AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

CEP: Calendars

August
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar AIChE Academy Calendar Webinars

CEP: YPOV - Vote for Your Favorite Student Videos!

August
2015
YPOV
Of all of the engineering disciplines, it is toughest to describe what exactly a chemical engineer does. “Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that the other engineering disciplines build more tangible things,” says Stas’ Gawel, subcommittee chair of AIChE’s Global Undergraduate Student Video Competition. “Civil engineers build bridges, mechanical engineers build engines, and electrical engineers build circuits.” Chemical engineers, on the other hand, are more versatile and work in a wider variety of industries and positions than many other types of engineers. Two years ago, the Young Professionals Committee (YPC) conceived of the Global Undergraduate Student Video Competition to give high school students a better idea of what chemical engineers do, and to encourage students to pursue this major in college.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Sensitive Inline Analyzers Set to Transform the Cement Industry

August
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Portland cement manufacturing is an energy-intensive process that accounts for 6–8% of the world’s fuel use and approximately 5% of man-made global CO2 emissions. The industry uses a nuclear radiation-based technology called prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA), which offers highly accurate (within 0.1 wt%) inline measurement of the elemental composition of 100% of the raw material input. Although PGNAA systems are widely utilized, they are suitable only for heavy, dense materials that produce strong signals, such as cement raw materials. XRSciences — a Carlsbad, CA-based startup funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) — has overcome the PGNAA signal-strength limitation.

CEP: Profile: - Charlie Bamforth: Tapping into Brewing Science

August
2015
Profile
Charlie Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch Endowed Professor of Malting and Brewing Sciences at the Univ. of California, Davis, has lectured extensively on the nature of beer and brewing at venues such as Google, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Smithsonian Institution. Throughout his many interviews and lectures, he never wastes an opportunity to take a jab at wine makers. One key point that he frequently reiterates: beer is superior. “It’s okay to dislike beer. It does not make you a bad person,” says Bamforth. “But never try to tell me that wine is better. Wine is not as complex a product, it is not so complicated to make, it is not a better accompaniment to food, and it is not better for you,” he states. “I like wine — but I like beer better and respect it more.”

AIChE Journal Highlight - Diversifying the Chemicals Industry’s Feedstock Portfolio

August
2015
Journal Highlight
In the August AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Future Feedstocks for the Chemical Industry — Where Will the Carbon Come From?,” Scott F. Mitchell of SABIC Technology Center and Daniel F. Shantz of Tulane Univ. outline the opportunities for various sources of carbon that could be used for chemicals production, including shale gas, biomass, coal, and recycled CO2 and plastics.

CEP: News Update

August
2015
News Update
Sponge-Like Catalyst Makes Bioplastic Cheaper and Greener; LED Combines Optoelectronic Powerhouses; New Water Splitter Produces Hydrogen; Algal Fuel Gets a Boost; and more.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Operational Readiness

August
2015
Process Safety Beacon
Any time that you introduce material or energy into equipment that is not currently being used, it is essential that you confirm that the equipment is ready. Are all of the parts of the equipment actually there and properly installed, or is something missing? Are all the valves that are supposed to be open actually open, and are all the valves that are supposed to be closed actually closed? Is everything else ready to use?

CEP: Institute News

August
2015
Institute News
AIChE Gala Will Showcase Excellence in Process Safety, Nov. 3 3rd Middle East Process Engineering Conference, Sept. 14-17, in Bahrain Body of Knowledge Will Guide ChE Training, Skills Development Commercializing Industrial Biotechnology Workshop...

CEP: Material Matters - Guidelines Aim to Reduce Failures

July
2015
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
MTI is in the process of developing a best practice guideline for the design, welding, repair, and inspection of DSS 2205 equipment made from thick plates (greater than 1 in.), to be completed in Oct. 2015. The guidelines will include recommendations for assessing susceptibility to SSC (low, medium, or high, based on ferrite and hardness numbers), as well as information on the scope and scheduling of inspections.

South Africa's Chemicals Industry

July
2015
Global Outlook
Thokozani Majozi, Patrick Veldhuizen
Built upon the nation’s abundant coal reserves, South Africa’s chemicals industry spent much of the 20th century isolated from world trade. The abolishment of apartheid opened doors to its full participation in global markets.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Bridging the Scale Gap to Model Heterogeneous Catalytic Reactions

