March 2015 CEP Preview



Lessons Learned from Recent Process Safety Incidents

These five incidents demonstrate how seemingly small mistakes or temporary lapses in judgment can result in disaster.

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The Need for Biofuels

As fossil energy resources decline, we must develop and deploy renewable energy systems. An attractive alternative is to convert lignocellulosic biomass into transportation fuels.

Producing Biofuels via the Thermochemical Platform

Thermochemical conversion of biomass to liquid fuels employs many of the same processes and equipment as are used with fossil fuel feedstocks.

Producing Biofuels via the Sugar Platform

Whether the feedstock is sugarcane, corn, or lignocellulose, the fermentation and ethanol recovery operations are similar. The differences arise in the way the sugars are released and the co-products produced.

Producing Biofuels via the Carboxylate Platform

The carboxylate platform ferments a wide variety of biomass feedstocks into mixed carboxylic acids and their salts, which in turn can be transformed into hydrocarbon fuels.

Scaling Up Bioenergy Technologies

The stage-gate technique used for traditional chemical processes must be modified for bioenergy technologies. Follow these recommendations to minimize risk and maximize success.

Commercial-Scale Production of Lignocellulosic Biofuels

A few cellulosic biofuel facilities have begun operation, and others are slated to start up in the coming years. 


Modeling Aqueous Electrolyte Systems

Accurate thermodynamic models are needed to simulate processes involving electrolytes, which range from hydraulic fracturing to CO2 capture and sequestration and basic chemicals manufacturing. Follow these steps to develop thermodynamic models for your electrolyte system.


  • Cheap and Abundant Potassium Outperforms Precious Metal Catalyst
  • Engineering Bioethanol without the Food Gap
  • Supercomputers Identify Optimal Zeolites
  • Synthetic Biology Pushes Gene Therapy Forward
  • Nature-Inspired Reaction Converts N2 into NH3
  • Paper Silicon Anode Boosts Battery Performance
  • Slippery Surface Prevents Biofilm Formation


  • AIChE Journal Highlight: Red Blood Cells Disguise Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications
  • Catalyzing Commercialization: A Cool Energy-Storage Technology Preserves Milk in Rural Areas
  • Process Safety Beacon: Details Matter in Process Safety
  • Meeting Preview: 2015 Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Young Professionals’ Point of View: Capturing CO2 with a Green Focus
  • What’s New: Interphex Preview
  • Product Digest: Materials
  • Calendars
  • Institute News
    • Schlanger Receives AIChE’s Government and Industry Leaders Award
    • Member News

The March 2015 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