AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

OTC Houston 2018

April 30 - May 3, 2018
The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) is where the world’s energy professionals meet to exchange ideas and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge for offshore resources and environmental matters.

Nanotechnology Commercialization: Manufacturing Processes and Products

October, 2017
This book presents a detailed look at the state of the art of nanotechnology and explores key issues that must still be addressed in order to successfully commercialize this vital technology. It covers military, space and commercial transport applications, as well as applications for missiles,...

AIChE Journal Highlight: Solubility of Gases in Ionic Liquids

November
2017
Journal Highlight
Gas solubility in ionic liquids, which are molten salts with melting temperatures below 373K, plays an important role in various chemical applications. Ionic liquids have received significant attention due to their low vapor pressure, high chemical and thermal stability, and the large amount of cations and anions that can be combined to form an ionic liquid.

Spotlight on Safety: Remember Your Red Wagon

November
2017
Spotlight on Safety
John Herber
When many of us were kids, we each had our own little red wagon. It was about 2 ft long, 1 ft wide, and 4 in. deep. We used it to haul whatever needed hauling, whether that was a load of stuffed animals on their way to a backyard tea party or action...

Books: November 2017

November
2017
Books
Crumbling Genome: The Impact of Deleterious Mutations on Humans Alexey S. Kondrashov, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, NJ, $99.95, 296 pages, July 2017, ISBN: 978-1-118-95211-5 A newborn human carries approximately 100 new mutations, originating in their...

Technical Entity Trends: Ensuring a Resilient Enterprise

November
2017
Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Lyudmila Alexander
Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast in August 2017, dropping historic levels of rain on the Houston, TX, area. Flooding caused an Arkema facility outside Houston to lose power to its coolant system, as well as its inundated backup power generators...

Catalyzing Commercialization: Ultra-Deep Desulfurization of Diesel

November
2017
Catalyzing Commercialization
Global demand for crude oil was 96 million bpd in 2016, and the International Energy Agency forecasts demand to grow by 0.6% annually through 2040. As sweet crude oil stocks deplete, the average quality of crude oil is becoming more sour, with sulfur content greater than 0.5%.

Editorial: Closing the Skills Gap

November
2017
Editorial
Emily Frangenberg
Despite dramatic changes in the chemical process industries (CPI) over the past few decades, there has been comparatively less evolution in the undergraduate chemical engineering curriculum. In the article “Preparing Chemical Engineering Students...

The Past, Present, and Prospects for Colombia’s Chemicals Industry

November
2017
Global Outlook
Jorge Mario Gómez, Oscar A. Alvarez
Given its geographic position, abundant natural and agricultural resources, and moderate labor costs, Colombia has the potential to develop a competitive chemicals industry, as long as it is committed to the necessary investment and research.

Institute News: November 2017

November
2017
Institute News
Meet Some of AIChE’s New Fellows Fellow candidates are nominated by their peers, and must have significant chemical engineering practice (generally 25 years), have demonstrated significant service to the profession, and have been a member of AIChE...

New Products - November 2017

November
2017
New Products
Fluids and Solids Handling Pump Head Maintains the Integrity of Live Cells and Shear-Sensitive Fluids The Masterflex L/S Cytoflow pump head gently pumps live cells and shear-sensitive fluids in biopharmaceutical and microbiological applications. Its...

Preparing Chemical Engineering Students for Industry

November
2017
Critical Issues
Joseph Alford, Thomas F. Edgar
Many chemical engineering courses do not reflect current practices in the chemical process industries (CPI). How should the core curriculum change to better align undergraduate training with industry needs?

Introduction to Cogeneration Operation

November
2017
Back To Basics
Ben Janvier
A good understanding of steam-turbine operation and power generation cost can help improve overall cogeneration profitability. This article describes the basic economics behind cogeneration.

Process Safety Beacon: Be Aware of Purged Enclosures in Hazardous Areas

November
2017
Process Safety Beacon
Some enclosures in hazardous areas, such as those that house electrical equipment or analyzers (Image 1), and even control rooms, must be purged and maintained at pressures above atmospheric. Positive pressure prevents gases outside the enclosure from flowing into the enclosure, where the electrical equipment can be an ignition source for flammable vapors or gases.

