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Center for Energy Initiatives (CEI)

The Center for Energy Initiatives is an AIChE Industry Technology Group devoted to the development, design and efficient use of energy by chemical engineers and related professionals.

Shale Gas Resource Page

February 14, 2013
To help AIChE members better understand and better communicate about shale gas, the Public Affairs & Information Committee has helped curate valuable shale gas resources.

Energy related Communities

AIChE communities that address energy-related topics include: Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Division Environmental Division Fuels & Petrochemicals Division Nuclear Engineering Division Process Development Division Sustainability Engineering Forum Transport and Energy Processes Division Research and New Technology Committee See all Divisions & Forums and Committees

A Century of Petrochemical Advances

Conference Presentation
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 8:30am
This session will focus on advances in the petrochemical industry, past, present, and future. The beginnings of the petrochemical industry date back...

Navigating Oil Price Volatility

January
2016
Business
David Burns, Jason McLinn, Mark Porter
After several years of stability, oil prices plummeted to record lows in mid-2014. This, along with increased natural gas production in North America, has radically changed the basic economics of the chemical industry.

The Global Coal Death-Spiral Picks Up Speed

March 30, 2016
Last year the world began to decisively shift away from using coal to produce electricity. This reached a symbolic climax last week when Scotland shut down its last coal-fired...

Consider a Career in the Water Industry

January 20, 2016
Although not a traditional career route for chemical engineers, the water industry is a broad field that can offer both challenges and rewards.

The Saudi Oil Glut's Winners and Losers

March 18, 2016
Speaking to a packed auditorium during CERAWeek in Houston, Texas, Saudi Arabia's oil minister laid out the oil crash's cruel math for industry CEOs: first of all, the great oil...

My Neighborhood Radioactive Waste Dump

February 22, 2016
Like so many of us, I jog through my neighborhood in pursuit of 10,000 steps a day. My urban journey through Queens, NY, is a slow blur of delis, liquor marts, and grocery stores...

Biorefinery Process Economics

October
2005
SBE Special Section
Gregory M. Bohlmann
With oil and natural gas prices surging, bio-based feedstocks are becoming increasingly competitive. This article examines, in depth, the technical and economic aspects of the biorefinery concept.

Massive Porter Ranch Gas Leak a Cautionary Tale

February 12, 2016
Months of chaos, fear, and the smell of rotten eggs came to an end at Porter Ranch in Los Angeles on Thursday, once crews digging a relief well finally pierced the deep,...

Technical Entity Trends: Reducing GHGs through CCUS

February
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Derrick Wu
With a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C above preindustrial levels, representatives from 195 countries met in Paris last year for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The participants negotiated the Paris...

US Navy Green Fleet Makes Biofuels the New Normal

January 29, 2016
The US Navy's biofuel program has just launched a great success with the Great Green Fleet, which is fueled with a drop-in blend of biofuel from beef tallow and petroleum-based...

January 2016 CEP Preview

January 15, 2016
BUSINESS Navigating Oil Price Volatility After several years of stability, oil prices plummeted to record lows in mid-2014. This, along with increased natural gas production in...

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage - Technology Integration Challenges

August
2011
Special Section
Jared P. Ciferno, John J. Marano, Ronald K. Munson
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be an important part of the transition to lower-carbon energy sources. However, widespread integration of CCS with existing power-generation plants and technologies — on a commercial scale and in a cost-...

Oil May Have Crashed but Renewables Set New Record

January 19, 2016
Anyone worried that the low prices hobbling oil explorers may have clobbered renewables too — especially wind and solar — can relax. Cooler heads prevailed once the message sunk...

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage - Navigating the Legal Landscape

August
2011
Special Section
Arnold W. Reitze Jr., Mary Ellen Ternes
A legal framework governing carbon sequestration will need to be put in place before major carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects can get underway. A final rule issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act sets minimum requirements, but this is just...

Technical Entity Trends: Welcome to the TENT

January
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Alexander, Derrick Wu
Welcome to Technical Entity Trends (TENT), a new monthly CEP column written by the staff of AIChE’s Technical Entities (TEs). The TEs are communities of chemical engineers and other professionals that address some of society’s grand challenges:...

Shell's Prelude FLNG Completes Major Construction

January 22, 2016
Shell has sent out a video update as its revolutionary Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project winds up major construction in Samsung’s Geoje shipyard in South Korea...

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage - Demonstrating CCS Integration

August
2011
Special Section
Richard A. Esposito, Nick Irvin, P.E., P.G.
The largest, fully integrated process for separating CO2 from fluegas and compressing it to a supercritical fluid, transporting the CO2 by pipeline, and injecting the CO2 into a saline reservoir is now underway at the Plant Barry generating station...

