Process Design & Development

Understand the Fundamentals of Centrifugal Pumps

October
2010
Back To Basics
J. Howard Kelly, P.E.
Efficient and reliable pumps can significantly improve a plant’s bottom line. This article reviews important concepts that a chemical engineer must understand and the factors that need to be considered when selecting radial-flow centrifugal pumps.

Shortcut Distillation Calculations via Spreadsheets

December
2002
Reactions and Separations
Jake Jevric, Muhammad E. Fayed
This method uses a numerical solution to the McCabe-Thiele diagram to find the theoretical number of stages for binary and pseudo-binary systems,then calculates the actual number of stages, reflux ratio and column dimensions.

Prevent Caking During Solids Handling

May
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gabriel I. Tardos , Brian H. Pittenger, Herman Purutyan
Use these guidelines to avoid potential caking problems. The key steps are to select a material characterization method, identify the factors that can be feasibly controlled and conduct tests to confirm that process/handling changes yield the...

Designing Dust Collectors

September
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Greg Mehos, P.E.
To assure reliable and safe operation of a dust collector, apply the basic principles of chute and hopper design — which are based on the dust's fundamental flow properties.

Optimize Mixing by Selecting the Proper Baffles

February
2002
Fluids and Solids Handling
Julian B. Fasano, Mark F. Reeder, Kevin J. Myers
It is common knowledge that baffles promote better flow in an agitated vessel, but how to apply them and what kind to use take some ingenuity.

Streamlining Crystallization Process Design

January
2004
Fluids and Solids Handling
Ka M. Ng, Lionel O'Young, Christianto  Wibowo
Use phase diagrams to develop reliable crystallization processes quickly and cost effectively.

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,...

Streamlining the Validation Process

March
2007
Management
Robert Mackey, Tim Flanigan
Today, validation is no longer an afterthought for the design and construction of a new or renovated process or facility. It is, in fact, recognized as an integral part of the total project. Fully integrated services are now available to ensure a...

Selecting a Heat Exchanger Shell

June
2011
Back To Basics
Thomas G. Lestina, P.E.
The first step in specifying a shell-and-tube heat exchanger is choosing the right shell to meet process requirements.

Size Letdown Lines for Pressure Surges

November
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gianni  Anci
A high-pressure gas flow in a letdown circuit can cause damage to piping and equipment. Here is how to design a system to avoid damage should a pressurized gas flow occur GianniAnci-

Optimize Power Consumption in Aerobic Fermenters

May
2003
Reactions and Separations
Gregory T. Benz
By performing the necessary pilot work, and rigorously calculating the full-scale performance instead of using simple rules-of-thumb, significant energy savings can be achieved in fermenters.

A Strategy for Excellence in Process Development

October
2008
Process Development
Lionel O'Young, Vaibhav V. Kelkar
Here is how to integrate overall process development activities and identify practices that facilitate commercial process development.

Squeeze More Out of Complex Columns

July
2002
Reactions and Separations
Piyush Shah
These distillation setups can cut capital and operating costs by up to 30%, and increase separation efficiency. Here is a straightforward method for evaluation.

Reduce Risk When Sourcing Abroad

October
2010
Fluids and Solids Handling
Ling Du, 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...

Fermentation Goes Large-Scale

January
2003
Special Section
Alex Patist, J. J. Hahn , Aristos Aristidou , Pim van Hoek
Designing an economically competitive and environmentally sustainable fermentation route means considering the downstream separations needed to capture the final product during the initial process design.

Ensure Proper Design and Operation of Multi-Pass Trays

June
2005
Reactions and Separations
Mark Pilling
To function properly at optimum capacity and efficiency, multi-pass trays must be designed so that the liquid and vapor flows are properly balanced. This article provides guidance on how to achieve that.

Selecting Agitator Seals for Bioprocessing Applications

January
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
William Ho Liam Teng, Gregory T. Benz
Issues such as sterility, isolation and contamination must be considered when choosing seals for use in biotech and pharmaceutical processes. This overview describes common types of seals and offers guidance on selecting the appropriate seal for...

The Flange Factor in Gasket Selection

September
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
John Crandall, Dave Burgess
Gaskets should be chosen based on service conditions, as well as the type of flanges to be sealed. These principles will help to guide the selection.

