AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers
Buddy D. Ratner
The potential for tissue engineering to transform the practice of medicine is enormous. Chemical engineers will play important roles in this revolution.
These tables offer a snapshot of the many companies, research organizations and universities working in nanotechnology, nanoscience, nanobiotechnology and other variations of the term that has been coined to describe a revolutionary approach to...
Donald Anton, Claudio Corgnale, Bruce Hardy, Martin Sulic, David Tamburello
Development of natural gas as a fuel for light-duty vehicles will require innovative methods of onboard storage. One option under investigation is the use of adsorbents.
Kevin J. Bittorf, David S. Dickey, Keith E. Johnson , Christopher J. Ramsey
Physical modeling and computer simulation provide insights into the performance of a glass-lined reactor.
Chemical compatibility charts can be used to determine the chemical reactivity of thousands of common hazardous chemicals, the compatibility of absorbents, and the suitability of materials of construction in chemical processes.
Francesco Picciotti, Marcello Picciotti
This article outlines some of the considerations involved in selecting and specifying a reactor system for research and development applications.
Raymond Cocco, S. B. Reddy Karri, Ted Knowlton
Fluidized beds offer excellent heat transfer, and have the unique ability to move a wide range of solid particles in a fluid-like fashion. This article explains the basics of fluidization theory and outlines how to design a typical fluidized bed.
Explore how mixing parameters impact the crystallization process and recommend ways to improve the likelihood of successful scaleup. The concepts of nucleation and growth, types of mixing, design considerations, agitator parameters and scaleup...
Steve Baxley, P.E. / Kyle Brinkman / Amgad Elgowainy / Kevin Huang / Noah D. Meeks / Krishna Reddi / Sunita Satyapal / Shailesh D. Vora / Michael Wang
T. Kevin Swift
Many living in the Rust Belt — the northeastern region of the U.S. that experienced significant de-industrialization during the 1970s through the 2000s — got an up-close look at the decline in manufacturing in the U.S. In the wake of the Great...
“I see myself becoming the entrepreneurial chemical engineer,” says Christina Borgese, Director of Engineering and Development at PreProcess, Inc., a consulting company that she co-founded. Her company helps entrepreneurs commercialize their novel technologies by applying chemical engineering know-how and recruiting experts from around the world. “Creating new products, harboring new ideas — that excites me,” she says. “You never know who is calling next, or what new project you will be working on that nobody has ever done before.”
Eldon R. Larsen
While Gantt charts, timelines, budgets, resource constraints, quality challenges, performance measures, and other tools are important, they are neither meaningful nor effective without people.
Eugeny Kenig, Panos Seferlis
Effective modeling of reactive absorption enhances system design, improves experiment planning for parameter-estimation, and facilitates process operation and control decisions.
Richard A. Esposito, Nick Irvin, P.E., P.G.
The largest, fully integrated process for separating CO2 from fluegas and compressing it to a supercritical fluid, transporting the CO2 by pipeline, and injecting the CO2 into a saline reservoir is now underway at the Plant Barry generating station...
T. Kevin Swift
The chemical industry produces many products that are responsible for conserving energy in a range of applications, most notably household operations, such as lighting and insulation, but also light vehicles, appliances, and packaging.
Svetlana Ivanova, Robert Lewis
Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) can be a cost-effective method of onsite nitrogen generation for a wide range of purity and flow requirements.
Moving to the next generation of production can help the U.S. keep its competitive edge.
Roger G. Harrison
Bioseparations are critical to the field of biochemical engineering. Each bioseparation process must be tailored to separate, purify, or recover the desired bioproduct. This article gives an introductory overview of filtration and chromatography — two key bioseparation unit operations.
Don Humbert, Lech Znamirowski, Olgierd A. Palusinski, Sarma Vrudhula
Field-programmable analog arrays coupled with microreactor technology promise to change the way plants are built, as well as the methods by which their processes are designed and controlled.
Rita D'Aquino with Tim Harper, Cristina Roman Vas
Leveraging nanotechnology in the life science industries has given scientists new tools with which they have the potential to transform the world of medicine.
Donald Anton, Jared Ciferno, Claudio Corgnale, Richard Dennis, Bruce Hardy, E Nicholas Jones, John Marano, Bryan Morreale, Todd W. Onderdonk, James Spivey, Martin Sulic, David Tamburello, Lynne D. Taschner, Shailesh Vora
Natural Gas: Opportunities and Challenges; Natural Gas: The Energy Outlook; Natural Gas: Electric Power; Natural Gas: Chemical Synthesis; Natural Gas: Transportation
John W. Carson, Herman Purutyan, Thomas G. Troxel
Follow these guidelines for ensuring the proper flow of slurries, pastes and wet powders to achieve a dried product with the desired characteristics.
