Chemical Engineering Practice

Environmental Law for Chemical Engineers

February
2012
Back To Basics
Mary Ellen Ternes
A basic understanding of environmental law is beneficial for all chemical engineers. Learn how laws are proposed, made, and implemented, and ways to avoid incurring unnecessary penalties.

CEP: Patent Update - An Invention's Nonobviousness May Not Be Obvious

April
2013
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
To qualify for a patent, an invention must be both novel and nonobvious. Novelty requires that the invention differ in some way from the prior art, such as earlier patents and published materials. Nonobviousness requires that there be more than just...

Determining Torque Split for Multiple Impellers in Slurry Mixing

February
2012
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Yield-stress slurries, such as those used in paper, biofuel, and polymer production, can be difficult to mix. This article explains how to determine torque requirements for multiple-impeller slurry-mixing systems to optimize tank geometry and...

Troubleshooting Distillation Simulation

June
2006
Reactions and Separations
Stanislaw K. Wasylkiewicz
A tool called azeotrope pressure sensitivity analysis (APSA) can shed light on the dependence of an azeotrope's composition and temperature on changes in pressure.

Realistically Predict Capacity and Pressure Drop for Packed Columns

July
2007
Reactions and Separations
Emil Abkar, Khashayar Afshar, Henry Z. Kister, Jeffrey Scherffius
Generalized pressure-drop correlation (GPDC) charts have been the standard for predicting packing flood points and pressure drops. This article guides engineers on the correct and incorrect uses of the GPDC interpolation procedure, and updates the...

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.

Applying the Paradigm Case Method for Flowmeter Selection

September
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Jesse Yoder
This effective approach to flowmeter selection involves a step-by-step method that begins by matching the application with the flowmeter(s). Then, a series of criteria are applied to narrow the selection.

Beware of Errors in Numerical Problem-Solving

November
2009
Computational Methods
Michael B. Cutlip, Michael Elly, Mordechai Shacham
Understand how to detect and prevent common errors when using mathematical software tools.

Assess the Performance of Positive-Displacement Pumps

December
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
AIChE's Equipment Testing Procedures Committee
Here's how to evaluate rotary pumps— gear, lobe, vane and multiple-screw designs— regardless of whether the material being handled is a Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluid.

Apply an Integrated Approach to Catalytic Process Design

February
2007
Reactions and Separations
Mitrajit Mukherjee, James Nehlsen, Richard V. Porcelli
To ensure a practical, efficient and economically viable process, first consider how a successful catalytic reaction system would work, then focus on making a catalyst with the desired characteristics.

Understanding Crystallization and Crystallizers

October
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Lionel O'Young, Ketan D. Samant
Gain qualitative insight into the basic mechanisms of crystallization, the principles of crystallizer operation, and the ways in which these concepts relate to the selection and application of the various crystallizer configurations in industrial...

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.

Successfully Scale Up Solids Handling

April
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
K. Eric Bengtson, John W. Carson, Thomas G. Troxel
A sound theoretical model of the process to be scaled is the best approach; if one is not available, bench-scale testing, physical scale modeling or full-scale modeling is required. Here are guidelines as to which method is appropriate for various...

Designing Suspension-Mixing Systems

January
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Pavel Ditl, Frantisek Rieger
Impeller and vessel geometries are key factors in selecting mixing equipment to efficiently suspend particulate solids in slurries

Diagnosing Maldistribution in Towers

May
2007
Reactions and Separations
Simon X. Xu
Gamma CAT-scan technology makes possible the collection of much more vital online process information than conventional diagnostic techniques.

A Hybrid Route to Chirally Pure Products

November
2005
Reactions and Separations
Lionel O'Young , Christianto Wibowo
Chromatographic resolution coupled with crystallization can be your best option for manufacturing chirally pure products.

Selecting Elbows for Pneumatic Conveying Systems

September
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
Paul Wagner
The right elbow can keep your system operating at peak performance, reduce maintenance costs, and minimize material attrition and elbow wear. This article describes common elbows and outlines factors to consider when selecting one.