Keys to Bioreactor Selection

March
2002
Reactions and Separations
John A. Williams
A few basic types of bioreactor designs are used to produce a wide range of products, from antibiotics to foods to fuels. Here's how to pick the best options for your application.

Succeed at Catalyst Scale-Up

June
2006
Reactions and Separations
Richard Allen, Jeff Braden, Ben Wagner, J. Todd Osbourne, Donald R. Engelbert, William H. Beever, Uday T. Turaga
Follow these principles to reduce the time required for scale-up and commercialization to improve the resource effectiveness of the effort.

Minimize Scale-Up Risk

March
2010
SBE Special Section
Bertil Stromberg, Thomas Pschorn, J. Brad Cort
Proven commercial-scale equipment already exists for many operations involved in producing biofuels from lignocellulosic feedstocks.

Improving Heat Exchanger Designs

April
2007
Heat Transfer
David C. King, Thomas G. Lestina, R. Stanley Kistler, Christopher A. Bennett
This article defines and explains the factors that affect heat exchanger design margins. With the proper application of design margins, capital costs can be lowered and plant operations improved.

Integrate Compressor Performance Maps into Process Simulation

June
2011
Computational Methods
Grant Stephenson
Transforming the performance maps to a reduced coordinate system that is independent of suction conditions and rotational speeds allows these curves to be accurately incorporated into a process simulator.

Design Reactors via CFD

December
2001
Reactions and Separations
Elizabeth M. Marshall, Andre Bakker, Ahmad H. Haidari
Using computational fluid dynamics to design commercial-size batch and continuous reactors can eliminate subjective experience and empiricism, leading to better-designed, more-efficient units.

How to Scale-Up Mixing Processes in Non-Newtonian Fluids

May
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
 Lew E. Gates, Christopher Henry , Robert J. Wilkens
This article will describe the relationships that must be understood to scale-up fluid mixing processes in non-Newtonian, power-law fluids. The principles described apply to both close-clearance impellers, such as anchors and helixes, and to open...

Find Mixing Success Through Failures - Part 2

December
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gary K. Patterson, David S. Dickey
Understanding when and why mixing fails in the laboratory is often the only way of avoiding a similar failure in a production-scale reactor. Here we examine mixing in stirred-tank reactors and provide guidance on scale-up.

Selecting Nickel Alloys for Corrosive Applications

May
2007
Materials
Paul Crook
Nickel and its alloys offer resistance to attack by a wide range of chemicals, including acids, alkalis and salts, making these materials suitable for may CPI applications.

Clarifying Centrifuge Operation and Selection

August
2004
Fluids and Solids Handling
 William Wilkie, Victor Norton
Before selecting a centrifuge for your application, understand its principles of operation and investigate the key process variables.

Selecting Corrosion-Resistant Materials

December
2006
Materials
Francesco Picciotti, Marcello Picciotti
This article looks at some common corrosion-resistant alloys and gasket materials that are available for use in applications with high pressures and temperatures.

Bridge the Gap with Semicontinuous Distillation

August
2001
Reactions and Separations
 Warren D. Seider, James R. Phimister
This processing strategy combines the advantages of batch and continuous operation, providing flexibility and efficiency in a single design.

Reduce Your Compressed Air Costs

October
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Bill Scales, 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.

Designing Four-Pass Trays

April
2010
Back To Basics
Daniel R. Summers
Use this procedure to design four-pass distillation column trays and to balance the vapor/liquid ratio on each tray panel.

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

Ease Control Valve Selection

November
2002
Fluids and Solids Handling
Sheetal Patel, Kiran Nair, Liyakat Jaffer, Meredith Chapeaux, Trevor Bishop
With so many types and options available, choosing the right control valve can seem daunting. Selection can be simplified by considering the process fluid, the service requirements, how the various valves function, and seeing how each valve will...

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.

Selecting and Using Bolted Head Closures

April
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
John C. Birkmire, P.E.
Proper design, fabrication, assembly and operation of a pressure vessel closure are essential to ensuring product containment, integrity and quality.

Don’t Let Baffle Tray Flood Baffle You

July
2011
Reactions and Separations
Matthew Olsson, Henry Z. Kister
Use this new correlation based on window liquid velocity to predict baffle tray capacity.

