AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Air Power

September
2013
Process Safety Beacon
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.

AIChE Journal Highlight - Tribute to Founders: Neal R. Amundson

September
2013
Journal Highlight
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.

CEP: Institute News

September
2013
Institute News
New Fellows; 65th Institute Lecturer; WISE Interns; Foundation News; and more

CEP: Institute News

August
2013
Institute News
New Fellows; Ammonia Safety Symposium; AIChE Election in Progress

Use Process Mapping to Improve Quality

August
2013
Management
Tony Cooper, Charlie Moore
Process mapping integrates science, engineering, and process knowledge with data and statistics to reveal opportunities for process improvement.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Can a Water Pump Explode?

August
2013
Process Safety Beacon
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...

CEP: News Update

August
2013
News Update
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

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Needed: ChEs to Solve Global Challenges

August
2013
Journal Highlight
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

CEP: News Update

July
2013
News Update
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.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Reduce Water Use in Steam Systems

July
2013
Journal Highlight
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...

CEP: Institute News

July
2013
Institute News
2013 AIChE Election; Candidate Platforms; 2012 AIChE Financial Statement; Member News

Chemistry Simulation Drives Clean Technology Progress

August
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
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.

Algal Biofuels: The Backstory

March
2011
SBE Special Section
Arjun Gopalratnam
Increasing energy demand and dwindling energy resources have spurred interest in making transportation fuels from renewable sources such as microalgae.

Best Practices for Hazardous-Waste Management

August
2008
Environmental Management
Isaac Powell
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.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Remembering Piper Alpha

July
2013
Process Safety Beacon
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...

Algal Biofuels: The Process

March
2011
SBE Special Section
Al Darzins, Eric P. Knoshaug
The production of algal biofuels involves algae cultivation, biomass harvesting and dewatering, lipid extraction, and conversion to fuel.

Evaluating Centrifugal Compressor Performance

July
2013
Fluids and Solids Handling
AIChE’s Equipment Testing Procedures Committee; Centrifugal Compressor Procedure Subcommittee
Follow these practical tips to determine the condition of your centrifugal compressors.

2013 AIChE Salary Survey

June
2013
Salary Survey
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.

The Netherlands' Process Technology Networks

June
2012
Global Outlook
Tjeerd Jongsma, Andrzej Stankiewicz
Marked by a culture of open innovation, the Dutch system of collaboration creates unique opportunities for advances in process technology.

Germany's Chemical Parks: Industry Landscaping

October
2011
Global Outlook
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...

CEP: Profile - Young Perspectives

June
2013
Profile
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...

China: Past, Present and Future of Chemical Engineering

April
2011
Global Outlook
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.

Selecting a Centrifugal Compressor

June
2013
Back To Basics
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.

CEP: Institute News

June
2013
Institute News
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.

Singapore’s Chemicals Industry: Engineering an Island

April
2013
Global Outlook
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.

CEP: Process Automation Corner - North America’s Emerging Energy Independence

June
2013
Process Automation Corner
Terry McMahon
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.

South Korea's Chemical Industry: Progress and Challenges

December
2011
Global Outlook
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...

CEP: News Update

June
2013
News Update
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

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Why Can't I Open that Valve?

June
2013
Process Safety Beacon
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...

CEP: Profile - An Engineer Who Embraces Risk

May
2013
Profile
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...

Selecting Flowmeters to Minimize Energy Costs

May
2013
Instrumentation
Greg Livelli
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.

Conducting an Energy Design Review

May
2013
Energy
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...

CEP: Product Digest

May
2013
Product Digest
This month's topic is Piping, Tubing, Fittings and Hoses.

CEP: News Update

May
2013
News Update
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.

Selecting Baffles for Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers

February
2012
Heat Transfer
Salem Bouhairie
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: The Direct Approach to Mass Flow Measurement

March
2013
Back To Basics
Tom O’Banion
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

Determining Torque Split for Multiple Impellers in Slurry Mixing

February
2012
Fluids and Solids Handling
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...

CEP: Patent Update - An Invention's Nonobviousness May Not Be Obvious

April
2013
Patent Update
M. Henry Heines
To qualify for a patent, an invention must be both novel and nonobvious. Novelty requires that the invention differ in some way from the prior art, such as earlier patents and published materials. Nonobviousness requires that there be more than just...

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