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September 1, 2011
Condensate pots are commonly used on the condensing sides of some reboilers, such as those that are heated by steam or refrigerant vapor. These pots provide a liquid seal that prevents uncondensed vapor from blowing out of the reboiler into the condensate system. A break in this seal can result in heat transfer losses. With steam reboilers, blowing vapor into the condensate header may also lead to...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Reboiler-Condensate-Drums-Silencing-Hydraulic-Hammer_8438.html
September 1, 2011
Among the challenges of effective solid-liquid filtration is the accumulation of solids on the filter surface, which creates an increasingly dense mass that process fluid must push through. In many applications in the chemical process industries (CPI), a step-down filtration approach has the potential to avoid this difficulty, and at the same time, to cut operating costs and improve solution clarity. Even...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Reduce-Costs-with-Step-down-Filtration_8439.html
September 1, 2011
Steam-assisted, gravity-drainage (SAGD) operations employ large tanks that vent flammable and sometimes toxic gases. Safety and environmental concerns often require engineers to design vapor-recovery units (VRUs) to collect these gases and redirect them to a useful location — frequently for use as a fuel gas in a steam-generation system. When choosing a VRU setup for an SAGD facility, the two most...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Tank-Vapors-Optimize-Ejector-Sizing-for-Better-Control_8440.html
September 1, 2011
This article presents equations that allow the user to calculate liquid volume as a function of liquid depth, in both vertically and horizontally oriented tanks with dished heads. The equations accommodate all tank heads that can be described by two radii of curvature (torispherical heads). Examples include: ASME flanged & dished (F&D) heads, ASME 80/10 F&D heads, ASME 80/6 F&D heads...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Calculate-Liquid-Volumes-in-Tanks-with-Dished-Heads_8471.html
August 1, 2011
Almost by definition, chemical engineering is a “green” discipline today, as it so often involves efforts to optimize chemical processes in order to reduce the amount of energy and raw materials that are used and the amount of waste that is generated. Today everybody “talks green” but in a lot of cases engineers are the most qualified people to provide the tools required to make...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Practice-Green-Chemical-Engineering_8298.html
August 1, 2011
Many solid materials can exhibit self-heating, which — if unchecked — can progress to a fire or even explosion. And even if the situation does not get that far, it is likely to affect the output of the process, in terms of product quality degradation, for example. Recognizing that your product in powder or granular form can self-heat is the first step in controlling the risks associated with...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Preventing-Self-Heating-and-Ignition-in-Drying-Operations_8300.html
August 1, 2011
Modern industrial-automation systems rely entirely on digital technology, that is, computers. And as is typical of digital products, suppliers love to add features — data collection, alarm management, and so on — that are very useful for process operations but are not process control in the purest sense. This is continuing, the result being that process control systems are evolving to...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Todays-Process-Automation-Worlds_8302.html
August 1, 2011
Capital cost assessment is an integral part of process design when building or expanding a chemical process plant. It is required to provide project analysis and evaluation, to select among alternative designs, to plan the appropriation of funds and to serve as a basis for project cost control. Capital cost estimation is also important for an engineerng student’s final design project. The accuracy of...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Evaluating-Capital-Cost-Estimation-Programs_8359.html
July 1, 2011
I have an ongoing dispute with a longtime colleague, Bob Miller. I said he ruined my new safety boots. He said he didn’t. Bob was a young, fearless distillation engineer at a time when our extraction engineer refused to take a trip to Japan to inspect new trays going into an old extractor. I called Bob into my office and asked him to take the trip, even with zero extraction experience. Bob accepted...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/When-troubleshooting-the-extractor_8158.html
July 1, 2011
To make the modern materials we use every day, such as plastics, metals, electronics, pharmaceuticals, fuels and so on, strong acids are used to convert the earth’s raw materials into modern materials. In fact, so many tons of acid are used (200 million metric tones of sulfuric acid annually worldwide) that the gross domestic product (GDP) of most industrial nations are directly correlated to...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Heat-Exchangers-for-Hot-Acids-Material-Selection_8160.html
