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Cartridge versus Bag Filters


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Cartridge versus Bag Filters

  1. 1. sh ev Page October Pr o iew 32D 2009 w -2 10Bag Vs. Cartridge Filtration • traCking natural gas With FloWmeters Page 34 Enhanced Pressure Transmitters Employment Outlook PreventingVol. 116 no. 10 oCtoBer 2009 Facts at Your Fingertips: Focus on Analyzers Dust Explosions Chemical Resistance of Flowmeters Compressed-Gas Thermoplastics Cylinder Safety
  2. 2. October 2009 www.che.comXX_CHE_1009_COV_tip.indd 1 9/23/09 12:54:59 PM
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  5. 5. Cut Your Cost 9 Ways with One Ultra-Economical Conveyor 1 Cut installationrouting Easy conveyor cost 2 Slash initial cost Flexicon conveyors 3 Save oninner screw is Rugged maintenance 4 Use less energy motors, Low horsepower at any angle (over, under cost far less than the only moving part simple gear reducers or around obstructions, drag chain conveyors, contacting material and ultra-efficient through small holes bucket elevators, (no internal bearings) operation significantly in walls or ceilings) pneumatic conveying yielding ultra-high cut energy cost per conforms to process systems and other reliability with little volume of material layouts, drastically conveyors of equivalent maintenance cost conveyed. cutting installation capacity, both initially or downtime. costs, while consuming and in operation. minimal floor space. 5 Convey at multiple locations 6 Save on sanitary construction 7 End costly contamination Available mounted Other conveyors Enclosed tube prevents on mobile bases can command dust and spillage, with casters, Flexicon high premiums for eliminating cost and conveyors with hoppers, food, 3-A dairy and quality concerns dust collectors and other pharmaceutical models, associated with accessories can operate but Flexicon conveyors contamination of at multiple locations, can meet sanitary your product and eliminating the need requirements at plant environment. for dedicated conveyors. comparatively low cost. 8 Reduce cleaningcap Removable end costs 9 Convey disparate materials allows reversing of Handle sub-micron screw for evacuation powders to large pellets of material, in-place including non-free-flow- flushing of crevice- ing products that pack, free interior, or quick cake, seize, fluidize, removal of screw for abrade or smear, with sanitizing—all with no separation of blends, See why thousands minimal labor or often eliminating the of engineers like you downtime. need for multiple units. have purchased more Flexicon conveyors than all competitive designs combined. visit flexicon.comSee the full range of fast-payback equipment at Flexible Screw Conveyors, Pneumatic Conveying Systems, Bulk Bag Unloaders, Bulk Bag Conditioners, Bulk Bag Fillers, Bag Dump Stations, Drum/Box/Tote Dumpers, Weigh Batching and Blending Systems, and Automated Plant-Wide Bulk Handling Systems USA UK +44 (0)1227 374710 AUSTRALIA +61 (0)7 3879 4180 1 888 FLEXICON SOUTH AFRICA +27 (0)41 453 1871 X-0779 © 2009 Flexicon Corporation. Flexicon Corporation has registrations and pending applications for the trademark FLEXICON throughout the world. Circle 04 on p. 66 or go to
  6. 6. Badger® RESEARCH CONTROL® VALVES WHENPRECISION MEANS EVERYTHING • Cv low flow trims from 6.0 to 0.003 • Cv micro flow trims from .002 to .0000018 • Trims available in Monel®, 316L and Stellite®/316L, Hastelloy® B or C, and Tantalum • Bellow sealed option for highest seal assurance To learn more, please visit 800-364-9876© 2009 Badger Meter, Inc. Circle 05 on p. 66 or go to
  7. 7. OctOber 2009 In ThIs Issue VOlume 116, n 10 nO. Commentary 5 Editor’s Page Don’t wait to react While recent events point to the need to re-examine the baccalaureate engi chemical engi- neering curricula,Cover story practicing engineers34 Cover Story Estimating need to be proactive the Total Cost of Cartridge in staying current and Bag Filtration When with the training changeout and disposal costs they need are added to the purchase cost of filters, the total cost of disposable filters can more than quadruple . A proven departments method of reducing total life- cycle cost is larger surface- Letters . . . . . . . . . 6 area filters Calendar . . . . . . 8, 9 49 Environmental Manager Preventing Who’s Who . . . . . 28neWs Dust Explosions Risk management pro- Reader Service11 Chementator World’s largest refinery grams are critical for safe handling and page . . . . . . . . . . 66 starts up a novel sulfur-removal system; processing of combustible dust as well as for OSHA regulatory compliance Economic This wastewater-treatment technology Indicators . . . 67, 68 can cut sludge by 50% or more; Imitat- 52 Engineering Practice Compressed ing nature for improved CO2 capture; Gases: Managing Cylinders Safely Follow advertisers This CO2-capture process promises these recommendations to ensure the safe to have half the energy cost of MEA; handling, storage and use of gas cylinders Product Removing Hg from soil; Making acrylic Showcase . 59, 60 acid from glycerin; Dandelion rubber; equipment & serviCes Classified This newly commercialized organic Advertising . . 61–64 semiconductor is solutions-processible; 32D-2 ChemShow Preview (Domestic Edition) This storage unit can survive a Advertiser Index . 