Robert McTamaney, Kirk Richardson
The Materials Technology Institute’s (MTI) recent Refiners Roundtable meeting included discussions on (among other topics) internal investigations into causes of significant failures and ways to improve process safety. Here are the top ten things your company should be doing.
Ground Fluor Pharmaceuticals, a spinout from the Univ. of Nebraska–Lincoln, has developed new fluorination chemistry that permits a wide range of radiotracers with sufficient activity and purity to meet diverse clinical needs to be made with...
Sachi Dash, Rakesh Joshi, J. Ward MacArthur, Konstantinos Tsakalis
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Daniel Blashki, Rachel M. Buchanan, Matthew B. Murphy
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.
Sachi Dash, Rakesh Joshi, J. Ward MacArthur, Konstantinos Tsakalis
The dynamic behavior of your process can never be modeled perfectly. However, process controllers can be designed to handle this so-called uncertainty.
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.
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.
Arpan Bandyopadhyay, Hsu-Yuan Fu, Wei-Shou Hu, Nandita Vishwanathan
Genome-based analytical tools enable engineers to take a systems approach to bioprocessing.
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.
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...
In August 2014, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) reported the results of an investigation into a December 2010 explosion in a titanium and zirconium scrap-metal processing facility in West Virginia. The explosion caused three fatalities and one injury. Here is a brief summary of what is believed to have happened.
Today’s modern lifestyle demands highly functional products — from water-wicking fabrics and age-defying beauty products to patient-specific medicines and high-tech electronics — many of which rely on polymers. In turn, to meet these demands, manufacturers are asking for the ability to design and produce polymers with precise control over composition and architecture. Such sophisticated control, however, is not possible with the dominant incumbent technology, free-radical polymerization. Thanks to a process developed by Carnegie Mellon Univ. spin-out ATRP Solutions, creating the perfect polymer with exactly the right composition, size, and shape just got much easier.
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.
Brian Armstrong, Katrina Brockbank, Jamie Clayton
The relationship between humidity and powder behavior is complicated. Therefore, comprehensive, case-by-case testing is required.
October 2-6, 2017
June 12-15, 2016
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.
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.
Forward-looking perspectives on the always-evolving chemical engineering field will be framed by examinations of the discipline’s fundamentals when AIChE takes its 2014 Annual Meeting to Atlanta, GA.
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.
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.
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.
Women’s Retention and Re-entry; WISE Interns; Gala Will Promote a Diverse Profession; Cussler is Named Institute Lecturer; and more.
Hazard identification and risk analysis (HIRA) includes all activities involved in identifying hazards in your process, understanding potential incident scenarios, identifying safeguards, and evaluating risk to people, the environment, property, and business.
Many of us were taught that communicating a message is a three-step process. First, “you tell them what you’re gonna tell them.” Second, “you tell them.” Third, “you tell them what you told them.” A message relevant to chemical engineers that urgently needs delivering is this: The U.S. chemicals industry is re-emerging as a world-class dynamo with the potential to propel U.S. manufacturing to world-class status and, with it, the U.S. economy. The ultimate outcome of this is economic opportunity for our children and grandchildren.
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.
Girish Ghatikar, Sila Kiliccote, Mary Ann Piette
Low-cost automation and communication systems will be critical to the success of demand-response programs.
New Fellows; AIChE Addresses Climate Change; International Conferences; Election Update; Member News