Archives :: Facts At Your Fingertips
November 1, 2008
Biodiesel can be produced from vegetable oils by three types of reactions: base catalyzed transesterification of the oil; direct acid-catalyzed transesterification of the oil; and conversion of the oil to its fatty acids, and then to biodiesel. Biodiesel is typically produced by a base-catalyzed reaction (Figure 2). This method of production has several advantages, including the following: low temperature...
October 15, 2008
Pumps Centrifugal pumps with cast or forged steel casings are typically appropriate for systems with large flowrates Positive displacement pumps frequently can handle smaller flowrates of less than 100 gal/min Sealless pumps (canned motor or magnetic drive) avoid the installation of mechanical seals A typical centrifugal pump can be expected to deliver operational head of about: where g is gravitational...
September 15, 2008
Crystallization is a method of solid-fluid separation in which pure chemical crystals are formed. Crystallization kinetics consists of three major phenomena: nucleation (the birth of a crystal), transfer of the solute from the supersaturated solution to the crystal surface, and a reaction during which the solute becomes incorporated into the crystal. Supersaturation In order to drive the process of...
March 15, 2008
Separation by a membrane is achieved by creating a boundary between different bulk gas or liquid mixtures. As different solvents and solutes flow through a membrane at different rates, separation is achieved. Here, we will focus on three filtration techniques: microfiltration (MF), ultrafiltration (UF) and nanofiltration (NF). These processes are characterized by the size of the particle that can be...
February 15, 2008
The failure of a device or of a group of components can lead to overpressurization and subsequent adverse events, such as fire, explosion, spill or release. The most common causes of overpressurization are listed below. Understanding the circumstances surrounding overpressurization will help an engineer to avoid these failures. External Fire According to API RP 520 and 521 standards, a fire-exposed area is...
December 15, 2007
Seals are assemblies of elements that prevent the passage of a solid, liquid, gas or vapor from one system to another. When a seal allows leakage of material, failure has occurred. This guide provides an overview of common seal types and a discussion of seal failure to aid in choosing the most effective seal and avoiding future failure. Seal Types Seals types can be classified within two broad categories...
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