AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

Bioreactor Design for Chemical Engineers

August
2011
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz
Fermentation processes are based on chemical engineering principles. Understand these concepts to achieve optimal bioreactor design.

YPOV: A New Norm for the PhD Workforce?

November
2015
YPOV
Chris Lowe
Historically, PhD students in fields such as humanities and social sciences were likely to seek a tenure-track faculty position at a research university. But, the increasing number of young professionals pursuing PhDs far outstrips the number of...

Material Matters: Predicting High-Temperature Hydrogen Attack

January
2016
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
During a nonroutine maintenance operation at the Tesoro petroleum refinery in Anacortes, WA, on April 2, 2010, a nearly 40-year-old heat exchanger located in a naphtha hydrotreater unit catastrophically failed. An explosion and intense fire killed...

5 Reasons You Need to Attend Trade Shows

August
2011
Career Catalyst
Joe Bevacqua
Convincing your boss to send you to a trade show can be challenging. Here are five ways you and your employer will benefit, plus tips on how to get the most out of your visit.

CEP: YPOV - A Grad Student’s Right Decision

November
2013
YPOV
Chris Lowe
About two years ago, I was faced with a decision. I was a few weeks away from graduating with my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering when I received an email from a friend. He was recruiting graduating students to act as liaisons between AIChE...

New Products: January 2016

January
2016
New Products
Product Focus: Materials Enzyme Boosts Profits for Ethanol Plants Avantec Amp is an enzyme that improves yield and throughput in corn ethanol production, while increasing corn oil extraction and significantly reducing the need for some of the harsh...

Designing Dust Collectors

September
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Greg Mehos, P.E.
To assure reliable and safe operation of a dust collector, apply the basic principles of chute and hopper design — which are based on the dust's fundamental flow properties.

Technical Entity Trends: Welcome to the TENT

January
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Alexander, Derrick Wu
Welcome to Technical Entity Trends (TENT), a new monthly CEP column written by the staff of AIChE’s Technical Entities (TEs). The TEs are communities of chemical engineers and other professionals that address some of society’s grand challenges:...

YPOV: Consider a Career in the Water Industry

January
2016
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
The American water market is on the brink of change, and the push for greater water security and sustainability has increased over the past decade. Industrial water users are realizing that sustainable water use is not only good for the environment...

Using Aspen Plus in Thermodynamics Instruction: A Step-by-Step Guide

February, 2015
Stanley I. Sandler offers a step-by-step guide for students and faculty on the use of Aspen in teaching thermodynamics. The book shows how easily-accessible, modern computational techniques are opening up new vistas in teaching thermodynamics, using a range of applications of Aspen Plus for the...

First to File: Patents for Today’s Scientist and Engineer

October, 2014
Inventors may be baffled by the complexity of the patent system. This book from an attorney is written for engineers and scientists, rather than patent professionals. It uses lay terms and practical examples to explain the latest updates to patent law, sets out the changes in determinations of patentable novelty, and focuses on the growth of new technologies industry versus the laws protecting them.

Cybersecurity for Executives: A Practical Guide

June, 2014
This essential cybersecurity text for executives in all sectors and at all levels provides practical advice that equips executives with the knowledge they need to make the right cybersecurity decisions. In plain language, you’ll learn how to recognize and act on threats to you and your business, along with how to act decisively to mitigate and recover from cyber incidents.

Control of Batch Processes

June, 2014
Approaching batch processing from the process perspective, with emphasis on the advantages of using structured logic in the automation of all but the simplest batch processes, this book provides engineers with real-world insight into analyzing control requirements, developing control logic to meet these requirements, and troubleshooting controls in batch processes.

Green Chemistry and Engineering: A Pathway to Sustainability

November, 2013
Green Chemistry and Engineering presents the green approach as an essential tool for tacking problems in chemistry. This text covers introductory concepts in general, organic, inorganic, and analytical chemistry as well as biochemistry.

