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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

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.

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.

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...

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...

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:...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 (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

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.

How Desalination Created Modern Qatar

December 16, 2015
Imagine a country with abundant energy — primarily gas and oil — but lacking almost any drinking water (ground or surface), which is essential for the cities, infrastructure, and...

Succeed at Process Integration

January
2004
Career Catalyst
Alan P. 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.

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.

Make Your Plant More Energy-Efficient

December
2005
Heat Transfer
Alan P. Rossiter
Improve energy management by optimizing current equipment and operations, implementing economic investments, and engaging in sustaining activities.

Algal Biofuels: The Research

March
2011
SBE Special Section
Kuan-Chen Cheng, Kimberly Ogden
The individual technical elements of the algae-to-biofuels process have already been demonstrated at the laboratory scale. Ongoing research seeks to refine the technology to enable scaleup to commercial production.

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.

What are Chemical Engineers Doing About Energy?

March
2008
Special Section
Bond Calloway
The first annual energy survey conducted by AIChE's Research and New Technology Committee provides insights into the energy-related research of chemical engineers.

The ChE's Role in Energy Research and Technology

April
2009
Special Section
Bond Calloway
Surveys of the energy-related papers presented at AIChE's annual meetings provide insights into the role of chemical engineers in energy science and engineering.

Meeting the Needs of the Water-Energy Nexus

April
2011
Critical Issues
Snehal Desai , David A. Klanecky
Water is required to produce energy, and energy is required to make use of water — the two are, and always will be, inextricably linked. Engineers must understand the water-energy nexus in order to manage both efficiently and sustainably.

SBE Special Section: Lignocellulosic Biofuels - Full 32-Page Supplement

March
2015
SBE Special Section
Tristan R. Brown, Robert Brown, Sergio C. Capareda, Bruce E. Dale, David Edwards, Vonnie Estes, Cesar Granda, Mark Holtzapple, Sagar Lonkar, Darlene Schuster, Charles Wyman
SBE Update; The Need for Biofuels; Producing Biofuels via the Thermochemical Platform; Producing Biofuels via the Sugar Platform; Producing Biofuels via the Carboxylate Platform; Scaling Up Bioenergy Technologies; Commercial-Scale Production of Lignocellulosic Biofuels

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.

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 P. 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 - 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

Improve Energy Efficiency via Heat Integration

December
2010
Heat Transfer
Alan P. 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.

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.

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.

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 —...

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.

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...

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...

Renewables Help South Africa Save Its Grid

October 6, 2015
Starting with almost zero renewable energy in 2010, South Africa has now built out more than 1,000 megawatts of solar and 800 of wind power. This was made possible by opening up...

HP's Switch to Wind Power Signals US Tipping Point

October 8, 2015
Hewlett Packard recently signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for a Texas wind-farm developer to supply 112 megawatts of renewable energy to the company's state-wide...

Profile: Tackling Microbial Control

October
2015
Profile
Our understanding of the Legionella pneumophila bacteria has come a long way since the 1970s, according to Christine McInnis, the Dow Microbial Control Global R&D Platform Leader at the Dow Chemical Company. “In the ’70s, when the first...

Solar City's New PV Module Hits World Record

October 9, 2015
SolarCity has quickly moved from buying late-stage solar module startup Silevo a year ago to claiming production of "the world’s most efficient rooftop solar panel, with a module...
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