Chemically Reacting Flow: Theory, Modeling, and Simulation, Second Edition

October, 2017
This book develops fundamental concepts in fluid mechanics and physical chemistry while helping students and professional develop the analytical and simulation skills needed to solve read-world engineering problems. New material in the second edition includes reactive porous-media flows and...

Profile: Reimagining Long-Read DNA Sequencing

October
2017
Profile
Jonas Korlach is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) and one of the co-inventors of the company’s Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing technology, which drastically improves the accuracy and speed of DNA sequencing.

Career Corner: Speaking Up in Meetings

October
2017
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Meetings are an inevitable part of the workweek for most of us. Whether it is a department staff meeting, senior executive briefing, or even an informal breakroom chat, we must interact with our coworkers, bosses, clients, and others. Knowing how to...

Go Wireless

October
2017
Instrumentation
Dale Perry
Wireless adapters help plants acquire stranded data from HART-enabled instrumentation to reduce operator rounds, prevent overfill, track inventory, and more.

Process Safety Beacon: Do Your Alarms Cry Wolf?

October
2017
Process Safety Beacon
Messages for Manufacturing Personnel http://www.aiche.org/CCPS/Publications/Beacon/index.aspx Aesop’s Fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf tells the story of a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricks villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his sheep. The...

Catalyzing Commercialization: Novel Catalysts Enhance Propylene Oxide Production

October
2017
Catalyzing Commercialization
Propylene oxide (PO) is a major commodity chemical used to produce intermediate chemicals, such as propylene glycol, polyether polyols, and polyurethanes, that go into a variety of end products, including coatings, adhesives, furniture foams, and automobiles. A California-based startup has developed a new, drop-in replacement catalyst for PO production.

The ChE in Context: Advanced Manufacturing in Chemical Engineering

October
2017
The ChE in Context
Raymond Adomaitis, Ka Ming Ng
In a history spanning some 130 years, chemical engineering has contributed critical technologies and processes to the manufacturing sector, fulfilling the needs of society and commerce. Recent decades have seen these needs change rapidly — marked...

Editorial: Fun with Words

October
2017
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appears in the October 2017 issue of CEP Imagine my excitement when I saw the cover of the latest Reader’s Digest ; it was the Genius issue — boasting “Secrets to a sharper mind” and “Why it pays to...

The Many Applications of Biomolecular Engineering

October
2017
SBE Special Section
Gabriel Levesque-Tremblay
The discipline of biomolecular engineering focuses on the interface between molecular biology, biophysical chemistry, and chemical engineering — with the goal to translate our fundamental understanding of molecular biology into useful therapies, devices, and processes. Applications of this discipline include clinical medicine and developmental biology.

10 Steps to Protect Workers against Airborne Hazards

October
2017
Safety
Erik W. Johnson
Respiratory safety involves more than properly wearing and maintaining personal protective equipment (PPE). Follow these steps to evaluate hazards and establish effective procedures to mitigate those hazards.

Institute News: October 2017

October
2017
Institute News
2017 Board of Directors’ and Institute Awards To be Presented at the Annual Meeting’s Honors Ceremony, Minneapolis AIChE will honor some of chemical engineering’s most accomplished practitioners, researchers, and educators with the presentation of...

There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom of a Cell

October
2017
SBE Special Section
Angela R. Wu, Lei Yu
Single-cell RNA sequencing is giving engineers and scientists the ability to better understand and manipulate the smallest unit of a living organism — the single cell. This technique has already ushered in breakthroughs in biology and medicine. However, challenges and opportunities abound.

A Materials Approach to Vaccines as Therapies

October
2017
SBE Special Section
Neil Dold, Christopher M. Jewell
The widespread adoption of vaccines over the last two centuries has transformed medicine by preventing infectious disease. In the future, so-called therapeutic vaccines could be used as effective treatments for cancer and autoimmune disorders — ushering in a new era of medicine.

