Chemical Engineer Research Paper

Fausto Gallucci | Ekain Fernandez | Pablo Corengia | Martin van Sint Annaland

Membranes and membrane reactors for pure hydrogen production are widely investigated not only because of the important application areas of hydrogen, but especially because mechanically and chemically stable membranes with high perm-selectivity towards hydrogen are available and are continuously further improved in terms of stability and hydrogen flux. Membrane reactors are (multiphase) reactors integrating catalytic reactions (generally reforming and water gas shift reactions for hydrogen production) and separation through membranes in a single unit. This combination of process steps results in a high degree of process integration/intensification, with accompanying benefits in terms of increased process or energy efficiencies and reduced reactor or catalyst volume. The aim of this review is to highlight recent advances in hydrogen selective membranes (from palladium-based to silica and proton conductors) along with the advances for the different types of membrane reactors available (from packed bed to fluidized bed, from micro-reactors to bio-membrane reactors). In addition, the application of membrane reactors for hydrogen production from different feedstock is also discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Jungho Jae | Robert Coolman | T. J. Mountziaris | George W. Huber

Catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) of wood was studied using a spray-dried ZSM-5 catalyst in a process development unit (PDU) consisting of a bubbling fluidized bed reactor with on-stream particle input and output. The PDU was capable of maintaining constant product yield of aromatics over an extended reaction period (6h) with continuous catalyst addition and removal. The yields and selectivity for aromatics and olefins were dependent on temperature, biomass weight hourly space velocity (WHSV), catalyst to biomass ratio, fluidization gas velocity, and catalyst bed weight. The overall aromatic yield increased up to 15.5 carbon% with decreasing gas velocities due to the increased vapor residence time and the improved mass transfer from smaller bubble sizes. A simulated recycle stream of CFP product gases consisting of CO, CO 2 and olefins was used to test the viability of subsequent olefin aromatization in the presence of CO and CO 2 . Olefins were converted into additional aromatics while CO and CO 2 remained inert during CFP. The spray-dried ZSM-5 catalyst was stable in a series of 30 reaction/regeneration cycles. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Pranit S. Metkar | Michael P. Harold | Vemuri Balakotaiah

A comprehensive experimental and modeling study of selective catalytic reduction of NOx with NH 3 was carried out on Fe-ZSM-5 and Cu-chabazite (CHA) catalysts. The experiments reveal that Cu-CHA catalyst has a higher NH 3 storage capacity and activity for NH 3 oxidation and standard SCR compared to Fe-ZSM-5. The NOx reduction activity on the Fe-ZSM-5 catalyst was found to be strongly dependent on the NO 2 feed fraction in contrast to Cu-CHA catalyst for which NOx conversion was much less sensitive to NO 2 . In the presence of excess NO 2 , both N 2 O and ammonium nitrate were produced on both catalysts although Fe-ZSM-5 catalyst had a higher selectivity towards these byproducts compared to Cu-CHA. For different feed conditions (NO 2 /NOx=0-1), Cu-CHA was a more active NOx reduction catalyst at lower temperatures ( < 350°C) while Fe-ZSM-5 was more active at higher temperatures ( > 400°C). Global kinetic models were developed to predict the main features of several SCR system reactions investigated experimentally. The models account for NH 3 adsorption, NH 3 oxidation, NO oxidation, standard SCR, fast SCR, NO 2 SCR, ammonium nitrate formation and its decomposition to N 2 O, N 2 O decomposition and N 2 O reduction by NH 3 . The 1+1 dimensional reactor model accounts for potential washcoat diffusion limitations. The model accurately predicts the steady state NOx and NH 3 conversions and the selectivity of the different products formed during these reactions. The model was used to predict the performance of standard and fast SCR reactions on combined systems of Fe- and Cu-zeolite monolithic catalysts which were found to have higher NOx conversion activity over a wider temperature range than with individual Fe- and Cu-zeolite catalysts as reported in our earlier study (Metkar et al., 2012b). Among various configurations of the combined catalysts, either a single brick made up of a dual-layer catalyst with a thin Fe-zeolite layer on top of a thick Cu-zeolite layer or a sequential arrangement of short Fe-ZSM-5 brick followed by longer Cu-CHA brick resulted in high NOx removal efficiency over a wide temperature range of practical interest. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

