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2009 HEAT
Page 40

nanotechnology heat exchangers

Page 34

Vol. 116 No. 2 February 2009

Protective Equipment
Oil From Sand Flow Measurement & Control Water Reuse Systems

Facts at Your Fingertips: Selecting a Conveyor

Pipe Sizing

01_CHE_021509_COV.indd 1 1/23/09 2:25:48 PM

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Circle 01 on p. 62 or go to

Dow Chemical 4-08.indd 1 1/23/09 11:02:10 AM

More of what you want Convey pneumatically to/from
multiple discharge/inlet points
from a bulk solids conveyor: Flexicon pneumatic con-
veying systems transport a
broad range of bulk materi-
Flexicon flexible screw conveyors deliver als over short or long dis-
unique advantages you need to improve tances between single or
productivity and quality while cutting cost: multiple inlet and dis-
charge points in small to
high capacities. Offered in
Gentle conveying of bulk ingredients from large both positive pressure or
pellets to sub-micron powders vacuum configurations,
Sanitary conveying: enclosed tube prevents from single-point up-and-
in installations to mobile
contamination of product and plantcleans units to cross-plant sys-
quickly, thoroughly. Available to 3-A standards tems complete with rotary
Multi-directional conveying: vertically, horizontally airlock valves, pick-up
adapters, filter receivers,
or at any angle, around, over, or under obstruc- cyclone separators, fill/pass
tions, to nearby or distant plant locations valves, hand-held pick-up wands, silos, day bins and more.
Positive conveying of free-flowing products
Available designed, constructed and finished to industrial
and sanitary standards.
as well as materials and blends that separate,
fluidize, degrade, pack, cake, smear, seize,
or plug
Dust-free bulk bag
Simple conveying: rugged inner screw is the
untying, retying, removal
only moving part contacting material, increasing
reliability while cutting maintenance Revolutionary discharger
features a SPOUT-LOCK
clamp ring* that creates a
high-integrity, clean seal
between bag spout and
hopper, preventing contam-
ination and dust during
hook-up and discharge.
TELE-TUBE telescoping
tube* raises the clamp ring
SANITARY to make connection, then
STANDARDS lowers, applying continual
tension to keep spout taut
as bag empties/elongates,
preventing dead spots and
flow restrictions. POWER-

Less of what you dont: CINCHER flow control

valve* cinches the spout concentrically for easy, leak-proof
retying of partially empty bags. BAG-VAC dust collector cre-
ates negative pressure within dust-tight system to collapse
Flexicon conveyors offer solutions to problems that can exist with other empty bags prior to retying and disconnection, eliminating
types of conveyor systems: dust from manual flattening of empty bags.

Contamination due to crevices, separators, Whether you need a basic conveyor or

internal bearings, filters, seals, air streams, a plant-wide bulk handling system Connect bulk bags quickly,
or cleaning difficulty engineered with custom conveyors, bulk
bag equipment, and weighing systems, easily, safely at floor level
Limited angles of incline or straight-only
Flexicon offers precisely what you want. New SWING-DOWN bulk
conveyor paths And eliminates precisely what you dont. bag filler* lowers and
Product degradation due to high impact at pivots the fill head, stop-
elbows, crushing in troughs, or grinding ping it in a vertically-orient-
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fluidize, degrade, plug, pack, cake or smear Fax: 1 610 814 0600 an operator standing on the
Cost, wear, and/or maintenance of
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components such as blowers, compressors, UNITED KINGDOM Eliminates danger of step-
filters, separators, internal bearings, shaft seals, +44 (0)1227 374710 ping onto and over roller
chains, etc. AUSTRALIA conveyors to access rear
+61 (0)2 9482 4033 bag hooks and spout con-
nection collars, standing on
SOUTH AFRICA the conveyor with head and arms inserted beneath opera- +27 (0)41 453 1871 tional fill head components, and straining to pull bag spouts
upward over inflatable collars while reaching for bag inflator
buttons. Available to industrial, food, dairy and pharmaceuti-
Call for free,
new CD ROM
cal standards with numerous performance enhancements.

*Patent(s) granted and/or pending. 2005 Flexicon Corporation.


Flexicon Corporation has registrations and pending applications

for the trademark FLEXICON throughout the world.
Circle 04 on p. 62 or go to

Flexicon 4-07.indd 1 1/23/09 11:16:08 AM

Circle 05 on p. 62 or go to

Solutia 7-08.indd 1 1/23/09 11:22:09 AM

February 2009 In This Issue Volume 116, no. 2

5 Editors Page
Is change coming
to the CPI? The
new U.S. Presidential
administration brings with it a renewed
focus on science,
Cover story which has often
34 Cover Story NANO Know-How This brief been the missing link
introduction to nanotechnology provides a between the CPI,
basic understanding to those new to the field policy and public
11 Chementator Construction to begin on a departments
large solar plant in Spain; This centrifugal re- Letters...................... 6
actor/separator speeds up biodiesel produc- Calendar............... 8, 9
tion; A new syngas catalyst passes pilot tests;
A Ni-based syngas catalyst promises to slash Whos Who............. 32
reformer size and costs; A pilot-step closer Reader
to second-generation biofuels; Progress on Service page........... 62
a promising separation technology; Sonicat- Economic
ing slurries speed soil remediation; A sound Indicators.......... 63, 64
equipment & services
way to reuse low-temperature waste heat;
Commercialization nears for producing caro- 32D-1 Show Preview Interphex (North
tenoids from engineered yeasts; and more American Edition) TThe world's largest advertisers
pharmaceutical conference and exhibi- Product
19 Newsfront Oil From Sand The oil sands in- tion, Interphex, will be held again at the
dustry is growing fast, and so is its impact on Showcase............54, 55
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in
the environment Classified
New York from March 17 to 19, 2009.
23 Newsfront Taking the Plunge Chemical This show preview includes a sampling Advertising........5660
processors should begin looking into water of the equipment and services that can Advertiser Index...... 61
reuse systems now, as experts suggest tight- be found at the exhibition
ening water supplies will soon be a reality
32I-1 New Products & Services coming
across the U.S.
(International Edition) This compact in March
Engineering I/O block module handles up to 16 Look for: Feature Re-
signals; Level control, even for sticky ports on Compressed
27 Solids Processing Selecting a Conveyor
materials; Remove vapors from gases Gas Cylinder Safety;
Characteristics of flexible screw, aero-me-
with this line of disposable filters; This Gas Applications in
chanical, vacuum and pneumatic conveyors
dosing pump features a hydraulically Fine and Specialty
are discussed here
activated diaphragm; Shred big parts Chemistry; Combining
31 Facts At Your Fingertips Pipe Sizing with this compact system; A dew point Rupture Disk Devices
This one-page guide provides the formulas transmitter for when the pressure is on; with Safety Relief
needed to approximate friction factors, dis- A low-cost solution for remote moni- Valves; and Getting
charge, pressure drop, and pipe diameter toring and control; This module lets the Most Out of Your
40 Feature Report Part 1 Plate Heat Exchang- flowmeters communicate via fieldbus; Rupture Disk; A You
ers: Avoiding Common Misconceptions A This water distribution system is pre- and Your Job article
solid understanding of the critical areas presented validated; and more on Increasing Produc-
here will insure good performance tivity by Using Web
52 Focus Flow Measurement & Control 2.0 Tools; A Focus
44 Feature Report Part 2 Compact Heat Ex- This unit offers measurements for low on Milling & Grind-
changers: Improving Heat Recovery These flows in the millimeter range; Use this ing; News articles
units offer distinct advantages over shell-and- thickness gauge for ultrasonic clamp-on on Solar Energy; and
tube heat exchangers, as quantified by the ex- flowmeters; Remote mass flowmeter for Wireless Instrumenta-
ample presented here small lines in hazardous areas; A new tion & Networking;
48 Environmental Manager Eye-and-Face technology platform for flow computers Facts at Your Finger-
Personal Protective Equipment Protecting is introduced; Measure mass or volu- tips on Membranes;
the eyes and face in the workplace is impera- metric energy flow with this meter; This An Achema Show
tive to preventing the estimated 1020% of Coriolis mass flowmeter is corrosion-re- Preview; and more
work-related eye injuries that result in tem- sistant; Custom calibrate these variable
porary or permanent vision loss area flowmeters; and more Cover: David Whitcher

Chemical Engineering February 2009 3

02_CHE_021509_TOC.indd 3 1/26/09 8:38:53 AM




y` >`} v i> * ii

Circle 06 on p. 62 or go to

37!  #HEM%NG!2INDD 0-

swagelok 6-06.indd 1 1/23/09 11:36:49 AM

Winner of Eight Jesse H. Neal
Awards for Editorial Excellence
Editors Page

Published since 1902

Is change coming to the CPI?
An Access Intelligence Publication lthough the inauguration of the U.S.s 44th President is now fading into
Publisher Art & Design
memory, the changes that Barack Obamas Administration will bring to
the chemical process industries (CPI) are only beginning to reveal them-
Publisher Art Director/ selves. One thing is very clear, though: In these tough economic times, some Editorial Production Manager
very important policy issues are on the agenda with direct implications to our
Production field. At the top of the list are plant security and energy, both of which are
Rebekkah j. Marshall
Editor in Chief MICHAEL D. KRAUS complicated by a longstanding public-relations challenge. VP of Production & Manufacturing As change in Washington gets off the ground, an additional shift in leader-
Dorothy Lozowski
Steve Olson
ship has already taken root on the other side of the Potomac River. In Septem-
Managing Editor Director of Production & ber of last year Cal Dooley, a 14-year member of the U.S. House of Representa-
tives, officially took reigns as president and CEO of the American Chemistry
Senior Editor WILLIAM C. GRAHAM Council (ACC; Arlington, Va.; With first-hand
kate torzewski
Ad Production Manager appreciation for advocacy in Washington, Dooley is wasting no time reaching
Assistant Editor
out to the new legislative and executive branches of government.
Holly Rountree
One of the first major steps Dooley took after the November election in-
Contributing Editor Marketing Manager volves a letter and paper detailing ACCs clean-energy economic-recovery proposals, both of which were sent on December 18, 2008 to congressional
CORRESPONDENTS Development leadership, committee leaders in both parties and the Obama transition.
Charles ButcheR (U.K.)
Sylvia sierra Dooley writes, The ACC supports new government investment in clean
Senior Vice President, energy programs because these programs create jobs, improve the nations
Paul S. Grad (Australia) Corporate Audience Development energy security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. American chemistry
Tetsuo Satoh (Japan) John Rockwell also plays an important role in achieving these goals. Our industry produces
Vice President,
Audience Development Chemical
materials that make the rest of the economy more energy efficient (for in-
Joy LePree (New Jersey) stance, insulation, light-weight vehicle parts). We also make materials used
Gerald parkinson
Laurie Hofmann in clean energy technologies (for instance, wind turbines, solar panels, lith-
Audience Marketing Director
(California) ium-ion batteries). At the same time, American chemistry invests in technol-
Editorial Terry Best ogies and services that improve the energy efficiency of our own operations
Advisory Board Audience Development Manager
(for instance, high efficiency combined heat and power systems). Given that
John Carson
Jenike & Johanson, Inc. George Severine our products are the fundamental building blocks of green technologies and
David Dickey Fulfillment Manager energy efficiency, we believe our workforce is employed in green jobs. It is
MixTech, Inc.
Christie Lamont
imperative that these domestic jobs be retained and expanded.
Mukesh Doble List Sales, World Data 561-393-8200 From the Executive Summary of the American Recovery and Reinvest-
IIT Madras, India
Henry Kister
Conferences ment Bill of 2009 that was released by the House of Representatives Ap-
Fluor Corp. Dana D. Carey propriations Committee on January 16th, it appears that lawmakers heard
Director, Global Event Sponsorships
Trevor Kletz at least part of ACCs message. The stimulus includes funding for science
Loughborough University, U.K.
Peck Sim and technology, especially in the areas of renewable, clean energy. ACCs
Gerhard Kreysa
Senior Manager,
Conference Programming
response, conveyed more recent letters to Congress, urges the committee
Ram Ramachandran to bulk up investments in gasification technologies, carbon capture and se-
BOC Beatriz Suarez questration systems, and buildings and industrial efficiency programs. .
Director of Conference Operations
Information The key undertone to these and other recent policy discussions is simply
Robert Paciorek
Corporate science, which has often been the missing link where policy and public opinion
Senior VP & Chief Information Officer Steve Barber come together. We are committed to advancing our public policy priorities on VP, Financial Planning & Internal Audit
science-based foundation. Our industrys commitment to solid research and
Charles Sands
Senior Developer Brian Nessen good science has driven us to be among the most innovative sectors in the
Web/business Applications Architect Group Publisher world. Science is the basis for our strong safety, health and environmental
performance, and will continue to be the hallmark pillar of the business of
chemistry, Dooley tells CE.
110 William Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038, U.S.
Tel: 212-621-4900 Fax: 212-621-4694 ACC has been very supportive of Obamas key Admin-
European Editorial offices istration appointments, which in themselves indicate an
Zeilweg 44, D-60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany outstretched arm to science. In a statement released dur-
Tel: 49-69-2547-2073 Fax: 49-69-5700-2484
ing Senate confirmation hearings, Dooley used the word
Circulation Requests:
Tel: 847-564-9290 Fax: 847-564-9453
exciting to describe the selection of Nobel-prize winning
Fullfillment Manager; P.O. Box 3588, physicist Dr. Steven Chu, for U.S. Secretary of Energy.
Northbrook, IL 60065-3588 email:
So while we cannot fully answer how change is coming
Advertising Requests: see p. 62
to the CPI, there is some solace the premise that science is
For photocopy or reuse requests: 800-772-3350 or
For reprints: descending in force on Washington. 
 Rebekkah Marshall
Chemical Engineering February 2009 5

03_CHE_021509_ED.indd 5 1/27/09 2:40:05 PM


Sharing personal achievement

I read with much surprise and pleasure your December
2008 issue, which covered Chemical Engineerings 2008
Personal Achievement Awards. The nomination is very
meaningful for me coming from people in my team, and
the selection is truly humbling. However, I wish to say
that the efforts put in to improve the performance and
protect the environment, and the record performances of
the companies come as a result of team work. Most of the
actual modification work has been done by the dedicated
personnel in the two companies, namely See Sen Chemi-
cal Bhd and Malay-Sino Chemical Industries Sdn Bhd.
Both are companies with histories spanning 30 years.
But both companies have been breaking records every
year for the past few years due to the tireless efforts of
their dedicated technical personnel. Most of the improve-
ments are from application of basic good engineering
practice, like going back to basics, while also looking
after the environment. This has really yielded dividends
for the company. I see my selection for the award more as
a recognition of all the effort put in by all the dedicated
personnel in these two companies. There is much more
for us to achieve.
Shyam Lakshmanan
See Sen Chemical Bhd and Malay-Sino Chemical
Industries Sdn Bhd.

ACS Rubber division, call for papers

The Rubber division of the American Chemical Society
( is now accepting online abstract submis-
sions for the 176th technical meeting being held during
the Rubber Expo, October 1315, 2009, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Scheduled symposia include the following:
Automobile Elastomers and Engineered Products
Contributed Sessions
Elastomeric Materials: Challenges in Pharmaceutical/
Biomedical Applications
Elastomers for Wire & Cable Industry
Filler Reinforcement of Rubber
Mixing and Processing
Natural Rubber and Natural Rubber-based Products
New Commercial Developments
Rubber Recycling
Rubber Science
Rubber Testing
Science of Rubber Stabilization & Vulcanization
Synthetic Rubbers and Synthetic Rubber-based Products
Thermoplastic Elastomers
Tire Technology
Abstract Deadline: April 10, 2009.

Postscripts, corrections
November 2008, Bringing the corrosion resistance of tan-
talum to off-the-shelf stainless-steel parts, p. 16: In the
original version, the company location and Website are
both misspelled. The corrected details are Tantaline (Lyn-
gby, Denmark;
Circle 07 on p. 62 or go to
6 Chemical Engineering February 2009

04_CHE_021509_LET.indd 6 1/23/09 8:57:03 AM

Circle 08 on p. 62 or go to

Honeywell 10-07.indd 1 1/23/09 11:43:01 AM

Chemical Engineering half 3 3/8 x 10:Inter labmate half page


Coating 2009 West. The Powder Coating Insti-
tute (The Woodlands, Tex.). Phone: 832-585-0770; Fax:
832-585-0220; Web:
Las Vegas, Nev. Mar. 23

Sustainability in Packaging 2009. IntertechPira Ltd.

(Portland, Maine). Phone: 207-781 9800; Fax: 207-781
2150; Web:
Orlando, Fla. Mar. 24

Pittcon 2009. The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical

Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, Inc. (Pittsburgh,
Pa.). Phone: 412-825-3220; Web:
Chicago, Ill. Mar. 813

Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo.

PennWell (Tulsa, Okla.). Phone: 918-831-9161; Fax:
918-831-9160; Web:
Las Vegas, Nev. Mar. 1012

Strategize to Optimize PAS Users Conference

2009. PAS, Inc. (Houston. Tex.). Phone: 281-286-6565;
Be part of the Fax: 281-286-6767; Web:
Houston, Tex. Mar. 911

bigger picture... 2009 AATCC International Conference. American

Association of Textile Chemists & Colorists (Research Tri-
angle Park, S.C.). Phone: 919-549-8141; Fax: 919-549-8933;
... and see innovations of today Web:
for the solutions of tomorrow Myrtle Beach, S.C. Mar. 1012

Design & Manufacturing South. Canon Communica-

The global appeal of ACHEMA gives you a competitive edge by tions (Los Angeles, Calif.). Phone: 310-445-4200; Fax:
allowing you to see the bigger picture. 310-996-9499; Web:
ACHEMA attracts engineers, chemists and decision makers from around Charlotte, N.C. Mar. 1112
the world to a single venue to showcase solutions, share ideas and
interface across technology disciplines. Interphex 2009. Reed Exhibitions (Norwalk, Conn.).
Be better prepared for the challenges to come Attend ACHEMA. Phone: 203-840-5533; Fax: 203-840-9533;
FLUID HANDLING RESEARCH 2009 National Petrochemical & Refiners Associa-
tion Annual Meeting. NPRA (Washington, D.C.). Phone:
THERMAL AND MECHANICAL USE OF RESOURCES 202-457-0480; Fax: 202-457-0486; Web:
PROCESSES San Antonio, Tex. Mar. 2224

4,000 EXHIBITORS 180,000 ATTENDEES 30,000 EXECUTIVES ACS Spring 2009 National Meeting & Exhibition.
100 COUNTRIES 900 LECTURES American Chemical Society (Washington, D.C.). Phone:
781-273-3322; Fax: 781-273-6603; Web:
Salt Lake City, Utah Mar. 2226

FIATECH 2009 Technology Conference & Show-

case. FIATECH (Austin, Tex.). Phone: 512-232-9600; Fax: 512-232-9677; Web: Las Vegas, Nev. Apr. 68

2009 Water Security Congress. American Water

Works Association (Denver. Colo.). Phone: 303-794-7711;
Circle 09 on p. 62 or go to
8 Chemical Engineering february 2009

05_CHE_021509_CAL.indd 8 1/22/09 11:13:41 AM

Raymond & Bartlett-Snow
Thermal Equipment & Systems
Raymond and Bartlett-Snow
products have been success-
Fax: 303-347-0804; Web: fully providing solutions for
Washington, D.C. Apr. 810 thermal process applications
involving chemical, petro-
54th ISA Analysis Division Symposium. The Inter- chemical, ceramic, magnetic,
national Society of Automation (Research Triangle Park. metals, food, fertilizer, plastic,
N.C.). Phone: 919-549-8411; Fax: 919-549-8288; industrial solid waste and
Web: nuclear industries. For over a
Houston, Tex. Apr. 1923 century, we have provided
innovative and dependable
Process Technology for Industry West. Canon equipment and systems for
Communications LLC (Los Angeles, Calif.). Phone: the changing needs of these industries worldwide.
310-445-4200; Fax: 310-996-9499; Web:
Anaheim, Calif. Apr. 2324 Rotary Calciners
Rotary Dryers
2009 AIChE Spring National Meeting. American
Institute of Chemical Engineers (New York, N.Y.). Phone: Rotary Coolers
203-702-7660; Fax: 203-775-5177; Web: Rotary Kilns
Tampa, Fla. Apr. 2630
Flash Dryers
9th European Gasification Conference. Institute 4525 Weaver Pkwy, Warrenville, IL 60555
of Chemical Engineers (Rugby, U.K.). Phone: +44 01788 Toll free: 877.661.5509
Tel: 630.393.1000 Fax: 630.393.1001
578214; Fax: +44 01788 560833; Air Preheater Company
Raymond Operations Email:

Dsseldorf, Germany Mar. 2325

Circle 10 on p. 62 or go to
LogiChem Europe 2009. Worldwide Business Research
(London, U.K.). Phone: + 44 (0) 20 7368 9465; Fax: + 44 (0)
20 7368 9401; Web:
Dsseldorf, Germany Mar. 31Apr. 3
Interkama. Deutsche Messe (Hannover, Germany).
NanoCeram continues to re-write the rules of filtration.
Phone: +49 511 89-0; Fax: +49 511 89-32626;
Web: Even when compared to a typical ultraporous membrane, NanoCeram
Hannover, Germany Apr. 2024 pleated filters provide:
- Much Higher Flowrate
Asia & Elsewhere - Greater Particle Retention, including Colloids
Wetex 2009 Water, Energy Technology and Envi-
- Superior Dirt-holding Capacity
ronment Exhibition. Dubai Electricity & Water Author-
ity (Dubai, U.A.E.). Phone: +971 4 324 44 44; Fax: +971 4 - Reliability
324 81 11; Web: NanoCerams ultra-low SDI values and its extraordinary turbidity reduction
Dubai, U.A.E. Mar. 1012 and adsorption capacity can significantly reduce the energy & maintenance
costs for your membranes. And, by using standard equipment already
installed in your plant, NanoCerams many benefits include a very low
ARTC 12th Annual Meeting, Refining and Petro- capital investment.
chemical. Incisive Media Ltd. (London, U.K.). Phone: +44
(0) 207 004 7576; Web: Ask us about our new stainless steel HyFlo Multi-Round Big Blue Filter
Housings for higher flow applications.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Mar. 1012

16th Middle East Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibi-

tion. Arabian Exhibition Management WLL (Manama,
Bahrain). Phone: + 973 17 55 00 33; Fax: + 973 17 55 32
88; Web:
Manama, Bahrain Mar. 1518

Powder World 2009. China Powder Technology As- 407-322-2500

sociation (Beijing, China). Phone: 010-88365655 ; Fax:
010-68361726; Web: ARGONIDE CORPORATION 291 Power Court Sanford, FL 32771
Beijing, China Apr. 13 NanoCeram is a Registered Trademark of the Argonide Corporation 2005. All right reserved.
HyFlow is a Trademark of the Argonide Corporation 2007. All rights reserved.
Kate Torzewski
Circle 11 on p. 62 or go to
Chemical Engineering february 2009 9
Argonide_ChemicalEngineering_rev1c.indd 1 1/14/09 9:14:30 PM

05_CHE_021509_CAL.indd 9 1/22/09 11:14:12 AM

Your process must remain on target
at a certain temperature.

Can your mixing valves keep it there?

For worry-free heat exchanger control, choose the Fisher GX 3-way

valve from Emerson. It provides accurate, constant control of
temperature for either mixing or splitting service. And its robust,
low-profile design fits tight spaces. Theres no better way to stop
temperature fluctuations than the Fisher GX 3-way valve. Learn more
at or contact an Emerson sales office.

