The Four Vs; What Is It; Success Stories in the Process Industries; Getting Started on the Journey; Challenges and Future Research Directions
AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers
Are you considering changing jobs? You may think that with an updated resumé and rehearsed answers to standard questions such as “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” you are ready to interview for that next opportunity. Not so fast. Today,...
Chemical hazards are not limited to chemical processing or other manufacturing facilities; they can also be found in our homes.
Malonates, including malonic acid and its dimethyl and diethyl esters, are specialty chemicals used in flavors and fragrances, pharmaceuticals, adhesives, and electronics manufacturing. Although malonates have a range of beneficial properties,...
Kirsten R. Benjamin, Paul W. Hill, Adam L. Meadows, Amoolya H. Singh, Joel R. Cherry
Applying cost models throughout the development of microbial strains and production processes can reduce the time and cost of commercializing new fermentation products.
A look at the news gives an idea of what’s happening in bioprocessing around the world. Here, bio-based projects reported between October 2013 and October 2015 are sliced, diced, and brought to you in the form of numbers.
Summer vacation season is here! Will you be taking a vacation this year? According to a survey conducted by Skift, a travel industry intelligence platform, 40% of Americans did not take a single day of vacation in 2015.
SBE Update: Biotechnology for Producing Chemicals; Biomass Processing by the numbers; Technology Challenges and Opportunites; Use Cost Models to Guide R&D
Marcius Extavour, Paul Bunje
Converting carbon dioxide emissions into valuable products is an exciting concept for the chemical processing industries (CPI).
Thomas R. Theising
If your facility has an upcoming energy assessment, you might be overwhelmed with the list of things you need to do, data you need to organize, and people you need to contact. This article streamlines the planning process and recommends steps you can take to optimize your facility’s energy costs.
On Jan. 29, 2016, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued a report and video animation of an April 17, 2013, explosion in an agricultural chemical storage facility in West, TX. The explosion caused 15 fatalities, more...
Thoughts On Grammar and Gender I came across your editorial “An Editor Changes Their Mind about They ” ( CEP , Feb. 2016, p. 3). I can say that I read it with great pleasure. Though I already use “they” now and then (on the strength of such classic...
Many leaders and managers consider Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change, required reading. Three articles in this issue evoke Covey’s Habit 2: begin with the end in mind.
Scott Hebert, Neil Sandford
CPI companies are switching to fixed valves despite a slight loss in operational flexibility. Fixed valves offer better reliability, fouling resistance, and more robust valve designs.
Product Focus: Heat Transfer Heat Exchanger Delivers Hot Water On Demand The EasiHeat domestic hot water (DHW) system incorporates Spirax Intelligent Monitoring System (S.I.M.S) technology to deliver a constant supply of hot water at a stable...
If you are a new graduate starting your first job or a student beginning a summer internship at a chemical plant, laboratory, or manufacturing facility, this might be your first time working in the presence of heavy machinery and chemicals. Although...
Chemical engineers, from the practicing process engineer to the academic researcher, are being asked more and more often to manipulate, transform, and analyze complex data sets. The combination of strategies and tools associated with those tasks is...
Inherent Safety at Chemical Sites: Reducing Vulnerability to Accidents and Terrorism Through Green Chemistry Paul T. Anastas and David G. Hammond, Elsevier, New York, NY, $49.95, 134 pages, Oct. 2015, ISBN: 978-0-128-04190-1 Accidental or deliberate...
The wealth of information and knowledge that you can gain at an AIChE conference is extraordinary. At every turn, professionals, graduate students, and undergraduates are sharing their ideas and accomplishments with other conference-goers. The week...
Tung S. Le, Meghan McCann, Samira M. Azarin, Dr. Wei-Shou Hu
Mammalian cell culture is at the core of biomanufacturing therapeutic proteins and viral vaccines. Find out how mammalian cells are derived and cultivated, and what opportunities this field holds.
Several standards on combustible dust contain provisions for conducting process hazard analyses. This article summarizes the requirements and presents a simple approach to meet them.
Replacing materials and equipment as they corrode or reach the end of their service life is one of the challenges of managing an aging plant. When a material or part is no longer available because the supplier discontinued the product line, was acquired by another company, or went out of business, it can be difficult to find another source or suitable replacement.
Greg Mehos, P.E.
Understanding the mechanisms behind caking, identifying key process variables and product specifications, and testing samples to predict the increase in cohesive strength of a powder over time are key to preventing and solving caking problems.
Product Focus: Safety Equipment Absorbent Pads Clean Up Drips and Spills Oil Eater Naturals is a line of ecofriendly absorbent pads, rolls, and socks designed to help users meet environmental, health, and safety requirements. The oil-only pads and...
Optimization Methods in Metabolic Networks Costas D. Maranas and Ali R. Zomorrodi, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, $125, 288 pages, Feb. 2016, ISBN: 978-1-119-02849-9 Analysis and redesign of metabolic networks often requires the calculation of...
