Chemicals & Materials

The Identification of Butadiene Popcorn Polymer

Conference Presentation
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 30, 2013
The formation of butadiene polymer is a common problem in butadiene extraction units, as well as ethylene plant purification columns processing high...

Troubleshooting a Furnace Emissions Problem

Conference Presentation
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 30, 2013
We had been fighting CO flue gas emissions on our CEMS analyzer for around a year, we had indications that it was a burner problem, fixed the burners...

A Novel QbD Tool for Statistical Data Analysis

Conference Presentation
AIChE Annual Meeting
October 30, 2012
One of cornerstones of Quality by Design (QbD) is Design of Experiments (DoE). However, in addition to DoE, ICH Q8 (R2) recommends an enhanced...

Battery Design for Large Lithium and Zinc Batteries

Conference Presentation
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 11, 2009
A battery design is being evaluated which is particularly useful for larger battery applications such as in PHEV and electrical grid applications...

Catalytic Deoxygenation of Free Fatty Acids Over Pd/C

Conference Presentation
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 8, 2009
Introduction Environmental concerns and dwindling world petroleum reserves have generated great interest in producing transportation fuels from bio-...

LNG Regasification

Conference Presentation
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 27, 2009
This session presents papers on the advances in LNG receiving terminals and regasfication facilities in vaporiztion technology etc. Please Note : LNG...

Bioreactor Design for Chemical Engineers

August
2011
Back To Basics
Gregory T. Benz
Fermentation processes are based on chemical engineering principles. Understand these concepts to achieve optimal bioreactor design.

Material Matters: Predicting High-Temperature Hydrogen Attack

January
2016
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
During a nonroutine maintenance operation at the Tesoro petroleum refinery in Anacortes, WA, on April 2, 2010, a nearly 40-year-old heat exchanger located in a naphtha hydrotreater unit catastrophically failed. An explosion and intense fire killed...

SBE Update

July
2009
SBE Special Section
June Wispelwey
Improving Biopharmaceutical Development

New Products: December 2015

December
2015
New Products
Instrumentation Temperature Transmitters Feature Dual Sensor Inputs The THZ 3 and TDZ 3 two-wire (loop-powered) temperature transmitters provide an isolated and linear 4–20-mA output proportional to input. They can be configured quickly and easily...

Toxicology 101

November
2015
Back To Basics
Christin Grabinski
Every substance can be toxic, depending on the dose and frequency of exposure. This article outlines the basics of toxicology and explores where the research in this field is heading.

Graphene Marches Down a Long Road to Commercialization

April
2013
News Feature
Michelle Bryner
With so much graphene research underway, it can be hard to keep track of the progress, as well as to evaluate the commercial viability of such developments. Here’s a look at what scientists and engineers are doing and saying about graphene.

Material Matters: Robots Enhance Inspection

October
2015
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
On July 4, 1997, the Mars Pathfinder delivered a six-wheel rover, named Sojourner, to the red planet to explore the terrain and demonstrate the feasibility of low-cost landings on the Martian surface. NASA completed that successful mission with...

CEP: Material Matters - Guidelines Aim to Reduce Failures

July
2015
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
MTI is in the process of developing a best practice guideline for the design, welding, repair, and inspection of DSS 2205 equipment made from thick plates (greater than 1 in.), to be completed in Oct. 2015. The guidelines will include recommendations for assessing susceptibility to SSC (low, medium, or high, based on ferrite and hardness numbers), as well as information on the scope and scheduling of inspections.

CEP: News Update

July
2015
News Update
Inks from Silk Show Biomedical Promise; Activated Carbon Gets a Designer Label; Graphene Coating Promises to Improve Condenser Efficiency; Solar Materials Self-Assemble for Lengthy Energy Storage; and more.

CEP: News Update

June
2015
News Update
A Simple Approach to Separating Rare Earth Metals; A Bionic Device Mimics Natural Photosynthesis; Molecules Click into Biocompatible Hydrogels; Nature-Inspired Coating Wards Off Water and Light; and more

CEP: News Update

May
2015
News Update
Metabolic Engineering Delivers Low-Cost Hydrogen; Metal-Free Catalyst Recharges Zinc-Air Batteries; Aluminum Could Take Charge of the Battery Market; New Desalination Membrane Resists Chlorine; and more

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Enabling a New Generation of Polyolefins

May
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
With a global production of 150 million metric tons in 2013, polyolefins represent the largest class of synthetic polymers. Today, the industry uses a costly, time-consuming, “one catalyst, one material” trial-and-error approach to developing new polymers. Precision Polyolefins (PPL) intends to change the status quo by establishing a novel “one catalyst, many materials” paradigm for rapid discovery and product development of new polyolefins.