July
2015
Journal Highlight
To fully harness the advantages of heterogeneous catalysis, heat and mass transfer must be optimized with respect to catalytic reaction rates. While reactions take place at the molecular length scale, industrial reactors can have dimensions as large as several meters, making reactor and catalyst design a difficult task. In the July AIChE Journal cover story, “Gas-Solid Catalytic Reactions with an Extended DSMC Model,” Georg R. Pesch, Norbert Riefler, Udo Fritsching, Lucio Colombi Ciacchi, and Lutz Mädler of the Univ. of Bremen, Germany, introduce a new modeling approach to efficiently tackle this challenge.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Designer Microbes Make Green Surfactants

July
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Surfactants are typically made from petroleum-based feedstock or palm oil — using processes that produce greenhouse gases, involve the use of toxic chemicals, and generate hazardous byproducts. Massachusetts-based biotech company Modular Genetics, Inc. has engineered Bacillus subtilis strains to convert cellulosic sugar into a surfactant consisting of a fatty acid linked to an amino acid. Its approach uses no oil of any sort or toxic chemicals, and the surfactants do not generate hazardous byproducts.

CEP: News Update

July
2015
News Update
Inks from Silk Show Biomedical Promise; Activated Carbon Gets a Designer Label; Graphene Coating Promises to Improve Condenser Efficiency; Solar Materials Self-Assemble for Lengthy Energy Storage; and more.

CEP: Institute News

July
2015
Institute News
AIChE Election; Candidate Platforms; Your AIChE Membership — Technical Divisions and Forums; Member News

CEP: Calendars

July
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Academy Calendar; Webinars

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Know When to Leave

July
2015
Process Safety Beacon
You cannot know when an unexpected reaction in a vessel might develop enough pressure to cause the vessel to rupture. All a large release of a flammable vapor needs in order to burn or explode is an ignition source. Never put yourself in danger by remaining in the area if this happens in your plant. Know your facility’s emergency plans, participate in drills, and know when to evacuate or shelter in a safe place.

CEP: News Update

June
2015
News Update
A Simple Approach to Separating Rare Earth Metals; A Bionic Device Mimics Natural Photosynthesis; Molecules Click into Biocompatible Hydrogels; Nature-Inspired Coating Wards Off Water and Light; and more

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Conduct of Operations

June
2015
Process Safety Beacon
Conduct of operations can be summarized in two simple concepts: (1) Say what you intend to do (procedures). (2) Always do what you say. This means, for example, that if your operating procedures say to shut down if a critical safety parameter exceeds a specified value, you must always shut down.

CEP: Calendars

June
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Academy Calendar; Webinars

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - New Model Optimizes Water Use in Shale Gas Development

June
2015
Journal Highlight
In the June AIChE Journal cover story, “Investment Optimization Model for Freshwater Acquisition and Wastewater Handling in Shale Gas Production,” Linlin Yang, Ignacio E. Grossmann, and Meagan Mauter of Carnegie Mellon Univ., and Robert Dilmore of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, discuss a new mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model to optimize water use in the hydraulic fracturing of shale gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. The objective of the model is to minimize the capital and operating costs and maximize profit.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - High-Performance MOFs Improve the Economics of Industrial Gases

June
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
The highly commoditized industrial gas sector relies on energy-intensive processes to produce, separate, and store industrial gases. The power required to compress gases accounts for up to 50% of the cost of the delivered gas. And, gas-separation adsorption units recover only a fraction of the feed product, necessitating processes with large waste or recycle streams. NuMat Technologies, an Illinois startup has developed synthetic adsorbent materials to address these challenges.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Enabling a New Generation of Polyolefins

May
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
With a global production of 150 million metric tons in 2013, polyolefins represent the largest class of synthetic polymers. Today, the industry uses a costly, time-consuming, “one catalyst, one material” trial-and-error approach to developing new polymers. Precision Polyolefins (PPL) intends to change the status quo by establishing a novel “one catalyst, many materials” paradigm for rapid discovery and product development of new polyolefins.

CEP: News Update

May
2015
News Update
Metabolic Engineering Delivers Low-Cost Hydrogen; Metal-Free Catalyst Recharges Zinc-Air Batteries; Aluminum Could Take Charge of the Battery Market; New Desalination Membrane Resists Chlorine; and more

CEP: Institute News

May
2015
Institute News
Meet AIChE’s New Fellows; AIChE Opens Houston Office; Your AIChE Membership — Career Services; Member News

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Mechanical Integrity

May
2015
Process Safety Beacon
An effective MOC system is vital to the success of any piping integrity management program. Your plant inspection group can anticipate changes in corrosion or other deterioration and change inspection schedules and procedures appropriately. Make sure your inspection group is involved in the approval process for changes that may affect the integrity of piping or other equipment.

CEP: Calendars

May
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Academy Calendar; Webinars

Energy Management and Efficiency for the Process Industries

April, 2015
Editors Alan P. Rossiter and Beth P. Jones have gathered material that lays out the underlying management and technical issues that drive successful industrial energy management program. With a foreword by the Hon. Charles D. McConnell, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, the book provides a clear understanding of both scope of the opportunity and the available methodologies for capturing energy savings.

