Archives :: Commentary
November 1, 2011
(From November 2011, Letters) Perhaps enough has been written about the questionable science underlying recent U.S. government pronouncements concerning formaldehyde and human cancer of the lymphohematopoietic system (“LHPs—including the leukemias and the lymphomas)*. Now, suppliers of formaldehyde-containing product must face the uncertainties and high expense of defending questionable and...
October 1, 2011
Thermosiphon reboilers are the new standard in petroleum refineries and chemical plants. Nevertheless, approximately 50% of the world’s reboilers are kettles. In the realm of heat transfer, kettle reboilers have not been understood well. Last month, at ChemInnovations, however, Pete Parker, FRI’s president and my supervisor, cracked the knowledge barrier with insight from nothing other than...
May 1, 2011
As the calendar flips to May, spring is finally beginning to push a tough winter out of the way in the Northeastern part of the U.S. With the change of season, many companies in the chemical process industries (CPI) are renewing a push to invest in longterm growth. A recent report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com) suggests that ethane supplies from shale...
May 1, 2011
LEAN Chemical Manufacturing There has been a great deal of new activity around so-called lean thinking or the lean enterprise lately, even though the practical application has been going on since the early 1900s. It was started by Henry Ford, and followed on by Edwards Deming and Taiichi Ohno. These three were relentless foes against waste. If the chemical process industries (CPI) were to implement lean to...
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