Luis A. Cisternas, Edelmira D. Gálvez
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.
Chameleon-Like Material Changes Color On Demand; New Genes for an Old Microbe Make Statins Cheaper; A Sweet Approach to Breaking Down Cellulose; New Catalyst Pushes Lignin Up on the Value Chain; and more.
Tal Golesworthy has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that weakens connective tissues throughout the body. When he learned he would need surgery to completely replace his aorta, he used engineering principles to develop a less-invasive device to strengthen the aorta — and then convinced surgeons to implant the device in his heart.
James R. Risko
Even a relatively new steam trap in seemingly good condition can fail if it is applied incorrectly. Here’s how to recognize and avoid situations that can lead to a failure.
Niki S. C. Wong, Miranda G. S. Yap
With a heavy investment in biomedical research— particularly the $330 million to build Biopolis in 2003— Singapore is seeing the fruits of its labor blossom.
Claudio Delpino, M. Soledad Diaz
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 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.
The opportunities and implications of big data analysis and the emergence of unconventional crude oil are just two of the timely topics to be explored at AIChE’s 2015 Spring Meeting and 11th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS). This year’s conference is in Austin, TX
Promethean Power Systems, a Somerville, MA-based small business with grants from the National Science Foundation, has developed a thermal battery-based refrigeration system to address the challenges of unreliable electricity supply in rural areas.
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).
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.
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.
Nearly 30 years after the space shuttle Challenger disaster, Allan McDonald is on a mission to prevent it from ever being forgotten. McDonald, director of the shuttle solid rocket motor project at the time of the incident, is one of the few...
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.
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.
Models can be used to describe chemical reactors to help solve problems and optimize processes, while saving time, money, and resources.
The global process safety community will join with chemical engineers across a spectrum of industries when AIChE holds its 2015 Spring Meeting and 11th Global Congress on Process Safety at the Hilton Austin and Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX...
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.
AIChE Elects New Fellows; Minority Affairs Committee Turns 25; AIChE Recommendations for Establishing Process Safety Investigation Boards
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...
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.
President’s Corner; AIChE Gala Salutes Corporate Leaders for Promoting Diversity in Engineering; AIChE Partners on Engineering and Technology History Wiki; Institute and Board Award Nominations Due Feb. 15; Annual Meeting Highlights
Increasing efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions and a changing portfolio of energy sources as a result of shale gas production are driving the development of new process technologies for the production of energy and chemicals. One such...
Every year, millions of patients suffer bone fractures that require surgical implants. Many of these patients face painful, costly secondary operations to remove these nonabsorbable implants, which are typically made of titanium or stainless steel...
Reed M. Izatt
With recycling rates near zero and demand for precious and specialty metals increasing as the number and variety of high-tech products increases, the need for creative, practical ideas to improve metal sustainability is of utmost importance.
U.S. Chemicals Remain Bright Spot in the Global Economy; Hot Off the Press: Rewritable Paper; Greening Rare Earth Elements; and more
The worst process incident that can happen in your plant may not be the same as the highest process risk. Risk is a combination of how likely an incident is and how bad the consequences could be. The process incident in your plant with the worst consequences may be very unlikely to occur. Other less-severe incidents may be more likely, making the risk of these events higher than the incident with the worst consequences. You should be aware of all process risks in your plant, and your role in managing all of them.
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...
Emerging applications, from wearable electronics to robotics, and advances in electronics allowing designers to pack more components into ever-more-compact space are driving demand for thin, flexible, high-performance batteries with low toxicity and green chemistries.
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.
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.
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.
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.