AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers

Optimization Methods in Metabolic Networks

March, 2016
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,...

Big Data: The Four Vs

March
2016
Special Section
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.

Process Safety Beacon: Hydrate Hazards

January
2016
Process Safety Beacon
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.

Editorial: I See Your Point

March
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
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...

Navigating Oil Price Volatility

January
2016
Business
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: What Is It?

March
2016
Special Section
David White
Big data can pave the way to greater business and operational insight. New approaches and technologies are poised to help you navigate your journey.

Process Safety Beacon: Safety Devices Used as Control Devices

March
2016
Process Safety Beacon
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...

Process Safety Beacon: Overflowing Tanks

February
2016
Process Safety Beacon
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...

Leadership Q&A: Transforming a Business

March
2016
Leadership Q&A
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...

Optimize Aerobic Fermenter Operation

March
2016
Reactions and Separations
Gregory Benz
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.

Big Data: Challenges and Future Research Directions

March
2016
Special Section
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.

New Products: March 2016

March
2016
New Products
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...

Big Data: Getting Started on the Journey

March
2016
Special Section
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.

Patent Update: When Does Patent Infringement Become a Federal Offense?

March
2016
Patent Update
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,...

Profile: Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers

February
2016
Profile
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...

Going It Alone

October
2015
Career Catalyst
Alan P. Rossiter
An independent consultant faces unique demands, but can reap many rewards.

Modeling Mixed-Solvent Electrolyte Systems

February
2016
Computational Methods
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.

Technical Entity Trends: When Resources are Few

March
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Lucy Alexander
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...

Leadership Q&A: Taking a Leading Role in Process Safety

January
2016
Leadership Q&A
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...

Books

March
2016
Books
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...

Big Data: Success Stories in the Process Industries

March
2016
Special Section
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.

YPOV: What to Ask During an Interview — and What Questions to Avoid

March
2016
YPOV
Emily Frangenberg
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...

Editorial: An Editor Changes Their Mind About They

February
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
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...

Society for Biological Engineering News

October
2005
SBE Special Section
June Wispelwey
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

France’s Chemicals Industry is Rooted in Tradition

December
2015
Global Outlook
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.

New Products: February 2016

February
2016
New Products
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...

Biotransformations for a Green Future

October
2005
SBE Special Section
Susan Truesdell
Enzyme and microbial biotransformations offer green chemistry alternatives for performing difficult or non-selective chemical reactions.

Enzyme Discovery: Screening, Cloning, Evolving

October
2005
SBE Special Section
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.

Spotlight on Safety: Process Safety Begins in the School Laboratory

February
2016
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
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...

Specifying Vessels for High-Pressure Dust Collectors

October
2005
Environmental Management
Todd Russelburg
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.

Technical Entity Trends: Reducing GHGs through CCUS

February
2016
Technical Entity Trends
Derrick Wu
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...

Integrate Process Simulation and Process Synthesis

October
2005
Computational Methods
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.

Career Corner: Volunteering is Good for Your Career

February
2016
Career Corner
Loraine Kasprzak
“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...

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...

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...

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...

Books: January 2016

January
2016
Books
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...

Editorial: What the New Year Brings to CEP

January
2016
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
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...

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.

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 - Successfully Navigating in a New Career

May
2015
YPOV
Kyle Kramer
Congratulations to those of you who are graduating this month! This is a monumental time in your life. If you already have a job lined up, you are ready to walk across the graduation stage and into your future career. However, being the new person...

CEP: Editorial - From To-Do to Done

June
2015
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
I find inspiration for my editorials in all sorts of places. This month’s topic came to me from a list of strange holidays, where I came across September 6, Fight Procrastination Day. You might expect this in the October issue, or later, given the...

New Products: December 2015

January
2016
Instrumentation Temperature Transmitters Feature Dual Sensor Inputs The THZ 3 and TDZ 3 two-wire (loop-powered) temperature transmitters provide an isolated and linear 4–20-mA output proportional to input. They can be configured quickly and easily...

A MagDot-Nanoconveyor Assay Detects and Isolates Molecular Biomarkers

December
2012
SBE Special Section
Jeffrey Chalmers, Maryam B. Lustberg, M.D., Kalpesh Mahajan, Brandon Miller, Gang Ruan, Ratnasingham Sooryakumar, Gregory B. Vieira, Jessica Winter
The ability to quickly analyze, separate, and manipulate multiple types of biomarkers from small sample volumes is a significant step toward personalized medicine.

CEP: Profile - A Rock Star Among ChEs

December
2012
Profile
Emily Frangenberg
Rock star is not a term associated with many chemical engineers. It does, however, accurately capture the accomplishments and accolades — the phenomenon — of Robert Langer. His vision and technical excellence have propelled scores of significant...

Graphene Marches Down a Long Road to Commercialization

April
2013
News Feature
Michelle Bryner
With so much graphene research underway, it can be hard to keep track of the progress, as well as to evaluate the commercial viability of such developments. Here’s a look at what scientists and engineers are doing and saying about graphene.

CEP: Editorial - Getting ChE Education Right

April
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
When I was in college, I earned some spending money as a shoe model for a local freelance photographer. Little did I know I would become a cover girl. But a few years later, shortly after I began my career as an editor (at a different magazine), I was tapped for just that role. Wearing a black cap and gown and photographed looking out into a maze of piping in a chemical plant, I represented a young graduate facing my first job in industry. The cover line — “Chemical engineering education: How good is it, really?” — referred to an article that discussed the results of a reader survey conducted by two of my colleagues. That was 31 years ago. Today, we are still pondering the same question.

CEP: Editorial - Take a Hike

July
2014
Editorial
Cynthia Mascone
Although I recently returned from a vacation and would love to tell you about the hiking we did, that’s not the topic of this editorial. Previously, I wrote about jump-starting creativity through relaxation and trying something new (Dec. 2013) and by incorporating play into your day (Jan. 2014). Here’s another powerful creativity booster to add to your toolbox — walking. Your walk doesn’t have to be an eight-mile trek from the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the rim nearly a mile higher. Walking can be as simple as doing laps around the office, or getting off the bus or train a stop or two early and walking the rest of the way to your destination.

CEP: Spotlight on Safety - Personal Growth and Lessons Learned from Two Global Tragedies

November
2014
Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
The 30-year anniversaries of two events of significance to the chemical engineering profession, particularly the process safety community, occur in November and December — the PEMEX disaster outside of Mexico City, Mexico, and the Union Carbide Corp. tragedy in Bhopal, India. These two incidents, two-and-a-half weeks apart, molded my professional career and ultimately motivated me to work for the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) at AIChE, where our mission is to prevent such tragedies from occurring.

Turkey’s Chemicals Industry Expands into Global Markets

May
2015
Global Outlook
Metin Turkay
The Turkish chemicals industry has the potential for significant growth, with increasing demand coming from both domestic and global markets. To capture this potential, the industry will need to increase production capacity and diversify its product portfolio.

YPOV: Is a Nontraditional ChemE Career for You?

September
2015
YPOV
Victor Manrique
The rapid growth of technology, globalization, the changing demographics of the workforce — all of these factors have eliminated the former notion of a linear career path. Modern-day employment requires workers to be adaptable to any and every...

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