AIChE

Argentina's Chemicals Industry: Challenges and Opportunites

February
2014
Global Outlook
M. Soledad Diaz, Claudio Delpino
Boosted by domestic and international companies, Argentina’s chemicals industry continues to grow as demand for its products increases— even in the face of challenges posed by feedstock availability and the need for increased investment.

Italy's Chemicals Industries

April
2014
Global Outlook
Simone Colombo
Italy’s many small and medium-sized chemical companies are crucibles of innovation, whose exports have helped the country to establish a strong presence in the global chemicals market.

Working with Tight Oil

April
2015
Back To Basics
Timothy Olsen
Crude oil derived from shale plays is less expensive and more readily available than traditional crudes, but it poses unique challenges to refiners.

CEP: Institute News

April
2015
Institute News
CCPS Marks 30 Years; Candidates for AIChE Election; Member News; NEW: Your AIChE Membership

Switzerland: The Success of Its Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Industries

December
2013
Global Outlook
Stavros Papadokonstantakis, Marcel Sennhauser, Konrad Hungerbühler
The strong international presence of Switzerland’s chemicals industries — characterized by a major export market and substantial investment in its companies abroad — has helped to make the Swiss chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries among the world’s most successful.

Recognize Hazards to Recognize Change

April
2015
Safety
Della Wong, Donald Lorenzo, Mark Suyama
Improve your management of change (MOC) system by training workers to recognize hazards as indicators of change.

The Growth of a Chemicals Industry in Russia

October
2014
Global Outlook
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country was hit hard by the Great Recession, it appears to have bounced back and is now investing in modernizing highly outdated equipment and processes.

CEP: Calendars

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

Saudi Arabia’s Chemicals Industry Continues to Grow

August
2014
Global Outlook
Ahmad M. Al Othman, Leonard E. Gerlowski
Abundant and competitively priced petroleum feedstock has spurred massive growth in Saudi Arabia’s chemicals industry over the past five decades. As the Kingdom faces competition from neighboring countries, it will diversify to ensure further growth.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Safe Work Practices

April
2015
Process Safety Beacon
The term safe work practices refers to the processes we use to authorize nonroutine work activities, and to control the hazards and manage the risks associated with these activities. Safe work practices often authorize work through permits, which frequently include checklists of potential hazards associated with the work. A nonroutine activity has nothing to do with how often the activity is done. Instead, it refers to activities that are not part of the normal process for converting raw materials to finished product, and not covered by the plant’s standard operating procedures for normal operations.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Nanocrystal Manufacturing May Revolutionize Thermoelectrics

April
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Thermoelectric materials hold promise as a means to recover waste heat from automobile exhaust, power plants, and other systems. Their use, however, is limited by low efficiency. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a process that combines nanostructuring, compositional control, and ppm-level impurity doping. ThermoAura, Inc., a start-up company co-founded by the researchers, has scaled up this process to manufacture high-performance thermoelectrics with tunable properties.

CEP: Material Matters - Tool Helps Predict Reactivity Hazards

April
2015
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
To provide guidance and disseminate reactivity data, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in conjunction with partnering companies and technical associations, developed the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW). The free software ( http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/reactivityworksheet ) allows CPI professionals to review the reactivity hazards of thousands of individual chemicals, as well as predict the consequence of mixing chemical substances. Since its release in March 2013, the CRW Version 3 (CRW3) has been downloaded approximately 80,000 times.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Layer-by-Layer Approach Enables Customizable Medication Therapy

April
2015
Journal Highlight
In the April AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Layer-by-Layer Approaches to Staging Medicine from Surfaces,” Paula T. Hammond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes her research on a method that creates layers of thin films stacked on top of one another. Each layer contains a different therapeutic, which is incorporated into the thin film via one of several mechanisms (e.g., charge, hydrogen bonding, or other complementary interaction). This technique is useful for drug therapy in applications such as bone regeneration.

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.

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.

Chile’s Mining and Chemicals Industries

June
2014
Global Outlook
Edelmira D. Gálvez, Luis A. Cisternas
With abundant mineral resources, Chile’s chemicals industries are dominated by mining, with many of its operations among the world’s most productive and important.

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...

Modeling Aqueous Electrolyte Systems

March
2015
Computational Methods
Chau-Chyun Chen, Soraya Honarparvar, Sina Hassanjani Saravi
Accurate thermodynamic models are needed to simulate processes involving electrolytes, which range from hydraulic fracturing to CO2 capture and sequestration and basic chemicals manufacturing. Follow these steps to develop thermodynamic models for your electrolyte system.

CEP: YPOV - Capturing CO2 with a Green Focus

March
2015
YPOV
Seth Gottlund, Pablo Duarte
In a unique collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) program, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APCI) has developed an innovative process to capture CO2 at its Port Arthur, TX, facility. The captured CO2 is purified, dried, compressed, and transported via pipeline to Denbury Resources, where it is used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The high-purity CO2 is injected into oil wells to reduce the viscosity of the oil mixture, which enables higher oil-well production rates and overall yield, and increases the crude oil flowrate.

SBE Special Section: Lignocellulosic Biofuels - SBE Update

March
2015
SBE Special Section
Darlene Schuster
Considering that the price of oil has plummeted to less than half of what it was a year ago, this SBE supplement on biofuels is quite well-timed. What role can and will biofuels play, both today and in the future?

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Details Matter in Process Safety

March
2015
Process Safety Beacon
Whatever your job — operations, maintenance, supervision, engineering, management — pay attention to the details in your work. There are no unimportant details in process safety. You never know which apparently minor detail can initiate a major event, so you have to pay attention to all of them.

