AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

Making Plastics: From Monomer to Polymer

September
2015
Back To Basics
Pete Sharpe
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.

Applications in Drug Delivery and Tissue Engineering

February
2006
SBE Special Section
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.

Understanding Crystallization and Crystallizers

October
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
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...

Determining Discharge Rates of Particulate Solids

May
2016
Fluids and Solids Handling
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.

Technical Entity Trends: Trash and the City

July
2016
Technical Entity Trends
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...

Solve Problems Inventively

April
2005
Career Catalyst
Jack Hipple
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: Cause for Concern?

September
2007
News Feature
Kristine Chin
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...

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Turning a Problem into a Cure for Increased Ethanol Yield

January
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
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.

Design Reactors via CFD

December
2001
Reactions and Separations
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.

Streamlining Crystallization Process Design

January
2004
Fluids and Solids Handling
Christianto  Wibowo, Lionel O'Young, Ka M. Ng
Use phase diagrams to develop reliable crystallization processes quickly and cost effectively.

Nuclear Renaissance: A Flawed Proposition

July
2010
Special Section
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.

CEP: Chem Economics - Plastic Additives are Poised for Growth

July
2012
Chem Economics
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.

Evaluating Distillation Column Performance

June
2013
Reactions and Separations
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.

Choose the Right Gas Sensor

September
2009
Instrumentation
Sandra Barnes
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.

YPOV: Do’s and Don’ts of International Business Travel

July
2016
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
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.

Environmental Law for Chemical Engineers

February
2012
Back To Basics
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.

Bridge the Gap with Semicontinuous Distillation

August
2001
Reactions and Separations
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.

What's Your Problem Solving Style?

August
2004
Career Catalyst
Jack Hipple
Understand how you and others solve problems, and use that knowledge to cultivate organizational relationships and improve individual and team efforts.

Apply Six Sigma for Process Improvement and Problem-Solving

March
2011
Back To Basics
George Liebermann
Many manufacturing processes are not run as efficiently as they could be. The Six Sigma methodology provides a foundation for continuous improvement and for solving quality, operational, and other problems.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - A Biodegradable Plastic Made from Waste Methane

February
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
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.

Understand Pilot-Plant Design Specifications

May
2016
Plant Design
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.

Stem Cell Engineering 101

November
2010
SBE Special Section
Jonathan Monk
Stem cells are poised to transform medical treatments for a host of diseases and malignant conditions. Translating stem cell research into clinical therapies, disease models, and drug-screening platforms will require a combination of sound science...

CEP: Process Automation Corner - Process Simulation and Process Control

September
2013
Process Automation Corner
Terry McMahon
Chemical engineers have been practicing process simulation since the advent of the profession in the early 20th century. It was called process design and inevitably involved simplifying assumptions, including that steady-state process conditions had...

Special Section: Natural Gas - The Energy Outlook

August
2015
Special Section
E Nicholas Jones, Todd W. Onderdonk, Lynne D. Taschner
Natural gas production is projected to grow in almost all regions of the world, with demand coming from the electric power generation, industrial, and transportation markets.

Understand Advanced Process Control

June
2016
Back To Basics
Perry Nordh, P.Eng.
Multivariable processes are controlled by a hierarchical structure of control layers. Field devices and regulatory controls manage individual variables, while advanced process control and production control systems coordinate multiple variables to optimize operation.

Ionic Liquids for Aromatic Extraction: Are They Ready?

December
2006
Reactions and Separations
Sachin T. Anjan
Ionic liquids have already moved into the commercial arena as reaction solvents. This article compares them to conventional solvents and examines their potential for the extraction of benzene, toluene and xylene from reformate.

A Renewable Route to Propylene Glycol

August
2007
News Feature
Suzanne Shelley
Rapid expansion in biodiesel production has spurred a bumper crop of competing processes to turn byproduct glycerin into propylene glycol.

Nanotechnology: A Guide to Nano-Objects

May
2011
On The Horizon
Sravani Gullapalli, Michael Wong
Rapid change in the field of nanotechnology can make it hard to keep track of the latest nanomaterial developments. Here's a primer on the most common shapes, sizes, and compositions of nano-objects.

Best Practices for Pilot-Plant Piping

April
2014
Fluids and Solids Handling
Richard Palluzi
Pilot-plant piping is subject to more-frequent modification than typical process plant piping, and must be able to accommodate a range of media, temperatures, and pressures during its lifetime. Use this guide to determine which piping, tubing, and fittings are optimal for your pilot plant application.

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage - Technology Integration Challenges

August
2011
Special Section
Jared P. Ciferno, John J. Marano, Ronald K. Munson
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) could be an important part of the transition to lower-carbon energy sources. However, widespread integration of CCS with existing power-generation plants and technologies — on a commercial scale and in a cost-...

Modeling Chemical Reactors

February
2015
Reactions and Separations
Ed Fontes
Models can be used to describe chemical reactors to help solve problems and optimize processes, while saving time, money, and resources.