Circle 12 on p. 62 or go to
The Emerson logo is a trademark and service mark of Emerson Electric Co. 2008 Fisher Controls International LLC MU35-CD197

Emerson Valve 1-09.indd 1 1/23/09 11:47:07 AM

Edited by Gerald Ondrey February 2009

Construction to begin
on a large solar plant in Spain
T hanks to a 171-million financing deal, con-
struction can begin on what is claimed to
be the worlds first utility-grade solar power
plant with central tower and salt receiver
technology. When the so-called Gemasolar
plant located in Fuentes de Andalucia,
Spain is operational in 2011, it will produce
17 MWe of power, reducing CO2 emissions by
more than 50,000 metric tons per year (m.t./
yr) that would be released by a conventional
power plant of the same capacity.
The Gemasolar plant (diagram) will con-
sist of 2,500 heliostats, which will track
the sun and focus sunlight to a receiver at
the top of a tower. There, 95% of the radia-
tion is absorbed and converted to thermal
energy, which is used to heat molten salts Torresol Energy

(potassium and sodium nitrates). The hot

salts descend to a tank where it is stored com), a strategic alliance between Sener
at about 500C. In a second loop, the mol- Ingeniera y Sistemas (Madrid; A new bioplastic
ten salt passes through a heat exchanger. es) and Masdar (, Abu Up to now, the main plastic
and the energy is used to produce steam, Dhabis renewable-energy initiative. The en- produced from renewable re-
which drives a turbine for generating elec- gineering, procurement, construction contract sources has been polylactic
tricity. The molten salts storage capacity is has been awarded to a consortium, including acid (PLA), which is derived
designed to enable power generation for 15 Sener and AMSA, an ACS Cobra (Madrid; from corn starch. However, be-
hours without sunlight. subsidiary. Sener will cause PLA does not have the
Gemasolar is a project of Torresol Energy provide the technology, the detailed design same level of performance as
S.A. (Madrid, Spain; www.torresolenergy. and commissioning of the plant. petroleum-derived plastics, PLA
has not been actively adopted
by certain industries, accord-

This centrifugal reactor/separator ing to Teijin Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; The
speeds up biodiesel production company plans to change this
situation with the commercial

A continuous process for producing biod-

iesel that has a residence time of about
one minute, versus several hours for a con-
tor and rapidly mixed at 3,600 rpm. The re-
action time is approximately 1 min, at which
point the lighter methyl esters (biodiesel)
launch, later this year, of a
new heat-resistant bioplastic,
dubbed Biofront. Biofront is a
ventional batch process, has been developed and heavier glycerol are separated by the stereocomplex PLA made with
at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL; centrifugal action. The biodiesel yield for a high-purity L- and D-lactate,
which has a melting point of
Oak Ridge, Tenn.; The pro- 5:1 oil-to-methoxide ratio is about 95%, with
210C significantly higher
cess uses a centrifuge for simultaneous less than 1% carryover of either phase into
than the 170C for conventional
synthesis of biodiesel and separation of the the other, he says. Current work is focused PLAs and rivals that of
biodiesel from the glycerol byproduct. ORNL on increasing the yield. polybutylene terephthalate
has done laboratory tests and is collaborat- Initially, the researchers were working (PBT), says the firm.
ing with biodiesel producer Nu-Energie with a conventional centrifugal contactor, Teijin is currently operating a
(Surgoinsville, Tenn.) to do a pilot test at the but the residence time was too short at the 200-ton/yr Biofront pilot plant. It
Nu-Energie facilities later this year. 3,600-rpm speed required for thorough mix- recently acquired a 1,000 ton/yr
The key to the process is a Couette reac- ing, says Tsouris. The Couette unit provides PLA demonstration plant from
tor/separator, a type of centrifuge that until a residence time of about one minute, he Toyoto Motor Corp. (Tokyo); this
new facility is expected to pro-
now has been used only in the laboratory, says. He adds that the reactor/separator can
duce Biofront later this summer.
says Costa Tsouris, a research engineer with be scaled up to production size and promises
A 10,000-ton/yr Biofront plant is
ORNL. Food-grade soy oil and sodium meth- to reduce the size of the production equip- also expected to be completed
oxide (a mixture of methanol and sodium ment to well below 10% of that used in a in 2010.
hydroxide) are fed separately into the reac- conventional batch operation.
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number
on p. 62, or use the website designation. Chemical Engineering February 2009 11

06_CHE_021509_CHM.indd 11 1/26/09 8:46:39 AM

C hementato R Final specs for SIF
Last month, the Fieldbus
Foundation (Austin, Tex.; released
the latest device-development
A new syngas catalyst passes pilot tests . . . solutions for its Foundation
for Safety Instrumented Func-

M itsunori Shimura and colleagues at conditions of 900C (outlet temperature), tions (SIF) technology, which
the R&D Center of Chiyoda Corp. (Yo- 1.9 MPa (gauge) and a molar feed ratio of includes the Foundation for
SIF final Technical Specifica-
kohama, Japan; have CH4:CO2:H2O = 1.0:0.4:1.15, the new cata-
tion package, SIF Interop-
developed a new catalyst for producing a lyst produced a syngas with H2-to-CO mole
erability Test Kit (ITK) and
synthesis gas (syngas; hydrogen and carbon ratio of 2.0, making it especially suitable updated DD (Device Descrip-
monoxide) from steam reforming of meth- for gas-to-liquids (GTL) applications, or for tion) Library with SIF function
ane. The catalyst consists of precious met- the production of oxo-alcohols (such as n- blocks. The new technical
als selectively loaded on the surface of the butanol) and acetic acid, says the company. specification defines analog
firms commercial, egg-shell-shaped sup- In laboratory trials, the catalyst has also input (AI) blocks for fieldbus
port, which results in an effective utilization shown 1,000-h of operation, without deacti- transmitters and other SIF
of the costly metals. vation, for producing syngas with H2-to-CO devices. Future updates to the
The catalyst has been demonstrated in ratios of 1.0. specification will include digi-
tal output (DO) blocks.
a pilot reformer (single, 12-m long tube The catalyst and associated syngas-pro-
with 110-mm dia.), which showed stable, duction process are being developed for a
on-stream operation for 7,000 h, with mini- national GTL project coordinated by JOG- Drought-tolerant corn
mal carbon formation (less than 0.1 wt.%) MEC (Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National First results have been
on the catalyst. With a feed of natural Corp.). A 500-bbl/d GTL plant is under con- achieved from a plant biotech
gas (85 vol.% CH4), and typical operating struction with startup later this year. collaboration between BASF
Plant Science (Limburgerhof,
. . . and a Ni-based syngas catalyst science) and Monsanto Co. (St.
Louis, Mo.; www.monsanto.
promises to slash reformer size and costs com) for a drought-tolerant
corn. The product has moved

K eiichi Tomishige, an associate profes-

sor at University of Tsukuba (www.ims., has developed a new high-
suppression of hot spots and carbon forma-
tion. The catalyst is also less prone to deac-
tivation by oxidation of Ni, he says.
into the final phase prior to an
anticipated market launch early
next decade, and Monsanto
performance catalyst for the highly efficient Because of the enhanced reactivity, Tom- has submitted the product to
production of syngas, with support from the ishige estimates that reformers operating the U.S. Food and Drug Admin.
(FDA; Washington, D.C.) for
New Energy and Industrial Technology De- with the new catalyst can be one-fourth
regulatory clearance.
velopment Organization (Kawasaki, both the size of a conventional reformer with the
Drought-tolerant corn is de-
Japan). The nickel-based catalyst is selec- same production capacity. And the cost of signed to provide farmers with
tively impregnated with small amounts of the catalyst is expected to be significantly yield stability during periods
precious metals (Pt, Pd and Rh) on the sur- lower due to the use of predominantly nickel when water supply is scarce by
face. By performing the impregnation se- with reduced amounts of precious metals. mitigating the effects of water
quentially, rather than by conventional co- The researchers are planning to scale up stress within a corn plant.
impregnation, Tomishige is able to control their work and apply the catalyst technol- Field trials for the new corn
the structure of bi-metallic (Ni and precious ogy to the oxidative-reforming of other hy- met or exceeded the 610%
metal) particles on the surface. This leads to drocarbon feeds, such as city gas, gasoline, target yield enhancement over
the average yield of 70130
active sites that accelerate both exothermic methanol and kerosene, with the aim to pro-
bushels per acre in some key
and endothermic reactions, resulting in the duce H2 for fuel cells.
drought-prone areas of the
U.S., says BASF.

A pilot-step closer to second-generation biofuels

L urgi GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany; is building a pilot
plant to demonstrate the viability of its
500C) converts biomass into a trans-
portable, liquid intermediate product
(bioliqSynCrude) whose energy den-
the basis of Lurgis proprietary Multi-
Purpose Gasifier (MPG) is equipped
with a castable, lined cooling screen
three-stage bioliq process for produc- sity is 1315 times higher than that that is cooled with pressurized water,
ing liquid fuels from biomass. The pilot of straw. The bioliqSynCrude is then and whose internal surface is pro-
plant an entrained-flow gasifier for preheated to around 80C, pressurized tected from corrosion and erosion by
the production of synthesis gas will be and fed to the bioliq gasifier, where it is a layer of slag. Crude syngas and slag
located at the Karlsruhe Research Cen- converted (at above 1,400C) into syn- are drawn off via a quench at the bot-
ter (FZK; Germany;, and is gas. In the final step, the syngas (pro- tom of the reactor.
part of a joint project with the Karlsruhe duced at high pressure) is purified and The fast pyrolysis pilot plant the
Institute of Technology (KIT). fed to a synthesis unit for conversion first step of bioliq was commissioned
In the first step of the bioliq process, to fuels. last year at KIT; startup for the bioliq
a fast pyrolysis process (operating at The bioliq gasifier developed on gasifier is planned for the Fall of 2011.
12 Chemical Engineering February 2009

06_CHE_021509_CHM.indd 12 1/26/09 8:47:48 AM

Ideas that tailor the
broadest line
to move your product.

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Ned Thompson, president, Hapman
Circle 13 on p. 62 or go to

HAP_CE 7.875x10.75_tubular drag.indd 1 12/10/08 1:44:37 PM

Hapman 2-09.indd 1 1/23/09 12:00:44 PM

C hementato R
through Transport along
the the sweep side

Progress on a promising Transport along

the feed side
separation technology
F or separating two components with simi-
lar volatilities, extractive distillation
is typically used, whereby a high-boiling,
TU Delft

non-volatile solvent is added to break the

azeotrope a process that is both energy more friction with the sweep gas in the po-
intensive and often involves the use of haz- rous layer, lighter components diffuse at a Furanics
ardous solvents. In an effort to reduce the higher rate into the shell side. As a result, Royal Cosun (Breda; www.
energy requirements and avoid the use of the vapor emerging from the tube side is and Avantium
hazardous solvents used in extractive dis- enriched with the heavy component. Enrich- (Amsterdam, both Nether-
tillation, an alternative separation tech- ments of 6570% have been achieved in a lands;
nology, called frictional diffusion (FricDiff) single-tube FricDiff unit for isopropanol- have started a two-year col-
is being developed by a consortium of aca- water and helium-argon mixtures; however, laboration to develop a specific
process for the production of a
demic (TU Delft and TU Eindhoven) and in- the balance between enrichment and recov-
new generation of bioplastics
dustrial partners (Akzo Nobel, Shell Global ery is a major challenge we are investigat-
and biofuels tradenamed
Solutions, Bodec, FIB Industrile Bedrijven ing, says Aylin Selvi, a doctoral student at Furanics from selected
BV and Purac), with financial support from the Process & Energy Laboratory, Delft Uni- organic waste streams. For
Senter-Novem (all Netherlands). versity of Technology ( Com- a number of years, Avantium
FricDiff is based on the difference in dif- puter simulations set up by TU Eindhoven has been developing Furanics,
fusion rate of two components when diffus- indicate that 90% enrichments are possible which can be produced from
ing through a third component (sweep gas). when operating with an overpressure of sugars and other carbohy-
In a FricDiff unit, the vapor mixture flows sweep gas, she says. drates from biomass. These
through the tube side of a porous, stainless- Last month, the engineering work was bioplastics can be produced
cheaper than petroleum-based
steel cylinder, while the sweep gas flows completed for a scaled-up test unit, which in-
materials, says Avantium.
counter currently on the shell side. Because corporates seven FricDiff tubes. This test unit
heavier components in the feed experience will be operated at TU Delft starting April.
Single-site catalyst
Last month, LyondellBasell
Industries (Rotterdam, Nether-
Sonicating slurries speeds soil remediation lands;
launched a new Avant M single-
U ltrasound has been applied, with limited
success, for the remediation of contami-
nated soil. Up to now, the approach has been
cally about 50 m in dia. at the moment of
collapse are so high that any decompo-
sition products from the pyrolysis reaction
site catalyst system, which
extends the performance capa-
bilities of its Metocene polypro-
to first extract the contaminant from the soil are very rapidly quenched, eliminating the pylene (PP) production technol-
into a liquid, which is then passed through possibility of recombination reactions. The ogy. The new catalyst extends
a sono-reactor where the contaminants are team has confirmed that radical formation, the range of homopolymer,
destroyed by high temperatures and pres- which plays an important role in conven- random and impact copolymer
sures (more than 5,000K and 1,000 atm) tional sonochemistry, does not occur in slur- grades by offering performance
generated by cavitating bubbles. A new pro- ries, and that pyrolysis is the dominant pro- from very low to very high melt
flowrates, while maintaining
cess developed by a team from CSIRO Ma- cess, says Collings.
outstanding levels of homo-
terials Science and Engineering (Lindfield, The team has conducted a series of stud-
geneity, transparency and other
Australia;, in which flowing ies with samples over a wide range of per- features of single-site catalysts,
slurries are passed through a sono-reactor, sistent organic pollutants (POPs) adsorbed says the firm.
has been shown to be 100-times faster than on glass beads, and has progressed to pilot-
liquid-based methods. plant scale. Sonication at 20 kHz with a PA-11 for gas pipelines
The increased speed is believed to be the power of 150 W leads to a 90% reduction
The U.S. Dept. of Transportation
result of bubbles that nucleate and grow on of a polychlorobiphenyl after 1.5 min, and
Pipeline and Hazardous Ma-
the surface of the slurry particles. Instead 99% reduction after 7 min (97% reduction terials Safety Admin. (PHMSA;
of imploding symmetrically, as in liquids, of hexachlorobenzene after 10 min), with Washington, D.C.; http://phmsa.
these bubbles collapse toward the particle, no traces of breakdown products. Similar published a final rule
forming a high-speed jet that impacts on the results are obtained for clays contaminated effective January 23, 2009 to
solid surface, explains CSIRO researcher with herbicides and total petroleum hydro- amend 49CFR Part 192 to in-
Anthony Collings. Any substance adsorbed carbons. The pilot-plant studies are aimed at crease the maximum allowable
to the solid surface bears the brunt of this optimizing the process and confirming the operating pressure (MAOP)
implosive energy, and the temperature rise low operating expenses suggested by small- for Polyamide-11 (PA-11) pipes
from 100 psig to 200 psig in
is sufficient to pyrolyze the pollutant. The scale experiments and the practicality of a
(Continues on p. 16)
heat transfer rates in these bubbles typi- transportable treatment facility.
14 Chemical Engineering February 2009

06_CHE_021509_CHM.indd 14 1/26/09 8:50:52 AM

Circle 14 on p. 62 or go to

A Box 4 U 1-09.indd 1 1/23/09 12:03:23 PM

C hementato R

A sound way to reuse

low-temperature waste heat
I n a so-called thermoacoustic en-
gine, researchers from the Energy
Research Center of the Netherlands
(ECN; Petten, Netherlands; www. have achieved a record ef-
ficiency in the conversion of heat to
sound, improving the existing record
of 41% to 48% of the maximum pos-
sible efficiency (Carnot efficiency).
The engine is being developed as a
way to utilize the huge quantities
of waste heat, which normally can-
not be reused because the tempera-
ture level is too low and is thus released torus configuration. In operation (sche-
to the environment. ECN is working with matic, left), the thermoacoustic engine con-
two equipment manufacturers Bron- verts thermal energy into acoustic energy.
swerk Heat Transfer B.V. (Nijkerk; www. This acoustic energy is then used in a heat and Dahlman (Maassluis, pump to upgrade waste heat into medium- ECN
both Netherlands; to pressure steam, for example.
develop a system that uses a thermoacous- The prototype engine operating at ECN
tic heat pump driven by a thermoacoustic has achieved the record efficiency when
(Continued from p. 14)
engine to upgrade waste heat. driven by heat at high (500600C) tem-
The thermoacoustic engine is composed peratures. The next step is to extrapolate certain pipelines. The rule also
of three main parts (diagram, right): a ther- this performance to engines that operate at includes an increase in the
modymamic part, consisting of a regenera- much lower (100150C) temperatures, says design factor from 0.32 to 0.40,
tor, two heat exchangers and a thermal buf- project leader Simon Spoelstra. An inte- which applies to PA-11 pipe
fer tube; an acoustic network, consisting of grated laboratory system (engine plus heat with standard dimensional ratio
an acoustic compliance and an inertance; pump) that delivers the required perfor- (SDR) in diameters 4 in. and
and a resonator. The thermodynamic part mance under relevant industrial conditions smaller. Service tubing sizes
and the acoustic network are placed in a is planned for operation in 2010. may have lower SDRs.
The new rule gives opera-
tors of natural gas pipelines
the option to use PA-11 pipe
Commercialization nears for producing in certain pipeline systems.
Arkema Inc. (Philadelphia,
cartenoids from engineered yeasts Pa.;,
which petitioned the rule

I n late 2009, Microbia PE, Inc. (Lexington,

Mass.; will begin
commercialization of its initial carotenoid
chemical-synthesis manufacturers today.
Furthermore, for some of the more com-
plex carotenoids with greater chirality, he
change back in October
2004 following extentensive
field tests of its Rilsan PA11
products. Microbia plans to produce b-caro- says, we believe our costs will be signifi- pipes, says the amended
rule will enable the oil and
tene, astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, cathaxanthin cantly lower.
gas industry to fully realize
and lutein all five carotenoid products Microbias fermentation process is carried the cost-saving and ease of
that currently have significant commercial out with the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. Un- installation benefits of Rilsan
value. These carotenoids have primary ap- like most fermentation processes for carote- P11. For the same cost ben-
plications as food ingredients, dietary sup- noid manufacture, this yeast achieves very efits, Rilsan PA11 pipes offer
plements and animal feed ingredients. high yields of the carotenoids, with a unique all the advantages of conven-
Though chemically identical to carote- strain engineered for the production of each tional polyethylene pipes at
noids that are currently on the market, this carotenoid. A series of optimized enzymatic pressures normally requiring
firms products will be made by fermenta- steps facilitates efficient biosynthesis. steel, including coiled pipe
tion of natural raw materials, such as sugar In addition to the technology inherent in that can be plowed or planted,
joined by butt fusion and elec-
and vegetable oils, rather than by conver- its carotenoid commercial interests, Micro-
trofusion, and squeezed off
sion from petrochemical-based materials. bia is also collaborating with partners, such like conventional pipe, says
Microbia CEO Richard Bailey explains as Tate & Lyle Plc (London, U.K.), to develop the firm.
that projected product costs are at least bioprocesses for manufacturing larger-vol-
on par with products from the lowest-cost, ume, commodity chemicals.
16 Chemical Engineering February 2009

06_CHE_021509_CHM.indd 16 1/26/09 8:53:20 AM

Circle 15 on p. 62 or go to

Badger Meter 2-09.indd 1 1/23/09 12:06:44 PM

Circle 16 on p. 62 or go to

Flexitallic 2-09.indd 1 1/23/09 12:10:52 PM


Newsfront This portable

crusher works

Oil from
at the mine

The oil sands industry
is growing fast,
and so is its impact CAPP
on the environment Actual Forecast
Oil sands production
Thousands of barrels per day

5,000 2007 = 1.2 million bbl/d June '08 moderate

2013 = 2.0 million bbl/d growth forecast
n these hard economic times, peo- 2018 = 3.0 million bbl/d
4,000 2020 = 3.3 million bbl/d
ple working in troubled businesses
Oil sands
may well envy the situation of Al- future potential
bertas oil sands industry. The Ca-
nadian Association of Petroleum Pro- 2,000 Oil sands in production
and under construction
ducers (CAPP, Calgary, Alberta; www. predicts that the production 1,000
of synthetic crude from oil sands will Convetional oil
reach 3.3-million bbl/d by 2020, up 0
from 1.2-million bbl/d in 2007. Much 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020
of this oil will be sent to the U.S. via an
expanding network of pipelines (CE, figure 1. Despite its rapid growth, Western Canadas production of bitumen from
oil sands will actually dip below last Junes moderate growth (MG) forecast over the
May 2008, p. 22). coming years. Conventional oil production will decline
As it happens, though, the industry
has been impacted by the current busi- ment in oil sands in 2009 is expected Syncrude Canada Ltd. (Fort McMur-
ness recession causing a number of com- to be about $985 million, down from ray, Alta; reported
panies to delay their expansion plans. about $1.4 billion in 2008. operating costs, including purchased
For example, Suncor Energy (Calgary; Albertas recoverable reserves of energy costs, of $24.64/bbl for 2007, announced a $20.6 oil sands total about 175-billion bbl, down from $26.46/bbl in 2006.
billion* expansion program a year ago, says Greg Stringham, CAPPs vice- In a surface-mining operation, oil
with the goal of expanding production president for oil sands and markets. sand is scooped up by huge shov-
from 350,000 bbl/d to 550,000 bbl/d by Currently, about half the production is els, trucked to a crusher, then slur-
2012. More recently, the completion done by surface-mining the sand and ried with warm water and piped to
date has been pushed back to 2013 and its associated bitumen, then separating an extraction plant. There, hot water
the company has scaled back its capital and upgrading the bitumen to obtain a (4050C) is added, air and process
spending plans for 2009 by more than synthetic crude (syncrude) for refining. aids are injected into the stream, and
one-third. Similarly, Fort Hills Energy However, only about 20% of the re- the mixture is fed to a conical primary
L.P., a new venture, has deferred a serves are amenable to surface mining, separation vessel. Sand settles to the
final investment decision on mining so the trend is toward increased use of bottom of the vessel and the overflow
operations and delayed indefinitely a in situ processing to exploit deposits is a froth that contains about 60% bi-
decision to build an upgrader (delayed 200 ft or more below the surface. tumen, 30% water and 10% clay.
coker). Petro-Canada (Calgary; www. Naphtha is typically mixed with the, the majority partner Process technology froth to lower the viscosity of the bi-
in Fort Hills, has reduced its capital The main drivers for technology in- tumen, making it easier to separate it
and exploration expenditures to about novations in oil sands production are from the water and clay by centrifug-
$4 billion this year, down from about $6 a desire to reduce costs and environ- ing or settling. Finally, the bitumen
billion in 2008. Petro-Canadas invest- mental impacts. Operating costs vary and naphtha are separated by distil-
*All dollars are Canadian (CAN$1 = US$0.82,
widely, but are currently in the range lation. The naphtha is recycled and
January 13) of US$3035/bbl, says Stringham. the bitumen, whose specific gravity is
Chemical Engineering February 2009 19

07_CHE_021509_NF1.indd 19 1/26/09 9:03:20 AM

Oil Sands and the Environment
Toward mid-year, Alberta Energy (Edmonton, Alta.; the provincial gov-
wth fore-
Newsfront ernments energy department, will award three to five contracts for pilot projects for
carbon capture and storage (CCS). Total funding is $2 billion (Canadian) and the goal
om the is to capture 5 m.t./yr of CO2 and develop a pipeline network to transport the gas for
use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or injection deep underground.
about 10 API, is upgraded by delayed- The CO2 initiative is welcomed by Stephen Kaufman, chairman of ICO2N (Calgary),
or fluid-coking to obtain a synthetic a group of some 20 industrial companies that studies CCS. In a recent report ICO2N
crude of 2530 API for refining. outlined a scheme for a CCS system to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 million m.t./yr, at
The downside of these operations is an estimated cost of more than $100/ton.
that they use large volumes of water Last year was the first full year of an Alberta regulation that requires companies
and have created huge tailings ponds emitting more than 100,000 m.t./yr of CO2 to reduce their emissions by 12%. Those
that contain toxic residues. Air pollu- that dont meet their targets may buy offsets or pay $15 for each ton over the limit. The
Alberta government was the first in North America to issue such a regulation.
tion is also a concern, and emissions of
Environmentalists complain that the regulation is based on intensity (for example, per
carbon dioxide are a major issue (see
barrel or kWh), rather than placing a cap on plant emissions. The oil sands industry
sidebar). In their defense, spokesper- produces about 4% of Canadas greenhouse gas emissions and this is set to triple to 12%
sons for industry point out that they by 2020, says Simon Dyer, director for oil sands with the Pembina Institute (Calgary;
recycle at least 90% of the water they, a sustainable energy think tank. He adds that the regulation does not
use, with zero discharge, and the net encourage polluters to use CCS. Paying $15 a ton, when CCS may cost around $100/
water use averages roughly 4 barrels ton, is a perverse incentive not to use CCS, he says.
per barrel of produced oil. Dyer notes that current oil sands operations cover about 600 km2 of land in north-
The popular process for in situ min- eastern Alberta and have the highest environmental impact of any oil production in the
ing is steam-assisted gravity drainage world. As for land reclamation, he says that so far virtually no land has been certified as
reclaimed, nor any tailings ponds, which comprise about 130 km2 of toxic liquids.
(SAGD). A horizontal well is drilled
into the oil formation, and a second,
producer well is drilled parallel to it engineering design for a commercial an important unit operation in oil sands
at a lower level. Steam is injected into system, says Alan Fair, manager of processing. Most petroleum refiners
the upper well to liberate the bitu- research and development. The equip- use the coker as a garbage can to pro-
men, which is pumped out from the ment will be moved every few weeks cess the bottoms and heavy oil, but in
producer well. by commercially available crawler our case most of our feed goes through
Benefits of in situ mining are that transports. Fair notes that haulage a coker, says Alan Fair, manager of re-
the produced bitumen is clean, there trucks cost about $5 million each, so search and development for Syncrude.
are no tailings, and water use is much its a costly way to move ore. The company has three fluidized-bed
lower than those of operations based An improved froth treatment pro- cokers two older ones with name-
on surface mining. Petro-Canada says cess, for separating bitumen from the plate capacities of 107,000 bbl/d and
its net water use for SAGD (including froth after primary separation, has a 95,000-bbl/d unit that started up in
90% water recycling) is about 1/3 bar- been developed by Shell Canada Ltd. 2006. These are the largest fluid cok-
rel of water per barrel of product. (Calgary; Naphtha is ers in the world, says Fair.
On the other hand, energy use is normally mixed with the froth to lower Syncrude has installed baffles in
high and there are air emissions from the viscosity of the bitumen and ease the reactor product-recovery section
the steam boilers. Several new tech- the separation, as noted earlier. Shell, of one of the cokers to improve prod-
nologies are being developed and im- in contrast, has for several years used uct fractionation. The company plans
plemented to alleviate these problems paraffinic technology developed in to make similar modifications to the
and to cut costs (see below). cooperation with Natural Resources other cokers during future scheduled
Companies whose operations start Canadas CanmetEnergy (Devon, shutdowns. The cost is about $1 mil-
with mining are striving to improve ef- Alta.; lion for each project, but Syncrude
ficiency throughout the process train. Shell has now developed an im- says the potential savings could reach
At the beginning of the train, Suncor proved paraffinic process, called Shell $9 million/yr through longer run
has been using a mobile crusher at the Enhance, and plans to start up a com- times and improved product quality.
mine face for more than a year. Built mercial plant at its Muskeg River Mine The baffle was developed by the com-
to Suncors specifications by MMD in 20102011. The new process oper- panys R&D department, with help
(Summercotes, England), the tracked ates at above 60C, versus 2535C from ExxonMobil (Fairfax, Va.; www.
unit can process 5,000 metric tons for the earlier process. The advantages, licensor of the fluid
per hour (m.t./h) and is linked to a of paraffin over naphtha, according to coking technology.
mobile slurry unit, thus reducing the Shell, are that the bitumen product Syncrude is also investing $1.6 bil-
cost of truck haulage and reducing has a lower solids and water content lion to retrofit lime spray dryers on
air emissions. Suncor expects to have and there is partial deasphalting of the the two older cokers for sulfur emis-
two more mobile crushers operating bitumen. Shell Enhance is an improve- sions control. Scheduled for startup in
within three years. ment over the earlier process in that it 2010 or 2011, the project is expected
Syncrude has designed a compact improves energy efficiency by 10%, uses to reduce emissions from the two
slurrying unit for use with a mobile 10% less water and requires less space. units by about 60%, reducing the total
crusher at the mine face and field- sulfur emissions at the site to less
tested a 4,000-m.t./h prototype, which Coking than 100 m.t./d.
is about half the size of a commer- In contrast with the situation in a con- The newer coker uses an aque-
cial unit. The company is now doing ventional petroleum refinery, coking is ous ammonia scrubbing process from
20 Chemical Engineering February 2009

07_CHE_021509_NF1.indd 20 1/26/09 9:04:28 AM

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cutting processing times by up to 90%! And every one of our mixers will
emulsify, homogenize, solubilize, suspend, disperse ANDdisintegrate
solids in times superior to any machine on the market while improving your
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In-Line Mixers will:
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Circle 17 on p. 62 or go to