Optimal Automated Process Fault Analysis

January, 2013
With this book as their guide, readers have a powerful new tool for ensuring the safety and reliability of any chemical processing system. It details a tested and proven strategy to develop optimal automated process fault analyzers.

CEP: YPOV Your Career as a Volunteer

March
2013
YPOV
Arjun Gopalratnam
To surpass the merely adequate, and to accomplish something noteworthy, requires one to take on tasks that are unstated and to solve problems that others may not have even noticed. Depending on the structure of your work environment, there may be...

CEP: Editorial - Don’t Miss Important Warning Signs

May
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Process safety is on my mind for several reasons, including the recent explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant and this month’s On the Horizon article, “Improve Process Safety with Near-Miss Analysis,” by Ulku Oktem, Warren Seider, Masoud Soroush, and...

CEP: Editorial - Are Leaders Born or Made?

August
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Countless books and articles have been written about leadership — on such topics as the differences between managing and leading, what makes a good leader, and how to become a better leader, among others. One frequent topic: Are leaders born or made? The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) posed this question to C-level executives of companies in 53 countries ( www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/areleadersbornormade.pdf ). Slightly more than half (53.4%) of the top executives think leaders are made, about a fifth (19.1%) think they are born, and a little more than a quarter (28.5%) think leaders are both born and made.

CEP: Editorial - A New Global Home for ChEs

September
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
The moving vans are gone, and we on the AIChE staff are quickly settling in to our new home at 120 Wall St., a special Association Center that offers lower rents for nonprofit organizations like us. While we think of this as our new work-home, more...

CEP: Editorial - Print It or Forget It

November
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
When I bought my iPad a few years ago, I was looking forward to accessing a library of books without lugging around the weight. And reading the newspaper online would keep the newsprint from dirtying my hands. Now that I’ve had the iPad for three years, though, I see that my expectations were not realistic. Yes, I can access books and newspapers on my iPad. But actually reading them is another matter.

When Mixing Matters: Choose Impellers Based on Process Requirements

July
2015
Fluids and Solids Handling
Marcio Machado, Dr. Suzanne Kresta
The power number is one consideration in impeller selection. Other important factors include bulk flow, turbulence at the impeller, and mixing conditions at the bottom of the vessel and at the liquid surface.

CEP: Career Corner - Getting Results through Others

August
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Sooner or later in our professional careers, we find that we are no longer individual contributors. Instead, we are responsible for delivering results through others. For many of us, this is not an easy transition.

CEP: Editorial – Failure to Innovate

September
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
A recent Twitter post from Discover magazine, “20 Things You Didn’t Know About … Failure,” caught my attention and got me thinking about failures and mistakes. Curious, I did a bit of research. I found numerous lists of famous people who failed, some multiple times, and sometimes miserably, before they succeeded at what they are now famous for. Among them: the Beatles, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Newton, J. K. Rowling, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, to name a few. They picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and started all over again, learning from their mistakes.

Process Safety: How are you Doing?

May
2008
Safety
Scott Berger, Tim Overton and Scott Berger
Use these metrics to benchmark your company's process safety performance, and to set a course toward continual improvement.

Using Genomic Tools to Improve the Production of Biologics

November
2009
SBE Special Section
Dr. Wei-Shou Hu, Nitya M. Jacob, Wei-Shou Hu, Bernard Liat Wen Loo, and Miranda Yap
Recombinant DNA technology transforms mammalian cells into factories for protein-based therapeutics. New techniques provide chemical engineers with a better understanding of the process as well as the cells themselves.

Design an Inherently Safer Plant

January
2012
Special Section
Steven T. Maher, P.E., Kristin D. Norton, P.E., Senem Surmeli
Continue to search for ways to build safety into your process — from conceptual through detailed design, to procurement and construction, and even into operation.

Bio-Based Materials in the New Bio Economy

May
2012
SBE Special Section
Manjusri Misra, Amar Mohanty, Murali M. Reddy
Biological feedstocks are expected to gradually replace some fossil-based raw materials to create eco-friendly products, from car parts and packaging materials to electronic devices and other consumer goods - laying the foundation for a reduced-carbon economy.

