can be thought of as “wicked” problems — a concept that originated in the 1970s to describe the difficult challenges facing urban planners at the time and that has now spread to other areas, including engineering. In contrast with so-called tame problems, which can be solved by traditional linear, analytical approaches, wicked problems are much more intractable and very difficult to solve.
December 3 marks the 30th anniversary of the worst chemical accident in history — the catastrophic release of methyl isocyanate (MIC) from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, in 1984 that resulted in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries. Two articles and the Process Safety Beacon in this issue review some of the lessons learned from that tragic incident.
Capital projects are complicated and can be fraught with all sorts of issues. Follow these guidelines for safe and efficient work — to avoid problems, maintain relationships, and ensure your success as a construction manager.
President’s Corner: Strengthening AIChE For Growth; New Fellows; Divisions and Forums Present Awards; and more.
A round of applause welcomes Rachael Ray’s next guest, a cosmetic chemist and full-time beauty blogger, who immediately launches into a detailed explanation of the science behind an unfortunate truth: Yes, you can get hooked on lip balm. In the span of four minutes, Perry Romanowski also highlights the most common shampoo formulations, explains why you shouldn’t apply body lotions to your face, and debunks one of the biggest cosmetic myths:
Through contributions from leading experts in diverse field, this book features the latest biomass characterization techniques, biochemical and thermochemical conversion processes, the development of integrated biorefineries, and how to mitigate the environmental risks associated with using biomass for fuel. It includes examples, problems and projects which make it suitable for undergraduate and graduate education as well.
Gregory Stephanopoulos, June Wispelwey
Engineers in a wide range of bio-related specialties — biofuels, biomaterials, genomics, stem cell engineering, regenerative medicine, biopharmaceuticals, bionanotechnology, metabolic engineering, systems biology, bioprocessing, and more — can find a home in SBE.
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.
Wei-Shou Hu, Nandita Vishwanathan, Hsu-Yuan Fu, Arpan Bandyopadhyay
Genome-based analytical tools enable engineers to take a systems approach to bioprocessing.
When I bought my iPad a few years ago, I was looking forward to accessing a library of books without lugging around the weight. And reading the newspaper online would keep the newsprint from dirtying my hands. Now that I’ve had the iPad for three years, though, I see that my expectations were not realistic. Yes, I can access books and newspapers on my iPad. But actually reading them is another matter.
Jessica Winter, Gauri Nabar
Research into self-assembling block-copolymer nanocomposites seeks to tailor this nanomaterial for large-scale physiological applications.
The chemical engineering curriculum has changed over the years and will continue to change in the future. In the November AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Evolving Trends in Chemical Engineering Education,” Arvind Varma of Purdue Univ. and Ignacio Grossmann of Carnegie Mellon Univ. examine this evolution and illuminate the impacts of shifts in academic research and industry needs. Taking a close look at the history and likely course of chemical engineering education provides a basis for discussing whether this trajectory is heading in the right direction to meet the needs of industry and to address societal issues.
Bioseparations are critical to the field of biochemical engineering. Each bioseparation process must be tailored to separate, purify, or recover the desired bioproduct. This article gives an introductory overview of filtration and chromatography — two key bioseparation unit operations.
Matthew B. Murphy, Daniel Blashki, Rachel M. Buchanan
The confusion surrounding stem cells starts at the root, with the most basic but difficult-to-answer question, “What is a stem cell?” Get answers to this and other questions related to stem cell research and therapies.
Institute and Board of Directors’ Awards; Chemical Engineers and Chemical Weapons Demilitarization; Kadri is New CCPS Executive Directro; Evonik Sponsors Founders Award; Belfort is Elected Chair of SBE.
AIChE’s Initial Placement Survey: Where is the Class of 2014?; Producing More Ethanol with Less-Sensitive Microbes; Stretchable Patch Provides First-Class Health Monitoring; New Drug Capsule Takes the Ouch Out of Injections; Hybrid Device Combines a Solar Cell and a Battery.
Read about new products and services in the areas of Instrumentation, operations and maintenance, and laboratory equipment.
Many safety systems rely on human intervention to prevent incidents. A different approach is to make it impossible for a catastrophic accident to occur. Learn how to implement the Can’t Rather than Don’t principle.
Nathan Mosier, Abigail Engelberth, Michael Ladisch, Eduardo Ximenes
Advances in developing sustainable sources of biomass, new catalysts, and bioprocessing technologies are moving lignocellulosic biofuels closer to commercial reality.
Sachi Dash, J. Ward MacArthur, Konstantinos Tsakalis, Rakesh Joshi
The dynamic behavior of your process can never be modeled perfectly. However, process controllers can be designed to handle this so-called uncertainty.
