A worker was asked to move two open-top 5-gal pails containing aqueous sodium permanganate solution from one location to another. When he picked up the pails, the contents of one of them erupted, spraying him with the solution. Sodium permanganate is a strong oxidizer, and the splashed material set the worker’s clothing on fire. His injuries required hospital treatment.
Konrad Hungerbühler, Marcel Sennhauser, Stavros Papadokonstantakis
The strong international presence of Switzerland’s chemicals industries — characterized by a major export market and substantial investment in its companies abroad — has helped to make the Swiss chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries among the world’s most successful.
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.
When was the last time you learned something new for your job? A generation ago, chemical engineers could expect to settle into a well-defined position at one company and remain there for an entire career. Today, things could not be more different. Many engineers change jobs at least once, or take on additional responsibilities that require new knowledge and skills.
A flame arrester may be installed to keep an external flame out of a tank or vessel or to ensure that a flame burning within a pipeline does not propagate to other equipment. Use the information presented here to determine what type of device is appropriate for your application.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the leadership of Ajaz Hussain, then the Associate Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), launched the Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Initiative a decade ago, it set in motion a multifaceted search for a more scientifically based approach to pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality assurance. Hussain’s call for more PAT in the industry’s manufacturing operations was really more of a challenge to current practices than a proscriptive program. The pharmaceutical industry has responded with a renewed emphasis on understanding the scientific basis of its processes, and toward that end has made significant investments in personnel and tools.
Traditional stainless steel equipment is increasingly being replaced with disposable units in new and existing processes alike, enabling more flexibility, higher efficiencies, and lower costs. Follow the guidance offered here to determine the most-effective single-use approach for your facility.
Many plants shut down or reduce operations during a holiday period. Equipment may be in a non-standard condition while processes are on hold or shut down. Even though the plant is shut down, it is likely that hazardous materials are still present in storage tanks and process vessels. Equipment that is shut down may be opened for inspection or maintenance. Some plants continue to operate during a holiday but with reduced staff, delaying less-critical activities.
From fermentation to gene splicing to the sequencing of the human genome, the field of biochemical engineering and the career of Professor Daniel I. C. Wang have followed similar paths. Here we trace the route they have taken.
Although relief devices may never be activated, they must be designed and sized to function correctly every time they are necessary. This article provides an introduction to sizing pressure-relief devices for liquid and vapor service.
The ability to exploit a cell’s contents and capabilities unimpeded by cell walls opens new opportunities for the field of biochemical engineering. Cell-free biology could become the basis for making products from hydrogen to cancer vaccines and more.
A poll conducted by the Univ. of Texas at Austin ( www.utenergypoll.com/newsroom ) in September found that the average American does not have a good understanding of energy issues. What’s saddening is that many don’t seem to care much about energy...
About two years ago, I was faced with a decision. I was a few weeks away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering when I received an email from a friend. He was recruiting graduating students to act as liaisons between AIChE...
Many unmet needs lie at the intersection of biology, chemistry, and engineering. Future generations of biochemical engineers should consider applying their technical skills and experiences to addressing these needs in an entrepreneurial way.
Climate models use mathematical equations to represent interactions between and within the ocean, land, ice, and atmosphere — providing a means to understand the climate system and predict future climate changes. They are becoming increasingly...
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.
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.
Tracing audit ﬁndings back to the management system that allowed the failure to occur is an effective way to uncover deﬁciencies in an organization’s process safety management system. Follow the guidance provided in this article to apply root-cause-based auditing to your facility.
Chaitan Khosla, the Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Stanford Univ., has always been attracted to challenges at the intersection of chemistry, biology, and engineering, particularly those...
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.
Schmoozing. Glad-handing. Kibitzing. Networking — the art of cultivating productive relationships — often gets a bad rap. Yet without some form of networking, it may be difficult for you to get a promotion, make a career change, or land a six-figure...
Before choosing a bin and hopper for your bulk solids application, the flow properties and characteristics of the powder or bulk material must be known. Use this ten-step approach to determine the optimal bin design for your process.
Among the many elements involved in converting chemical energy into electricity, lithium is currently king. This article looks at the lithium supply picture and the implications of supply and demand on lithium-ion battery technologies and markets.
2013 Institute and Board of Directors’ Award Recipients UOP’s Gautam is Selected to Receive the Inaugural AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award Anseth will Present Bailey Award Lecture at San Francisco Annual Meeting Member News
And living with them isn’t always easy, either. Two experiences drove the latter point home to me recently. As we were working on this issue with its special section on lithium-ion batteries, both of my laptop’s batteries — the main battery that...
One hundred years ago, on Oct. 14, 1913, the Senghenydd Colliery in Glamorgan, South Wales, exploded, resulting in 439 fatalities. This was the worst coal mine disaster in the history of the U.K. The incident is believed to have been started by...
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...
In 2011, I took a position with Mack Trucks, Inc., a manufacturer of American-assembled Class 8 heavy trucks with more than 100 years of history. Since then, I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question “What is a chemical engineer...
The moving vans are gone, and we on the AIChE staff are quickly settling in to our new home at 120 Wall St., a special Association Center that offers lower rents for nonprofit organizations like us. While we think of this as our new work-home, more...
Air is always all around us, and the oxygen it contains is necessary for life. But, compressed air (or any other compressed gas) contains a lot of energy and can cause major damage if a vessel or pipe fails.
Chemical engineering as it is known today — in which theoretical models are used to design and maintain processes — bears only a slight resemblance to the nascent field. In its beginnings, chemical engineering involved the dissection of chemical processes into unit processes and unit operations using mostly empirical methods. Material and energy balances soon entered the scene in the late 1920s, followed by the introduction of transport phenomena. While many scientists and engineers contributed to the evolution of chemical engineering, one man in particular stands out. Neal Russell Amundson, who became a full professor of chemical engineering at the Univ. of Minnesota at the age of 35, can be credited for the proliferation of scientific content within the chemical engineering field and profession.
Engineers can become better informed about their work with an increased familiarity of basic financial indicators. Use these insights to help ensure that the projects you work on are those that are most likely to become financial successes.
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