Silverson 3-08.indd 1 1/23/09 12:12:41 PM



Marsulex Inc. (Toronto; www.mar- The NH3 reacts with SO2
to form an ammonium-sulfite slurry,
then air is bubbled through the slurry
to obtain ammonium sulfate, which is
sold to the fertilizer industry.
Syncrude chose this process because
ammonia is generated as a byproduct
in the hydrotreating plant, says Paul
figure 2.
Ibbotson, a process engineer. However, The drawing shows
trace compounds in the gas caused an the layout of Suncor's
odor, so the company has been buying planned expansion
NH3 until it finds a way to deal with
the offending compounds.
Suncor will install three trains of lead operations engineer. CNRL is new technologies that reduce or avoid
paired delayed cokers for its planned using the process to treat the tailings these problems.
200,000-bbl/d expansion. The project, from its new 110,000-bbl/d oil sands Petrobank Energy and Resources
dubbed Voyageur, will process bitumen plant, now starting up. Paradis expects Ltd. (Calgary; is
from a combination of surface- and in it will permit settlement of the tailings piloting a process called THAI (Toe-to-
situ-mined sources (Figure 2). The within weeks, rather than years. Heel Air Injection). A horizontal pro-
company has been using some SAGD An improved process will be used in ducer well with a slotted liner is drilled
for about five years, says a company the projects second stage, when the at the base of the oil sands formation,
spokesman, but in the next 57 years plant will increase oil production to which may be 2030 m thick, then a
we expect it to account for about 50% 232,000 bbl/d. The tailings volume will vertical injector well is drilled to the
of our bitumen recovery. be reduced by thickeners and cyclones. end (toe) of the producer well. Steam
Warm water will be recycled to the pro- is injected for 2-3 months to raise the
Tailings treatment cess from the thickener, and waste heat reservoir temperature to about 100C.
Surface-mining operations produce from the coker will be used to heat the Finally, air is injected at 450550 psi,
tailings that are a mixture of water, process water, eliminating the use of initiating a combustion front that
clay, sand, residual bitumen and natural gas. About 26 m.t./h of CO2 will moves along the axis of the producer
naphthenic acids. The problem is that be obtained from the onsite H2 plant. well, causing oil to flow into the well.
the clay stays suspended, settling to a The deposited tailings may be traffica- The oil just rises to the surface by
maximum of only 3040% solids con- ble almost immediately, says Paradis. gas lift, without pumping, says Barry
tent after 35 yr, says Randy Mikula, In another process, developed by Syn- Noble, a management adviser with
team leader for the extraction and crude in collaboration with Canmet, Petrobank. Asphaltenes remain in the
tailings group with Canmet. organic polymers are added to tailings, sand to provide fuel, he says, so the
Indeed, Suncor is only now reclaim- which are then centrifuged to separate produced bitumen has an API gravity
ing its first tailings pond after decades the clay from the water. Syncrude has in the middle teens, versus eight for
of operation. Suncor pioneered the use tested the process at a scale of 20 m.t./h raw bitumen. Compared with SAGD,
of consolidated tailings technology, de- and increased the solids content of the there are substantial savings in capi-
veloped in association with Canmet, tailings from 1720% to 5560%. The tal costs and water and energy, he
in which tailings are consolidated by separated water was returned to the adds, because steam is used only at the
chemical treatment. In Suncors case, bitumen-extraction process. beginning of the cycle. Petrobank has
gypsum (from SO2 scrubbing) is added As an alternative to consolidating piloted the process and plans to build a
to the tailings to accelerate the release tailings, Syncrude has piloted a water 10,000-bbl/d demonstration plant.
of water. Suncors Pond 1 is now being capping method, in which lakes have Shell is developing an In situ Upgrad-
infilled with sand, after which the been built in former mines, with soft ing Process (IUP) in which the oil is
company will contour the surface and tailings forming sedimentary bottoms. heated by electrical resistance heaters
plant vegetation. Syncrude says its research indicates that are inserted in wells. The heat up-
A process in which CO2 is injected that the lakes will, over time, support grades the bitumen into a lighter crude
into the tailings pipeline is being com- plant and wildlife. and gas that can be recovered, leaving
mercialized by Canadian Natural Re- coke in the ground. Shell has been field-
sources Ltd. (CNRL, Calgary; www. In situ processes testing IUP for several years, using 18 CNRL developed the process The conventional in situ mining pro- heaters and three producer wells. So
in collaboration with Canmet. The in- cess is SAGD, as noted earlier, but this far, more than 100,000 bbl of light oil
jected CO2 forms carbonic acid, which method uses large volumes of natural has been produced at the site, but Shell
changes the pH and coagulates the gas to raise steam, and there are air says further work is necessary before
clay, thereby increasing the settling emissions from the steam boilers. A the process can be commercialized.
rate of the tailings, says Theo Paradis, number of companies are working on Gerald Parkinson
22 Chemical Engineering February 2009

07_CHE_021509_NF1.indd 22 1/26/09 9:07:26 AM

Newsfront Figure 1. Aqua-Aer-
obic Systems AquaMB
Process offers a multi-
ple barrier concept. The

Taking the
progressively staged
treatment approach al-
lows the membranes to
operate at elevated
permeability, reduc-

ing the membrane
area required

Chemical processors should begin

looking into water reuse systems now,
as experts suggest tightening water
supplies will soon be a reality across the U.S.
Aqua-Aerobic Systems

lobally, water reuse and recy- 38% of the U.S. was experiencing mod- ties of water reuse and recycling as
cling are not uncommon with erate to severe levels of drought. By part of the permitting process. Already
parts of Australia, South Africa 2013, the same index estimates at least in some areas of the U.S. and around
and the Middle East rather 36 states will face water shortages. the world, the only way to get a permit
heartily embracing the practice. Even As a result, the availability of mu- for an expansion is to go to zero-liquid
in Europe, it is estimated that 75 to nicipal facilities to take on the water discharge, he says.
80% of water is reused. However, be- needs of the CPI and other large indus- In the western world, the value of
cause fresh water is prevalent and trial users will start shrinking, causing water in dollars per gallon is not at
plentiful in most parts of the U.S., few the use of freshwater to become more the point where zero-liquid discharge
domestic chemical processors, or other costly, says Mark Boone, vice president or water recycling will necessarily pro-
industrial consumers of water, have of sales and marketing with HPD, a vide a return on investment. However
yet to take the plunge when it comes Veolia Water Solutions and Technolo- that doesnt mean that it wont be the
to treating and reusing contaminated gies company, (Chicago, Ill.). case in the future because high-qual-
water supplies. As the availability of freshwater ity water is becoming more precious as
However, industry experts antici- starts shrinking and plant sites start its availability continues to dwindle,
pate that this will soon change, send- to grow, it will become more of a chal- explains Boone.
ing the U.S. chemical process indus- lenge to access a broad array of fresh-
tries (CPI) on a quest to find the best water sources, reasons Chuck Martz, Technology selection
and most economical method of treat- global marketing director for Dow With that in mind, now may be the
ing and recycling wastewater from Water Solutions (Midland, Mich.). time to start considering the risk of
their own plants or from the munici- For this reason, getting to zero liquid not having freshwater available and,
palities that supply their water. discharge or using less scarce sources based on that risk, considering the
With 36 states expected to expe- of water to reduce the freshwater foot- most promising technologies for recy-
rience moderate to extreme water print is certainly a growing trend, cling contaminated water. While there
shortages by the year 2013, the time notes Martz. are several capable technologies cur-
has come for the U.S. to rethink its As a matter of fact, conservation rently available (see for example, CE,
approach to the treatment, storage may soon be mandated in many areas, September 2008, pp. 4450, and CE,
and reuse of water on a residential, according to Boone, who says the per- October 2008, pp. 6068), finding the
industrial and municipal level, says mitting process for chemical proces- one that is right for a given plant or
Shane Keaney, president of Bord na sors and other industrial water users application can be tricky because there
Mna Environmental Products U.S. looking to expand or update facilities is no single technology that works for
Inc. (Greensboro, N.C.). is becoming more stringent. Almost every application.
According to the Palmer Hydrologi- any processor seeking a permit is When you look at reusing water, the
cal Drought Index, at the end of 2007 being asked to examine the possibili- form of treatment will vary depend-
Chemical Engineering February 2009 23

08_CHE_021509_NF2.indd 23 1/22/09 12:04:07 PM



ing on whats being made

in the facility, says Thomas
Schultz, director of sales
and marketing, petroleum
and chemical industry with
Siemens Water Technologies
(Warrendale, Pa.). Another
impact on technology choice
is the stream that is being
reused. Most people think
of wastewater recycling as
taking all the wastewater
at the back end of a facil-
ity, cleaning it up and trying
to reuse it. Often thats the Figure 2. Aquatechs HERO system is a reverse osmosis technology designed to purify
most difficult way to pro- difficult-to-treat feed waters. In a HERO system, RO membranes are operated in a high pH en-
vironment and hence, in a continuous cleaning mode, eliminating the potential foulants and
ceed, says Schultz. A lot of resulting in improved overall performance
times, it is easier, more fea-
sible and more economical to isolate ones will meet the needs of the plant. into the bottom of the membrane mod-
specific streams within a facility that Keep in mind that there is no single ules through an airlift effect. The air
are already relatively clean. technology that works for all applica- bubbles blend with the mixed liquor
He says technology selection also tions, says Mike Mowbray, marketing and rise up into the membrane fiber,
depends on how you want to reuse the manager, U.S. Water Services (Cam- providing effective scouring to the
water. Do you want to reuse water for bridge, Minn.). Each system must be membrane surface and refreshing the
fire prevention or non-agricultural ir- designed based on the quality of the membrane surface to prevent solids
rigation, neither of which requires waste stream that is being recovered, concentration polarization.
high-quality water? Or do you need the quality requirements of the water The system can be used in a range
boiler feedwater, which must be of needed to be returned to the process of industrial wastewater treatment
higher quality than drinking water? and the operating needs of a particu- applications and can be retrofitted to
he asks. Its really a matter of deter- lar facility. existing plants wishing to replace con-
mining what each facility needs to do He says there are mature technolo- ventional clarification processes with
when trying to reuse the water and gies such as cold lime softening that membrane separation.
then matching up those needs with may be employed or more modern, and Another wastewater recycling
the different qualities or different very promising, membrane-related method is ultrafiltration, a pressure-
types of wastewater generated within methods, such as membrane bioreac- driven membrane separation process
a facility and finding a technology tors, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis that helps remove particulate matter
that can handle the requirements at and others to consider. from water or other aqueous solu-
the lowest cost possible. tions. Dow Water Solutions UF mem-
That said, initiating a wastewater Membrane technologies brane is made from high-grade poly-
management program within the fa- Currently a lot of work is being done meric PVDF material to form a hollow
cility is usually a good starting point. with membranes. Membrane bioreac- fiber membrane that is very durable
This step identifies water sources and tors (MBR), which involve biological and less prone to breakage. The hol-
characterizes the streams from those treatment using microfilter or ultra- low fiber has a dense layer, or skin,
sources on a segregated basis. From filter technology to remove biological on both the inside and outside sur-
there, processors need to look at where contaminants from wastewater, are faces, forming a double-walled struc-
they can use the water within the facil- getting a lot of attention. This method ture that contributes to its strength.
ity to provide a better handle on where is said to provide higher-quality In addition, its fouling resistance is
the water will come from, where it will treated effluent than conventional bi- improved by making the membrane
be used and what can be done during ological systems, and there are several surface more hydrophilic than the un-
the process in between to produce less variations on the technology. derlying PVDF polymer. With uniform
contaminants in the water. This is For example, Siemens provides the pore size and outside-in-flow, Dows
where most people start because its MemPulse MBR system, which uses UF membrane creates a barrier with-
the low-lying fruit and provides easy a mechanical device that supplies out sacrificing performance.
return on investment, says Boone. irregular pulses of air to the MBR As an alternative to these methods,
Once that evaluation has taken module. This increases scouring ef- Aqua-Aerobic (Rockford, Ill.) offers a
place, its time to move on to examining fectiveness, decreases operational and multiple barrier (MB) approach that
the resultant waste stream or streams maintenance costs and reduces en- incorporates progressive staged fil-
to be treated and looking at the avail- ergy consumption. The device works tration, called the AquaMB Process.
able technologies to see which one or by introducing air and mixed liquor The multiple barrier concept main-
24 Chemical Engineering February 2009

08_CHE_021509_NF2.indd 24 1/22/09 12:07:50 PM

Water Supply
and Reuse
Service Providers
Aquatech recovery, reducing the cost per gallon Concentrated waste streams
Bord na Mna Environmental for pure water production and is not While the water treatment technolo-
Products U.S limited by Silt Density Index (SDI), gies may differ, they have one thing
Dow Water Solutions
which is a contributor to conven- in common the creation of a con- tional RO fouling. Since SDI is not centrated waste stream. Theres a
a limiting factor, up-stream systems little thing that people tend to for-
GE Water & Process Technologies
such as microfiltration or ultrafiltra- get when they are looking into re-
tion may not be necessary with this cycling of wastewater, and that is
Microdyne Nadir
RO system. concentrated waste, warns Siemens
Siemens Water Technologies

U.S. Water Services
Veolia Water Solutions
and Technologies

tains the focus on contaminant re-
moval in the biological reactor, with-
out interference from the membrane
operations. This progressively staged
treatment approach allows the mem-
branes to operate at elevated per-
meability, reducing the membrane
area required. Depending on the
membrane type selected (submerged
or pressure) the membrane area re-
quired to process a given flow is as

little as 20% of that required with a

membrane bioreactor.
The multiple-barrier layout also
provides the operator with the abil-
ity to discharge high-quality effluent
directly from the sequencing batch
reactor, cloth-media filtration system
or from the membranes. The mem-

branes can also be operated on an as-

needed basis.
For difficult-to-treat water such as
that coming from cooling tower blow-
down, high silica well and surface
waters, process wastewaters high in
organics, mining wastewaters, pro-
duced water and other waste streams,
reverse osmosis (RO) can be used fol-
lowing, or in some cases instead of,
other membrane treatments.

Aquatech (Canonsburg, Pa.) offers

a High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis,
or HERO, System for such situa-
tions, saying it offers benefits be-
yond conventional RO processes. In
a HERO system, RO membranes are
operated in a high pH environment

and in a continuous cleaning mode,
eliminating potential foulants, and
resulting in improved performance.
The system provides higher water
Circle 18 on p. 62 or go to
Chemical Engineering February 2009 25

08_CHE_021509_NF2.indd 25 1/22/09 12:08:34 PM

HeBei DaTang WangTang International
HuaTan Electricity Co. Ltd.


Schultz. What happens with these Figure 3. Skids

of Dow Ultrafiltration
systems is that when you extract the modules, such as
clean water from the waste, you end these in the HeBei
up concentrating the waste. It may WangTang Power
be a small amount of waste, but its Plant in China, meet
a higher strength because its been the challenges of high
turbidity and fluctuat-
concentrated and you now have to ing water temperature
dispose of this waste. to produce acceptable
This is typically where recycling feed water
process water gets expensive and be-
comes bogged down, says Boone.
Pretreatment and membrane system
are manageable costs and can provide
an economic benefit even at todays
water values. But because of the con-
centrated waste, water recyclers are
forced to either deep well inject, dis-
charge to a surface water body or ther-
mally treat the concentrate.
On the bright side, however, Boone
says there are advances to these
technologies that may make dealing
with the concentrated waste stream
more feasible. We are looking at get-
ting greater performance and greater
recovery out of membrane systems,
which reduces the volume of concen-
trate being produced, he says. In ad-
dition, the application of advanced
and more affordable evaporation and
crystallization technology is becoming
an option. We are working on a vari-
ety of aspects to reduce the capital and
operating costs of the final concentrate
processing systems, notes Boone.

Return on recycling investment

While there is still no or only a mar-
ginal payback for water recycling
in most parts of the U.S., that will
change as the technology continues
to advance and be employed by more
processors, according to the experts.
Until then, processors can take baby
steps toward water recycling that will
provide a return on investment, says
U.S. Water Services Mowbray.
If water is heated, minimizing dis-
charge or reusing and recovering the
heat usually provides a surprisingly
fast ROI. While more sophisticated
systems can be expensive, as fresh
water becomes more valuable and
sewer charges increase, the ROI on
these projects gets much better, notes
Mowbray. And if discharge permits
can only be met through water reuse,
then the ROI is pretty easy to meet.
Circle 19 on p. 62 or go to
Joy LePree
26 Chemical Engineering February 2009

08_CHE_021509_NF2.indd 26 1/22/09 12:09:35 PM

Solids Processing

A Conveyor
Characteristics of flexible screw,
aero-mechanical, vacuum and pneumatic
conveyors are discussed here Figure 1. Flexible screw conveyors are the simplest and
least expensive solution and can be curved to some extent,
depending on the diameter
Michel Podevyn, Spiroflow Systems, Inc.

onveyor selection is always de- provides the user with the flexibility it is ideal for maintaining a constant
fined by the larger project that to route the conveyor around obstacles head of material in packing machine
it is meant to serve. First, there anywhere between the inlet and out- hoppers by gently filling to the high
is a broad range of performance let. Normally, using only one continu- level control rather than dumping
factors that must be met. Meanwhile, ous curve is recommended. pulsed batches. Because the in-flight
health, safety and environmental con- For most applications, the spiral product is constant, flexible spiral con-
siderations usually outweigh the costs itself has a round cross section, but a veyors will give very accurate, highly
involved. After that, it comes down to flat or profiled version can also be used repeatable batches if controlled by a
the usual commercial considerations for fine, cohesive or easily smeared simple time switch.
of price and delivery. materials. Although flexible spiral conveyors
What follows are the main param- Flexible screw conveyors are de- need to run full of product, they can
eters, benefits and disadvantages signed to operate when full of mate- be emptied at the end of a batch op-
of four different types of conveyors, rial; running empty will lead to exces- eration or at the end of a shift by re-
namely flexible screw, aero-mechani- sive noise and wear. Having a head of moving an end bung and running the
cal, vacuum and pneumatic. material in the feed hopper is desir- conveyor in reverse at a reduced speed
Meanwhile, the task of working able since it helps with the elevation of if necessary.
with vendors both after and often material upon startup of the conveyor.
during the choice in conveyor type The main benefit of the flexible Aero-mechanical conveyors
has been made is covered in the screw conveyor is its inherent simplic- The second type of conveyor, the aero-
box on p. 28. ity, which translates into low initial mechanical conveyor (AMC; Figure 2),
cost, quick installation and low main- is ideal for total transfer of products
Flexible screw conveyors tenance. For the needs of pharma- at distances from 10 to 85 ft at rates of
Flexible screw conveyors (Figure 1) ceutical, food and dairy applications, up to 120 ton/h.
are often the simplest and lowest cost specific models are available that can An alternative and more descrip-
solution for transferring a variety of be safely stripped down in minutes for tive name of the AMC is a rope and
materials from Point A to Point B at thorough cleaning. disk conveyor. This is because the
rates of up to 40 ton/h over distances Wear is only a problem with abra- AMC consists of several evenly spaced
of up to 65 ft. If greater conveying dis- sive products; operating lifetime with polyurethane disks attached to a wire
tances are required, multiple systems other materials is almost indefinite. rope. The rope and disks travel in a
can be linked together. Tubes and spirals can be easily re- continuous loop fashion at a consis-
Flexible screw conveyors consist of placed. One of the latest developments tently high speed within parallel steel
a special heat-treated and tempered is abrasion-resistant rubber tubes for tubes. At each end, there are enclosed
carbon or stainless-steel spiral that such applications as aggregates, sand, housings. Within these housings, the
rotates within an ultra-high-molecu- cement and glass cullet. rope assembly runs from one tube to
lar-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), Since this type of conveyor should the other around specially designed
food-grade tube. This type of conveyor always operate while full, it is not sprockets. One of these sprockets
is well suited for powdered, granular recommended for transferring pre- drives the rope and disks while the
or flaked materials with a bulk den- weighed batches to a receiver. Flexible other sprocket provides tension to the
sity up to 150 lb/ft3. screw conveyors are best used to de- rope. The high speed of the disks pro-
The term flexible means that this liver product from storage or a bag tip duces an air stream that fluidizes and
type of conveyor can be curved to some station to a weigh hopper or a vessel entrains the product in airflow until it
extent, depending on its diameter. This with a high level switch. For example, is centrifugally ejected at the outlet.
Chemical Engineering February 2009 27

09_CHE_021509_SP.indd 27 1/23/09 3:31:05 PM

Solids Processing

Information to prepare for potential vendors

A s part of the selection pro-

cess, an engineer needs to
do his or her homework and
ple, from a silo, bulk bag,
or bag tip station)?
6. To what is the product being
conveyor be transferring
material to a receiver of a
given size, on load cells; or
18. Will the conveyor operate in
a dusty or otherwise haz-
ardous area (for instance,
provide the supplier with an- conveyed (such as a mixer, is it a continuous process? will NEMA-rated explosion-
swers to certain questions. At a sifter, mill or reactor)? 13. How often / for how long proof motors and other such
minimum, the engineer should 7. If its a reactor of any type, will the conveyor operate equipment be required)?
be prepared to provide an- is there any steam, gas or each day? 19. Is the conveyor manufac-
swers to the following 21 ques- solvent given off that might 14. Is it important to deliver turer also supplying the con-
tions for all of the bulk materi- enter the conveyor? the material to the receiver trol panel, level sensors and
als to be conveyed: 8. What is the horizontal con- in a homogenous manner, other accessories?
1. What materials need to be veying distance? such as when flakes are 20. Will the conveyor be read-
conveyed? 9. What is the vertical height added to a liquid to make a ily accessible for mainte-
2. What is the bulk density? to which the product has to lump-free paste? nance purposes?
3. What is the condition of the be conveyed? 15. If the product is a mixture, 21. How long is the conveyor
product or material in terms 10. What is the route of the is it essential that the integrity expected to run between
of such criteria as moisture conveyor (such as inside, of the mix be maintained? services?
content, average particle outside or number of bends 16. Is the material fragile and Beside the questions above, a
size and temperature? required)? how important is it to minimize supplier will most likely also
4. Is the product likely to 11. What is the conveying rate damage during conveying? require additional information.
change in any way in the in pounds per hour or the 17. What accessories are What kind of information de-
future? batch size over a given time? required (such as a bag tip pends on the type of conveyor
5. From what is the product 12. Will a pre-weighed batch station, bulk bag discharger being considered and the sup-
being conveyed (for exam- be conveyed, or will the or receiver hopper)? plier itself. 

This method of conveying facilitates current of air in which the bulk solid Despite these drawbacks, properly
capacities up to 120 ton/h with low en- is carried similar to the mechanism of maintained rope and disk assemblies
ergy requirements, minimal product a vacuum or pneumatic system. How- on arduous duties have been known to
degradation and virtually no separa- ever, unlike vacuum or pneumatic sys- last 14 years and longer.
tion of mixtures. tems, the AMC has a very important The effort, worry and cost of this
AMCs effectively operate as mechan- advantage in that it does not need a regular maintenance can be avoided
ical vacuum conveyors and should not cyclone or filter to separate the prod- by selecting an AMC with an integral
be confused with drag-link type con- uct from the air. This not only saves in automatic rope-tension monitoring
veyors. Drag-link conveyors are slow- capital cost but also reduces mainte- and adjustment system.
moving, heavy duty devices in which nance and eliminates environmental
cast iron disks are often linked with issues since the air carrying the mate- Vacuum conveyors
rods or chains and where the product rial is recycled and not released at the The third conveyor type, vacuum con-
is scraped along inside the tube. outlet. The material is separated from veyors (Figure 3), is the obvious choice
Over the years, the AMC has proven the air that carries it, and the unloaded where products need to be conveyed
to be a cost efficient method of convey- air current is directed down into the over longer distances and torturous
ing materials, dust-free and without return section of the tube where it is routes. Vacuum conveying is usually
the need for filtration. The AMC offers retained in the tube circuit. restricted to throughputs of around 10
total batch transfer, contaminant free An AMC should always be started ton/h at distances over 330 ft.
delivery and operation at any angle empty and fed at a controlled rate. A vacuum conveyor uses the nega-
(including vertical) without any loss of With free-flowing products, a simple tive air pressure to convey materials
capacity. For easy cleaning, AMCs can slide gate may be all that is required through an enclosed pipeline. It pro-
also be supplied with access panels. in terms of additional equipment. In vides a solution for users requiring a
Besides straight-line operation, other cases, a controlled feed device, system that is easy to route, has few
AMCs are available in a multitude such as a rotary valve or flexible screw moving parts, is dust tight in opera-
of round the corner configurations. conveyor, should be used. tion and empties a product leaving
Other than free flowing powders, such One disadvantage of an AMC is that minimum residue. Since the air is
as acrylics, flour and carbon black, maintenance can range from moder- sucked-in, vacuum conveyors are the
AMCs can also convey difficult mate- ate to high. The rope tension needs preferred choice for toxic or otherwise
rials, such as titanium dioxide. They to be adjusted regularly during the hazardous materials in the event of
also do not have any problem convey- all-important startup period and then accidental damage to the conveying
ing granules, flakes or chips. checked periodically. Rope life depends tubes because the escape of product to
A major benefit of this type of con- upon the length of the conveyor, the the atmosphere is minimized.
veyor is that degradation of the ma- number of starts and stops, solids load- Either an exhauster or a side-chan-
terial is almost negligible. This is ing and whether routine inspection nel, high-efficiency fan located at the
because an AMC creates a moving and tensioning is properly performed. receiving end of the system, provides
28 Chemical Engineering February 2009

09_CHE_021509_SP.indd 28 1/23/09 3:32:11 PM

Figure 2. This aero-mechanical con- Figure 3. The premise for vacuum con- Figure 4. In complying with pharma-
veyor (AMC) operates high up into the veying is simplicity in operation, inherent ceutical and food standards, pneumatic
roof area. In this situation, rope tension reliability and hygienic transfer of material. conveyors are easy to clean with mini-
maintenance could be more difficult with- The basic principle of this type of system mal product degradation
out the use of scaffolding or a mobile is to convey the product from a feed or
access platform supply source into a delivery point sus-
pended in a relatively uniform system

the motive force. For low capacity con- conveying systems are normally the Vibratory feeders: Vibratory feed-
veying air-powered, venturi systems luxury of big league applications, such ers are ideal if only very short con-
are ideal. Venturi systems offer low as the rapid discharging of road and veying distances are required
capital cost and are not as expensive rail tankers into silos and the trans- Air slides: Air slides are fine for
to operate as many people have been fer of product from silos to large-scale dense materials that only require
led to believe. production processes. Capacities of up downhill conveying
Vacuum systems are normally the to 100 ton/h are not unusual. In some applications, a mix of differ-
only conveying choice for customers The two main disadvantages for ent conveyor types is appropriate. For
that want to withdraw material out of pneumatic conveyors are the rela- example, short easy to clean flexible
bags or other open top containers such tively high initial installation cost and screw conveyors are often used to pro-
as kegs and drums. Vacuum systems the amount of filtration required. As vide a long distance, AMC with a consis-
are also ideal for applications with with vacuum conveyors, self-cleaning tent in-feed of material.
multiple inlets. reverse-jet filters are a big help in re- Edited by Rebekkah Marshall
Reverse-jet, self-cleaning filters ducing maintenance. Maintenance is
clean the conveying air and return the required to make sure these systems
air to the atmosphere after use. This- are free of leaks to ensure optimum Michel Podevyn is presi-
type of filter reduces maintenance and efficiency and, above all, to avoid the dent and CEO of Spiroflow
minimizes product loss. associated health and environmental Systems, Inc. (2806 Gray Fox
Road, Monroe, NC 28110;
issues that are associated with leaks. Phone: 704-291-9595, Fax:
704-291-9594; Email: info@
Pneumatic conveyors; Web-
Pneumatic conveyors (Figure 4) are Other types of conveyors site: www.spiroflowsystems.
com). Of Belgian origin,
probably the most versatile of all con- Beside these four types of conveyors, Podevyn spent much of his
veying systems, with the main negative there are several additional types life in the U.K. where he was
instrumental in the develop-
aspect being high cost. There is virtu- available. These include the following: ment of the Flexible Screw Conveyor. Originally
ally no limitation on capacity, product Rigid screw conveyors: Beware of targeted at applications in the plastics industry,
the flexible screw conveyor is now universally
type, distance or routing. Lean phase the seals and bearings, which come used across the chemical process industries.
With this development, Podevyn established
systems (where the ratio of product into contact with the bulk solid ma- Spiroflow Systems Ltd. in Lancashire, U.K. In
to air is low) can move mountains of terial being conveyed the 1980s, he formed Spiroflow Systems, Inc. on
back of the former Orthos Inc. in Monroe, N.C.
product. Dense phase or plug flow sys- Bucket elevators: This type of con- This acquisition took Spiroflow into the aero-
tems move slugs of product at lower veyor is ideal for the most delicate mechanical conveyor market. Over 20 years ago,
Podevyn also anticipated the appeal of the now
speeds with minimal degradation. products but generally not for those ubiquitous Bulk Bag and, as a result, developed
Positive-pressure, pneumatic con- that are dusty a range of bulk bag filling and bulk bag discharg-
ing units, most of which are either fed or evacu-
veying is generally used to convey Flat belt conveyors: This type of ated by one of the companys conveyors. Podevyn
is also chairman of the Spiroflow Group, which
materials from a single source to one conveyor is mainly used in quarries has a similar manufacturing operation in the
or multiple destinations. Pneumatic and mines U.K. to serve the European market.