CEP: News Update

April
2015
News Update
Chameleon-Like Material Changes Color On Demand; New Genes for an Old Microbe Make Statins Cheaper; A Sweet Approach to Breaking Down Cellulose; New Catalyst Pushes Lignin Up on the Value Chain; and more.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Nanocrystal Manufacturing May Revolutionize Thermoelectrics

April
2015
Catalyzing Commercialization
Thermoelectric materials hold promise as a means to recover waste heat from automobile exhaust, power plants, and other systems. Their use, however, is limited by low efficiency. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a process that combines nanostructuring, compositional control, and ppm-level impurity doping. ThermoAura, Inc., a start-up company co-founded by the researchers, has scaled up this process to manufacture high-performance thermoelectrics with tunable properties.

CEP: Material Matters - Tool Helps Predict Reactivity Hazards

April
2015
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
To provide guidance and disseminate reactivity data, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in conjunction with partnering companies and technical associations, developed the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW). The free software ( http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/reactivityworksheet ) allows CPI professionals to review the reactivity hazards of thousands of individual chemicals, as well as predict the consequence of mixing chemical substances. Since its release in March 2013, the CRW Version 3 (CRW3) has been downloaded approximately 80,000 times.

CEP: News Update

March
2015
News Update
Cheap and Abundant Potassium Outperforms Precious Metal Catalyst; Engineering Bioethanol without the Food Gap; Supercomputers Identify Optimal Zeolites; Synthetic Biology Pushes Gene Therapy Forward; and more.

CEP: News Update

February
2015
News Update
Pop-Up Method Transforms 2D Materials into 3D Objects; Digging in the Dirt Uncovers a New Antibiotic; Algorithm Predicts Bacteria Countermoves; An Organic Approach to Controlled Polymerization; and more.

CEP: Material Matters - Preparing for Failure: A Top Ten List

January
2015
Material Matters
Robert McTamaney, Kirk Richardson
The Materials Technology Institute’s (MTI) recent Refiners Roundtable meeting included discussions on (among other topics) internal investigations into causes of significant failures and ways to improve process safety. Here are the top ten things your company should be doing.

CEP: News Update

December
2014
News Update
Fossil Fuels Inspire Clean-Hydrogen Catalyst; Organic Solar Cells Heat Up; Biomass Waste Gets Upgraded; New Technique Puts Catalysts on the Right Track; and more.

CEP: News Update

November
2014
News Update
AIChE’s Initial Placement Survey: Where is the Class of 2014?; Producing More Ethanol with Less-Sensitive Microbes; Stretchable Patch Provides First-Class Health Monitoring; New Drug Capsule Takes the Ouch Out of Injections; Hybrid Device Combines a Solar Cell and a Battery.

CEP: News Update

October
2014
News Update
Tiny Assembly Line Builds Organic Molecules One Side Group at a Time; Engineered Microbes Synthesize Bio-Propane; Buckyballs Boost Organic Solar Cell Efficiency; Masquerade Ball: Squid Skin Inspires a New Material; A Microbial Approach to Pain Management; Phase Change: Liquid Battery for Grid-Scale Storage; and more.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization: Producing Tailor-Made Polymers at the Commercial Scale

October
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
Today’s modern lifestyle demands highly functional products — from water-wicking fabrics and age-defying beauty products to patient-specific medicines and high-tech electronics — many of which rely on polymers. In turn, to meet these demands, manufacturers are asking for the ability to design and produce polymers with precise control over composition and architecture. Such sophisticated control, however, is not possible with the dominant incumbent technology, free-radical polymerization. Thanks to a process developed by Carnegie Mellon Univ. spin-out ATRP Solutions, creating the perfect polymer with exactly the right composition, size, and shape just got much easier.

CEP: Material Matters - Managing Aging Plants

October
2014
Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
Many industrial plants currently operating around the world have already surpassed their design life expectancies. Despite the challenges they face, such as corrosion and new regulations, these operations continue to be productive. To maintain the status quo and continue operation, plant managers need to keep a watchful eye on every aspect of the facility, from inspection and maintenance programs to the bottom line. Of course, plant safety and the environment, both of which can rise to the top of an aging plant’s list of concerns, are always on their minds.

CEP: News Update

September
2014
News Update
The Science Behind the Breakthrough Ebola Treatment; Polymers Crystallize into Zeolite-Like Structures; Magnetic Attraction: New Material Guides Fluid Flow; MoS2 Pushes Graphene Aside for Fast DNA Sequencing; and more.

