AIChE

Efficiently Solve Complex Calculations

October
2003
Information Technology
 Michael B. Cutlip, Neima Brauner , Mordechai Shacham
Reduce the chances of computational errors by following this technique, which combines the use of a standard spreadsheet with a numerical software package.

Recruit for Retention

April
2004
Career Catalyst
Partick Ropella
The most successful employee-retention programs begin with recruiting and hiring the individual who best matches the position and best fits into the company's culture.

Prevent Caking During Solids Handling

May
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gabriel I. Tardos , Brian H. Pittenger, Herman Purutyan
Use these guidelines to avoid potential caking problems. The key steps are to select a material characterization method, identify the factors that can be feasibly controlled and conduct tests to confirm that process/handling changes yield the...

Prepare a Top-Notch Scope of Work

November
2005
Management
Stephen W. Maas
This comprehensive overview of what needs to go into a well-defined scope of work will be useful to chemical engineers who are new to project engineering and project management.

A Simple Approach to Vapor Pressure Prediction

January
2007
Reactions and Separations
Michael J. Misovich, Matthew D. Goetz, Andrew J. DeDoes
This method reproduces the vapor pressure predictions of the Soave-Redlich-Kwong and Peng-Robinson equation of state with a simple Antoine equation that uses constants derived from critical properties and the acentric factor.

Selecting Entrainers for Azeotropic Distillation

March
2009
Reactions and Separations
Lionel O’Young, Madhura Chiplunkar, Vivek Julka
This systematic methodology uses residue curve maps to identify and evaluate substances that can facilitate distillation by breaking an azeotrope.

Communicating the Cost of Product and Process Development

February
2010
Management
John Anderson
Decision-makers often require cost estimates for products and processes at the earliest stages of development — when many cost-determining factors remain uncertain. Identifying variables that impact cost estimates, and putting them in context, will...

Choosing Specialty Metals for Corrosion-Sensitive Equipment

July
2010
Back To Basics
Dean Gambale
Specialty metals should be considered for processes that push beyond the corrosion limits of steel. New composites and surface alloy technologies expand the options for defending against corrosion.

Uncovering the Realities of Simulation, Part 2

June
2001
Computational Methods
Andrew  Vieler,  Oscar  Santollani, Yau-Kun Li, Rajeev  Agarwal, Marco S. Satyro
Simulation software is a commonly used design tool, thanks mainly to its availability on the desktop. However, one has to understand thermodynamic basics before accepting the desktop's final answer.

Optimize Control Room Communications

October
2001
Instrumentation
James E. Lenhart, Karen D. Smith, Brad A. Walker
Faced with more distractions than ever, operators need an environment that is conducive for dealing with abnormal, as well as normal, situations. Effective control room design can help.

Follow These Best Practices in Steam System Management

December
2001
Heat Transfer
Fred L. Hart, Gilbert A. McCoy, David  Jaber
These tips on how to improve steam generation, distribution and recovery can help a plant to increase its steam system efficiency by as much as 20-30%.

Fermentation Goes Large-Scale

January
2003
Special Section
Alex Patist, J. J. Hahn , Aristos Aristidou , Pim van Hoek
Designing an economically competitive and environmentally sustainable fermentation route means considering the downstream separations needed to capture the final product during the initial process design.

Troubleshooting Tangential Flow Filtration

June
2003
Reactions and Separations
Kent Iverson
Tangential flow filtration (TFF) is commonly used to concentrate and dialyze solutes. It generally involves the circulation of the feed solution over a filter surface. This article presents a brief overview of the principles governing TFF, and...

Formulating Production Planning Models

January
2004
Information Technology
Jeffrey D. Kelly
Optimize petroleum and petrochemical plant production by understanding the mathematical modeling behind nonlinear planning models.

Avoid Sulfolane Regeneration Problems

July
2004
Reactions and Separations
Donald F. Schneider
The regeneration of sulfolane, a common extraction solvent, is difficult. With proper attention to design and operation, problems can be minimized.

Match the Effort to the R&D Investment

January
2006
Career Catalyst
Kelly Ibsen
Using a phased engineering approach to guide R&D projects will improve efficiency and avoid costly experimental excursions.