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage (Full 24-Page Supplement)

August
2011
Special Section
Daniel Brantley, Jared P. Ciferno, Richard A. Esposito, Nick Irvin, Arnold W. Reitze, Jr., John J. Marano, Ronald K. Munson, John Shafer, Mary Ellen Ternes
Technology Integration Challenges; Navigating the Legal Landscape; Characterizing a Geologic Formation; Demonstrating CCS Integration

Incandescent Bulb Reengineered for Efficiency

January 12, 2016
Researchers have found a way to funnel some of the incandescent bulb's wasted energy back into light production, boosting efficiency to a level that is comparable with current...

Green Chemistry and Engineering: A Pathway to Sustainability

November, 2013
Green Chemistry and Engineering presents the green approach as an essential tool for tacking problems in chemistry. This text covers introductory concepts in general, organic, inorganic, and analytical chemistry as well as biochemistry.

Special Section - Energy: Smart Grid (Full 26-Page Supplement)

August
2014
Special Section
Bond Calloway, Donald Chmielewski, Xiaoming Feng, Girish Ghatikar, Iiro Harjunkoski, David M. Heitzer, Sila Kiliccote, Nathan Mancha, Mary Ann Piette, Ernst Scholtz
Smart Grid: The Basics - What? Why? Who? How?; You Are Not Alone; Implementing Automated Demand Response; Industry Meets the Smart Grid

General Motors' Private War on Coal

December 28, 2015
Several years ago, General Motors made a deal to turn Detroit municipal waste into steam, which helped to power one of its local plants in 2014. But that's just one facet of GM's...

Energy Research: Following the Money

July
2010
Special Section
Bond Calloway
Surveys of the energy-related papers presented at AIChE’s annual meetings shed light on the funding pathways for energy research by chemical engineers.

Special Section: Energy - Shale Gas [Full Supplement]

August
2012
Special Section
Jesse F. Goellner, William Liss, Stephen A. Holditch, P.E., Trevor Smith, Mary Ellen Ternes
The production of natural gas from shale formations is one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. oil and gas industry today.

Bringing a Star to Earth

April
2009
Special Section
Jan Berry, Bond Calloway
An international R&D effort to build a fusion reactor and demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power is underway.

Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

December
2012
Alan Rossiter, Veerasamy Venkatesan
Managing the energy consumption of a process does not need to be complicated. This article presents some examples of less-complicated strategies.

Special Section: Natural Gas - The Energy Outlook

August
2015
Special Section
E Nicholas Jones, Todd W. Onderdonk, Lynne D. Taschner
Natural gas production is projected to grow in almost all regions of the world, with demand coming from the electric power generation, industrial, and transportation markets.

Working with Tight Oil

April
2015
Back To Basics
Timothy Olsen
Crude oil derived from shale plays is less expensive and more readily available than traditional crudes, but it poses unique challenges to refiners.

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.

Canada Ready to Change Course on Climate Change

December 9, 2015
A breakthrough in the Paris climate talks suddenly seemed possible a year ago, after President Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping — representing the world's biggest polluters —...

Special Section: Energy (Full 32-Page Supplement)

October
2013
Special Section
Michelle Bryner, Gerry M. Clarke, Andrew N. Jansen, Avani Patel, Robert Spotnitz
Lithium-Ion Batteries: The Basics; Raw Material Considerations; Component Materials; Endless Uses

Nuclear Waste Policy in the United States

July
2010
Special Section
Bond Calloway, Sarah Widder
The current U.S. reactor fleet produces 2,100–2,400 ton/yr of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). After 50-plus years of nuclear power generation, 64,000 tons of SNF has accumulated in temporary storage at the reactor sites. How did we get where we are, and...

Special Section: Natural Gas - Chemical Synthesis

August
2015
Special Section
John Marano, James Spivey, Bryan Morreale
Plentiful, low-cost natural gas will invigorate the chemicals industry over the next decade, as producers look to increase the role of natural gas as a feedstock in established processes, as well as develop new processes to convert methane into chemicals currently derived from petroleum.

CNG Cars May Soon Have a Smart New Alternative

December 8, 2015
Jeffery Long, professor of chemistry and chemical and bimolecular engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues have devised a space-efficient natural-gas...

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.

Special Section: Natural Gas - Transportation

August
2015
Special Section
Donald Anton, Claudio Corgnale, Bruce Hardy, Martin Sulic, David Tamburello
Development of natural gas as a fuel for light-duty vehicles will require innovative methods of onboard storage. One option under investigation is the use of adsorbents.

Special Section: Energy - Lithium-Ion Batteries

October
2013
Special Section
Michelle Bryner
Batteries are being asked to meet daunting performance requirements that could soon be pushing up against the limits of existing battery technologies. Portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-scale storage require high energy density and power, low cost, and safety.

Producing Fuels and Chemicals from Lignocellulosic Biomass

August
2008
SBE Special Section
Mark Holtzapple, Rocio Sierra, Aaron Smith, Cesar Granda and Mark T. Holtzapple
As oil and natural gas prices rise, lignocellulosic biomass becomes a viable feedstock for the fuel and chemical industries— provided key issues are addressed.
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