Special Section - Energy: Smart Grid (Full 26-Page Supplement)

August
2014
Special Section
Bond Calloway, Donald Chmielewski, Xiaoming Feng, Girish Ghatikar, Iiro Harjunkoski, David M. Heitzer, Sila Kiliccote, Nathan Mancha, Mary Ann Piette, Ernst Scholtz
Smart Grid: The Basics - What? Why? Who? How?; You Are Not Alone; Implementing Automated Demand Response; Industry Meets the Smart Grid

Career Corner - Surviving an International Relocation

December
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
As exciting as an international assignment may seem, relocating overseas is more complicated than getting your shots, passport, and airline tickets, packing a few boxes, and hopping on the next flight. A typical relocation involves almost 50...

CEP: Editorial - Diversity as a Catalyst for Success

January
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
“Diversity programs are not only the right thing to do, but they are also the smart and necessary thing to do. We view diversity and inclusion, and promotion of different cultural perspectives, as catalysts, because we know these efforts unleash...

CEP: Editorial - Don't Cross the Line

August
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
The word deadline has its roots in the American Civil War. Camp Sumter (also known as Andersonville Prison) was the largest and most infamous military prison of the war. The prison pen was surrounded by a 15-ft-high log fence with sentries stationed at 90-ft intervals. Inside the stockade, about 20 ft from the wall, was the “dead-line,” which prisoners were forbidden to cross. It was marked by a post-and-rail fence, and the guards had orders to shoot anyone who tried to cross it, or even reach over it.

SBE Special Section: Biopharmaceuticals - SBE Update: Continuous Progress in Biopharmaceuticals

December
2015
SBE Special Section
Darlene Schuster
The goal of bioprocessing is to optimize natural or artificial biological systems by manipulating prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells and their environment to produce biopharmaceutical products. A bioprocess is divided into upstream and downstream operations. Upstream processing encompasses the steps from preliminary unmodified cell line culture to the mature modified cell culture and harvest; downstream processing includes the separation and purification of the biologics from the mature activated cell culture. These operations have typically been performed as batch processes.

Managing Dust Explosion Hazards

August
2009
Safety
Vahid Ebadat, Ph.D.
Companies that handle powders or other particulate solids need to be aware of the potential for fire and explosions, and follow industry best practices, codes and standards to manage the risk.

CEP: Career Corner - Creating Work-Life Harmony

April
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Work-life balance is a challenge for many of us, but how do we get there from here? First, it helps to adjust our thinking. “It’s not about balance, like weights on a scale,” says Mary T. Scott, a certified professional coach. “It’s more about...

Process Burners 101

August
2013
Back To Basics
Charles Baukal, Erwin Platvoet
Process burners may be classified based on flame shape, emissions, fuel type, and other characteristics. Here’s what you need to know to work effectively with a burner manufacturer when selecting a burner for your application.

3D-Printed Prosthetics Roll Off the Presses

May
2014
On The Horizon
Sujata Bhatia, Shruti Sharma
From implant design to scaffold development and prosthetic construction, 3D printing offers unique solutions for complex problems in the biomedical sciences.

Patents: Crossing the Novelty Threshold

November
2015
Career Catalyst
Henry Heines
Only inventions that are novel qualify for patent protection. Sometimes the novelty of an idea is not readily apparent. Understand where novelty lies so you can identify patentable ideas in your routine engineering work.

CEP: Editorial - Moving Beyond the Black Swan Excuse

February
2013
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Days after Superstorm Sandy hit the northeastern U.S., I attended the session “Accounting for Beyond Design Basis Events” at the 2012 AIChE Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, where CCPS Consultant John Murphy gave a talk entitled “Beware the Black Swan...