July 1, 2011
Crystallization is a key purification technique for various sectors of the chemical process industries (CPI). Several approaches for industrial crystallization have evolved over time, and highly specialized crystallizer designs have been developed, especially in long-established industries. Solution crystallization is an important unit operation because the process can generate high-purity products from...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/A-Clearer-View-Of-Crystallizers_8168.html
July 1, 2011
Engineers working in the chemical process industries (CPI) sometimes have to deal with aerosol contamination issues in which liquid-gas coalescers are routinely employed. For example, liquid-gas coalescers are used to protect compressors, liquid-gas contactors, turbines, low-NOx burners, metering and instrumentation stations, and for many other applications. Choosing the right coalescer type can be a...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Liquid-Gas-Coalescers-Demystifying-Performance-Ratings_8182.html
July 1, 2011
In the emerging and ever-expanding areas of bioprocessing, where maintaining hygienic designs and practices is of paramount importance, and semiconductor manufacturing, which has its own stringent purity requirements, there is a need to standardize the essential codes and standards that are available. The goal is to consistently achieve process systems that meet the highly refined cleanliness and...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/New-Piping-Code-for-High-Purity-Processes_8190.html
July 1, 2011
Distillation columns are often workhorses in the chemical process industries (CPI), and at times, it is necessary to physically inspect the interior of a column. This article demonstrates what an inspection can reveal, by sharing the experience of actual fractionation-tower inspections in a petroleum refinery. The points mentioned are intended to provide guidance to future tower inspectors, so that they...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Inspecting-Fractionation-Towers_8214.html
June 1, 2011
The topic of fouling in heat exchangers has been of increasing interest in recent years, since it is so closely linked to the cost of building and running a chemical plant. It has been reported that fouling costs are about 0.25% of the gross national product (GNP) of highly industrialized countries, which, based on current estimates of GNP for the U.S. of $15 trillion, makes the staggering cost of fouling...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Compact-High-efficiency-Heat-Exchangers-Understanding-Fouling_8087.html
June 1, 2011
One of the most important measurements in the chemical process industries (CPI) is rate of flow. Flowrates can be important to measure, and in fact can be critical to measure, throughout a process — from dosing components into a reactor to material transfers in-between process steps, to discharging products at the end. Flow metering technologies fall into four classifications: velocity, inferential...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Measuring-Flow_8089.html
June 1, 2011
There was a time, not long ago, when most groups responsible for industrial control systems (ICS) in the chemical process industries (CPI) were not much worried about security. They had their firewalls in place and their remote access servers, and overall that worked for them. Rarely, a virus would sneak in and usually do little damage. The affected computers would need to be shut down and cleaned out, but...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Cybersecurity-for-Chemical-Engineers_8095.html
June 1, 2011
Very seldom is a product of desired size manufactured directly in a process. Size reduction, coupled with screening (classification), is commonly used to achieve desired particle size. In many instances, the final application dictates requirement of small particle size to enhance performance. For example, fine particles enhance dispersion of pharmaceutical ingredients, increase surface coverage of paints...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Maximizing-Performance-In-Size-Reduction_8106.html
June 1, 2011
A common practice in the chemical process industries (CPI) is to implement so-called value- maximization projects (VMP) to increase production or reduce production costs in order to increase profit margins. With such projects, one main objective of the design team is to incur minimum capital expenditures. Because most VMPs aim to increase throughput or production yield, many such projects involve changes...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Reduce-Gas-Entrainment-In-Liquid-Lines_8110.html
May 1, 2011
Pressure measurement in the chemical process industries (CPI) is crucial to many unit operations, and selecting the most effective pressure sensors for a given situation can be complicated by a range of factors. An initial key to selection is establishing an accurate understanding of exactly what is meant when the term “pressure” is used, since there are different types. Other critical...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Pressure-measurement-considerations_7940.html
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