As a chemical engineer for NASA at Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Annie Meier has put five years of effort into creating solutions to some of the most pressing problems that astronauts — and even society — will encounter. “The technologies we produce for space can help our planet Earth as well,” she says. “We need to think of Earth as our spacecraft. How can we live here without damaging it with polluting gases and harmful byproducts?”
Does the business side of chemical engineering capture your interest? Are you drawn to a hands-on role with customers, so that you can help them with their technical and business challenges? If you answered yes to either of those questions, consider a career in technical sales.
Brewing your own medicines (e.g., drugs, vaccines, anti-cancer molecules), producing biofuels, and regenerating tissues inside the body are facets of biomolecular engineering that are becoming a reality. In an increasingly resource-scarce world, biomolecular engineering can help create an ever-more-productive planet.
The burgeoning printed electronics industry has the potential to revolutionize consumer electronics, with standard industrial printing equipment operating at ambient conditions producing high-performance electronic devices at a significantly lower cost.
Sharon Nolen, P.E.
Growing concerns about the availability of clean water are driving companies to include water conservation in their sustainability initiatives. Instead of reinventing the wheel, adapt your energy-management program for water conservation.
In Safety Alert No. 290 (Oct. 2010), the U.S. Dept. of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) explains an incident in which an explosion ruptured two oil tanks on an offshore platform. The explosion caused about $500,000 worth of damage and approximately 1,200 gal (4.5 m3) of oil to spill into the sea.
Just after I finished reading Sharon Nolen’s Critical Issues article, “Leveraging Energy Management for Water Conservation” (pp. 41–47), the headline of a New York Times op-ed piece by Charles Fishman, “The Water Data Drought,” caught my attention...
November 10-15, 2019
The AIChE Annual Meeting is the premier educational forum for chemical engineers interested in innovation and professional growth. Academic and industry experts will cover wide range of topics relevant to cutting-edge research, new technologies, and emerging growth areas in chemical engineering.
March 31 - April 4, 2019
The AIChE Spring Meeting is the year’s key technical conference for practicing chemical engineers. A wide range of subjects relevant to the current needs of industry is covered.
This book provides a tutorial on the computational tools that use mathematical optimization concepts and representations for the curation, analysis and redesign of metabolic networks. Such analysis and redesign often requires the calculation of product yield, gene essentiality prediction,...
Understand the common features and options that are often incorporated into digital implementations of the PID block.
Lloyd F. Colegrove, Mary Beth Seasholtz, Chaitanya Khare
This article discusses some experiences and challenges in establishing an enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) platform at a major chemical manufacturing company, and recommends steps you can take to convince your management to harness big data.
The differential equation for PID control contains three possible modes: proportional, integral, and derivative. This article describes the control equation in language that process engineers can readily understand.
M. Henry Heines
Patent infringement cases are generally civil matters between the patent owner and the infringer. The two sides present opposing arguments as to, on the one hand, whether the alleged infringer’s actions are actually infringing and, on the other,...
Lydia Beall, Tech Studio Program Manager at the Museum of Science, Boston ( www.mos.org ), creates innovative and engaging exhibits that encourage children to pursue science and engineering. As the driving force behind the museum’s Design Challenges...
Multiscale systems engineering has emerged as a way to understand and address the ever-growing list of global challenges related to energy and the environment. These challenges, many of which revolve around energy security, energy affordability, and...
Meng Wang, Yue Yu, Chau-Chyun Chen
The fundamental thermodynamic equations developed for aqueous electrolyte systems provide a springboard for modeling the more-complex and less-understood mixed-solvent electrolytes.
The food-energy-water (FEW) nexus, a concept that describes the interdependence of the world’s complex resource systems, has been drawing much interest and activity in the sustainability community recently. The food-energy-water nexus approach (or...
This is the inaugural article of CEP ’s new column, Leadership Q&A. Here, C-suite executives will discuss how they have overcome challenges, strategies for successful leadership, and tools and skills that they have found effective during their...
The Right Kind of Crazy Adam Steltzner and William Patrick, Portfolio, London, U.K., $28, 256 pages, Jan. 2016, ISBN: 978-1-59184-695 Author Adam Steltzner led the entry, descent, and landing teams responsible for the Curiosity rover’s mission to...
The appropriate values for the proportional, integral, and derivative mode tuning coefficients for a PID controller must reflect the behavior of the process and the desired performance from the control loop.
Salvador García-Muñoz, John F. MacGregor
Big data holds much potential for optimizing and improving processes. See how it has already been used in a range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to pulp and paper.
Interviews are a great way for an employer to get to know more about you and determine whether or not you are right for an open position. However, all too often, young professionals overlook the fact that interviews are also a time to gauge whether...
Consider two grand challenges of the 21st century cited by the National Academy of Engineering: Provide access to clean water, and engineer better medicines. These seemingly unrelated global challenges share an important issue — the need for a...
Big data is a big topic with a lot of potential. Before realizing this potential, however, we need to get on the same page about what big data is, how it can be analyzed, and what we can do with it.
