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February 1, 2010
This article describes an algorithm that end users can use to develop a program on a personal computer to assess the technical and economic feasibility of installing a variable frequency drive (VFD) on centrifugal pumps. This simple algorithm serves a variety of useful functions, helping engineers to carry out the following functions: Check the technical feasibility and evaluate whether or not it is...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Variable-frequency-drives-An-Algorithm-for-Selecting-VFDs-for-Centrifugal-Pumps_5445.html
February 1, 2010
A survey of tower failures [ 1 ] ranks kettle reboilers as the most troublesome reboiler type in the chemical process industries (CPI). Excessive pressure drop in kettle reboiler circuits is the prominent kettle malfunction, causing liquid to back up in the tower base beyond the reboiler return elevation. This high liquid level leads to premature flooding and capacity loss. In almost all the surveyed...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Kettle-Troubleshooting_5453.html
February 1, 2010
Today’s high costs of energy make an energy audit evaluation of process facilities a must. Most plants were designed and built when energy costs were low by today’s standards. This makes facilities that have not been reviewed for energy efficiency in the last few years ripe for large potential savings in energy costs, primarily from fuel and electric power. Typically, projects can be identified...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Doing-an-Energy-Audit_5454.html
February 1, 2010
For valves operating in hazardous environments, certification testing is critical to ensure the reliability and safety of the equipment. But this testing process has historically required facilities to shut down and sacrifice valuable production hours to check each valve. Built-in self-test (BIST) capabilities in smart, electronic valve actuators were developed in response to these testing challenges. This...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/The-BIST-In-Electronic-Valve-Actuators_5459.html
January 1, 2010
Particulate buildup and other material flow problems are common hurdles wherever dry materials find application in the chemical process industries (CPI). Since manual intervention is costly in terms of downtime, and can be quite hazardous for the personnel involved, dedicated equipment is an attractive way to either prevent or remove flow blockages. Equipment options include vibrators and air cannons and a...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/A-Sound-Solution-to-Material-Flow-Problems_5399.html
January 1, 2010
Pipe sizing calculations include certain values that are time dependent, such as costs. While some costs rise, others decrease over time. It is the designers task to ensure that the total cost is minimized. For fluid flow calculations, heuristic criteria are often used, which is the main reason why these values must be updated from time to time. In this article, recommended velocities are updated for...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Updating-the-Rules-For-Pipe-Sizing_5402.html
January 1, 2010
The chemical process industries (CPI) invest large amounts of capital each year and spend even more to produce the goods they sell. In 2007, CPI companies large enough to be in the Fortune 500 list invested more than $100 billion of capital and spent more than $1.2 trillion making their products. Most of this money is committed by decisions made in the early stages of process development and plant design...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Capital-And-Production-Costs-Improving-the-Bottom-Line_5403.html
January 1, 2010
Typical wastewater-treatment plants (WWTP) — both industrial and municipal — consume large amounts of energy, which can represent 50% or more of the facility’s variable operating and maintenance costs. Most employ biological processes that rely on energy-intensive aeration systems whose energy consumption is approximately 0.5 kWh per m3 of effluent treated. This article discusses a...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Wastewater-Treatment-Energy-Conservation-Opportunities_5404.html
January 1, 2010
Relief system design is an important engineering activity throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). The main purpose of this task is to design a system that protects process equipment and piping against all possible causes of overpressure. It should relieve the excess pressure safely so as to protect personnel working in the facility from accidents, prevent damage to equipment and adjoining...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Pressure-Relief-Requirement-During-External-Pool-Fire-Contingency_5405.html
December 1, 2009
The desire to move from batch to continuous processes for the production of high-value organic molecules has become more widespread in recent years as evidenced by the increasing number of related studies published in the literature. The benefits of continuous flow include increased product yield, increased utility and energy utilization, improved safety and greater automation. A quest to improve the...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Millichannel-Reactors-A-Practical-Middle-Ground-for-Production_5316.html
