AIChE | The Global Home of Chemical Engineers
Professor David Glasser, David Milne, David Glasser, Diane Hildebrandt and Brendon Hausberger
Use this graphical technique to choose a reactor configuration based on optimizing residence time.
What Will You Do on Your Summer Vacation? In this month’s YPOV column (p. 20), Arjun Gopalratnam points out that the summertime is a great time for self-improvement, and he urges us to expand, in particular, our computer programming experience. He...
In 2011, I took a position with Mack Trucks, Inc., a manufacturer of American-assembled Class 8 heavy trucks with more than 100 years of history. Since then, I wish I had a dollar for every time I was asked the question “What is a chemical engineer...
The Boiler MACT regulation provides compliance options that include pollution-abatement equipment, work practices, and energy efficiency improvements. An energy management and reporting system (EMRS) can be a part of a plant’s compliance strategy.
Programming for an AIChE conference — i.e., developing the technical program — takes a lot more than the work put in by the meeting chairs; the details and ideas that go into every session and its roster of speakers take a whole force of volunteers. As a co-chair for the upcoming 2014 Spring Meeting in New Orleans who also happens to be a young professional (YP), I’ve realized that the best way to prepare for programming a large-scale conference is to build relationships across all levels of the organization.
Barry A. Perlmutter
Filtration technology has advanced to meet the demand to remove small particles at low concentrations. When designed correctly, a candle filter or a pressure plate filter may be a more-efficient replacement for a traditional filtration scheme.
The first annual energy survey conducted by AIChE's Research and New Technology Committee provides insights into the energy-related research of chemical engineers.
In the current job market, people rarely stay employed with the same company that hired them after college for their entire career. If you want to take control of your career and make a job change that is consistent with your professional and personal goals, allow enough time to weigh the pros and cons instead of making the decision on a whim. The most critical step in this process is not updating your resumé, but making sure that the new position will be a good fit and not just a quick fix. I like to think of changing jobs as a process with four key steps: recognizing that it is time to move on, deciding where you want to go, determining what you need to get there, and then networking your way in.
Chau-Chyun Chen, Soraya Honarparvar, Sina Hassanjani Saravi
Accurate thermodynamic models are needed to simulate processes involving electrolytes, which range from hydraulic fracturing to CO2 capture and sequestration and basic chemicals manufacturing. Follow these steps to develop thermodynamic models for your electrolyte system.
This is an expanded version of the Editorial that appeared in the print version of Chemical Engineering Progress, May 2015. Much has been written about chemical engineering education, particularly what students should be taught to prepare them for a...
Are you successful in your professional career? If so, then it may be time to think about giving back by becoming a mentor. As a mentor to a less-experienced professional, you can make a difference in that person’s career by offering guidance and...
Kim Dam-Johansen, Rafiqul Gani, Gurkan Sin
Denmark’s chemicals industry is characterized by a variety of innovative companies, especially in the life sciences. To remain competitive, these companies must continue to invest in innovation, and the country’s universities must fill a growing need for highly educated engineering professionals.
David Farese, Svetlana Ivanova
Understand the potential dangers associated with handling and storing hydrogen, and take the appropriate precautions to mitigate the risks.
Accurate process safety information is the cornerstone of effective process safety management. Follow this three-phase approach to create and maintain an effective PSI program.
Ron Beck, Shelby Hegy, Tom Ralston
Embedding a rigorous heat exchanger model within an established simulation environment can help engineers increase process yields, while minimizing heat exchanger energy consumption and capital expenditures.
One of my favorite warm weather activities is kayaking. The river provides a respite away from crowds and electronic distractions. Daily stressors are erased by the warm sun, a light breeze, and the sound of water lapping at my boat. A recent weekend with great weather afforded the perfect opportunity to go out on the river with my husband. Earlier that week, severe storms blew through the area with significant rainfall and flash flooding. This increased the volume of water in the river, so conditions would be perfect for a fast and exciting ride. It also called for a more-mindful approach to safety hazards, like swift currents and debris in the water.
Pablo Duarte, Seth Gottlund
In a unique collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s (DOE) Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) program, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APCI) has developed an innovative process to capture CO2 at its Port Arthur, TX, facility. The captured CO2 is purified, dried, compressed, and transported via pipeline to Denbury Resources, where it is used in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The high-purity CO2 is injected into oil wells to reduce the viscosity of the oil mixture, which enables higher oil-well production rates and overall yield, and increases the crude oil flowrate.
Alan P. Rossiter
Enhance your facility’s energy efficiency through operational improvements, effective maintenance, engineered improvements, and new technologies.
For many of us, having to negotiate for anything can be akin to driving a notoriously congested, pothole-filled highway in rush-hour traffic. We know it is not for the inexperienced or faint-hearted and therefore approach it expecting the worst possible outcome.
Scott Berger, Peter Lodal, J. Wayne Chastain, William W. Doerr, Scott Berger and Peter N. Lodal
Use this approach for the initial evaluation of potential reactivity hazards in storage applications.
Darlene Schuster, Calvin Cobb, Darlene Schuster, Beth Beloff and Dicksen Tanzil
The AIChE Sustainability Index provides practical benchmarks along a number of well-defined metrics.
When I wrote last month’s editorial about my trip down the path to sustainability, I intended it to be the third article of three (“On the Path to Sustainability” in July, “AIChE’s Path to Sustainability” in August, and “A ChE’s Path to Sustainability” in September). My journey began while I was on vacation in Arizona at the beginning of the summer. Unexpectedly, I experienced sustainability from a different angle during my annual end-of-summer staycation. Thus, this fourth article on sustainability — in sports.
Norman Ito, Timothy Olsen
Use these loop tuning guidelines to improve process control and enhance product uniformity Many undergraduate chemical engineering programs teach the Ziegler-Nichols tuning methods, developed by John G. Ziegler and Nathaniel B. Nichols in the 1940s...
Two years ago, AIChE’s biennial salary survey found that chemical engineers’ salaries had stagnated and raises were the lowest they had been in two decades. Fortunately, the situation appears to have turned around somewhat. The 2013 salary survey (...
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.
We need to make the best use of all the tools in our collective toolbox, including the talents of our disabled colleagues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.
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...
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
Gauri Nabar, Jessica Winter
Research into self-assembling block-copolymer nanocomposites seeks to tailor this nanomaterial for large-scale physiological applications.
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...
“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...
The stage-gate technique used for traditional chemical processes must be modified for bioenergy technologies. Follow these recommendations to minimize risk and maximize success.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sustainability is a path of continuous improvement, wherein the products and services required by society are delivered with progressively less negative impact upon the Earth.
Can a trade secret violation that is geographically widespread and continues for several decades still be actionable? A recent lawsuit provides the answer.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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,...
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.
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?
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.
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?
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...
The TRIZ principles and techniques used to solve technical problems inventively can be adapted to run a business more effectively and more profitably.
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...
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...
Ever since inventions that involved the use of computers were declared patentable, courts have struggled with the distinction between patentable processes and unpatentable abstract ideas. A recent case illustrates the types of arguments that are...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-
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.
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.
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...
Cory Jensen, William Parrish
Licensure as a professional engineer is an investment in your future, and can be a beneficial — and even necessary — credential.
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...
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.
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.
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 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.
Asking “how could I make this fail?” can help you to identify potential problems that you might not otherwise have considered.