Saudi Arabia’s Chemicals Industry Continues to Grow

August
2014
Global Outlook
Leonard E. Gerlowski, Ahmad M. Al Othman
Abundant and competitively priced petroleum feedstock has spurred massive growth in Saudi Arabia’s chemicals industry over the past five decades. As the Kingdom faces competition from neighboring countries, it will diversify to ensure further growth.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Safe Work Practices

April
2015
Process Safety Beacon
The term safe work practices refers to the processes we use to authorize nonroutine work activities, and to control the hazards and manage the risks associated with these activities. Safe work practices often authorize work through permits, which frequently include checklists of potential hazards associated with the work. A nonroutine activity has nothing to do with how often the activity is done. Instead, it refers to activities that are not part of the normal process for converting raw materials to finished product, and not covered by the plant’s standard operating procedures for normal operations.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Nanocrystal Manufacturing May Revolutionize Thermoelectrics

April
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Thermoelectric materials hold promise as a means to recover waste heat from automobile exhaust, power plants, and other systems. Their use, however, is limited by low efficiency. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a process that combines nanostructuring, compositional control, and ppm-level impurity doping. ThermoAura, Inc., a start-up company co-founded by the researchers, has scaled up this process to manufacture high-performance thermoelectrics with tunable properties.

CEP: Material Matters - Tool Helps Predict Reactivity Hazards

April
2015
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
To provide guidance and disseminate reactivity data, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in conjunction with partnering companies and technical associations, developed the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW). The free software ( http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/reactivityworksheet ) allows CPI professionals to review the reactivity hazards of thousands of individual chemicals, as well as predict the consequence of mixing chemical substances. Since its release in March 2013, the CRW Version 3 (CRW3) has been downloaded approximately 80,000 times.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Layer-by-Layer Approach Enables Customizable Medication Therapy

April
2015
Journal Highlight
In the April AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Layer-by-Layer Approaches to Staging Medicine from Surfaces,” Paula T. Hammond of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology describes her research on a method that creates layers of thin films stacked on top of one another. Each layer contains a different therapeutic, which is incorporated into the thin film via one of several mechanisms (e.g., charge, hydrogen bonding, or other complementary interaction). This technique is useful for drug therapy in applications such as bone regeneration.

Chile’s Mining and Chemicals Industries

June
2014
Global Outlook
Luis A. Cisternas, Edelmira D. Gálvez
With abundant mineral resources, Chile’s chemicals industries are dominated by mining, with many of its operations among the world’s most productive and important.

CEP: News Update

April
2015
News Update
Chameleon-Like Material Changes Color On Demand; New Genes for an Old Microbe Make Statins Cheaper; A Sweet Approach to Breaking Down Cellulose; New Catalyst Pushes Lignin Up on the Value Chain; and more.

CEP: Profile - Tal Golesworthy: Engineering a Stronger Heart

April
2015
Profile
Tal Golesworthy has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that weakens connective tissues throughout the body. When he learned he would need surgery to completely replace his aorta, he used engineering principles to develop a less-invasive device to strengthen the aorta — and then convinced surgeons to implant the device in his heart.

My Steam Trap Is Good — Why Doesn’t It Work?

April
2015
Heat Transfer
James R. Risko
Even a relatively new steam trap in seemingly good condition can fail if it is applied incorrectly. Here’s how to recognize and avoid situations that can lead to a failure.

Argentina's Chemicals Industry: Challenges and Opportunites

February
2014
Global Outlook
Claudio Delpino, M. Soledad Diaz
Boosted by domestic and international companies, Argentina’s chemicals industry continues to grow as demand for its products increases— even in the face of challenges posed by feedstock availability and the need for increased investment.

Italy's Chemicals Industries

April
2014
Global Outlook
Simone Colombo
Italy’s many small and medium-sized chemical companies are crucibles of innovation, whose exports have helped the country to establish a strong presence in the global chemicals market.

CEP: Institute News

April
2015
Institute News
CCPS Marks 30 Years; Candidates for AIChE Election; Member News; NEW: Your AIChE Membership

Singapore: An Emerging Leader in Biomedical Sciences

October
2007
SBE Special Section
Niki S. C. Wong, Miranda G. S. Yap
With a heavy investment in biomedical research— particularly the $330 million to build Biopolis in 2003— Singapore is seeing the fruits of its labor blossom.

CEP: Calendars

April
2015
Calendars
AIChE Meetings Calendar; AIChE Academy Calendar; Webinars

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