Plant Operations

6th AIChE Southwest Process Technology Conference

October 9-10, 2014
The South Texas Section of the AIChE, in partnership with AIChE HQ, is hosting its Sixth Annual Southwest Regional Process Technology Conference at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

Mixing and Blending of Solids

AIChE Webinar
Oct 30, 2013
This webinar provides an introduction to both the fundamentals of mixing processes and how to assess mixture quality and examine the qualities of...

Apply Six Sigma for Process Improvement and Problem-Solving

March
2011
Back To Basics
George Liebermann
Many manufacturing processes are not run as efficiently as they could be. The Six Sigma methodology provides a foundation for continuous improvement and for solving quality, operational, and other problems.

Deflagration and Detonation Flame Arresters

May, 2002
Designed for chemical engineers and other technical personnel involved in the design, operation, and maintenance of facilities and equipment where deflagration and detonation flame arresters (DDFAs) may be required, this book fosters effective application and operation of DDFAs through treatment of...

Avoiding Static Ignition Hazards in Chemical Operations

September, 1999
Written by Laurence Britton, who has over 20 years' experience in the fields of static ignition and process fire and explosion hazards research, this resource addresses an area not extensively covered in process safety standards or literature: understanding and reducing potential hazards associated...

Cost Management in Heat-Transfer-Fluid Systems

July
2006
Heat Transfer
Conrad E. Gamble, P.E.
By taking ownership of fluid-related decisions for the entire life of the project, from design through dismantling, users can secure the best and lowest-cost approach in process heating and cooling.

Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

December
2012
Operations & Maintenance
Alan Rossiter, Veerasamy Venkatesan
Managing the energy consumption of a process does not need to be complicated. This article presents some examples of less-complicated strategies.

Prevent Pulsation Problems in Piping Systems

March
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Mark Corbo
Eliminate unnecessary damage in piping systems by following these guidelines to avoid pulsations from pumps and compressors.

Optimal Automated Process Fault Analysis

January, 2013
With this book as their guide, readers have a powerful new tool for ensuring the safety and reliability of any chemical processing system. It details a tested and proven strategy to develop optimal automated process fault analyzers.

Distillation Troubleshooting

March, 2006
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...

Pipe Flow: A Practical and Comprehensive Guide

May, 2012
Pipe Flow provides the information required to design and analyze the piping systems needed to support a broad range of industrial operations, distribution systems, and power plants.

Furnace Stories

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Apr 5, 2012
The cracking furnace is the heart of the ethylene plant, consuming the most energy, adding the most value and with the potential to cause the most...

Combustion of Mixtures: A Modified IFC Approach

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Apr 2, 2012
While most studies on flares have been done with single hydrocarbon fuels or binary mixtures, the reality of most industrial flares is that they see...

Introduction to Pinch Analysis

AIChE Webinar
Apr 27, 2011
This webinar introduces the basic principles and tools of pinch analysis and shows how they can be applied in real-world applications.

Process Troubleshooting

AIChE Webinar
Oct 6, 2010
Professor Woods acts as a coach, guiding you through a process that matches your unique style. His goal is to help you recognize and polish your...

Piping and Instrumentation Drawings

AIChE Webinar
Jul 22, 2009
Piping & Instrumentation Drawings (P&IDs) are important communication tools for engineers. To be effective in the workplace, you must be able...

Process Flow Diagrams

AIChE Webinar
Jul 15, 2009
The webinar will benefit those inside and outside the process engineering community who need familiarity with PFDs as communication tools.

Troubleshoot and Solve Pneumatic Conveying Problems

June
2010
Fluids and Solids Handling
Eric Maynard, Eric Maynard
Use this scientific approach instead of a costly trial-and-error method to diagnose problems and implement solutions for conveying systems.

Succeed at Process Integration

January
2004
Career Catalyst
Alan Rossiter
In the application of pinch analysis for energy efficiency improvement and process optimization, technical excellence is necessary and human interactions are important for project success.

