Equipment

Preventing the Membrane Problem Most Foul [On Location]

March 15, 2011

Dr. Benny Freeman of the University of Texas at Austin presented some promising results of his team’s efforts to coat membrane surfaces with materials that greatly reduce fouling rates, and also allow for more effective cleaning when necessary.

Three Free Online Databases Chemical Engineers Can't Live Without

December 26, 2011

IBM announced plans to give the National Institutes of Health a database of more than 2.4 million chemical compounds. NIH will add this information to PubChem, a freely available database of chemical structures of small organic molecules and information on their biological activities.

The Performance Appraisal System: Part 2 of Effective Employee Performance Management

October 27, 2010

A formal Performance Appraisal System is a necessity in a growing and successful business or organization. It demonstrates a consistency of understanding and formal communication of what is expected, what is applauded, and what is not acceptable. Everyone is on the same page, senior management, yourself, and the appraised employee.

From Big Data to Smart Manufacturing

December 5, 2012

In this week’s post about the new Golden Age of ChE and the role of computing, Phil Westmoreland writes about “From Big Data to Smart Manufacturing.”

Comparison of Ceramic and Polymeric Membranes for Micro- and Ultrafiltration

October 26, 2011

Katie Guerra, P.E., of the Bureau of Reclamation reported on her efforts to put to the test the common assumptions that ceramic micro- and ultrafiltration systems, though more robust and forgiving, have such a high capital cost that polymeric membrane systems provide a lower total operating cost advantage.

Successful Delegation in Six Steps

September 21, 2010

The rewards of a successful delegation effort are three-fold: 1) More and/or more advanced tasks are accomplished by the employee; 2) Employee satisfaction increases as they become a more valuable team member and; 3) The team becomes more talented and capable to fulfill the changing needs of the business.

Evaluating Distillation Column Performance

June
2013
Reactions and Separations
AIChE’s Equipment Testing Procedures Committee, Tray and Packed Columns Procedure Revision Subcommittee
Follow these guidelines to assess the capacity and efficiency of distillation columns containing trays or packing.

A Novel TPOX-Based "Swiss-Roll" Fuel Reformer

Conference Presentation
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 19, 2014
A compact, non-catalytic, thermal partial oxidation (TPOX) based reformer has been developed to provide hydrogen-rich syngas to solid oxide fuel...

Convection Battery - Elimination of Dendrite Failure

Conference Presentation
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 3, 2013
The convection battery pumps liquid electrolyte between the electrode and counter-electrode. It is different from flow batteries in that the same...

Transient Studies of a Sodium-Sulfur Cell

Conference Presentation
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 3, 2013
In the modern grid era , multiple fossil-fueled power generation facilities and renewable energy sources are expected to interact actively. Power...

Project Execution Using the Stage Gate Process

Conference Presentation
Southwest Process Technology Conference
October 4, 2013
In recent years more and more projects are being executed effectively using the “Stage Gate” process. This presentation provides an overview of the...

SBE Update

July
2009
SBE Special Section
June Wispelwey
Improving Biopharmaceutical Development

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-

Ten Steps to an Effective Bin Design

November
2013
Back To Basics
Eric Maynard
Before choosing a bin and hopper for your bulk solids application, the flow properties and characteristics of the powder or bulk material must be known. Use this ten-step approach to determine the optimal bin design for your process.

Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

December
2012
Alan P. Rossiter, Veerasamy Venkatesan
Managing the energy consumption of a process does not need to be complicated. This article presents some examples of less-complicated strategies.

Control Boiler Emissions through Work Practices and Energy Management

February
2014
Environmental Management
James Robinson
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.

Consider Single-Use Equipment for Biomanufacturing

November
2013
Fluids and Solids Handling
Roman Rodriguez
Traditional stainless steel equipment is increasingly being replaced with disposable units in new and existing processes alike, enabling more flexibility, higher efficiencies, and lower costs. Follow the guidance offered here to determine the most-effective single-use approach for your facility.

Evaluating Centrifugal Compressor Performance

July
2013
Fluids and Solids Handling
AIChE’s Equipment Testing Procedures Committee; Centrifugal Compressor Procedure Subcommittee
Follow these practical tips to determine the condition of your centrifugal compressors.

Selecting a Centrifugal Compressor

June
2013
Back To Basics
James M. Sorokes
End users must specify certain performance requirements when requesting a quote for a new centrifugal compressor. Understand your process, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each centrifugal compressor configuration, in order to choose the optimal centrifugal compressor for your application.

Selecting Baffles for Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers

February
2012
Heat Transfer
Salem Bouhairie
Baffles play a crucial role in regulating shellside fluid flow and improving heat transfer between shellside and tubeside process fluids. Here's how to choose the correct baffle to meet process requirements.

