U.S. Chemicals Remain Bright Spot in the Global Economy; Hot Off the Press: Rewritable Paper; Greening Rare Earth Elements; and more
The worst process incident that can happen in your plant may not be the same as the highest process risk. Risk is a combination of how likely an incident is and how bad the consequences could be. The process incident in your plant with the worst consequences may be very unlikely to occur. Other less-severe incidents may be more likely, making the risk of these events higher than the incident with the worst consequences. You should be aware of all process risks in your plant, and your role in managing all of them.
Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is corrosion of piping, tanks, or other equipment that occurs due to water under insulation or ﬁreprooﬁng. Faulty or damaged insulation is frequently a source of the water that causes corrosion, and the insulation may also hide the damage so you are not aware of it.
Sujata K. Bhatia
A fermentation process leverages live cells to manufacture a variety of products. Choosing the correct host cell, as well as the optimal production equipment and method, are the fundamental ﬁrst steps of these complex processes.
CUI is common in processing plants and reﬁneries operating equipment in a temperature range of 25–400˚F. The cost to industry in time, money, and risk is staggering, drawing the interest of the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) and others in the chemical process industries.
Process safety has come a long way since the Bhopal tragedy in 1984. However, accidents in the chemical process industries continue to occur. Post-mortem analysis has indicated that many were preventable and had similar systemic causes. This begs the question: Why do we fail to learn from past events and make adequate changes to prevent their recurrence? In the January AIChE Journal Perspective article, “A System-Theoretic, Control-Inspired View and Approach to Process Safety,” Nancy G. Leveson and George Stephanopoulos of MIT offer their take on this question.
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
President’s Corner: Our Evolving Profession; AIChE Gala Spotlights Ethics; Southwest Process Technology Conference; Award Nominations; Member News
Michael Cipullo, Jeffrey Mueller
Use this holistic approach as the basis for a process development strategy to identify environmentally sound, cost-effective, low-waste-generating processes.
Pavel Ditl, Frantisek Rieger
Impeller and vessel geometries are key factors in selecting mixing equipment to efficiently suspend particulate solids in slurries
In the January AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Engineering Biomass Conversion Processes: A Systems Perspective,” Univ. of Minnesota researchers Prodromos Daoutidis, W. Alex Marvin, Srinivas Rangarajan, and Ana Torres discuss the challenges,...
Users of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) in the chemical process industries (CPI) have long recognized the limitations of the test protocol currently used to determine material compatibility, ASTM C581, Standard Practice for Determining Chemical...
Martha Gilchrist Moore, T. Kevin Swift
The chemical industry will experience moderate annual growth over the next few years — ranging between 2.2% and 4.6% through 2017. The higher growth rate accounts for new investments announced in response to the abundant supply of shale-based...
The new year brings the excitement of setting new goals. I have learned my best lessons on goal setting from one of my hobbies, running — and what I’ve learned can be applied to professional goals as well.
Ali Bourji, P.E., Alan Winstead
An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system can be a cost-effective way to convert waste heat to electricity. The key is finding the best ratio of net power recovery to capital cost.
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.
In support of its strategic mission to become a global organization of chemical engineering practitioners, AIChE hosted three joint international symposia at the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting held in Pittsburgh, PA, Oct. 28 to Nov. 2. AIChE joined with...
David K. Whittle, Kevin Smith
Process hazard analyses must be revamped — or redone from scratch — every five years by law. Following the guidance given here will facilitate this effort.
All-Weather Material Emits Near-IR Light; Graphene Gets Selective; Shock Treatment Creates Nanoporous Materials; Bacteria are Engineered to Eat Cellulose and Produce Liquid Fuels; and more.
William R. Schowalter
Although the effects of globalization have revolutionized corporate behavior, they are only beginning to affect the thinking, and much less the policies, of U.S. research universities. It is something that should be embraced, rather than resisted.
Advances in science and technology, the application of diverse government regulations and policies, and green business practices are all needed to advance sustainabilty. Biofuels production is a good case study to illustrate how government and...
Robert W. Sylvester
These relatively simple lifestyle changes enabled one individual to reduce energy costs by $2,000/yr and his carbon footprint by one-third.
Many gloves offer protection from chemicals. This article will help you understand what type of glove can provide the best protection for your application.
T. Kevin Swift
Understand the economic state of the chemical industry and trends in capital investment to make wise corporate-spending decisions.
These automation tools help equipment vendors serve their customers better, support their sales force, and profit in many ways.
John R. Puskar, P.E.
Repairing natural gas piping is inherently dangerous. Follow these safety protocols to avoid potentially catastrophic results from improper installation and repair of natural gas lines.
Faisal I. Khan
Risk-based monitored natural attenuation effectively monitors the extent of contamination, the associated risk, and the effectiveness of natural clean-up processes.
Mary F. McDaniel
Understand the implications of the pending regulations to better address residual risk and to develop an effective communications plan.
T. Kevin Swift
Recovery has stalled in developed nations. Debt, unemployment, and the emerging recession in Europe will encumber U.S. growth prospects in the years ahead. One bright spot, however, is the shale gas story.
By employing the latest virtualization solutions for process control systems, chemical plants can reduce PC hardware requirements, simplify system management, and lower the total cost of ownership, as well as improve site availability, reliability,...
Innovative advances continue to benefit all three of today's air separation technologies, helping to reduce power consumption and capital costs, and, in turn, expand their markets.
Gregory T. Benz
This article demonstrates that the repair and expense costs of process trains are not proportional to their capital costs and that, in most cases, building one plant with a single process train is the most economically efficient choice. <br>...
Avoid some common pitfalls by taking this holistic approach when implementing projects to reduce the consumption of steam.
Margaret Clarke Hunt
These profiles of a dozen engineers in different stages of their careers offer snapshots of where chemical engineers are employed.
Setting up a hand-protection program involves understanding the hazards, choosing the appropriate glove, training personnel on glove use, and ensuring that employees use their gloves properly.
Dennis C. Hendershot
Merging the design processes of inherent safety and operational reliability reduces the total technial resources, while improving both parameters.
Lionel F. Laroche, Susan Morey
Understand what is expected of you when traveling to this burgeioning part of the world.
Using a phased engineering approach to guide R&D projects will improve efficiency and avoid costly experimental excursions.
Engineers can derive professional benefits from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and other social media. Here is some practical advice on using these tools effectively, whether you are a veteran or a relative novice.
Aristos Aristidou , J. J. Hahn , Pim van Hoek , Alex Patist
Designing an economically competitive and environmentally sustainable fermentation route means considering the downstream separations needed to capture the final product during the initial process design.
Mike Emery, John Ludman, Thomas Sandbrook
Proper design, installation, and maintenance of flanged connection systems can prevent loss of containment and process interruptions. Follow this seven-step approach to ensure reliability of this critical process equipment.
Michael J. Gentilcore
Operating at a constant level can reduce the loss of the replacement solvent to the distillate by 50–70%.