Optimizing Crystallizer Scaleup

June
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Wayne Genck
Explore how mixing parameters impact the crystallization process and recommend ways to improve the likelihood of successful scaleup. The concepts of nucleation and growth, types of mixing, design considerations, agitator parameters and scaleup...

Selecting Entrainers for Azeotropic Distillation

March
2009
Reactions and Separations
Lionel O’Young, Madhura Chiplunkar, Vivek Julka
This systematic methodology uses residue curve maps to identify and evaluate substances that can facilitate distillation by breaking an azeotrope.

Find Mixing Success through Failures - Part 1

October
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gary K. Patterson, David S. Dickey
Understanding when and why mixing fails in the laboratory is often the only way of avoiding a similar failure in a production-scale reactor.

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 (...

Efficient Technology Evaluation

February
2007
Critical Issues
Francesco Citro, Reuel Shinnar
To stay competitive in today's economic climate, rapid and effective assessments of new technologies is a must. Requiring a minimal amount of data, this powerful method can effectively evaluate new ideas and research programs at an early stage...

Screw Feeders: A Guide to Selection and Use

February
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Thomas L. Krieger, Hermann J. Feise, Steven W. Couch, Timothy Bell
Gain insight as to what screw feeder is best for your application. Plus, learn how to size, specify and test screw feeders.

Eliminate Iteration from Flow Problems

March
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
John D. Barry
This article introduces a novel approach to solving flow and pipe-sizing problems based on two new dimensionless quantities that are independent of line size and flow.

Understand Thermodynamics to Improve Process Simulations

December
2011
Computational Methods
Fred C. Justice, P.E., David Hill
Selecting a thermodynamic model is an important step in process simulation — one that many engineers overlook. This overview of applied thermodynamics can help you choose the right model for your process.

Optimize Pipeline Design for Non-Newtonian Fluids

March
2002
Fluids and Solids Handling
 Edgar Amaro  Ronces, Cinthya Alejandra Anguilar Guerrero, Alejandro Anaya Durand
Use this graphical method to determine pipe diameter, fluid temperature and pressure drop for laminar and turbulent flow.

Increase Powder Flow via Gas Injection

July
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Thomas G. Troxel, John W. Carson, Herman Purutyan
Fluidization and air-assisted discharge are two ways to optimize fine-solids handling. However, the choice of technology is as important as designing and operating the system properly.

Select the Right Spray Nozzle

June
2001
Reactions and Separations
Terra L. Vincent, Peter  Welander
Finding the proper nozzle for specific applications doesn't have to be difficult. By applying basic concepts of nozzle technology, you can create a droplet profile that best suits your needs.

Navigate Phase Equilibria via Residue Curve Maps

November
2002
Reactions and Separations
George J. Koplos, Raymond N. French, Waldo E. de Villiers
These maps provide a rapid, graphical means to visualize the separation possibilities and constraints of azeotropic ternary systems. They also help check the soundness of models used to predict equilibrium data.

Pumping System Head Estimation

February
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
James Anthony
These spreadsheets highlight losses, uncertainties and value of power used, helping you optimize pumping system designs and save on operating costs.

Selecting Laboratory Reactors

August
2007
Reactions and Separations
Francesco Picciotti, Marcello Picciotti
This article outlines some of the considerations involved in selecting and specifying a reactor system for research and development applications.

Reduce Piloting Time and Cost

July
2011
Process Development
Michael T. Cleary, David A. Berg
Pilot-scale experimentation is essential to establish a sound foundation for a new chemical processing unit. These best practices can reduce the time and cost involved in process development.

Take the Guesswork Out of FRP Corrosion

December
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gunnar Bergman
The lifetime of fiberglass-reinforced plastic equipment and piping often depend upon previous experience. Here's a way to predict and prolong service life.

Building Models from Simulator Runs

January
2006
Computational Methods
Aad van Veldhoven, Magali de Macedo
The design-of-experiments approach has the advantage of providing the framework to build complex models with minimum use of time and effort.

Choose Materials for High-Temperature Environments

February
2001
Materials
Peter  Elliott
High temperatures, stresses, and the presence of elements such as oxygen, sulfur, or the halogens can add up to trouble. Here is how to screen candidate alloys for such service.
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