New Products: October 2017

October
2017
New Products
Heat Transfer Heat Exchanger Resists Fouling when Handling Viscous Media The NW150L stainless-steel heat exchanger plates have a wider plate gap than those in the manufacturer’s NT series, which enables efficient heat treatment while minimizing the...

SBE Special Section: Biomolecular Engineering (full 34-page section)

October
2017
SBE Special Section
SBE Update: The Many Applications of Biomolecular Engineering; A Materials Approach to Vaccines as Therapies; Engineering Cancer-Fighting T Cells; There's Plenty of Room at the Botton of a Cell; Computational Protein Engineering; Plant Metabolic Engineering for Chemicals, Fuels, and Precursors

2017 Chem Show Expo Preview

October
2017
New Products
The Chem Show features the latest process equipment, products, and services — bringing together manufacturers and innovative new suppliers with executives, process engineers, production teams, and plant personnel throughout the chemical process...

Computational Protein Engineering

October
2017
SBE Special Section
Robert Pantazes
Proteins could transform the chemical process industries if they could be engineered to facilitate the production of biofuels, molecular medicines, and other specialty chemicals. This reality is nearing as expanded knowledge of proteins and improvements in computational tools are making it possible to design specific protein structures and functions.

Process Safety Visions: Harmonization of Standards

October
2017
Process Safety Visions
Operating and maintaining equipment in accordance with standards and recommended practices, especially in a global marketplace, can be a challenge. Many organizations produce standards, guidelines, and practices for safe design, operation, and...

AIChE Journal Highlight: The Benefits of Modular Manufacturing

October
2017
Journal Highlight
Economies of scale and unit operations drive modern chemical engineering. The economy of scale principle suggests that larger chemical plants are more capital-, resource-, and cost-efficient than smaller plants, and unit operations guide the design...

Engineering Cancer-Fighting T Cells

October
2017
SBE Special Section
Eugenia Zah, Yvonne Y. Chen
Adoptive T-cell therapy is a personalized cancer treatment that has the potential to cure previously untreatable malignancies. Researchers are applying techniques in biomolecular engineering and synthetic biology to the development of next-generation therapeutic T cells with improved safety and efficacy against a variety of cancers.

Leadership Q&A: A Woman’s Path to the C-Suite

September
2017
Leadership Q&A
Carol Williams, now retired, started her career at Dow Chemical as a development engineer and moved through the requisite positions as she made her way to the role of executive vice president of manufacturing and engineering, supply chain and EH...

Boiler Project Fundamentals

September
2017
Back To Basics
Jason L. Bell
This article describes several variables to consider when selecting a steam boiler — from choosing a boiler configuration to understanding boiler water chemistry.

New Products: September 2017

September
2017
New Products
Instrumentation GC/Q-TOF Instrument Analyzes Volatile Samples The 7250 gas chromatograph and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (GC/Q-TOF) uses a lowenergy electron ionization source to identify volatile and semi-volatile compounds. Such...

Plug the Holes in the Swiss Cheese Model

September
2017
Safety
Todd Stauffer, P.E., Nicholas P. Sands, P.E., David Strobhar, P.E.
Stop using operator error as an excuse. Apply human factors considerations to improve your alarm system and help operators respond to alarms effectively.

CFD-DEM: Modeling the Small to Understand the Large

September
2017
Computational Methods
Raymond Cocco, William D. Fullmer, Peiyuan Liu, Dr. Christine Hrenya
Coupling the traditional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach to model the fluid phase with the discrete element method (DEM) to model the particles creates a powerful numerical method to study multiphase particulate flows.

AIChE Journal Highlight: Developing a Research Program

September
2017
Journal Highlight
When they launch their independent research programs at universities or other institutions that offer some degree of investigative autonomy, new scientists and engineers often have little knowledge about how their research careers may evolve over time.

