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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

Addressing Energy Supply Vulnerabilities

April
2006
Critical Issues
Herbert W. Cooper
Can a mega-worldwide energy interruption occur? The perfect storm may be brewing with such events as natural disasters, acts of terrorism and international disputes. This article explains how your company can prepare to effectively handle an energy...

Fuel Cells, the Hydrogen Economy and You

November
2007
On The Horizon
Herbert W. Cooper
Chemical engineers will play an important role in the development and deployment of fuel cells. This primer summarizes some of the key technical and economic issues that must be overcome.

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.

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.

The Hydrogen Economy Is Coming - The Question is Where?

December
2005
On The Horizon
Charles W. Forsberg
The end of the oil age is coming. While the replacements for oil are uncertain, the leading candidates have one thing in common — the need for massive quantities of hydrogen in the production process.

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

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: 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

Engineering Complex Phenotypes in Industrial Strains

November, 2012
This book explains current trends and developments in engineering biocatalysts for the production of bulk chemical and biofuels from renewable biomass. The authors guide readers through the engineering of the complex traits and phenotypes needed for particular biocatalysts and bioprocesses.

Cut Agitator Power Costs

November
2012
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Agitator power consumption can be minimized by judicious equipment selection and careful operating procedures. Follow these guidelines to reduce your plant’s energy costs. In some cases, it may be as simple as flipping a switch.

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

Be Smart about Column Design

November
2012
Reactions and Separations
Daniel R. Summers, P.E., Mark Pilling, P.E.
Optimizing distillation equipment and processes can improve both the profitability and the greenness of an operation.

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

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

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.

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

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...

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.

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...

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.

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 Rossiter
Improve energy management by optimizing current equipment and operations, implementing economic investments, and engaging in sustaining activities.

Saving Energy in Multilevel Steam Systems

January
2012
Back To Basics
Wiroon Tanthapanichakoon
Avoid some common pitfalls by taking this holistic approach when implementing projects to reduce the consumption of steam.

IGCC Power Generation - Down But Not Out

September
2008
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Many technology advances are underway to address cost, CO2 and reliability issues and expand the use of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), a cleaner way to generate electricity from coal.

Polysilicon Business Shines Brightly

August
2008
News Feature
Gerald Parkinson
To meet growing demand for solar energy, new polysilicon plants are being built at an unprecedented rate, and several new technologies will play a role in the capacity expansion.

Producing Hot Water by Direct Steam Injection

May
2010
Back To Basics
Philip Sutter
Inline direct steam injection is more energy efficient than indirectly heating water in a tank. Use this overview of DSI equipment to select the appropriate system for your application.

Sustainable Development in the Process Industries: Cases and Impact

March, 2010
The complete, hands-on guide to sustainable development Today's process industries must develop natural resources within an eco-friendly framework that balances current demand with future need. Realizing this goal necessitates global vigilance of three key areas—people, planet, and prosperity—known...

Biobutanol – A Replacement for Bioethanol?

August
2008
SBE Special Section
Ron Cascone
Ethanol, the leading incumbant biofuel, has several limitations.Butanol overcomes many of these, and holds promise as the next important transportation biofuel.

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>

Nuclear Power: Fueling the Hydrogen Economy

July
2010
Special Section
William A. Summers
Nuclear hydrogen might first enter the transportation market to supplement existing fossil resources. In the long-term, it could be a key in the development of a hydrogen economy.

Reduce Your Compressed Air Costs

October
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Bill Scales, Ron Marshall
Annual operating expenses for compressed air systems can exceed the equipment’s purchase price. Follow these seven steps to implement efficiency measures that yield cost reductions.

Metabolic Engineering of Next-Generation Biofuels

August
2008
SBE Special Section
Wendy Higashide, James C. Liao
Engineers are turning to genetic and biological tools and techniques to synthesize higher-chain alcohols that do not suffer from the same limitations as ethanol.

