Chemical Engineering Practice

Streamlining the Validation Process

March
2007
Management
Tim Flanigan, Robert Mackey
Today, validation is no longer an afterthought for the design and construction of a new or renovated process or facility. It is, in fact, recognized as an integral part of the total project. Fully integrated services are now available to ensure a...

Computational Science: Enabling Technology Development

January
2011
On The Horizon
Anthony Cugini, Wei Ge, Chris Guenther, Jinghai Li, Madhava Syamlal, Wei Wang, Ning Yang
Computational science will play a key role in accelerating technology development and in the realization of virtual process engineering.

Realize Greater Benefits from CFD

March
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
Ahmad H. Haidari, Andre  Bakker,  Lanre M. Oshinowo
Computational fluid dynamics has moved from mainframes to PCs and laptops. Newer and better software lets you conduct analyses not possible before, and regular engineers, not just experts, can now carry out CFD.

Air Heater Cleaning Simplified

October
2001
Heat Transfer
Brad Buecker
This high-pressure water washing technique can be used to clean Ljungstrom-type air heaters.

Reduce Costs with Dividing-Wall Columns

May
2002
Reactions and Separations
Dennis O'Brien, Douglas A. Stewart, James W. Harris, Michael A. Schultz, Mohamed S.M. Shakur, Steven P. Rosenblum
These distillation columns can significantly reduce capital and energy expenses vs. conventional multicolumn arrangements.

Computationally Evaluate Self-Reactivity Hazards

February
2003
Reactions and Separations
Edward S. Shanley, Michelle R. Murphy, Surendra K. Singh
Here is a method that rates the tendency of new compounds to self-explode without the need to perform extensive laboratory tests.

Guidelines for Selecting Sterilizing-Grade Filters

March
2005
Fluids and Solids Handling
Philip Blosse, Monica Cardona
Determine if your bioprocess needs a sterilizing grade filter, and if so, use these guidelines to select the proper one for your application.

Selecting a Heat Exchanger Shell

June
2011
Back To Basics
Thomas G. Lestina, P.E.
The first step in specifying a shell-and-tube heat exchanger is choosing the right shell to meet process requirements.

Inhibiting and Monitoring Corrosion

March
2012
Heat Transfer
Gary Geiger, Mel J. Esmacher, P.E.
Understand corrosion and ways to control it, and implement these monitoring techniques to improve cooling water system efficiency and reliability and reduce energy consumption.

Uncovering the Realities of Simulation, Part 2

June
2001
Computational Methods
Andrew  Vieler, Marco S. Satyro, Rajeev  Agarwal, Yau-Kun Li,  Oscar  Santollani
Simulation software is a commonly used design tool, thanks mainly to its availability on the desktop. However, one has to understand thermodynamic basics before accepting the desktop's final answer.

Selecting Corrosion-Resistant Materials

December
2006
Materials
Francesco Picciotti, Marcello Picciotti
This article looks at some common corrosion-resistant alloys and gasket materials that are available for use in applications with high pressures and temperatures.

Effectively Control Column Pressure

January
2001
Reactions and Separations
Andrew W. Sloley 
Maintaining proper pressure can play a crucial role in the stable operation of a distillation column. Here’s how to select the most appropriate pressure-control scheme.

Shortcut Distillation Calculations via Spreadsheets

December
2002
Reactions and Separations
Jake Jevric, Muhammad E. Fayed
This method uses a numerical solution to the McCabe-Thiele diagram to find the theoretical number of stages for binary and pseudo-binary systems,then calculates the actual number of stages, reflux ratio and column dimensions.

Evaluating Dryers for New Services

December
2003
Heat Transfer
Charles G. Moyers
Continuous dryers are accurately and easily evaluated using laboratory-scale simulators combined with the specific drying rate approach.

A Strategy for Excellence in Process Development

October
2008
Process Development
Vaibhav V. Kelkar, Lionel O'Young
Here is how to integrate overall process development activities and identify practices that facilitate commercial process development.

Save Energy Through Automation

January
2010
Instrumentation
Douglas C. White
Identifying the right automation investments — those with low costs and high impacts — can result in millions of dollars in energy savings for petrochemical plants. <br>

Avoid Internet Pitfalls

April
2003
Information Technology
Tim Headley
When developing your website, take these preventative measures to steer clear of any potential lawsuits.

Implementing an EHS Management Information System

May
2004
Information Technology
Jill Barson Gilbert
Information technology issues are just as important as business and environmental, health and safety considerations. Follow these ten tips to deply an effective EMIS with a positive return on investment.

Selecting Agitator Seals for Bioprocessing Applications

January
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gregory T. Benz, William Ho Liam Teng
Issues such as sterility, isolation and contamination must be considered when choosing seals for use in biotech and pharmaceutical processes. This overview describes common types of seals and offers guidance on selecting the appropriate seal for...

