AIChE

Catalyzing Commercialization: Greening the Packaging Industry

September
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
Globalization has changed the landscape of global manufacturing and supply chains, creating huge opportunities for more efficient production of goods and services, but also significant sustainability issues. One such challenge is the waste of packaging materials throughout the supply chain. Northern Technologies International Corp. (NTIC), a small business headquartered in Circle Pines, MN, has developed bio-degradable, compostable, and, for the first time, bio-based, polylactide (PLA) for blown plastic packaging films and end products.

CEP: YPOV - Anything Can Change, But Not Everything Must

September
2014
YPOV
Alex Ruddick
Good morning! Or should I say good evening? The sun is just setting as I write this in Mangalore, India, where the time leads the U.S. by half a day. By the time this article is printed, India Standard Time will join the growing list of time zones...

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - How Big Data Analytics Will Revolutionize Chemical Manufacturing

September
2014
Journal Highlight
Engineering processes, operating units, and equipment are designed with clear objectives and usually operated under well-controlled circumstances as designed. However, for emerging situations that are not factored into the design, data become indispensable assets in decision-making for safe and efficient operations. In the September AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Process Data Analytics in the Era of Big Data,” S. Joe Qin, who is on leave from the Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles to work at the Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, demonstrates how data have been effectively used in process operations and control. He also provides new perspectives on how chemical process systems might evolve to a new paradigm of data-enhanced operations and control.

CEP: Editorial - Elements of Fun

September
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, September 2014. Whenever I come across an interesting article or tidbit of information in the general media that I think might make a...

CEP: News Update

September
2014
News Update
The Science Behind the Breakthrough Ebola Treatment; Polymers Crystallize into Zeolite-Like Structures; Magnetic Attraction: New Material Guides Fluid Flow; MoS2 Pushes Graphene Aside for Fast DNA Sequencing; and more.

Introduction to Solid-Fluid Equilibrium Modeling

September
2014
Back To Basics
Chau-Chyun Chen, Yifan Hao, Sheik Tanveer
This article introduces the thermodynamic property models that are commonly used in process simulators to perform solid-liquid equilibrium and solid-supercritical fluid equilibrium calculations.

CEP: What's New

September
2014
What's New
http://www.aiche.org/resources/publications/cep/2014/september/catalyzin...

Improve the Performance of Your Boiler System

October
2014
Heat Transfer
Daniel Skiles
A condensing economizer, a blowdown heat-recovery unit, or a glycol air heater can increase a boiler system’s overall efficiency by recovering heat from the hot fluegas or blowdown water.

Save Energy through the Superior Energy Performance Program

September
2014
Energy
Paul Scheihing
Facilities have improved their energy efficiency by implementing the ISO 50001 energy-management standard and participating in the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s SEP program. Here’s how your facility can earn SEP certification while reducing its energy use and saving money.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - An Inverse Approach to Materials Discovery and Design

August
2014
Journal Highlight
The success of many emerging technologies hinges on the discovery of new materials that exhibit a combination of desired properties. Identification, synthesis, and fabrication of suitable materials for these applications remain challenging, relying on resource-intensive exploratory science. A better approach might be to begin with the target macroscopic properties in mind and then systematically narrow the list of possible material precursors and synthetic methods through an optimization technique.

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.

CEP: What's New

August
2014
What's New
Read about new products and services in the areas of fluids and solids handling, instrumentation, and laboratory equipment.

CEP: Spotlight on Safety - Be Prepared, Be Safe, and Have Fun

August
2014
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
One of my favorite warm weather activities is kayaking. The river provides a respite away from crowds and electronic distractions. Daily stressors are erased by the warm sun, a light breeze, and the sound of water lapping at my boat. A recent weekend with great weather afforded the perfect opportunity to go out on the river with my husband. Earlier that week, severe storms blew through the area with significant rainfall and flash flooding. This increased the volume of water in the river, so conditions would be perfect for a fast and exciting ride. It also called for a more-mindful approach to safety hazards, like swift currents and debris in the water.

Special Section - Energy: Smart Grid (Full 26-Page Supplement)

August
2014
Special Section
Xiaoming Feng, Bond Calloway, Donald Chmielewski, Iiro Harjunkoski, Ernst Scholtz, Girish Ghatikar, Nathan Mancha, Mary Ann Piette, Sila Kiliccote, David M. Heitzer
Smart Grid: The Basics - What? Why? Who? How?; You Are Not Alone; Implementing Automated Demand Response; Industry Meets the Smart Grid

CEP: News Update

August
2014
News Update
New Materials Combine Ultralight Weight with Ultrahigh Strength; A Breakthrough for Redox Flow Batteries; Carbon Nanotubes Catalyze Inexpensive Hydrogen; Diabetes Microchip Is as Good as Gold; and more.

