Plant Operations

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.

Evaluating and Documenting Tower Performance

February
2010
Reactions and Separations
Daniel R. Summers
A good performance evaluation can lead to a significant improvement in column performance and establish a basis for future tower evaluations. <br>

Air Heater Cleaning Simplified

October
2001
Heat Transfer
Brad Buecker
This high-pressure water washing technique can be used to clean Ljungstrom-type air heaters.

Choose the Right Electric Motors for Hazardous Locations

November
2011
Back To Basics
Uriah Van Amerom
Risks associated with operating an electric motor in hazardous areas range from production downtime to injury and death. Learn how to assess the operating environment and select the appropriate motor.

Propel Your Pneumatic Conveying System to Higher Efficiency

April
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
Herman  Purutyan
For new and existing installations, there are many system and component choices available. Here’s how to narrow down the options to make the appropriate selection for optimal performance.

Steam Trap Troubles?

February
2005
Heat Transfer
Trinath Sahoo
First, prevent problems by selecting the appropriate trap and installing it properly. If problems arise, follow these guidelines for diagnosing and correcting them.

Understanding Steam Traps

February
2011
Back To Basics
James R. Risko
Steam trap failure can affect process operations and reduce profits. Choosing the right steam traps can improve reliability and reduce cost.

Evaluating Dryers for New Services

December
2003
Heat Transfer
Charles G. Moyers
Continuous dryers are accurately and easily evaluated using laboratory-scale simulators combined with the specific drying rate approach.

Preventing Maldistribution in Multi-Pass Trays

April
2010
Reactions and Separations
Henry Z. Kister
This method, based on hydraulic equations in the open literature, calculates vapor/liquid distribution in four-pass trays to correctly predict flooding and efficiency.

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.

Nitrogen: A Security Blanket for the Chemical Industry

November
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Paul Yanisko
The benefits of nitrogen blanketing include improved process safety, better product quality, and longer equipment life. Here's how to achieve the desired safety or quality results while minimizing costs.

Minimize Mechanical Integrity Budget Battles

February
2011
Safety
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.

Hydrogen: Liability or Asset?

September
2002
Reactions and Separations
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,...

Use Oxygen to Improve Combustion and Oxidation

July
2010
Reactions and Separations
Reed J. Hendershot
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
Robert Zalosh
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
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
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
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
Ryan C. Schad 
Try these practical ways to boost capacity, increase product quality or reduce cycle time in batch and continuous systems.

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.

Guidelines for Crystallizer Selection and Operation

October
2004
Reactions and Separations
Wayne Genck
Continuous crystallizers serve a wide range of applications in the chemical process industries. Optimize system performance by heeding these practical design and operating principles, which apply to the forced circulation (FC), draft-tube-baffle (...

Reduce Risk When Sourcing Abroad

October
2010
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gregory T. Benz
Purchasing lower-cost process equipment from vendors in developing nations can be an attractive proposition in times of economic austerity. When sourcing outside local channels, keep the points discussed here in mind to avoid costly problems that go...

Optimizing Batch Operations

January
2006
Reactions and Separations
Robin Smith
Use this novel method to optimize the operating conditions as they vary through time in batch processes.

Reduce Dust Explosions the Inherently Safer Way

October
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Faisal I. Khan
This article is aimed at the development of a framework for dust explosion prevention and mitigation that explicitly incorporates the principles of inherent safety. As distinguished from engineered and procedural safety features, inherent safety...

What’s the Price of Steam?

July
2005
Heat Transfer
Robin Smith
Realistic steam prices are necessary for the efficient operation of a chemical production site, both to allocate realistic costs to the different businesses on the site and to provide a true economic incentive for energy conservation.

Reduce Your Compressed Air Costs

October
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Ron Marshall
Annual operating expenses for compressed air systems can exceed the equipment’s purchase price. Follow these seven steps to implement efficiency measures that yield cost reductions.

Evaluating Cooling Tower Upgrades

May
2008
Heat Transfer
Tom Dendy
When considering improvements to cooling towers, it's important to perform an economic analysis of the options.

Improve Flange Joint Reliability

January
2011
Back To Basics
Thomas Sandbrook
Proper design, installation, and maintenance of flanged connection systems can prevent loss of containment and process interruptions. Follow this seven-step approach to ensure reliability of this critical process equipment.

Estimate the Capacity of Simple Batch Processes

August
2002
Reactions and Separations
James L. Manganaro
Finding the throughput of a multiple-unit, multiple-step operation, even when it is relatively uncomplicated, is not always an easy matter. Several equations and graphical aids are provided to help determine yearly capacity.

Principles and Case Studies of Simultaneous Design

September, 2011
There are many comprehensive design books, but none of them provide a significant number of detailed economic design examples of typically complex industrial processes. Most of the current design books cover a wide variety of topics associated with process design. In addition to discussing...

Pump Wisdom: Problem Solving for Operators and Specialists

April, 2011
An accessible guide to the main reasons pumps fail—and what can be done about it Workhorses in many different industries, including the oil industry, water industry, chemical industry, food industry, and pharmaceutical industry to name a few, pumps are a vital contributor to maintaining and...

Problem Solving for Process Operators and Specialists

April, 2011
This book provides methods to train process operators to solve challenging problems. The book is split into two parts. The first part consists of two parts; first developing a daily monitoring system and second providing a structured 5 step problem solving approach that combines cause and effect...

LNG Risk Based Safety: Modeling and Consequence Analysis

March, 2010
The expert, all-inclusive guide on LNG risk based safety. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is the condensed form of natural gas achieved by cryogenic chilling. This process reduces gas to a liquid 600 times smaller in volume than it is in its original state, making it suitable for economical global...
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