Piloting Bioreactors for Agitation Scale-Up

February
2008
Reactions and Separations
Gregory T. Benz
This article offers guidance on how to design appropriate experiments to measure scalable data for agitation in both aerobic and anaerobic bioreactors.

Computational Fluid Dynamics - Power to the People

April
2007
Computational Methods
Suzanne Shelley
Today's CFD Programs are more powerful and easier to use than ever, thanks to improved mesh-generation strategies, computational methodologies, user interfaces and enhanced graphics capabilities. Cover photo courtesy of Acusim and Intelligent Light.

Shale Gas Brightens Outlook for U.S. Chemicals

January
2013
Chem Economics
Martha Gilchrist Moore, T. Kevin Swift
The chemical industry will experience moderate annual growth over the next few years — ranging between 2.2% and 4.6% through 2017. The higher growth rate accounts for new investments announced in response to the abundant supply of shale-based...

Optimizing an Organic Rankine Cycle

January
2013
Heat Transfer
Ali Bourji, P.E., Alan Winstead
An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system can be a cost-effective way to convert waste heat to electricity. The key is finding the best ratio of net power recovery to capital cost.

Reshaping Process Safety Regulations

March
2002
Safety
Walter L. Frank
Changes to OSHA's PSM rule and EPA's RMP programs are underway, due to pressures from various groups and the need for greater security.

Use Guided-Wave Radar to Measure Water Level in Steam Loops

December
2012
Back To Basics
Ravi Jethra, Keith Riley
Guided-wave radar (GWR) is a useful tool for measuring water level in steam loops. This article describes GWR design and operation, and how this technology differs from more traditional forms of level indication.

Engineering Complex Phenotypes in Industrial Strains

November, 2012
This book explains current trends and developments in engineering biocatalysts for the production of bulk chemical and biofuels from renewable biomass. The authors guide readers through the engineering of the complex traits and phenotypes needed for particular biocatalysts and bioprocesses.

CEP: Chem Economics - Post-9/11 Chemical Security Spending

November
2012
Chem Economics
Martha Gilchrist Moore
The terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, changed the world and forever altered the way American chemistry conducts business. While improving facility security is not a new endeavor for chemical companies, the industry has increased...

Best Practices for Heat Tracing Pilot Plants

November
2012
Heat Transfer
Richard P. Palluzi, P.E.
Heat tracing a pilot plant is a difficult task, but with proper design and careful installation, the tracing system can operate safely and effectively.

Be Smart about Column Design

November
2012
Reactions and Separations
Daniel R. Summers, P.E., Mark Pilling, P.E.
Optimizing distillation equipment and processes can improve both the profitability and the greenness of an operation.

Cut Agitator Power Costs

November
2012
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Agitator power consumption can be minimized by judicious equipment selection and careful operating procedures. Follow these guidelines to reduce your plant’s energy costs. In some cases, it may be as simple as flipping a switch.

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...

Using Process Flowsheets as Communication Tools

October
2012
Back To Basics
Graham Nasby
Piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), process flow diagrams (PFDs), and block flow diagrams (BFDs) are essential tools for documenting processes and promoting interdisciplinary understanding and communication.

Harnessing the Power of Virtual Reality

July
2012
On The Horizon
Li Guo, Zhouzhou Li, Jinghai Li, Xinhua Liu, Bona Lu, Fanxiao Meng, Zhaojie Xia, Mingkun Zhao
Advances in physical modeling and computational science will revolutionize the way engineers develop and design new technologies and processes.

CEP: Chem Economics - Manufacturing Renaissance Takes Hold in the U.S.

October
2012
Chem Economics
T. Kevin Swift
Many living in the Rust Belt — the northeastern region of the U.S. that experienced significant de-industrialization during the 1970s through the 2000s — got an up-close look at the decline in manufacturing in the U.S. In the wake of the Great...

Solid-Liquid Separation: A Guide to Centrifuge Selection

July
2012
Back To Basics
Tom Patnaik
Centrifugation is a necessary step in many pharmaceutical and chemical production processes. These guidelines will help chemical engineers better understand the process of centrifuge selection.

