Chemical Engineering Practice

Prevent Caking During Solids Handling

May
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Brian H. Pittenger, Gabriel I. Tardos , 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...

Obtain the Best Physical Property Data

May
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Kevin G. Joback
Physical property values are essential for many chemical engineering tasks. This article reviews sources of physical property data, discusses the use of experimental methods to measure properties, and details several types of estimation techniques.

Nitrogen: A Security Blanket for the Chemical Industry

November
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Bill Carlson, Joe Dumoit, Paul Yanisko, Shiying Zheng
The benefits of nitrogen blanketing include improved process safety, better product quality, and longer equipment life. Here's how to achieve the desired safety or quality results while minimizing costs.

Innovations in Food Processing

March
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
B. G. Swanson, G. V.  Barbosa-Cánovas, M. F. San Martín
Today's savvy consumers want processed foods to look freshly prepared, while still meeting all safety requirements. Conventional thermal treatments are inadequate to fulfill this demand. New nonthermal techniques, such as pulsed-electric fields, are...

Simulating Aqueous Processes

September
2003
Reactions and Separations
Joel B. Christian
Simulation that includes aqueous modeling can also account for full vapor/liquid/solid equilibria modeling, including redox chemistry.

Integrate EHS for Better Process Design

February
2002
Process Development
Lisa Bendixen
Get a jump on process development by addressing environmental, health and safety (EHS) issues together early in the design and development cycle. The result will be a better process and lower costs.

Can We Believe the Simulation Results?

October
2002
Reactions and Separations
Henry Z. Kister
Be careful of these key issues that may generate differences between a distillation-tower simulation and its actual performance. Simulations do not always square with nuts-and-bolts reality.

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.

Avoid Problems in Process Water Systems

October
2007
Heat Transfer
Marilyn W. Blaschke, Roger D. Metzler
Prevent corrosion, emulsification and fouling by implementing these operational and chemical measures.

Examining X-Ray Technology

March
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Ray Spurgeon
Use X-ray inspection to see whether your product is contaminant-free and packaged properly.

The Flange Factor in Gasket Selection

September
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Dave Burgess, John Crandall
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.

Run Clean with Dry Vacuum Pumps

October
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
Jim  Ryans, Joe  Bays
The use of dry pumps is growing, replacing workhorse steam jets and liquid-ring pumps. Here is a comprehensive selection guide.

Track Condenser Performance

February
2003
Heat Transfer
Brad Buecker
An effective monitoring program can extend equipment life, improve operations, and yield substantial energy savings.

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...

Dynamic Capacity Modeling of Product Development

July
2004
Information Technology
Brian E. Hartman, Jospeh S. Alford Jr., Prashant B. Kokitkar
Avoid large work queues by proactively anticipating the resource needs of your company using dynamic capacity models.

A Simple Approach to Vapor Pressure Prediction

January
2007
Reactions and Separations
Andrew J. DeDoes, Matthew D. Goetz, Michael J. Misovich
This method reproduces the vapor pressure predictions of the Soave-Redlich-Kwong and Peng-Robinson equation of state with a simple Antoine equation that uses constants derived from critical properties and the acentric factor.

Computational Science: Enabling Technology Development

January
2011
On The Horizon
Anthony Cugini, Chris Guenther, Jinghai Li, Madhava Syamlal, Ning Yang, Wei Ge, Wei Wang
Computational science will play a key role in accelerating technology development and in the realization of virtual process engineering.

Optimize Heat Exchanger Cleaning Schedules

June
2001
Heat Transfer
Brendan R. O'Donnel, Bruce A. Barna, Chris D. Gosling
Get the most out of your heat exchanger by evaluating the trade-offs between a one-time expenditure and reduced operating expenses, increased income, and/or longer operating life span. Brendan R. O'Donnell - Bruce A. Barna - Chris D. Gosling -

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.

Matching Your Process Constraints Using Dynamic Simulation

December
2003
Information Technology
Iban Grau, Jose J. Macias-Hernandez, Miquel A. Alos
A rigorous dynamic process simulator can be used to evaluate alternative control strategies for an exothermic reacting process in order to improve its safety and product quality.

Designing Experiments for the Modern Micro Industries

February
2006
Computational Methods
Phillip H. Williams
Although the sparsity of effects principle is still good advice, we need to be careful of emphasizing it too much -- to the point that it becomes an assumed practice, rather than a useful rule of thumb.

Find Mixing Success Through Failures - Part 2

December
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
David S. Dickey, Gary K. Patterson
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.

Understand the Real World of Mixing

March
2010
Back To Basics
Thomas Post
Most chemical engineering curricula do not adequately address mixing as it is commonly practiced in the chemical process industries. This article attempts to fill in the gaps by explaining flow patterns, mixing techniques, and the turbulent,...

Don’t Let Baffle Tray Flood Baffle You

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

Applying Bus Technologies in Process Control

December
2002
Instrumentation
Ed Smigo
Fieldbus technologies have become increasingly popular in process control applications. This article highlights the practical applications and economics of various buses, so that an engineer can choose the best one for his or her process.

Understand Temperature Change in Process Stream Mixing

September
2006
Heat Transfer
Anil K. Mehrotra, Dharmendra Tiwary
The isobaric and adiabatic mixing of process streams can yield an outlet stream temperature that is either in between, higher than, or lower than the inlet stream temperatures. This article uses simulation to explore temperature-change scenarios in...