65 A photocatalyst moves closer to com- mercialization; Modular design would 5-psi blast without damage; Increase pro- cess capacity with this thin-film evapora- Coming in shorten construction times for nuclear tor; This vacuum filter is certified to 0 .12 november plants; Corn starch may have a future as a foam packaging material; and more microns; Clean-up and maintenance for Look for: Feature this round separator is easy; These bal- Reports on Drying19 Newsfront Employment Outlook ances offer redesigned user interface; Get and Evaporation; and A soft economy means fewer chemi- a large filter area with this belt filter; Filter Choosing the Right cal engineering jobs, but salaries hold viscous media with this ultrafiltration cas- Pipe Size; Engineer- steady sette; Increased process control offered ing Practice articles23 Newsfront Feeling the Pressure En- with this absorption sensor; and more on Calculating Ther- hanced pressure transmitters can help 32I-2 New Products & Services (Interna- mal Performance and processors reduce maintenance and tional Edition) Scrub more H2S with this Internal Tube Fouling labor costs during the economic pinch new adsorbent; Hazmat suits that are certi- of Fired Heaters; and fied for safety; Improve vessel cleaning with Maximizing Efficiencyengineering this new range of spray balls; Connect and During R&D Scale Up; disconnect fluid lines safely with this cou- A Focus on Water32 Facts At Your Fingertips Chemical Treatment; News pler; A wireless modem for gathering data Resistance of Thermoplastics articles on Ionic remotely; For high throughputs, consider This one-page guide outlines consider- Liquids; and Process this dry vacuum pump; This standardized ations for choosing thermoplastics in Automation & Diag- canned-motor pump has built-in protection; corrosion-resistant applications nostics; Facts at Your and more44 Feature Report Energy Efficiency: 33 Focus Analyzers A new line for simply Fingertips on Tanks Tracking Natural Gas With Flowmeters and Pressure Vessels; and easily determining melting point; In- Thermal mass flowmeters provide advan- A Second ChemShow process analyzers eliminate the need for tages over other options for metering the Preview; and more random sampling; New laser gas analyzer consumption of natural gas by individual for insitu, cross-stack tests; Moisture and combustion units throughout the facility solids analyzer cools 25% faster Cover: David Whitcher ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com oCtober 2009 3
  8. 8. © 2009 Swagelok Company In times like these, you need more than the right product in the right place. That’s why, at Swagelok, we take training to heart. Working side by side with you to improve Because “show me” your bottom line, we’ll guide you in everything from correct component installation to efficient steam systems and orbital welding. We even offer a variety of self-paced online works so much courses through Swagelok University, covering product and technology information and applications. It all stems from our dedication to Continuous Improvement – both for better than “ tell me.” ourselves and our customers. And it’s just one more way we continue to offer more than you might expect. See for yourself at Circle 06 on p. 66 or go to
  9. 9. Winner of Eight Jesse H. Neal Awards for Editorial Excellence Editor’s Page Published since 1902 Don’t wait to react L An Access Intelligence Publication ast month, the chemical engineering profession began to feel its firstPublisHEr Art & dEsiGN aftershocks from an explosion that occurred nearly two years ago atMikE O’rOurkE dAvid WHitcHEr a plant that most of you would be hard-pressed to recall. The deliveryPublisher Art Director/ came in an accident report issued by the U.S. Chemical Safety Editorial Production Manager (CSB; The report determined that the massive Decem Decem-EditOrs PrOductiON ber 2007 explosion and fire at T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville, Fla. wasrEbEkkAH J. MArsHAllEditor in Chief MicHAEl d. krAus caused by a runaway chemical reaction that likely resulted from an inad inad- VP of Production & equate reactor-cooling system.dOrOtHy lOzOWski stEvE OlsON Concluding that T2 did not recognize all of the potential hazards ofManaging Director of Production & the process for making a gasoline additive, the report calls for improving ManufacturingGErAld ONdrEy (Frankfurt) the education of chemical engineering students on chemical reactivitySenior Editor JOHN blAylOck-cOOkE hazards. In fact, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE; Ad Production Manager New York; and the Accreditation Board for EngineeringscOtt JENkiNsAssociate Editor MArkEtiNG and Technology (ABET; Baltimore, Md.; have been specifi HOlly rOuNtrEE cally petitioned to work together to include reactive chemical educationcONtributiNG EditOrs Marketing Manager in baccalaureate chemical-engineering curricula across the country.suzANNE A. sHEllEy AudiENcE Chemical testing by the CSB found that the recipe used by T2 dEvElOPMENt two exothermic, or heat-producing, reactions; the first was an intendedcHArlEs butcHEr (U.K.) sylviA Senior Vice President, part of producing MCMT but the second, undesired reaction occurredPAul s. GrAd (Australia) Corporate Audience Development when the temperature rose above 390ºF, slightly higher than the normal production temperature. The cooling system likely malfunctioned due totEtsuO sAtOH (Japan) JOHN Vice President, a blockage in the water supply piping or a valve failure. Consequently,JOy lEPrEE (New Jersey) Audience Development Chemical the temperature and pressure inside the reactor began to rise uncontrol uncontrol- lAuriE HOfMANN lably in a runaway chemical reaction. Approximately ten minutes afterGErAld PArkiNsON Audience Marketing Director the initial cooling problem was reported, the reactor burst and its concon- tents exploded. “This is one of the largest reactive chemical accidents the tErry bEstEditOriAl Audience Development Manager CSB has investigated,” said Chairman John Bresland.AdvisOry bOArd The CSB found that although the two owners of T2 had undergrad-JOHN cArsON GEOrGE sEvEriNEJenike & Johanson, Inc. Fulfillment Manager uate degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering, they were