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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

Commercial Milestone: Ethanol from Landfill Waste

August 7, 2013
Biofuel maker INEOS Bio just announced that its $130 million Indian River BioEnergy Center in Vero Beach, Florida, is producing commercial quantities of transportation fuel from...

Building a Biofuel Game-Changer

December 27, 2013
Dr Sean Simpson, founder of LanzaTech, tells about an entrepreneurial wild ride, from his first idea to his deal to make jet fuel for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Is Grid Storage a Myth?

August 25, 2014
One voice in the debate advocates a software solution, with predictive computer models tracking production and demand and then intelligently routing power where it’s needed.

April 2015 CEP Preview

April 3, 2015
Career Catalyst Humanitarian Chemical Engineering A broader view of ethics and professional responsibility considers the engineer’s impact on humanity. Read this article now...

Termites: Homeowner Scourge or Biofuel Savior?

July 18, 2011
An unwanted house pest and suburban scourge, suddenly the termite has been accidentally and disasterously rehabilitated by science. Hyperbole? Termite control professionals don't...

Small Modular Reactors Closer to Reality

March 22, 2012
The Department of Energy's vision for the future of nuclear energy will probably combine light water fission reactors along with a panoply of small modular reactors (SMRs)...

GE and BP Wind Energy Celebrate Milestones

January 3, 2013
As US wind-energy developers raced to finish projects before the renewable energy tax credit expired on January 1st, GE installed its 20,000th wind turbine. And now a new twist...

New Battery Is Changing the Grid

June 30, 2014
Axion Power makes a hybrid super-capacitor/battery that replaces the negative electrode with an activated carbon electrode to get super capacitor properties.

CEP: News Update

May
2015
News Update
Metabolic Engineering Delivers Low-Cost Hydrogen; Metal-Free Catalyst Recharges Zinc-Air Batteries; Aluminum Could Take Charge of the Battery Market; New Desalination Membrane Resists Chlorine; and more

Energy Management and Efficiency for the Process Industries

April, 2015
Editors Alan P. Rossiter and Beth P. Jones have gathered material that lays out the underlying management and technical issues that drive successful industrial energy management program. With a foreword by the Hon. Charles D. McConnell, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, the book provides a clear understanding of both scope of the opportunity and the available methodologies for capturing energy savings.

CEP: News Update

April
2015
News Update
Chameleon-Like Material Changes Color On Demand; New Genes for an Old Microbe Make Statins Cheaper; A Sweet Approach to Breaking Down Cellulose; New Catalyst Pushes Lignin Up on the Value Chain; and more.

CEP: News Update

March
2015
News Update
Cheap and Abundant Potassium Outperforms Precious Metal Catalyst; Engineering Bioethanol without the Food Gap; Supercomputers Identify Optimal Zeolites; Synthetic Biology Pushes Gene Therapy Forward; and more.

CEP: News Update

February
2015
News Update
Pop-Up Method Transforms 2D Materials into 3D Objects; Digging in the Dirt Uncovers a New Antibiotic; Algorithm Predicts Bacteria Countermoves; An Organic Approach to Controlled Polymerization; and more.

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: 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: Catalyzing Commercialization - An Elegant Design Makes Compressed Air a Contender for Grid-Scale Storage

August
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
The potential for the integration of large amounts of renewable energy sources with the electricity grid will require large-scale storage devices. Compressed-air energy storage (CAES) is a cost-effective option for multi-hour storage applications. SustainX, a venture-capital-backed spin-out of Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering, has developed a novel isothermal CAES technology that promises to eliminate the disadvantages of traditional CAES.

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: 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: Catalyzing Commercialization - A Biodegradable Plastic Made from Waste Methane

February
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
What if we could make the Great Pacific Garbage Patch just disappear? What if plastics didn’t accumulate in our landfills? What if we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions while replacing up to 30% of the world’s plastics with a biodegradable substitute? Researchers have tried for decades to achieve these goals. One approach being taken is the development of an efficient production process for poly-hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) — a biodegradable polymer similar to the polypropylene used to make yogurt containers.

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.

An Oil Refinery Walk-Through

May
2014
Back To Basics
Tim Olsen
Refineries may appear complicated at first glance. Breaking them down into a series of units makes them easier to understand. This article describes the basic building blocks of a fuels refinery, from crude oil inlet to fuels distribution.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Turning a Problem into a Cure for Increased Ethanol Yield

January
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
The beneficial microbes that convert milk into yogurt and act in our guts to promote digestive health cause big problems in ethanol fermentation tanks. These lactic acid bacteria (LAB) proliferate in ethanol feedstock and inhibit growth of ethanol-producing yeast — which slows down fermentation, reduces biofuel yield by as much as 20% per pound of input material, and results in production shutdowns due to contamination. The most common control measures, chemical antimicrobials such as antibiotics, do not eliminate LAB. Additionally, the potential for antibiotic residue limits the marketability of dried distillers grains, a byproduct of the fermentation process used as animal feed. Ecolyse Inc., based in College Station, TX, is working to address this issue by developing products to treat bacterial contamination.

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: AIChE Journal Highlight - Natural Gas Transforms the Chemical Industry

March
2014
Journal Highlight
The recent development of new sources of shale-gas methane and shale-gas condensate will significantly impact fuels and chemical feedstocks in the U.S. and around the world, says Jeffrey Siirola of Purdue Univ. and Carnegie Mellon Univ. in the March AIChE Journal Perspective article, “The Impact of Shale Gas in the Chemical Industry.”

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

Special Section: Energy - Lithium-Ion Batteries: The Basics

October
2013
Special Section
Robert Spotnitz
Batteries come in a variety of chemistries and designs. Using fundamental principles, the theoretical performance of these electrochemical cells can be determined, enabling you to engineer the optimal device.

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.

Optimize Energy Use in Industrial Cooling Systems

November
2013
Heat Transfer
Michael R. Muller, Michael B. Muller, Prakash Rao
Potential energy savings for chilled-water cooling systems are often overlooked. A detailed review of the cooling system along with the appropriate temperature and flowrate measurements will help you identify ways to cash in on these savings.

Special Section: Energy - Lithium-Ion Batteries: Endless Uses

October
2013
Special Section
Andrew N. Jansen
Lithium-ion batteries can be tailored to suit a range of products in almost any industry. This article describes the main applications for which these batteries are used, and explores some of the challenges hindering future advances.

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: AIChE Journal Highlight - Reduce Water Use in Steam Systems

July
2013
Journal Highlight
Steam systems are the largest consumer of energy in the U.S. manufacturing sector, and are prominent in the chemical process industries (CPI), where steam is critical to several ubiquitous processes, including distillation, stripping, cracking, and...

Algal Biofuels: The Backstory

March
2011
SBE Special Section
Arjun Gopalratnam
Increasing energy demand and dwindling energy resources have spurred interest in making transportation fuels from renewable sources such as microalgae.

Algal Biofuels: The Process

March
2011
SBE Special Section
Al Darzins, Eric P. Knoshaug
The production of algal biofuels involves algae cultivation, biomass harvesting and dewatering, lipid extraction, and conversion to fuel.

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.

Conducting an Energy Design Review

May
2013
Energy
Emily Thorn Corthay, Megan Dover, Robert Griesbach, Robert Storey
Formal energy design reviews help to ensure that energy is treated as a key factor in decision-making throughout the various stages of a design project. This approach can significantly improve a site’s energy performance. An energy design review (EDR...

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.

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.

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...

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...

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.
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