Separations

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Separations Division (SEP)

The SEP division provides technical programs for meetings with coverage of a variety of currently used and novel methods of separation. Division members can exchange knowledge of technical publications, computer programs, databases, separation research centers, networks and programs.

Ionic Liquids

Archived Webinar
Aug 26, 2009
This webinar will cover the use of Ionic Liquids for both liquid and gas separations, emphasizing how the choice of anion, cation and functional groups can be used to tailor Ionic Liquids for specific separations.

The Ubiquitous Hydrocyclone Separator: Theory and Practice

Archived Webinar
Feb 10, 2009
The hydrocyclone separator, which was invented in 1891 (see E. Bretney, “Water Purifier”, U.S. Patent 453,105) is widely used in process engineering as a classifier, a clarifier, or a thickener. The continuous phase is a liquid and the dispersed phase may be a solid, a gas, or an immiscible fluid...

AIChE Journal Highlight: Solubility of Gases in Ionic Liquids

November
2017
Journal Highlight
Gas solubility in ionic liquids, which are molten salts with melting temperatures below 373K, plays an important role in various chemical applications. Ionic liquids have received significant attention due to their low vapor pressure, high chemical and thermal stability, and the large amount of cations and anions that can be combined to form an ionic liquid.

New Products: August 2017

August
2017
New Products
Engineering Services Cloud-Based SCADA Service Delivers Scalable Support and Upgrades Experion Elevate, a cloud-based real-time process super-visory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, is a scalable subscription service that enables secure...

Adsorption Basics: Part 2

August
2017
Back To Basics
Alan Gabelman, P.E.
This article focuses on adsorbents, including activated carbon, zeolite molecular sieves, and polymeric adsorbents, as well as ion exchange resins.

August 2017 CEP Preview

August 21, 2017

Meet the 35 ChemEs honored in the AIChE 35 Under 35, brush up on adsorption, learn about condition monitoring, and much more.

AIChE Journal Highlight: Absorption Methods Determine Mass-Transfer Parameters of Packed Beds

August
2017
Journal Highlight
To design and analyze absorber columns, engineers need reliable mass-transfer parameters for rate-based models in process simulations. However, unlike for distillation, no set of standardized measurement methods for absorption have been generally accepted. Mass-transfer parameters measured by different methods at different facilities, or calculated from different correlations, can have significant disparities. Thus, a need exists to improve the precision and accuracy of experimental methods for determining mass-transfer coefficients so that reliable and coherent sets of data can be derived.

July 2017 CEP Preview

July 10, 2017
This month features a special section on solar energy, with a look at concentrating solar thermal (CST), solar thermochemical energy storage (CSP), and more.

Adsorption Basics: Part 1

July
2017
Back To Basics
Alan Gabelman, P.E.
Adsorption can be used to treat waste streams or purify valuable components of a feed. This article describes both equilibrium and mass-transfer considerations, and reviews the fundamentals of adsorption system design.

AIChE Journal Highlight: A Bright Future for RO Water Desalination

June
2017
Journal Highlight
Water scarcity and groundwater contamination have sparked major efforts to preserve and diversify regional water portfolios through water desalination and water reuse. While various approaches exist, reverse osmosis (RO) membrane desalination has...

AIChE Journal Highlight: Microreaction Technology Comes of Age

March
2017
Journal Highlight
Microreaction technology has matured over the past two decades, from simple devices and concepts to diverse commercial equipment and applications. This evolution has occurred in parallel with process intensification efforts aimed at using...

January 2017 CEP Preview

January 9, 2017
This month CEP looks at troubleshooting, offers a feature on process safety management don'ts (read full text online), looks at air-cooled heat exchanger performance, and much more.

Catalyzing Commercialization: Sour Gas Has a Sweeter Future

January
2017
Catalyzing Commercialization
Many distributed natural-gas-containing resources, which include natural gas, landfill gas, and biogas, contain significant amounts of sulfur (mainly as hydrogen sulfide). The sulfur content in these gases, which can range from several hundred parts per million to several percent, must be reduced to acceptable levels (e.g., 1 ppm for demanding catalytic processes and several hundred ppm for internal combustion engines or boilers) before these gases can be utilized.

