Chemicals & Materials

CEP: Material Matters - Preparing for Failure: A Top Ten List

January
2015
Material Matters
Robert McTamaney, Kirk Richardson
The Materials Technology Institute’s (MTI) recent Refiners Roundtable meeting included discussions on (among other topics) internal investigations into causes of significant failures and ways to improve process safety. Here are the top ten things your company should be doing.

CEP: News Update

December
2014
News Update
Fossil Fuels Inspire Clean-Hydrogen Catalyst; Organic Solar Cells Heat Up; Biomass Waste Gets Upgraded; New Technique Puts Catalysts on the Right Track; and more.

CEP: News Update

November
2014
News Update
AIChE’s Initial Placement Survey: Where is the Class of 2014?; Producing More Ethanol with Less-Sensitive Microbes; Stretchable Patch Provides First-Class Health Monitoring; New Drug Capsule Takes the Ouch Out of Injections; Hybrid Device Combines a Solar Cell and a Battery.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization: Producing Tailor-Made Polymers at the Commercial Scale

October
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
Today’s modern lifestyle demands highly functional products — from water-wicking fabrics and age-defying beauty products to patient-specific medicines and high-tech electronics — many of which rely on polymers. In turn, to meet these demands, manufacturers are asking for the ability to design and produce polymers with precise control over composition and architecture. Such sophisticated control, however, is not possible with the dominant incumbent technology, free-radical polymerization. Thanks to a process developed by Carnegie Mellon Univ. spin-out ATRP Solutions, creating the perfect polymer with exactly the right composition, size, and shape just got much easier.

CEP: Material Matters - Managing Aging Plants

October
2014
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
Many industrial plants currently operating around the world have already surpassed their design life expectancies. Despite the challenges they face, such as corrosion and new regulations, these operations continue to be productive. To maintain the status quo and continue operation, plant managers need to keep a watchful eye on every aspect of the facility, from inspection and maintenance programs to the bottom line. Of course, plant safety and the environment, both of which can rise to the top of an aging plant’s list of concerns, are always on their minds.

CEP: News Update

October
2014
News Update
Tiny Assembly Line Builds Organic Molecules One Side Group at a Time; Engineered Microbes Synthesize Bio-Propane; Buckyballs Boost Organic Solar Cell Efficiency; Masquerade Ball: Squid Skin Inspires a New Material; A Microbial Approach to Pain Management; Phase Change: Liquid Battery for Grid-Scale Storage; and more.

CEP: News Update

September
2014
News Update
The Science Behind the Breakthrough Ebola Treatment; Polymers Crystallize into Zeolite-Like Structures; Magnetic Attraction: New Material Guides Fluid Flow; MoS2 Pushes Graphene Aside for Fast DNA Sequencing; and more.

CEP: News Update

August
2014
News Update
New Materials Combine Ultralight Weight with Ultrahigh Strength; A Breakthrough for Redox Flow Batteries; Carbon Nanotubes Catalyze Inexpensive Hydrogen; Diabetes Microchip Is as Good as Gold; and more.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - An Inverse Approach to Materials Discovery and Design

August
2014
Journal Highlight
The success of many emerging technologies hinges on the discovery of new materials that exhibit a combination of desired properties. Identification, synthesis, and fabrication of suitable materials for these applications remain challenging, relying on resource-intensive exploratory science. A better approach might be to begin with the target macroscopic properties in mind and then systematically narrow the list of possible material precursors and synthetic methods through an optimization technique.

Manage Raw Material Supply Risks

September
2014
Critical Issues
Stephen Hung, Anthony Y. Ku
Some materials are more vulnerable to supply disruptions than others. Identify these materials and implement strategies to address challenges related to them.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Zeolites Lose a Dimension but Gain in Performance

July
2014
Journal Highlight
Zeolites are widely used in the chemical process industries as catalysts and adsorbents. While the unique pore structure of zeolites is beneficial, many long-standing challenges in catalysis, adsorption, and membrane separations, as well as in nontraditional applications in energy storage and electronic and optical materials, cannot be met with the currently available porous materials.

CEP: Material Matters - Understanding Polymer Weld Morphologies

July
2014
Material Matters
Heather Stine
Polymer and polymer-lined equipment has become more common in the chemical process industries (CPI) due to its cost-effective corrosion resistance in severe chemical service. Fluoropolymer-lined steel, high-density polyethylene (HDPE)-lined steel, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are examples of materials used for tanks, vessels, and other CPI equipment. Economic considerations demand that the life of this equipment be extended as long as is safely possible.

CEP: News Update

October
2013
News Update
Crunching the Numbers on Grid-Scale Storage; Microbes Convert Waste into Electricity; Solar Cells Make the Right Connection; Engineered Tissue Mingles with Blood Vessels; and more.

