Books: November 2019 | AIChE

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Books: November 2019

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Process Safety: Key Concepts and Practical Approaches

James A. Klein and Bruce K. Vaughen, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, $165, 413 pages, May 2017, ISBN: 978-1-466-56542-5


This book is a must-read for engineers seeking to effectively manage processes with high levels of risk. The authors draw on their extensive backgrounds in hazardous operations and academia to illustrate the complex nature of achieving process safety management (PSM) excellence. I have personally spent 38 years in manufacturing, and found this book refreshing in that it pulls together the elements of risk-based process safety from the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as international regulations. The book takes a holistic view of process safety operational excellence, rather than looking at individual elements or requirements.

The cover features a triangle containing the foundational requirements of an effective PSM system. The three sides of the triangle represent process safety systems, operational discipline, and safety culture/leadership. It is upon this foundation that the book discusses practical approaches for designing safe processes, implementing process safety, and achieving process safety excellence. The text highlights the challenges management faces in these areas, covering topics such as inherently safer design, hazard identification, risk management, competency, emergency preparedness, mechanical integrity, training, and more. Many people across the organization have specific roles related to process safety, but they must function within a common management system. Expectations of personnel need to be not only communicated by leaders, but verified as being effective, which is what separates great process safety management from mere compliance.

PSM systems will continually evolve as best practices change, process technologies improve, and regulations are enacted or revised. One thing that will remain constant, however, is the foundation upon which the management system rests as it continues to improve over time. If any of the three sides of the PSM triangle are weak or missing, effective management of process hazards is impossible. This fact is a common thread throughout the book, making it valuable to anyone with a role in ensuring that PSM systems operate correctly and are sustainable.

– Ken Tague, CSP, CCPSC

Owner of Tague Total Process Safety, LLC

Meat Planet: Artificial Flesh and the Future of Food

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, CA, $27.95, 264 pages, Sept. 2019, ISBN: 978-0-520-29553-7


A Dutch scientist unveiled the first laboratory-grown hamburger in 2013, upending the idea that eating meat requires live animals to be raised and slaughtered. This development, called cultured meat, suggests that increasing meat demand could be met by tissues cultivated in the lab.

This book supplements technical discussions of cultured meat, providing a look at its broader impacts. It reveals how debates about lab-cultivated meat go beyond food and examines the links among appetite, growth, and capitalism. Food system problems are rarely, if ever, contained to merely the ability to produce food; they also involve intrinsic social and political aspects. The development of cultured meat could transform our relationship to animals, farmland, and water use, as well as our ecosystem’s capacity to sustain life.

Microplastics in Water and Wastewater

Hrissi K. Karapanagioti and Ioannis K. Kalavrouziotis, IWA Publishing, London, U.K., $84, 240 pages, Sept. 2019, ISBN: 978-1-789-06002-7


The topic of microplastics in water requires more attention, and this book attempts to give the topic its due. At the start of the book, the authors highlight the scientific community’s growing interest in the subject and explain where microplastics could interact with water in the human-water cycle. Subsequent chapters examine evidence of microplastics in freshwater and the hazardous chemicals they impart to these systems.

The book also covers microplastics in wastewater, including sources, transfer through treatment plants, concentration in effluents, plastic biomedia used in treatment plants, and effects on the environment. These chapters provide an update on the sampling methods and analysis techniques used to identify plastics in wastewater. Additional topics covered include microplastics in sewage sludge and in soils irrigated with wastewater or fertilized with sludge, as well as the possible impacts of plastics and their additives on plants, microalgae, and humans. The book points to the need for a global directive intended to protect the environment from plastic pollution.


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