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Comment Separation Processes

Did somebody say pilot plant?

By Chemical Engineering |

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 the projects that the speakers described were computer simulations. Of those computer simulation projects, very few described how their models were corroborated. Regarding separations, for example, I do not remember any presenter stating that their thermodynamic models were checked against laboratory data, and, many of the systems being studied were non-ideal and highly non-ideal. Meanwhile, I saw biofuels computer studies that failed to use the “f” word, filtering. That made Don Glatz’s presentation on the fourth day all the more refreshing. I do not recall whether he performed computer simulations of the processes that he studied, but, if he did, he had real pilot-plant data to corroborate the models employed by his computer software. Don works for Koch Modular Process Systems (KMPS; Paramus, N.J.; www.modular-process.com).…
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