In the January AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Engineering Biomass Conversion Processes: A Systems Perspective,” Univ. of Minnesota researchers Prodromos Daoutidis, W. Alex Marvin, Srinivas Rangarajan, and Ana Torres discuss the challenges,...
Users of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) in the chemical process industries (CPI) have long recognized the limitations of the test protocol currently used to determine material compatibility, ASTM C581, Standard Practice for Determining Chemical...
The production of natural gas from shale formations is one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. oil and gas industry today.
Martha Gilchrist Moore, T. Kevin Swift
The chemical industry will experience moderate annual growth over the next few years — ranging between 2.2% and 4.6% through 2017. The higher growth rate accounts for new investments announced in response to the abundant supply of shale-based...
The shale gas boom in the U.S. is transforming the energy marketplace and a wide range of manufacturing industries that rely on natural gas.
Molly 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.
The new year brings the excitement of setting new goals. I have learned my best lessons on goal setting from one of my hobbies, running — and what I’ve learned can be applied to professional goals as well.
Stephen A. Holditch, P.E.
Technologies developed in the oil and gas industry over the past 60+ years are now being used to produce shale gas.
Alan Winstead, Ali Bourji, P.E.
An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system can be a cost-effective way to convert waste heat to electricity. The key is finding the best ratio of net power recovery to capital cost.
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...
Jesse F. Goellner
Development of U.S. shale gas resources will require expansion of infrastructure assets ranging from roads and rails to pipelines and seaports to power-generation plants and ethane crackers, and more.
Timothy Olsen, Norman Ito
Use these loop tuning guidelines to improve process control and enhance product uniformity Many undergraduate chemical engineering programs teach the Ziegler-Nichols tuning methods, developed by John G. Ziegler and Nathaniel B. Nichols in the 1940s...
2012 Annual Meeting; President’s Corner; Divisions and Forums Present Honors; Election Results; Member News; Calendar
Earlier this year, the Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) organized its Sixth International Conference on Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (ICBN), which focused on bio-nanoscience and bioengineering for translational medicine. The conference...
Cynthia F. Mascone
On the first day of our visit to Walt Disney World, my then-seven-year-old son got lost in the Magic Kingdom. Luckily, he was somewhere on Tom Sawyer Island, so our search area was limited. On the second day, he wandered off in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids attraction (also an enclosed space, thankfully). Those experiences gave me an idea for what I called Kid LoJack — a biocompatible microchip that parents could inject under a baby’s skin, and later activate to locate the child if he or she got lost or kidnapped (or stayed out past curfew). I’ve often wondered — civil liberties issues aside — whether I could have patented such a device.
This year’s Pharmaceutical Process Analysis Roundtable (PPAR) met in late September at the Lilly Technology Center in Indianapolis, IN — marking the event’s return to its roots. The first PPAR gathering, held there in the fall of 2000, was a spin-...
Richard P. Palluzi
Safety standards can significantly improve pilot plant safety and increase efficiency. This article addresses many of the issues involved in developing, deploying and using such standards.
Jessica Winter, Gang Ruan
Chemical engineers are at the forefront of this rapidly developing field, with the potential to propel discoveries from the bench to bedside.
Heather Forgione, Henry Ozog
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration evaluates chemical facilities’ process safety management systems through a new national emphasis program. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of receiving citations, streamline the inspection process, and pave the way for future excellence.
Brandon Miller, Jeffrey Chalmers, Jessica Winter, Kalpesh Mahajan, Ratnasingham Sooryakumar, Gang Ruan, Maryam B. Lustberg, M.D., Gregory B. Vieira
The ability to quickly analyze, separate, and manipulate multiple types of biomarkers from small sample volumes is a significant step toward personalized medicine.
David K. Whittle, Kevin Smith
Process hazard analyses must be revamped — or redone from scratch — every five years by law. Following the guidance given here will facilitate this effort.
Rock star is not a term associated with many chemical engineers. It does, however, accurately capture the accomplishments and accolades — the phenomenon — of Robert Langer. His vision and technical excellence have propelled scores of significant...
Oxide Catalysts Get Selective; New Catalyst Challenges Platinum; Quick-Release Tape Peels with Ease; Electronic Skin Mimics the Human Epidermis
The OSHA Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program will soon apply to the chemical industry, targeting compliance with safety standards associated with chemical hazards.
A fire started in a fiber trash drum in a process building. The drum contained solder flux and paste, welding debris, general trash, and oil-soaked rags. It had not been emptied for a long time. The ignition source may have been hot welding debris...
Walter L. Frank
Changes to OSHA's PSM rule and EPA's RMP programs are underway, due to pressures from various groups and the need for greater security.