CEP: News Update

July
2014
News Update
Nanoparticles Detect Sulfur Content in Crude Oil; Putting Waste Heat to Work; New Process Prints Personalized Drugs; EPA to Cut CO2 from Power Plants; Microbes Convert Biodiesel Waste into Valuable Chemicals

CEP: News Update

June
2014
News Update
Plastics with a Circulatory System for Regeneration; A Smart Hydrogel Never Overstays its Welcome; Nanoparticle Drugs Deliver 1-2-3 Punch; and more

CEP: News Update

May
2014
News Update
Stick-On Health Tracker Twists, Stretches, and Bends; No Corn Needed: Ethanol Is Produced from CO; Engineered Bacteria Turn Switchgrass into Jet Fuel; Reversing Evolution Promises Cheaper Pharmaceuticals; and more.

Develop a Strategy for Material Selection

May
2014
Fluids and Solids Handling
Margaret W. Hunt
Although corrosion resistance is of paramount importance, many factors must be considered when selecting materials of construction. Follow this four-step process to identify the appropriate material for your application.

CEP: News Update

April
2014
News Update
How Well Are We Preparing ChE Students for Industry?; Climate FAQs: Science Academies Answer 20 Questions; Electronic Shrink Wrap Conforms to a Beating Heart; Biomass and Sunlight Cooperate to Produce Electricity; and more.

CEP: News Update

March
2014
News Update
Silicon Anode Gets a Fruity Makeover; New Anode Provides a Home for Plus-Sized Na+ Ions; A Flicker of Hope for Nonflammable Li-Ion Batteries; Bio-Inspired Glass Is Bendable; and more.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Zero-Emissions Magnesium Process Debuts

March
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
A process designed to lower the cost of magnesium metal, making it competitive with aluminum, has been an industry goal for over a century. Although magnesium metal makes up millions of today’s lightweight cell phone and laptop cases, its persistently high cost (twice that of aluminum today) has impeded broad, high-volume use in other areas, including the automobile industry. This could soon change, thanks to researchers at INFINIUM, based in Natick, MA, who have developed a low-cost, energy-efficient, zero-emissions process for making this lightweight, strong metal.

CEP: News Update

January
2014
News Update
Harmless Virus Helps Assemble Li-O2 Cathode for Batteries; A Sticky Solution for Tissue Engineering; Biopatch Catalyzes Bone Regeneration; Shape-Shifting Material Heats Up; and more

CEP: News Update

December
2013
News Update
Made-to-Order Materials Move Forward; 3D Photonic Crystal Stands Up to the Heat; Battery Electrode Acquires Self-Healing Power; GHG Emissions Decline as Power Plants Switch to Natural Gas; and more.

CEP: News Update

November
2013
News Update
Genetically Engineered Yeast Consume Toxic Byproduct; New Device Performs Double Duty; Simulations Shine Light on Future Solar Materials; Closing the Voltage Gap; and more.

CEP: Material Matters - Recognizing Corrosion

October
2013
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
As chemical processing plants and related facilities age, they typically develop problems with corrosion. Allowing deterioration to progress until a piece of equipment needs to be discarded and replaced — called the “run to failure” option — can be...

CEP: News Update

September
2013
News Update
Electronic Skin Lights Up When Touched; Nature-Inspired Windows Cool Themselves Down; First Commercial Production of Cellulosic Biofuel Begins; Water-Splitting Process Produces H2 Isothermally; and more

CEP: News Update

August
2013
News Update
Hot Off the Press: The World’s First 3D-Printed Battery; Nonmetal Compound Catalyzes CO2-to-Methanol Reaction; Iron Catalyst Gives Hydrogenation a Green Makeover; and more

CEP: News Update

July
2013
News Update
Inkjet-Printed Graphene Rolls Out; UV Treatment Improves Membrane Selectivity; Additive Sweetens the Prospects for Organic Electronics; Protective Coating Connects Electronics and Living Tissue; and more.

CEP: News Update

May
2013
News Update
Artificial Organs Hot Off the Press; Biofuel Byproducts and Concrete Mix It Up; Squid Inspires Material for Medical Implants; Polymer Chains Line Up to Provide High Performance; Ribbons of VO2 and Graphene Enable Ultrafast Batteries; and more.

CEP: News Update

April
2013
News Update
News Feature: Graphene Marches Down a Long Road to Commercialization A Stretchable, Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery Makes its Debut Defects Strengthen Magnesium Alloys Gold Lights the Way to Quantum-Dot Solar Cells Japan Taps into Fire Ice A Phase-...

CEP: Update

March
2013
News Update
Color-Shifting Fibers Take their Lead from Nature; Nanocapsules Target Cancer Cells without Harming Healthy Ones ; Graphene Straightens Out with Some Help from Copper; Silicon Made Easy for Batteries; and more.

CEP: Profile - A Chemical Engineering Powerhouse

February
2013
Profile
I like to think of myself as an engineer with an ability to bring various disciplines together to tackle tough challenges,” says Narayan Ramesh, Associate R&D Director at Dow Solar, and recipient of AIChE’s inaugural Industrial Progress Award...

CEP: News Update

February
2013
News Update
Now Available: High-Performance Carbon Nanotube Fibers; Nanowire-Based Solar Cell Achieves Record Performance; Fireflies Share Their Light Tricks with LEDs; Tissue Adhesives Are Inspired by the Prickly Porcupine; New Coating Shields Against Nearly All Liquids; and more.