likelydAvid dickEy unaware of the potential or the consequences of a runaway chemicalMixTech, Inc. JEN fElliNG reaction. The CSB noted that most baccalaureate-level, chemical-engi chemical-engi-MukEsH dOblE List Sales, Statlistics (203) 778-8700IIT Madras, India neering curricula in the U.S. do not specifically address recognition orHENry kistEr cONfErENcEs management of reactive hazards. The CSB has released a nine-minuteFluor Corp. dANA d. cArEy safety video, “Runaway: Explosion at T2 Laboratories,” containing a de de- Director, Global Event SponsorshipstrEvOr klEtz scription of the causes, consequences, lessons and recommendations re re-Loughborough University, U.K. PEck siM sulting from the accident.GErHArd krEysADECHEMA e.V. Senior Manager, In a statement issued by AIChE in reaction to the report, Scott Berger, Conference ProgrammingrAM rAMAcHANdrAN executive director of AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS)BOC bEAtriz suArEz said, “As this terrible tragedy emphasizes, we agree with CSB that chemi chemi- Director of Conference OperationsiNfOrMAtiON cal engineering students should learn more about process safety and aboutsErvicEsrObErt PAciOrEk cOrPOrAtE chemical reactivity, in particular.” Berger noted that CCPS produces pre pre-Senior VP & Chief Information Officer stEvE bArbEr pared lectures and teaching materials on process safety for U.S. universi VP, Financial Planning & Internal Audit ties through its Safety in Chemical Engineering Education (SACHE) pro pro-cHArlEs sANdsSenior Developer briAN NEssEN gram. Professors can obtain educational materials from a Website to useWeb/business Applications Architect Group Publisher in their classrooms. Meanwhile, SACHE offers an online certification program directly to chemical engineering students.HEAdquArtErs While the heat of the report is being focused on academia, the reality110 William Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038, U.S.Tel: 212-621-4900 Fax: 212-621-4694 is that the existing training deficit for practicing chemi chemi-EurOPEAN EditOriAl OfficEs cal engineers could take decades to flush itself out of theZeilweg 44, D-60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany workforce. Meanwhile, recent staff reductions and theTel: 49-69-2547-2073 Fax: 49-69-5700-2484 expanded responsibilities for each ChE raise the chancescirculAtiON rEquEsts:Tel: 847-564-9290 Fax: 847-564-9453 for additional gaps in process safety expertise. ThatFullfillment Manager; P.O. Box 3588, being the case, it’s up to each of us to be proactive andNorthbrook, IL 60065-3588 email: make sure that chemical engineers, young and old, stayAdvErtisiNG rEquEsts: see p. 66 current with the training they need. Our effort in thatFor photocopy or reuse requests: 800-772-3350 or info@copyright.comFor reprints: vein continues with the article on p. 49. ■ Rebekkah Marshall ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com oCtober 2009 5
  10. 10. Letters More questions of pressure relief The following two comments relate to the November 2008 article, “Pressure Relief System Design” (pp. 40–45). 1. On p. 40 the author writes: “Conventional pressure- relief valves are susceptible to back pressure. Such valves are not recommended when the total back pressure ex- ceeds 10% of the set pressure.” API Std 521 (Jan. 2007) states another criteria in section “... Where con- ventional safety relief valves are used, the relief manifold system should be sized to limit the built-up back pressure to approximately 10% of the set pressure of each relief valve that may be relieving concurrently.” Could you please clarify the confusion between total and built-up back-pressure? 2. Also, on p. 43, the k factor should be omitted from Equa- tion (2) for the Mach number calculation under Isother- mal conditions. See API Std 521 (Jan. 2007). Lionel Sheikboudhou Author replies 1. Conventional Pressure Relief Valves: In reality, conven- tional pressure relief valves are recommended when the built-up back pressure is within 10% of the set pressure. However, in actual practice, the picture is sometimes a bit more conservative. In many cases, in process data sheets, the built-up back pressure and the superimposed back pressures are not separately reported. Instead, the total back pressure is reported. The vendor also selects the re- lief valve based on this total back pressure. Take the case of a relief valve which has a set pressure of 5 bar(g). The superimposed back pressure is 0.4 bar(g) and the built-up back pressure in case of the contingency is 0.2 bar(g). Going by the built-up back pressure crite- rion, a conventional relief valve should satisfy the duty.Circle 07 on p. 66 or go to It works out to 4% of the set pressure (0.2 3 100/5 = 4). However, if the total back pressure criterion is applied, it works out to 12% of the set pressure [(0.4+0.2) 3 100/5]. A conventional relief valve would not be suitable in this case, and the user would need to go for balanced bellows. The total back pressure criterion is followed in many cases and results in a more conservative design. 2. The k factor in the Mach Number formula: The previous edition of API 521 had this k factor included in the for- mula for Mach Number. However, in the latest edition, it has been removed. In any case, k factors are in the range of 1.1 to 1.2 for hydrocarbons, and after taking the square root, the difference in Mach Numbers with k and without k would not be significant. Siddhartha Mukherjee Lurgi India Co. Ltd. Do you have — If so — Send them, • Ideas to air? for our Letters column, to • Feedback about our articles? Rebekkah Marshall Chemical Engineering, • omments about today’s engi- C Access Intelligence, neering practice or education? 110 William St., 11th floor • ob-related problems or gripes J New York, NY 10038; to share?