CEP: Calendars

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

SBE Special Section: Lignocellulosic Biofuels - Full 32-Page Supplement

March
2015
SBE Special Section
Bruce Dale, Robert Brown, Charles Wyman, David Edwards, Mark Holtzapple, Darlene Schuster, Sagar Lonkar, Cesar Granda, Tristan R. Brown, Vonnie Estes, Sergio C. Capareda
SBE Update; The Need for Biofuels; Producing Biofuels via the Thermochemical Platform; Producing Biofuels via the Sugar Platform; Producing Biofuels via the Carboxylate Platform; Scaling Up Bioenergy Technologies; Commercial-Scale Production of Lignocellulosic Biofuels

CEP: Editorial - Energy Cost Averaging

March
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Last year, when we chose biofuels as the topic for this issue’s Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) supplement, we did not anticipate the precipitous drop in oil prices of recent months. As we were pulling the articles together, guest editor Mark Holtzapple expressed concern that oil prices would be low when the issue appears. “If readers do not think too deeply, they might say ‘These academics are sure out of touch. Don’t they know oil prices are low?’”

Humanitarian Chemical Engineering

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

AIChE Journal Highlight - Red Blood Cells Disguise Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications

March
2015
Journal Highlight
Nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with therapeutics provide a way to target the delivery of drugs to specific locations in the body. When injected intravenously, however, nanoparticles are often recognized by the immune system and rapidly cleared from the body. Efforts to extend their residence time in vivo have focused on modifying particle surfaces to evade the body’s natural defenses. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is currently the gold standard for such nanoparticle stealth coating, but the recent observation of an anti-PEG immunological response has spurred the search for improvements. To address this challenge, researchers have looked to nature, which has created the ideal drug-delivery vehicle — red blood cells (RBCs).

CEP: News Update

March
2015
News Update
Cheap and Abundant Potassium Outperforms Precious Metal Catalyst; Engineering Bioethanol without the Food Gap; Supercomputers Identify Optimal Zeolites; Synthetic Biology Pushes Gene Therapy Forward; and more.

CEP: Institute News

February
2015
Institute News
AIChE Elects New Fellows; Minority Affairs Committee Turns 25; AIChE Recommendations for Establishing Process Safety Investigation Boards

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Who Are All These People?

February
2015
Process Safety Beacon
In many serious events, there may have been more people in the area than were needed to do or monitor the job. Too many people in the area, whether the control room or the plant, can be a distraction, causing bad decisions that could lead to serious...

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Self-Assembled Nanofibers Sniff Out Explosives

February
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are not just a threat to military troops but to civilians as well. Thwarting these attacks will require many measures, one of which is improved screening technologies. Vaporsens, a Univ. of Utah spin-off company, is developing a sensor that could meet the need for a portable, inexpensive explosives-screening device.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Chemical Engineers Advance Molecular Simulation

February
2015
Journal Highlight
In the February AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Recent Advances in Molecular Simulation: A Chemical Engineering Perspective,” Jeremy Palmer of the Univ. of Houston and Pablo Debenedetti of Princeton Univ. discuss the state of molecular simulation, challenges that need to be addressed, and contributions made by chemical engineers to expand the use of molecular simulation.

CEP: Calendars

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

CEP: News Update

February
2015
News Update
Pop-Up Method Transforms 2D Materials into 3D Objects; Digging in the Dirt Uncovers a New Antibiotic; Algorithm Predicts Bacteria Countermoves; An Organic Approach to Controlled Polymerization; and more.

CEP: What's New

February
2015
What's New
Read about the latest products and services in the areas of fluids and solids handling; environmental, health and safety; instrumentation; and laboratory equipment.

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.

Control Column Pressure via Hot-Vapor Bypass

February
2015
Back To Basics
Daryl Hanson, Henry Kister
Hot-vapor bypass employs a flooded condenser located at ground level to control distillation tower pressure. It offers capital cost savings, but can be tricky to implement. This article offers guidance on designing and troubleshooting a hot-vapor bypass system.

Modeling Chemical Reactors

February
2015
Reactions and Separations
Ed Fontes
Models can be used to describe chemical reactors to help solve problems and optimize processes, while saving time, money, and resources.

Measure Viscosity Effectively

February
2015
Instrumentation
Robert McGregor
Knowledge of a material’s rheological behavior can be of value for research and development, process design, and quality control. This article provides a foundation for understanding viscosity measurement.

CEP: Calendars

January
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Education Calendar; Webinars

Minimize Degradation of Heat-Transfer Fluids

January
2015
Back To Basics
Gaston Arseneault, Christopher Armstrong
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: YPOV - Engineering Your Job Change through Networking

January
2015
YPOV
Sarah Ewing
In the current job market, people rarely stay employed with the same company that hired them after college for their entire career. If you want to take control of your career and make a job change that is consistent with your professional and personal goals, allow enough time to weigh the pros and cons instead of making the decision on a whim. The most critical step in this process is not updating your resumé, but making sure that the new position will be a good fit and not just a quick fix. I like to think of changing jobs as a process with four key steps: recognizing that it is time to move on, deciding where you want to go, determining what you need to get there, and then networking your way in.

CEP: Commentary - Our Most Important Tool

January
2015
Commentary
Christopher Pope
We need to make the best use of all the tools in our collective toolbox, including the talents of our disabled colleagues.

CEP: Editorial - Diversity as a Catalyst for Success

January
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
“Diversity programs are not only the right thing to do, but they are also the smart and necessary thing to do. We view diversity and inclusion, and promotion of different cultural perspectives, as catalysts, because we know these efforts unleash...
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