Chemical Engineering Practice

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.

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.

Understand Thermodynamics to Improve Process Simulations

December
2011
Computational Methods
David Hill, Fred C. Justice, P.E.
Selecting a thermodynamic model is an important step in process simulation — one that many engineers overlook. This overview of applied thermodynamics can help you choose the right model for your process.

Burning Bright: Trends in Process Integration

July
2001
Process Development
Nick  Hallale 
Process integration has a far wider scope and touches every area of process design. Industries are making more money from their raw materials and capital assets, while becoming cleaner and more sustainable.

Efficient Technology Evaluation

February
2007
Critical Issues
Francesco Citro, Reuel Shinnar
To stay competitive in today's economic climate, rapid and effective assessments of new technologies is a must. Requiring a minimal amount of data, this powerful method can effectively evaluate new ideas and research programs at an early stage...

Reshaping the Structure of Fluidized Beds

July
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Marc-Olivier Coppens , John Nijenhuis, J. Ruud van Ommen
Adding structure to a gas-solid fluidized-bed reactor changes the system’s hydrodynamics and can improve performance.

Take the Tedium Out of Writing Process Descriptions

February
2001
Instrumentation
Michael J. Gentilcore
Setting up a special function and a shorthand system on a spreadsheet can improve the descriptions needed for implementing a process control system, while minimizing the monotony in writing them.

Formulating Production Planning Models

January
2004
Information Technology
Jeffrey D. Kelly
Optimize petroleum and petrochemical plant production by understanding the mathematical modeling behind nonlinear planning models.

Effectively Manage the Lifecycle of a Product

July
2007
Information Technology
Baha Korkmaz, Marty Martin
By incorporating the batch standards S88 and S95 into the entire product lifecycle, companies can optimize their processes and project management. This enables them to rapidly get their products to market — a critical factor in staying competitive.

Determine the Right Eye Protection

September
2011
Safety
Harry J. Elston
Wearing the appropriate protective eyewear begins with a thorough safety assessment. These guidelines clarify how to identify hazards and select protective equipment to avoid eye injuries.

Analyzing APC Performance

August
2002
Instrumentation
To reap the most benefit from an advanced process control (APC) system, users need to know how to analyze and monitor the APC's performance.

How to Scale-Up Mixing Processes in Non-Newtonian Fluids

May
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
Christopher Henry , Robert J. Wilkens,  Lew E. Gates
This article will describe the relationships that must be understood to scale-up fluid mixing processes in non-Newtonian, power-law fluids. The principles described apply to both close-clearance impellers, such as anchors and helixes, and to open...

Use Spreadsheets to Estimate Modeling Parameters

February
2008
Computational Methods
Tomas B. Co
Dynamic process modeling based on non-uniformly sampled data and multiple sampling runs, even for nonlinear systems, can be performed using spreadsheet implementations of the weighted-least-squares (WLSQ) and Runge-Kutta WLSQ methods.

Realizing the Promise of Wireless

May
2009
Instrumentation
Bob Karschnia, Peter Zornio
Innovation drives the growth of wireless technology, as successful applications demonstrate cost savings, reliability, safety, and ease of use.

Understanding Steam Traps

February
2011
Back To Basics
James R. Risko
Steam trap failure can affect process operations and reduce profits. Choosing the right steam traps can improve reliability and reduce cost.

Find Mixing Success through Failures - Part 1

October
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
David S. Dickey, Gary K. Patterson
Understanding when and why mixing fails in the laboratory is often the only way of avoiding a similar failure in a production-scale reactor.

Keys to Bioreactor Selection

March
2002
Reactions and Separations
John A. Williams
A few basic types of bioreactor designs are used to produce a wide range of products, from antibiotics to foods to fuels. Here's how to pick the best options for your application.

Navigate Phase Equilibria via Residue Curve Maps

November
2002
Reactions and Separations
Raymond N. French, George J. Koplos, Waldo E. de Villiers
These maps provide a rapid, graphical means to visualize the separation possibilities and constraints of azeotropic ternary systems. They also help check the soundness of models used to predict equilibrium data.

Efficiently Solve Complex Calculations

October
2003
Information Technology
Mordechai Shacham, Neima Brauner ,  Michael B. Cutlip
Reduce the chances of computational errors by following this technique, which combines the use of a standard spreadsheet with a numerical software package.

Selecting a Membrane Filtration System

December
2004
Fluids and Solids Handling
Wu Chen, Frank Parma
Proper design and scaleup of a membrane filtration system requires an understanding of the availability of membrane material, pore size and module configurations. These practical guidelines will help in the selection process.

Selecting and Using Bolted Head Closures

April
2007
Fluids and Solids Handling
John C. Birkmire, P.E.
Proper design, fabrication, assembly and operation of a pressure vessel closure are essential to ensuring product containment, integrity and quality.

Propel Your Pneumatic Conveying System to Higher Efficiency

April
2001
Fluids and Solids Handling
Francisco  Cabrejos, Herman  Purutyan, Thomas G. Troxel
For new and existing installations, there are many system and component choices available. Here’s how to narrow down the options to make the appropriate selection for optimal performance.

Pervaporation Comes of Age

October
2001
Reactions and Separations
Nick Wynn
This membrane process has found growing use for dehydrating organics. Uses keep increasing, mostly due to development of new, high-temperature membranes.

