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Displaying 161 - 180 of 1625 stories.
December 1, 2012
I drink tap water! There, I finally said it. I am out of the closet — the water closet. My two sons are now cowering with shame, wondering how they can possibly ever face their Dasani-drinking friends again. It was maybe 20 years ago when I first encountered the concept of bottled water. What a strange idea! Why would anybody want to pay for something that’s free — and everywhere —...
November 1, 2012
Preventing dust explosions is not rocket science, and still these disasters occur. This article is written to help prevent these accidents. It describes how and why these explosions happen and what can be done to avoid them.   Why they occur Dust explosions occur when three conditions are present simultaneously. The first is that there is a dust cloud of a combustible material (the fuel). The second...
November 1, 2012
One of the most significant limitations on the operation of dynamic compressors (axial and centrifugal compressors) is the low-flow limit known as “surge”. A sudden valve closing, such as for emergency shutdowns or for a suction/discharge valve, presents significant challenges to anti-surge valve sizing and selection. Anti-surge valve requirements depend to a large degree on the compressor...
November 1, 2012
Throughout the chemical process industries (CPI), various chemicals must be injected into process streams to serve a variety of purposes. Chemical-injection systems can be arbitrarily defined as those systems that are used to inject chemicals at a flowrate that is less than 1 to 5% of the main process stream. Table 1 shows a non-inclusive list of chemicals that are typically added into process streams via...
November 1, 2012
   Hensley Gibbs Carr Roderick Powell Charles Kraft becomes vice president of global manufacturing and process development for Amyris (Emeryville, Calif.), a renewable-chemicals maker.   Intelligrated (Cincinnati, Ohio), a provider of materials-handling solutions, names Paul Hensley senior sales engineer for the company’s central regional operations.   Avantes (Apeldoorn...
November 1, 2012
Plant Watch Novasep to build world’s largest chromatography plant for APIs October 10, 2012 — Novasep (Pompey, France; has announced an investment of €30 million to build what will be the world’s largest chromatography plant for the production of commercial active-pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The plant will be built on Novasep’s existing Mourenx site in...
October 1, 2012
More opinions on ChE education I would like to contribute to the discussion on “practical” ChE education (CE, September 2012). After graduation, I as well didn’t know what a pipe flange was, nor a gasket, didn’t know how to read a pump curve, didn’t know how to size a relief valve and so on. I could have learned more that applies to the CPI [chemical process industries] in an...
October 1, 2012
Manufacturer’s warranty period extended to two years Trolex This manufacturer of gas detection and environmental monitoring systems has extended its warranty period to two years, providing additional coverage for all of its equipment. The company also offers a service contract specifically tailored to requirements that cover the maintenance of its products (photo). When customers call for product...
October 1, 2012
Fans and blowers are common in air-handling and movement systems used in the chemical process industries (CPI). Two major uses of fans and blowers are in pneumatic conveying systems and in ventilation and air-pollution-control systems. Powering fans and blowers can contribute significantly to costs, and their efficient operation can be affected by the way plant operators select and run their systems...
October 1, 2012
According to my version of the story, Robert Kohler said, “We don’t need visas to enter Hungary.” According to Robert’s version, he said, “It’s easy to get visas to enter Hungary.” Either way, he was wrong. Either way, he got us to Budapest. Robert Kohler and I visited the OMV plant in Schwechat, Austria, on a Friday morning. At Robert’s urging, we decided to...
October 1, 2012
Correction: From the October 2012 Letters page: Who's Who that ran in the print edition of Chemical Engineering had two spelling errors: Blachoh Fluid Control is correctly spelled Blacoh Fluid Control, and the headquarters of CST International is Lenexa, Kan. (not Lexana). . Thill Peeters Rosenberger Pace Lind   SNC-Lavalin (Montreal, Quebec), a global engineering and construction group that...
October 1, 2012
The 3rd ChemInnovations conference and tradeshow will take place in New Orleans, La. November 13–15. ChemInnovations is an educational conference and exhibition tailored for chemical engineers who work in the chemical process industries (CPI). Organized by Chemical Engineering and its parent company, the event’s main purpose is to help chemical and petrochemical engineers in the day-to-day...
October 1, 2012
Plant Watch Solvay increases fluorinated-derivatives production capacity in France September 6, 2012 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; is investing over €10 million to double the capacity of the fluorinated aliphatic-derivatives production line at its plant in Salindres, France. The project’s first stage is currently underway. The Group decided to double production capacity...
October 1, 2012
Small chemical reactors offer a number of benefits compared to large reactors, such as better heat transfer and mixing. While small batch vessels are impractical at the industrial scale, continuous flow reactors can provide the benefits of small physical size without the practical difficulties of multiple vessels. This article considers the four basic needs of flow reactors (volumetric capacity, heat...
October 1, 2012
Blending and segregation are two opposite and competing processes in solids handling that ideally fit the expression “two sides of the same coin.” But, if you think about it, coins have three sides and sampling completes the idiomatic expression perfectly. Blending is a necessary and essential process operation widely employed in many industries and materials, from nano-scale powders to...
October 1, 2012
Vacuum conditions for many unit operations — including distillation, evaporation, drying, crystallization, filtration and more — are typically achieved using the following three approaches: • Steam ejector systems • Mechanical vacuum pumps • Integrated vacuum systems (which combine steam ejectors and mechanical vacuum pumps) This article is the second part of a two-part series,1...
October 1, 2012
Increasing production of natural gas from hydraulic fracturing of shale deposits has fundamentally altered the landscape of chemical production in North America. The higher margins on steam-cracking ethane to produce ethylene have resulted in significant feedstock shifts in the U.S. over the past two years. Numerous chemical producers are expanding ethylene capacity to take advantage of the increased...
September 1, 2012
Reviewed by David Hill, Chemstations Inc., Houston   The authors of this text are leaders in chemical engineering thermodynamics. Based on their status, I recommended this book in a blog entry before even seeing a review copy — and I’m glad I did. The book is aimed at both students and professionals who work with process simulators. It assumes a prior understanding of thermodynamics, and...
September 1, 2012
Last month, we ran a letter from reader, Jason Makansi, commenting on our June story, Chemical Engineering Education Evolution ( Chem. Eng., June 2012, pp. 22–25), which highlighted, among other things, the need for a more-meaningful connection between academia and industry. Makansi’s letter was passionate in itself, expressing frustration at the slow pace of progress over the past 30 years or...
September 1, 2012
It was clear at the recent Chemical Sector Security Summit (Baltimore, Md., July 31-Aug. 1) that awareness of and activity in security for the chemical process industries (CPI) are growing. The annual summit, now in its sixth year, was held at its largest venue ever and brought together about 650 participants from industry, academia and the government to network with other security professionals, share...
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