Make Your Plant More Energy-Efficient

December
2005
Heat Transfer
Alan Rossiter
Improve energy management by optimizing current equipment and operations, implementing economic investments, and engaging in sustaining activities.

Specifying Laser Scanning Services

May
2005
Plant Design
Eric Hoffman
Increasingly, project managers are called upon to employ laser scanning technology. However, little information available to aid with its specification. This article discusses the basics of laser scanning and the parameters that should be included...

Improving Reverse Osmosis Performance

September
2010
Reactions and Separations
Loraine Huchler
Follow these guidelines for monitoring, evaluating, and troubleshooting RO units to ensure reliable and efficient system operation.

Exploring Instrumentation Alternatives

September
2008
Instrumentation
Robert Baker
Salvaged, remanufactured, refurbished or new-surplus equipment may be a cost-effective option. Here's how to recognize when such devices may no longer meet safety or regulatory requirements.

Evaluating Chiller Performance

May
2003
Heat Transfer
Charles Churchman
Use these simple temperature and flow measurement techniques to evaluate chilled-utility performance and identify the most cost-effective upgrades.

Spray Dryers: A Guide to Performance Evaluation, 2nd Edition

August, 2004
Spray Dryers: A Guide to Performance Evaluation, Second Edition discusses the reasons for spray drying. These reasons are usually to produce a product with certain desired properties or with better efficiency than other methods. The book discusses how to plan in light of these objectives and gives...

AIChE Equipment Testing Procedure - Particle Size Classifiers, 2nd Edition

June, 1993
This procedure offers complete methodologies for sampling and measuring particle streams and summarizes methods of particle size analysis. It also lists operating variables to be considered and measured. Although the procedure is intended specifically for particle classification equipment, many of...

The Chemical Industry Phoenix

June
2012
Process Automation Corner
Terry McMahon
Seven years ago, I wrote a column for another publica­ tion entitled “The U.S. Chemical Industry: R.I.P.” This pillar of American economic strength, which a few years earlier was the leading exporter among U.S. manufac­turing sectors (with net exports of $15–20 billion annually), was shriveling due in large part to policy blunders and regula­tory mistakes.

Properly Clean Out Your Organic Heat-Transfer Fluid System

May
2001
Heat Transfer
Ander  Beain, Jay  Heidari,  Conrad  Gamble
Follow these guidelines for applying side-stream filtration to on-line cleaning, and chemical or mechanical cleaning to equipment that has been drained of fluid.

Beware of Pitfalls of Carbon Dioxide Freezing Prediction

March
2005
Heat Transfer
Steve Chafin , Tim Eggeman
Carbon dioxide freezing in a cryogenic system can result in plugging and other operational problems. This article offers insights into the carbon dioxide freezing phenomenon.

Minimize Mechanical Integrity Budget Battles

February
2011
Safety
Daniel A. Long, P.E., Jack McCavit
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.

Hydrogen: Liability or Asset?

September
2002
Reactions and Separations
Dennis Vauk, Ian Moore, Nick  Hallale
In a petroleum refinery, viewing hydrogen as an asset rather than a liability can lead to increased profits. The key is in the mindset. A typical investor uses money to make money. This article shows you how to use hydrogen to make money.

Improving the Reliability of Mechanical Seals

November
2005
Operations And Maintenance
Michael Huebner
With a better understanding of seals, their selection, material considerations, and operation requirements, users can greatly improve equipment reliability and reduce operating costs.

Learn to Effectively Operate and Maintain Pumps

December
2011
Back To Basics
Daniel Kernan
Centrifugal pumps play a central role in chemical processing. Proper pump operation and maintenance can improve a facility's productivity, reduce downtime, and trim costs.

Handling Flammable Liquids

July
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
James C. Mulligan
Identify electrostatic hazards associated with liquid processing and understand the precautions available to control them.

