This month's topic is instrumentation.
AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers
Air is always all around us, and the oxygen it contains is necessary for life. But, compressed air (or any other compressed gas) contains a lot of energy and can cause major damage if a vessel or pipe fails.
Chemical engineering as it is known today — in which theoretical models are used to design and maintain processes — bears only a slight resemblance to the nascent field. In its beginnings, chemical engineering involved the dissection of chemical processes into unit processes and unit operations using mostly empirical methods. Material and energy balances soon entered the scene in the late 1920s, followed by the introduction of transport phenomena. While many scientists and engineers contributed to the evolution of chemical engineering, one man in particular stands out. Neal Russell Amundson, who became a full professor of chemical engineering at the Univ. of Minnesota at the age of 35, can be credited for the proliferation of scientific content within the chemical engineering field and profession.
Tony Cooper, Charlie Moore
Process mapping integrates science, engineering, and process knowledge with data and statistics to reveal opportunities for process improvement.
The answer must be yes, or we would not have a Beacon on this subject. The centrifugal pumps in the pictures are all water pumps that exploded. The explosions did not occur because of any contamination or chemical reaction with something that was...
Hot Off the Press: The World’s First 3D-Printed Battery; Nonmetal Compound Catalyzes CO2-to-Methanol Reaction; Iron Catalyst Gives Hydrogenation a Green Makeover; and more
Chemical engineers and sound engineering principles have been absent from the discussions of global challenges — energy, climate change, food, and water — for too long, assert Bill Banholzer and Mark Jones of Dow Chemical in their August AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Chemical Engineers Must Focus on Practical Solutions.” Society has thus confused what is possible with what is practical, particularly when it comes to energy, where new discoveries are greeted with over-excitement and the hope that each will provide the means to supply reliable, cheap, and almost-limitless energy, the authors say. They cite the hydrogen economy, cellulosic ethanol, and fuel cells as examples of technologies that have promised much but delivered little
Inkjet-Printed Graphene Rolls Out; UV Treatment Improves Membrane Selectivity; Additive Sweetens the Prospects for Organic Electronics; Protective Coating Connects Electronics and Living Tissue; and more.
Steam systems are the largest consumer of energy in the U.S. manufacturing sector, and are prominent in the chemical process industries (CPI), where steam is critical to several ubiquitous processes, including distillation, stripping, cracking, and...
Overcoming Future Challenges through Engineering Excellence will be the uniting theme at the 2nd Middle East Process Engineering Conference (MEPEC 2013).
Scott A. Drennan
Here's how to determine when to use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate the detailed chemistry of reacting flows for combustion and chemical processes.
Risk-based inspection (RBI) technology has revolutionized the Chemical process industries' (CPI) approach to plant inspection by enabling improvements in safety and production while reducing costs.
Increasing energy demand and dwindling energy resources have spurred interest in making transportation fuels from renewable sources such as microalgae.
Sustainability, and the global challenges and opportunities it offers to chemical engineers, will be a uniting theme of discussion for the thousands of chemical engineering practitioners, researchers, and business leaders who will gather at AIChE’s...
A waste generator can reduce the risks of incurring financial penalties and damage to its reputation by implementing these hazardous-waste determination, vendor management and document control programs.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha offshore oil platform disaster in the North Sea approximately 110 miles (180 km) from Aberdeen, Scotland. On July 6, 1988, a series of catastrophic explosions and fires destroyed the platform...
Al Darzins, Eric P. Knoshaug
The production of algal biofuels involves algae cultivation, biomass harvesting and dewatering, lipid extraction, and conversion to fuel.
AIChE’s Equipment Testing Procedures Committee; Centrifugal Compressor Procedure Subcommittee
Follow these practical tips to determine the condition of your centrifugal compressors.
Chemical engineering salaries have increased over the past two years, reﬂecting an improved economy and job market for engineers. The median salary of survey respondents is $120,000 — a 9% increase over the median reported in 2011. This expanded version of the article that appeared in print in the June 2013 issue of CEP includes addittional information, tables, charts and more detail.