  11. 11. Seeking new solutions.Innovation by Berndorf!Long term experience supplying individual Visit us at:units along with complete steel belt systems, Sulphur Show Vancouver, Canadaequipped with high-quality steel belts from November 8 - 11 Booth: 15Berndorf Band, make us application-driven Chem Showsolutions providers. New York November 17 - 19Due to carful selection of high quality Booth: 461materials and new state of the art production Berndorf Belt Technologyfacilities, our goal is to ensure the customers &will receive best results with process systems Berndorf Belt Systemsand steel belts made by Berndorf. Elgin, IL 60124, USA Phone (1)800-393-8450 Fax (1)847-931-5299 Circle 08 on p. 66 or go to
  12. 12. CalendarNORTH AMERICA Economy (ACEEE; Washington, D.C.), the Precourt Inst.Process Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Indusry, for Energy Efficiency (Stanford University), and the Cali-with Special Emphasis on Continuous Manufactur- fornia Institute for Energy and Environment (Universitying. American Chemical Society Professional Education of California) . Phone: 202-507-4034; Web: beccconference.(Washington, D.C.). Phone: 800-872-4508 ; Web: org/ Washington, D.C. November 15–18Durham, N.C. Nov. 2–4 2009 Chem Show (53rd CPI Exposition). In-AAPS Annual Meeting and Expo. American Assn. ternational Exposition Co. (Westport, Conn.). Phone:of Pharmaceutical Scientists (Arlington, Va.). Phone: 203-221-9232; Web: chemshow.com703-243-2800; Web: New York Nov. 17–19Los Angeles Nov. 8–12 2009 Eastern Analytical Symposium & Exposition.AIChE Annual Meeting. American Institute of Chemi- Eastern Analytical Symposium, Inc. (Montchanin, Del.).cal Engineers (AIChE; New York). Phone: 800-242-4363; Phone: 203-485-4633; Web: eas.orgWeb: Somerset, N.J. Nov. 16–18Nashville, Tenn. Nov. 8–13 SOCMA 88th Annual Dinner. Society of ChemicalIntroduction to Biopharmaceutical Manufactur- Manufacturers & Affliliates (SOCMA; Washington, D.C.).ing. IBC Life Sciences (Westborough, Mass.). Phone: Phone: 202-721-4165; Web: socma.com800-858-4881; Web: New York Dec. 7Boston Nov. 9–10 Lab Automation 2010. Assn. for Lab Automation (Ge-3rd Annual Behavior, Energy & Climate Change neva, Ill.). Phone: 708-486-0747; Web: labautomation.orgConference. American Council for an Energy-Efficient Palm Springs, Calif. Jan. (2010) 20–21 A lot of people don’t know we’ve had SEMCO since 1992. See, our engineers can even prevent breakdowns in communication. That’s right, MAC bought SEMCO back in 1992. So if and when you need SEMCO components or replacement parts, look no further than us. To find out more, call MAC at 1-800-821-2476 or email us at Circle 09 on p. 66 or go to
  13. 13. 3rd ACEEE Forum on Energy Efficiency in Agri-culture. The American Council for an Energy-EfficientEconomy (Washington, D.C.). Phone: 202-507-4033;, Wisc. Feb. (2010) 7–10Corrosion 2010. NACE International (Houston). Phone:281-228-6213; Web: nace.orgSan Antonio, Tex. March (2010) 14–18EuropEExpoSolidos 2009, 5th International Exhibition forthe Technology and processing of Solids. Profei, S.L.(Barcelona); Phone: +34 932 386 868;Web: exposolidos.comBarcelona, Spain Nov. 17–19New Horizons in Catalysis. Scientific Update (EastSussex, U.K.). Phone: +44 (0) 1435 873062; Web:, Germany Dec. 3–4ASIA & ElSEwHErEM-plas 2009: 4th International plastics and rub-ber Trade Fair for Malaysia. Messe Düsseldorf NorthAmerica (Chicago). Phone: 312-781-5180; Web: Circle 10 on p. 66 or go to Lumpur, Malaysia Nov. 4–72009 pacific rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnol-ogy and Bioenergy. Biotechnology Industry Organiza-tion (Washington, D.C.). Phone: 202-962-9237; Web: bio.orgHonolulu, Hawaii Nov. 8–11power Bangladesh 2009. CEMS USA (New York),in association with CEMS Bangladesh (Dhaka). Phone:347-543-5543; Web: powerbangladesh.comDhaka, Bangladesh Nov. 12–14Inchem Tokyo 2009. The Japan Society of ChemicalEngineers, and Japan Management Assn. (Tokyo). Phone:03-3434-1410; Fax: 03-3434-3593; Web: Nov. 18–20East Asian and pacific Area Corrosion Conference2009. NACE International (Houston), in conjunction withNACE Malaysia. Phone: 281-228-6213; Web: Lumpur, Malaysia Nov. 23–259th ASCopE Conference and Exhibition. TheASEAN Council on Petroleum (ASCOPE; Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia). Phone: +66 2 615 1255; Web: ascope2009.comBangkok, Thailand Nov. 26–28CphI India. UBM International Media (Maarssen, Neth-erlands). Phone: +31 346 559 405;Web: cphi-india.comMumbai, India Dec. 1–3 ■ Suzanne Shelley Circle 11 on p. 66 or go to ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com oCtober 2009 9
  14. 14. Circle 12 on p. 66 or go to
  15. 15. Edited by Gerald Ondrey October 2009 SRUWorld’s largest refinery starts up CBA SRU incinerator Bypassa novel sulfur-removal system (99.0 % recovery)T wo sulfur-treatment technologies are being used together for the first timein a facility that is now starting up at ery’s CBA sulfur recov- ery complex, which has no tail-gas treatment SRU incinerator Bypass CBA CBA SRUReliance Petroleum’s Jamnagar Export unit (TGTU), could not (99.0 % TGTU (0.9 %Refinery (Jamnagar, India). Designed by achieve higher than recovery) recovery)Black & Veatch (B&V, Overland Park, 99.2% SRE. SRUKan.;, the facility com- “The unique pairing incineratorbines three Claus sub-dewpoint Cold- of three CBA trains Bypass CBA SRUBed-Adsorption (CBA) sulfur trains with a common con- (99.0 % recovery)with a single, conventional amine-based ventional tail-gas unittail-gas treatment unit to process up to emerged as the best2,025 metric tons per day (m.t./d) of sul- solution,” says Angela Slavens, Black & down of just one of the three dedicatedfur. The facility treats acid gases from Veatch’s vice president and sulfur tech- TGTUs for the Claus configuration.a new, 600,000-bbl/d crude-processing nology manager. She says the capital cost The operating cost of the CBA systemexpansion that makes the refinery the was comparable to using a more conven- is lower than that of the conventionalworld’s largest, with a total capacity of tional application of three modified Claus option because the common TGTU for1.2 million bbl/d. sulfur recovery units (SRUs), each with a the three trains uses approximately Reliance wanted its new refinery to be dedicated TGTU. However, the selected 60% less steam, 30% less power, and re-identical to the original refinery, includ- configuration provides for higher overall duces personnel and maintenance costsing the sulfur recovery facilities, which sulfur-complex-recovery efficiency on a by about 50%. Overall, Slavens noteswere designed by B&V in 1999. However, yearly