This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, July 2016. A few years ago, CEP published a series of articles on social media and the chemical engineer by Career Corner columnist...
Many of us remember receiving our polio vaccine on a sugar cube. Indeed, that was the motivation behind A Spoonful of Sugar, a song from the classic Disney movie Mary Poppins. Walt Disney had instructed the Sherman brothers, Robert and Richard, to come up with a catchy song for the film. When Robert arrived at home, after working all day trying to come up with an idea, his wife told him that the children had gotten their polio vaccine that day. Thinking they had gotten a shot, he asked them if it hurt. His son answered that the medicine was put on a cube of sugar and he swallowed it. And so “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down was born.
Suzanne A. Shelley
Promising nanotechnology-enabled sensors, monitoring devices and analytical instruments continue to advance toward commercialization for diverse industrial, environmental, medical and military applications— but hurdles remain.
Eldon R. Larsen
This article offers suggestions for adapting project management techniques to the needs of R&D projects.
Kyle Brinkman, Kevin Huang
Fuel cells and membranes are similar in that they employ materials that transport ions and electrons. Both can play important roles in making clean energy a reality.
As with previous emerging technologies, there have been uncertainties and concerns about the environmental and health risks associated with nanotechnology. This article reviews some of the ongoing efforts to better understand and characterize...
Many CPI firms are looking at safety costs as investments, rather than expenses, and are reaping the wide-range benefits. Here's a roadmap of how best to accomplish this.
Hisham M. Ettouney, Hisham T. El-Dessouky, Peter J. Gowin, Ron S. Faibish
This article presents an in-depth analysis of thermal and membrane desalination economics and outlines a simple procedure for calculating the unit product cost for various desalination processes.
Product Focus: This month’s topic Bioprocessing Vessel Handles High-Cell-Density Fermentations BioBLU 3f single-use vessels address the demands of high-cell-density fermentation by bacteria, yeasts, and fungi. Robust magnetic overhead drives with...
Stanley S. Grossel, Russell Kahn, Daniel E. Silva, Robert Zalosh
Understand some of the accident scenarios that result in dust explosions, and follow these suggestions for preventing them.
It is crucial to our nation’s prosperity and standard of living that the U.S. attain and maintain world-class levels of labor productivity (economic output per unit of labor) across the economy. In effect, labor productivity represents an upper...
John Anderson, Andy Fennell
Engineers can become better informed about their work with an increased familiarity of basic financial indicators. Use these insights to help ensure that the projects you work on are those that are most likely to become financial successes.
Use a phase diagram to identify the best temperature, pressure, and composition conditions, as well as the optimal sequence of process operations to achieve a desired crystallization.
Abigail Engelberth, Michael Ladisch, Nathan Mosier, Eduardo Ximenes
Advances in developing sustainable sources of biomass, new catalysts, and bioprocessing technologies are moving lignocellulosic biofuels closer to commercial reality.
Versatility, ease of manufacture, and relatively low cost make plastics some of the most useful materials for a wide range of applications. This article explains the chemistry and production processes behind two of the most popular plastics — polyethylene and polypropylene.
Ali Khademosseini, Robert Langer
Nanotechnology is an emerging field that could potentially make a major impact on human health. Nanomaterials promise to revolutionize medicine and are increasingly used in drug delivery or tissue engineering applications.
Lionel O'Young, Ketan D. Samant
Gain qualitative insight into the basic mechanisms of crystallization, the principles of crystallizer operation, and the ways in which these concepts relate to the selection and application of the various crystallizer configurations in industrial...
Purifying high-value mixtures, such as pharmaceuticals, can be an expensive undertaking. Choosing the correct chromatography methods can improve purity and reduce processing time and cost.
Gang Ruan , Jessica Winter
Chemical engineers are at the forefront of this rapidly developing field, with the potential to propel discoveries from the bench to bedside.
Shrikant Dhodapkar, Karl V. Jacob, Madhusudhan Kodam
Many factors affect the flowrate of bulk solids. This article reviews the underlying physics of solids flow and explains how to calculate the discharge rate of solids from processing and handling equipment.
Lucy Lyudmila Alexander
New York City, the city AIChE and some 8.5 million people call home, has a dirty little secret. Actually, it’s pretty big: New Yorkers generate over 3 million tons of residential waste per year, most of which is transported by long-haul trucks to...
The TRIZ methodology encourages you to approach problems from a different angle. Here’s a primer on the basics of the technique and the tools available to implement it.
Nanotechnology— it's a small science with big stakes. Some of the unique properties that make nanoscale materials useful may also pose hazards to humans and the environment. Can the EPA find a way to effectively regulate these tiny high-tech...