Characterize Reactive Chemicals with Calorimetry

July
2013
Safety
Dr. Daniel A. Crowl, Jason Keith
In designing and operating chemical manufacturing processes, the reactivity of chemicals must be identified to avoid hazards. Calorimetry experiments combined with analytical methods provide a straightforward technique to identify these reactions...

Special Section: Energy - Lithium-Ion Batteries

October
2013
Special Section
Michelle Bryner
Batteries are being asked to meet daunting performance requirements that could soon be pushing up against the limits of existing battery technologies. Portable electronics, electric vehicles, and grid-scale storage require high energy density and power, low cost, and safety.

CEP: YPOV - Building a Leadership Portfolio

February
2014
YPOV
Janet Werner
When talking with college students at local section meetings, I’m often asked about my responsibilities within AIChE with a simple question: “So, what do you do?” The answer, however, is not so simple. As a leader in the Chicago Local Section, Chicago Young Professionals Committee (YPC), national YPC, and President’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Local Sections, I could answer this question in several ways.

A Guide to Characterizing Particle Size and Shape

July
2014
Instrumentation
Shrikant Dhodapkar, Remi Trottier
Knowledge of particle properties is essential for understanding how the particles will impact your process. Learn how to identify the relevant properties for a particular application, select the best measurement technique, and analyze the data to extract meaningful information.

CEP: Career Corner - Growing Your Engineering Consulting Practice

August
2014
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
If you want to expand your consulting practice, you must be ready to change how you do things. “As your company matures, you need to start working on the business, rather than in the business. Become the owner, not the doer,” says Stephen Fauer,...

Avoid Fluidization Pitfalls

December
2014
Back To Basics
Raymond Cocco, S. B. Reddy Karri, Ted Knowlton
Fluidized beds are susceptible to such problems as bed slugging, loss of fines, and gas bypassing. This article explains how to avoid these pitfalls.

SBE Special Section: Lignocellulosic Biofuels - SBE Update

March
2015
SBE Special Section
Darlene Schuster
Considering that the price of oil has plummeted to less than half of what it was a year ago, this SBE supplement on biofuels is quite well-timed. What role can and will biofuels play, both today and in the future?

The Future of the Lecture

May
2015
AIChE Journal Highlight
Edward L. Cussler
The lecture is an important and indispensible tool for teaching undergraduate chemical engineering students. The electronics revolution will not dramatically change the basic structure of the lecture, but instead supplement and enhance what is being taught.

CEP: Patent Update - What Constitutes Inducement to Infringe a Patent?

July
2015
Patent Update
Henry Heines
Can you be held liable for patent infringement even if you do not practice the patented invention? Can a company that sells a material to the manufacturer of a patented product be held liable? Can a vendor that supplies a component to a service provider that assembles or uses a patented system be held liable? Can a supplier of raw materials to a production plant that runs a patented process be held liable?

Editorial: What’s On Your Desk?

November
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, November 2015. Researchers at Cornell Univ. photographed more than 200 kitchens in Syracuse, NY, to determine whether the food sitting...

Avoid Bulk Solids Segregation Problems

April
2012
Fluids and Solids Handling
Eric Maynard, Eric Maynard
Powder blend consistency can be difficult to maintain during processing. This article provides an overview of common segregation mechanisms, highlights key sampling techniques, and offers practical guidance on preventing and solving segregation...

CEP: Career Corner - Career Success through Networking

October
2013
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
Schmoozing. Glad-handing. Kibitzing. Networking — the art of cultivating productive relationships — often gets a bad rap. Yet without some form of networking, it may be difficult for you to get a promotion, make a career change, or land a six-figure...

Follow this Process Development Path

December
2013
Reactions and Separations
Paul Szabo
Bench-scale engineering (BSE) and the interdisciplinary no-transfer team (INTT) are valuable complements to the scale-down-before-scale-up method of process development.