rolling average than the conven- that the novel configuration addressesin the interim, sulfur recovery efficiency tional approach, due to the fact that a Reliance’s objectives because it mini-(SRE) requirements increased from shutdown of the common TGTU will re- mizes changes to the original SRU de-98.7% to 99.9%, so it was impossible to sult in a less significant effect on overall sign while also affording the numerousinstall a clone facility. The original refin- recovery efficiency than an upset or shut- benefits described above.This wastewater-treatment technologycan cut sludge by 50% or more Retarded polymerization a latent-acid catalyst that canA biological wastewater-treatment technol- ogy can reduce sludge by 50% or morein some situations compared to the amount depends on identifying and selecting indig- enous HC-consuming species that are young and entering the log-growth phase of their be added to highly reactive pre-polymer resins enabling them to be stored for at leastgenerated by a traditional activated-sludge lifecycle and subjecting them to a proprie- three months prior to con-wastewater-treatment process, according tary nutrient package that can be continu- trolled polymerization at 120°Cto The Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.; ously adjusted inside a bioreactor. has been commercialized by bac2 (Southampton, U.K.; Actual sludge reductions vary “No two bug cocktails are the same,” com- alternativebased on the particulars of the water stream ments Peder Danielsen, commercial direc- catalysts typically retard vio-and the specific contaminants at the site. tor at Dow. The faster-splitting bacteria lent polymerization reactions The lowered sludge generation can sig- maintain a lower cell concentration and for just a few hours, or requirenificantly extend the life of a landfill and allow more surface area for breaking down activation temperatures abovelower disposal costs. Dow began marketing hydrocarbons, Danielsen explains. ACT is a 200°C — levels that are im-the technology last month to the petroleum once-through process with no recycling, as practical for most polymerrefining industry. in activated sludge processes. manufacturing processes, Known as Automated Chemostat Treat- The bacterial cocktail and nutrient pack- says the company.ment (ACT), the technology was developed age is coupled with a control system capable Dubbed CSr10, the catalyst is expected to be particularlyby BioPetroClean (New York; www.biopet- of constant inline monitoring, which allows useful where polymeric as a more efficient way to re- operators to avoid upsets in the bioreactor, mix production is performedduce levels of total petroleum hydrocarbons and so improves process reliability. ACT, far away from molding opera-(HCs) in either fresh or salt wastewater. which has been successfully demonstrated tions, because it enables saferACT is based on the application of a custom- at several locations around the world, can be transportation and storage ofized bacterial cocktail to a wastewater tank. applied to wastewater on a continuous basis, the bulk materials and reducesThe bacteria mix is tailored for a specific ap- as well as applied on a one-time basis to a handling costs, says the firm.plication and a particular plant. The process particular wastewater batch.Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit numberon p. 66, or use the website designation. ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com oCtober 2009 11
  16. 16. C hementato RImitating nature forimproved CO2 captureR esearchers from the University of Sydney (Australia; are develop-ing structures, analogous to some sea crea-tures, for capturing carbon dioxide that isreleased when producing hydrogen from bio- right) with much-smaller (less than 2 nm)mass. The project, funded by German energy and more-numerous pores, with an even Salt anticakercompany E.ON AG (Düsseldorf), will use re- greater capacity to capture CO2, due to its last month, akzonobel (am-newable sources such as wood and agricul- large surface area. The structure, composed sterdam, the netherlands;tural waste, and plastics, for producing H2. of calcium oxides, combines chemically with intro- “We found that calcium-oxide-based sor- CO2, to produce calcium carbonate. When duced mta, a new anti-cakingbents were the most effective and Echinoder- heated to 700°C, the structure releases the agent for salt. the product — a complex of iron and meso-mata — sea creatures which include starfish CO2. Since the structure has a high temper- tartrate — is recommended forand sea urchins — already provided the per- ature resistance and is preserved, the pro- membrane chlorine electroly-fect templates for the structure we sought,” cess is reversible and can be applied many sis, instead of the current fer-says team leader Andrew Harris, of the times. The team aims for up to 1,000 cycles. rocyanide. the company saysuniversity’s School of Chemical and Biomo- Harris says some materials used for car- that using mta eliminates thelecular Engineering. Those creatures have bon dioxide capture, such as lime, are not risk of forming explosive nitro-a skeleton of calcium carbonate (photo, left), as effective. When heated, its pores tend to gen trichloride, lowers powerwhich is ideal for carbon capture, he says. collapse or coalesce and the lime cannot be consumption and increases The team aims to create a structure (photo, used repeatedly. the lifetime of membranes and electrodes. the use of the cyanide-free mta also reducesThis CO2-capture process promises the environmental impact of deicing have half the energy cost of MEA Biosensor for bacteriaB oth carbon dioxide and sulfur components are removed from fluegas in a reversibleprocess being developed at Pacific North- vimetric capacity of 19 wt.% for CO2, com- pared to 7 wt.