CEP: Career Corner - Growing Your Engineering Consulting Practice

August
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
If you want to expand your consulting practice, you must be ready to change how you do things. “As your company matures, you need to start working on the business, rather than in the business. Become the owner, not the doer,” says Stephen Fauer,...

CEP: Editorial - Get Smart about Electricity

August
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
According to the Edison Foundation, nearly 40% of U.S. households, about 46 million residences, are outfitted with a smart meter for monitoring and managing electricity use. Some of these meters operate under direct load control (DLC), which allows the utility to intermittently interrupt service to connected appliances — such as electric heaters, central air conditioning systems, water heaters, hot tubs, and clothes dryer heating elements — during periods of peak electricity demand. In return for their willingness to accept these short (typically no more than a few hours) power interruptions, customers receive a payment or a credit on their electric bill. Smart metering is a form of demand-side management, and is an important part of the evolving smart grid.

CEP: Institute News

August
2014
Institute News
New Fellows; AIChE Addresses Climate Change; International Conferences; Election Update; Member News

Spray Nozzles 101: Spray Nozzle Selection

August
2014
Back To Basics
Charles Lipp
Understand the two most common spray nozzle designs, as well as their basic characteristics, in order to choose the best nozzle for your application.

Manage Raw Material Supply Risks

September
2014
Critical Issues
Stephen Hung, Anthony Y. Ku
Some materials are more vulnerable to supply disruptions than others. Identify these materials and implement strategies to address challenges related to them.

CEP: Calendars

August
2014
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Education 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 - Ignition Sources

August
2014
Process Safety Beacon
The best way to prevent fires and flammable vapor explosions, either inside or outside process piping and equipment, is to avoid creating a flammable mixture. However, we must also recognize that our equipment and operating procedures can fail and a...

CEP: Profile - James Patten: Pushing the Boundaries of Interactive Design

August
2014
Profile
Most computer interfaces today take very little advantage of our sense of touch,” says James Patten, founder of the Patten Studio and inventor of futuristic user interfaces and interactive experiences. His work combines the principles of engineering, computer programming, and design to give users completely unique experiences — from creating their own chemical reactions by grabbing onto virtual elements in a periodic table, to folding a protein and having the computer physically resist the folding pattern.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - An Elegant Design Makes Compressed Air a Contender for Grid-Scale Storage

August
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
The potential for the integration of large amounts of renewable energy sources with the electricity grid will require large-scale storage devices. Compressed-air energy storage (CAES) is a cost-effective option for multi-hour storage applications. SustainX, a venture-capital-backed spin-out of Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering, has developed a novel isothermal CAES technology that promises to eliminate the disadvantages of traditional CAES.

CEP: News Update

July
2014
News Update
Nanoparticles Detect Sulfur Content in Crude Oil; Putting Waste Heat to Work; New Process Prints Personalized Drugs; EPA to Cut CO2 from Power Plants; Microbes Convert Biodiesel Waste into Valuable Chemicals

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Persistence – Good or Bad?

July
2014
Process Safety Beacon
Some process safety incidents have occurred because operating personnel failed to recognize that a process was not responding as expected. They attempted to keep a process in operation by deviating from standard procedures, or put themselves in danger by attempting to correct an out-of-control process condition rather than evacuating.

Incorporate Rigorous Heat Exchanger Models in Simulation

July
2014
Back To Basics
Shelby Hegy, Ron Beck, 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.

CEP: Calendars

July
2014
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar AIChE Education Calendar Webinars

CEP: Patent Update - Do You Qualify as a Co-Inventor?

July
2014
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
Co-inventorship on a patent provides several advantages to an individual, but a proper listing of inventors is both critical to the patent’s validity and can be challenged at any time. A recent case involving a General Electric patent illustrates some of the requirements of a co-inventor and the hurdles that an individual can face when asserting co-inventorship status after a patent has been issued.

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.

A Guide to Characterizing Particle Size and Shape

July
2014
Instrumentation
Shrikant Dhodapkar, Remi Trottier
Knowledge of particle properties is essential for understanding how the particles will impact your process. Learn how to identify the relevant properties for a particular application, select the best measurement technique, and analyze the data to extract meaningful information.

CEP: Institute News

May
2014
Institute News
Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety Wrap-Up; New Fellows; Professional Licensure and the Industrial Exemption; Member News

Troubleshoot Acid-Gas Removal Systems

July
2014
Reactions and Separations
Chris Bickham, Eric Teletzke
The removal of acid gases is a key step in natural gas treatment. Closed-loop amine systems are a popular option, but they can suffer from inefficiencies. Use these troubleshooting tools to pinpoint the cause of operational issues.

