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Displaying 201 - 220 of 501 stories.
February 1, 2011
The fact that I was 150 ft up, on the outside of an extraction column, in January, in Canada, in a 20-mph wind, was not the worst part of the experience. The worst part was that the column was not working properly, and I had helped to design it. Like most industrial columns, this one had vertical ladders on its side. Each ladder led to a landing, or so-called deck. Each ladder was surrounded by a cage. The...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Crows-nest_6366.html
February 1, 2011
Steam thermodynamics Brad Buecker’s article, Steam Generation Thermodynamics (November 2010, pp. 44–47), was excellent — good information without getting bogged down with too much theory and formulae. I never had formal education in thermodynamics so some of the examples he stated were over my head. Still his explanations enabled me to refresh my knowledge at a level that I could...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/February-2011-Letters_6367.html
February 1, 2011
Piping integrity is always a major concern in the chemical process industries (CPI), but the level of concern elevates when piping is buried underground. Soil conditions not only exacerbate general external corrosion, but also increase the difficulty and cost of inspection — a necessary step for ensuring safe and reliable operation. Making matters worse, many underground piping systems are...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Inspecting-Underground-Piping_6373.html
February 1, 2011
Buried piping — especially lines carrying hydrocarbons — shoulders many more risks in terms of plant safety and environmental protection than aboveground piping does. Leaks in buried pipes are much harder to detect and, yet, are no less catastrophic. Ironically, underground piping design does not get as much emphasis in the chemical process industries (CPI) as aboveground piping does. Whether...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Design-Underground-Piping-For-Safety_6375.html
February 1, 2011
Throughout the chemical process industries (CPI), project owners often track key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that all participants are able to attain or improve important performance objectives associated with their investments. For instance, for complex projects involving various contractors and sub-contractors, the predetermined expectations spelled out in the agreed-upon set of KPIs allow...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Owners-and-contractors-Key-Metrics-Improve-Performance_6376.html
January 1, 2011
Some columns sway with the wind; some columns sway with the waves. In fact, hundreds of columns now reside offshore, on platforms and on barges. Most dry and sweeten gases. Some distill. The trays and packing distributors of such columns are regularly, appreciably out of level. Sloshing occurs. The packings are regularly, appreciably off vertical. Some of what we know about the design of such columns...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Earthquake-fractionation_6282.html
January 1, 2011
Although plant safety should be a top priority every day, there are certain times when extra vigilance is needed to make sure that safety practices are being maintained. This article outlines three periods deemed to be “critical” for plant safety and specific items to pay attention to in these periods.     Three critical periods The following three phases in a production plant’s...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Effective-Plant-Safety-Management_6289.html
January 1, 2011
History is a constant reminder that accidents and catastrophic events can and do occur in process environments. As processes become more complex (for instance, allowing for greater operating temperatures and pressures to be used) and existing basic process control systems (BPCS) and safety systems age, risk reduction becomes more challenging. Regulations from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Admin...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Safety-Instrumented-Systems-Control-Valves-As-Final-Elements_6290.html
January 1, 2011
The reboiler generally supplies most of the energy required to effect component separation. If too much heat is supplied, the tower may flood; conversely, if too little heat is available, separation performance may decrease via poor reflux ratio (pinching), excessive weeping or poor tray action. Proper design of reboiling systems involves coordinating aspects both outside and inside the tower. This article...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Reboiler-Circuits-For-Trayed-Columns_6291.html
January 1, 2011
Agglomeration is the process of converting fine powder particles into larger particles by the introduction of external forces. Agglomeration is often desirable because the process yields a product that has a higher bulk density, contains less dust, and has improved flowability. Figure 1 shows samples of fine potash powder and powder that has been agglomerated.  Figure 1. Fine potash powder is one...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Consider-Wet-Agglomeration-To-Improve-Powder-Flow_6293.html
January 1, 2011
With productivity, growth and reliability as constant drivers, the proactive evaluation of all machinery is critically important. In order to gain useful insight, the maintenance team must capture comprehensive data related to machinery operation and carry out a logical interpretation of the data. The conventional language of equipment components — vibration — transmits relevant information...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Get-the-Most-out-of-Vibration-Analysis_6294.html
December 1, 2010
During the first three days of last month’s AIChE Annual Meeting (November 7–12; Salt Lake City, Utah), like many attendees, I hopped from session to session listening to those papers that were of the most interest to me. Generally, I attended the energy, environmental and separation sessions. I saw many graphs, tables, process flow diagrams and conclusions. I am guessing that almost half of...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Did-somebody-say-pilot-plant_6193.html
December 1, 2010
To solve the task of solid-liquid (S-L) separation in the chemical process industries (CPI) a wide variety of methods are invariably used. Many of these methods are not mutually exclusive and include a selection of technologies that can be expediently combined to provide an efficient operating system. A good understanding of the options available and details of the individual system modules can enhance the...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Filtration-Centrifuges-An-Overview_6194.html
December 1, 2010
Management of process plants requires the understanding and application of the fundamental tenets of safe design, construction, and operation of each facility. In that context, many years of practical experience with systems that use very high-temperature organic heat-transfer media has led to much knowledge regarding design features to adopt and those that should not be repeated.  For the media...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Heat-Transfer-Fluid-Leaks-Break-the-Fire-Triangle_6197.html
December 1, 2010
Chemicals in production and laboratory environments alike have three distinct lifecycle phases: the first is procurement and inventory storage; the second is use in a manufacturing process or research program; and the third is post-use, including onsite handling, removal and beneficial reuse, recycle or disposal. A number of considerations including regulations, safety, material utilization efficiency...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Chemical-Lifecycle-Management_6207.html
December 1, 2010
Reciprocating compressors — the most commonly used type of compressor throughout the chemical process industries (CPI) — are flexible and efficient, and they can generate high head (from several bar to several thousand bar) independent of gas density. Worldwide, the installed reciprocating compressor horsepower is approximately two times that of centrifugal compressors. However, the maintenance...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Optimizing-Reciprocating-Compressors-for-CPI-Plants_6208.html
November 1, 2010
When automating fluid handling processes, it is critical to ensure that you are using the best type of pump for the process, and to understand how to control the type of pump you are using. The two major classes of process pumps — centrifugal and rotary positive displacement — require completely different control techniques. It is important to understand each pump type’s limitations, and...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Process-Pump-Control_6112.html
November 1, 2010
When tanks are draining, the potential may exist for a swirling vortex to form leading from the liquid surface to any of the bottom-exit or side-exit nozzles connected to downstream piping (Figure 1). One important aspect of the vortex is whether it will entrain air or other gases into the discharge flow. Such vapor entrainment can lead to a host of problems, ranging from vacuum collapse of the supply...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Predict-and-Prevent-Air-Entrainment-in-Draining-Tanks_6114.html
November 1, 2010
In obtaining a degree or even a professional license in chemical engineering, there is little, if any, mention of facial hair. Nevertheless, that aspect of my appearance was surprisingly pivotal at one particular moment in my career. At that time, I had zero facial hair — no moustache, no beard, and no long sideburns — and I was a liquid-liquid extraction expert. It was therefore obvious to...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Hazards-of-column-entry_6116.html
November 1, 2010
Although proper water treatment and conditioning for combined-cycle units and standalone steam generators are vitally important for reliability in the chemical process industries (CPI), a well maintained and operated steam generator can also save the facility much money with regard to efficient performance. This article outlines some of the primary thermodynamics behind steam generator heat transfer...
http://www.che.com/technical_and_practical/Steam-Generation-Thermodynamics_6117.html
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