CEP: Editorial - Get Smart about Electricity

August
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
According to the Edison Foundation, nearly 40% of U.S. households, about 46 million residences, are outfitted with a smart meter for monitoring and managing electricity use. Some of these meters operate under direct load control (DLC), which allows the utility to intermittently interrupt service to connected appliances — such as electric heaters, central air conditioning systems, water heaters, hot tubs, and clothes dryer heating elements — during periods of peak electricity demand. In return for their willingness to accept these short (typically no more than a few hours) power interruptions, customers receive a payment or a credit on their electric bill. Smart metering is a form of demand-side management, and is an important part of the evolving smart grid.

Select the Best Model for Two-Phase Relief Sizing

May
2001
Safety
Ronald Darby, Ron Darby, Paul R. Meiller, & Jarad R. Stockton
A variety of methods exist for sizing valves, but not all give the best predictions for certain conditions. RonDarby-PaulR.Meiller-JaradR.Stockton-

Automate Your Batch Process — Part 1

August
2015
Instrumentation
Cecil Smith
It is important to understand the process to automate it effectively. Learn about the automation requirements of cyclical, multigrade, and flexible batch processes, as well as the status of this developing field.

SBE Special Section: Biopharmaceuticals - Continuous Processing in Downstream Operations

December
2015
SBE Special Section
Todd Przybycien, Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker
The transition from batch to continuous downstream processing of biologics has been gradual, with some processes integrating continuous and batch operations. A fully continuous, commercial-scale downstream process has yet to be implemented. Find out why, as well as the current status of the technology.

Bringing a Star to Earth

April
2009
Special Section
Jan Berry, Bond Calloway
An international R&D effort to build a fusion reactor and demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power is underway.

Handle Bulk Solids Safely and Effectively

September
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Eric Maynard, Greg Mehos and Eric Maynard
Follow these guidelines for proper design of bins, hoppers, and feeders to avoid operational and safety problems.

CEP: Editorial - Harnessing Our Abilities

October
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
We all have limits to our abilities. Some of us stumble over our words and lose our train of thought when speaking to a group; others can’t string together three coherent sentences. Some of us get so bogged down in minutiae that we lose sight of the big picture; others are so busy dreaming up the next project that we neglect important details and miss deadlines. This thinking extends to physical characteristics. Some of us are so short that we can’t reach the second shelf in the cabinet; others are so tall that we can’t fit into the backseat of a car.

Working with Tight Oil

April
2015
Back To Basics
Timothy Olsen
Crude oil derived from shale plays is less expensive and more readily available than traditional crudes, but it poses unique challenges to refiners.

Synthetic Biology: Putting Together the Pieces

July
2015
On The Horizon
Michelle Bryner
Synthetic biology represents a new way of building biological systems via engineering tools and principles. Genetic components and pathways will be created to reprogram organisms, endowing them with novel functions for a wide range of applications.

Use TRIZ in Reverse to Analyze Failures

May
2005
Career Catalyst
Jack Hipple
Asking “how could I make this fail?” can help you to identify potential problems that you might not otherwise have considered.

Mitigate Air Pollution with Catalytic Technology

June
2014
Environmental Management
Kristine Baranski, Bailey Underwood
Catalytic oxidation and catalytic reduction control emissions by chemically transforming pollutants. Learn what equipment is available and how it works to treat exhaust streams from stationary sources.

Designing Pneumatic Conveying Systems

May
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Eric Maynard
Use this 9-step methodology to design and operate a reliable and cost-effective system to efficiently transport materials.

Cool Down with Liquid Nitrogen

September
2015
Heat Transfer
Oscar Beteta, Svetlana Ivanova
Many low-temperature processes leverage nitrogen’s cooling and freezing capabilities. Find out what methods are used in what applications and why.

Career Corner: Ace Your Skype or Phone Interview

December
2015
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
If you are interviewing for a new job, there is a good chance that at least your first interview will be conducted by phone or using online videoconferencing software, such as Skype. These methods are both convenient and cost-effective for the...

Energy Research: Following the Money

July
2010
Special Section
Bond Calloway
Surveys of the energy-related papers presented at AIChE’s annual meetings shed light on the funding pathways for energy research by chemical engineers.

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