% for a monoethanolamine (MEA) solution, the conventional absorbent researchers from rovira i Vigili University (tarragona,west National Laboratory (PNNL, Richland, for CO2. This is because MEA must be used Spain; have de- veloped a biosensor that canWash.; The process uses a in an aqueous solution, with a concentra- immediately detect low levels ofsolvent that combines liquid organic bases tion limited to about 30% to avoid corrosion Salmonella typhi, the bacteria(amidine and guanidine) and alcohols to ab- problems. In contrast, the organic solvent that causes typhoid fever. thesorb CO2 and sulfur compounds as ionic liq- uses alcohol in place of water, so Heldebrant sensor is composed of carbonuid alkylcarbonates, says David Heldebrant, says the energy cost for stripping promises nanotubes and synthetic Dnalead research scientist for the project. The to be half that of an MEA system. fragments, which generate anpollutants are stripped for disposal by heat- So far, the process has been tested in the electrical signal when they linking the solvent to less than 140°C, then the laboratory. PNNL plans to scale up to 100 up with the pathogen. a singlesolvent is recycled. mL to do process design, then to the 1-L Salmonella cell can be identi- Heldebrant says the solvent has a gra- scale for tests on boiler fluegas. fied in a 5-ml sample, and the sensor can make quantitative measurements of up to 1,000Removing Hg from soil bacteria/ml. measurements can be performed in real time.A n in-situ method that removes mercury from soil, sludge and other industrialwaste has been patented (U.S. Patent 7 589 then migrates to the rod — driven by the greater vapor pressure of Hg, as shown by laboratory testing — where it reacts with sul- in contrast, traditional methods require 1–2 days.248) by scientists at Brookhaven National fur to form a stabilized mercury sulfide. After Recycling LiLaboratory (BNL; Upton, N.Y.; sufficient time, the rod can be removed for the german Federal ministrygov). The method shows promise as a simple safe disposal at a hazardous waste facility. for the environment, natureand inexpensive way to decontaminate large So far, the method has been demonstrated Conservation and nuclearareas tainted with low levels of Hg, where in laboratory trials with Hg-contaminated Safety has awarded €6.7current Hg-extraction methods are expen- sand. After 50 days, the Hg concentration million to Chemetall gmbhsive and impractical, says BNL. in a 3-in.-dia. area around the rod is found (Frankfurt, germany; www. In BNL’s ISMS (in situ mercury stabili- to be 42 times lower than at the beginning to set up a pilotzation) method, a porous rod containing a of the test. Work is now underway to scale plant for recycling of lithium ionsulfur-based reagent (such as sulfur polymer up to larger areas. BNL believes a single rod batteries. Chemetall is part of a consortium of companies par-cement, according to the patent), is inserted will eventually be able to remediate a “very (Continues on p. 16)directly into the contaminated soil. Mercury large area of mercury contamination.” 12 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com oCtober 2009
  17. 17. Choose a better way tomanage your information...Do you work in a world of last-minute data ❚ Increase plant uptime – increase revenuecleanup and “big bang” data handover? ❚ Enhance compliance and safety and minimiseGaps in your compliance information? reputational riskInternational teams struggling to ❚ Minimise financial and schedule riskssynchronise their data and activities? ❚ Reduce faults and expensive rework ❚ Revamp and extend the life of your plant more easilyAll compounded by your reliance on rigid, ❚ See clear project progress against plan, including KPIsinflexible data warehouse technology? ❚ Collaborate reliably with international teams, subcontractors, even clientsThere is another way... AVEVA NET can manage data of any type and make itAVEVA NET’s specialist Information Management accessible and useful, in both AVEVA and third-partycapabilities, across the design, engineering, and operations phases of both Plantand Marine industries, manage your information to Choose a better way. Choose AVEVA NET -help you: the brand for Information Management.Contact us to learn more! EVAEmail us at, quoting reference ANAD09, or find your regional AV N ETcontact on our website at Visit or take a MIClook at our AVEVA NET plant Owner Operator microsite at R OSITE S Head office: High Cross Madingley Road Cambridge CB3 0HB UK Circle 13 on p. 66 or go to
  18. 18. C hementato RMaking acrylic acid from glycerin Development Organization (Kawasaki, Japan). The company plans to finishN ippon Shokubai Co. (Nisshoku; Osaka, Japan; isdeveloping a process for making acrylic Nisshoku is now optimizing the glyc- erin dehydration step at the laboratory scale, aiming to produce acrolein with a bench-scale test and pilot-facility design this year, and begin installation and op- eration of the pilot facility at its Himehiacid from glycerin directly obtained as yield of 80–90 mol%, and is also investing site for demonstrating acrolein produc-a byproduct from biodiesel-fuel (BDF) ¥2 billion ($20 million) over 2009–2010 tion in 2010. The basic design of a com-production. In 2007, Nisshoku demon- for a pilot facility, with support from the mercial plant is planned for 2011, with astrated, under a grant from the Research New Energy and Industrial Technology study for commercialization by 2012.Institute of Innovative Technology forthe Earth (Kyoto, Japan;,a process that co-produces BDF and Dandelion rubberglycerin with 98% purity from vegeta-ble-based biomass, such as palm oil. Thecompany has produced 20 ton/yr of fatty S cientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME; Aachen, Germany; www. sians and Germans — has not caused any allergies so far, making it ideal for use in hospitals. This “new” rubber mayacid methyl ester (FAME) with 99 mol% have genetically en- also become important if the fungal in-yield, and 2 ton/yr of glycerin at their gineered Russian dandelions to make it fection afflicting South American andTsukuba Research Laboratory. Now, it easier to extract the plant’s milky latex. Southeast Asian rubber crops reachesplans to use this glycerin to make acrylic The scientists identified the enzyme re- epidemic proportions, causing a collapseacid, a precursor for making plastics, sponsible for the rapid polymerization of the natural latex industry, says IME.coatings, adhesives and elastomers. that occurs when dandelions are first For large-scale production of dande- In the process, glycerin is dehydrated cut, and switched it off. As a result, four lion rubber (as well as other chemicalsover a new, supported acidic/basic catalyst to five times more latex can be obtained. produced by the plant, such as inulin,to form acrolein, which is then oxidized If cultivated on a large scale, every a natural sweetener), the researchersinto acrylic acid using the company’s hectare would produce 500–1,000 kg of are working to cultivate the engineeredproprietary oxidation catalyst. In conven- latex per growing season, says IME. dandelion using conventional breedingtional routes, acrolein is made from pro- Dandelion rubber — produced dur- techniques. This effort will take aboutpylene oxide by a two-step process. ing World War II by Americans, Rus- five years, says IME. Lower operating costs with variable pitch rotary screw vacuum pumps COBRA variable pitch dry screw pumps help optimize vacuum efficiency and reduce operating costs by combining high flow rates with low power consumption and reduced utilities. Contact us today for a free cost analysis for your process application. Visit us at the Chem Show November 17-19 New York, NY Booth #210 Circle 14 on p. 66 or go to 14 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com oCtober 2009