Jack Chosnek, Victor H. Edwards, Ralph Ellis , Alan English, Edward Geaslin , Sandra L. Jones, Myra A. Ray
Apply HSE principles during front-end engineering design to assure safe, operable, and economical facilities.
T. Kevin Swift
The U.S. chemical industry’s incremental capital investments to capitalize on the benefits offered by domestic shale gas will reach $71.7 billion by 2020.
The beneﬁcial microbes that convert milk into yogurt and act in our guts to promote digestive health cause big problems in ethanol fermentation tanks. These lactic acid bacteria (LAB) proliferate in ethanol feedstock and inhibit growth of ethanol-producing yeast — which slows down fermentation, reduces biofuel yield by as much as 20% per pound of input material, and results in production shutdowns due to contamination. The most common control measures, chemical antimicrobials such as antibiotics, do not eliminate LAB. Additionally, the potential for antibiotic residue limits the marketability of dried distillers grains, a byproduct of the fermentation process used as animal feed. Ecolyse Inc., based in College Station, TX, is working to address this issue by developing products to treat bacterial contamination.
Ahmad H. Haidari, Andre Bakker, Elizabeth M. Marshall
Using computational fluid dynamics to design commercial-size batch and continuous reactors can eliminate subjective experience and empiricism, leading to better-designed, more-efficient units.
Christianto Wibowo, Lionel O'Young, Ka M. Ng
Use phase diagrams to develop reliable crystallization processes quickly and cost effectively.
Over the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry has experienced several important changes in its business environment that are driving efforts to reduce overall cost while improving process understanding and product quality without the traditional...
Clean and efficient transportation and power are a reality today because of public-private investment in fuel cell technology over the past few decades.
AIChE’s Equipment Testing Procedures Committee, Tray and Packed Columns Procedure Revision Subcommittee
Follow these guidelines to assess the capacity and efﬁciency of distillation columns containing trays or packing.
Anthony D'Agostino, Benjamin K. Sovacool
Nuclear power has never been safe and it never will be. Efficiency gains and investment in renewable sources of energy will be sufficient to power the planet without resorting to nuclear reactors.
T. Kevin Swift
Not all polymers are useful and/or processable in their natural form. Thus, functional chemicals are added to polymer resins to facilitate processing and to enhance, extend, or otherwise modify the properties of the plastic products manufactured from polymer resins. Such plastic additives represent a $4.6-billion business in the U.S.
Jonathan P. Walter
Steam trap management is important for the successful operation of a chemical processing plant. Follow these guidelines to realize the benefits of such a program.
Preparing for an international business trip can be much more stressful than a domestic trip. Along with arranging an itinerary, packing your essentials, and coordinating your flights and hotels, you also need to worry about being jet lagged, maintaining proper etiquette, and acquiring the proper visas and other documents needed for travel.
Selecting a sensor for continuous monitoring involves many considerations. This article discusses the types of sensors available, their applicability and limitations, and how to choose an appropriate sensor to protect people and equipment.
Mihail C. Roco
Nanoscale science and engineering continue to evolve from a scientific novelty to a broad-based technology with potential to transform medicine, productivity, sustainability, and quality of life.
The capture of CO2 from flue- and fuel-gas streams in large-scale power generation offers a compelling means to combat climate change. Technically plausible strategies for CO2 capture include post-combustion carbon capture (PCC), oxy-combustion, and...
Research on converting algae to fuel and other bioproducts is focused on the development of large-scale production methods and pushing the industry toward viable commercial operation.
James R. Phimister , Warren D. Seider
This processing strategy combines the advantages of batch and continuous operation, providing flexibility and efficiency in a single design.
Understand how you and others solve problems, and use that knowledge to cultivate organizational relationships and improve individual and team efforts.
Mary Ellen Ternes
A basic understanding of environmental law is beneficial for all chemical engineers. Learn how laws are proposed, made, and implemented, and ways to avoid incurring unnecessary penalties.
What if we could make the Great Pacific Garbage Patch just disappear? What if plastics didn’t accumulate in our landfills? What if we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions while replacing up to 30% of the world’s plastics with a biodegradable substitute? Researchers have tried for decades to achieve these goals. One approach being taken is the development of an efficient production process for poly-hydroxyalkanoate (PHA) — a biodegradable polymer similar to the polypropylene used to make yogurt containers.
Adam Whalley, P.Eng.,
Although pilot- and commercial-scale plants may appear similar, they must be designed with different objectives in mind. Find out how the design criteria for pilot and commercial plants differ, and why commercial specifications should not be applied to pilot plants.
Polymer colloids, including emulsion polymers, microparticles, and nanoparticles, represent an important category of specialty materials that enable environmentally friendly specialty and smart coatings, drug-delivery vehicles, media for diagnostic...