CEP: February 2013

This month's cover story discusses how many types of "used" water may be appropriate as cooling tower makeup. Other topics include: troubleshooting maldistribution on trays; units of measurement; cold steam traps; and Denmark's chemical industry. Also read about the latest developments in nanotechnology, materials, and Energy.


Days after Superstorm Sandy hit the northeastern U.S., I attended the session “Accounting for Beyond Design Basis Events” at the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, where CCPS Consultant John Murphy gave a talk entitled “Beware the Black Swan.” (His paper on the same topic appeared in the Dec. 2012 issue of Process Safety Progress [PSP], pp. 330–333.) Two weeks later, I came across a press release headlined “How ‘Black Swans’ and ‘Perfect Storms’ Become Lame Excuses for Bad Risk Management,” discussing research by Stanford Univ.’s Elisabeth Paté-Cornell. In this issue’s Spotlight on Safety (p. 20), CCPS Technical Director Louisa Nara discusses the importance of considering highly improbable (or black swan) events.

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Consider Recycled Water for Your Cooling Tower Makeup

Heat Transfer
Paul Puckorius
Many types of “used” water may be appropriate as cooling tower makeup. Here’s how to determine which waters are suitable and cost-effective for the equipment in your cooling system.

Avoid Problems with Units of Measurement

Back To Basics
Faruk Civan
Engineers need to clearly understand units, and be able to convert, express, document, and communicate them in correspondence, operating instructions, and publications.

Beware of the Dangers of Cold Traps

James R. Risko
Cold traps — steam traps that no longer drain condensate — are often ignored in lieu of less-critical leaking traps, until a catastrophic event, such as a plant shutdown or personal injury, occurs. Use historical data to accurately estimate the annual cost of these cold traps to justify their swift repair.

Denmark’s Chemicals Industry: Progress and Challenges

Global Outlook
Kim Dam-Johansen, Rafiqul Gani, Gurkan Sin
Denmark’s chemicals industry is characterized by a variety of innovative companies, especially in the life sciences. To remain competitive, these companies must continue to invest in innovation, and the country’s universities must fill a growing need for highly educated engineering professionals.
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