I have been involved in K-12 outreach for the past five years and have worked with students of all ages — from first graders to high school seniors. For me, outreach has been both personally and professionally rewarding. Through outreach, I have gained some valuable skills, which I think every engineer, especially young engineers, can benefit from.
As the situation unfolded, numerous layers of protection failed. Take a look at the safety layers that worked and those that did not, and ask whether there are similarities at your facility.
Research on converting algae to fuel and other bioproducts is focused on the development of large-scale production methods and pushing the industry toward viable commercial operation.
The 30-year anniversaries of two events of significance to the chemical engineering profession, particularly the process safety community, occur in November and December — the PEMEX disaster outside of Mexico City, Mexico, and the Union Carbide Corp. tragedy in Bhopal, India. These two incidents, two-and-a-half weeks apart, molded my professional career and ultimately motivated me to work for the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) at AIChE, where our mission is to prevent such tragedies from occurring.
Thirty years ago — just after midnight on Dec. 3, 1984 — a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released approximately 40 tons of highly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) into the atmosphere. There were thousands of fatalities, hundreds of thousands of injuries, as well as long term health, environmental, and economic impacts. This incident is widely considered to be the worst industrial disaster in history.
Jessica Winter, Gauri Nabar, Gregory Stephanopoulos, Michael Ladisch, Abigail Engelberth, Kimberly Ogden, Nathan Mosier, June Wispelwey, Matthew B. Murphy, Hsu-Yuan Fu, Arpan Bandyopadhyay, Nandita Vishwanathan, Wei-Shou Hu, Daniel Blashki, Rachel M. Buchanan, 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.
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.
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.
Many industrial plants currently operating around the world have already surpassed their design life expectancies. Despite the challenges they face, such as corrosion and new regulations, these operations continue to be productive. To maintain the status quo and continue operation, plant managers need to keep a watchful eye on every aspect of the facility, from inspection and maintenance programs to the bottom line. Of course, plant safety and the environment, both of which can rise to the top of an aging plant’s list of concerns, are always on their minds.
The ability to control chemical reactions to efficiently and selectively produce the desired products has vastly improved over the past decades, with increasingly sophisticated techniques now available to dictate the outcome of these reactions. While much progress has been made, much more is needed to realize a perfect reactor, which would allow for full control of chemical transformations at the molecular level. In the October AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Practical Challenges in Energy-Based Control of Molecular Transformations in Chemical Reactors,” Andrzej Stankiewicz, Izabela Szydłowska Franssen, Daniel Irimia, and Georgios Stefanidis of Delft Univ. of Technology expand on this topic of molecular control in chemical reactors.
Tiny Assembly Line Builds Organic Molecules One Side Group at a Time; Engineered Microbes Synthesize Bio-Propane; Buckyballs Boost Organic Solar Cell Efficiency; Masquerade Ball: Squid Skin Inspires a New Material; A Microbial Approach to Pain Management; Phase Change: Liquid Battery for Grid-Scale Storage; and more.
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...
Read about new products and services in the areas of fluids and solids handling, materials and chemicals, and environmental, health and safety.
Brian Armstrong, Katrina Brockbank, Jamie Clayton
The relationship between humidity and powder behavior is complicated. Therefore, comprehensive, case-by-case testing is required.
Ted Knowlton, Raymond Cocco, S. B. Reddy Karri
Fluidized beds offer excellent heat transfer, and have the unique ability to move a wide range of solid particles in a fluid-like fashion. This article explains the basics of fluidization theory and outlines how to design a typical fluidized bed.
For a chemical engineer, John Televantos has a unique job: “We try to look into the future to see what’s most likely to happen and then invest in businesses that can help make that future a reality,” he says. He is a Partner at Arsenal Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New York, NY. By making careful and research-driven investments, Arsenal Capital helps smaller businesses in the chemicals and materials sectors grow — something that Televantos believes has a strong positive impact on society.
We all have limits to our abilities. Some of us stumble over our words and lose our train of thought when speaking to a group; others can’t string together three coherent sentences. Some of us get so bogged down in minutiae that we lose sight of the big picture; others are so busy dreaming up the next project that we neglect important details and miss deadlines. This thinking extends to physical characteristics. Some of us are so short that we can’t reach the second shelf in the cabinet; others are so tall that we can’t fit into the backseat of a car.
M. Henry Heines
Traditionally in the U.S., patents and patent law have focused on rewarding the ingenuity of the individual inventor rather than advancing the business interests of the inventor’s employer. More recently, however, patent law has come to recognize...
Nadir Ziyatdinov, German Dyakonov, Nelly Lyzhina
Russia’s chemicals industry has experienced ups and downs since its formation. Although the country was hit hard by the Great Recession, it appears to have bounced back and is now investing in modernizing highly outdated equipment and processes.