Use Spreadsheets to Estimate Modeling Parameters

February
2008
Computational Methods
Tomas B. Co
Dynamic process modeling based on non-uniformly sampled data and multiple sampling runs, even for nonlinear systems, can be performed using spreadsheet implementations of the weighted-least-squares (WLSQ) and Runge-Kutta WLSQ methods.

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.

Understand Thermodynamics to Improve Process Simulations

December
2011
Computational Methods
David Hill, Fred C. Justice, P.E.
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.

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.

Understand Flow Patterns in Glass-Lined Reactors

November
2004
Reactions and Separations
Christopher J. Ramsey, David S. Dickey, Keith E. Johnson , Kevin J. Bittorf
Physical modeling and computer simulation provide insights into the performance of a glass-lined reactor.

Safely Handle Powdered Solids

December
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Daniel E. Silva, Robert Zalosh, Russell Kahn, Stanley S. Grossel
Understand some of the accident scenarios that result in dust explosions, and follow these suggestions for preventing them.

Improving Heat Exchanger Designs

April
2007
Heat Transfer
Christopher A. Bennett, David C. King, R. Stanley Kistler, Thomas G. Lestina
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.

Validate Your Engineering Software!

July
2001
Instrumentation
Michael  Tanzio
You really can't guarantee that applications work correctly unless you take specific steps to validate the software.

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,...

Guidelines for Selecting Sterilizing-Grade Filters

March
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Monica Cardona, Philip Blosse
Determine if your bioprocess needs a sterilizing grade filter, and if so, use these guidelines to select the proper one for your application.

Succeed at Catalyst Scale-Up

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

Determine the Right Eye Protection

September
2011
Safety
Harry J. Elston
Wearing the appropriate protective eyewear begins with a thorough safety assessment. These guidelines clarify how to identify hazards and select protective equipment to avoid eye injuries.

Basics of Centrifugal Pump Selection

May
2002
Fluids and Solids Handling
Bernadette Pyzdrowski, Drew B. Schiller, Kimberly Fernandez, Michael B. Smith
Tips for specification and operation that provide for cost-effectiveness and reliability.

Screw Feeders: A Guide to Selection and Use

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

Troubleshooting Tangential Flow Filtration

June
2003
Reactions and Separations
Kent Iverson
Tangential flow filtration (TFF) is commonly used to concentrate and dialyze solutes. It generally involves the circulation of the feed solution over a filter surface. This article presents a brief overview of the principles governing TFF, and...

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...

Choose the Right Elastomer

June
2008
Materials
William M. Stahl
Match a material's performance to process conditions to reduce leaks, improve safety and extend the mean time between failures (MTBF).

Improve Flange Joint Reliability

January
2011
Back To Basics
John Ludman, Mike Emery, Thomas Sandbrook
Proper design, installation, and maintenance of flanged connection systems can prevent loss of containment and process interruptions. Follow this seven-step approach to ensure reliability of this critical process equipment.

Inhibiting and Monitoring Corrosion

March
2012
Heat Transfer
Gary Geiger, Mel J. Esmacher, P.E.
Understand corrosion and ways to control it, and implement these monitoring techniques to improve cooling water system efficiency and reliability and reduce energy consumption.

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

Evaluating Dryers for New Services

December
2003
Heat Transfer
Charles G. Moyers
Continuous dryers are accurately and easily evaluated using laboratory-scale simulators combined with the specific drying rate approach.

Effectively Manage the Lifecycle of a Product

July
2007
Information Technology
Baha Korkmaz, Marty Martin
By incorporating the batch standards S88 and S95 into the entire product lifecycle, companies can optimize their processes and project management. This enables them to rapidly get their products to market — a critical factor in staying competitive.

Minimize Scale-Up Risk

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

Reduce Piloting Time and Cost

July
2011
Process Development
David A. Berg, Michael T. Cleary
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.

Optimize Pipeline Design for Non-Newtonian Fluids

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

Implementing an EHS Management Information System

May
2004
Information Technology
Jill Barson Gilbert
Information technology issues are just as important as business and environmental, health and safety considerations. Follow these ten tips to deply an effective EMIS with a positive return on investment.

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.

Predicting Emissivities of Combustion Gases

June
2009
Heat Transfer
Alireza Bahadori, Hari B. Vuthaluru
Use this new correlation, which employs easy-to-solve algebraic equations to estimate gas emissivities, to simplify the design and optimization of boilers, furnaces and other combustion equipment.

Learn to Effectively Operate and Maintain Pumps

December
2011
Back To Basics
Daniel Kernan
Centrifugal pumps play a central role in chemical processing. Proper pump operation and maintenance can improve a facility's productivity, reduce downtime, and trim costs.

Uncovering the Realities of Simulation

May
2001
Computational Methods
Andrew  Vieler, Marco S. Satyr, Oscar  Santollani , Rajeev  Agarwal, Yau-Kun Li
Running sophisticated process simulations does not guarantee correct results. You need to understand the thermodynamic assumptions underlying the program and how to ensure proper applications.

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-

Profiting From Your Pumping System

September
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Aimee McKane  , Vestal Tutterow,  Don Casada
Identify ways to minimize the lifecycle costs of your pumping system
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