Selecting Sensors for Safety Instrumented Systems

July
2015
Back To Basics
Jessica Lo, Erik Mathiason, Chad McGuire
A plant’s safety instrumented system (SIS) is critical in preventing process safety incidents. Use this guide to help choose the proper sensors for your plant’s SIS.

Books

July
2016
Books
Eight Dollars and a Dream: My American Journey Raj Gupta with Syd Havely, Lulu Publishing Services, Raleigh, NC, $13.24, 256 pages, March 2016, ISBN: 978-1-483-44756-8 This is a modern rags-to-riches story of an Indian immigrant who came to the U.S...

Understand the Basics of Membrane Filtration

April
2013
Back To Basics
Hua Wang, Hongyi Zhou
Membrane filtration is an integral part of many industrial processes, as it is often more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective than other separation technologies

SBE Special Section: Biopharmaceuticals - Continuous Processing in Upstream Operations

December
2015
SBE Special Section
Chun Chen, Chetan T. Goudar, Huong Le
Perfusion technology offers many benefits over fed-batch processing, such as reducing the size of the bioreactor, which reduces capital costs and enables the use of single-use bioreactor technology. Despite these advantages, a shift to continuous perfusion will likely be gradual.

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage (Full 24-Page Supplement)

August
2011
Special Section
Daniel Brantley, Jared P. Ciferno, Richard A. Esposito, Nick Irvin, Arnold W. Reitze, Jr., John J. Marano, Ronald K. Munson, John Shafer, Mary Ellen Ternes
Technology Integration Challenges; Navigating the Legal Landscape; Characterizing a Geologic Formation; Demonstrating CCS Integration

Special Section: Energy (Full 25-Page Supplement)

July
2016
Special Section
Tomorrow's Technology is a Reality Today; Fuel Cells and the Hydrogen Economy; Establishing the Fuel Cell Industry; Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Membranes; Fuel Cells for Mobile Applications

Biorefinery Process Economics

October
2005
SBE Special Section
Gregory M. Bohlmann
With oil and natural gas prices surging, bio-based feedstocks are becoming increasingly competitive. This article examines, in depth, the technical and economic aspects of the biorefinery concept.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - An LPG Tragedy

November
2014
Process Safety Beacon
At about 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 19, 1984, there was a major fire and a series of explosions at a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage and distribution terminal at San Juan Ixhuatepec, Mexico City, Mexico. There were over 500 fatalities, about 7,000 injuries, 200,000 people were evacuated, and the terminal was destroyed. The blasts were recorded on a seismometer 20 km (12.4 miles) away. Most of the injuries and fatalities were in the surrounding community — people were living as close as 130 m (425 ft) from the terminal. The cause of the accident could not be definitively established because of the destruction of the facilities and absence of witness reports.

Special Section: Natural Gas - Electric Power

August
2015
Special Section
Jared Ciferno, Richard Dennis, Shailesh Vora
The role of natural gas for electricity generation is expanding, as utilities take advantage of the low cost and lower emissions of natural gas, as well as the ability of natural-gas-based systems to provide on-demand power during periods of peak consumption.

Technical Entity Trends: A Critical Problem to Solve

May
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Derrick Wu
We treat our phones as necessary extensions of ourselves, and it is now hard to imagine life without what has become like an additional limb. Similarly, we have grown so used to computers, cars, and items requiring batteries that many of us would...

Applying Mass and Energy Balances to Spray Drying

December
2009
Back To Basics
Tim Langrish
Mass and energy balances are not just for process and equipment design. They can also be used to improve dryer operations by answering various “what-if” questions about temperatures, flowrates, and moisture contents. <br><br>

Energy Supplement: Carbon Capture and Storage - Navigating the Legal Landscape

August
2011
Special Section
Arnold W. Reitze Jr., Mary Ellen Ternes
A legal framework governing carbon sequestration will need to be put in place before major carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects can get underway. A final rule issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act sets minimum requirements, but this is just...

Piloting Bioreactors for Agitation Scale-Up

February
2008
Reactions and Separations
Gregory T. Benz
This article offers guidance on how to design appropriate experiments to measure scalable data for agitation in both aerobic and anaerobic bioreactors.

Nano-technology: Fueling the Chemical Industry's Future

November
2003
Special Section
Daniela L. Carrillo, Tim Harper, Paul Holister, Mindy Rittner, Mihail C. Roco, Cristina Roman Vas
Nanotechnology, as a whole, is still an emerging area with the need to make progress in both scientific and technological terms before enormous commercialization of products may occur. Nevertheless, commercial products are out there — more in some...

Predictive Modeling in Catalysis - From Dream to Reality

June
2009
On The Horizon
Ana G. Maldonado
In silicocatalyst optimization is the ultimate application of computers in catalysis. This article provides an overview of the basic concepts of predictive modeling and describes how this technique can be used in catalyst and reaction design.

Reduce Piloting Time and Cost

July
2011
Process Development
David A. Berg, Michael T. Cleary
Pilot-scale experimentation is essential to establish a sound foundation for a new chemical processing unit. These best practices can reduce the time and cost involved in process development.

Pages

Subscribe to AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers