Chemical Engineering Practice

Use Multivariable Transmitters to Improve Flow Measurement

October
2010
Instrumentation
Nathan D. Stokes
Advances in multivariable transmitters allow more-accurate and more-repeatable flow measurements to be made over a wide range of conditions. Here’s how to select the device with the right capabilities for your applications.

Avoid Pitfalls in Evaluating Catalyst Performance

July
2001
Reactions and Separations
Daniel G. Loffler
Age and life are not suitable parameters to compare catalyst performance. The proper ones are the rate of reaction and the rate of deactivation.

Capital Spending in the Chemical Industry

January
2011
Chem Economics
T. Kevin Swift
Understand the economic state of the chemical industry and trends in capital investment to make wise corporate-spending decisions.

Determining Manufacturing Costs

January
2009
Back To Basics
John Anderson
Making early estimates of a product's cost components enables developers to manage resources wisely and evaluate the product's economic viability.

Virtualizing Your Process Control Computers

January
2012
Instrumentation
Paul Hodge
By employing the latest virtualization solutions for process control systems, chemical plants can reduce PC hardware requirements, simplify system management, and lower the total cost of ownership, as well as improve site availability, reliability,...

Prepare Your Cooling System Before Startup

July
2012
Heat Transfer
Paul R. Puckorius
Pre-startup actions such as initial water treatment and equipment coatings in cooling tower water systems can increase system life expectancy and efficiency, and reduce corrosion and fouling.

Exposing Coriolis Mass Flowmeters' Dirty Little Secrets

March
2004
Instrumentation
James R. Reizner
Coriolis technology appears to be the perfect technology. But, upon closer inspection, a key flaw is revealed - the inability to accurately and consistently measure two-phase flow and aerated liquids.

Process Simulation from the Ground Up

April
2009
Back To Basics
David Hill
Today's process simulators produce graphical, data-filled and detailed results that can improve the effectiveness of the engineers who use them.

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.

Chemical Engineering Faculty Directory: 2009-2010

December, 2009
This faculty directory lists the contact information of all the faculty members, placement administrators, and student organizations of almost 500 worldwide universities and technical institutes offering chemical engineering curricula. This offers a comprehensive reference tool that is unique and...

Practical Process Control: Tuning and Troubleshooting

December, 2009
Practical Process Control (loop tuning and troubleshooting). This book differs from others on the market in several respects. First, the presentation is totally in the time domain (the word "LaPlace" is nowhere to be found). The focus of the book is actually troubleshooting, not tuning. If a...

Basic Process Measurements

June, 2009
A unique resource for process measurement Basic Process Measurements provides a unique resource explaining the industrial measuring devices that gauge such key variables as temperature, pressure, density, level, and flow. With an emphasis on the most commonly installed technologies, this guide...

Fluid Flow for the Practicing Chemical Engineer

June, 2009
This book teaches the fundamentals of fluid flow by including both theory and the applications of fluid flow in chemical engineering. It puts fluid flow in the context of other transport phenomena such as mass transfer and heat transfer, while covering the basics, from elementary flow mechanics to...

Thermodynamics for the Practicing Engineer

June, 2009
Thermodynamics for the Practicing Engineer, as the title suggests, is written for all practicing engineers and anyone studying to become one. Its focus therefore is on applications of thermodynamics, addressing both technical and pragmatic problems in the field. Readers are provided a solid base in...

Crystallization of Organic Compounds: An Industrial Perspective

May, 2009
Filled with industrial examples emphasizing the practical applications of crystallization methodologies Based on the authors' hands-on experiences as process engineers at Merck, Crystallization of Organic Compounds guides readers through the practical aspects of crystallization. It uses plenty of...

The Yoga of Process Development

AIChE Annual Meeting
Nov 17, 2008
Process Development is analogous to Yoga. It is a ‘Yoga' – a disciplined process for integrating the essential components to create a vision of the ‘...

Chemical Engineering Faculty Directory: 2006-2007

February, 2007
This one of a kind directory conveniently lists the contact information for chemical engineering faculty members, department heads, academic advisors, student organization advisors, and placement officers at over 450 Universities worldwide. The directory's easy-to-use format lists chemical...

Chemical Engineering Faculty Directory: 2005-2006

January, 2006
This faculty directory lists the contact information of all the faculty members, placement administrators, and student organizations of almost 500 worldwide universities and technical institutes offering chemical engineering curricula.

Spray Dryers: A Guide to Performance Evaluation, 2nd Edition

August, 2004
Spray Dryers: A Guide to Performance Evaluation, Second Edition discusses the reasons for spray drying. These reasons are usually to produce a product with certain desired properties or with better efficiency than other methods. The book discusses how to plan in light of these objectives and gives...

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.

Harness Electricity to Operate Valves

June
2012
Back To Basics
Justin Ledger
Actuators automate valves by converting an input signal into motion. This article explains the basics of electric actuator design and explores the different types of electric actuators.