Chemical Engineering February 2009 29

09_CHE_021509_SP.indd 29 1/23/09 3:39:07 PM

chemical process evaluation

Process Economics
The Process Economics Program (PEP) provides in-depth, independent technical and
economic evaluation of both commercial and emerging technologies for the chemical
and refining industries. When you need to find out about a chemical process, we can
deliver the answers.

Highlights from a New Report

Worldwide production of LLDPE approached 20 million metric tons in 2008, 29% of the
total polyethylene produced. This report examines four commercial processes and related
patents: fluidized-bed gas-phase, slurry loop, and two solution processes. This report is an
update and supplement to a series of Process Economics Program (PEP) reports on
technologies and economics of LLDPE.

For more information on this report and purchasing information, please contact
Angela Faterkowski, +1 281 203 6275,
Smart Research. Smart Business.

Circle xx on p. xx or go to


SRI 2-09.indd 1 1/23/09 12:15:15 PM

Pipe Sizing

Department Editor: Kate Torzewski

Friction Factor Hydraulically smooth pipes. Equations (1)

and (3) allow us to find an expression for the
Fluid flowing through pipes experiences discharge of a smooth pipe. D Diameter of pipe, m
resistance due to viscosity, turbulence and
DR Diameter of very rough pipe, m
roughness of the pipe surface. The Darcy-
DS Diameter of very smooth pipe, m
Weisbach Equation (1) is commonly used for
 (10) D1 Diameter of standard commercially
the analysis of steady-state, Newtonian-fluid available pipe, m
flow inside pipes. It summarizes the relations f Darcy friction factor, dimensionless
between frictional head loss, fluid properties,
g Gravitational acceleration, m/s2
pipe geometry and discharge.  (11) Gu Dynamic roughness, dimensionless
Commercial pipes. Equations (1) and (6) allow hf Frictional head loss, m
us to find an expression for the discharge of a L Length of pipe, m
commercial pipe. Q Volumetric flowrate, m3/s
For laminar flow (Re < 2,100), the friction fac- P Pressure drop, N/m2
tor is a function of Reynolds number only. Re Reynolds number, dimensionless,
Re = 4Q/D
X Dimensionless parameter (Eq. [11])
In turbulent flow (Re > 4,000), f depends upon Pipe roughness, m
Reynolds number and pipe roughness. Dimensionless parameter (Eq. [16])
Hydraulically smooth pipes. In this case, the Viscosity, N-s/m2
friction factor is solely a function of Re. For the  (12)
Density, kg/m3
determination of friction factor, Von Krmn Diameter multiplier, dimensionless
and Prandtl [2] developed Equation (3). Pipe Diameter
Rearranging Equation (1) to yield an expres-
 (3) sion for pipe diameter gives Equation (13).
This correlation must be solved by iterative
procedures, but simpler correlations given by 1.6

Diameter multiplier,
Colebrook [3] and Blasius [4] are written as  (13) 1.5
Equations (4) and (5), respectively. Smooth pipes. Substituting Equation (5) for f 1.4
Re yields a correlation for pipe diameter.

 (4) 1.2

 (14) 1.1
Commercial pipes. Determining the diameter 1.0
Commercial pipe. In this case, f is governed
of a rough pipe requires the use of Gu, the 0.9
by both Re and relative roughness, expressed 1 10 100 1,000 1x104 1x105 1x106
dynamic roughness.
as /D. The Colebrook-Whites Equation (6) is Gu
used to calculate f [3].  (15) Figure 1 is a plot with Gu as abscissa and as
Manipulating Equation (7) to reflect Gu and ordinate. It has the expected limit at Gu = 0, at
substituting into the expression for pipe di- = 1. First, estimate a pipe diameter assuming
ameter gives Equation (17), commercial pipe smooth pipe. Using this diameter, calculate Gu from
As this equation requires trial-and-error solu- diameter. Several design parameters can be Equation (15). Then, from Figure 1, get the value
tion, Altshul [5] has developed Equation (7), a condensed into a constant, named .
of and multiply it by the diameter to get actual
computationally simpler choice. diameter needed for the commercial pipe.

 (7)  (16) Graphical Sizing Method

To avoid lengthy calculations, a graphical
Pressure Drop method can be used to approximate pipe
 (17) diameter. Dividing Equation (17) by Equation
To determine pressure drop, discharge and
The range of Gu is: 0 < Gu < 106, based on (18), we get the diameter multiplier, .
diameter must be known.
Hydraulically smooth pipes. Using Equa- the known ranges of Re and /D for all pipe
tion (1) and the friction factor correlation for and flow conditions. Substituting these two ex-  (20)
smooth pipe, Equation (8) is found. treme values of Gu into Equation (15) gives the A graphical method using can help to quickly
following extreme cases, which a pipe diameter estimate the degree of roughness the chosen
must fall between. pipe can withstand.
Case 1: Extremely smooth pipe. Gu = 0.
 (8) References
Commercial pipes. Using Equation (1) and 1. Gulyani, B. B., Approximating Equations for Pipe Siz-
the friction factor correlation for smooth pipe, ing, Chem. Eng., February 2001, pp. 105108.
Equation (9) is found. 2. Von Krmn, T. J., Turbulence and skin friction, J.
Case 2: Extremely rough pipe. Gu = 106 Aerospace Sci., 7, 120, 1934.
3. Colebrook, C. F., and White, C. M., J. of Institution
of Civil Engineers (London), 10, 1, pp. 99118,
 (9) 19371938.

 (19) 4. Blausius, H., Das Anlichkeitsgesetz bei Reibungs-

Discharge Here, we see that even for very rough pipe (/D
vorgngen in Flssigkeiten, Forschungsarbeit Arb.
Ing.-Wes., No. 131, Belin, 1913.
To determine discharge, pressure drop and = 0.01, Re = 108), the diameter estimate will be 5. Altshul A. D., and Kiselev, P. G., Gidravlika i Aerodina-
diameter must be known. only about five thirds of that for smooth pipe. mika, 2nd ed., pp. 166`96, Strojizdat Moscow, 1975.

10_CHE_021509_FACTS.indd 31 1/26/09 9:10:13 AM



OKeefe Newton Sanderlin Torrence Wallace

Stephen Weinberg joins Audubon Microbia Precision Engineering, David Torrence is named vice-president
Engineering Solutions (Houston, Inc. (Lexington, Mass.) elects Gaye and general manager of Plastomer
Tex.) as director of process technology. Bok senior director, commercial devel- Technologies (Houston, Tex.).
opment, and elects Sam Zeller senior
Haws Corp. (Sparks, Nev.) names director, regulatory affairs. PPG Industries (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
William O'Keefe corporate marketing appoints Charles F. Kahle II chief
manager. Bob Newton joins MIOX Corp. (Al- technology officer.
buquerque, N.M.) as vice-president,
Honeywell Process Solutions industrial markets. Klaus Fuchs is appointed president
(Phoenix, Ariz.) appoints Normal and CEO of Siltronic AG (Munich,
Gilsdorf president. Bryan Sanderlin is appointed president Germany).
of OSECO (Broken Arrow, Okla.).
Bill St. Thomas becomes sales man- Swagelok (Solon, Ohio) names Deric
ager of North America of Ipsen, Inc. PAS Inc. (Houston, Tex.) elects Chris Wallace regional director, Europe.
(Rockford, Ill.) Lyden president. Kate Torzewski


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32 Chemical Engineering
87_Flexim-Anzeige-ChemEngin 1 February 2009
Chem11:18:49 Uh Vert.indd
Eng_Quarter 1 10/23/08 4:43:09 PM

11_CHE_021509_WW.indd 32 1/22/09 11:39:36 AM

Continental Disc

Show Preview



he worlds largest pharma- stainless-steel overbraid, and a smooth, vides excellent peristaltic-pump life,
ceutical conference and ex- noncontaminating silicone cover for no can be aseptically sealed in seconds,
hibition, Interphex, will be braid fray. Booth 2145 Swagelok, and welds directly to biobag contain-
held at the Jacob K. Javits Solon, Ohio ers, thus eliminating the need for
Convention Center in New Booth 2145 silicone tubing grafts. Other products
York from March 1719, 2009. available from the company include
On the show floor, attendees will find silicone manifolds and molded com-
equipment and solutions for drug man- These discs allows 95% of the ponents, fluoropolymer hose, silicone
ufacturing, from process development rated burst pressure tubing and reinforced hose, Advan-
to market delivery. Interphex has or- The Ultrx HP and Star X HP reverse taLabel hose-identification solutions
ganized the exhibitor list of nearly 800 acting discs (photo) achieve and con- and RFID tags to uniquely identify
companies into four major segments: trol burst pressures at close toler- individual process components and
Facilities, Outsourcing & Contract ances. Their design allows pressuriza- hose assemblies. GammaTag RFID
Services, Information Technology, and tion up to 95% of the rated (marked) tags may be attached to single-use
Manufacturing/Processing. burst pressure under normal operat- products, healthcare equipment and
For more information, visit the show ing conditions for ratings above 40 medical devices that require gamma
website at Here is psig. In this case, a standard burst sterilization before use. Booth 1555
a sampling of the technology that will tolerance of 5% applies to the rated AdvantaPure, Southampton, Pa.
be found at the exhibition. burst pressure. For rated burst pres-
sures below 40 psig, the recommended
This clean hose withstands operating pressure is 95% of the value Lab centrifuge with
extreme temperatures of the rated burst pressure minus the interchangeable bowl feature
The Coreflex Series U-COR smooth- burst tolerance (2 psig). The Ultrx HP This lab-scale separator is ideal for
bore hose (photo) is designed to maxi- excels in all-liquid systems as well as research and development purposes.
mize hoop strength, which helps reduce gaseous or partial gas/liquid systems. The new SC 5 unit allows the opera-
kinking while keeping the hose flexible. The Star X HP is designed to provide tor to switch between three different
Coupled with sanitary end connections, protection at burst pressures as low bowl sizes. This enables the separator
Coreflex hose promotes increased drain- as 13 psig. Booth 1772 Continental to process varying batch sizes from 20
ability and flowrates. Swagelok Core- Disc Corp., Liberty, Mo. to 400 L. Available as a package unit,
flex Series U-COR hose has insulation the SC 5 can be ordered with all com-
from internal system fluid temperature ponents pre-installed on a stainless-
extremes, making it particularly useful Find clean hoses and labeling steel frame, including the centrifuge,
for steam and other high-temperature systems from this company control cabinet, fittings, instruments,
applications. Features of the U-COR AdvantaFlex biopharmaceutical- pipework and wiring. To accommodate
hose include a smooth-bore Fluoropo- grade tubing (photo) is designed for a wide range of process settings, bowl
lymer core, reinforced with a silicone media and viral filling and for sam- speed can be adjusted between 8,000
layer bonded to the core, a 300 Series pling applications. AdvantaFlex pro- and 12,000 rpm. The SC 5 unit also
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number Chemical Engineering february 2009 32D-1
on p. 62, or use the website designation.

12_CHE_021509_SHOW.indd 1 1/22/09 11:27:45 AM


Show Preview

features a nozzle design that ensures processes. Booth 1172 Jenike &
clean-in-place (CIP) cleaning and a Johanson, Tyngsboro, Mass.
low-maintenance flat belt drive. Booth
1779 GEA Westfalia Separator,
Northvale, N.J. Use this dryer for small-scale production or trials
The Helical Dryer Model HD 40
Test the flow properties of (photo) is the latest development in
powders in small sample sizes the Krauss-Maffei dryer equipment
As part of its position in characteriz- product line. The unit is fully mobile,
ing powder flow properties and segre- and provided with a PLC-based con-
gation tendencies, this firm has jointly trol panel including wireless data
developed with Pfizer material spar- logging for operation in hazardous
ing segregation testers. These testers material areas. With a batch work-
allow the use of smaller starting sam- ing capacity of 40 L, the unit can be Powder-testing ensures powder
ples of blended powders, more accurate used as a small-production dryer or and process compatibility
and repeatable test sequences, as well for test trials for scaleup to production The FT4 powder tester delivers the
as contained recovery of typical unit size batch mixer/dryers. Key features insight into powder behavior that is
dose sample sizes. In conjunction with include a heatable shaft-mixing as- needed to understand powders, achieve
other available testers and analytical sembly, bottom discharge, only one me- compatibility between powder and
methods, the underlying relationships chanical seal, easy access for inspec- plant and enable process optimization.
between powder flow sequences and tion and full cleanablility with CIP The FT4 performs a range of method-
segregation behaviors can be deter- spray devices. Booth 3105 KMPT ologies, measuring shear, bulk and dy-
mined and used to provide practical USA, Inc., Florence, Ky. namic properties in a short time, using
improvements to powder handling relatively small amounts of material.

Circle 23 on p. 62 or go to Circle 24 on p. 62 or go to

32D-2 Chemical Engineering february 2009

12_CHE_021509_SHOW.indd 2 1/22/09 11:31:55 AM

A solution in every drop of
water. In the simple bond of hydrogen and
oxygen, the complexity of human need presents
itself. But if we apply chemistry, using the Human
Element as our filter, we discover solutions as vital as
water itself. Solutions like advanced desalination and
re-use technology from Dow Water Solutions that
make the purification and recycling of municipal
water possible.

Dow Water Solutions reverse osmosis technology

is at work in three wastewater reclamation and
reuse facilities in Beijing, China. Reverse osmosis
technology enables Beijing to meet its 50 percent
wastewater reuse rate for the 2008 Beijing Olympic
The DOW Diamond Logo and Human Games this summer. It also helps address growing
Element and design are trademarks of
The Dow Chemical Company 2008 worldwide demand for water and Chinas
own commitment to conservation and reuse. Caring
for man is caring for the future of mankind.
And that is what The Dow Chemical Company
is all about.

Circle 25 on p. 62 or go to

Dow Water 10-08.indd 1 1/23/09 12:20:00 PM

Show Preview

In addition, it is possible to define, in according to the firm. The design

terms of easily measurable param- of the conveyor improves the vac-
eters, the characteristics of materials uum-assisted flow by 25% without
that will be optimal for a given piece affecting energy consumption. The
of plant a hopper or a tablet press, C2100-64 is able to transport up to
for example. Developing formulations 1.01.5 ton/h. This stainless-steel
that meet this specification ensures conveyor operates at feed pres-
compatibility between the plant and sures between 58 and 87 psi and
powder, thereby building quality into at working temperatures between PIAB
the manufacturing process from the 0 and 140F. Booth 2922 PIAB,
outset. Booth 1269 Freeman Tech- Inc. Hingham, Mass. nent is tailored to the individual ap-
nology, Welland, U.K. plication in close consultation with the customer. Insitec LPS is supplied with
Perform automatic particle sizing the this firms Link software package,
This energy-efficient vacuum in wet processes which simplifies operation and facili-
conveyor works in limited spaces The flexible design of the Insitec LPS tates integration with existing control
This compact yet powerful new convey- wet-process, particle-size analyzer en- platforms. Operating 24/7, it requires
ing solution, the C2100-64 vacuum con- ables it to be customized for specific little manual intervention and gener-
veyor, quietly and hygienically trans- applications in the pharmaceutical ates particle size data at the frequency
ports powder and bulk materials in industry. Incorporating a sampler, needed for realtime process control. An
limited spaces. The C2100-64 conveyor pre-diluter, cascade diluter and mea- Intrinsically Safe (IS) version is also
(photo) features COAX multistage ejec- surement cell, the Insitec LPS is a available. Booth 1038 Malvern In-
tor technology, consuming less air and fully automated system that measures struments, Malvern, U.K.
energy than any other compressed-air- particles from 0.1 to 1000 microns in
driven conveyor currently available, almost any wet stream. Each compo-  Kate Torzewski

Circle 26 on p. 62 or go to
32D-4 Chemical Engineering february 2009

12_CHE_021509_SHOW.indd 4 1/22/09 11:33:12 AM

Milton Roy Europe


This compact I/O block module Industrie-
handles up to 16 signals
This new series of compact I/O mod-
ules (photo) uses technology based
on the reliable BL67 modular I/O
system, and includes different BL67
electronic components and a pro-
grammable gateway within a single
epoxy-sealed housing that is resistant
to dirt and shock. Up to 16 digital or
analog signals on one single I/O block
module provide increased ap- Hans Turck
plication compatibility and en-
able the user to move towards
a consistently decentralized
process. The IP67 sta-
tions will be available in
three housing sizes and
six different I/O profiles
for Profibus-DP and De-
viceNet. The BL compact
series will soon also sup-
port all established field-
bus protocols as well as
Industrial Ethernet and IO-
Link. Hans Turck GmbH
& Co. KG, Muelheim an der
Ruhr, Germany Parker Hannifin

Level control,
even for sticky materials Remove vapors from gases with This dosing pump features a hy-
Originally designed to cope with the this line of disposable filters draulically activated diaphragm
problems associated with adhesive This new line of Balston In-Line Dis- Primeroy L (photo) is the second
products, the 26 Series capacitive sen- posable Adsorption Filters (photo) is product of this firms range of com-
sors (photo) have been found to have designed to remove vapors from gases. pact industrial dosing pumps. It is
excellent characteristics for even Hydrocarbons, ketones, carbon diox- designed around the GSD (Global
general use in level control. They typi- ide, ammonia, mercury, methanol and Security Device) diaphragm liquid
cally overcome the problems caused freons are just a few of the many va- end, which provides a triple hydrau-
by products sticking to the sensor pors that can be adsorbed. Each filter lic security: internal pressure safety
and the need for continual readjust- is capable of handling up to 50 psig op- valve; diaphragm controlled hydrau-
ment. This Series has been extended erating pressure in gas service and up lic oil refill; and protection valve pre-
with the new Easy Teach range, with to 70 psig in liquid service. The units venting the diaphragm from over-
housing lengths that can reach deeper come standard with a 1/2-in. tube con- running and extruding. The pump
into containers. These sensors have a nection and are constructed in nylon. provides flowrates of 3,300 L/h with
G 1 1/2-in process connection, and are The filters can be used for sample a maximum pressure of 45 bars. The
available in lengths up to 2,000 mm. analysis, venting applications, emis- pump is compliant with the API 675
They are suitable for both wet and dry sions monitoring, and direct food con- and ATEX CE EX II 2G c T4 stan-
areas. Rechner Industrie-Elektronik tact applications. Parker Hannifin dards. Milton Roy Europe, Pont-
GmbH, Lampertheim, Germany Corp., Haverhill, Mass. Saint-Pierre, France
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number Chemical Engineering february 2009 32I-1
on p. 62, or use the website designation.

13_CHE_021509_NPi.indd 1 1/22/09 12:23:13 PM


New Products
Herbold Mechersheim


Shred big parts

with this compact system
HR 102 P (photo) is a new single-shaft Michell Instruments

shredder that requires minimal space

for shredding bulky hollow bodies,
such as barrels (up to 220 L), purg- measurement circuitry to form a fully This module lets flowmeters
ings, tops and tails occurring during calibrated and interchange sensor communicate via fieldbus
the production. Another application transmitter. Calibration exchange, This firm has developed a new commu-
is bulky thermoforming waste, large or service, can be affected in seconds, nication module (photo) for connecting
injection-molded parts, and loose film even by untrained personnel. Ongo- flow instruments to Foundation Field-
waste. In addition to the conventional ing operating costs are said to be low bus (FF). The module is suitable for
horizontal pushing device, this shred- because of the transmitters stability the series of Sitrans F M 6000 and Si-
der has an additional pneumatically and reliability. Typical applications in- trans F C MASS 6000 devices, which
operated pushing device acting from clude compressed air dryers, hydrogen are part of the USM II (Universal
above that has a positive effect on content in power generators, indus- Signal Module) family. Based on the
the material being sized by the rotor. trial gas manufacturing and supply. plug-and-play principle, the user sim-
If quality granulate is required, it is Michell Instruments, Ely, U.K. ply clicks the module into the mount
also possible to add a subsequent low- of the instrument. In addition to the
speed granulator from the firms ma- new FF module, there are additional
chine series. Herbold Mechersheim A low-cost solution for remote modules available for Profibus PA/DP,
GmbH, Mechkersheim, Germany monitoring and control HART, Modbus RTU and DeviceNet. The AutoLog ControlMan (photo) uses Siemmens Industry Automation Di-
existing GSM/GPRS and internet net- vision, Nuremberg, Germany
A dew point transmitter for when works for communication, so users do
the pressure is on not need to invest in their own net-
The Easidew T.X. dew point transmit- working, server or maintenance staff. This water distribution system
ter (photo) has been enhanced to take Everything is offered as remotely is pre-validated
accurate measurements in pressures hosted service. Users can simply open Nexus (photo, p. 32I-3) is a range of
of up to 450 bar (6,500 psi). The device a web browser from any PC and log standard, packaged, pre-validated dis-
is a fully configured and calibrated in to monitor and control their re- tribution systems for purified water
moisture transmitter that can be in- morte targets. Services include all the and water for injection (WFI), provid-
stantly incorporated into an air or standard SCADA features, such as ing flowrates up to 30 m3/h. Each pack-
gas management and control system. alarms, trends, reports, controls and age is complete with an inverter-driven
The unit incorporates an Advanced process views. FF-Automation Ltd., pump, ASME BPE pipework, double
Ceramic Moisture Sensor coupled Vantaa, Finland tube-sheet heat exchanger and control
with advanced microprocessor-based panel. The hygienic design and fabri-
32I-2 Chemical Engineering february 2009

13_CHE_021509_NPi.indd 2 1/23/09 8:31:02 AM

Veolia Water Solutions
and Technologies

cation in 316L stainless steel are fully

compliant with GAMP, ISPE, cGMP
and FDA requirements. Standard in-
strumentation consists of conductivity
monitoring, temperature control and a
loop-return flowmeter with options for
TOC (total organic carbon) and ozone
monitoring. Sanitation is performed
either by electrolytically generated
ozone (with ultraviolet O3 destruction), costs. The VRS vertical pump also al-
or hot water at 85C (121 for WFI). lows for liner replacement without re-
Veolia Water Solutions and Technolo- quiring a change of the entire pump
gies, Saint Maurice, France casing. The impellers are built with tighter tolerances than other vertical
pumps, which improves the operating
An enhanced way to feed small efficiency and saves up to 40% in en-
quantities of ingredients ergy costs, says the manufacturer. The
An enhanced version of this firms mi- VRS pumps are available in 2-, 3-, 5-
cro-ingredient feeder MT12 (photo) is and 6-in. dia. with 4 and 6-ft lengths.
now available in both pharmaceutical They can handle duties with up to 120
and non-pharmaceutical models. The ft head, solids up to 1/4 in., and 75 psi
system accurately feeds free-flowing working pressure. ITT Corp., White
or difficult to handle powders at flow- Plains, N.Y.
rates as low as 20 g/h and as high as
2 kg/h, depending on the material.
Both loss-in-weight and volumetric Comprehensive rheological solu-
feeder models are available. Among tion for the petrochemical sector
the new enhancements are: a new in- In December, this firm introduced a
verted hopper design (negative cone), comprehensive portfolio for the petro-
to aid material flow; a revised bottom chemical industry that enables analy-
agitator design driven from below the ses of crude oil through refined prod-
sealed shaft; a new sanitary scale de- ucts, such as bitumin. The firm offers a
sign, which includes internal cabling range of accessories for its rheometers
and strong frame for better stability so customers can, for example, simu-
and accuracy; and a draft shield with late conveyance conditions in pipe-
loss-in-weight models for feeding at lines. A variety of pressure sensor sys-
very low rates. K-Tron (Switzer- tems, for pressures up to 40 bars and
land) Ltd., Niederlenz, Switzerland temperatures to 300C, is available as well as a chemically resistant Hastel-
loy version. The RheoScope module for
Cut costs when operating with the Haake Mars rheometer platform
this vertical pump enables simultaneous measurements
The Goulds VRS vertical rubber-lined of rheological characteristics and
cantilever sump pump is said to set structural formations. This capabil-
new standards for energy efficiency ity allows users to learn more about
and other costs. The VRS liners, im- crystal growth in crude oil (waxing), to
Circle 27 on p. 62 or go to
pellers and casing halves are all inter- help optimize the flow of oil through
changeable with the firms SRL hori- pipelines. Thermo Fisher Scientific,
zontal pumps, resulting in reduced Inc., Karlsruhe, Germany
parts inventory and maintenance

13_CHE_021509_NPi.indd 3 1/22/09 12:25:53 PM

Amplicon Allison Engineering

New Products

Air sampling when

sterility is a must
Good Air-monitoring Practice (GAP)
requests that all the material used
for the microbiological monitoring of
the environment is sterile, and ster-
ilization compliance must be docu-
mented for the inspector authorities. Connect Ethernet over distances vertical scanning. Typical applications
The Dispo-Head sterile disposable up to 10 km without drivers include identifying methane hotspots
aspirating head for microbiological air This firm has added a new range of and measuring CH4 fluxes in landfills,
samplers of this firms SAS family has Ethernet Extenders (photo), which quantifying leaks of CH4 in natural-gas
been produced to meet these GAP re- uses DSL technology to extend com- production and processes, quantifying
quirements. Each unit is individually munications links up to 10 km over a CH4 and NH3 emissions and measur-
packaged and includes a sterilization single pair of copper wires. The units ing CH4 and CO2 from area sources.
certificate. One cubic meter of air can can operate transparently as part of an Allison Engineering, Basildon, U.K.
be sampled in about three minutes, existing network with no drivers to in-
when used with the DUO-SAS-360. stall or complex setup procedures. All
International Pbi S.p.A., Milan, Italy IP traffic that could be sent across a Improve pipetting standard patch cable can be sent across with realtime sensing
an Ethernet Extender link. The extend- E-Man Hybrid is a new generation
Monitor industrial effluents with ers can be used to connect two existing pipette incorporating the operational
this conductivity sensor LANs or to connect two isolated Ether- simplicity of a manual pipet with real-
The InPro7250PFA inductive conduc- net devices together one of which is time sensing technology. That means
tivity sensor is engineered to endure typically a PC running application soft- the pipette allows for realtime moni-
the most hazardous conditions while ware. Amplicon, Brighton, U.K. toring of the position of the piston and
screening for manufacturing seepage. the amount of liquid dispensed. With
It features a hermetically sealed cal- continuous volume tracking in place,
culation system and a safeguard for Ensure enclosure safety the pipette offers great value for titra-
maintaining stable conductivity for with this purge system tions and partial dispensing, as well as
difficult-to-measure developments The newest version of the x-purge is for measuring aspirated fluids. GMP/
in pulp and paper processes and in- designed to achieve hazardous area GLP functions, such as saved calibra-
dustrial wastewater. It consists of requirements for general-purpose en- tion and service alerts, are built in.
two high-precission coils hermeti- closures and their internal electronics. Precision is increased because a visual
cally sealed in a chemically resis- The unit does so by continuously purg- alert indicates inadequately executed
tant polymer matrix, and is inert to ing the enclosure with compressed air pipetting cycles. Rainin, a Mettler
strong mineral acids, inorganic bases or nitrogen. The positive pressure in Toledo Co., Greifensee, Switzerland
and oxidizing agents and salt solu- the enclosure ensures gas flow from in-
tions. Mettler Toledo, Greifensee, side to outside and eliminates the pos-
Switzerland sibility of flammable gases re-entering This analog signals conditioner the enclosure. The unit is constructed comes in a small package
from stainless steel, which offers the With the new miniMOORE family of
Monitor moisture content benefits of strength and corrosion re- multichannel signal conditioners, up
with this NIR gauge sistance. The x-purge is certified under to four low-cost I/O channels are deliv-
Critical control of moisture content NFPA Class 1, Div. 1., and another ered in a 1-in. footprint equivalent to
can be used to control product qual- version, the z-purge, is certified under 0.25 in./channel. Providing 1,000 Vrms
ity, improve productivity, save fuel NFPA Class 1, Div. 2. Eclipse Tech- input-to-output and channel-to-channel
consumption and optimize drying pro- nologies, Inc., Houston, Tex. signal isolation, the complete mini-
cesses. The CM710e range of Ether- MOORE family can be used to isolate,
net-enabled, online gauges uses near- convert, boost and split analog signals.
infrared (NIR) technology to measure Check for leaks over a wide area The metal housing protects against
moisture. The systems operator with this laser-based system radio frequency and electromagnetic in-
workstation enables local interaction The portable Boreal Laser Gas Finder 2 terference (EMI), which may be present
with an individual gauge, while the (photo) is ideal for open-path, ambient from walkie-talkies, motors, transform-
human-machine interface provides gas detection and multiple-path moni- ers and fluorescent lights. The signal
supervisory access to up to 16 Series toring applications. The unit is perma- conditioners come in two- and four-
710e gauges within the same network. nently calibrated, can be easily setup channel versions. Moore Industries-
NDC Infrared Engineering Ltd., and operating in less than 10 minutes. International, Inc., North Hills, Calif.
Maldon, U.K. An automated scanning mount enables full 360-deg. horizontal and 120-deg. Gerald Ondrey
32I-4 Chemical Engineering february 2009