CEP: News Update

January
2013
News Update
Global Relationships Take Center Stage at the 2012 Annual Meeting; No Boiling Needed: Nanoparticles Convert Sunlight into Steam; Hydrogen Power Goes Mobile; Carbon Nanotubes Team Up with Graphene; New Process Brings Bendable Electronics Closer to Reality; and more.

CEP: Material Matters - A Better, Faster Way to Test FRP

January
2013
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
Users of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) in the chemical process industries (CPI) have long recognized the limitations of the test protocol currently used to determine material compatibility, ASTM C581, Standard Practice for Determining Chemical...

CEP: Update

December
2012
News Update
Oxide Catalysts Get Selective; New Catalyst Challenges Platinum; Quick-Release Tape Peels with Ease; Electronic Skin Mimics the Human Epidermis

CEP: News Update

November
2012
News Update
Magic Act: Electronics Disappear into their Surroundings; New Material Boasts World-Record Efficiency; Brain Cancer Studies Point to a Bio-Based Route to Nylon; Nickel Misbehaves in Li-ion Batteries, Solar Energy Gets Mixed Up

CEP: News Update

October
2012
News Update
New Battery Takes Charge of its Power; Nanomaterial Reversibly Stores Hydrogen; Nanoparticles Sneak Past the Brain’s Armor ; and more

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...

Bio-Based Materials Step into the Operating Room

September
2012
On The Horizon
Sujata K. Bhatia, M.D., P.E.
A new class of implantable medical materials — constructed from naturally derived and renewably sourced polymers — is poised to transform clinical medicine.

CEP: News Update

September
2012
News Update
Slippery Surface Is Too Slick for Bacterial Films; New Materials Put the Brakes on Infection; ITO Flexes Its Muscles; Control Wrinkles with this Simple Method; and more

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...

CEP: News Update

August
2012
News Update
Updates Include: The Natural Gas Debate Continues Smart Material Stays Cool in the Heat Firefly-Semiconductor Hybrid Lights Up Ionic Liquid Improves Hydrogen-Producing Catalyst One-Pot Synthesis Yields Zeolites at Bargain Prices High-Carbon Diet...

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.

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...

Hydrogen: Liability or Asset?

September
2002
Reactions and Separations
Dennis Vauk, Ian Moore, Nick  Hallale
In a petroleum refinery, viewing hydrogen as an asset rather than a liability can lead to increased profits. The key is in the mindset. A typical investor uses money to make money. This article shows you how to use hydrogen to make money.

Selecting Corrosion-Resistant Materials

December
2006
Materials
Francesco Picciotti, Marcello Picciotti
This article looks at some common corrosion-resistant alloys and gasket materials that are available for use in applications with high pressures and temperatures.

Exploring New Paradigms for Bioprocessing

July
2009
SBE Special Section
Jonathan Monk
Disruptive technologies, such as disposable bioreactors, metabolic ?ux models, and glycoengineered yeast, could change the face — and pace — of biomanufacturing.

Clarifying Centrifuge Operation and Selection

August
2004
Fluids and Solids Handling
Victor Norton ,  William Wilkie
Before selecting a centrifuge for your application, understand its principles of operation and investigate the key process variables.

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).

Streamlining the Validation Process

March
2007
Management
Tim Flanigan, Robert Mackey
Today, validation is no longer an afterthought for the design and construction of a new or renovated process or facility. It is, in fact, recognized as an integral part of the total project. Fully integrated services are now available to ensure a...

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.

Form Nanoparticles via Controlled Crystallization

October
2008
Reactions and Separations
Robert J. Fisher, Thomai Panagiotou
This continuous bottom-up approach allows precise control of the crystallization process to achieve size, distribution and quality goals, as well as realize the benefits of process intensification.

Fermentation Goes Large-Scale

January
2003
Special Section
Aristos Aristidou , J. J. Hahn , Pim van Hoek , Alex Patist
Designing an economically competitive and environmentally sustainable fermentation route means considering the downstream separations needed to capture the final product during the initial process design.

Save Energy Through Automation

January
2010
Instrumentation
Douglas C. White
Identifying the right automation investments — those with low costs and high impacts — can result in millions of dollars in energy savings for petrochemical plants. <br>

Innovations in Food Processing

March
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
B. G. Swanson, M. F. San Martín, G. V.  Barbosa-Cánovas
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...

An Introduction to Immunity and Vaccines

November
2011
SBE Special Section
Derek Lapiska
An understanding of the basic approach to creating vaccines, as well as how vaccines confer immunity, is essential to developing safe and cost-effective formulations.

Properly Select Equipment for SIP Systems

August
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
Tony George
Sterilization-in-place (SIP) systems are essential to the operation of many pharmaceutical and biotech facilities. This article reviews design considerations, selection criteria and performance expectations for control valves, regulators, isolation...

Choose Materials for High-Temperature Environments

February
2001
Materials
Peter  Elliott
High temperatures, stresses, and the presence of elements such as oxygen, sulfur, or the halogens can add up to trouble. Here is how to screen candidate alloys for such service.
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