Reduce Unplanned Shutdowns

September
2003
Instrumentation
Cindy Scott
Today's intelligent devices are equipped with modern alarm technology that enables speedy delivery of critical information to key personnel, thus enhancing efficiency and minimizing downtime.

Optimize Energy Use in Distillation

March
2012
Reactions and Separations
Douglas C. White
Nonlinearities in the response of a column to changes in operating conditions and in common economic valuation functions can have significant impacts on the economic optimum energy consumption for the column. Here’s a way to account for such...

The Case for Double Mechanical Seals

June
2009
Back To Basics
Jack Berg
Using double mechanical seals as part of thermoplastic pumps can prevent costly downtime and environmental damage.

Physical and Chemical Equilibrium for Chemical Engineers

April, 2012
This book concentrates on the topic of physical and chemical equilibrium. Using the simplest mathematics along with numerous numerical examples it accurately and rigorously covers physical and chemical equilibrium in depth and detail. It continues to cover the topics found in the first edition...

Working with Non-Ideal Gases

March
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Jimmy Peress
Here are two proven methods for predicting gas compressibility factors.

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.

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.

Increase Powder Flow via Gas Injection

July
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Herman Purutyan, John W. Carson, Thomas G. Troxel
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.

Use Model-Predictive Control to Improve Distillation Operations

January
2008
Instrumentation
Daniel R. Webb, Robert D. Rounding, Robert J. Conroy, Umesh Mathur
This methodology, based on steady-state and dynamic simulation, can be used to develop the necessary models— and avoid disruptive and costly step testing to the extent feasible.

Choosing Specialty Metals for Corrosion-Sensitive Equipment

July
2010
Back To Basics
Dean Gambale
Specialty metals should be considered for processes that push beyond the corrosion limits of steel. New composites and surface alloy technologies expand the options for defending against corrosion.

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.

Burning Bright: Trends in Process Integration

July
2001
Process Development
Nick  Hallale 
Process integration has a far wider scope and touches every area of process design. Industries are making more money from their raw materials and capital assets, while becoming cleaner and more sustainable.

Accurately Predict the VLE of Thiol-Hydrocarbon Mixtures

September
2004
Reactions and Separations
Chorng H. Twu, Vince Tassone, Wayne Sim
This methodology can be used to calculate vapor-liquid equilibria (VLE) between thiols and hydrocarbons at any composition, temperature or pressure to improve gasoline fractionation processes.

The G-Value for Agitator Design: Time to Retire It?

March
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gregory T. Benz
This commonly used number does not correctly address the influence of viscosity, and has no relationship to performance parameters such as fluid velocity and blend time. This article recommends actual measures of agitator performance that should be...

Minimize Mechanical Integrity Budget Battles

February
2011
Safety
Daniel A. Long, P.E., Jack McCavit
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.

Take the Tedium Out of Writing Process Descriptions

February
2001
Instrumentation
Michael J. Gentilcore
Setting up a special function and a shorthand system on a spreadsheet can improve the descriptions needed for implementing a process control system, while minimizing the monotony in writing them.

Modeling Production-Chain Information

February
2005
Information Technology
Jeffrey D. Kelly
Data alone is not information. Use this model to transform data into vital information for decision making.

Modeling Reactive Absorption

January
2009
Reactions and Separations
Eugeny Kenig, Panos Seferlis
Effective modeling of reactive absorption enhances system design, improves experiment planning for parameter-estimation, and facilitates process operation and control decisions.

Preventing Maldistribution in Multi-Pass Trays

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

Analyzing APC Performance

August
2002
Instrumentation
To reap the most benefit from an advanced process control (APC) system, users need to know how to analyze and monitor the APC's performance.

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

May
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Christopher Henry , Robert J. Wilkens,  Lew E. Gates
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...

What’s the Price of Steam?

July
2005
Heat Transfer
Petar Varbanov , 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.

Reshaping the Structure of Fluidized Beds

July
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
J. Ruud van Ommen, John Nijenhuis, Marc-Olivier Coppens
Adding structure to a gas-solid fluidized-bed reactor changes the system’s hydrodynamics and can improve performance.

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.

Process Control for Microreactors

August
2001
Instrumentation
Don  Humbert, Lech  Znamirowski, Olgierd A. Palusinski, Sarma Vrudhula
Field-programmable analog arrays coupled with microreactor technology promise to change the way plants are built, as well as the methods by which their processes are designed and controlled.

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.

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.

Efficiently Solve Complex Calculations

October
2003
Information Technology
Mordechai Shacham, Neima Brauner ,  Michael B. Cutlip
Reduce the chances of computational errors by following this technique, which combines the use of a standard spreadsheet with a numerical software package.

Optimizing Batch Operations

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

Tools to Model Multiphase Separation

June
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
David Connolly, Saeid Mokhatab, Timothy Newton
The flow fields in multiphase separators are often extremely complicated, making it difficult to model such systems. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and visual dynamic modeling (VDM) can be used together to overcome some of the challenges.
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