13_CHE_021509_NPi.indd 4 1/22/09 12:26:38 PM

Circle 22 on p. 62 or go to

Interphex .indd 1 1/23/09 12:17:13 PM

Image courtesy Rice University, Yakobson Lab

Cover Story

Nano Know-How
This brief introduction to
nanotechnology provides
a basic understanding to
those new to the field

Charles R. Richard
Patent Attorney Figure 1. A graphene sheet (bottom) is a sheet of sp2-hybridized carbon atoms. A sin-
gle-walled carbon nanotube (top) is equivalent to a graphene sheet rolled into a cylinder

ost chemical engineers and based on that used by the National Nanotechnology has been described
chemists are aware of the Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI; Ar- as being in the border area of sizes im-
recent excitement generated lington, Va.; portant in physics and electrical engi-
by nanotechnology, but many Nanotechnology may be defined as neering, chemistry and chemical en-
may wonder what all the fuss is about. research or technology development gineering, biology and biotechnology,
Nanotechnology deals with small, at the atomic, molecular or macro- as well as mechanical engineering.
nanometer-scale objects, which chemi- molecular levels, in the length scale To put the size range here into some
cal engineers and chemists deal with of about 1100 nm, resulting in: (a) concrete perspective, the diameter of
everyday, at least in the form of atoms the creation and/or use of materials, a hydrogen atom is about 0.1 nm; that
and molecules. Even so, those who re- structures, features, devices or sys- of a silicon atom is about 0.33 nm; the
alize that there is some distinction are tems that have novel properties and/ diameter of a carbon nanotube, dis-
often a little unsure of the nuts and or functions because of their size or cussed later, is often about 1 nm; the
bolts involved. (b) the ability to control or manipu- minimum feature on microchips is
Unfortunately, as with many new late on the atomic scale. less than 90 nm in size; the size of a
technology areas, much of the litera- It is important to note that nano- smallpox virus particle is about 100
ture on nanotechnology is either highly technology is concerned with items nm; the wavelength of visible light is
specialized or contains much hype and of small size where the size factor from about 400 to 700 nm; and the size
little substance. It is therefore diffi- relates to their having novel proper- of a small bacterium is about 1,000 nm
cult for those new to the field to get a ties and/or functions. As shall be de- or 1 micron.
general understanding of it using rea- scribed later, the novelty is usually
sonable time and effort. This article is noticeable in some manner from a Nanointeractions
intended to help fill in the gap, with macro point of view. Here, novel re- What we normally perceive about
enough of the basics covered to pro- fers to things observable that would the world on the macro level might
vide a useful overview applicable to be unexpected to those previously be thought of as some sort of average
a chemical engineers field. The main unfamiliar with nanotechnology; ex- or composite of what goes on at the
topics covered are the definition of amples of this will be given below. micro level. However, what is ob-
nanotechnology, some history, interac- Nanotechnology is also concerned served on a macro level is often very
tions, characterization, materials, ap- with controlling and manipulating on different in many respects from what
plications, safety concerns and trends. the atomic scale, as on a more indi- would be observed on a micro level.
vidual particle rather than a collective Using more sophisticated terms, the
Definition basis, even visually in some sense. It macro is the world of classical phys-
It is important to actually define nano- is distinct from the coarser and more ics and chemistry, and the micro is
technology, which in itself may allevi- free-form technologies that chemical the world of quantum physics and
ate confusion that many have on the engineers and chemists usually use to chemistry. For our purposes, the world
subject. The definition given here is manipulate atoms and molecules. of nanotechnology can be thought
34 Chemical Engineering February 2009

14_CHE_021509_KT.indd 34 1/23/09 3:01:54 PM

Schrodinger equation

h = Plancks constant
m = particle mass
(x) = wave function; /(x)2 is the probability of finding the particle at
location x
x = dimensional coordinate
U(x) = potential energy at x
E = particle energy at discrete values corresponding to allowable
energy levels

electron at the surface of good company; it is said that Einstein

one of the metal slabs, U once remarked concerning the proba-
would be the potential en- bilistic nature of quantum mechan-
ergy barrier presented to ics that he did not believe that God
Figure 2. Nanoparticles have dimensions be- the electron by the gap, and played dice with the universe but
tween 1100 nm. Here, a nanoparticle known as a
Buckyball is shown; it is a spherical particle made E would be the energy of the observable electron tunneling seems
up of carbon atoms electron with E < U. Classi- to say otherwise.
cal physics would say that
of as falling at the interface of these the electron had insufficient energy Nanocharacterization
other two worlds. Stated another way, to cross the barrier, but application There are many ways to characterize
nanotechnology is concerned with a of the Schrodinger equation reveals nanomaterials, including visualization
level smaller than the bulk, but at or that there is some probability that in some sense. Some methods are very
slightly above the atomic. the electron would cross the barrier. similar to those that have been used in
A detailed discussion of quantum Under the right conditions, this elec- characterizations of more conventional
principles is beyond the scope of this tron tunneling results in an experi- materials for many years. This section
article, but a brief description of some mentally observable current; such a will concentrate on some of the newer
main features is helpful in under- current is the basis of Scanning Tun- and more highly specialized instru-
standing nanotechnology. neling Microscopy, which is discussed ments and techniques that are most
According to the de Broglie theory, later. The solution of the Schrodinger popular at the moment. They are all
particles of matter may sometimes act equation in this and other situations some form of microscopy or spectros-
as waves, as does light. At the same may be found in most standard engi- copy, and some of these techniques
velocity, smaller and lighter (micro) neering physics and physical chemis- have been adapted for manipulation of
particles, such as electrons, have lon- try texts, as well as in standard texts individual nanosized particles as well.
ger and more noticeable wavelengths on quantum mechanics. The solution Nanocharacterization instruments and
than larger and heavier (macro) par- applicable to tunneling in Scanning techniques are useful in research, de-
ticles, such as baseballs. Noticeable Tunneling Microscopy is considered velopment, manufacturing and quality
wave behavior of particles is usually further below. control in nanotechnology.
a phenomenon of micro as opposed to It is important to note that the sit- Most readers have probably used
macro particles. uation in tunneling is not analogous a conventional light microscope and
The basic equation of mechanics de- to situations where some particles in other analytical techniques usually
scribing the quantum situation is the a large collection have sufficient en- spectroscopy that use or measure
Schrodinger equation. This equation ergy to cross a barrier, while the av- some type of radiation or beam. The
may be thought of as an energy bal- erage energy of the particles is less basic concepts of all of these are in
ance. Its one-dimensional, time-inde- than required. Consider particles of many ways applicable to what will be
pendent form may be expressed as the reactants in a chemical reaction hav- covered here.
equation in the box above. ing different energies, some above Conventional light microscopy has
Many interesting and often coun- and some below the energy of activa- only very limited direct use in the
terintuitive conclusions about the tion barrier for the reaction; in chem- characterization of items important
world from a quantum perspective istry, we learn that only particles that in nanotechnology. The basic limita-
can be derived from applying the actually have the energy sufficient to tion, its resolution, is proportional to
Schrodinger equation in an appropri- get over the energy barrier will react. the wavelength of the light being used.
ate form in various situations. One In tunneling, none of the electrons in Ultraviolet light, as opposed to vis-
such conclusion worth noting, since it question has energy larger than the ible, may be used for an improvement
is the basis for an important instru- barrier. It is the wave nature of the given its shorter wavelength. Since re-
ment to be discussed later, is the ex- electrons that makes tunneling pos- fractive index is also a factor in deter-
istence of electron tunneling through sible; recall the relation of the wave mining resolution, oil immersion may
a potential barrier. Such a barrier ex- function of the Schrodinger equation be used to alter the refractive index to
ists between two slabs of metal sepa- and probability of particle location improve the situation as well. The fun-
rated by a short gap. In this situation, given above. If readers feel that this damental limitation on resolution of
the particle in question would be an is too strange to be true, they are in ordinary light microscopes is usually
Chemical Engineering February 2009 35

14_CHE_021509_KT.indd 35 1/23/09 3:03:29 PM

Cover Story

given as half the wavelength of light position, bonding and atomic spacing. phonograph arm with a needle read-
used; the limit is sometimes given as TEM is usually more successful when ing a record surface.
200 nm which is about half the small- thinner samples are used. Because of the great sensitivity of
est wavelength for visible light. This measurement possible, very detailed
makes it of limited use in nanotech- Scanning tunneling microscopy maps of surfaces can be obtained. The
nology, which has a usual upper limit Another technique that is very popu- technique can be used to sense surface
of interest of 100 nm. There are some lar in nanocharaterization is Scanning topography, for height or other proper-
newer near-field techniques, however, Tunneling Microscopy (STM), which ties, to very small resolutions. Spacial
that are said to get this limit down to was mentioned earlier in the discus- resolutions well below 1 nm have been
a tenth of the wavelength used. sion about the Schrodinger equation. In reported there is at least one report
STM, a sharp metallic tip is brought in of a figure as low as 0.01 nm, which, if
Electron microscopy close proximity to a sample with either accurate, would be truly remarkable,
A further improvement on microscopy the tip or the sample or both capable considering this is one-tenth the diam-
can be achieved by recognizing that of being precisely moved to allow for eter of a hydrogen atom. Interestingly,
electrons have a wave-like character. a tightly controlled gap and scanning the tips may be chemically modified
Therefore, they can be used in micros- of the sample surface. The main limi- and adapted accordingly for very de-
copy like light. Electron wavelength is tations of this technique are that the tailed chemical or biological sensing.
inversely proportional to the square sample must be reasonably electrically One advantage of AFM over STM is
root of the electrons acceleration volt- conducting, and only a small surface its ability to analyze non-electrically
age. Resolutions of 1 nm down to 0.1 area can usually be scanned. conducting samples.
nm have been reported for electron From the solution of the Schro-
microscopes. These microscopes have dinger equation for this situation, it Other techniques
been used in some form for many can be shown that the probability of Other techniques useful in nanochar-
years; however, they have been re- tunneling, and hence tunneling cur- acterization involve various surface
cently improved in many respects. One rent, is proportional to exp[1.025 d(U bombardments with either charged
important difference between electron E)1/2], where U and E are expressed particle beams or electromagnetic
microscopes and ordinary light micro- in electron volts (eV) and d is the dis- waves, such as focused ion beams,
scopes is in the lenses used; electron tance between the tip and sample in focused electron beams or X-rays.
microscopes do not use glass lenses, angstroms (1 angstrom equals 0.1 Ions or electrons from the beam or
but rather some form of electromag- nm). (U E) can be approximated by sample coming off, as well as photons,
netic or similar lenses. the average work function of the tip X-rays, fluorescence or the like may
There are two major kinds of elec- and sample; the work function is the be detected and used to characterize
tron microscopy: Scanning Electron amount of energy required to remove properties of the sample with various
Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission an electron from a surface. From this resolutions, depending on the exact
Electron Microscopy (TEM). The main proportionality, we may determine technique. These properties may sim-
difference is in what the electrons do many facts about a particular surface. ply be surface height topography, but
or which electrons are used in detec- For example, taking 5 eV as a normal at times might also be something else,
tion. In SEM, the electron beam scans average work function, the tunneling such as chemical composition sur-
across the field of interest, and the current will change by an order of mag- face or otherwise. These techniques
electrons that are knocked off the nitude for each 1 angstrom change in d. are often termed spectroscopic, and
surface atoms or sometimes from a This sort of data indicates changes in may be more familiar to readers, at
little deeper as well and those from surface height topography and yields least in general principles, than some
the beam that bounce off the surface surface maps on a very small, even of the microscopic techniques dis-
are detected and used in characteriza- atomic scale of resolution. Resolutions cussed previously.
tion of surface or deeper features. of 0.1 nm have been reported for STM. Specific examples include Scanning
In TEM, the electron beam is aimed This technique has been adapted to Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS), where
at the field of interest, and the trans- chemical analysis, and even manipu- an ion beam hits a sample and ions
mitted electrons those that pass lation, down to the single-molecule or knocked off the sample are detected;
through the sample and perhaps even atomic level. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE),
some knocked off sample atoms and where a high energy ion beam (such
through the sample are detected Atomic force microscopy as of helium ions) hits the sample and
for characterization. Of the trans- A newer and very popular technique emitted X-rays are detected; and X-ray
mitted electrons, three types may be is Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS),
detected for different purposes: the This technique involves bringing a where samples are hit with X-rays and
unscattered carry information about cantilever with a sharp tip over the photoelectrons coming off the sample
the sample thickness, the elastically surface of interest; the tip-surface in- are detected. These three specific tech-
scattered carry crystallographic type teraction, a force, results in deflection niques are all very good for providing
information and the inelastically or oscillation of the cantilever, which detailed chemical analyses, especially
scattered carry information on com- is measured. An analogy for this is a over small spacial ranges.
36 Chemical Engineering February 2009

14_CHE_021509_KT.indd 36 1/23/09 3:04:25 PM

Table 1. Issued U.S. Patents
Claiming Nanotubes, Nanoparticles
and/or Nanowires in Various Years
Year U.S. Patents Year U.S. Patents
Issued in Year Issued in Year
The types of microscopy before 1982 0 2004 406 CNTs; the single-wall type
and spectroscopy described 1982-1991 7 2005 482 can be visualized as one
herein and combinations of 1992-1996 43 2006 665 rolled up sheet of graphene
these, as well as certain oth- 1997-2001 276 2007 828 and the multi-wall as two
ers, may be used in nanochar- 2002 171 2008 885 (estimated)* or more nested rolled up
2003 287 sheets of graphene. Based
acterization, with the prob-
able exception of most light *Data was collected on 10/30/08 with the 2008 number as of then at 737. on how the graphene sheet
microscopy as noted above. is wrapped when forming a
Nanocharacterization is a fertile area dimensions and much longer in a third CNT cylinder (its helicity), the result
of development in itself. As noted pre- dimension, usually 1,000 times or is termed zigzag, chiral or armchair.
viously, many of these techniques have more so. Thus, they are wire-like and Interestingly, the type of wrapping af-
been adapted for nanoscale manipula- not sheets, so in a sense they are one fects some properties of CNTs; they
tion. dimensional objects. Since quantum- are either metallic (and electrically
mechanical effects are important at conducting) or semiconductors, and all
Nanomaterials these dimensions, they are sometimes armchair types are metallic.
If one defined nanomaterials simply as called quantum wires. Carbon nanotubes may be made by
materials having constituent particles There are many types of nanowires: arc discharge, laser ablation or chemi-
with at least one dimension between 1 metallic (such as Pt), semiconductors cal vapor deposition. The single-wall
and 100 nm, then many, if not all, ma- (such as Si or GaN) or even insulating variety is usually favored because of
terials would be included depending on (such as SiO2). There is a class called its electrical properties and may be
the interpretation of constituent par- molecular nanowires, which may be separated out from other forms that
ticles. As discussed earlier, size is not organic or inorganic based, with mo- are made along with it by centrifuga-
quite enough to define things in the lecular type subunits, but this nomen- tion and microfiltration. A double-wall
nanoworld. We must also consider if clature is usually limited to electrical variety may preserve some of these
the material has some novel properties conductors measuring less than 3 nm desirable electrical properties and has
and functions due to particles, or even in two dimensions. Nanowires may ex- added chemical resistance. It is pos-
parts, in the 1 to 100 nm size range. hibit peculiar properties like quantum sible to functionalize CNTs. Van der
There are many classes of materi- confinement of electrons (since they Waals forces are very important in
als that could be described here, but are basically one dimensional), quan- CNTs, making them stick and clump
we will focus on some very basic ones: titized conductance and edge effects together. Because of this, they are often
quantum dots, nanowires, nanotubes, relating to conductance. They appear stored in surfactants to keep them well
nanoparticles and a mention of nano- to have great potential for use in very suspended and separated. CNTs, espe-
assemblies. Among these categories small electrical circuits and as addi- cially the purified single-walled type,
may be some overlap. tives in composite materials. are still rather expensive (probably
many dollars per gram), though prices
Quantum dots Nanotubes have recently started to decrease.
A quantum dot, also called a Qdot, is A nanotube for purposes here will be CNTs have some very special and de-
a nanosized semiconductor of such di- limited to carbon nanotubes (CNTs), sirable properties relating to electrical
mension that there is quantum con- which have had considerable atten- conductance, strength and elasticity.
finement of electrons in all directions; tion lately; other types are usually Carbon nanotubes have been found, in
it is like a point or zero-dimensional classified as nanowires, as technically at least some forms, to have electrical
object. As a result, it has many peculiar are CNTs as well. CNTs are basi- conductance at least as good as copper
properties. One that has been dramati- cally made up of one or more graphene (but some reports say much higher)
cally demonstrated is the difference in sheets (Figure 1) separately rolled into and thermal conductivity at least that
coloration of fluorescence emissions of cylinders that may be closed at one or of diamond; it is possible that CNTs
dots of the same material, depending both ends. A graphene sheet is a sheet in some form may exhibit ballistic
on the size of the dot. These materials of bonded carbon atoms (sp2 hybrid- very high to nearly perfect electri-
appear to have great application po- ized); graphite is made up of stacks of cal and thermal conductivity. Interest-
tential in electronics and in quantum graphene sheets. CNTs are considered ingly, CNTs may exhibit good thermal
computing; the latter is a computer ar- to be part of the fullerene family, which insulating properties lateral to their
chitecture that uses quantum states as represents a distinct form of carbon. axis, but good conductivity along it.
its basis with theoretically for now Buckyballs, comprised of all carbon In at least some forms, they are some
at least enormous capacity improve- and shaped like soccer balls (Figure 2) of the strongest and stiffest materials
ment over current systems. are also in this family. CNTs are usu- known, perhaps 100 times as strong
ally around 1 nm in diameter, but much as steel, but much lighter. They are
Nanowires longer than this maybe even up to a not as resistant to compression. CNTs
A nanowire is composed of thin lines millimeter or so. have great potential for use as struc-
of some material, between 1 and 10 CNTs come in several forms. There tural materials, such as in the space
nm (possibly somewhat larger) in two are both single-wall and multi-wall elevator and in more practical places,
Chemical Engineering February 2009 37

14_CHE_021509_KT.indd 37 1/23/09 3:04:58 PM

Cover Story

as an additive in composites, in drug even some cancer therapies. There are Safety Concerns
delivery and in electrical circuits. likely some sensors based on nano- As is common with new technologies,
technology on the market by now and there is concern that nanotechnol-
Nanoparticles and perhaps a lab on a chip using micro- ogy might present significant safety
nanoassemblies fluidics as well. Additionally, there are issues. While it may be unwise to
Nanoparticles are particles that have many applications, such as in electron- be alarmists and risk missing some
all dimensions between 1 and 100 nm ics, batteries, fuel cells, and photo cells monumental breakthroughs, given
and have novel properties as a result that should be out in the market soon that nanotechnology is very new and
of their size. They may be made of if not already available. unexplored territory, it would seem
many different materials. It is interesting to consider some prudent to proceed with some caution
In addition to the types of materials applications mentioned here in more until the area is better understood.
described here, nanomaterials include detail. Some sunscreens now contain Given the small size of nanomateri-
nanoassemblies, which are structures, nanoparticles of titanium oxide or zinc als, they might easily and unintention-
features, devices and systems that can oxide; these materials were known for ally penetrate the bodies of humans
be thought of as more highly manufac- many years to work well in sunscreens, and other animals via inhalation or
tured nanosized items. but had the drawback of being bright other means. There is some indica-
white when in larger particle form, as tion that nanomaterials like carbon
Creating nanomaterials many readers probably recall from sad nanotubes cause severe inflammatory
Generally, nanomaterials may be made experience. The nanoparticle forms responses when inhaled by animals,
by either top-down methods like mill- work at least as well in this applica- which leads to fear that diseases simi-
ing, or bottom-up methods like chemical tion and have the advantage of being lar to silicosis, asbestosis or related
vapor deposition or fine electroplating. transparent. As to catalysts, many conditions might result in those suf-
Sometimes, these materials are made crystalline materials have a differ- ficiently exposed. Of course, even if
by refining conventional materials. ent crystal structure when nanosized these potential hazards are real, it is
We can often learn from nature how than when a bulk material, which can possible that the materials could still
best to make and even apply these ma- boost their catalytic effectiveness. be used with proper handling, as is the
terials. This has been called bio-mim- An interesting application of nano- case with many chemicals and nuclear
icry. For example, the self-assembly materials in coatings is the ceramic materials. Further study on the safety
that occurs in many natural and by nanocomposite used by the U.S. Navy of nanomaterials is warranted.
extension in some conventional syn- to coat main propulsion shafts on There is a doomsday scenario pro-
thetic processes is worth study in ships. The original shafts were wear- posed involving nanotechnology that
this regard. This can include how a ing down in about a year, causing a should be mentioned, even if it might
string of amino acids apparently folds serious maintenance problem. With be a little far fetched. In this scenario,
by itself into the correct conformation the nanocomposite coating, the shafts the world and all its resources are
to form an active enzyme, the forma- were found to last at least four years consumed in the runaway production
tion of lipid bilayers and micelles, and with no signs of wear. Previously, no of self-replicating nano-sized robots.
the use of miniature templates as in coating was found that would survive All that remains is a grey goo, a term
DNA or protein synthesis or perhaps in the environment, protect the shaft coined by Eric Drexler.
virus particle assembly. It is possible to and not cause a corrosion problem. Leaving the issue of grey goo aside,
have nanomaterials that are hybrids It is believed that the size of the par- it might be useful to consider how
of natural and synthetic materials; as ticles allowed them to pack tighter in we may be caught by surprise in less
an example, DNA may be coupled with this service, making the coating long dramatic but still problematic ways,
synthetic particles in some identifica- wearing and successful. A similar rea- due to undesirable consequences of
tion techniques. son may explain how nanosized dental nanotechnology products. As an il-
restoratives work. lustration, consider that there has
Applications Sporting equipment like tennis been recent concern focused on socks
The possible applications of nanomate- racquets, baseball bats and golf clubs treated with silver nanoparticles to
rials are nearly limitless. Only some of seems to take advantage of CNT fi- control foot odor. It is suspected that
the applications that currently exist or bers for added strength. Silver nano- these nanoparticles come off during
are possible in the future are described particles are the nanoagent at work in washing and might kill off bacteria
in this article. the wound dressings mentioned, sil- that break down waste in sewage
Nanomaterials have great potential ver having a good anti-bacterial effect; treatment plants. Whether or not
in many applications. Some products however, note the possible safety issue such a problem can be foreseen, we
that currently use nanomaterials mentioned for another application of need to keep our collective eyes open
include computer hard drives, sun- these particles below. The nanotech- when dealing with new technology.
screens, catalysts, coatings, sport- nology involved in cancer therapies There have been discussions, and
ing equipment, stain resistant pants, is often the delivery agent of a previ- maybe by now some action, on estab-
dental restoratives, quantum dot ously known drug, the size of the plat- lishing industry-wide safety councils
fluorescers, dressings for wounds, and form being an important factor. and safety standards.
38 Chemical Engineering February 2009

14_CHE_021509_KT.indd 38 1/23/09 3:05:40 PM

history of nanotechnology

urprisingly, the history of nanotechnology may actually go that might be attempted on a very small scale. It is truly amaz-
back many centuries, perhaps even to ancient times, in at ing how much foresight Feynman had, especially when keeping
least some sense. There is evidence that gold nanoparticles in mind that many relevant facts that we take for granted today
were used in coloring glass in medieval times and possibly even as common knowledge were not known or well understood at
during the days of the ancient Romans; here the size of the par- the time, and many characterization techniques were in early
ticles is related to the color. More recently, but still decades ago, stages of development at best. These were the days when the
carbon nanoparticles, better known as carbon black, were first limited special effects of the original Star Trek series would have
used in making tires. Fumed silica is probably another example of seemed sophisticated.
a nanoparticle that has been made for many decades. It might be Since the 1959 Feynman speech, knowledge and applications
argued that people did not fully appreciate what they were doing of nanotechnology have grown dramatically. One simple but truly
in these examples of early applications of nanotechnology, but exciting example of these developments was the 1989 project by
they were actual applications nonetheless. IBM workers to spell out the letters IBM in atoms, which was
Many regard that nanotechnology really came into being when done by manipulating single atoms of xenon on a nickel surface
the physicist, Richard Feynman, delivered his 1959 speech, using a scanning tunneling microscope. A picture of the result
Theres Plenty of Room at the Bottom; the text of the speech is is available on IBMs website (
available on the web and is well worth reading. At the time of pressrelease/20360.wss). From a more practical standpoint,
writing, a transcript of the speech was available at www.zyvex. many applications have actually resulted in products currently
com/nanotech/feynman.html. Feynman described many things available on the market as described herein.

