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A partnership for process understanding

By Chemical Engineering |

At Chemical Engineering magazine, we focus the bulk of our coverage on the unit operations and equipment that tie the various segments of the chemical process industries (CPI) together. Regardless of industry sector, plant engineers perform chemical, mechanical and thermal transformations of raw materials, including petroleum, minerals, air and others, into products, using a host of common processes. But while there are many parallels among the segments of the CPI, there is also incredible breadth and diversity in the process technology used in the various industries, from petrochemicals to pulp and paper, or from glass to non-ferrous metals.

To help CPI professionals better understand some of the specific processes from different industry areas, the magazine is introducing a new department, called Technology Profile. The first installment can be found within the February 2013 issue. The one-page capsule is designed to provide a brief synopsis of a specific technology, including major process steps, key equipment and important safety or environmental considerations. In addition, the technology profile will include an economic perspective, discussing what factors make the process economically viable.

The topic of the first Technology Profile column is propylene production via propane dehydrogenation. The market for propylene has become tighter recently because of a shift to lighter feedstocks (less naptha, more ethane) for making olefins, particularly ethylene. The demand for propylene has spurred development of on-purpose propylene production technologies that can take advantage of inexpensive propane from shale deposits. Propane dehydrogenation is among the more promising technologies for fulfilling propylene demand.

To populate the Technology Profile page with the best available information, CE has partnered with the team of engineers at the consulting firm Intratec Solutions LLC, (Houston; www.intratec.us). Headquartered in Houston, with offices in Rio de Janeiro and New York, as well as Monterrey, Mexico and Winnipeg, Canada, Intratec is an established consulting business with expertise in conducting technological and economic assessments of mature and emerging technologies in the CPI. For the Technology Profile column, Intratec engineers, led by company director Felipe Tavares, will supply the information on the specific technologies, which will be edited for publication by CE editors.

Intratec is widely recognized for its independent research on the global chemical industry. For 10 years, the company has provided structured feasibility studies and process analyses on various technologies and process improvement opportunities for its clients. Intratec has pioneered a unique business model that works by charging clients a lower-than-market fee to conduct a study with the understanding that the same study may be sold, after an agreed period of time, in an unrestricted manner as a publication.

The members of the CE team are excited about the partnership with Intratec, and about offering the new department to its readers. I invite you to take a look at the Technology Profile column as you peruse the issue, and hope you find it to be informative and enjoyable. Please feel free to offer feedback on how to improve the department and more generally, how the magazine can better meet your needs.

Thanks for reading!

Scott Jenkins


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