Chemical Engineering Practice

Patent Update: When Does Patent Infringement Become a Federal Offense?

March
2016
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
Patent infringement cases are generally civil matters between the patent owner and the infringer. The two sides present opposing arguments as to, on the one hand, whether the alleged infringer’s actions are actually infringing and, on the other,...

Video Tutorial: PFD Pump and Compressor Symbols

March 29, 2016
If you've ever confused a compressor for a turbine or expander while creating or reading a process flow diagram, then this post is for you. This short video tutorial from the...

Big Data: Success Stories in the Process Industries

March
2016
Special Section
Salvador García-Muñoz, John F. MacGregor
Big data holds much potential for optimizing and improving processes. See how it has already been used in a range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to pulp and paper.

February 2016 CEP Preview

February 18, 2016
SAFETY Predict Incidents with Process Safety Performance Indicators Become a seer of process safety incidents with carefully chosen process safety performance indicators (PSPIs)...

Integrate Process Simulation and Process Synthesis

October
2005
Computational Methods
Dominic Chwan Yee Foo, Zainuddin Abdul Manan, Michael Lynn McGuire, Murugan Selvan
The design of a new process using computer simulations to analyze a process flowsheet based on the onion model can save time, effort and, ultimately, money.

My Neighborhood Radioactive Waste Dump

February 22, 2016
Like so many of us, I jog through my neighborhood in pursuit of 10,000 steps a day. My urban journey through Queens, NY, is a slow blur of delis, liquor marts, and grocery stores...

Massive Porter Ranch Gas Leak a Cautionary Tale

February 12, 2016
Months of chaos, fear, and the smell of rotten eggs came to an end at Porter Ranch in Los Angeles on Thursday, once crews digging a relief well finally pierced the deep,...

January 2016 CEP Preview

January 15, 2016
BUSINESS Navigating Oil Price Volatility After several years of stability, oil prices plummeted to record lows in mid-2014. This, along with increased natural gas production in...

Shell's Prelude FLNG Completes Major Construction

January 22, 2016
Shell has sent out a video update as its revolutionary Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project winds up major construction in Samsung’s Geoje shipyard in South Korea...

Bioreactor Design for Chemical Engineers

August
2011
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz
Fermentation processes are based on chemical engineering principles. Understand these concepts to achieve optimal bioreactor design.

Video Tutorial: Basics of BFDs, PFDs, and PIDs

January 18, 2016
Confused about the differences between block flow diagrams (BFDs), process flow diagrams (PFDs), and piping and instrumentation diagrams (PIDs)? Then this tutorial is for you. And...

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.

Using Aspen Plus in Thermodynamics Instruction: A Step-by-Step Guide

February, 2015
Stanley I. Sandler offers a step-by-step guide for students and faculty on the use of Aspen in teaching thermodynamics. The book shows how easily-accessible, modern computational techniques are opening up new vistas in teaching thermodynamics, using a range of applications of Aspen Plus for the...

Cybersecurity for Executives: A Practical Guide

June, 2014
This essential cybersecurity text for executives in all sectors and at all levels provides practical advice that equips executives with the knowledge they need to make the right cybersecurity decisions. In plain language, you’ll learn how to recognize and act on threats to you and your business, along with how to act decisively to mitigate and recover from cyber incidents.

Control of Batch Processes

June, 2014
Approaching batch processing from the process perspective, with emphasis on the advantages of using structured logic in the automation of all but the simplest batch processes, this book provides engineers with real-world insight into analyzing control requirements, developing control logic to meet these requirements, and troubleshooting controls in batch processes.

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.

Introduction to Fluidization

November
2014
Back To Basics
Raymond Cocco, S. B. Reddy Karri, Ted Knowlton
Fluidized beds offer excellent heat transfer, and have the unique ability to move a wide range of solid particles in a fluid-like fashion. This article explains the basics of fluidization theory and outlines how to design a typical fluidized bed.

Patent Update: Process Claims: Know Your Infringer

September
2015
Patent Update
Henry Heines
Process patents are an important class of patents, as many inventions are best-defined, or most clearly patentable, as processes. In many cases, a well-crafted process claim can keep the most threatening competitors at bay and be highly lucrative...

Consider Recycled Water for Your Cooling Tower Makeup

February
2013
Heat Transfer
Paul Puckorius
Many types of “used” water may be appropriate as cooling tower makeup. Here’s how to determine which waters are suitable and cost-effective for the equipment in your cooling system.

Incorporate Rigorous Heat Exchanger Models in Simulation

July
2014
Back To Basics
Ron Beck, Shelby Hegy, Tom Ralston
Embedding a rigorous heat exchanger model within an established simulation environment can help engineers increase process yields, while minimizing heat exchanger energy consumption and capital expenditures.