Selecting Nickel Alloys for Corrosive Applications

May
2007
Materials
Paul Crook
Nickel and its alloys offer resistance to attack by a wide range of chemicals, including acids, alkalis and salts, making these materials suitable for may CPI applications.

Get More Out of Single-Stage Distillation

February
2002
Reactions and Separations
Ernest A. Perkins , Ryan C. Schad 
Try these practical ways to boost capacity, increase product quality or reduce cycle time in batch and continuous systems.

Ease Control Valve Selection

November
2002
Fluids and Solids Handling
Kiran Nair, Liyakat Jaffer, Meredith Chapeaux, Sheetal Patel, Trevor Bishop
With so many types and options available, choosing the right control valve can seem daunting. Selection can be simplified by considering the process fluid, the service requirements, how the various valves function, and seeing how each valve will...

Reduce Dust Explosions the Inherently Safer Way

October
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
A. G. Dastidar, Faisal I. Khan, P. R. Amyotte
This article is aimed at the development of a framework for dust explosion prevention and mitigation that explicitly incorporates the principles of inherent safety. As distinguished from engineered and procedural safety features, inherent safety...

Improve Flange Joint Reliability

January
2011
Back To Basics
Mike Emery, John Ludman, Thomas Sandbrook
Proper design, installation, and maintenance of flanged connection systems can prevent loss of containment and process interruptions. Follow this seven-step approach to ensure reliability of this critical process equipment.

Easily Assess Complex Safety Loops

March
2001
Instrumentation
Lawrence  Beckman
Many safety instrumented systems rely on dissimilar redundant field devices, and this can complicate required analyses. These equations will enable field personnel to handle such situations readily.

Optimize Control Room Communications

October
2001
Instrumentation
Brad A. Walker, James E. Lenhart, Karen D. Smith
Faced with more distractions than ever, operators need an environment that is conducive for dealing with abnormal, as well as normal, situations. Effective control room design can help.

Control and Optimize Nonlinear Systems

February
2003
Instrumentation
Andrew C. Burden, Pradeep B. Deshpande, Roberto Z. Tantalean
Turbocharging a contrained model predictive controller (CMPC) with fuzzy logic allows CMPCs to be applied over nonlinear systems

Production Modeling for Multimodal Operations

February
2004
Information Technology
Jeffrey D. Kelly
Two new views for production modeling are introduced - production flow networks and production flow maps - that focus on unit operations and feedstocks, respectively.

Designing Four-Pass Trays

April
2010
Back To Basics
Daniel R. Summers
Use this procedure to design four-pass distillation column trays and to balance the vapor/liquid ratio on each tray panel.

Integrate Compressor Performance Maps into Process Simulation

June
2011
Computational Methods
Grant Stephenson
Transforming the performance maps to a reduced coordinate system that is independent of suction conditions and rotational speeds allows these curves to be accurately incorporated into a process simulator.

Select the Right Spray Nozzle

June
2001
Reactions and Separations
Peter  Welander, Terra L. Vincent
Finding the proper nozzle for specific applications doesn't have to be difficult. By applying basic concepts of nozzle technology, you can create a droplet profile that best suits your needs.

Hydrogen: Liability or Asset?

September
2002
Reactions and Separations
Dennis Vauk, Ian Moore, Nick  Hallale
In a petroleum refinery, viewing hydrogen as an asset rather than a liability can lead to increased profits. The key is in the mindset. A typical investor uses money to make money. This article shows you how to use hydrogen to make money.

Handling Flammable Liquids

July
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
James C. Mulligan
Identify electrostatic hazards associated with liquid processing and understand the precautions available to control them.

Clarifying Centrifuge Operation and Selection

August
2004
Fluids and Solids Handling
Victor Norton ,  William Wilkie
Before selecting a centrifuge for your application, understand its principles of operation and investigate the key process variables.

A Simple Approach to Vapor Pressure Prediction

January
2007
Reactions and Separations
Andrew J. DeDoes, Matthew D. Goetz, Michael J. Misovich
This method reproduces the vapor pressure predictions of the Soave-Redlich-Kwong and Peng-Robinson equation of state with a simple Antoine equation that uses constants derived from critical properties and the acentric factor.

Evaluating Cooling Tower Upgrades

May
2008
Heat Transfer
Tom Dendy
When considering improvements to cooling towers, it's important to perform an economic analysis of the options.

Reduce Risk When Sourcing Abroad

October
2010
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gregory T. Benz, Ling Du
Purchasing lower-cost process equipment from vendors in developing nations can be an attractive proposition in times of economic austerity. When sourcing outside local channels, keep the points discussed here in mind to avoid costly problems that go...