Trends court case involving Cox-2 inhibitors tions of some instruments and tech-
Nanotechnology is currently applied before some were found to be danger- niques described in this article.
in many areas, and these applica- ous, a judge remarked that the patent There are states and regional groups
tion areas each has its own direction application in question was more re- in many parts of the U.S., as well as in
and growth rate. Detailed analyses of search plan than research results; the other countries, that actively promote
trends in such a complex field is beyond claims in controversy were invalidated, nanotechnology research and devel-
the scope of this article, but it would be but not before a great deal of time and opment. Many corporations, industry
helpful to see how one area of interest money were spent on the case. groups and universities in the U.S.
has progressed. A subset of nanomate- Anecdotally, nanotechnology exam- and around the world have programs
rials nanotubes, nanoparticles and iners at the U.S. Patent Office complain devoted to nanotechnology.
nanowires is chosen here as the il- that the over-claiming disease has Edited by Kate Torzewski
lustration, with relevant U.S. patent spread to applications they see. Hope-
issuances as indicator. These data are fully, the level of hype, waste and public References
given in Table 1 and show that this relations missteps associated with bio- 1. Wilson, M., others, Nanotechnology: Basic Sci-
ence and Emerging Technologies, Chapman
area is growing at a significant rate. technology by its critics will not spread and Hall/CRC, 2002.
It might be useful to consider how to nanotechnology as well, but as with 2. Kelsall, R., others, eds., Nanoscale Science
and Technology, John Wiley and Sons, 2005.
biotechnology developed when trying all new big things, the danger exists. 3. Foster, L., ed., Nanotechnology: Science, Inno-
to predict how many big-picture sub- The estimated current and potential vation and Opportunity, Prentice Hall, 2006.
sets of nanotechnology will fare. Bio- value of the market for nanotechnol- Acknowledgements
technology is one of the newer technol- ogy and its products, as well as corre- The author wishes to acknowledge Drs. Boris
ogy areas and attracts the attention sponding investment, is estimated at Veytsman and Samar Guharay, who provided
excellent instruction and class notes in gradu-
and imagination of the technical com- some astoundingly large numbers ate nanotechnology courses he took from them at
George Mason University, and Dr. Richard Col-
munity and even the general public. It suffice it to say that these are always ton, of the Institute for Nanoscience at NRL who
could be argued that it is being sub- reported in many billions of dollars or gave an excellent guest presentation and a great
hands-on tour of his nanotechnology lab at NRL
sumed into the larger umbrella group more. It may be a bit tricky to tell how as part of the aforementioned nanotechnology
of nanotechnologies to some extent as accurate these estimates are, since courses. Knowledge gained from these gentlemen
was very helpful in preparing this article.
well. Thus, it makes for a good study some appear to count entire situations
model here. that have just a small nanotechnology Author
Critics regard the development of content. It seems that hype has crept Charles R. Richard (Email:
biotechnology as messy, expensive and in here to some extent.; Website: is a pat-
over-hyped in many respects, and see In any case, there is some real mar- ent attorney in Washington,
D.C. Mr. Richard graduated
it as disappointing, considering efforts ket potential here. Many national and from the University of Louisi-
and money expended versus useful regional governments and groups, in- ana (Lafayette) in 1980 with a
B.S. in microbiology, and later
products brought to market. Whether dustries and universities are getting earned a B.S.Ch.E. there in
or not this is fair, it is clear that all is seriously involved. On the national 1985, as well as an M.S.Ch.E.
in 1988 from Tulane Univer-
not smooth sailing for biotech. Most level in the U.S., we have the National sity (New Orleans, La.). In
readers are probably aware of the pub- Nanotechnology Initiative. The U.S. 1998, Mr. Richard earned his Juris Doctorate from
the University of Houston. He has also completed
lic relations issues that biotechnology government has many labs involved graduate coursework in nanotechnology at George
Mason University (Fairfax, Va.). Before attending
has had with genetically modified foods. in nanotechnology research, with one law school, Mr. Richard worked as a chemical en-
There has also been much controversy being the Institute for Nanoscience at gineer, primarily in refinery process control. Since
law school, he has been a patent examiner in oil
and expensive litigation concerning bio- the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL; field chemistry and has practiced law in firms
technology patents; many applicants Washington, D.C.; and in-house where he has worked primarily in
the chemical patent area, especially in polymers,
seemed to overreach and over claim, mil/nanoscience). The NRL has been oil field fluids and nanotechnology. Mr. Richard is
thus making development difficult known to give very informative tours licensed to practice law in New York State and the
District of Columbia and is registered to practice
in many respects. In one memorable to the public that include demonstra- before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Chemical Engineering February 2009 39

14_CHE_021509_KT.indd 39 1/23/09 3:06:27 PM

Feature Report Part 1

Plate Heat Exchangers:

Avoiding Common Misconceptions
Jeff Kerner
Alberts & Associates, Inc.
A solid understanding of the critical areas
presented here will insure good performance

he use of gasketed plate-and-
frame heat exchangers has
gained tremendous acceptance in primarily for dairy applications. In cleaning. Still, for clean fluids in non-
the chemical process industries these services, low temperatures of cycling services requiring compact-
(CPI) over the past 20 years due to 95C and pressures of 35 barg were ness and efficiency and where design
their high heat-transfer coefficients, not of concern. To make the transition temperatures and pressures exceed
compactness and low cost. However, it to industrial applications, gasketed- the capability of gasketed types, these
is important for the engineer who is plate heat-exchanger manufacturers gasket-free plate heat exchangers are
selecting this type of heat exchanger in the 1960s developed pressing pat- a valuable alternative. (See Part 2,
to be aware of critical areas in design terns leading to stiffer plates and pp. 4447 for more on these types of
or selection so that possible operat- more secure gasket sealing techniques heat exchangers.)
ing or maintenance problems can be that allowed design temperatures and An easy to remember and good rule
avoided once the heat exchangers are pressures of up to 115C and 10 barg. of thumb that the author likes to use
in use. This article addresses these Since then, however, manufactur- when considering the limits for stan-
critical areas, which should be con- ers have made significant strides in dard gasketed plate and frame heat
sidered at the very beginning of the expanding the temperature and pres- exchangers is 350F and 300 psig,
equipment-design task. sure envelopes within which these for the design temperature and design
Today, while there are a variety of heat exchangers can safely work. pressure, respectively.
heat exchangers using thin, corru- Standard, gasketed plate-and-frame
gated plate technology, the gasketed heat exchangers now routinely are Fouling considerations
type of plate heat exchanger (Figures available with elastomeric seals that It has been demonstrated over the
1 and 2) is the one most familiar to the can be used with confidence up to years by many sources (Ref. [1, 2] are
engineer and is therefore the focus of 180C. Maximum design pressures typical) that plate heat exchangers
this article. The author will point out for gasketed plate heat exchangers exhibit and can be designed for
more recent design variations of corru- can reach in excess of 20 barg, which, much lower fouling factors than con-
gated plate technology that uses plate while not viewed as high for some in- ventional shell-and-tube designs. This
packs that are sealed without gaskets dustries, probably covers 90% of most is due to the turbulence and high wall-
using brazed plates, laser-welded CPI applications. shear stress that the fluids in plate
plates or newer, fusion-based sealing As mentioned earlier, the devel- heat exchangers exhibit, due to highly
technology, which may allow the engi- opment of brazed, laser-welded and turbulent flow between corrugated,
neer to expand beyond the limitations fused plate technology has allowed parallel plates. The author prefers,
of the gasketed plate type. In any case, the fabrication of gasket-free plate though, to clarify this greater fouling
it is important to note that high turbu- heat exchangers (Figure 3). This has resistance as resistance to micro-foul-
lence and high wall-shear stress due expanded the operating boundaries ing (that is, fouling due to sedimenta-
to flow in closely spaced corrugated of plate heat exchangers to tempera- tion of suspended fine particles, scal-
plate channels is the key to the high tures of up to 550C and pressures up ing, crystallization or some biofilms).
heat-transfer coefficients and com- to 54 barg. However, the overall appli- In this case, it is very important that
pactness for this general class of heat cation of welded-plate heat-exchanger the engineer bring to the attention of
exchangers, whether they be gasketed technology is limited by fatigue char- the manufacturer, who is carrying out
or gasket-free. acteristics of the plate if temperature the design of the plate heat exchanger,
or pressure cycling is a factor in the the presence of these phenomena and
Limitations of P and T process for which they are consid- their fouling potential so that the
Most importantly, the engineer select- ered. In addition, these gasket-free manufacturer can design the plate
ing gasketed plate exchangers must types should not be used for fluids heat exchanger for high wall-shear
be aware of their temperature (T) that contain solids or tend to foul, stress. Wall shear stress is a measure
and pressure (P) limitations. When since for most of them, the sealing of the stress along the face of the cor-
plate heat exchangers were first de- methods used do not allow opening of rugated plate expressed as a pressure
veloped in the 1930s, they were used the heat exchanger for inspection or (force/area). In a plate heat exchanger,
40 Chemical Engineering February 2009

15_CHE_021509_GSO1.indd 40 1/22/09 11:46:20 AM

Alfa Laval Alfa Laval

Figure 2. Corrugated plates, such

as the one shown here, are used in
the most familiar type of gasketed
plate heat exchangers

fouling, these materials are not avail-

Figure 1. able in corrugated plate technology.
Shown here is a cut
away of a gasketed type of
plate heat exchanger. The corrugated Shell-and-tube fouling factors
plates are shown in more detail in Figure 2 Plate-heat-exchanger fouling factors
can be as low as one tenth that of shell-
the wall shear stress, t, is calculated ate contact points where fibers can get and-tube fouling factors for the same
using Equation (1): trapped, building up over relatively fluids [2]. There is a danger in using a
short periods of time and plugging shell-and-tube fouling factor in plate-
t = (DP s)/2L (1)
flow paths, requiring that the heat heat-exchanger designs, since, like
where exchanger be opened (perhaps too fre- other parallel flow path heat trans-
t = wall shear stress, Pa or N/m2 (SI), quently) for cleaning. In these cases, fer devices, this is usually achieved
or psi (U.S.) the engineer should consider the wide- in a plate heat exchanger by adding
DP = pressure drop through plate heat gap plate heat exchanger, which does plates in parallel, thus lowering the
exchanger, Pa (psi 6,894 = Pa) a good job of passing fibers and large flow rate per channel, which results in
s = plate pressing depth, mm particles and has become a workhorse lowering the pressure drop in the heat
L = effective plate length, mm (mea- in ethanol plants and other bio-based exchanger. This lower pressure drop,
sured as centerline-centerline dis- chemical manufacturing processes in turn, lowers the wall shear stress
tance between top and bottom ports where fibers are a natural occurrence and fluid velocity in those channels.
plus one port diameter) as a result of using biomass feedstock. In the authors experience, safe and
The higher the wall shear stress However, in using wide-gap plate heat proven fouling factors for plate heat
that the plate heat exchanger is de- exchangers, the engineer must con- exchanger design are 10% excess sur-
signed for, the greater the resistance sider the trade-off between the ability face area, also expressed as 10% safety
to micro-fouling due to fine particles, to handle fibers and larger particles margin, equivalent to approximately
scaling, crystallization or similar with the somewhat lower heat trans- (but not exactly) a cleanliness factor
surface mechanisms [3]. However, if fer coefficients that are a result of the of 90%. To better understand fouling
suspended particles are going to be lower wall shear in these more widely factors in plate heat exchangers and
of such a size that they may not be spaced channels. their relation to other terms for de-
able to pass through the corrugations In applications where large parti- scribing fouling, the author refers the
of the plate channels, then macro- cles or fibers can be removed from the reader to Ref. [4].
fouling (that is, plugging) of the heat fluids without affecting the process,
exchanger is a real concern. Here, the this should be done using static bas- Disproportionate flow ratios
engineer must compare the depth of ket strainers or automatic backwash- It is very common for the process en-
the plate groove (pressing depth) to able strainers upstream of the plate gineer who commonly selects shell-
the maximum diameter particle in the heat exchanger. and-tube heat exchangers to inad-
fluid stream. It is not recommended Biological fouling, typically when vertently design for disproportionate
to design plate heat exchangers to natural or untreated river, lake or flow ratios between hot and cold side
handle fluids containing particles ocean water is used as the coolant, can flows in a plate heat exchanger. This
with diameters greater than 75% of be a problem for all types of heat ex- is because shell-and-tube designs re-
the plate pressing depth. A good rule changers. As in the case of shell and quire high shell-side flows to create
of thumb is to keep particles below 2.5 tubes, the foulant and the fouling as much turbulence as possible on the
mm, although deep groove or wide mechanism must first be identified, shell side. While these high shell-side
gap plate designs are available from so that an effective solution such as flowrates allow the shell and tube to
many manufacturers that can tolerate strainers, inline injection of biocides run more efficiently (at the expense of
larger particles, up to 18 mm. or regular clean-in-place (CIP) proce- high pumping costs and water usage),
Fibers can be particularly problem- dures can be followed. using disproportionate flowrates when
atic in plate heat exchangers since the It should be noted that while heat specifying a plate heat exchanger will
same plate corrugations that create transfer surfaces of copper or copper- immediately eliminate the advantages
turbulence and high heat transfer cre- based alloys offer resistance to biological of high thermal efficiency and low cost
Chemical Engineering February 2009 41

15_CHE_021509_GSO1.indd 41 1/22/09 11:47:31 AM

Alfa Laval Alfa Laval

Feature Report Figure 4. Glue-free gaskets are

typically held onto the outside
edge of the plate with a
rubber clip molded
that the engineer is seeking into the gasket
from the plate design. itself
The reason for this can
be explained as follows: In
a plate heat exchanger, two
plates form a channel. So, in
a 100-plate unit, there will be
50 channels for the hot side
and 50 channels for the cold Figure 3.
side. Due to the identical ge- Brazed, laser-welded exchanger designs, especially where
ometry between the hot-side and fused plate technol- these particles can be greater than 2.5
flow channel and the cold-side ogy is used for fabricating mm, which, as mentioned earlier, is the
flow channel in a plate heat the gasket-free plate heat authors rule-of-thumb threshold value
exchanger shown here
exchanger unlike in a shell where straining or other solids removal
and tube, where tube diameter methods should be considered.
is independent of shell diameter a Nozzle velocities Nozzle placement. Do not use one
hot side flowrate of 100 gal/min with a Pressure drop is the price we generally of the upper nozzles on the heat ex-
cold side flowrate of, say, 500 gal/min pay for heat transfer. The pressure- changer for the incoming dirty water.
will almost always require that the drop losses in any heat exchanger Instead, use one of the lower connec-
plate heat exchanger be designed to are made up of the entrance and exit tions, forcing the particles to make a
accommodate the flowrate and pres- losses as well as the losses as the fluid 90-deg. turn as they leave the port of
sure drop of the 500 gal/min higher flows through the heat transfer pas- each plate channel and flow upwards
flow fluid. This leaves the lower flow sages. Too high a nozzle velocity for through the channel itself. If the fluid
side with low wall shear, low channel either the hot or cold fluid can result velocity at that point is not too high,
velocity and possibly poor fluid distri- in wasted pressure drop getting into the particle has a good chance of fall-
bution, all resulting in heat transfer and out of the heat exchanger, thus re- ing to the bottom of the port, thus
coefficients that are well below what ducing the useful pressure drop that staying out of the heat transfer chan-
the plate heat exchanger can achieve contributes to high heat-transfer co- nel where it can get trapped, causing
with more balanced flows. Again, the efficients in the plate channels them- surface fouling or plugging.
authors rule of thumb is to keep the selves. In the worst case, high nozzle Clean-out port. In standard gas-
volumetric flow ratios between hot velocities can cause erosion of the port keted plate-and-frame heat exchang-
and cold fluids of similar viscosities in the first few plates of the plate pack ers where debris or particles greater
at two-to-one or less. Of course, the (after the first few plates, the flowrate than 2.5 mm may be present, consider
adverse effect of disproportionate flow drops off as the fluid divides among the use of a clean-out port on the back
ratios can be lessened by designing the plate channels). cover of the plate heat exchanger. This
for an extremely high pressure drop Typical safe velocities are not too port should be installed directly oppo-
on the high flow side or by designing different than those for shell and site the inlet port carrying the dirty
for more flow paths for the high flow tube models, which are 56 m/s. In fluid into the heat exchanger, so that
fluid, but this creates high pumping any case, be careful of pressure drops with the exchanger off-line, vented and
costs or complicated plate-pack reas- through the nozzles and the ports of drained, the clean-out port can be taken
sembly (after opening) in the field; a plate heat exchanger that are in ex- off to remove any accumulated trash in
based on the authors experience, this cess of 35% of the total pressure drop the port area of the heat exchanger.
approach should be avoided. through the heat exchanger, since that Some manufacturers now offer a
can cause maldistribution in the plate basket-type port strainer that can be
Optimized cooling-water flow pack. In the case of maldistribution, installed and removed easily through
Responsible heat-exchanger manufac- most fluids, particularly viscous ones, the clean-out port on the back cover of
turers will almost always evaluate for may not have sufficient pressure after the heat exchanger. Although the heat
their customers an alternate design they enter the heat exchanger to make exchanger must be taken out of service
in which the coolant flow is optimized their way to the back of the plate pack, during the removal and cleaning of
to yield the most efficient and thus leaving some of the heat transfer the port strainer, this task can be done
hence the lowest cost selection. The area unwetted and, therefore, unused. without disturbing the piping or open-
coolant flow that the manufacturer ing the heat exchanger itself.
will come up with is usually lower Solids in cooling water
than the user allowed for, thus saving In those applications where cooling Glued versus glue-free gaskets
water and pumping costs while creat- water containing silt, broken sea shells Most gasketed plate-heat-exchanger
ing a more efficient, balanced design. or other sediment from rivers, lakes or manufacturers today offer gaskets in
If the manufacturer does not offer an oceans are used, the author has found both a glued and a glue-free option.
optimized alternate, the process engi- it useful to incorporate two concepts The glue-free gaskets are typically
neer should ask for one. in standard, gasketed plate-heat- held on to the outside edge of the plate
42 Chemical Engineering February 2009

15_CHE_021509_GSO1.indd 42 1/22/09 11:48:16 AM

with a clip molded right into the gas- port can cause erosion and noise prob- Summary
ket itself (Figure 4). The advantage of lems. Steam velocities in excess of 100 As with all process equipment, know-
glue-free gaskets is that they are eas- m/s should be avoided. ing where, why and how to install the
ily removed and replaced in the field Secondly, the very high heat-trans- equipment in the proper application
by the operator, since there is no epoxy fer coefficients encountered when ensures good performance with expec-
glue or other adhesive bond that needs using plate heat exchangers in steam tations fulfilled for that equipment. A
to be broken in order to separate the heating service can result in small solid understanding of critical areas
gasket from the plate. heat-transfer areas and therefore in the design and selection of gasketed
However, there can be a problem relatively small plate packs. As a re- plate heat exchangers, as the author
with the glue-free gaskets in services sult, the fluid to be heated (typically has tried to outline in this paper, is no
where the heat exchanger is going to water) may experience an excessive exception to that philosophy.
be opened frequently for cleaning or pressure drop, and the heat exchanger Dont hesitate to ask questions of
inspection. The glue free gasket is held will have to be oversized (typically by operating and maintenance personnel,
onto the plate by molded clips that are adding plates in parallel) to keep the who will be responsible for using the
spaced about 12 in. apart. If not careful water-side pressure drop within speci- equipment, about the nature of the flu-
during disassembly, the maintenance fied limits. This can add unnecessary ids, past experience with other types of
people may allow the gasket to stretch surface area and cost. heat exchangers in the intended service
if the portion between the clips sticks Thirdly, the small volume in the and other background that will make
onto the neighboring plate as the plate plate channel can lead to stalling as your installation successful. Make sure
pack is opened up. It is not possible to the steam present in the channels rap- that you consult with knowledgeable
get such a stretched gasket back into idly condenses and forms a vacuum. manufacturers with considerable expe-
the recessed groove it sits in. Vacuum formation followed by con- rience who can help you recognize and
In cases where frequent cleaning or densate build-up can create repeated avert design pitfalls.
inspection is anticipated, glued gas- water hammer, which can damage the Edited by Gerald Ondrey
kets, although a bit more expensive, heat exchanger and downstream equip-
will allow the plate pack to be opened ment. In this case, the design engineer Acknowledgements
and closed many, many times before the should look for plate heat exchangers The author wishes to acknowledge Bennat
Drazner, senior heat-transfer specialist at Alfa
gaskets need attention. In cases where offered by some manufacturers that are Laval, Inc. (Richmond, Va.) and also long-time
frequent opening is not expected but specifically designed for steam heating member of the HTRI Technical Committee, for
his proof-reading and many contributions to
where chemical or temperature attack service. These steam-heating plate ex- this paper.
of the gasket over time is a factor, glue- changers have large ports, short chan-
free gaskets should be considered since nel lengths and deep plate-pressing References
they can be quickly and easily replaced depths to avoid the problems described 1. Cooper, A., Suitor, J.W., Usher, J.D., Cooling
Water Fouling in Plate Heat Exchangers,
on a preventative maintenance basis. above for standard gasketed-plate heat Heat Transfer Engineering, JanuaryMarch,
Plate gaskets, whether glued or exchangers in steam service. 1980.
glue-free, should have a life of sev- 2. Panchal, C.B., Fouling in Compact Heat Ex-
changers, Argonne National Laboratories.
eral years, unless they are in a service Flanged versus studded ports 3. Novak, L., Fouling in Plate Heat Exchang-
where they are subject to chemical or There is no need to design or select ers and Its Reduction by Proper Design, Alfa
Laval AB, Lund, Sweden.
oxidative attack or are running contin- plate heat exchangers with costly ex-
4. Kerner, J.W., Sizing Plate Heat Exchangers,
uously at their temperature limit. It is tended nozzles terminating in flanged Chem. Eng., November, 1993.
not at all necessary to replace plate connections. Almost all gasketed plate 5. Trom, L., Bergquist J-O. and Gromwell, J.,
Higher Reliability Increases: Application
gaskets every time the unit is opened. manufacturers today use lined, stud- Available for Plate Heat Exchangers, ASME
The author has installed plate heat ded ports. The lining is usually the HTD-Vol. 201, Book No. H00759-1992).
exchangers in modest temperature same material as the plate to prevent Author
(5065C), water-water service where the fluid from coming in contact with Jeff Kerner is president of
Alberts & Associates, Inc.
the heat exchangers are still operat- the painted, carbon-steel frame. The (3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 216,
ing with the original gaskets after 20 studded-port connections present a Bensalem, PA 19020. Phone:
2152446350; Email: Jeff.
years. Well-designed gaskets sit in a raised-face or a flat-face ANSI bolt He
recessed groove, and even when the pattern to the users field piping and has been providing heat trans-
fer solutions to the process
plate pack is fully tightened, the gas- have the advantage of no moment industry for over 30 years. A
kets are not excessively compressed arm to transmit nozzle loads. Linear chemical engineering gradu-
ate of The Cooper Union (New
enough to become damaged. loads (Fx, Fy, Fz) as well as bending York, N.Y.), he also received a
M.S.E. in ChE from the University of Michigan.
loads (Mx, My, Mz) are taken by the Previously, he worked at DuPont and Rohm &
Steam heater service heavy steel frame and not by the Haas. Kerner has been active in the American
Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), having
There are three points to look out for plates. Typical allowable port load- served as chairman of the Philadelphia subsection
when selecting plate heat exchangers ings for the plate heat exchanger with and on AIChEs national committee on employ-
ment guidelines. He is a professional engineer
for steam heating service. First, when studded ports are much greater than registered in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New
using plate heat exchangers in this ap- those for the plate heat exchanger Jersey. He has authored or coauthored several pa-
pers on plate heat exchangers and speaks exten-
plication, high steam velocity in the with nozzled ports [5]. sively on heat transfer and process equipment.

Chemical Engineering February 2009 43

15_CHE_021509_GSO1.indd 43 1/27/09 7:43:24 AM

Feature Report Part 2

Compact Heat Exchangers:

Improving Heat Recovery
Johan Gunnarsson These units offer distinct advantages over
Alfa Laval Lund AB
shell-and-tube heat exchangers,
Iain Sinclair and Francisco J. Alanis
AspenTech UK Ltd. as quantified by the example presented here

lobal warming is of major con- use corrugated plates between the 450C and 40 barg. CHEs are often the
cern today. There is increasing heating and cooling media. The de- best alternative when the application
pressure on industry to reduce sign provides the advantages of high allows gasketed or fully welded plate
both energy usage and the as- turbulence, high heat-transfer coef- heat exchangers, when a high-grade,
sociated CO2 emissions. An important ficients and high fouling resistance. expensive construction material is re-
and profitable action that industry can High heat-transfer coefficients allow quired for the heat exchanger, when
take is to recover more process energy smaller heat-transfer areas compared plot space is a problem or when en-
and thus improve the efficient use of to traditional shell-and-tube heat hanced energy recovery is important.
that energy. This not only reduces the exchangers used for the same duty. When the application allows shell-
cost of primary energy supply and This ultimately results in significant and-tube heat exchangers to be manu-
lowers CO2 emissions, but also pro- size reductions and weight savings as factured completely of carbon steel,
vides benefits in terms of reductions less material is needed to construct such design normally provides the
in heat rejection and in the associated the unit. This is especially important most cost-efficient solution. However,
equipment and operating costs. While when working with expensive corro- even in those cases, CHEs can have
making such investments, it is also sion-resistant metals such as titanium advantages, such as space savings, su-
important that financial returns are and Hastelloys, for example. perior heat recovery and a higher re-
maximized and that further opportu- The gasketed plate heat exchanger sistance to fouling, which make them
nities for saving energy and reducing is often the most efficient solution. well worth considering.
emissions are not missed. This article In petrochemical and petroleum-re- If you do not know if your applica-
considers the use of compact heat ex- finery applications, however, gaskets tion can be handled by compact heat
changers (CHEs) for improved heat frequently cannot be used because exchangers, ask a vendor. Suppliers
recovery, as they often achieve higher aggressive media result in a short are normally willing to give you a
levels of savings with a better payout lifetime for the gaskets or because a quick budget quote when their equip-
rate than more conventional alterna- potential risk of leakage is unaccept- ment is appropriate for your applica-
tives. (for Part 1, see pp. 4245) able. In these cases, all-welded com- tion so that you can compare solutions
pact heat exchangers without inter- and determine which would be best for
Compact heat exchangers plate gaskets should be considered. you. As part of the vendor enquiry, de-
The dominant type of heat exchanger There are several different kinds sign options for enhanced heat recov-
in process plants today is the shell and available in the market today. In the ery can be quantified and additional
tube. In many cases, it is an appropri- case presented in this article, a unit energy saving benefits and capital cost
ate selection for the service required. with overall fully counter-current flow changes can be defined. At this stage,
However, because engineers are famil- is used to enable the required heat re- in some circumstances, it may be favor-
iar with shell-and-tube varieties, they covery, while also allowing mechanical able to respecify the heat-exchanger
tend to select them by default, with- cleaning. In addition, all welds are ac- performance requirements to take ad-
out considering alternatives. If engi- cessible for repair purposes if this type vantage of the improved heat recovery
neers minds were opened to alterna- of maintenance becomes necessary that can be achieved with a CHE.
tive technologies, such as compact heat during the life of the exchanger.
exchangers, many heat-exchanger CHE versus shell-and-tube
specifications might look different. When to use CHEs All-welded CHEs consist of plates
There are many different kinds of CHEs can be used in most industrial that are welded together (Figure 1).
compact heat exchangers. The most applications as long as design temper- Among the many models available on
common is the gasketed plate-and- ature and pressure are within the ac- the market today, all have one thing in
frame heat exchanger. All CHEs cepted range, which normally is up to common: they do not have inter-plate
44 Chemical Engineering February 2009

16_CHE_021509_GSO2.indd 44 1/23/09 12:39:07 PM

Alfa Laval

Table 1. required minimum performance

of replacement heat exchanger
Process fluid T in, C T out, C Duty, kW
Hot side Quench water 88.6 58.9 10,000
Cold side Polished 18.0 77.0