G. Lu | J. R. Third | C. R. Müller

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. A fundamental understanding of the underlying physics of granular (particulate) systems is not only of academic interest, but is also highly relevant for industrial applications. Nowadays computational techniques, e.g. the discrete element method (DEM), are frequently applied as a tool to probe the behaviour of granular systems. The DEM is a particularly attractive modelling technique since it can provide both macroscopic and microscopic 'measurements' in granular systems and allows particles of non-spherical shape to be modelled. This ability is important since there is a common understanding that particle shape has a strong influence on the dynamics of these systems. Here, we critically review recent developments in DEM to model particles of non-spherical shape. The first section of the review is concerned with advances in the formulation and implementation of non-spherical particle models, including shape representation, algorithms for the efficient detection of contacts and the determination of contact parameters. In the second part, we review the main findings obtained from numerical 'measurements' in granular systems containing non-spherical particles using the DEM. The systems covered in this review include the packing of particles, particle flow (e.g. plane shear flow, the discharge of particles from hoppers and particle motion in vibrated beds and rotating cylinders) and two-phase particle flows such as gas-solid fluidized beds and pneumatic conveying. We conclude with an outlook highlighting the future research needed to further advance this promising modelling technique.

Yee Kang Ong | Fu Yun Li | Shi Peng Sun | Bai Wang Zhao | Can Zeng Liang | Tai Shung Chung

The textile industry is a water intensive industry that generates a vast amount of wastewater. The wastewater generated from the textile industry is generally loaded with pollutants comprising spent textile dyes, suspended solids, mineral oils, electrolytes, surfactants, etc. Therefore, it must be properly treated before disposal or reuse. A systematic study was conducted to evaluate the performance of newly developed polyamide-imide hollow fiber nanofiltration (NF) membrane in various operating conditions such as feed temperature (i.e., 25, 40, 50, 70°C), solute concentration (i.e., 100, 500, 1000ppm) and pH (i.e., 3, 7, 10). The results indicate that the NF membrane has satisfactory rejections (average: > 90%) against various dyes at most testing conditions. In addition, more than 80% of NaCl and 90% of Na 2 SO 4 permeate through the membrane. As a result, these salts have the potential to be be recovered and reused for the next dyeing process. The robustness of the membrane was proven by showing satisfactory and stable performance under cycles of chemical cleaning during the lab-scale and pilot-scale evaluations. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Eliseo Ranzi | Michele Corbetta | Flavio Manenti | Sauro Pierucci

The comprehensive description of the thermal degradation and combustion of biomass materials is a very challenging problem, as its complexity occurs at several levels: (1) multi-component problem, with an intrinsic variability of biomass composition; (2) multi-phase problem since the biomass reacts both in the condensed and in the gas phase resulting in the formation of a solid bio-char, a liquid bio-oil, and a gas phase; (3) multi-scale problem since the intra and inter-phase transport phenomena need to be considered both at the particle and reactor scale and (4) multi-dimensional problem since the overall system could evolve along several coordinates such as the particle radius, biomass bed, and time. This complexity is further enhanced by the need of a coupled and comprehensive approach of the transport phenomena and the detailed kinetic schemes both in the solid and gas phase. After a review of the multi-step kinetic model adopted for the pyrolysis of biomass particles, the homogeneous gas phase reactions, and the heterogeneous reactions of the residual char, this paper analyzes the mathematical model at the particle and reactor scale. The mathematical models of a biomass gasifier and a traveling grate combustor constitute two working examples of the different scales from the biomass particle up to whole industrial devices. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Wun gwi Kim | Sankar Nair

Membranes utilizing nanoporous one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) materials are emerging as attractive candidates for applications in molecular separations and related areas. Such nanotubular and nanolayered materials include carbon nanotubes, metal oxide nanotubes, layered zeolites, porous layered oxides, layered aluminophosphates, and porous graphenes. By virtue of their unique shape, size, and structure, they possess transport properties that are advantageous for membrane and thin film applications. These materials also have very different chemistry from more conventional porous 3D materials, due to the existence of a large, chemically active, external surface area. This feature also necessitates the development of innovative strategies to process these materials into membranes and thin films with high performance. This work provides the first comprehensive review of this emerging area. We first discuss approaches for the synthesis and structural characterization of nanoporous 1D and 2D materials. Thereafter, we elucidate different approaches for fabrication of membranes and thin films from these materials, either as multiphase (composite/hybrid) or single-phase membranes. The influence of surface chemistry and processing techniques on the membrane morphology is highlighted. We then discuss the applications of such membranes in areas relating to molecular transport and separation, e.g. gas and liquid-phase separations, water purification, and ion-conducting membranes. The review concludes with a discussion of the present outlook and some of the key scientific challenges to be addressed on the path to industrially applicable membranes containing nanoporous 1D and 2D materials. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Qingang Xiong | Song Charng Kong | Alberto Passalacqua