Rx for Pharma

March
2009
Critical Issues
Girish Malhotra, P.E.
Chemical engineers could hold the key that helps pharmaceutical companies — facing pressure to control rising drug prices and competition from generics — reduce their manufacturing costs.

Improve and Maintain Cooling Tower Efficiency

April
2005
Heat Transfer
James L. Willa
Changing maintenance and/or operating procedures can significantly increase cooling tower performance without major capital expenditures. Here are some tips for ensuring proper design and operation of major tower components.

Don't Get Burned Picking Dry-Type Flame Arresters

October
2002
Fluids and Solids Handling
Stanley G. Grossel
These commonly used devices rely on an internal medium to extinguish flame fronts and take the punch out of shock waves, protecting piping, equipment and personnel. Selecting such equipment involves considering the probable type of combustion,...

Avoid Problems in Process Water Systems

October
2007
Heat Transfer
Marilyn W. Blaschke, Roger D. Metzler
Prevent corrosion, emulsification and fouling by implementing these operational and chemical measures.

Use Oxygen to Improve Combustion and Oxidation

July
2010
Reactions and Separations
Nancy C. Easterbrook, Reed J. Hendershot, Timothy D. Lebrecht
Substituting oxygen for air is often a low-cost, easy-to-implement option that can reduce capital costs, lower emissions, and improve process flexibility and reliability.

Safely Handle Powdered Solids

December
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Daniel E. Silva, Robert Zalosh, Russell Kahn, Stanley S. Grossel
Understand some of the accident scenarios that result in dust explosions, and follow these suggestions for preventing them.

Examining X-Ray Technology

March
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Ray Spurgeon
Use X-ray inspection to see whether your product is contaminant-free and packaged properly.

Optimize Heat Exchanger Cleaning Schedules

June
2001
Heat Transfer
Brendan R. O'Donnel, Bruce A. Barna, Chris D. Gosling
Get the most out of your heat exchanger by evaluating the trade-offs between a one-time expenditure and reduced operating expenses, increased income, and/or longer operating life span. Brendan R. O'Donnell - Bruce A. Barna - Chris D. Gosling -

Identifying Corrosion and Its Causes

April
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gary Geiger, Mel J. Esmacher, P.E.
An important first step in maintaining equipment reliability and efficiency is understanding the various types of corrosion damage that can occur.

Evaluating the Economics of Desalination

December
2002
Heat Transfer
Hisham M. Ettouney, Hisham T. El-Dessouky, Peter J. Gowin, Ron S. Faibish
This article presents an in-depth analysis of thermal and membrane desalination economics and outlines a simple procedure for calculating the unit product cost for various desalination processes.

Is Your Cold Lime Softener Effective?

December
2007
Reactions and Separations
Loraine Huchler
If your plant's utility system is experiencing problems, the culprit may be the clarifier. Understanding how to diagnose and correct off-spec clarifier operation will allow downstream units to function more efficiently and reliably.

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.

Get More Out of Single-Stage Distillation

February
2002
Reactions and Separations
Ernest A. Perkins , Ryan C. Schad 
Try these practical ways to boost capacity, increase product quality or reduce cycle time in batch and continuous systems.

Profiting From Your Pumping System

September
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Aimee McKane  , Vestal Tutterow,  Don Casada
Identify ways to minimize the lifecycle costs of your pumping system

Take Another Look at Steam Traps

June
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
S. Raghavi  Chari
Think twice before installing a steam trap. In the case of superheated lines, steam traps may prove to be a waste of time, effort, and money

Maintaining Piping and Support Systems

June
2005
Operations And Maintenance
Gerry May
With proper pipe support design, installation and maintenance, pipe damage should normally not develop for decades.

Determine the Right Eye Protection

September
2011
Safety
Harry J. Elston
Wearing the appropriate protective eyewear begins with a thorough safety assessment. These guidelines clarify how to identify hazards and select protective equipment to avoid eye injuries.

Track Condenser Performance

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