Control Boiler Emissions through Work Practices and Energy Management

February
2014
Environmental Management
James Robinson
The Boiler MACT regulation provides compliance options that include pollution-abatement equipment, work practices, and energy efficiency improvements. An energy management and reporting system (EMRS) can be a part of a plant’s compliance strategy.

Make Your Plant More Energy-Efficient

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

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.

Follow this Process Development Path

December
2013
Reactions and Separations
Paul Szabo
Bench-scale engineering (BSE) and the interdisciplinary no-transfer team (INTT) are valuable complements to the scale-down-before-scale-up method of process development.

Handle Bulk Solids Safely and Effectively

September
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Eric Maynard, Greg Mehos and Eric Maynard
Follow these guidelines for proper design of bins, hoppers, and feeders to avoid operational and safety problems.

Use Quantitative Gamma Scans to Troubleshoot Maldistribution on Trays

February
2013
Reactions and Separations
Henry Z. Kister
Quantitative, multichordal gamma-scan analysis is invaluable for diagnosing maldistribution and channeling in distillation columns. The graphical tool introduced here is a convenient way to visually represent the data.

Submitting Your First GHG Report

March
2010
Environmental Management
Kristine Baranski, Mary Ellen Ternes
This overview of EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting rule explains the regulation’s requirements and suggests strategies for compliance. It also provides insights regarding enforcement and confidential business information.

Select the Right Impeller

June
2015
Back To Basics
Julian Fasano
The key to effective, efficient mixing is selecting the appropriate impeller.

Select the Best Model for Two-Phase Relief Sizing

May
2001
Safety
Ronald Darby, Ron Darby, Paul R. Meiller, & Jarad R. Stockton
A variety of methods exist for sizing valves, but not all give the best predictions for certain conditions. RonDarby-PaulR.Meiller-JaradR.Stockton-

Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

December
2012
Alan P. 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.

Avoid Bulk Solids Segregation Problems

April
2012
Fluids and Solids Handling
Eric Maynard, Eric Maynard
Powder blend consistency can be difficult to maintain during processing. This article provides an overview of common segregation mechanisms, highlights key sampling techniques, and offers practical guidance on preventing and solving segregation...

Spray Nozzles 101: Spray Nozzle Selection

August
2014
Back To Basics
Charles Lipp
Understand the two most common spray nozzle designs, as well as their basic characteristics, in order to choose the best nozzle for your application.

Graphically Assess a Reactor's Characteristics

March
2006
Reactions and Separations
Professor David Glasser, David Milne, David Glasser, Diane Hildebrandt and Brendon Hausberger
Use this technique to analyze reactor/reaction systems for which dependable kinetic data are available, or to quickly find the operating characterisitics needed for the maximum selectivity of a reactant.

Ten Steps to an Effective Bin Design

November
2013
Back To Basics
Eric Maynard
Before choosing a bin and hopper for your bulk solids application, the flow properties and characteristics of the powder or bulk material must be known. Use this ten-step approach to determine the optimal bin design for your process.

SBE Update

July
2009
SBE Special Section
June Wispelwey
Improving Biopharmaceutical Development

Minimize Degradation of Heat-Transfer Fluids

January
2015
Back To Basics
Christopher Armstrong, Gaston Arseneault
The key to maximizing the useful life of heat-transfer fluids in liquid-phase systems is proper fluid selection. This article discusses the most common methods of deterioration and suggests potential solutions.

Patents: Crossing the Novelty Threshold

November
2015
Career Catalyst
Henry Heines
Only inventions that are novel qualify for patent protection. Sometimes the novelty of an idea is not readily apparent. Understand where novelty lies so you can identify patentable ideas in your routine engineering work.

Reactor Selection: Plug Flow or Continuously Stirred Tank?

April
2006
Reactions and Separations
Professor David Glasser, David Milne, David Glasser, Diane Hildebrandt and Brendon Hausberger
Use this graphical technique to choose a reactor configuration based on optimizing residence time.

CEP: Patent Update - What Constitutes Inducement to Infringe a Patent?

July
2015
Patent Update
Henry Heines
Can you be held liable for patent infringement even if you do not practice the patented invention? Can a company that sells a material to the manufacturer of a patented product be held liable? Can a vendor that supplies a component to a service provider that assembles or uses a patented system be held liable? Can a supplier of raw materials to a production plant that runs a patented process be held liable?

Process Burners 101

August
2013
Back To Basics
Charles Baukal, Erwin Platvoet
Process burners may be classified based on flame shape, emissions, fuel type, and other characteristics. Here’s what you need to know to work effectively with a burner manufacturer when selecting a burner for your application.