Process Safety Beacon: Haste Makes Waste

September
2017
Process Safety Beacon
We’ve all been there: You need to trash a piece of paper, but instead of taking four steps to the trash can, you throw it and miss. You then have to walk over, retrieve the paper, and throw it away. Although you were originally trying to take a shortcut, you actually ended up expending more effort. And,

Process Safety Visions: Responsible Collaboration

September
2017
Process Safety Visions
Great process safety performance is achieved by many organizations working together to advance process safety around the world. Responsible collaboration, one of the four societal themes of Vision 20/20, involves regulators, investigators, labor organizations, communities, research institutions, universities, and industries cooperating to achieve a common goal — excellent process safety performance.

Editorial: CEP on the Go

September
2017
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Last month I wrote about some of the personal benefits of volunteering — such as better emotional and physical health, a lower risk of cognitive impairment as you age, and a perception of having more time on your hands — as well as the positive impacts volunteering can have on your career. And last month’s Your AIChE Benefits article (Aug. 2017, p. 75) explained the concept of micro-volunteering — i.e., quick, easy tasks that do not require a large investment of time.

Institute News

September
2017
Institute News
Meet Some of AIChE’s New Fellows Fellow candidates are nominated by their peers, and must have significant chemical engineering practice (generally 25 years), have demonstrated significant service to the profession, and have been a member of AIChE...

YPOV: Maintain Work-Life Balance as a New Parent

September
2017
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
t is no easy task to meet deadlines and stay focused at work while battling the exhaustion of caring for a newborn. For chemical engineers who have demanding careers, it may never seem like the right time to start a family. Take comfort in knowing that many AIChE members have done it before and they are willing to share their experiences. Here are some tips for staying organized and effective at work as a new mom or dad.

Profile: Advocating for Workplace Inclusion

August
2017
Profile
“Disability inclusion is not about making a certain group stand out, it is about making a workplace comfortable for everyone ,” says Allison Chisenhall, chemical process engineer for BAE Systems. “For those with disabilities, both visible and not,...

AIChE Journal Highlight: Absorption Methods Determine Mass-Transfer Parameters of Packed Beds

August
2017
Journal Highlight
To design and analyze absorber columns, engineers need reliable mass-transfer parameters for rate-based models in process simulations. However, unlike for distillation, no set of standardized measurement methods for absorption have been generally accepted. Mass-transfer parameters measured by different methods at different facilities, or calculated from different correlations, can have significant disparities. Thus, a need exists to improve the precision and accuracy of experimental methods for determining mass-transfer coefficients so that reliable and coherent sets of data can be derived.

Spotlight on Safety: What is Safety Worth

August
2017
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has issued more than 130 investigative reports during its almost two decades of operation. These valuable documents detail investigations of incidents at industrial facilities involving...

Books: August 2017

August
2017
Books
Reaching Your Next Summit! 9 Vertical Lessons for Leading with Impact Manley Feinberg II, Indie Books International, Oceanside, CA, $30, 276 pages, Sept. 2016, ISBN: 978-1-941-87068-6 When asked why he climbs, the author explains he does it to face...

Technical Entity Trends: Industry, Academia, and Government Working Together

August
2017
Technical Entity Trends
Amro Tambal
Industry and academia have a symbiotic relationship. Industry looks to academia for qualified candidates to add to its workforce, while educational institutions recruit the brightest minds with the promise of gainful employment. Curricula are often altered and customized to prepare students for challenges after graduation and to suit the needs of industry. Academic research impacts industry, and in some cases, receives funding from companies.

Career Corner: Coping with Stress at Work

August
2017
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Americans are spending more time working and less time sleeping, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s American Time Use Survey. With longer hours spent at our jobs, many of us are experiencing more workplace stress. We face seemingly endless...

AIChE ® 35 Under 35

August
2017
Special Section
Elizabeth Pavone
AIChE and the Young Professionals Committee (YPC), with support from the AIChE Foundation, are recognizing these 35 outstanding young professional AIChE members with the AIChE 35 Under 35 Award because they have made significant contributions to the Institute and to the chemical engineering profession.

Catalyzing Commercialization: Solar Paper Powers Internet-of-Things Devices

August
2017
Catalyzing Commercialization
Today’s solar cells are mainly used for large-scale power production. However, the up-and-coming internet of things (IoT) will require many sensors and devices to transmit information wirelessly to computer networks and mobile personal electronics. Those sensors and devices could be powered with solar cells that harvest energy from either freely available sunlight or indoor lighting, provided the solar cells are small, inexpensive, lightweight, and able to conform and adhere to surfaces with any shape or texture.

