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May 1, 2013
Lessons learned Your Editor’s Page in today’s Chemical Engineering [March 2013, p.5] intrigued me because I too served as a TA in a physical chemistry lab but long before 1980 and we did not have the luxury of a Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer. But you certainly have the experience to comment on the following: The earth, according to Weil’s law at an average temperature of...
May 1, 2013
As it has done for more than 85 years, the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI; London, U.K.;, America International Group awarded the SCI Chemical Industry Medal to an individual whose leadership, commitment and contributions have been responsible for substantial progress and performance in the chemical industry. This year’s recipient, Andrew Liveris, received the medal in March at a...
May 1, 2013
Fundamentals of Automatic Process Control. By Utpal Chaudhuri and Uttam Chaudhuri. CRC Press Inc., Taylor & Francis Group. 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, #300, Boca Raton, FL 33487. Web: 2012. 303 pages. $139.95. Reviewed by Douglas White, Emerson Process Management, Houston, Tex.  Professors Uttam Ray Chaudhuri from Calcutta University (Kolkata, India; and Uptal Ray...
May 1, 2013
Minimizing process variability is an important component of a plant’s profitability. The performance of control valves within process control loops has a significant impact on maintaining consistent processes. This refresher outlines some of the important aspects of control-valve performance, including parameters of both the static response and the dynamic response. Static response A valve’s...
May 1, 2013
Inline viscosity measurements can give continuous, realtime readings of a fluid’s viscosity during processing and consequently, can provide a means to automate the viscosity control of process fluids. While it is difficult to control all factors in the process that can affect a fluid’s viscosity (such as temperature, air bubbles, shear history, turbulence and so on), if these factors are kept...
May 1, 2013
   Polypropylene (PP) is one of the world’s most widely used polymers, second only to polyethylene in terms of global demand. The global market for polypropylene is over 60 million metric tons per year, and it is utilized in a broad and diverse range of end-uses — from injection-molding applications to films and sheets, as well as synthetic raffia and other fibers, among others...
May 1, 2013
A variety of technologies, methods and best practices are available to obtain the lowest total cost of ownership for compressors used in plants throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). This article discusses several critical areas in which concerted effort can help to reduce the overall cost of ownership.    Specifying compressors The ability to carry out proper shop-based performance...
May 1, 2013
Plant Watch Neste Jacobs to expand enzyme production plant in Finland April 5, 2013 — Neste Jacobs Oy (Porvoo, Finland; has signed a contract to expand an enzyme plant operated by Roal Oy (Rajamäki, Finland; Enzymes produced at the Rajamäki plant are used to make foodstuffs, clothing, animal feed, pulp and paper. The contract, which is worth several...
May 1, 2013
Some injuries are permanent; some injuries are total. People who work for, or near, small companies need to be protected just as much as those associated with large companies. Small companies, however, usually cannot afford to employ full-time, certified, degreed, safety professionals. From my own career experiences, it seems as though a company with less than 50 employees cannot afford to employ an expert...
May 1, 2013
Edwards Rolando Haggblom Chomiak Bodine Steve Edwards will become chairman, president and CEO of global engineering-and-construction company Black & Veatch (Overland Park, Kan.), when Len Rodman retires at the end of 2013.   John Rolando becomes president of specialty chemicals company Evonik Corp. (Parsippany, N.J.), succeeding Tom Bates , who is retiring.  ...
April 1, 2013
NORTH AMERICA ACS Rubber Div. 183rd Technical Meeting 2013. American Chemical Society, Rubber Div. (Washington, D.C.). Phone: 330-972-7978; Web: Akron, Ohio April 22–24   Advancing Green & Sustainable Chemistry. Active Communications International (Chicago, Ill.). Phone: 312-780-0700; Web: Portland, Ore. April 24–26   104th American...
April 1, 2013
The continuous quest to maximize process efficiency and boost product performance, in which all sectors of the chemical process industries (CPI) are engaged, is driving demand for technologically advanced coatings. And engineering at the nanoscale level is an increasingly common avenue to reach these goals in commercial coatings. Progress in nano steps As the traditional coatings market continues to grow...
April 1, 2013
Aimed at the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry, Interphex 2013 will take place April 23–25 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. The conference program for the event features 52 sessions organized into five tracks, including supply chain, regulatory and quality control, product development, facility and process design, and manufacturing and packaging. Meanwhile, the exhibit...
April 1, 2013
The detection of gases in plant environments has a critical and wide-ranging role in the chemical process industries (CPI). Among the major applications of gas detection are limiting personnel exposure to hazardous chemicals, preventing explosive atmospheres, protecting the environment and identifying leaks in process equipment. Table 1 summarizes the main reasons for gas monitoring. All CPI workers should...
April 1, 2013
Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) is the active constituent in chlorine bleach, a strong oxidizer and bleaching agent. Increases in household bleach demand are driven mostly by population growth. In turn, population growth and its corresponding increases in water consumption — coupled with limited fresh water resources — makes water treatment the largest application for bleach, as well as the...
April 1, 2013
This article provides guidance to the designer and operator of a safety-instrumented system (SIS), with an emphasis on conducting measurements. The use of best practices to ensure the strength of the overall system design, and the use of instrument diversity to combat common causes of failure, are covered briefly. Greater detail are provided on the use of new technologies — in particular, new...
April 1, 2013
What if someone were to tell you that there is one method available for sizing relief valves that applies to virtually every situation, including two-phase flow and supercritical fluids? And what if they told you that method is more accurate and easier to use than traditional methods or formulas? As it turns out, both of these statements are true. The approach described here — the Direct Integration...
April 1, 2013
Plant Watch AkzoNobel Chemical Island starts supply to world’s biggest single-line pulp mill March 7, 2013 — AkzoNobel’s (Amsterdam, The Netherlands; new €90-million Jupiá Chemical Island in Brazil has begun supplying the Eldorado Brasil Celulose pulp mill, which is the biggest in the world. The Jupiá facility, one of AkzoNobel’s largest...
April 1, 2013
Eichentopf Aust Sesselmann Grenier Allen Ralf Eichentopf is now part of the management team at GEA Bock GmbH (Frickenhausen, Germany), where he will be responsible for manufacturing. Erik Aust is the new director of sales for the market segment Mobile Applications (compressors for buses and trains).   Bernhard Nick becomes head of the Strategic Planning & Controlling Div. of BASF SE...
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