  19. 19. Circle 15 on p. 66 or go to
  20. 20. C hementato R SiThis newly commercialized, organic semiconductor 11 12 13 14 1is solutions-processible 10 2 3T he first commercially available, penta- cene-based, organic semiconductor ma-terial is sufficiently soluble to render it where lower-cost transistors are desirable. 9 These include displays for handheld elec- tronic devices, sensors in radio-frequency 8 7 6 5 4amenable to solution-depositing methods, identification (RFID) tags, instrumentationaccording to 3M (St. Paul, Minn.; www.3m. readouts and other display formats. Sicom). The company recently began market- Manufacturing TIPS-pentacene-baseding the product as semiconductor L-20856 electronics does not require the high-capi-(TIPS-pentacene) for low-cost transistors. tal-cost equipment associated with the fab- Substitution of the five-ring system at rication of traditional silicon-based semicon- (Continued from p. 12)specific locations (diagram) allows suffi- ductors. Also, environmentally hazardous ticipating in the LithoRec R&Dcient solubility in a range of hydrocarbon chemicals used in photolithographic etching project, which aims to developand halogenated solvents. With enhanced are not necessary. recycling technologies for Li-ionsolubility, the material can be coated onto Developed and studied by Professor John batteries for electric cars (seesubstrates using solution deposition meth- Anthony at the University of Kentucky also CE, September, pp. 16–20).ods, such as spin-coating, spray coating and (Lexington, Ky.;, the function- Existing recycling tech-ink-jet printing. alized five-ring aromatic structure exhibits niques focus on recycling the The ability to utilize conventional solu- semiconductor performance comparable to small Li-ion batteries usedtion-depositing methods in manufacturing amorphous silicon, as well as good stabil- in portable electronics, with little or no recovery of lithium.electronic structures makes high-volume, ity in opaque containers. The p-type semi- No process currently exists tolow-cost production possible, explains Larry conductor has a solubility of 6.57 wt.% in recycle car Li-ion batteries, es-Ennett, 3M electronics-markets business- toluene at 23°C. As a solid, TIPS-pentacene pecially the recovery of Li fromdevelopment manager. The manufacturing is highly crystalline, but can be solution-de- the cathode and electrolytes,advantages make TIPS-pentacene attractive posited onto flexible surfaces in thicknesses says a semiconductor material in applications between 30 and 100 nm. Recording operatorsA photocatalyst moves closer to commercialization Last month, Longwatch, Inc. (Norwood, Mass.; www.long-T his Fall, Sumitomo Chemical Co. (Tokyo; will beginshipping samples of Ilumio, a new photo- discovered that platinum-doped tungsten- oxide nanoparticles (100–150-nm dia.) dis- persed in aqueous solution exhibited 10 introduced the Operator’s Console Recorder, a software module that au-catalyst, which is 10 times more effective times higher activity compared to that of tomatically records imagesthan existing titanium oxide catalysts for the existing photocatalyst products. The being shown of HMI (human-deodorizing and antifouling under weak WO3-based catalyst demonstrated a high machine interface) or SCADAroom light. The company plans to install a performance for decomposing volatile or- (supervisory control and data acquisition) operator’s displays.commercial facility at its Niihama Plant, ganic compounds, as well as for reducing The module takes its signalswhich will have a production capacity of the odors from smoke and diapers after 16 directly from from each HMIseveral tons per year when operational in h exposure to fluorescent lamps. Because screen’s video-software driver,the second half of 2010. Sumitomo will tar- of Ilumio’s superior hydrophilic properties, so it records the actual videoget the wall-paper, household and automo- the company believes the catalyst can also being sent to the HMI. Thebile interior materials markets, and antici- provide antifogging and self-cleaning ben- software can accommodatepates near-term annual sales of ¥1 billion efits compared to existing ultraviolet-radi- video signals from an unlimited($10 million) for Ilumio. ation-driven TiO2-based catalysts. Ilumio number of HMIs to show what In 2008, the company developed a tita- also exhibits antibacterial behavior. operators were watching at thenium-oxide-based Ilumio, and in collabora- Ilumio will be available in two forms: as time of an event, alarm or pro- cess upset. ❑tion with Ryu Abe, an associate professor an aqueous dispersion (as described above),at Hokkaido University (Sapporo, Japan), and as a mixed binder-coating material.Modular design would shorten construction times for nuclear plantsS mall-scale, factory-built nuclear power plants could dramatically reduce con-struction times and capital costs for developed at the national laboratory. The reactors would be built in a mod- ular fashion, with standardized compo- 100 MWe plant, Sandia researcher Paul Pickard explains. Modular-plant, initial- capital-cost requirements would there-nuclear-based power generation. A re- nents manufactured in a factory and fore be proportionally lower than cur-search team at Sandia National Labora- shipped to the plant site. If modular rent, larger-scale plant designs.tory (Albuquerque, N.M.; www.sandia. designs were to be adopted on a com- The research team estimates thegov) is seeking an industry partner to mercial scale, the per-unit costs are es- small-scale nuclear plants could eventu-commercialize a modular reactor design timated at as low as $250 million for a (Continues on p. 18) 16 CHEMICAL ENgINEERINg www.CHE.COM OCTObER 2009
  21. 21. Circle 16 on p. 66 or go to