Apply Solubility Theory for Process Improvements

March
2004
Reactions and Separations
Michael J. Gentilcore
For solid compounds that dissolve in solvents but do not ionize, the thermodynamics of solubility can provide valuable predictions and insights.

Improve and Maintain Cooling Tower Efficiency

April
2005
Heat Transfer
James L. Willa
Changing maintenance and/or operating procedures can significantly increase cooling tower performance without major capital expenditures. Here are some tips for ensuring proper design and operation of major tower components.

Pipeline Pressure Drop: A New Design Correlation

June
2006
Fluids and Solids Handling
Roger Gilmont
A linear equation has been derived to accurately calculate the flowrate of fluids in the laminar and turbulent regions, and to derive an equation for use in the transitional regions.

Rx for Pharma

March
2009
Critical Issues
Girish Malhotra, P.E.
Chemical engineers could hold the key that helps pharmaceutical companies — facing pressure to control rising drug prices and competition from generics — reduce their manufacturing costs.

Learn to Effectively Operate and Maintain Pumps

December
2011
Back To Basics
Daniel Kernan
Centrifugal pumps play a central role in chemical processing. Proper pump operation and maintenance can improve a facility's productivity, reduce downtime, and trim costs.

Tune Control Loops for Minimum Variability

January
2002
Instrumentation
Lanny A. Robbins
The Robbins tuning rules can reduce the variability of control loop response to about 60% of that observed with Ziegler-Nichols tuning rules.

Choose the Right Elastomer

June
2008
Materials
William M. Stahl
Match a material's performance to process conditions to reduce leaks, improve safety and extend the mean time between failures (MTBF).

Choose Materials for High-Temperature Environments

February
2001
Materials
Peter  Elliott
High temperatures, stresses, and the presence of elements such as oxygen, sulfur, or the halogens can add up to trouble. Here is how to screen candidate alloys for such service.

Modeling Production-Chain Information

February
2005
Information Technology
Jeffrey D. Kelly
Data alone is not information. Use this model to transform data into vital information for decision making.

Designing a Facility for API Development

March
2006
Plant Design
Terrence Fay, Yasha Zelmanovich
Kilo labs are instrumental in scaling up the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. This article discusses the critical factors that must be considered to design such a facility.

Evaluating and Documenting Tower Performance

February
2010
Reactions and Separations
Daniel R. Summers
A good performance evaluation can lead to a significant improvement in column performance and establish a basis for future tower evaluations. <br>

Estimate the Capacity of Simple Batch Processes

August
2002
Reactions and Separations
James L. Manganaro
Finding the throughput of a multiple-unit, multiple-step operation, even when it is relatively uncomplicated, is not always an easy matter. Several equations and graphical aids are provided to help determine yearly capacity.

What’s the Price of Steam?

July
2005
Heat Transfer
Robin Smith, Petar Varbanov
Realistic steam prices are necessary for the efficient operation of a chemical production site, both to allocate realistic costs to the different businesses on the site and to provide a true economic incentive for energy conservation.

Eliminate Iteration from Flow Problems

March
2008
Fluids and Solids Handling
John D. Barry
This article introduces a novel approach to solving flow and pipe-sizing problems based on two new dimensionless quantities that are independent of line size and flow.

Obtain the Best Physical Property Data

May
2009
Fluids and Solids Handling
Kevin G. Joback
Physical property values are essential for many chemical engineering tasks. This article reviews sources of physical property data, discusses the use of experimental methods to measure properties, and details several types of estimation techniques.

Produce Reliable Models with Efficient Meshing

August
2010
Computational Methods
Phil Byrne, Ed Fontes, Henrik von Schenck, Christian Wollblad
Improve your modeling skills to construct accurate, effective meshes that simulate or optimize a process in less time.

Minimize Mechanical Integrity Budget Battles

February
2011
Safety
Jack McCavit, Daniel A. Long, P.E.
Chemical processing and manufacturing plants must ensure the mechanical integrity of their equipment. These strategies and tactics can make doing so easier when budget issues arise.

Optimizing Batch Operations

January
2006
Reactions and Separations
Kah Loong Choong, Robin Smith
Use this novel method to optimize the operating conditions as they vary through time in batch processes.

Dividing-Wall Columns Find Greater Appeal

May
2007
News Feature
Gerald Parkinson
Conceived more than seven decades ago, dividing-wall columns are now only gaining widespread acceptance. The reasons— the drive to save energy and advances in computer technology that have overcome the burden of doing complex column internal designs.

Developing Screening Cost Estimates

July
2011
Process Development
Richard P. Palluzi, P.E.
Making decisions based on estimates derived from weak data is counterproductive. Use this established methodology to prepare scoping and screening cost estimates for pilot plants quickly and accurately.

Innovations in Food Processing

March
2003
Fluids and Solids Handling
B. G. Swanson, M. F. San Martín, G. V.  Barbosa-Cánovas
Today's savvy consumers want processed foods to look freshly prepared, while still meeting all safety requirements. Conventional thermal treatments are inadequate to fulfill this demand. New nonthermal techniques, such as pulsed-electric fields, are...

Pages

Subscribe to Chemical Engineering Practice