Use Downcomer Gamma Scans to Troubleshoot Your Process

January
2017
Reactions and Separations
Henry Z. Kister, Chuck Winfield
Downcomer scanning can provide valuable information to diagnose your tower. In particular, these scans are useful for determining the mechanism of flooding — one of the most common problems encountered in distillation columns. Follow these guidelines to avoid pitfalls.

November 2015 CEP Preview

November 16, 2015
This month, CEP's cover feature is liquid-liquid extraction, and members and non-members alike can read the full article online. See the preview for more about this month's issue.

May 2016 CEP Preview

May 13, 2016

This month, the CEP cover story takes a look at the advantages of fixed valves, while Back to Basics column gives smart tips for a successful energy assessment.

Optimizing Crystallizer Scaleup

June
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Wayne Genck
Explore how mixing parameters impact the crystallization process and recommend ways to improve the likelihood of successful scaleup. The concepts of nucleation and growth, types of mixing, design considerations, agitator parameters and scaleup...

Bridge the Gap with Semicontinuous Distillation

August
2001
Reactions and Separations
James R. Phimister ,  Warren D. Seider
This processing strategy combines the advantages of batch and continuous operation, providing flexibility and efficiency in a single design.

Design Principles for Liquid-Liquid Extraction

November
2015
Reactions and Separations
Joerg Koch, Glenn Shiveler
Many factors must be evaluated when developing a liquid-liquid extraction process. Here are some of the important parameters to consider as you go from laboratory testing to commercial-scale operation.

Understand the Basics of Membrane Filtration

April
2013
Back To Basics
Hua Wang, Hongyi Zhou
Membrane filtration is an integral part of many industrial processes, as it is often more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective than other separation technologies

Modeling Reactive Absorption

January
2009
Reactions and Separations
Eugeny Kenig, Panos Seferlis
Effective modeling of reactive absorption enhances system design, improves experiment planning for parameter-estimation, and facilitates process operation and control decisions.

Accurately Predict the VLE of Thiol-Hydrocarbon Mixtures

September
2004
Reactions and Separations
Wayne Sim, Vince Tassone, Chorng H. Twu
This methodology can be used to calculate vapor-liquid equilibria (VLE) between thiols and hydrocarbons at any composition, temperature or pressure to improve gasoline fractionation processes.

Producing Nitrogen via Pressure Swing Adsorption

June
2012
Reactions and Separations
Svetlana Ivanova, Robert Lewis
Pressure swing adsorption (PSA) can be a cost-effective method of onsite nitrogen generation for a wide range of purity and flow requirements.

Real World Modeling of Distillation

July
2003
Reactions and Separations
Harry Kooijman, Rajamani Krishna , Ross Taylor
Previously, simulations based on nonequilibrium, or rate-based, models were considered impractical due to their complexity. However, with ever-increasing computing power, these simulations are not only feasible, but in some circumstances they should...

Using Chromatography to Separate Complex Mixtures

December
2010
Back To Basics
Nathalie Fraud
Purifying high-value mixtures, such as pharmaceuticals, can be an expensive undertaking. Choosing the correct chromatography methods can improve purity and reduce processing time and cost.

Streamlining Crystallization Process Design

January
2004
Fluids and Solids Handling
Christianto  Wibowo, Lionel O'Young, Ka M. Ng
Use phase diagrams to develop reliable crystallization processes quickly and cost effectively.

Developing Crystallization Processes

March
2011
Reactions and Separations
Christianto Wibowo
With solid-liquid equilibrium as its foundation, this systematic approach makes it easy to identify operating regions and theoretical yield to maximize the desired product.

Understanding Crystallization and Crystallizers

October
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Lionel O'Young, Ketan D. Samant
Gain qualitative insight into the basic mechanisms of crystallization, the principles of crystallizer operation, and the ways in which these concepts relate to the selection and application of the various crystallizer configurations in industrial...

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.

Ionic Liquids for Aromatic Extraction: Are They Ready?

December
2006
Reactions and Separations
Sachin T. Anjan
Ionic liquids have already moved into the commercial arena as reaction solvents. This article compares them to conventional solvents and examines their potential for the extraction of benzene, toluene and xylene from reformate.

Bioseparation Basics

October
2014
Back To Basics
Roger G. Harrison
Bioseparations are critical to the field of biochemical engineering. Each bioseparation process must be tailored to separate, purify, or recover the desired bioproduct. This article gives an introductory overview of filtration and chromatography — two key bioseparation unit operations.
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