Figure 1. All-welded a single heat exchanger, operating

compact heat exchang- with crossing temperatures and a
ers are very compact
compared to shell-and-
close temperature approach can re-
tube heat exchangers place several shell-and-tube heat
exchangers placed in a serial one-
pass arrangement, to emulate the
counter-current flow of the compact
heat exchanger design
gaskets. This feature is what makes needed for a shell-and-tube exchanger. As a result, CHEs may be more cost-
them suitable for processes involving Space savings are accompanied by effective and may present a more
aggressive media or high tempera- savings on foundations and construc- practical alternative to shell-and-tube
tures where gaskets cannot be used. tional steel work, and so on. The space heat exchangers. In addition to the
On the other hand, some of these all- needed for maintenance is also much financial benefits, space savings can
welded heat exchangers are sealed and smaller as no tube-bundle access and also be an important factor for up-
cannot be opened for inspection and withdrawal space is required. grading existing plants as well as for
mechanical cleaning. Others can be Due to the short path through the new plant designs.
opened, allowing the entire heat-trans- heat exchanger, the pressure drop The advantages of CHEs over shell-
fer area and all welds to be reached, can be kept relatively low, although and-tube heat exchangers will become
cleaned and repaired if necessary. this depends on the number of passes clear with the following example taken
Because all-welded heat-exchanger and the phase of the fluid. For most from an actual application.
plates cannot be pressed in carbon liquid-to-liquid duties, a 70100 kPa
steel, plate packs are available only pressure drop is normal, while for a A real application example
in stainless steel or higher-grade met- two-phase flow, the pressure drop can In a recent feasibility study for im-
als. The cost of an all-welded compact be as low as 25 kPa. proving the energy efficiency of a Eu-
heat exchanger is higher than that Regarding heat recovery, the main ropean ethylene plant, a number of
of a gasketed plate heat exchanger. advantage of the CHE is that it op- opportunities to increase the export of
Nevertheless, in cases where gaskets erates efficiently with crossing tem- high-pressure (HP) steam to the sites
cannot be used, all-welded compact peratures and close temperature ap- utility system were identified. The
plate heat exchangers are still often proaches. This makes it possible to changes included unloading the refrig-
a strong alternative to shell-and-tube transfer more heat from one stream erant compressors and increasing heat
heat exchangers. to another or to use a heating medium recovery from the quench water loop.
The most-efficient, compact, plate- that is just a few degrees warmer than One such opportunity was the re-
heat-exchanger designs have counter- the cold medium. placement of an existing quench water/
current flows or an overall counter- There are two main reasons why polished water shell-and-tube heat ex-
current flow created by multi-pass all-welded CHEs are more thermally changer that was limiting heat recov-
arrangements on both the hot and efficient than shell-and-tube heat ex- ery. From an energy point of view, it was
cold sides. Such units can be designed changers: desirable to maximize heat transfer
to work with crossing temperatures All-welded CHEs have high heat- between these streams. This would re-
and with temperature approaches transfer coefficients. This is due to duce both the low-pressure (LP) steam
(the difference between the outlet the high turbulence created in the required for boiler feed water (BFW)
temperature of one stream and the corrugated plate channels. The high deaeration (due to an increase in de-
inlet temperature of the other stream) turbulence results in thin laminar aerator BFW feed temperature) and
as close as 3C. films on the surface of the heat- would also reduce the heat-duty load
As mentioned before, all-welded transfer area. These have a much on the cooling water tower (a site bot-
CHEs are very compact in compari- lower resistance to heat transfer tleneck), due to a reduction in quench
son to shell-and-tube heat exchang- compared to the thicker film found water cooling against cooling water.
ers. CHEs have this advantage due in a shell-and-tube heat exchanger The required minimum performance
to their higher heat-transfer coeffi- Counter-current flows (or over- of the replacement heat exchanger is
cient and the resulting much smaller all counter-current flows) can be detailed in Table 1.
heat-transfer area. The units typically achieved in all-welded compact A preliminary assessment of the
occupy only a fraction of the space heat exchangers. This means that suitability of a shell-and-tube heat
Chemical Engineering February 2009 45

16_CHE_021509_GSO2.indd 45 1/23/09 12:40:19 PM

Feature Report

Table 2. A summary of alternative heat-exchanger designs

Case Type # of Heat LMTD* Overall heat- DP DP Heat Pur-

units duty, corrected, transfer coef- hot cold transfer chase
kW C ficient, side, side, area, cost,
W/(m2K) kPa kPa m2 %

Base Shell-and-tube BEM 2 10,000 23.3 921 7 17 468 100

Case 1 Compact HE CPK75-202 1 10,000 23.3 3,373 50 97 129 99.6

Case 2 Compact HE CPK75-252 1 10,810 15.9 3,667 73 64 161 111.6

Case 3a Compact HE CPK75-302 1 11,310 14.8 3,993 53 104 193 125.5

Case 3b Shell-and-tube BEM 2 11,310 14.9 879 9 22 864 169.1

* Logarithmic mean temperature difference

Table 3. Monetary saving comparison of compact heat exchangers

versus shell-and-tube heat exchangers
Case Type # of Heat duty LP steam saving CO2 credits Total
units kW Million /yr
m.t./hr Million /yr m.t./ Million /yr

Base Shell-and-tube BEM 2 10,000 11.7 1.38 3.0 0.50 1.88

Case 1 Compact HE CPK75-202 1 10,000 11.7 1.38 3-0 0.50 1.88

Case 2 Compact HE CPK75-252 1 10,810 13.0 1.53 3.2 0.54 2.08

Case 3a Compact HE CPK75-302 1 11,310 13.8 1.63 3.4 0.57 2.20

Case 3b Shell-and-tube BEM 2 11,310 13.8 1.63 3.4 0.57 2.20

exchanger indicated that two shells in cal) to decrease the temperature ap- costs are usually small when compared
series (468 m2) would be an economical proach to 35C. To take advantage of to the overall energy savings achieved,
compromise, achieving a heat recovery this potential, various improved heat the financial outcome for this example
of 10 MW with an 11.6C temperature recovery designs were investigated. is unlikely to change.
approach at the hot end. A summary of alternative heat- The installation cost of shell-and-
At this stage, a compact heat ex- exchanger designs is shown in Table tube heat exchangers will be higher,
changer was compared with the shell- 2. There, it can be seen that the heat- especially for a multi-shell design.
and-tube alternative. An all-welded transfer coefficient for the compact In this case, the total installed cost
rather than a gasketed plate heat ex- heat exchanger is much higher than comparison would therefore be sig-
changer was chosen because of limited for the shell-and-tube heat exchanger. nificantly more favorable for compact
gasket lifetime when there is contact This is due to the highly turbulent flow heat exchangers than the purchase
with quench water. Additionally, be- created by the corrugated plates in the cost comparison given above.
cause of potential quench-water side CHE. As a result, a much smaller heat- For the heat exchangers considered
fouling, an all-welded heat exchanger transfer area is required. When com- in this example, Table 3 shows how
that could be mechanically cleaned paring the cost of the all-welded CHE energy and emissions reductions im-
was preferred. and the shell-and-tube heat exchanger, prove as the cold-side outlet tempera-
As mentioned previously, select- it should be remembered that the plate ture is increased to reduce the hot-end
ing an all-welded CHE instead of a material in the CHE is stainless steel temperature approach from 11.6C
shell-and-tube heat exchanger makes (ANSI 316L), while carbon steel is used to 3.9C. To achieve this, 50% more
it possible to further increase energy in the shell-and-tube heat exchanger. compact heat exchanger surface area
savings, by reducing temperature ap- It should also be noted that the pres- is required. This increases the cost of
proach. In this case, the hot-end tem- sure drop is higher for the compact heat the unit by only 26%; however, on the
perature approach determines the exchanger than for the shell-and-tube other hand, two shell-and-tube heat
duty and thus the size and design of heat exchanger. This will, of course, in- exchangers in series would be required
the heat exchanger. For a compact heat crease the fluid-pumping cost. A true to achieve the same performance,
exchanger with counter-current flows comparison must take these costs into which would require 85% more heat-
it is normally possible (and economi- account. However, since the pumping transfer area, at a 69% higher cost.
46 Chemical Engineering February 2009

16_CHE_021509_GSO2.indd 46 1/23/09 12:41:07 PM

Alfa Laval

Alfa Laval
Figure 3. Coun-
ter-current flows
88.6C can be achieved in Quench
all-welded compact water
T2 heat exchang- 88.6 C T2
ers. This means
that a single heat
T1 exchanger, operat-
ing with crossing
temperatures and
close temperature Polished
18C approach, can T1
replace several 18 C
shell-and-tube heat
exchangers placed
Figure 2. For a compact heat exchanger with in a serial, one-pass
counter-current flow, as shown in Figure 3, it is arrangement
normally possible to decrease the temperature ap-
proach to 35C

All design options offer reasonable very easy to clean. Their panels Finally, all-welded compact heat
monetary savings. Heat exchanger se- can simply be removed to allow me- exchangers can often improve heat
lection is therefore primarily driven by chanical cleaning with high-pres- recovery, while achieving greater sav-
capital cost. A compact heat exchanger sure water. Shell-and-tube heat ings with a better payback rate than
design allows improved heat recovery exchangers, on the other hand, take more conventional alternatives such
with only a marginally longer payback longer to clean as shell-and-tube heat exchangers. n
time, and therefore, is a strong candi- Edited by Gerald Ondrey
date for selection. Final remarks
The all-welded compact heat ex- There is increasing pressure on in-
changer in Case 3a provides maximum dustry today to reduce CO2 emissions. Authors
Johan Gunnarsson is mar-
energy savings and CO2 credits at a Reducing energy use by improving keting manager, petrochemi-
lower size, cost and payback time than process heat recovery, is an effective cals market unit at Alfa Laval
AB (Rudeboksvgen 1, P.O.
the corresponding shell-and-tube heat way for companies to respond to this Box 74, SE-221 00 Lund, Swe-
exchanger in Case 3b. With 17% ad- pressure. den; Phone: +46-46-36-6500;
Fax: +46-46-30-7577; Email:
ditional monetary saving, the payback Reducing energy use lowers costs johan.gunnarsson@alfalaval.
time for the compact heat exchanger for primary energy supply and thus com). Prior to joining Alfa
Laval in 2004, he worked as a
is only 8% longer, whilst the payback reduces operating costs. Also if pri- process engineer at V&S Vin
och Sprit AB (hus, Sweden).
time for the shell-andtube heat ex- mary energy supply is reduced, heat Gunnarsson earned an M.S.Ch.E. degree from
changer design is 44% longer. rejection must also reduce. Overall, Lund Institute of Technology (Lund, Sweden).
The following two points should also the capital investment cost for all heat Iain J.C. Sinclair is the
manager of Petrochemical
be noted: transfer equipment is often lower. Services EMEA at Aspen-
The installation cost of the all- It is our experience that opportuni- Tech Ltd., (Warrington,
U.K.; Email: iain.sinclair@
welded CHE should be lower than for ties for improved heat recovery and He is a fellow
of the institution of chemical
a shell-and-tube, especially when the reduced CO2 emissions exist in most engineers (F.I.Chem.E) and a
shell-and-tube design is a multi-shell chemical process industries (CPI) chartered engineer (C.Eng).
Iain has extensive process
arrangement, as in this comparrison plants, and that some of these oppor- engineering experience and
All-welded CHEs often provide bet- tunities can be realized with short is currently managing Euro-
pean petrochemical services within AspenTech
ter lifecycle performance and lower payback times. This allows companies Ltd. and supports petrochemicals, ethylene, aro-
maintenance costs than shell-and- to contribute to CO2 reduction initia- matics and energy reduction studies worldwide.
His expertise includes process design improve-
tube designs, because there is less tives and to reap financial benefits. ment, debottlenecking and energy reduction.
fouling. Less fouling means less- Effective feasibility studies for reduc- Francisco Alanis is a prin-
cipal consultant in Aspen-
frequent cleaning, which in turn ing energy use should follow a system- Techs APAC services or-
reduces downtime (or at least the atic approach and involve equipment ganization. He is based in
Shanghai (Email: francisco.
maintenance work). Compact all- vendors, to ensure that all potential, and is
welded heat exchangers are also opportunities are fully exploited. responsible for managing and
executing process modeling,
energy improvement and low
cost revamp projects. Fran-
References 3. Zhang, Xiquan and others, Planning ahead,
Hydrocarbon Processing, December, 2007.
cisco joined AspenTech over
10 years ago, and specializes
1. Lee, Doo-Hyun and others, Improving the in the field of process design and performance im-
competitiveness of Aromatics plants by re- 4. Barnes, P. and others, Saving fuel costs with
WPHEs, PTQ (Petroleum Technology Quar- provement. Prior to joining AspenTech, he worked
ducing production costs, Paper presented at with Linnhoff March in Houston, Tex. Alanis grad-
the ERTC Petrochemicals Conference, Brus- tely), Q2, 2005.
uated in chemical engineering from Universidad
sels, October 1617, 2007. 5. Spangler, R. and others, Design of a Crude/ Michoacana de San Nicols de Hidalgo (UMSNH;
2. Lee, Jin-Jong and others, Reduce revamp Vacuum Unit Revamp for Refinery Flexibil- Mexico) and also earned a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from
costs by optimizing design and operations, ity, NPRA Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, the University of Manchester Institute of Science
Hydrocarbon Processing, April 2007. Utah, March 1921, 2006. and Technology (UMIST; U.K.).

Chemical Engineering February 2009 47

16_CHE_021509_GSO2.indd 47 1/23/09 12:42:43 PM

Solids Processing
Environmental Manager

Eye-and-Face Personal
Gateway Safety

Protecting the eyes and face in the workplace FIGURE 1.

Safety glasses help
shield eyes from impact hazards
is imperative to preventing the estimated
1020% of work-related eye injuries OSHA compliance
that result in temporary or permanent vision loss OSHA defines minimum require-
ments for workplace PPE in Subpart I
of the Occupational Safety and Health
Victor J. DAmato Standards for general industry em-
Atrium Environmental Health and Safety Services ployers (29 CFR 1910), which include

the chemical process industries (CPI).
ye injuries of all types occur relatively inexpensive compared to The general requirements of this stan-
at a rate of more than 2,000 the potential expense of an injury. But, dard include that employers select
per day in the U.S., and half no dollar figure can adequately reflect PPE for their employees based on the
of those occur in the work- the personal toll these accidents take hazards present in the workplace, and
place. In 2006, the U.S. Bureau of on injured workers. Prevent Blind- that employers train employees on the
Labor Statistics (BLS) reported over ness America estimates that 1020% proper use and limitations of the PPE
52,000 workplace injuries to the eyes of work-related eye injuries result in selected for use. In November 2007,
and face, and approximately 70% of temporary or permanent vision loss. OSHA updated the standard to spe-
those were eye injuries [1]. The need This article outlines the basics of cifically require employers to pay for
to protect the face and eyes in the eye-and-face protection programs for the PPE required under the standard,
workplace is clear. plant operations, including key com- with some limited exceptions [3].
Implementing an eye-and-face pliance requirements and practical The OSHA Eye and Face Protection
protection program is important for information for personal protective Standard (29 CFR 1910.133) was estab-
several reasons. One is compliance. equipment (PPE) selection. lished specifically to protect employees
Between October 2006 and Septem- from eye and face hazards in the work-
ber 2007, more than 450 citations re- The causes of injuries place. To comply with this standard,
sulted in more than $215,000 in fines Most impacts to the face come from employers must ensure the following:
and penalties to manufacturers for flying objects, usually particulate 1. Employees who may be exposed to
failure to comply with the U.S. Occu- matter. When a particle hits the face it eye or face hazards from flying parti-
pational Safety & Health Administra- might cause a cut or scratch, and the cles, molten metal, liquid chemicals,
tion (OSHA) standard for eye and face skin will repair itself over time given acids, caustic gases, vapors or poten-
protection [2]. proper medical attention. If the par- tially injurious light radiation use
Another reason is the cost of eye ticle hits the eye, it causes direct dam- appropriate eye or face protection.
and face injuries. The financial cost age, and it is far more difficult for the 2. Employees who may be exposed to
of these injuries is enormous and can eye to repair itself. a hazard from flying objects use
range from $300 to $3,000 per case. BLS reports that of the nearly 36,000 eye protection that provides side
More than $300 million per year is lost injuries to workers eyes in 2006, nearly protection.
in production time, medical expenses, 70% resulted from contact with objects 3. Employees who require prescrip-
and workers compensation according like flying particles, falling objects or tion lenses while engaged in op-
to OSHA. The return on investment sparks striking the eye. Contact with erations that involve eye haz-
for implementing an eye-and-face chemicals was responsible for the re- ards wear eye protection that
safety program is huge as its cost is maining 30% of eye injuries. incorporates the prescription in
48 Chemical Engineering February 2009

17_CHE_021509_EM.indd 48 1/23/09 1:07:17 PM

Gateway Safety table 1. Hazard Assessment
Hazard type Examples of hazard Common related tasks
Impact Flying objects, such as Chipping, grinding, machining, masonry
large chips, fragments, work, wood working, sawing, drilling, chisel-
particles, sand and dirt ing, powered fastening, riveting and sanding
Heat Anything emitting ex- Furnace operations, pouring, casting, hot
treme heat dipping and welding
Chemicals Splash, fumes, vapors Acid and chemical handling, degreasing,
and irritating mists plating and working with blood
Dust Harmful dust Woodworking, buffing and generally dusty
Optical Radiant energy, glare Welding, torch-cutting, brazing, soldering and
radiation and intense light laser work
Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Eye and
FIGURE 2. Face Face Protection eTool,
shields protect the
entire face, but do not 2. Identify the sources of the haz- may have been manufactured to
protect the eyes from ards. Talk to employees as they meet earlier editions of ANSI Z87.1.
impact hazards when
worn alone. Safety glasses know best about their trades, OSHA requires that eye and face
or goggles should also be worn work areas and processes. PPE purchased after July 1994 be
Consider all possible hazards, manufactured to meet the 1989 edi-
even those that seem minor or tion of ANSI Z87.1.
its design, or that they wear eye unlikely. Some examples of eye and Eye and face PPE that meets the cri-
protection that can be worn over face hazards and typical sources are teria specified in ANSI Z87.1 must be
the prescription lenses without summarized in Table 1. marked with a manufacturers unique
disturbing the proper position of 3. Organize the data collected. De- marking and the Z87 marking. Spe-
the prescription lenses or the pro- velop a table or spreadsheet listing cial purpose lenses and shaded lenses
tective lenses. the occupations, work areas, and must also be marked indicating the
4. E ye-and-face personal protective processes you identify, the hazards purpose and shade. Eye and face PPE
equipment is distinctly marked so identified in each category, and the must be selected based on the hazards
that the manufacturer is clearly sources of the hazards. identified in the hazard assessment.
identified. 4. Analyze your data, considering the Some examples of the types of protec-
5. Employees who may be exposed probability and severity of each tion available for hazards are summa-
to injurious light radiation during hazard. Keep in mind that mul- rized in the next sections.
work process, such as welding, ther- tiple hazards and sources may be Ultimately, the eye and face pro-
mal cutting, brazing, torch solder- present. This will help in deciding tection must be comfortable to wear
ing, and using lasers, use eye protec- which PPE is appropriate. and not interfere with the employees
tion equipped with filter lenses that 5. Certify your assessment. OSHA re- work. Poor-fitting PPE will not afford
have a shade number appropriate quires that every employer verify its the necessary protection, may be un-
for the work being performed. assessment, identifying the areas comfortable to wear, and may not get
assessed, who performed the assess- used. Since eye-and-face protection
implementation ment, and the dates it was performed. devices can come in different sizes,
Implementing a practical, effective 6. Review and update your assessment care should be taken to ensure that
PPE program includes the following on a routine basis, or if changes in the the right size is selected.
straightforward steps, which are de- workplace or processes are planned. Impact hazards. Safety spectacles
scribed in more detail below. (Figure 1) are intended to shield the
1. Assess the workplace for hazards. PPE selection wearers eyes from impact hazards,
2. Select PPE based on these hazards. The American National Standards such as flying fragments, objects,
3. Train workers on proper PPE use. Institute (ANSI) standard for eye and large chips, and particles. Workers
4. D
 etermine how prompt emergency face protection (Z87.1) sets forth cri- are required to use eye safety spec-
care will be provided in the event of teria related to the description, gen- tacles with side shields when there is
an accident. eral requirements, testing, marking, a hazard from flying objects. Non side-
selection, care and use of eye and face shield spectacles are not acceptable
Hazard assessment PPE in the workplace. The 2003 edi- eye protection for impact hazards. The
OSHA provides guidance on conduct- tion specifies requirements for safety selection of safety glasses is almost in-
ing hazard assessments, which are glasses, safety goggles, face shields finite as a host of manufacturers have
summarized as follows [4]. and full-face and hooded respirators. stepped up to meet employee demand.
1. The first step in the hazard assess- This ANSI standard is revised and Safety goggles are also intended to
ment for eye and face protection is updated routinely to reflect current shield the wearers eyes from impact
to walk through your facility and technologies and the current state of hazards. Goggles fit the face immedi-
identify the potential hazards that practice. While most PPE manufac- ately surrounding the eyes and form
can injure the eyes or face. Hazards turers have adopted the 2003 edition a protective seal around the eyes. This
should be assessed by occupation or of the standard in new products, eye prevents objects from entering under
trade, work area and work activity. and face PPE currently being used or around the goggles.
Chemical Engineering February 2009 49

17_CHE_021509_EM.indd 49 1/23/09 1:08:35 PM

Environmental Manager

Face shields (Figure 2) are intended presents additional hazards

to protect the entire face or portions of to contact lens wearers. Safety
it, but they do not protect employees goggles should be worn when
eyes from impact hazards when worn dust is present. Safety goggles
alone. Face shields should be used in are the only effective type of eye
combination with safety spectacles or protection from nuisance dust.
goggles for additional protection. Face- Optical radiation hazards.
shield windows are made of varying Welding, thermal cutting, braz-
types of transparent materials and ing, laser work and similar
in varying thicknesses, both of which operations create intense con-
should be considered when selecting centrations of heat, ultraviolet,
face shields for specific tasks. Window infrared, and reflected-light ra-
and headgear devices are available in diation. Some of these activities
various combinations to be compatible can produce optical radiation
with other PPE, such as hardhats. intensities greater than those
Welding shields (Figure 3) provide experienced when looking di-
eye and face protection from flying rectly at the sun. Unprotected
particulate matter during welding, exposure may result in eye in-
thermal cutting and other hot-work juries including retinal burns,
activities. These shields are typically cataracts, and permanent blind-
equipped with shaded lenses that pro- ness. Many lasers produce invis-
vide protection from optical radiation. ible ultraviolet, and other forms
Heat hazards. Working with heat of non-ionizing radiation. FIGURE 3. Welding shields are typically equipped
with shaded lenses to protect from optical radiation
requires goggles or safety spectacles The OSHA standard (29 CFR
with special-purpose lenses and side 1010.133) includes a table that lists Institute for Occupational Safety
shields. However, many heat-hazard the minimum shade requirements and Health (NIOSH) issued a Cur-
exposures require the use of a face for eye protection during industrial rent Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) on
shield in addition to safety spectacles processes that generate optical radia- the use of contact lenses in chemical
or goggles. When selecting PPE, con- tion. The selection of eye protection for environments. In this CIB, NIOSH
sider the source and intensity of the lasers should depend on the lasers in recommends that workers be permit-
heat and the type of splashes that may use and the operating conditions, and ted to wear contact lenses when han-
occur in the workplace. should be consistent with the laser dling hazardous chemicals provided
Chemical hazards. Safety goggles manufacturers specifications. that certain safety guidelines are fol-
(Figure 4) protect the eyes, eye sock- PPE and prescription lenses. If lowed and that contact lenses are not
ets, and the facial area immediately employees wear reading glasses with banned by regulation or contraindi-
surrounding the eyes from a vari- basic magnification, ANSI-approved cated by medical or industrial hygiene
ety of chemical hazards. The protec- safety glasses and goggles with read- recommendations. OSHA recommends
tive seal formed around the eyes is ing magnifiers in the lenses are an op- against contact-lens use when work-
especially important when work- tion. Its also possible to buy prescrip- ing with certain chemicals, including
ing with or around liquids that may tion safety glasses and goggles that acrylonitrile, methylene chloride, 1,2
splash, spray or mist. Several kinds are compliant with the ANSI stan- dibromo-3-chloropropane, ethylene
of cover-type goggles are available: dard. ANSI-compliant goggles and oxide and methylene dianiline.
direct vented, indirectly vented or safety glasses are also available to fit The NIOSH recommendations are
non-vented. Its important to select over prescription glasses; but, they specifically intended for work with chem-
the right type. Vented goggles, for can be uncomfortable and less likely ical hazards, and do not address hazards
example, may be less effective in pro- to be worn. from heat, radiation, or high-dust or
tecting the eyes from splashes and Wearing contact lenses under some high-particulate environments [5].
respiratory aerosols than non-vented circumstances provides workers with Usable life of PPE. All PPE has a
or indirectly vented goggles. a greater choice of eye and face pro- usable lifespan. Most manufacturers
Face shields are intended to protect tection and better visual acuity. How- recommend how frequently eye-and-
the entire face from a variety of chemi- ever, the risk of injury to the eye from face protection equipment should be
cal hazards, particularly when pour- chemical exposure is unknown for con- replaced. If the PPE becomes dam-
ing chemicals or where splashes may tact lens wearers compared with non- aged or distorted, it must be replaced
occur. Face shields are considered sec- wearers working with chemicals. It is to work properly. As far as the usable
ondary protection and must be used in important to note that contact lenses life of a product, a good rule of thumb
addition to safety goggles to provide are not eye protective devices, and is if your safety glasses are more than
adequate protection. wearing them does not reduce the re- five years old, they may not be compli-
Dust hazards. Working in a dusty en- quirement for eye and face protection. ant with the latest ANSI standards, so
vironment can cause eye injuries and In June 2005, the U.S. National you should get a new pair.
50 Chemical Engineering February 2009

17_CHE_021509_EM.indd 50 1/23/09 1:10:43 PM

Summary of NIOSH Recommended Safety Guidelines
for Contact Lens Use in Chemical Environments
1. Conduct an eye-injury hazard protection for all workers ex- about any defined areas where contact lenses as soon as prac-
evaluation* in the workplace posed to eye injury hazards, contact lenses are restricted. tical. Do not delay irrigation
that includes an assessment of regardless of contact lens 6. Identify to supervisors all con- while waiting for contact lens
the following: wear. tact lens wearers working in removal.
Chemical exposures 3. Establish a written policy chemical environments to en- 9. Instruct workers who wear con-
Contact lens use documenting general safety re- sure that the proper hazard as- tact lenses to remove the lenses
 Appropriate eye and face quirements for wearing contact sessment is completed and the at the first signs of eye redness
protection for contact lens lenses, including the eye and proper eye protection and first or irritation.
wearers face protection required and aid equipment are available. 10. Evaluate restrictions on
2. Provide suitable eye and face any contact lens wear restric- 7. Train medical and first aid per- contact lens wear on a case-
tions by work location or task. sonnel in the removal of contact by-case basis, taking into
* NIOSH recommends that eye injury 4. Comply with current OSHA lenses and have the appropri- account the visual require-
hazard evaluations be conducted by
competent, qualified persons such as
regulations on contact lens ate equipment available. ments of individual workers
certified industrial hygienists, certified wear and eye and face 8. In the event of a chemical wearing contact lenses as
safety professionals, or toxicologists. protection. exposure, begin eye irriga- recommended by a qualified
Information from the hazard evaluation
should be provided to the examining oc- 5. Notify workers and visitors tion immediately and remove ophthalmologist or optometrist.
cupational health nurse or occupational
medicine physician. Source: Contact Lens Use in a Chemical Environment, Current Intelligence Bulletin 59, NIOSH Publication No. 2005-139: June 2005

FIGURE 4. Safety goggles form a requirements. The OSHA guidelines

protective seal around the eyes in Ref. 4 also include a useful PPE se-
lection guide.
The American Industrial Hygiene
Training must be con- Association website ( of-
ducted prior to an em- fers more information on occupational
ployees assignment health and safety topics including a
to the work area or list of industrial hygiene consultants
task where the haz- who specialize in safety issues.
ards may be present, and Edited by Dorothy Lozowski
at the time when the eye and
Gateway Safety
face protection is issued. There References
is no annual requirement for re- 1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Case and De-
mographic Characteristics for Work-related
training; the onus of ensuring that Injuries and Illnesses Involving Days Away
Employee training employees understand when and how From Work (2006),
BLS reports that workers injured to use their eye and face protection 2. Occupational Safety & Health Administra-
while not wearing protective eyewear is on the employer. OSHA does state tion Inspection Data,
often say they believed it was not re- that when employees are found wear-
3. Occupational Safety & Health Adminis-
quired by the situation. Even though ing PPE improperly or not at all, they tration, Employer Payment for Personal
the vast majority of employers furnish need to be retrained. Protective Equipment; Final Rule FR
72:64341-64430, Table XV-2 l, Vol. 72, No.
eye protection to employees at no cost, 220, Nov. 15, 2007.
about 40% of workers report they re- Emergency care 4. Occupational Safety & Health Administra-
tion, Compliance Guidelines for Hazard
ceive no information on where and OSHA mandates that if a hazard ex- Assessment and Personal Protective Equip-
what kind of eyewear should be used. ists, a means for flushing the eye must ment Selection, 29 CFR 1910, Subpart I, Ap-
pendix B .
OSHA requires that all employees be provided. The eye-and-face protec-
5. Contact Lens Use in a Chemical Environ-
who use PPE for protection against tion program should include consider- ment, Current Intelligence Bulletin 59,
workplace hazards be trained in when ations for emergency eyewash stations NIOSH Publication No. 2005-139, June 2005.
and how to use their PPE. This train- that provide a full 15-min flush. There
ing must include the following: is an ANSI standard (Z358) for eye- Victor DAmato is the direc-
1. A summary of the occupations, work wash stations. In the field, eyewash tor for Atrium Environmental,
Health and Safety Services,
areas or tasks where eye and face bottles can be on hand for interim as- LLC (11495 Sunset Hills Road
protection is necessary. sistance until an eyewash station can Suite 210, Reston, VA 20190;
Phone: 7036899482; Email:
2. What types of eye and face protec- be reached. There are also portable He
tion are necessary for each occupa- eyewash stations available that can has been providing environ-
mental, safety and industrial
tion, work area or task. dispense water for 15 minutes. hygiene support to manufac-
3. H ow the eye and face protection is turing, research and develop-
ment, utilities, telecommunica-
put on, taken off, adjusted and worn Resources tions, aerospace, shipyard, facilities management
and defense industries for more than 20 years.
to be effective. OSHA has an excellent Eye and He has a B.S. in Environmental Health from Old
4. The limitations of the eye and face Face Protection eTool on its website Dominion University, and a M.S. in Engineering
Management from The George Washington Uni-
protection used. ( versity. He is an American Board of Industrial
5. The manufacturers recommenda- eyeandface/ppe/selection.html) that Hygiene Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and
a Board of Certified Safety Professionals Certi-
tions on the proper care, mainte- can assist with hazard assessments, fied Safety Professional (CSP). He is a member
nance, useful life and disposal of eye provides information about selecting of the American Industrial Hygiene Association
(AIHA) and has served as president of the AIHA
and face protection devices. PPE and summarizes specific OSHA Potomac Section.