Nitrogen: A Security Blanket for the Chemical Industry

November
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Bill Carlson, Joe Dumoit, Paul Yanisko, Shiying Zheng
The benefits of nitrogen blanketing include improved process safety, better product quality, and longer equipment life. Here's how to achieve the desired safety or quality results while minimizing costs.

Should You Use Enhanced Tubes?

April
2002
Heat Transfer
Graham T. Polley, Mohamad R. Jafari Nasr
Following this procedure to identify a basic exchanger geometry without performing a full exchanger design and to evaluate where and when heat transfer enhancement can be of benefit.

Fermentation Goes Large-Scale

January
2003
Special Section
Aristos Aristidou , J. J. Hahn , Pim van Hoek , Alex Patist
Designing an economically competitive and environmentally sustainable fermentation route means considering the downstream separations needed to capture the final product during the initial process design.

Designing Experiments for the Modern Micro Industries

February
2006
Computational Methods
Phillip H. Williams
Although the sparsity of effects principle is still good advice, we need to be careful of emphasizing it too much -- to the point that it becomes an assumed practice, rather than a useful rule of thumb.

Simplify Experimental Design

January
2010
Computational Methods
Joseph F. Louvar
Save time and money by using this approach to fractional-factorial design of experiments (DOE) for studies involving six or seven variables. <br>

Identifying Corrosion and Its Causes

April
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Gary Geiger, Mel J. Esmacher, P.E.
An important first step in maintaining equipment reliability and efficiency is understanding the various types of corrosion damage that can occur.

Follow These Best Practices in Steam System Management

December
2001
Heat Transfer
David  Jaber, Fred L. Hart, Gilbert A. McCoy
These tips on how to improve steam generation, distribution and recovery can help a plant to increase its steam system efficiency by as much as 20-30%.

Optimize Power Consumption in Aerobic Fermenters

May
2003
Reactions and Separations
Gregory T. Benz
By performing the necessary pilot work, and rigorously calculating the full-scale performance instead of using simple rules-of-thumb, significant energy savings can be achieved in fermenters.

Ensure Proper Design and Operation of Multi-Pass Trays

June
2005
Reactions and Separations
Mark Pilling
To function properly at optimum capacity and efficiency, multi-pass trays must be designed so that the liquid and vapor flows are properly balanced. This article provides guidance on how to achieve that.

Understand Temperature Change in Process Stream Mixing

September
2006
Heat Transfer
Anil K. Mehrotra, Dharmendra Tiwary
The isobaric and adiabatic mixing of process streams can yield an outlet stream temperature that is either in between, higher than, or lower than the inlet stream temperatures. This article uses simulation to explore temperature-change scenarios in...

Use Oxygen to Improve Combustion and Oxidation

July
2010
Reactions and Separations
Nancy C. Easterbrook, Reed J. Hendershot, Timothy D. Lebrecht
Substituting oxygen for air is often a low-cost, easy-to-implement option that can reduce capital costs, lower emissions, and improve process flexibility and reliability.

The Flange Factor in Gasket Selection

September
2011
Fluids and Solids Handling
Dave Burgess, John Crandall
Gaskets should be chosen based on service conditions, as well as the type of flanges to be sealed. These principles will help to guide the selection.

Step into the Virtual Plant

February
2002
Instrumentation
Gregory K McMillan, Mark S Sowell III, Michael M Mansy
The ability to warehouse process and control system knowledge offers a vast potential for improved operations by sharing a common source of information and avoiding data duplication.

Improving Heat Exchanger Designs

April
2007
Heat Transfer
Christopher A. Bennett, David C. King, R. Stanley Kistler, Thomas G. Lestina
This article defines and explains the factors that affect heat exchanger design margins. With the proper application of design margins, capital costs can be lowered and plant operations improved.

Working with Non-Ideal Gases

March
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Jimmy Peress
Here are two proven methods for predicting gas compressibility factors.

Succeed at Catalyst Scale-Up

June
2006
Reactions and Separations
Richard Allen, William H. Beever, Jeff Braden, Donald R. Engelbert, J. Todd Osbourne, Uday T. Turaga, Ben Wagner
Follow these principles to reduce the time required for scale-up and commercialization to improve the resource effectiveness of the effort.

Avoid Problems in Process Water Systems

October
2007
Heat Transfer
Marilyn W. Blaschke, Roger D. Metzler
Prevent corrosion, emulsification and fouling by implementing these operational and chemical measures.

Preventing Maldistribution in Multi-Pass Trays

April
2010
Reactions and Separations
Richard Dionne, Henry Z. Kister, Matthew R. Olsson, Walter J. Stupin
This method, based on hydraulic equations in the open literature, calculates vapor/liquid distribution in four-pass trays to correctly predict flooding and efficiency.

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