Archives :: Technical & Practical

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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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.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.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Steam-Generation-Thermodynamics_6117.html
November 1, 2010
One of the best ways to realize value from your process data is to use those data — both real-time and historical — in a process simulator. The many applications for doing so are generally categorized into offline and online categories. Offline applications, where the simulator is not directly connected to the control system, use process data to validate dynamic simulations of the process, or...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Connecting-Process-Simulators-to-the-Control-Room_6122.html
October 1, 2010
Every distillation engineer west of the River Neretva is familiar with the work of Professor Zarko Olujic. His distillation laboratory at the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands; www.tudelft.nl) is one of the largest and best facilities in the history of distillation. His work is typically funded by a consortium of companies that, most recently, included Bayer, BASF, Evonik, DSM, Montz...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Zarkos-challenge_6030.html
October 1, 2010
Improvements to the performance of basic, regulatory control systems have a great return on investment and are some of the least expensive control improvements to make [1]. Control valves have a major impact on control loop performance and, therefore, improvements in valve performance can have significant economic benefits. This article shows how poor control-valve performance can be identified and...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Improving-Control-Valve-Performance_6046.html
October 1, 2010
Because the global chemical process industries (CPI) encompass so many varied industry segments — including the conversion of raw materials and intermediates into chemicals and petrochemicals, fats and oils, paints and coatings, food and beverages, the refining of petroleum, the production of pharmaceuticals and others — there is considerable overlap in terms of the types of equipment...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Crossover-Applications-for-the-ASME-Bioprocessing-Equipment-Standard_6047.html
October 1, 2010
These days, there seem to be more reasons than ever to change feedstocks throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). Whether environmental, or more directly based on financial and market drivers, big benefits usually require big changes. This is especially true in switching to many renewable feedstocks, which either add or compound challenges related to processing solids. When Columbia Forest...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Lessons-in-Feedstock-Change_6051.html
October 1, 2010
Thermal insulation systems can provide several functions on piping and equipment in industrial facilities. Some of these are: reduction in energy loss, process control, personnel protection, emissions reduction, condensation, freeze protection, and noise reduction. In the chemical process industries (CPI), thermal insulation systems are often subjected to severe environments that might include either very...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Industrial-Insulation-Systems-Material-Selection-Factors_6052.html
September 1, 2010
Starting around 1970, many new contacting devices became available for use in distillation, absorption and stripping columns. Those devices included high-performance random packings, structured packings, high-capacity structured packings, augmented crossflow trays, counterflow trays and cocurrent flow trays. At the request of FRI’s membership, many of those devices were tested in FRI’s 4-ft and...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Fractionation-Column-Pushing-capacity-limits_5951.html
September 1, 2010
The ever-increasing cost of fuel and relentless push for environmental responsibility are constant factors in the profitability of many chemical process operations, and fluctuations in the prices of natural gas and other fuels can make it hard to predict future energy costs and the impact of such fluctuations on profits. However, the impact of fluctuating fuel costs, and the regulatory uncertainty related...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Recover-Waste-Heat-From-Fluegas_5965.html
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