Gazing into an Energy Crystal Ball

June
2010
On The Horizon
Vern W. Weekman Jr.
By mid-century, new energy sources could be integrated into the existing chemical-conversion infrastructure, but additional research is needed to fine-tune the technologies and improve efficiencies and economics.

The Future of Coal-Based Power Generation

March
2008
Special Section
James R. Katzer
Despite its image as a dirty fuel, coal remains an economic choice for baseload power generation—and it can, in fact, have very low emissions.

Developing a Position on Nuclear Power

July
2010
Special Section
AIChE’s Nuclear Engineering Division recommends expanding the role of nuclear power and closing the nuclear fuel cycle. <br>

Conference Explores Developing Bioeconomy

March
2008
Special Section
Brad Buecker
Infrastructure, biomass conversion, sources of biomass, and environmental and other impacts are some of the challenges facing the commercialization of biofuels.

Renewable Power: Not Yet Ready for Prime Time

April
2009
Special Section
David E. Gushee, Bernard S. Lee
Before renewable sources such as wind and solar can contribute significantly to the overall energy mix, massive electricity storage is needed to turn the raw power into dispatchable power.

Reduce Your Plant’s Water Footprint

April
2011
Critical Issues
David L. Nystuen
Water footprint reduction and water pollution prevention are integral to any environmental sustainability initiative. Use this rigorous, systematic process to conduct a baseline water assessment that integrates water pollution prevention and water...

The Role for Biofuels

March
2010
SBE Special Section
Carrie Atiyeh, Tim Eggeman
The advanced biofuels industry is at a critical stage of development and deployment.

Technology Integration Challenges

August
2011
Special Section
Ronald K. Munson, John J. Marano, Jared P. Ciferno
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-...

Harnessing Natural Energy

March
2008
Special Section
Travis W. Walker
Before solar and wind energy can be widely exploited, a method for storing the energy provided by these intermittent sources and releasing it as demand arises must be developed.

Minimize Scale-Up Risk

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

How Might Biofuels Impact the Chemical Industry?

March
2008
Special Section
Mark E. Jones, Keith J. Watson, William F. Banholzer
Considering the range of possibilities and constraints, a major transformation of the chemical industry's current capital structure is unlikely for at least a few decades.

Capturing Carbon from Existing Coal-Fired Power Plants

April
2009
Special Section
James T. Murphy, Andrew P. Jones, Timothy E. Fout, Jared P. Ciferno
DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory is spearheading R&D on a variety of post-combustion and oxy-combustion technologies to cost-effectively achieve 90% CO2 capture.

Nuclear Renaissance: A Flawed Proposition

July
2010
Special Section
Anthony D'Agostino, Benjamin K. Sovacool
Nuclear power has never been safe and it never will be. Efficiency gains and investment in renewable sources of energy will be sufficient to power the planet without resorting to nuclear reactors.

Navigating the Legal Landscape

August
2011
Special Section
Mary Ellen Ternes, Arnold W. Reitze Jr.
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...

Ionic Liquid Pretreatment

March
2010
SBE Special Section
Harvey W. Blanch, Bradley M. Holmes, Seema Singh, Blake A. Simmons
Ionic liquids show promise as lignocellulosic biomass solvents. But is this approach a scientific curiosity or a commercially viable biofuel pretreatment technology?

Capturing CO2: Membrane Systems Move Forward

April
2009
Special Section
Suzanne Shelley
Membranes offer inherent advantages over absorption-based CO2 capture from post-combustion fluegas and pre-combustion syngas, but numerous design and scale-up challenges remain.

Characterizing a Geologic Formation

August
2011
Special Section
Daniel Brantley, John Shafer
A diverse collaboration is evaluating the geology of the South Georgia Rift basin and its suitability for long-term CO2 sequestration.

Converting Cellulose to Biofuels

March
2010
SBE Special Section
David Hogsett, Eduardo Ximenes, Youngmi Kim, Nathan S. Mosier, Michael R. Ladisch
Biochemical and thermochemical process technologies being developed to convert wood and other lignocellulosic feedstocks to liquid fuels will drive the transition from corn-based ethanol to advanced biofuels.
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