Archives :: Editor's Comments
August 15, 2008
Receivers in Compressed Air Systems June, Cover Story Part 2, Compressed Air: Your Most Expensive Utility, pp. 39 – 43: This is a very good article. I want to add a thought about the current practice of specifying receivers. When the majority of compressors sold and used were reciprocating compressors, receivers were provided as part of the system to act as a muffler, a point for water separation...
July 15, 2008
Exactly three years ago, in the July 2005 issue, this page began with a reference to a perfect storm, whereby then-record-high oil prices of $60/bbl and a relief in capital costs were expected to get the chemical process industries (CPI) back on the building track. I doubt that anyone envisioned, however, the magnitude in the capital-project surge that would indeed ensue or that those "record" oil prices...
May 15, 2008
A lot has happened in world finance markets since Rebekkah Marshall’s relatively optimistic assessment of the economic outlook in Chemical Engineering’s December 2007 issue. A welter of bad news about poorly made housing loans that were subsequently repackaged and sold as high-value securities has turned into a full-blown, but slow-motion, global financial crisis. While, to date, this has been...
May 15, 2008
Pressure Transmitter Mounting March, Column Instrumentation Basics, p. 48 The illustration in Figure 9 purports to show a flowmeter installation for vapor or gas. In vapor or gas service, the differential pressure and pressure transmitters are always mounted above the process taps, with the impulse tubing sloped from the transmitters to the process taps, without low point or high point pockets. This is...
April 15, 2008
As spring approaches, the woods around Frankfurt are beginning to get green again. Taking in this annual transformation, it seems like a good time to reflect on how the meaning of the word "green" has changed — through misuse or at least, in my opinion, overuse of the word. Many press releases course through our offices, and more and more (it seems), companies are touting a greener process...
March 15, 2008
Negative opinions regarding the adequacy of contemporary process-plant safety certainly exist in the public, governmental and private sectors. Any way you look at it, a harsh truth for the chemical engineering profession is that for every thousand or so thankfully uneventful operations, a pessimistic residue lingers from a tragic incident of the past. That presence continually reminds us to heed the...
February 15, 2008
The chemical process industries (CPI) are united in many common goals. Particularly in this age of fast global growth, it is difficult, if not impossible, for a company to achieve its targets by working independently. A common theme circulating at this year’s DaratechPlant (Houston; January 28–30; www.daratechplant.com), was that with increasing project complexities, advanced technologies and...
January 15, 2008
In a ceremonious sense, the marking of a new year thankfully lets us put certain things to rest and look ahead to a fresh start. At the same time, a majority of the previous year’s challenges are still at hand — if not intensified. The latter is certainly true for the chemical process industries (CPI) in a broad sense and is especially the case this year in the context of greenhouse gas (GHG)...
January 15, 2008
Opinion on ChE Graduate Shortages Your editorial (Calling all chemical engineers, Sept., p. 5) on the subject of the lack of entrants to chemical engineering studies and careers invited readers to reply. I think that this problem will not go away until the industries desiring chemical engineers examine the source of the problem. In my opinion any high school leaver with more brains than a sausage will have...
December 15, 2007
As 2007 draws to a close, the usual year-end flurry of economic analysis is hitting consumer and trade press alike. For this magazine’s global audience, the bottom line depends on where you’re standing and whether you’re looking back or forward. Looking back, "We have just come off of four years (2003 – 2006) of very strong global economic growth," Dr. Thomas K. Swift...
December 15, 2007
More detail needed for VLE method I read with interest Mr. Bahadori’s article in Chemical Engineering (August 2007; pp. 47 – 51) on the above subject. His new approach stated the algorithm for determining K i’s, x i’s and y i’s. However, he didn’t provide the constant values of A i, B i, C i, and D i or state where or how these constant values in Eq. (2 – 6) can be...
November 15, 2007
Standardization is a challenging but necessary path in the chemical process industries (CPI), whether it pertains to pumps, process equipment or one of the most-recent focuses and topic of this month’s Cover Story (p. 34), wireless instrumentation and control. Without standardization, a lack of interoperability can nearly defeat the noble purposes that untethered instrumentation and control is...
October 1, 2007
Throughout the +100-year history of the chemical engineering profession, there have been numerous examples of a single individual making a breakthrough discovery or contributing a key theory to the field. The awareness of such “single-handed” contributions, however, has certainly diminished in recent years. An increasing proportion of research, even at the academic level, is sponsored by...
September 1, 2007
Today’s chemical process industries (CPI) are riding on the tails of the best four-year stretch that the global economy has seen since the late 1960s or early 1970s. Engineering workloads in North America have at least tripled in the last 18 months or so; in Europe and Japan, they’ve doubled; and growth in China is off the charts by Western standards, according to research from Daratech, Inc...
August 1, 2007
For the 12th straight year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized efforts in developing less-toxic alternatives to existing technologies and reducing or eliminating waste in the manufacturing process. The 2007 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, which are described briefly below (Source: EPA), were presented earlier this summer at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. The...
July 1, 2007
Throughout Chemical Engineering’s (CE) 105-year history, a host of great editors have served the chemical process industries (CPI) with timely, practical information. As that legacy continues, we are proud to reacquaint you with a few familiar faces and introduce you to those that you do not know. Rebekkah J. Marshall has been promoted from Managing Editor to Editor in Chief. Ms...
June 1, 2007
The impact of the chemical process industries (CPI) is much farther reaching than just the products that they produce. With respect for the power of the materials they handle, the CPI must act responsibly, considering factors that can affect workers, the community and the environment. A recent visit to two of Degussa’s production facilities in the U.S. gave an inside look as to how one company...
April 1, 2007
It's a simple matter of fact: a chemical process plant operates by the products and services of numerous - and, unavoidably, competing - vendors. Since the resulting compatibility issues only hamper productivity, vendors, EPC firms and owner/operators alike tried to put their differences aside to address interoperability, at this year's DaratechPlant (Houston; January 29-31; daratech.com). Standardization...
March 1, 2007
Readers of this publication will be saddened to learn that Nicholas P. Chopey, Chemical Engineering's Editor-In-Chief, passed away February 26th at the age of 74 in Elizabeth, N.J. The cause was complications with lymphatic cancer. Mr. Chopey, who was known to most of us as Nick, was a pillar of the Chemical Engineering (CE) editorial team for more than 47 years - the longest tenure of any editor in this...
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