Tjeerd Jongsma, Andrzej Stankiewicz
Marked by a culture of open innovation, the Dutch system of collaboration creates unique opportunities for advances in process technology.
Chemical parks are synergistic environments for the companies located there — thanks to integration of infrastructure and shared resources and distribution networks. In Europe, Germany’s central location and unique geography have contributed to the...
Last year marked the tenth anniversary of AIChE’s Young Professionals Advisory Board (YPAB) and its transformation into the Young Professionals Committee — which is tasked with engaging younger generations of AIChE members and leaders. Wendy Young...
Yi Cheng, Yong Jin
The need to address ecological problems stemming from China’s burgeoning industrial growth is the impetus behind many recent developments in China’s surging chemical industry.
Enrico N. Martinez
New investments in industry and raw materials, as well as the modernization of infrastructures and industry practices, can help to reverse México's growing trade deficit and restore the health of its chemical industry.
James M. Sorokes
End users must specify certain performance requirements when requesting a quote for a new centrifugal compressor. Understand your process, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each centrifugal compressor configuration, in order to choose the optimal centrifugal compressor for your application.
Highlights from the Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety; Saudi Arabia Section Will Host an Expanded Middle East Process Technology Conference — Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, in Bahrain; Calendars.
Keith Carpenter, Wai Kiong Ng
The chemicals industry is a pillar of Singapore’s economic success. The island city-state’s emergence as a chemical industry leader has been boosted by investment in infrastructure and the creation of an industrial island complex.
What a difference a few years can make! In mid-2005, I wrote a column (for another publication) entitled “The U.S. Chemicals Industry, R.I.P.” The situation got no better for the next few years, but starting toward the end of the last decade, based on improved extraction methods, U.S. natural gas production began to grow rapidly.
Jae Hyun Cho, Il Moon
South Korea's chemical industry is entering a position of leadership in the world market. However, new investments in energy resources, a shift to higher-value-added products, and development of core environmentally friendly technologies are needed...
Sinewy Fibers Boast Strength and Toughness; Graphene Stacks Up to Bandgap Limitations; Squishy Material Toughens Up when Stressed; A Tiny Forest of Semiconductors Mimics Nature’s Photosynthesis; and more
In April 2004, an explosion and ﬁre at a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant killed ﬁve people and severely injured three others. The explosion and ﬁre destroyed most of the reactor building and an adjacent warehouse. Because smoke from the ﬁre drifted...
An entrepreneur is someone with a certain attitude — a mindset — a way of looking at the world,” reﬂects Loraine Huchler, winner of the 2012 Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) Entrepreneur Award. Huchler, founder and president of MarTech Systems, Inc...
Choosing a ﬂowmeter with a low permanent pressure loss can reduce pump or compressor work requirements and increase steam boiler capacities — thereby trimming annual energy costs.
Emily Thorn Corthay, Megan Dover, Robert Griesbach, Robert Storey
Formal energy design reviews help to ensure that energy is treated as a key factor in decision-making throughout the various stages of a design project. This approach can signiﬁcantly improve a site’s energy performance. An energy design review (EDR...
Understand what kind of pressure-relief valves you have in your plant, and know what you must do to ensure that they work properly.
Artiﬁcial Organs Hot Off the Press; Biofuel Byproducts and Concrete Mix It Up; Squid Inspires Material for Medical Implants; Polymer Chains Line Up to Provide High Performance; Ribbons of VO2 and Graphene Enable Ultrafast Batteries; and more.
Baffles play a crucial role in regulating shellside fluid flow and improving heat transfer between shellside and tubeside process fluids. Here's how to choose the correct baffle to meet process requirements.
Coriolis meters eliminate the need to measure and correct for pressure, temperature, and density fluctuations to determine mass flowrate. Although their capital costs may be higher, they typically have a lower overall cost of ownership than other types of meters
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Yield-stress slurries, such as those used in paper, biofuel, and polymer production, can be difficult to mix. This article explains how to determine torque requirements for multiple-impeller slurry-mixing systems to optimize tank geometry and...