Sarah Heilshorn, Arunagirinathan Adhimoolam, Alia Schoen, Kelly N. L. Huggins, 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.
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.
Ravi Jethra, Keith Riley
Guided-wave radar (GWR) is a useful tool for measuring water level in steam loops. This article describes GWR design and operation, and how this technology differs from more traditional forms of level indication.
This book explains current trends and developments in engineering biocatalysts for the production of bulk chemical and biofuels from renewable biomass. The authors guide readers through the engineering of the complex traits and phenotypes needed for particular biocatalysts and bioprocesses.
We are finishing our celebration of 10 years of the Process Safety Beacon with a “Find-the-Problem” contest.
M. Henry Heines
Laboratory notebooks and provisional patent applications can be valuable components of an engineer’s patenting strategy if they are well-prepared, appropriately managed, and diligently followed up with a nonprovisional patent application.
John F. Murphy, P.E.
Layer of protection analysis (LOPA) is a simplified process risk-assessment technique that uses order-of-magnitude estimates for initiating events, consequence severity, and likelihood of failure of independent protection layers (IPLs) to approximate the risk of a scenario. It is generally used after a process hazard analysis (PHA) team has identified a hazard scenario that requires further analysis to ensure the adequacy of the safeguards that exist or are being proposed.
Shien-Chang Chen, Yu-Chen Hu
Since World War II, Taiwan’s chemical industry and economy have escalated dramatically. Self-sufficient in many areas, today Taiwan still faces the challenges imposed by government technical initiatives, international trade policies and regulations...
The ubiquity of digital and server-stored file formats has brought about increased interest in ensuring that creative works conceived today will be preserved, digitally, forever. Chemical engineers play an important role in preserving this in DNA...
The discrete element method (DEM) models the behavior of individual particles to provide insight into the behavior of the bulk material.
More than five years ago, Congress enacted the most robust and comprehensive chemical security regulatory program to date. The regulation — the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) — protects facilities against attack without impairing...
Magic Act: Electronics Disappear into their Surroundings; New Material Boasts World-Record Efficiency; Brain Cancer Studies Point to a Bio-Based Route to Nylon; Nickel Misbehaves in Li-ion Batteries, Solar Energy Gets Mixed Up
Martha Gilchrist Moore
The terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, changed the world and forever altered the way American chemistry conducts business. While improving facility security is not a new endeavor for chemical companies, the industry has increased...
Richard P. Palluzi, P.E.
Heat tracing a pilot plant is a difficult task, but with proper design and careful installation, the tracing system can operate safely and effectively.
Organic solar cells offer several advantages over their inorganic cousins. They are amenable to solution-based processing, such as inkjet or roll-to-roll printing, which have lower capital and manufacturing costs. In addition, organic materials can...
Daniel R. Summers, P.E., Mark Pilling, P.E.
Optimizing distillation equipment and processes can improve both the profitability and the greenness of an operation.
Min Kyung Kim , Si Jae Park, Sang Yup Lee
The use of PLA has been hindered by its complex and expensive synthesis process. A new technology promises to change this — giving PLA a chance to compete with fossil-based plastics.
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Agitator power consumption can be minimized by judicious equipment selection and careful operating procedures. Follow these guidelines to reduce your plant’s energy costs. In some cases, it may be as simple as flipping a switch.
The last half-century of research on distillation has tremendously improved our understanding and design of industrial distillation equipment and systems. High-speed computers have taken over the design, control, and operation of towers. Invention and innovation in tower internals have greatly...
Workstyles — and the workspaces in which they play out — are evolving. Twenty years ago, offices were often spacious cubicle-villes — ample enough to accommodate bulky office equipment and filing cabinets, and sufficiently roomy for a captive staff...
Amar Mohanty, Manjusri Misra, Murali M. Reddy
Biological feedstocks are expected to gradually replace some fossil-based raw materials to create eco-friendly products, from car parts and packaging materials to electronic devices and other consumer goods - laying the foundation for a reduced-carbon economy.
Brian D. Kelly
Find out if your database is large enough to be meaningful and whether it is being used to its fullest extent.
All-Weather Material Emits Near-IR Light; Graphene Gets Selective; Shock Treatment Creates Nanoporous Materials; Bacteria are Engineered to Eat Cellulose and Produce Liquid Fuels; and more.
T. Kevin Swift
Many living in the Rust Belt — the northeastern region of the U.S. that experienced significant de-industrialization during the 1970s through the 2000s — got an up-close look at the decline in manufacturing in the U.S. In the wake of the Great...