Adsorption Basics: Part 2

August
2017
Back To Basics
Alan Gabelman, P.E.
This article focuses on adsorbents, including activated carbon, zeolite molecular sieves, and polymeric adsorbents, as well as ion exchange resins.

Editorial: Enrich Your Life through Volunteering

August
2017
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
This month’s Career Corner (p. 22) offers suggestions for coping with stress at work. For many of us, a major source of stress is the feeling that we have too much to do and not enough time to do it. There’s a counterintuitive solution to this...

New Products: August 2017

August
2017
New Products
Engineering Services Cloud-Based SCADA Service Delivers Scalable Support and Upgrades Experion Elevate, a cloud-based real-time process super-visory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, is a scalable subscription service that enables secure...

Trends in Corporate Sustainability

August
2017
Critical Issues
Mary Ellen Ternes
Motivated by legal and regulatory requirements, as well as by financial incentives for taking voluntary actions, many companies are embracing more proactive risk-management methods and building sustainability practices into their business models.

Hydroprocessing for Clean Energy: Design, Operation, and Optimization

January, 2017
This book provides a holistic approach that looks at changing process conditions, possible process design changes, and process technology upgrades. It includes process integration techniques for improving process designs and for applying optimization techniques for improved operations, with a focus...

Leveraging the Ammonia Industry for Solar Energy Storage

July
2017
Special Section
Keith Lovegrove, Adrienne Lavine, Hamarz Aryafar, Chen Chen
Concentrating solar power (CSP) with energy storage could help meet our zero-emission energy needs. This article explains how the Haber-Bosch process for ammonia synthesis could be used for low-cost energy storage in CSP plants.

The ChE in Context: Members Will Shape AIChE’s Climate Change Policy

July
2017
The ChE in Context
Mary Ellen Ternes, Phillip R. Westmoreland
In the eight months since the U.S. Presidential election, AIChE and its Public Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC) have received many calls for action to expand AIChE’s climate change policy. As evidenced by many threads in the AIChE Engage...

Solar Thermochemical Energy Storage

July
2017
Special Section
Nick AuYeung, Peter Kreider
Thermochemical energy storage could be the key to widespread concentrating solar power (CSP) deployment.

Making Sense of Laboratory Fire Codes

July
2017
Safety
Richard Palluzi
Laboratory owners are faced with a difficult task when building a new lab or renovating an existing one — two fire-prevention codes specify different restrictions on the quantities of hazardous materials that can be used and stored in that facility.

YPOV: The 35 Under 35 Award Winners: A Sneak Peek

July
2017
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
A CEO. An attorney. Two company co-founders. Two senior process engineers. Twelve professors. They work for large organizations, public and private universities, and small startup companies. They hail from all over the globe, but they all have one thing in common: They are among the winners of AIChE’s inaugural 35 Under 35 Award.

AIChE Journal Highlight: The Importance of Teaching Engineers Professional Skills

July
2017
Journal Highlight
Although technical ability is typically the primary focus of chemical engineering education, professional skills — such as communication, teamwork, ethical behavior, and time management — are often more important in an engineer’s career, Phil Wankat of Purdue Univ. says in the July AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Teaching Professional Skills.”

Consider Modular Plant Design

May
2017
Process Development
Sulogna Roy, P.Eng.
Modular plants offer many benefits over a conventional stick-built facility. Read about the pros and cons of the modular approach to help you decide if it makes sense for your project.

A Bright Spot for Energy Production

July
2017
Special Section
Elizabeth Pavone
Recently, I had the opportunity to view a great swath of the U.S. in less than six hours. Flying west from New York to California, I spotted major cities and snow-capped mountain ranges, but what stood out to me the most was an enormous circular arrangement of mirrors all facing one central point. From my aerial vantage, I recognized it as a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, and later learned it was likely the Crescent Dunes CSP plant in Nevada.

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