Manage Raw Material Supply Risks

September
2014
Critical Issues
Stephen Hung, Anthony Y. Ku
Some materials are more vulnerable to supply disruptions than others. Identify these materials and implement strategies to address challenges related to them.

CEP: News Update

August
2014
News Update
New Materials Combine Ultralight Weight with Ultrahigh Strength; A Breakthrough for Redox Flow Batteries; Carbon Nanotubes Catalyze Inexpensive Hydrogen; Diabetes Microchip Is as Good as Gold; and more.

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - An Inverse Approach to Materials Discovery and Design

August
2014
Journal Highlight
The success of many emerging technologies hinges on the discovery of new materials that exhibit a combination of desired properties. Identification, synthesis, and fabrication of suitable materials for these applications remain challenging, relying on resource-intensive exploratory science. A better approach might be to begin with the target macroscopic properties in mind and then systematically narrow the list of possible material precursors and synthetic methods through an optimization technique.

CEP: News Update

October
2013
News Update
Crunching the Numbers on Grid-Scale Storage; Microbes Convert Waste into Electricity; Solar Cells Make the Right Connection; Engineered Tissue Mingles with Blood Vessels; and more.

CEP: News Update

July
2014
News Update
Nanoparticles Detect Sulfur Content in Crude Oil; Putting Waste Heat to Work; New Process Prints Personalized Drugs; EPA to Cut CO2 from Power Plants; Microbes Convert Biodiesel Waste into Valuable Chemicals

CEP: AIChE Journal Highlight - Zeolites Lose a Dimension but Gain in Performance

July
2014
Journal Highlight
Zeolites are widely used in the chemical process industries as catalysts and adsorbents. While the unique pore structure of zeolites is beneficial, many long-standing challenges in catalysis, adsorption, and membrane separations, as well as in nontraditional applications in energy storage and electronic and optical materials, cannot be met with the currently available porous materials.

CEP: Material Matters - Understanding Polymer Weld Morphologies

July
2014
Material Matters
Heather Stine
Polymer and polymer-lined equipment has become more common in the chemical process industries (CPI) due to its cost-effective corrosion resistance in severe chemical service. Fluoropolymer-lined steel, high-density polyethylene (HDPE)-lined steel, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are examples of materials used for tanks, vessels, and other CPI equipment. Economic considerations demand that the life of this equipment be extended as long as is safely possible.

CEP: News Update

June
2014
News Update
Plastics with a Circulatory System for Regeneration; A Smart Hydrogel Never Overstays its Welcome; Nanoparticle Drugs Deliver 1-2-3 Punch; and more

CEP: News Update

May
2014
News Update
Stick-On Health Tracker Twists, Stretches, and Bends; No Corn Needed: Ethanol Is Produced from CO; Engineered Bacteria Turn Switchgrass into Jet Fuel; Reversing Evolution Promises Cheaper Pharmaceuticals; and more.

Develop a Strategy for Material Selection

May
2014
Fluids and Solids Handling
Margaret W. Hunt
Although corrosion resistance is of paramount importance, many factors must be considered when selecting materials of construction. Follow this four-step process to identify the appropriate material for your application.

CEP: News Update

April
2014
News Update
How Well Are We Preparing ChE Students for Industry?; Climate FAQs: Science Academies Answer 20 Questions; Electronic Shrink Wrap Conforms to a Beating Heart; Biomass and Sunlight Cooperate to Produce Electricity; and more.

CEP: News Update

March
2014
News Update
Silicon Anode Gets a Fruity Makeover; New Anode Provides a Home for Plus-Sized Na+ Ions; A Flicker of Hope for Nonflammable Li-Ion Batteries; Bio-Inspired Glass Is Bendable; and more.

CEP: Catalyzing Commercialization - Zero-Emissions Magnesium Process Debuts

March
2014
Catalyzing Commercialization
A process designed to lower the cost of magnesium metal, making it competitive with aluminum, has been an industry goal for over a century. Although magnesium metal makes up millions of today’s lightweight cell phone and laptop cases, its persistently high cost (twice that of aluminum today) has impeded broad, high-volume use in other areas, including the automobile industry. This could soon change, thanks to researchers at INFINIUM, based in Natick, MA, who have developed a low-cost, energy-efficient, zero-emissions process for making this lightweight, strong metal.

CEP: News Update

January
2014
News Update
Harmless Virus Helps Assemble Li-O2 Cathode for Batteries; A Sticky Solution for Tissue Engineering; Biopatch Catalyzes Bone Regeneration; Shape-Shifting Material Heats Up; and more
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