Chem Economics: ACC Releases Portfolio of Specialty Chemicals Indexes

September
2012
Chem Economics
T. Kevin Swift
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has launched a new set of indexes covering nearly 30 segments of the U.S. specialty chemicals market. (The first, which dealt with plastic additives, was discussed in the July issue, p. 13.) This is the first set...

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - A New Spin on Separations

September
2012
Journal Highlight
The microelectronics industry has been revolutionized by technologies that boast ever-increasing capabilities in increasingly smaller areas. Now, the ability to pack high functionality into smaller devices is poised to transform the chemical process...

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.

Advanced Process Control: Beyond Single Loop Control

June, 2010
This book fills the gap between basic control configurations (Practical Process Control) and model predictive control (MPC). For those loops whose performance has a direct impact on plant economics or product quality, going beyond simple feedback or cascade can improve control performance, or...

Design and Control of Distillation Systems for Separating Azeotropes

March, 2010
Hands-on guidance for the design, control, and operation of azeotropic distillation systems Following this book's step-by-step guidance, readers learn to master tested and proven methods to overcome a major problem in chemical processing: the distillation and separation of azeotropes. Practical in...

Applied Hydroaeromechanics in Oil and Gas Drilling

October, 2009
An all-in-one reference combining hydrodynamic theory with drilling applications for the design, planning, and optimization of drilling operations Hydromechanical processes underlie the majority of technology operations in drilling and present a crucial concern as the pace and depth of drilling...

Optimize Process Regulation

December
2001
Instrumentation
Phillip D. Schnelle
Laboratory feedback proportional-integral control integrates statistical process control with automatic process control to minimize process variability.

Using Automation to Produce Quality Pharmaceuticals

October
2011
Instrumentation
Joseph S. Alford, P.E.
Automation can pay large dividends in the form of reduced process cycle times, lower operational costs, and more-consistent processes for manufacturing high-quality pharmaceutical products.

The World of Wireless

February
2010
News Feature
Matthew McKeon-Slattery
As wireless technologies have advanced, old limits have been overcome and new challenges have sprung up. Further growth is likely to be driven by specific application and cost-reduction needs. <br>

Alarm Management for Regulated Industries

April
2005
Instrumentation
Joseph S. Alford
This article focuses on the regulatory drivers for alarm management, summarizes key practices, and challenges automation vendors to devise new ways to help customers implement more-effective alarm systems.

Government Perspectives on Sustainability

January
2009
Special Section
Alan Hecht
Advances in science and technology, the application of diverse government regulations and policies, and green business practices are all needed to advance sustainabilty. Biofuels production is a good case study to illustrate how government and...

How Good Are Your Data?

June
2002
Instrumentation
Scott D. Barnicki
Some thoughts on the measurement and interpretation of vapor-liquid equilibrium

Choosing Process Vacuum Pumps

August
2012
Back To Basics
Dr. Don Collins
Vacuum pumps are an integral part of many industrial facilities. Both processing objectives and budget constraints must be considered when selecting a specific pump.

How to do an Internal FDA Audit

October
2001
Management
Gavin Sinclair
Meeting FDA regulations is not optional. The costs are high for any company that does not act responsibly to ensure that all additives are meet the required regulations.

Fundamentals of Industrial Catalytic Processes, 2nd Edition

October, 2005
Catalysis is central to the chemical industry, as it is directly or involved in the production of almost all useful chemical products. In this book the authors, present the definitive account of industrial catalytic processes. Throughout Fundamentals of Industrial Catalytic Processes the...

Understanding Electromagnetic Flowmeters

May
2010
Instrumentation
Ronald W. DiGiacomo
Consisting of a flow tube, field-generating coils, electrodes, and a transmitter, a magmeter accurately measures the flowrate of conductive fluids over a wide range of conditions.

Predictive Modeling in Catalysis - From Dream to Reality

June
2009
On The Horizon
Ana G. Maldonado
In silicocatalyst optimization is the ultimate application of computers in catalysis. This article provides an overview of the basic concepts of predictive modeling and describes how this technique can be used in catalyst and reaction design.
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