December 1, 2009
Faced with increased workloads and time and budget constraints that often restrict external training support, many chemical process operators are forced to get the most out of their heat transfer system with less help. This article offers recommendations for how to carry out proactive maintenance on heat-transfer fluids, to maximize their useful life and minimize problems associated with fluid degradation...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Maximizing-Heat-Transfer-Fluid-Longevity_5322.html
December 1, 2009
Most chemical engineers involved with operating large chemical process facilities have encountered the following challenge: Several large engineering contractors built the facility in multiple phases, using different computer-software models. Retrieving drawings or data in both digital and non-digital form in such a situation only adds complexity to operations, maintenance and revamp activities and often...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Smooth-Your-Retrieval-of-Plant-Design-Data_5326.html
November 1, 2009
This photo shows a spray dryer with a heat recuperator. The plant has an evaporative capacity of 1,825 kg/h Spray drying is one of the major industrial drying technologies. It is applied by many industries because of its ability to convert a liquid product into a dried powder in a lenient single step and because it allows you to control temperature and the particle formation process very accurately...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/A-Primer-on-Spray-Drying_5237.html
November 1, 2009
Piping represents a major cost for projects in the chemical process industries (CPI). Larger pipe diameters increase upfront capital costs for a project, but the lower pressure drops afforded by large pipes mean less power is required to move the fluid through the pipe. Optimizing pipe diameter becomes an exercise in balancing the capital cost savings realized by using smaller pipes with the power required...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/De-emphasize-Capital-Costs-For-Pipe-Size-Selection_5238.html
November 1, 2009
The success of industrial R&D activities has a direct impact on a company’s long-term commercial profitability. Today, a variety of market forces, including the drive for growth, the search for new ideas and innovative products, and the increasingly competitive pressures of the global economy, have made R&D activities more important than ever from a strategic perspective. Figure 1. Integrated...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Making-the-Leap-from-R-and-D-to-Manufacturing_5239.html
November 1, 2009
Direct-fired heaters find wide application throughout the chemical process industries (CPI) and are common in petroleum refineries, where they are used to preheat petroleum or petroleum-derived feedstocks in advance of downstream process operations. Since excessive internal tube fouling occurs above certain temperatures, designers often try to keep temperatures down by over-specifying the heat transfer...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Direct-Fired-Heaters-Evaluate-Thermal-Performance-And-the-Effects-of-Fouling_5241.html
October 1, 2009
Household items, such as breakfast cereal, flour, corn starch and sugar are so common that many were left surprised after the 2008 combustible-dust explosion at a sugar refinery in Georgia. Heard in much of the early media coverage was the question “How could sugar explode?” Plant explosions are, thankfully, not routine occurrences. However, when they do occur, it is the unusual event —...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Preventing-Dust-Explosions_5138.html
October 1, 2009
Compressed gas cylinders are widely used in research, pilot plant, laboratory and small-scale manufacturing and processing operations as a way to provide a convenient, economical and safe source of high-pressure gases for various applications. These gases can be inert, flammable, toxic or oxidizing (or mixtures of any or all), and are typically supplied at pressures from 800 to 6,000 psig, with 2,250 psig...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Compressed-Gases-Managing-Cylinders-Safely_5158.html
October 1, 2009
Thermal mass flowmeters provide advantages over other options for metering the consumption of natural gas by individual combustion units throughout the facilityWith today’s increased emphasis on strategic energy management, many throughout the chemical process industries (CPI) and elsewhere are attempting to obtain better information on the natural gas consumption in their facilities. While...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Energy-EfficiencyTracking-Natural-Gas-With-Flowmeters_5160.html
October 1, 2009
Bag filters for industrial applications have been in existence longer and are considered by some to be easier and simpler to specify than cartridges for a filtration project. And although cartridge filtration is now one of the mostly widely used filtration technologies in the chemical process industries (CPI), it is not always the first choice. How does one decide which filtration method should be used...
http://www.chemengonline.com/technical_and_practical/Estimating-the-Total-Cost-of-Cartridge-and-Bag-Filtration_5161.html
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