CEP: Material Matters - Understanding Polymer Weld Morphologies

July
2014
Material Matters
Heather Stine
Polymer and polymer-lined equipment has become more common in the chemical process industries (CPI) due to its cost-effective corrosion resistance in severe chemical service. Fluoropolymer-lined steel, high-density polyethylene (HDPE)-lined steel, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are examples of materials used for tanks, vessels, and other CPI equipment. Economic considerations demand that the life of this equipment be extended as long as is safely possible.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Zeolites Lose a Dimension but Gain in Performance

July
2014
Journal Highlight
Zeolites are widely used in the chemical process industries as catalysts and adsorbents. While the unique pore structure of zeolites is beneficial, many long-standing challenges in catalysis, adsorption, and membrane separations, as well as in nontraditional applications in energy storage and electronic and optical materials, cannot be met with the currently available porous materials.

CEP: YPOV - Electricity and the Environment

July
2014
YPOV
Noah Meeks
Electricity generated by fossil fuels is a relatively stable and low-cost commodity, and fossil fuels will continue to be an important source of energy for the forseeable future. The environmental impact of electricity generation is minimized...

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - A Biodegradable Plastic Made from Waste Methane

February
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
What if we could make the Great Pacific Garbage Patch just disappear? What if plastics didn’t accumulate in our landfills? What if we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions while replacing up to 30% of the world’s plastics with a biodegradable substitute? Researchers have tried for decades to achieve these goals. One approach being taken is the development of an efficient production process for poly-hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) — a biodegradable polymer similar to the polypropylene used to make yogurt containers.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Living Plants: One-Stop Shop for Protein Manufacturing

July
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
Chemical manufacturing facilities housing green plants perform all of the processes formerly handled by stainless steel equipment. Production is energy efficient, fueled by photosynthesis, as living plants secrete raw materials (e.g., high-purity spider silk proteins) for downstream production and processing. Thanks to Wisconsin-based ag-biotech startup PhylloTech, this surreal vision may not be so far-fetched.

CEP: Editorial - Take a Hike

July
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Although I recently returned from a vacation and would love to tell you about the hiking we did, that’s not the topic of this editorial. Previously, I wrote about jump-starting creativity through relaxation and trying something new (Dec. 2013) and by incorporating play into your day (Jan. 2014). Here’s another powerful creativity booster to add to your toolbox — walking. Your walk doesn’t have to be an eight-mile trek from the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the rim nearly a mile higher. Walking can be as simple as doing laps around the office, or getting off the bus or train a stop or two early and walking the rest of the way to your destination.

CEP: News Update

October
2013
News Update
Crunching the Numbers on Grid-Scale Storage; Microbes Convert Waste into Electricity; Solar Cells Make the Right Connection; Engineered Tissue Mingles with Blood Vessels; and more.

CEP: What's New

July
2014
What's New
Read about new products and services in the areas of bioprocessing; instrumentation; environmental, health, and safety; laboratory equipment; and materials and chemicals.

Biorefinery Process Economics

October
2005
SBE Special Section
Gregory M. Bohlmann
With oil and natural gas prices surging, bio-based feedstocks are becoming increasingly competitive. This article examines, in depth, the technical and economic aspects of the biorefinery concept.

Cybersecurity for Executives: A Practical Guide

June, 2014
This essential cybersecurity text for executives in all sectors and at all levels provides practical advice that equips executives with the knowledge they need to make the right cybersecurity decisions. In plain language, you’ll learn how to recognize and act on threats to you and your business, along with how to act decisively to mitigate and recover from cyber incidents.

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.

CEP: Profile - Manu Prakash: Encouraging Curiosity-Driven Science

June
2014
Profile
One of the biggest hurdles to treating disease in developing countries is the lack of portable and cheap diagnostic instruments, such as microscopes. Manu Prakash, an assistant professor in the Dept. of Bioengineering at Stanford Univ., believes that frugal science is the key to enhancing global health and science education. Prakash is creating simple, economical tools to pique interest in science exploration and even perform field-testing for specific diseases, such as malaria. One such invention, the Foldscope, is a completely functional microscope that merges the principles of origami and optical design.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Ionic Liquids Charge Ahead as Battery Electrolytes

June
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
Advances in energy-storage devices are a must for the widespread use of electric and hybrid vehicles, the integration of renewable energy with the electric power grid, and the development of smaller, faster, more-powerful consumer electronics. While progress has been made, several challenges remain, including limitations of nonaqueous electrolytes, which have poor transport properties and are highly flammable. The answer to this challenge: A new class of higher-performance electr-olytes being developed by Boulder Ionics Corp. (BI) for longer-lived, safer batteries and ultracapacitors.

CEP: AICHE Journal Highlight - A Broader Role for the Evolving Engineer

June
2014
Journal Highlight
Chemical engineers are primarily known for their tech-nical expertise. While this engineering know-how has played a key role in developing technologies essential for modern society, it will not be enough to solve the increasingly complex challenges of today’s world. Solutions to these issues, including the development of safe and sustainable food and water supplies, economical alternative energies, and more-effective pharmaceuticals, will require a multidisciplinary approach that considers political, social, and economic constraints, as well as the obvious technical challenges.
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