Revive Your Columns with Cyclic Distillation

December
2015
Reactions and Separations
Costin Sorin Bîldea, Anton A. Kiss
This process intensification technique involves changing a tower’s internals and operating mode and the separate movement of the liquid and vapor phases. This can significantly increase column throughput and reduce energy requirements, while improving separation performance.

Succeed at Process Integration

January
2004
Career Catalyst
Alan P. 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.

Tackling Difficult Mixing Problems

August
2015
Fluids and Solids Handling
Dr. David S. Dickey
Some difficult mixing problems cannot be solved, but their impacts can be lessened. Here’s how you can deal with difficult processes or products, misunderstandings about good mixing, and obstacles to improvements.

Improve Energy Efficiency via Heat Integration

December
2010
Heat Transfer
Alan P. Rossiter
Process heat integration using pinch analysis is a respected tool for achieving energy efficiency. This article explains what pinch analysis is and how to use it in process design and operation to attain real-world energy efficiency gains.

Rapid Process Design

September
2006
Reactions and Separations
Professor Michael F. Doherty, Sagar B. Gadewar
Use this structured approach, which combines preliminary experimental data with predictive methods and heuristics, to quickly generate and screen process alternatives at the early stages of a new venture.

Designing Multistage Agitated Reactors

January
2014
Reactions and Separations
Gregory Benz
This article bridges the gap between theory and practice for the design of continuous-flow mechanically agitated reactors, with a focus on mechanical and hydraulic issues.

Patent Update: Patent Validity Could Come Down to Clarity

December
2015
Patent Update
Henry Heines
A patent is intended to expand the public’s knowledge in a particular area of technology, and it must clearly convey exactly what the patent covers and what it does not. An individual learns that information by reading the patent’s claims, a...

Designing Pneumatic Conveying Systems

May
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Eric Maynard
Use this 9-step methodology to design and operate a reliable and cost-effective system to efficiently transport materials.

Cool Down with Liquid Nitrogen

September
2015
Heat Transfer
Oscar Beteta, Svetlana Ivanova
Many low-temperature processes leverage nitrogen’s cooling and freezing capabilities. Find out what methods are used in what applications and why.

Implement an Effective Loop Tuning Strategy

January
2013
Back To Basics
Norman Ito, Timothy Olsen
Use these loop tuning guidelines to improve process control and enhance product uniformity Many undergraduate chemical engineering programs teach the Ziegler-Nichols tuning methods, developed by John G. Ziegler and Nathaniel B. Nichols in the 1940s...

Chemical Looping Rises to the Challenge

May
2015
On The Horizon
Liang-Shih Fan, Liang Zeng, Siwei Luo
By separating a reaction into several subreactions, chemical looping minimizes exergy loss, facilitates product separation, and provides flexibility in process design.

New Products: December 2015

December
2015
New Products
Instrumentation Temperature Transmitters Feature Dual Sensor Inputs The THZ 3 and TDZ 3 two-wire (loop-powered) temperature transmitters provide an isolated and linear 4–20-mA output proportional to input. They can be configured quickly and easily...

2015 Official Chem-E-Car Competition® Video

November 12, 2015
Cornell & McGill Universities Tie for 1st Place with 5cm. In this video, you'll see highlights from this year's competition, learn how it got started and how teams power their...

November 2015 CEP Preview

November 16, 2015
This month, CEP's cover feature is liquid-liquid extraction, and members and non-members alike can read the full article online. See the preview for more about this month's issue.

Intel Announces 3D Breakthrough in Chip Design

May 9, 2011
Intel has announced new 3D technology that will allow the company to pack more transistors into small chips. You can have Mark Bohr of Intel walk you through the new technology in...

AIChE Journal Highlight: Tribute to Founders: John M. Prausnitz

October
2015
Journal Highlight
Credited for his vision of combining fundamental molecular theory with practical thermodynamic applications in what he called molecular thermodynamics, John M. Prausnitz has profoundly affected the chemical engineering discipline. A tribute to...

September 2015 CEP Preview

September 8, 2015
HEAT TRANSFER Cool Down with Liquid Nitrogen Many low-temperature processes leverage nitrogen's cooling and freezing capabilities. Find out what methods are used in what...

August 2015 CEP Preview

August 20, 2015
SPECIAL SECTION: ENERGY Natural Gas: Opportunities and Challenges Natural Gas: The Energy Outlook Natural gas production is projected to grow in almost all regions of the world,...

Excelling with Excel #2 – Pivot Tables

July 8, 2010
When I say "pivot table", what comes to mind? For me, I think of cardboard boxes. However, if you're like most humans, you're probably drawing a blank right now. This is...
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