Dividing-Wall Columns Find Greater Appeal

May
2007
News Feature
Gerald Parkinson
Conceived more than seven decades ago, dividing-wall columns are now only gaining widespread acceptance. The reasons— the drive to save energy and advances in computer technology that have overcome the burden of doing complex column internal designs.

How Will You Manage?

July
2008
Career Catalyst
Glen Rosentrater
Engineers typically don’t learn the “soft skills” of team and project management in school. Here is a game plan to help you supplement your technical expertise with effective leadership.

Find Mixing Success Through Failures - Part 2

December
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gary K. Patterson, David S. Dickey
Understanding when and why mixing fails in the laboratory is often the only way of avoiding a similar failure in a production-scale reactor. Here we examine mixing in stirred-tank reactors and provide guidance on scale-up.

Improve Your Air Emissions Estimates

May
2009
Environmental Management
Jeffrey H. Siegell
Process plants must report emissions from an increasing number of sources. Use these pointers to prepare more-representative emissions inventories.

Ace the Interview

November
2009
Career Catalyst
Lisa L. Walker
Few situations can be more anxiety-provoking than a job interview. Although the skills required for a successful interview may not come naturally, they can be honed — with practice, introspection, and informed preparation.

Stem Cell Engineering 101

November
2010
SBE Special Section
Jonathan Monk
Stem cells are poised to transform medical treatments for a host of diseases and malignant conditions. Translating stem cell research into clinical therapies, disease models, and drug-screening platforms will require a combination of sound science...

Institute News

May
2012
Institute News
Read the latest Institute News reported by CEP.

How Does Your $alary Stack Up?

August
2002
Special Section
Betty Feehan
The median salary among chemical engineers is $84,000, and annual raises are averaging 4.8%.

Easily Assess Complex Safety Loops

March
2001
Instrumentation
Lawrence  Beckman
Many safety instrumented systems rely on dissimilar redundant field devices, and this can complicate required analyses. These equations will enable field personnel to handle such situations readily.

Success Strategies for the Mid-Career Engineer

August
2001
Career Catalyst
Elizabeth  Feehan
Here's how to take stock of your career and identify and explore a wide range of opportunities so you can decide where you want to go and develop a career plan for getting there.

Reduce Costs with Dividing-Wall Columns

May
2002
Reactions and Separations
Mohamed S.M. Shakur, Dennis O'Brien, Steven P. Rosenblum, James W. Harris, Douglas A. Stewart, Michael A. Schultz
These distillation columns can significantly reduce capital and energy expenses vs. conventional multicolumn arrangements.

Can We Believe the Simulation Results?

October
2002
Reactions and Separations
Henry Z. Kister
Be careful of these key issues that may generate differences between a distillation-tower simulation and its actual performance. Simulations do not always square with nuts-and-bolts reality.

Working with Non-Ideal Gases

March
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Jimmy Peress
Here are two proven methods for predicting gas compressibility factors.

Apply Solubility Theory for Process Improvements

March
2004
Reactions and Separations
Michael J. Gentilcore
For solid compounds that dissolve in solvents but do not ionize, the thermodynamics of solubility can provide valuable predictions and insights.

Rotating Equipment

October
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Kazim Akhtar
Protect compressors and turbines by using piping strainers and following the line procedures outlined in this article.

Ionic Liquids for Aromatic Extraction: Are They Ready?

December
2006
Reactions and Separations
Sachin T. Anjan
Ionic liquids have already moved into the commercial arena as reaction solvents. This article compares them to conventional solvents and examines their potential for the extraction of benzene, toluene and xylene from reformate.

A Renewable Route to Propylene Glycol

August
2007
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Rapid expansion in biodiesel production has spurred a bumper crop of competing processes to turn byproduct glycerin into propylene glycol.

Form Nanoparticles via Controlled Crystallization

October
2008
Reactions and Separations
Robert J. Fisher, Thomai Panagiotou
This continuous bottom-up approach allows precise control of the crystallization process to achieve size, distribution and quality goals, as well as realize the benefits of process intensification.

Apply Process Integration to Environmental Impact Assessment

February
2009
Environmental Management
Hassan E. Alfadala, Patrick Linke, Ahmed Abdel-Wahab, Eva M. Lovelady, Mahmoud M. El-Halwagi
This approach provides valuable insights early in the design process and systematizes the design effort, while reconciling process objectives with environmental constraints.