Chemical Engineering February 2009 51

17_CHE_021509_EM.indd 51 1/23/09 1:12:19 PM


Focus on

& Control Fluid Components International

This unit offers measurements for ous areas or hard-to-reach places.

low flows in the milliliter range Designed for line sizes from 0.25 to
The SLQ-HC60 (photo) fills a gap in 2.0 in. with a flow range of 0.01 to
the existing range of products for pre- 559 scfm, the ST75 provides three
cise measurement in the low flowrate outputs: the mass flowrate, total-
range, below 100 mL/min. This wa- ized flow and media temperature.
ter-resistant meter operates without Its flow element has a no-moving
moving parts and can detect bubbles parts design that employs plati-
in the microliter range as well. The num RTD sensors embedded in
unit requires a supply voltage of 24 mass thermowells with micropro-
V and provides a 010-V analog out- cessor electronics calibrated to lab-
put signal. The simple, straight flow oratory standards for a wide range
channel of the SLQ-HC60 can be con- of gases including: natural gas,
nected to 1/8-in. or 3-mm plastic hoses methane, nitrogen, carbon dioxide,
via threaded couples. Sensirion AG, argon, all inert gases, compressed
Staefa, Switzerland air and more. Fluid Components Emerson Process Management International, San Marcos, Calif. plications as well as fiscal metering,
Use this thickness gauge for product costing and efficiency moni-
ultrasonic clamp-on flowmeters A new technology platform for toring. With automatic compensation
Since even the smallest miscalculation flow computers is introduced for changes in steam density, the unit
of the pipe-wall thickness can have a The FloBossT107 flow manager (photo) provides 420-mA and pulsed outputs
major impact on a clamp-on flowme- is the newest addition to this compa- proportional to mass or energy flow,
ters accuracy, a pipe thickness gauge nys FloBoss family of natural gas and as well as realtime displays of steam
needs to be extremely accurate. The liquids flow computers. In addition to pressure, temperature, flowrate and
Sitrans F US thickness gauge operates a new highly scalable technology plat- total flow in both English and SI units.
at a 5-MHz frequency enabling it to form, the FloBoss 107 also features Featuring a wafer design, the unit can
measure even the smallest pipe thick- new, dynamic configuration software be mounted in either vertical or hori-
ness. Although the thickness gauge and an LCD touchpad to enhance ease zontal lines and requires straight line
was originally designed to increase of use. In addition to its many new runs of only six pipe diameters up-
the accuracy of clamp-on flowmeters, features, the FloBoss 107 retains all of stream and three downstream. These
it can be used to measure the thick- the tried and true features including factors help make the DIVA flowmeter
ness of any pipe wall from 0.1 to 200 highly accurate measurement calcula- easily installed where other meters,
mm (0.03 to 7.9 in.). It works on vari- tions, extensive data archival capabili- such as orifice plates or vortex meters,
ous metallic and non-metallic materi- ties, broad communications support, cannot be applied. Spirax Sarco,
als, such as steel, aluminum, titanium, low power consumption, PID loop Inc., Bythewood, S.C.
plastics and ceramics. Siemens En- control, logic/sequencing control and
ergy & Automation, Alpharetta, Ga. environmental ruggedness. The flow manager supports up to four meter This Coriolis mass flowmeter
runs using multi-variable sensors. is corrosion-resistant
Remote mass flowmeter for Emerson Process Management, St. The tantalum version of the Opti-
small lines in hazardous areas Louis, Mo. mass 7300 Coriolis mass flowmeter
Engineers who need to measure pro- (photo, p.53) was launched to handle
cess gas, fuel gas or waste gases as the highly aggressive and corrosive
well as air in small-line sizes will find Measure mass or volumetric fluids found in the CPI (chemical pro-
the ST75 Flow Meter (photo) is now energy flow with this meter cess industries). The twin, bent-tube
available in a remote mountable con- The DIVA compact steam flowmeter design of some Coriolis meters has
figuration for applications in hazard- is offered for general metering ap- made the use of tantalum expensive.
52 Chemical Engineering February 2009

18_CHE_021509_CUS.indd 52 1/22/09 11:23:41 AM

Universal Flow Monitors

and bluff can transmit hot water or

other fluids with maximum operating
Krohne temperature of 180F, compared to a
maximum of 140F with PVC units.
Five pipe diameters from 0.5 to 2 in.
are offered, providing flowrates from
12 to 200 gal/min. Universal Flow
Monitors, Inc., Hazel Park, Mich.

This bolt-on heating jacket en-

closes visual flow indicators
Composed of clamshell halves con-
sisting of a carbon or stainless-steel
pressure chamber within an alumi-
num casting, this heating jacket allows
direct observation of high-tempera-
ture or temperature-sensitive process
fluids without creating a cold spot on
temperature-controlled process pip-
ing. This new jacket fits directly on
This was due to the flange, flow split- marked to specific applications. The G the manufacturers standard view-
ter and measuring tubes all being Series models feature glass measuring thru visual flow indicator, exposing
made from tantalum. With the advent tubes, which enable direct view of the only the small area of the indicators
of the single, straight-tube design, the process reading and flow at the meter. viewing port to ambient temperature.
material looked more attractive due to For use in difficult operating condi- Tested in accordance with the ASME
the fact that only the measuring tube tions where pressure or temperature Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, Sec.
and raised face of the process flange is a factor, the M Series models are VIII, Div. 1 standards, the jackets
needs to be made from tantalum. To equipped with metal measuring tubes are capable of maintaining operating
overcome tensile-strength issues, this and mechanical or electronic displays. temperatures up to 750F. Heating
company uses tantalum Ta10W, which NPT and flange-end connections are media ranges from hot water to steam
is made up of 10% tungsten and 90% available in sizes from 1/8 to 1 in. to hot oil and vapors. LJ Star Inc.,
tantalum. The manufacturer has found Available options include high/low Twinsburg, Ohio
this to be an ideal material for use in flow indicators, transistor relays and
the Optimass 7300, as tungsten pro- 420-mA analog outputs. Swagelok
vides the additional tensile strength Co., Solon, Ohio Low-cost injection-molded
required to handle the stresses associ- flowmeters are available
ated with straight-tube technology. Manufactured from polysulfone, a
Krohne, Inc., Peabody, Mass. These transmitters are for higher heat-resistant thermoplastic, these temperature water and corrosives flowmeters provide good chemical re-
Made of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride sistance. For easy installation, Quik
Custom calibrate these (CPVC), these flowrate transmitters Loc connectors couple the meter body
variable area flowmeters offer heat resistance in processing to the pipe connectors at the end of
Used to measure liquid and gas flow- corrosive fluids, water, brine and low- the flowmeter. Features include easy-
rates by means of a tapered tube and viscosity fluids in water treatment, to-read, direct-reading dual scales
float, these variable area flowmeters chemical and desalination applica- available in overlapping flow ranges
(photo) feature individually calibrated tions. The P420 Series (photo) offers a for water or air. Models are available
scales and a 10:1 turndown ratio. wide selection of cost-effective plastic with 316 stainless-steel, PTFE or PVC
All units are factory calibrated and flowmeters without moving parts that floats. Dakota Instruments, Inc.,
marked to indicate the specific media, can stick, bind or coat when processing Orangeburg, N.Y.
flow range, and accuracy class. In ad- water or corrosives. P420 vortex-shed-
dition, they can be calibrated and ding meters with CPVC body, sensor Dorothy Lozowski
Chemical Engineering February 2009 53

18_CHE_021509_CUS.indd 53 1/22/09 11:24:19 AM

Exchangers SOLUTIONS
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Intelligen Suite
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19_CHE_020109_Classified.indd 56 1/23/09 4:40:05 PM

mp PE
lian N

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Tel: 212-621-4958
Fax: 212-621-4976
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New & Used Equipment

Equipment Corporation
A leader in the grinding and
dispersion industries

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Dispersers Mills Mixers
Tank & Tote Washers
Particle Size Analysis Vessels

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Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2009 57

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New & Used Equipment
Process Filtration Equipment Wedge-Wire Screen Manufacturer:
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Sizes available: 2, 3, 5, 12, 25, cu. ft. baskets, hub and header laterals, media
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ASW Classified Ad_12-10-08.indd 1 12/10/08 5:05:26 PM


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58 Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2009

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RAILCAR MOVING Filter Presses WAT E R W O R K S 800.232.9334 219.663.8210
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Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2009 59

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Services Manager
Administrative Services Manager: acts as
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Helene Hicks
GET CONNECTED TODAY Tel: 212.621.4958 Fax: 212.621.4976

60 Chemical Engineering FEBRUARY 2009

19_CHE_020109_Classified.indd 60 1/23/09 4:46:54 PM

Advertisers Index
Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number
Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service #
A Box 4 U 15 Dickow Pump Company 26 * Flexim GmbH 32 Silverson Machines, Inc. 21
877-522-6948 800-880-4442 510-420-6995 800-204-6400

* Alstom Power Incorporated 9 Dow High Temp SECOND

Flexitallic 18 * Solex 6
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Argonide Corporation 9 Solutia Therminol 2
407-322-2500 Dow Water Solutions 32D-3 Hapman 13

Badger Meter Inc. 17 Emerson Process SRI Consulting 30

918-836-8411 Honeywell Process
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International Section Western States
Flexicon Corp 1 Machine Co 32D-2
* A
 dditional information in 1-888-353-9426 Membrana 32D-4 513-863-4758
2006 Buyers Guide

See bottom of next page for advertising sales representatives' contact information Advertisers
Classified Index - February 2009 (212) 621-4958 Fax: (212) 621-4976 Product Showcase. . . . . . . . 54-55
Computer Software . . . . . . . . 56-57
Send Advertisements and Box replies to: Helene Hicks, Chemical Engineering, 110 William St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038
Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number Equipment, Used or
Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service # Surplus New for Sale. . . . . . . 57-59
Testing Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
ABZ 54 Equipnet 59 Indeck 59
800-747-7401 781-821-3482 847-541-8300 Advertiser Page number Phone number Reader Service #

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Charles Ross Midwesco Filter Rev Tech 59
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880-243-ROSS 540-667-8500
Reasearch, Inc. 57
Robatel 59
Clark-Cooper 54 Minox/Elcan 58 413-499-4818
856-829-4580 800-AT ELCAN Heyl & Patterson 59
412-788-9810 Wabash Power
Cooper Equipment 57 NATUREX 59 Equipment Company 58
281-494-7400 201-440-5000 800-704-2002 HFP Acoustical
Consultants 60 Outotec 57
CU Services 55 888-789-9400 Water Works 59
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Chemical Engineering February 2009 61

20_CHE_021509_AD_IND_RS.indd 61 1/23/09 8:20:10 AM

New Product Information February 2009

JustFAXit! or go to
Fill out the form and circle or write in the number(s) Go on the Web and fill out the

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Name Title



City State/Province Zip/Postal Code

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Email | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

FREEPRODUCT INFO 14 Engineering, Design &Construc- 29 10 to 49 Employees 47 Pollution Control Equipment

(please answer all the questions) tion Firms 30 50 to 99 Employees &Systems
15 Engineering/Environmental Ser- 31 100 to 249 Employees 48 Pumps
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01 Food &Beverages
16 Equipment Manufacturer 33 500 to 999 Employees 50 Size Reduction &Agglomeration
02 Wood, Pulp &Paper
17 Energy incl. Co-generation 34 1,000 or more Employees Equipment
03 Inorganic Chemicals
18 Other YOURECOMMEND, 51 Solids Handling Equipment
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20 Corporate Management 53 Valves
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08 Organic Chemicals 42 Heat Transfer/Energy Conserva-
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09 Agricultural Chemicals tion Equipment
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10 Petroleum Refining, 43 Instrumentation & Control Sys-
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Coal Products tems
26 Other Systems
11 Rubber &Misc. Plastics 44 Mixing, Blending Equipment 57 Chemicals &Raw Materials
12 Stone, Clay, Glass, Ceramics EMPLOYEESIZE 45 Motors, Motor Controls 58 Materials of Construction
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1 16 31 46 61 76 91 106 121 136 151 166 181 196 211 226 241 256 271 286 301 316 331 346 361 376 391 406 421 436 451 466 481 496 511 526 541 556 571 586
2 17 32 47 62 77 92 107 122 137 152 167 182 197 212 227 242 257 272 287 302 317 332 347 362 377 392 407 422 437 452 467 482 497 512 527 542 557 572 587
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14 29 44 59 74 89 104 119 134 149 164 179 194 209 224 239 254 269 284 299 314 329 344 359 374 389 404 419 434 449 464 479 494 509 524 539 554 569 584 599
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62 Chemical Engineering February 2009

20_CHE_021509_AD_IND_RS.indd 62 1/23/09 10:05:46 AM

Economic Indicators

Business News
Dow Corning invests in emerging, the Hoechst Industrial Park near Frankfurt.
Plant Watch
global solar-power industry The company also runs a chlorinated
Linde and Samsung Engineering to build December 17, 2008 Dow Corning hydrocarbon plant, along with calcium
ethylene plant in India Corp. (Midland, Mich.) has announced chloride and solid caustic facilities. Financial
January 7, 2009 The Linde Group (Munich, several billion dollars of investment to details were not disclosed.
Germany) and its consortium partner provide critical materials to the solar
Samsung Engineering Co. have been technology industry.This investment and divests non-stick coatings
awarded the contract to build a turnkey includes construction of a new monosilane activities
ethylene plant in Dahej, India.The plant, manufacturing facility in Hemlock, Mich.The January 16, 2009 AkzoNobel has agreed
commissioned by the Indian company investment also includes up to $3.0 billion to divest its non-stick coatings business
OPAL, a subsidiary of the state-owned at Dow Corning joint ventures, Hemlock to privately owned, U.S.-based Whitford
ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd.), is Semiconductor Corp. and Hemlock Worldwide. Financial details have not been
part of a new petrochemical complex. It Semiconductor LLC. The companies will disclosed.The deal involves AkzoNobels
will produce 1.1 million ton/yr of ethylene, expand Hemlock Semiconductor Corp.s global cookware and bakeware activities,
400,000 ton/yr of propylene, 150,000 existing Michigan manufacturing facility which operate out of five sites in the U.S.,
ton/yr of benzene and 115,000 ton/yr of and build a new site in Clarksville,Tenn. China, India, Brazil and Italy.The transaction
butadiene.This plant will be the largest of its to increase manufacturing capacity is expected to be completed in the 1st Q
kind in India and one of the largest ethylene for polycrystalline silicon (polysilicon). of 2009.
plants in the world. Construction of both the polysilicon
expansions and the new monosilane site Samsung Petrochemical and PSE
Axens awarded petrochemical are to begin immediately. collaborate on PTA optimization
complex in Kazakhstan January 14, 2009 Samsung
January 5, 2009 Kazakhstans JSC Trade Petrochemical Co. (Seoul, Korea), a
House KazMunaiGaz has selected Axens Mergers and
producer of purified terephthalic acid
(Rueil-Malmaison Cedex, France) ParamaX Acquisitions
(PTA), and Process Systems Enterprise (PSE),
Technology Suite for the first major aromatics Dow and Sd-Chemie seek alternative providers of modeling technology and
complex to be located at the Atyrau refinery routes to chemicals process optimization services, have signed
in Kazakhstan.The Atyrau refinery processes January 22, 2009 The Dow Chemical an agreement for joint development of new
up to 5.0 million metric tons (m.t.) per year of Co. (Midland, Mich.) and Sd-Chemie AG high-performance technologies for PTA
crude oil.The grassroots plant will produce (Munich, Germany) have announced an production.The new developments will aim
496,000 m.t./yr paraxylene and 133,000 agreement to research alternative routes primarily at reducing operating costs and
m.t./yr benzene. Plant startup is planned for to produce chemicals that help reduce improving product quality.
the 20122013 timeframe. dependence on traditional sources of
oil and gas.The collaborative research Total purchases 50% stake in AMSO and
Uhde wins several contracts for aims to convert synthesis gas (syngas) will develop shale oil in Colorado
aromatics plants into building-block chemicals in a more January 14, 2009 Total (Courbevoie,
December 18, 2008 Uhde GmbH efficient and economical process.The two France) announced that it will acquire a
(Dortmund, Germany) has been awarded a companies will be developing the terms 50% stake in IDT Corp.s American Shale Oil,
contract by Risun Chemical Co. of China to of the joint R&D effort within a couple of LLC (AMSO) subsidiary. Under the terms
build an aromatics plant at Tangshan some months with a plan to initiate the program of the agreement,Total and IDT will jointly
150 km east of Beijing.The new plant will in April 2009. Focusing on the development develop a research and demonstration
produce benzene, toluene and xylene from and manufacturing of catalysts for the program to produce and commercialize
coke-oven light oil. High-purity aromatics conversion of syngas to chemicals and the shale oil using a new in-situ technology in
are processed by the chemical industry direct conversion of syngas to olefins, this western Colorado.
into essential intermediate products joint research program will be conducted
used, for example, in the production of at Dows Terneuzen, Netherlands, site and at Borealis launches Mobility Business Unit
plastics.The plant, which is designed for Sd-Chemies catalyst R&D centers in both for automotive applications
a throughput capacity of 200,000 m.t. of Germany and the U.S. January 13, 2009 Borealis (Vienna,
coke-oven light oil per year, is due to come Austria) is launching a new business unit
on stream in 2010 and joins a major high- AkzoNobel finalizes acquisition of dedicated to future development of its
purity aromatics plant being built by Xingtai Germany-based LII Europe automotive business.The Business Unit
Risun Coal & Chemical Co., a subsidiary January 19, 2009 AkzoNobel (Amsterdam, Mobility, which came into being on January
of the Risun Group at Xingtai, using Uhdes Netherlands) has strengthened its European 1, will be led by Harald Hammer, previously
process.This second plant will start up chemicals portfolio with the acquisition of CEO of Borouge Marketing Co., a Borealis
around mid-2009, and together the two the business and assets of LII Europe.The joint venture based in Singapore.The new
plants will mean that the Risun Group will acquired activities will be integrated into business unit will also incorporate Borealiss
gain a production capacity of 260,000 m.t./ AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals. LII Europe battery application business. 
yr of high-purity aromatics. operates a multi-client chlorine cluster on Dorothy Lozowski

For additional news as it develops, please

February 2009; VOL. 116; NO. 2
Chemical Engineering copyright @ 2008 (ISSN 0009-2460) is published monthly, with an additional issue in October, by Access Intelligence, LLC, 4 Choke Cherry Road, 2nd
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For more Economic Indicators, See Next Page Chemical Engineering February 2009 63

21_CHE_021509_EI.indd 63 1/26/09 9:16:25 AM

Economic Indicators 2008 2007

download the cepci two weeks sooner at

(1957-59 = 100) Nov. '08 Oct. '08 Nov. '07
Prelim. Final Final Annual Index:
CE Index 566.1 592.2 526.0 2000 = 394.1 600
Equipment 681.3 720.0 624.4
Heat exchangers & tanks
2001 = 394.3
655.8 711.7 593.5
Process machinery 641.1 664.7 597.9 2002 = 395.6 550
Pipe, valves & fittings 831.8 864.0 731.1 2003 = 402.0
Process instruments 415.8 439.0 416.9
Pumps & compressors 896.5 893.0 842.9 2004 = 444.2 500

Electrical equipment 461.7 471.9 437.4 2005 = 468.2

Structural supports & misc 718.0 771.8 660.4
2006 = 499.6 450
Construction labor 325.5 326.2 317.9
Buildings 513.5 522.8 477.1 2007 = 525.4
Engineering & supervision 350.6 351.3 357.0 400
Starting with the April 2007 Final numbers, several of the data series for labor and compressors have been
converted to accommodate series IDs that were discontinued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


CPI output index (2000 = 100) Dec. '08 = 95.1 Nov. '08 = 97.9 Oct. '08 = 102.4 Dec. '07 = 109.1
CPI value of output, $ billions Nov. '08 = 1,558.4 Oct. '08 = 1,744.1 Sept. '08 = 1,835.2 Nov. '07 = 1,858.6
CPI operating rate, % Dec. '08 = 69.9 Nov. '08 = 72.1 Oct. '08 = 75.5 Dec. '07 = 81.5
Construction cost index (1967 = 100) Jan. '09 = 795.9 Dec. '08 = 796.1 Nov. '08 = 800.9 Jan. '08 = 753.2
Producer prices, industrial chemicals (1982 = 100) Dec. '08 = 225.2 Nov. '08 = 260.6 Oct. '08 = 286.9 Dec. '07 = 245.1
Industrial Production in Manufacturing (2002=100)* Dec. '08 = 102.5 Nov. '08 = 105.0 Oct. '08 = 107.4 Dec. '07 = 113.8
Hourly earnings index, chemical & allied products (1992 = 100) Dec. '08 = 145.0 Nov. '08 = 146.1 Oct. '08 = 143.9 Dec. '07 = 142.8
Productivity index, chemicals & allied products (1992 = 100) Dec. '08 = 123.3 Nov. '08 = 125.3 Oct. '08 = 129.7 Dec. '07 = 136.2

CPI OUTPUT INDEX (2000 = 100) CPI OUTPUT VALUE ($ Billions) 85

110 2200 81

105 1900 77

100 1600 73

95 1300 69

90 1000 65
*Due to discontinuance, the Index of Industrial Activity has been replaced by the Industrial Production in Manufacturing index from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.
Current business indicators provided by Global insight, Inc., Lexington, Mass.


(1926 = 100) 4th Q 3rd Q 2nd Q 1st Q 4th Q 1500 The CEPCI continues its de-
2008 2008 2008 2008 2007 1485 cline in the November prelim-
M & S Index 1,487.2 1,469.5 1,431.7 1,408.6 1,399.2 inary numbers (top), reflect-
Process industries, average 1470
1,561.2 1,538.2 1,491.7 1,463.2 1,452.3 ing a substantial decrease
Cement 1,553.4 1,522.2 1,473.5 1,448.1 1,435.3 1455
in copper and steel prices
Chemicals 1,533.7 1,511.5 1,464.8 1,438.5 1,427.9 1440
Clay products 1,524.4 1,495.6 1,453.5 1,429.1 1,415.0
caused by an overall eco-
Glass 1,448.1 1,432.4 1,385.1 1,359.7 1,348.8
1425 nomic slowdown worldwide.
Paint 1,564.2 1,543.9 1,494.8 1,467.6 1,457.1
1410 Meanwhile, the drop in the
Paper 1,462.9 1,443.1 1,400.0 1,377.7 1,369.2 1395 CPI operating rate (middle)
Petroleum products 1,668.9 1,644.4 1,594.4 1,555.8 1,543.7 1380 from this time last year is the
Rubber 1,604.6 1,575.6 1,537.5 1,512.3 1,500.1 1365 largest since the worst of the
Related industries
1350 1973 recession with one ex-
Electrical power 1,454.2 1,454.4 1,412.8 1,380.4 1,374.9
ception: the Sept. 2008 num-
Mining, milling 1,567.5 1,546.2 1,498.9 1,473.3 1,460.8
ber, which reflected unusual
Refrigeration 1,818.1 1,793.1 1,741.4 1,711.9 1,698.8 1320
Steam power 1,521.9 1,499.3 1,453.2 1,426.8 1,416.4
1st 2nd 3rd 4th shutdowns resulting from two
Gulf Coast hurricanes.
Annual Index:
Visit for
2001 = 1,093.9 2003 = 1,123.6 2005 = 1,244.5 2007 = 1,373.3
more on the CEPCI.
2002 = 1,104.2 2004 = 1,178.5 2006 = 1,302.3 2008 = 1,449.3

64 Chemical Engineering february 2009

21_CHE_021509_EI.indd 64 1/26/09 9:17:15 AM

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