  22. 22. C hementato RCorn starch may have a future as a foam packaging materialF oams based on corn starch may one day be substituted for polystyrenefoams through technology being de- and the other a fiber-reinforced foam. In the former process, corn starch powder is mixed with plasticizers and packaging material. In the second pro- cess, cellulose fibers from wood pulp- ing are dispersed in an aqueous starchveloped by the Agricultural Research about 20% water and put through an slurry at about 100°C. The mixtureService (ARS, Beltsville, Md.; www.ars. extruder to produce a solid string. The is cooled, more starch is added, The ARS Western Regional material is dried and pelletized, then with plasticizer, and the material is ex-Research Center (Albany, Calif.) is the pellets are pre-expanded, put into truded and pelletized. In this case theworking on two processes. One makes a molds and heated to above 120°C to pellets are melted in a second extruderproduct similar to expanded polystyrene form molded shapes, such as cups or at about 170°C and emerge from the ex- truder as a string of expanded foam be- cause of the sudden pressure drop. In aModular design of power, the small-scale nuclear plants commercial process the material would (Continued from p. 16) would be an order of magnitude smaller be extruded as a sheet, from which din-ally achieve construction times of around than traditional nuclear power plants. ner plates or other shallow containersone-half to one-third as long as the time The Sandia system includes breeder could be produced under heat and pres-needed to construct a large-scale reac- reactor technology that generates and sure, says Gregory Glenn, a researchtor, although construction times vary consumes its own fuel, with a liquid- plant physiologist.greatly depending on locations and sodium-cooled reactor core. An advantage of the technology isconditions. Other advantages to the The modular construction model that it uses inexpensive starch, avail-small-scale design are efficiency, which could work well in remote areas, where able from corn, potatoes or wheat, sayseclipses other current nuclear designs, the electrical grid cannot accommodate Glenn. A drawback is that while the ma-and times between refueling, which large reactors, or for powering military terial “looks like polystyrene” it absorbscould be upwards of 10 years, compared bases. The design also allows for adapt- moisture, so the researchers are seekingto 18 months with large power plants. ing to incremental needs of grids in de- a suitable water-resistant coating as Designed to produce 100 to 300 MW veloping areas. part of the ongoing development. ■ Circle 17 on p. 66 or go to
  23. 23. MEDIAN SALARY ACCORDING TO INDUSTRY Source: American Institute for Chemical Engineering (AIChE) Automotive Environmental engineering Newsfront Aerospace/Aeronautics/Astronautics Safety and healthEmploymEnt Equipment manufacturing Materials and composites Foods and beverages Natural gasoutlook Government Public utilities Paints and coatings Electronics/Computers Soaps/detergents/perfumes/cosmetics Specialty chemicals Biotechnology/life sciences Soft economy means Research and development Plastics and rubber products fewer chemical Other Pharmaceuticals engineering jobs, Metals/metallurgical products/minerals processing Forest products/pulp/paper but salaries hold steady Commodity chemicals Alternative energyA continued economic contraction Agricultural chemicals remains the dominant feature Synthetic fibers/textiles/films of the employment landscape Software for chemical engineers, with Nuclear energy and allied fieldsfewer job openings and choosier cor- Design /Construction/Consultingporate hiring processes, but chemical Petrochemicals and petroleum productsengineering salaries are strong, ac- Industrial gasescording to those closest to the chemi- Catalystscal engineering job front. Despite Oilfield services and explorationoverall job losses in the chemical pro- Petroleum Production/refiningcess industries (CPI), demand for cre- Business/finance/law/insuranceative chemical engineers with broad Educationskill sets remain strong, which helps 90,000 100,000 110,000 120,000 130,000 140,000support higher salaries. 95,000 105,000 115,000 125,000 135,000 Larry Jacobsen, executive director U.S. dollarsof the National Society for Profes- Figure 1. Median salaries by industry sector, according to data collected bysional Engineers (NSPE; Alexandria, AIChE. Several areas — electronics/computers, business/finance/law, automotive,Va.;, says chemical forest products/pulp/paper, industrial gases, oilfield services, paints and coatings,engineers with creativity, as well as safety and health, soaps/detergents/cosmetics, synthetic fibers — have a number of respondents lower than that considered necessary to ensure statistical accuracyexperience that spans multiple areaswithin the CPI, will always be in de- tic mean, the median is not affected by trum have risen consistently for themand because they have the ability to extreme values. past 15 years.solve tough engineering problems. While salaries have moved higher, Consistent with expectations, earn- Survey data from multiple sources the range of salaries for chemical ings increased with work experience,indicate that salaries for chemical engineers is significant, points out the AIChE survey shows. The medianengineers have generally increased NSPE’s Jacobsen. Top students from salary for AIChE survey respondentsover the past two years. Respondents the best engineering schools will with less than six years of time onto the biannual survey of the Ameri- likely command significantly higher the job is $72,500. The median sal-can Institute of Chemical Engineers salaries than the rest. Similarly, com- ary moves to $88,000, $101,000 and(AIChE; New York; re- panies pursuing the best performers $113,000 as experience grows to 6–10port salary gains of 7% over 2007 (the in the workplace — especially those years, 11–15 years and 16–20 years,last time the survey was conducted). with the ability to bring knowledge respectively. The largest group of re-The median chemical engineering sal- and insight from one industry sec- spondents to the AIChE survey hadary for 2009 is $110,950 (compared to tor to another — will drive salaries 26–30 years of work experience and103,730 in 2007). Data collected by the higher. Data from the AIChE survey showed a median salary of $130,000.NSPE indicate that the 2009 median indicate that the median salary forsalary for chemical engineers in that the lowest decile of the responding Recruitment landscapepool is $105,000, a 2% increase over population is $69,230, while the me- Although experienced engineersthe 2008 value. Medians are consid- dian salary among the top-paid tenth seem to be enjoying solid compen-ered the preferred measure of typical of the responding group is $180,000 sation levels, companies looking tosalaries, because, unlike the arithme- (Table 1). Salaries across the spec- recruit and hire are often taking ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com oCtober 2009 19