Water can be a hazard in process plants. When water is mixed with some materials, typically gases but also liquids, it can form a crystaline, ice-like solid. This solid is called a hydrate. When a hydrate forms, it can plug piping, instrument connections, valves, and other equipment, which causes process upsets that may be hazardous. Hydrogen sulfide, acetylene, methyl mercaptan, chlorine, vinyl fluoride, carbon dioxide, ethylene, methane, ethane, natural gas, and other hydrocarbon gases can form hydrates.
I hear what you’re saying. I catch your drift. How do you express understanding? Most of us have a preferred communication and learning style — visual, auditory, kinesthetic. Some literature includes a fourth style, reading/writing. To deliver a...
Electric motor drives account for 60–70% of global industrial electricity consumption. Pump systems alone represent about 25% of all the electricity consumed by industrial electric motors, and account for roughly 18% of electricity used within the...
David Burns, Jason McLinn, Mark Porter
After several years of stability, oil prices plummeted to record lows in mid-2014. This, along with increased natural gas production in North America, has radically changed the basic economics of the chemical industry.
Big data can pave the way to greater business and operational insight. New approaches and technologies are poised to help you navigate your journey.
A volunteer at a vintage railroad tourist attraction describes how he prepares a steam locomotive for operation by building up the fire to warm the firebox and increasing the boiler pressure. He explains that he knows that the locomotive is ready...
Although the operations in your storage tank farm may not seem to be very complex, they may actually be more complicated than you think. There may be many interconnections between tanks. You may have to put material in tanks that are already...
Mark Vergnano, President and CEO of The Chemours Co., talks to CEP about how his team is transforming the performance chemical division (which spun off from DuPont on July 1, 2015) into a higher-value chemistry company, as well as his own transition...
Fermenter optimization involves determining a profile of agitator and compressor speeds that satisfy the required oxygen transfer rates. Optimization minimizes power consumption, which will save you money.
Marco S. Reis, Richard D. Braatz, Leo H. Chiang
The big data movement is creating opportunities for the chemical process industries to improve their operations. Challenges, however, lie ahead.
Loraine A. Huchler, P.E.
A new ASHRAE standard addresses Legionella in building water systems. Industrial facilities can apply the same risk-based decision-making approach to their cooling towers.
Product Focus: Flowmeters Flowmeters Measure Three Variables SwirlMaster standard (FSS430) and extended (FSS450) boast volume, mass, and energy flow measurement in one device. They leverage a unique swirl-flow measurement technology that permits...
Enzyme and microbial biotransformations offer green chemistry alternatives for performing difficult or non-selective chemical reactions.
Per Falholt, Glenn Nedwin, Thomas Schaefer
Enzymes are nature’s answer to many industrial and environmental challenges. This article details the latest approaches to enzyme discovery and evolution.
Resources — money, personnel, raw materials, etc. — are finite, and it is vital we value and protect them. Perhaps our most precious resource is the youth who are poised to pursue careers in chemical engineering, where they will take up the mantle...
ASME codes and standards govern the design, fabrication, testing and certification of high-pressure dust collector vessels. This article will assist you in working with a code vessel designer and/or manufacturer.
With a goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C above preindustrial levels, representatives from 195 countries met in Paris last year for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The participants negotiated the Paris...
Dominic Chwan Yee Foo, Zainuddin Abdul Manan, Michael Lynn McGuire, Murugan Selvan
The design of a new process using computer simulations to analyze a process flowsheet based on the onion model can save time, effort and, ultimately, money.
“Give and you shall receive.” This powerful proverb can help you build a fulfilling career when your giving takes the form of volunteering. I learned the value of volunteering early in my first year as a management consultant, when I joined the...
Protect compressors and turbines by using piping strainers and following the line procedures outlined in this article.
When I began my career in 1980, women were a small fraction of the engineering workforce, and engineers were typically referred to by the pronouns he and him . That sexist language bothered me, so wherever I could, I used gender-neutral terms — such...
Student Chapters Have Arrived! SBE Frontier Tutorial Second Bioengineering and Nanotech Conference Michael Shuler Wins Inaugural James E. Bailey Award Fishing Out Unusual DNA Enzyme is Linked to Neurological Disease
Didier Le Vély
France played a central role in the chemistry revolution and now has a leading role in the modern chemicals industry. Manufacturing a wide range of chemicals, from basics and specialties to fine chemicals for pharmaceuticals, the industry is a major contributor to France’s economy.
Product Focus: Solids Handling Centrifuge Classifies Very Small Particles The Tiocent Model V 630 BK centrifuge is designed for continuous wet classification of fine, ultrafine, and nanoparticles in slurries. Common applications are separations of...
Ludwig’s Applied Process Design for Chemical and Petrochemical Plants, Vol. 3, 4th Ed. A. Kayode Coker, Gulf Professional Publishing, Waltham, MA, $175, 1,296 pages, Jan. 2015, ISBN: 978-0-75068-5-245 I bought my copy of Ludwig’s original Applied...
Eight years ago, I wrote that I was excited about the January 2008 issue because it marked the beginning of my new role as editor-in-chief. I was eager to try new things to make CEP an even better magazine, and — being the start of a new year — I...