How Well Are We Preparing ChE Students for Industry?; Climate FAQs: Science Academies Answer 20 Questions; Electronic Shrink Wrap Conforms to a Beating Heart; Biomass and Sunlight Cooperate to Produce Electricity; and more.
AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers
Insulating materials developed for the aerospace industry may soon gain broader acceptance in the chemical process industries (CPI), thanks in part to a Materials Technology Institute (MTI) project. CPI companies are beginning to consider the use of...
The outlook is bright for the process automation enterprise in the U.S. through this decade and into the next. Process automation skills and know-how are honed through challenging projects and are perfected by maintaining these systems at peak efficiency. Without constant renewal based on new and different challenges, these skills tend to atrophy and become obsolete. Fortunately, after more than a decade of decline, the U.S. process industries are entering a period of highly advantaged resource and energy availability.
AIChE Members Are Elected to the National Academy of Engineering Minority Affairs Committee Salutes Members in the News
While the Beacon focuses on process-related incidents, never forget that occupational safety is also important. For a safe workplace, we must have effective programs for both process and occupational safety.
Silicon Anode Gets a Fruity Makeover; New Anode Provides a Home for Plus-Sized Na+ Ions; A Flicker of Hope for Nonflammable Li-Ion Batteries; Bio-Inspired Glass Is Bendable; and more.
A process designed to lower the cost of magnesium metal, making it competitive with aluminum, has been an industry goal for over a century. Although magnesium metal makes up millions of today’s lightweight cell phone and laptop cases, its persistently high cost (twice that of aluminum today) has impeded broad, high-volume use in other areas, including the automobile industry. This could soon change, thanks to researchers at INFINIUM, based in Natick, MA, who have developed a low-cost, energy-efficient, zero-emissions process for making this lightweight, strong metal.
Organizers are putting the finishing touches on the schedule of events for AIChE’s 2014 Spring Meeting and 10th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS), to be held Mar. 30 – Apr. 3 at the Hilton New Orleans – Riverside, in New Orleans, LA.
Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Last a Lifetime; A Bright Future for Organic Electronics; New Glue Fixes Broken Hearts; Hydrogels Release Drugs On Demand and more.
The short answer to this questions is YES. In 1993, Trevor Kletz, who passed away on Oct. 31, 2013, at the age of 91, wrote a book titled Lessons from Disaster: How Organizations Have No Memory and Accidents Recur. Twenty years later, we still fail to learn from accidents, and we repeat them.
A new topical conference devoted to the hot topic of shale gas and tight oil, special programs spotlighting the progress made within the process safety community, and a new luncheon are just a few of the opportunities to learn and collaborate at AIChE’s 2014 Spring Meeting and 10th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS).
Projects aimed at improving distillation column operation may encounter a variety of hurdles. This article looks at ten common problems and provides guidance on how to avoid them.
As the Director of Discipline Capability within BP’s Global Wells Organization, a private pilot, and mother, Kelli Fereday has demonstrated that an adventurous, rigorous career and strong family life are not mutually exclusive. Fereday has spent nearly 20 years with BP, cultivating a stimulating and challenging livelihood, and championing female engineers — especially those who have or want a family — by encouraging them to take control of their careers.
Shape-Shifting Polymers Go 3D; MOF Cuts Energy Costs of Gas Separation; Plastic Morphs from Smooth to Bumpy, and Back Again; Nanoscale Topography Puts the Brakes on Cancer Growth; Metamaterials Enter a New Dimension; and more.
Drop-in biofuels — so named because they can be blended with current fuels in any proportion without modifying existing infrastructure — for the transportation sector have attracted increasing attention. In general, these liquid fuels offer several advantages over first-generation biofuels...
M. Henry Heines
One of the ways in which companies often trip up in their attempts to develop a patent portfolio is by selling a product, or even offering it for sale, before filing a patent application. If more than a year passes between the date of a sale or offer and the application filing date, the application is disqualified from receiving a patent. Likewise, if a sale or offer a year before the filing date is revealed only after the patent has been granted, the patent is declared invalid. In either case, the applicant is barred from obtaining a patent, and this is known as an “on-sale bar.”
Pressure-measuring devices come in a wide variety of designs and sizes to suit almost any application. This article describes the basics of pressure measurement and provides guidance on instrument selection.
In Memoriam: John Chen, AIChE Fellow and Former President Jack Weaver, Former AIChE Director of Technical Programs
Process safety has come a long way since the Bhopal tragedy in 1984. However, accidents in the chemical process industries continue to occur. Post-mortem analysis has indicated that many were preventable and had similar systemic causes. This begs the question: Why do we fail to learn from past events and make adequate changes to prevent their recurrence? In the January AIChE Journal Perspective article, “A System-Theoretic, Control-Inspired View and Approach to Process Safety,” Nancy G. Leveson and George Stephanopoulos of MIT offer their take on this question.
Harmless Virus Helps Assemble Li-O2 Cathode for Batteries; A Sticky Solution for Tissue Engineering; Biopatch Catalyzes Bone Regeneration; Shape-Shifting Material Heats Up; and more
President’s Corner: Our Evolving Profession; AIChE Gala Spotlights Ethics; Southwest Process Technology Conference; Award Nominations; Member News
Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is corrosion of piping, tanks, or other equipment that occurs due to water under insulation or ﬁreprooﬁng. Faulty or damaged insulation is frequently a source of the water that causes corrosion, and the insulation may also hide the damage so you are not aware of it.
Sujata K. Bhatia
A fermentation process leverages live cells to manufacture a variety of products. Choosing the correct host cell, as well as the optimal production equipment and method, are the fundamental ﬁrst steps of these complex processes.
CUI is common in processing plants and reﬁneries operating equipment in a temperature range of 25–400˚F. The cost to industry in time, money, and risk is staggering, drawing the interest of the Materials Technology Institute (MTI) and others in the chemical process industries.
AIChE is pleased to announce publication of the third edition of the trusted guide, “Equipment Testing Procedure for Trayed and Packed Columns: A Guide to Performance Evaluation.”
Annual Meeting Wrap-Up, President’s Corner: To Shape the Future We Want, AIChE Foundation Honors Stuart Churchill, AIChE Foundation Heralds ChE’s “Promise” in New Film, and more.
Michael Davies, Thomas Heidermann
A flame arrester may be installed to keep an external flame out of a tank or vessel or to ensure that a flame burning within a pipeline does not propagate to other equipment. Use the information presented here to determine what type of device is appropriate for your application.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the leadership of Ajaz Hussain, then the Associate Director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), launched the Process Analytical Technology (PAT) Initiative a decade ago, it set in motion a multifaceted search for a more scientifically based approach to pharmaceutical manufacturing and quality assurance. Hussain’s call for more PAT in the industry’s manufacturing operations was really more of a challenge to current practices than a proscriptive program. The pharmaceutical industry has responded with a renewed emphasis on understanding the scientific basis of its processes, and toward that end has made significant investments in personnel and tools.
Made-to-Order Materials Move Forward; 3D Photonic Crystal Stands Up to the Heat; Battery Electrode Acquires Self-Healing Power; GHG Emissions Decline as Power Plants Switch to Natural Gas; and more.
In an increasingly competitive global environment, how can chemical engineering students and companies alike align to meet the challenges ahead? Simply put, through AIChE’s ScaleUp program.
A worker was asked to move two open-top 5-gal pails containing aqueous sodium permanganate solution from one location to another. When he picked up the pails, the contents of one of them erupted, spraying him with the solution. Sodium permanganate is a strong oxidizer, and the splashed material set the worker’s clothing on fire. His injuries required hospital treatment.
Batteries come in a variety of chemistries and designs. Using fundamental principles, the theoretical performance of these electrochemical cells can be determined, enabling you to engineer the optimal device.
Genetically Engineered Yeast Consume Toxic Byproduct; New Device Performs Double Duty; Simulations Shine Light on Future Solar Materials; Closing the Voltage Gap; and more.
Climate models use mathematical equations to represent interactions between and within the ocean, land, ice, and atmosphere — providing a means to understand the climate system and predict future climate changes. They are becoming increasingly...
Michael R. Muller, Michael B. Muller, Prakash Rao
Potential energy savings for chilled-water cooling systems are often overlooked. A detailed review of the cooling system along with the appropriate temperature and flowrate measurements will help you identify ways to cash in on these savings.
Traditional stainless steel equipment is increasingly being replaced with disposable units in new and existing processes alike, enabling more flexibility, higher efficiencies, and lower costs. Follow the guidance offered here to determine the most-effective single-use approach for your facility.
Many plants shut down or reduce operations during a holiday period. Equipment may be in a non-standard condition while processes are on hold or shut down. Even though the plant is shut down, it is likely that hazardous materials are still present in storage tanks and process vessels. Equipment that is shut down may be opened for inspection or maintenance. Some plants continue to operate during a holiday but with reduced staff, delaying less-critical activities.
Gerry M. Clarke
Among the many elements involved in converting chemical energy into electricity, lithium is currently king. This article looks at the lithium supply picture and the implications of supply and demand on lithium-ion battery technologies and markets.
2013 Institute and Board of Directors’ Award Recipients UOP’s Gautam is Selected to Receive the Inaugural AIChE Government and Industry Leaders (AGILE) Award Anseth will Present Bailey Award Lecture at San Francisco Annual Meeting Member News
One hundred years ago, on Oct. 14, 1913, the Senghenydd Colliery in Glamorgan, South Wales, exploded, resulting in 439 fatalities. This was the worst coal mine disaster in the history of the U.K. The incident is believed to have been started by...
As chemical processing plants and related facilities age, they typically develop problems with corrosion. Allowing deterioration to progress until a piece of equipment needs to be discarded and replaced — called the “run to failure” option — can be...
Andrew N. Jansen
Lithium-ion batteries can be tailored to suit a range of products in almost any industry. This article describes the main applications for which these batteries are used, and explores some of the challenges hindering future advances.