May 2012 CEP Preview


Economic Opportunities and Challenges for Bio-Based Materials
In order to stay competitive, the bio-based chemicals industry will need to pave a path within the existing value chain, with a sharp focus on economic considerations.

Bio-Based Materials in the New Bio-Economy
Biological feedstocks are expected to gradually replace some fossil-based raw materials to create eco-friendly products, from car parts and packaging materials to electronic devices and other consumer goods, laying the foundation for a reduced-carbon economy.

Synthetic Spider Silk Proteins and Threads
E. coli
can be genetically engineered to mimic the complex natural process by which a spider makes the proteins that it uses to spin the fibers for its web. With additional processing, fibers with properties similar to those of natural spider silk can be obtained.

One-Step Fermentative Production of Polylactic Acid
The use of PLA has been hindered by its complex and expensive synthesis process. A new technology promises to change this, giving PLA a chance to compete with fossil-based plastics.

Rheological Characterization of Bio-Based Materials
Experimental and analytical tools combined with computational studies can be used to design new bio-based materials tailored for specific applications.

BACK TO BASICS: A ChE's Guide to Intellectual Property
Patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights are an important part of any company's business strategy.

SAFETY: Navigating NFPA Codes and Standards
Follow the recommendations and how-to guidance provided by the National Fire Protection Association to safeguard against fires and explosions.

CAREER CATALYST: Smart Blogging for Chemical Engineers (click here to read this article now)
Blogs allow anyone -- even people with minimal computer knowledge -- to easily publish text, photos, and audio and video files on the Internet. They are places where chemical engineers can trade technical information, expound upon their expertise or interests, and assemble a network of correspondents.

News: Shape-Shifting Polymers Go 3D ... MOF Cuts Energy Costs of Gas Separation ... Plastic Morphs from Smooth to Bumpy, and Back Again ... Nanoscale Topography Puts the Brakes on Cancer Growth ... Metamaterials Enter a New Dimension ... Automated Process Control 'Goes Microbial' ... pH-Switchable Catalyst Releases H2 On Demand ... Plug-In Bacteria Produce Fuel from CO2 ... Organic Solar Cells Show Their Stripes

Plus: What's New ... Process Safety Beacon: Mechanical Integrity of Tubing ...Product Digest: Safety Equipment ... Software ... Books ... Institute News: Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety; Instructor-Led Training; Election Slate; Member News; Calendar ... YPOV: Commencement Advice for Young Job Seekers

The May 2012 issue of CEP is now available online. AIChE members receive access to CEP, including a searchable archive of issues dating back to 2001, online at