CEP: January 2017

Troubleshooting is a common task for chemical engineers. Two articles in this issue cover the topic, one on downcomer scanning for diagnosing your tower or column and one on infrared thermal imaging cameras to troubleshoot process upsets in applications that are too severe, impractical, or unsafe for direct-contact temperature instruments. Other topics this month include air-cooled heat exchangers and process safety.


Making RAPID Gains in Energy Efficiency

In a 2012 report, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) examined energy-efficiency opportunities looking forward to 2050 and found that energy efficiency could reduce projected 2050 U.S. energy use by 40–60%. Achieving those reductions would require implementation of a wide variety of advanced technologies and infrastructure improvements throughout the industrial, transportation, commercial, and residential sectors.

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Use Downcomer Gamma Scans to Troubleshoot Your Process

Reactions and Separations
Henry Z. Kister, Chuck Winfield
Downcomer scanning can provide valuable information to diagnose your tower. In particular, these scans are useful for determining the mechanism of flooding — one of the most common problems encountered in distillation columns. Follow these guidelines to avoid pitfalls.

Don’t Do This!

Glenn Young, Joel Olener
These are some of the worst process safety management (PSM) practices we have seen. Don’t make these mistakes.
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