Chemical Engineering Practice

How Good Are Your Data?

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

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.

Improve Energy Efficiency via Heat Integration

December
2010
Heat Transfer
Alan 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.

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.

Rapid Process Design

September
2006
Reactions and Separations
Michael 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Select the Best Model for Two-Phase Relief Sizing

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

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.

Process Safety - Management or Leadership?

Global Congress on Process Safety
Apr 3, 2012
Process Safety Management is often presented as technically complex, requiring a large staff of engineers and specialists with an array of tools and...

Oxygen/Combustible Safeguards in Low Nox Fired Heaters

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Mar 22, 2010
Refineries have been installing low NOx equipment on their fired heaters in response to tighter environmental regulation. Low NOx burners minimize...

Environmental Law and Regulation 101

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Mar 21, 2010
This presentation will provide a summary of each of the primary environmental regulatory programs, including air, water, waste and emergency planning...

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...

Reliability for Safety Instrumented Systems

September
2004
Instrumentation
J. Patrick Williams
This article offers a detailed reliability-based methodology for determining the safety integrity level of instrumented systems by providing overpressure protection where arrangements of multiple pressure-relief valves are impractical to implement.

Use Exponential Functions to Correlate Temperature Dependence

July
2008
Physical Properties
Faruk Civan
Use Exponential Functions to Correlate Temperature Dependence Asymptotic exponential equations may provide a more-accurate or easier-to-use representation of a property’s temperature dependence than commonly used polynomial expressions.

Choosing Trays and Packings for Distillation

September
2009
Back To Basics
Bruce S. Holden , Mark Pilling
Tower-related problems can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to diagnose and fix. Here’s how to avoid difficulties and improve operating efficiency.

Legionella: An Invisible Risk

April
2008
News Feature
Cynthia F. Mascone
Ignoring this hidden hazard can put both the public and companies that operate cooling towers at risk.

Reduce Thermal Risk in Industrial Synthesis

October
2001
Safety
Richard C. Wedlich 
Knowing the safe operating conditions for a reaction allows us to select appropriate safety measures and thereby lower both the likelihood and the severity of a thermal runaway.

Designing a Process Flowsheet

May
2009
Back To Basics
Vornel Walker
Piping and instrumentation diagrams belong to a family of flowsheets that includes block flow diagrams and process flow diagrams. Technology advances have transformed these resources into intelligent documents, capable of storing layers of digital...

Selecting In-Process Particle-Size Analyzers

August
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Paul Barrett
To select the proper instrument for process monitoring, one must determine what attribute of the particle system impacts the process or product parameter of concern. Once the size region is identified, it can be tracked in-process, opening up the...

Choose the Right Gas Sensor

September
2009
Instrumentation
Sandra Barnes
Selecting a sensor for continuous monitoring involves many considerations. This article discusses the types of sensors available, their applicability and limitations, and how to choose an appropriate sensor to protect people and equipment.

Tracing Process Problems

April
2002
Instrumentation
John E. Hoots
In water chemistry control, fluorescent tracing technology can quickly and effectively determine and deal with the root cause of a problem.

Measuring Temperature by Direct Contact

September
2011
Back To Basics
Gary Freemer
Thermocouples and resistance temperature detectors are the most common contacting temp­erature sensors. Understand the techniques and apply them correctly to increase your temperature measurement accuracy.

Using Chromatography to Separate Complex Mixtures

December
2010
Back To Basics
Nathalie Fraud
Purifying high-value mixtures, such as pharmaceuticals, can be an expensive undertaking. Choosing the correct chromatography methods can improve purity and reduce processing time and cost.

Determine the Optimum Number of Process Trains

January
2010
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz
This article demonstrates that the repair and expense costs of process trains are not proportional to their capital costs and that, in most cases, building one plant with a single process train is the most economically efficient choice. <br>...

CEP: Chem Economics - Plastic Additives are Poised for Growth

July
2012
Chem Economics
T. Kevin Swift
Not all polymers are useful and/or processable in their natural form. Thus, functional chemicals are added to polymer resins to facilitate processing and to enhance, extend, or otherwise modify the properties of the plastic products manufactured from polymer resins. Such plastic additives represent a $4.6-billion business in the U.S.

Measuring Temperature by Indirect Means

November
2011
Back To Basics
Gary Freemer
Noncontacting infrared thermometers can be used in many applications that are too harsh or impractical for thermocouples and resistance temperature detectors. Understand their principles of operation and their advantages and limitations to select...

Minimize Enforcement Penalties

July
2001
Environmental Management
Jessica L. Idzerda
Identify possible New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration penalties by conducting an internal audit and disclosing potential violations.

Understanding Operating Data

October
2009
Back To Basics
Tony Cooper
Operating data offer valuable clues and are essential to managing and improving processes.However, they can also be misleading and hide the underlying issues.The principles and statistical tools presented here can help you make effective use of...

Estimate Emissions from Depressurization Activities

May
2002
Environmental Management
Jimmy Peress
Unlike other techniques, this method is applicable over a wide pressure range and in cases where the vapor pressure of the VOC approaches the operating pressure.

Test Your Incinerator Knowledge

February
2003
Environmental Management
Richard J. Martin
Do you feel like you're in the dark? Take this quiz to find out how much you know about thermal oxidizer selection and operation.

Create Business Value Through Process Modeling

September
2007
Management
Bernard McGarvey
As businesses strive to improve productivity, process modeling can be a powerful tool. This article explores the role of modeling in enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of process development and manufacturing.

Correctly Calculate the Potential to Emit

December
2001
Environmental Management
Janet Scheier
Determining maximum capacity and ensuring that permit limits are federally enforceable are critical to calculating PTE.

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.

Converting a Commercial Distillation Column into a Research Tower

July
2005
Reactions and Separations
Ralph Weiland
Operating a column under actual distillation conditions is important for obtaining commercially valid hydraulic data. This article describes how a column was modified to operate in either a production or a research mode to collect hydraulic and mass...

Understanding Sealing Solutions

July
2009
Back To Basics
Jim Drago, Matt Tones
The right seal can help a plant save money, eliminate leaks, and avoid safety problems. Here’s how to select and install gaskets for effective sealing.

Keeping the Competitive Edge

June
2007
Special Section
Lise Laurin
Applying the total cost assessment (TCA) methodology, which accounts for intangibles, provides a more complete evaluation of costs and benefits with the risks associated with them.

What’s New Then and Now - Part 1

November
2008
Centennial
Matthew McKeon-Slattery
This special products section looks at some of today’s equipment and service offerings alongside product write-ups and ads from the past.

Process Synthesis: Poised for a Wider Role

April
2001
On The Horizon
W. R. Johns
Software for generating process designs has made relatively limited inroads so far. But, it now is set to follow simulation and become a tool routinely used by chemical engineers.

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.

Audit Your New EHS Software System

October
2004
Environmental Management
Jill Barson Gilbert
A post-implementation audit of the environmental, health and safety management information system evaluates how well the software meets user needs and its value to the organization.

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.

Co-Inventors: Who Owns the Patent Rights?

June
2012
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
A joint invention arises from the combined efforts of two or more inventors. Once a patent is granted, however, the inventors do not necessarily share in the rewards.

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.

Applying Mass and Energy Balances to Spray Drying

December
2009
Back To Basics
Tim Langrish
Mass and energy balances are not just for process and equipment design. They can also be used to improve dryer operations by answering various “what-if” questions about temperatures, flowrates, and moisture contents. <br><br>
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