Applying the Paradigm Case Method for Flowmeter Selection

September
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Jesse Yoder
This effective approach to flowmeter selection involves a step-by-step method that begins by matching the application with the flowmeter(s). Then, a series of criteria are applied to narrow the selection.

Diagnosing Maldistribution in Towers

May
2007
Reactions and Separations
Simon X. Xu
Gamma CAT-scan technology makes possible the collection of much more vital online process information than conventional diagnostic techniques.

Assess the Performance of Positive-Displacement Pumps

December
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
AIChE's Equipment Testing Procedures Committee
Here's how to evaluate rotary pumps— gear, lobe, vane and multiple-screw designs— regardless of whether the material being handled is a Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluid.

Be Smart about Column Design

November
2012
Reactions and Separations
Daniel R. Summers, P.E., Mark Pilling, P.E.
Optimizing distillation equipment and processes can improve both the profitability and the greenness of an operation.

Cut Agitator Power Costs

November
2012
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz, P.E.
Agitator power consumption can be minimized by judicious equipment selection and careful operating procedures. Follow these guidelines to reduce your plant’s energy costs. In some cases, it may be as simple as flipping a switch.

Using Process Flowsheets as Communication Tools

October
2012
Back To Basics
Graham Nasby
Piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), process flow diagrams (PFDs), and block flow diagrams (BFDs) are essential tools for documenting processes and promoting interdisciplinary understanding and communication.

Solid-Liquid Separation: A Guide to Centrifuge Selection

July
2012
Back To Basics
Tom Patnaik
Centrifugation is a necessary step in many pharmaceutical and chemical production processes. These guidelines will help chemical engineers better understand the process of centrifuge selection.

Choosing Process Vacuum Pumps

August
2012
Back To Basics
Dr. Don Collins
Vacuum pumps are an integral part of many industrial facilities. Both processing objectives and budget constraints must be considered when selecting a specific pump.

Using Automation to Produce Quality Pharmaceuticals

October
2011
Instrumentation
Joseph S. Alford, P.E.
Automation can pay large dividends in the form of reduced process cycle times, lower operational costs, and more-consistent processes for manufacturing high-quality pharmaceutical products.

Exposing Coriolis Mass Flowmeters' Dirty Little Secrets

March
2004
Instrumentation
James R. Reizner
Coriolis technology appears to be the perfect technology. But, upon closer inspection, a key flaw is revealed - the inability to accurately and consistently measure two-phase flow and aerated liquids.

Exploring Instrumentation Alternatives

September
2008
Instrumentation
Robert Baker
Salvaged, remanufactured, refurbished or new-surplus equipment may be a cost-effective option. Here's how to recognize when such devices may no longer meet safety or regulatory requirements.

Reliability for Safety Instrumented Systems

September
2004
Instrumentation
J. Patrick Williams
This article offers a detailed reliability-based methodology for determining the safety integrity level of instrumented systems by providing overpressure protection where arrangements of multiple pressure-relief valves are impractical to implement.

Understanding Sealing Solutions

July
2009
Back To Basics
Jim Drago, Matt Tones
The right seal can help a plant save money, eliminate leaks, and avoid safety problems. Here’s how to select and install gaskets for effective sealing.

Choose the Right Chemical-Resistant Glove

January
2005
Safety
Julie Copeland
Many gloves offer protection from chemicals. This article will help you understand what type of glove can provide the best protection for your application.

Prepare Your Cooling System Before Startup

July
2012
Heat Transfer
Paul R. Puckorius
Pre-startup actions such as initial water treatment and equipment coatings in cooling tower water systems can increase system life expectancy and efficiency, and reduce corrosion and fouling.

Converting a Commercial Distillation Column into a Research Tower

July
2005
Reactions and Separations
Ralph Weiland
Operating a column under actual distillation conditions is important for obtaining commercially valid hydraulic data. This article describes how a column was modified to operate in either a production or a research mode to collect hydraulic and mass...

What’s New Then and Now - Part 1

November
2008
Centennial
Matthew McKeon-Slattery
This special products section looks at some of today’s equipment and service offerings alongside product write-ups and ads from the past.

Improving Reverse Osmosis Performance

September
2010
Reactions and Separations
Loraine Huchler
Follow these guidelines for monitoring, evaluating, and troubleshooting RO units to ensure reliable and efficient system operation.

Evaluating Chiller Performance

May
2003
Heat Transfer
Charles Churchman
Use these simple temperature and flow measurement techniques to evaluate chilled-utility performance and identify the most cost-effective upgrades.

Valves 101: Types, Materials, Selection

March
2009
Back To Basics
Brian Gordon
The most common valves used in chemical processing are ball valves, butterfly valves, diaphragm valves, and check valves.

Selecting In-Process Particle-Size Analyzers

August
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Paul Barrett
To select the proper instrument for process monitoring, one must determine what attribute of the particle system impacts the process or product parameter of concern. Once the size region is identified, it can be tracked in-process, opening up the...

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