Reshaping the Structure of Fluidized Beds

July
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Marc-Olivier Coppens , John Nijenhuis, J. Ruud van Ommen
Adding structure to a gas-solid fluidized-bed reactor changes the system’s hydrodynamics and can improve performance.

The Reference Process Demystified

January
2010
Career Catalyst
Lisa L. Walker
The people you identify as references in your job search act as your ambassadors to a potential employer. Choosing references who can paint a clear picture of your strengths and potential can be a decisive advantage in your employment campaign.

Minimize Mechanical Integrity Budget Battles

February
2011
Safety
Jack McCavit, Daniel A. Long, P.E.
Chemical processing and manufacturing plants must ensure the mechanical integrity of their equipment. These strategies and tactics can make doing so easier when budget issues arise.

Designing Dust Collectors

September
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Greg Mehos, P.E.
To assure reliable and safe operation of a dust collector, apply the basic principles of chute and hopper design — which are based on the dust's fundamental flow properties.

Size Letdown Lines for Pressure Surges

November
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gianni  Anci
A high-pressure gas flow in a letdown circuit can cause damage to piping and equipment. Here is how to design a system to avoid damage should a pressurized gas flow occur GianniAnci-

How to Scale-Up Mixing Processes in Non-Newtonian Fluids

May
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
 Lew E. Gates, Christopher Henry , Robert J. Wilkens
This article will describe the relationships that must be understood to scale-up fluid mixing processes in non-Newtonian, power-law fluids. The principles described apply to both close-clearance impellers, such as anchors and helixes, and to open...

The G-Value for Agitator Design: Time to Retire It?

March
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gregory T. Benz
This commonly used number does not correctly address the influence of viscosity, and has no relationship to performance parameters such as fluid velocity and blend time. This article recommends actual measures of agitator performance that should be...

Deciphering the Mechanisms of Therapeutic Protein Production

October
2007
SBE Special Section
Kevin J. Kayser, Matthew V. Caple, Christoph L. Bausch, Trissa Borgschulte, Daniel W. Allison
Demand for therapeutic recombinant proteins will eventually exceed current production capabilities. This is a major driver in further understanding Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell biology, which is the cell line of choice for producing these...

Choose the Right Elastomer

June
2008
Materials
William M. Stahl
Match a material's performance to process conditions to reduce leaks, improve safety and extend the mean time between failures (MTBF).

Overcoming Obstacles to Innovation

September
2010
Management
Mukund Karanjikar, Cheryl Perkins, Jeff Lindsay
Despite high levels of spending and lofty innovation goals, companies often experience declining productivity. An understanding of the causes and remedies for innovation fatigue can free engineers and their organizations to achieve greater success.

Understand Thermodynamics to Improve Process Simulations

December
2011
Computational Methods
Fred C. Justice, P.E., David Hill
Selecting a thermodynamic model is an important step in process simulation — one that many engineers overlook. This overview of applied thermodynamics can help you choose the right model for your process.

Use Nitrogen Safely

March
2012
Safety
Dennis Croll, Paul Yanisko
Understanding the potential hazards and taking the proper precautions will allow you to reap such benefits as improved product quality and enhanced process safety.

Achieving Success

December
2001
Career Catalyst
Slava Thaler
Put these seven principles to work to spell success for your professional and personal life.

Track Condenser Performance

February
2003
Heat Transfer
Brad Buecker
An effective monitoring program can extend equipment life, improve operations, and yield substantial energy savings.

Get Your Investment Decisions Right

February
2006
Management
Reinhard Schomacker, Gregory J. McRae, Konrad Hungerbuhler, Gerald Bode
This article describes state-of-the-art investment analysis techniques, shows how and why even reasonably good analyses can lead to bad decisions, and gives guidance on how to avoid mistakes when making investment decisions regarding chemical...

Incorporating Sustainability into Chemical Engineering Education

January
2009
Special Section
Cliff I. Davidson, Braden R. Allenby, Cynthia F. Murphy, David T. Allen
This benchmarking study of the types of courses offered and the material being taught sheds light on what the engineering profession regards as sustainability.
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