A numerical framework for simulating biomass fast pyrolysis is developed in this study. Fast pyrolysis, a thermochemical conversion process converting low-value lingo-cellulosic biomass to various useful products has gained increased interest. This study is to develop an open-source computational tool to help understand the complex phenomena involved within the biomass fast pyrolysis process. In this framework, a multi-fluid model is applied to simulate the multi-phase hydrodynamics while global reaction kinetics is used to describe the physicochemical conversion. The coupling of these two methodologies is realized by a time-splitting method. The model results are validated using experimental data from fast pyrolysis reactors. Good levels of agreement are obtained in the product distribution including tar, biochar, and syngas. The parametric study also indicates that the tar yield can be increased if the biomass injector location is elevated or the superficial velocity of the feeding nitrogen is increased. One feature of the present numerical framework is that sub-models for different constitutive hydrodynamic relations and chemical reactions can be readily incorporated into this framework owing to the object-oriented feature of the baseline code. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Sui Zhang | Fengjiang Fu | Tai Shung Chung

Polyamide/polyacrylonitrile (PAN) composite membranes with enhanced mechanical properties and water permeability for osmotic power generation have been fabricated in this study. Osmotic power production via pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) process is emerging as one possible environmental friendly and renewable energy sources that utilizes salinity gradient across a semi-permeable membrane as the driving force. The major challenge in the PRO process is how to design the semi-permeable membrane with robust mechanical strength, superior structural stability, desirable water permeability and high salt rejection. This paper presents a fundamental study on the fabrication of polyamide-based thin film composite (TFC) membranes over a polyacrylonitrile (PAN) support for the PRO process. It is revealed that the mechanical strength, pore structure and hydrophilicity of the supporting layer can be tailored by increasing PAN concentration, pre-compressing the substrate and coating with polydopamine which later affects the formation of the polyamide layer and its performance. The post ethanol treatment can toughen the selective layer and simultaneously enhance its water flux and mechanical strength. The resultant membrane is able to harvest the osmotic energy of 2.6W/m 2 and withstand the hydraulic pressure of 10bar. In addition to having superior mechanical properties, alcohol treated membranes for high pressure PRO processes must have a balanced salt permeability and water permeability in order to maximize the osmotic power. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Yuyuan Yao | Lie Wang | Lijie Sun | Shun Zhu | Zhenfu Huang | Yajun Mao WangyangLu | Wenxing Chen

Activated carbon fibers supported ferric ion (Fe@ACFs) have been reported as a heterogeneous Fenton catalyst for the efficient removal of dyes, including acid, reactive, and basic dyes. The catalysts presented sustained catalytic ability and in situ regeneration capability in these experiments. Moreover, the Fe@ACFs/H 2 O 2 system also exhibited remarkable catalytic activity across a wider pH range. Importantly, compared with most reported supports, the introduction of ACFs contributed specifically to the activity enhancement of ferric ion. NaCl played a passive role in the degradation of RR M-3BE, consistent with the traditional Fenton reaction. The presence of isopropanol, as a hydroxyl radical ({bullet operator}OH) scavenger, had a passive influence on RR M-3BE oxidation as well, indicating the hydroxyl radical was involved as the active species, confirmed by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR). Furthermore, the superoxide radical (HO 2 {bullet operator}), which existed in the homogeneous Fenton system, was not detected by EPR in the Fe@ACFs/H 2 O 2 system, suggesting better use of H 2 O 2 for degradation of dyes. This paper discusses a possible catalytic oxidation mechanism in the Fe@ACFs/H 2 O 2 system, which may be a feasible approach for the elimination of widely existing pollutants. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Gilles Flamant | Daniel Gauthier | Hadrien Benoit | Jean Louis Sans | Roger Garcia | Benjamin Boissière | Renaud Ansart | Mehrdji Hemati

This paper demonstrates the capacity of dense suspensions of solid particles to transfer concentrated solar power from a tubular receiver to an energy conversion process by acting as a heat transfer fluid. Contrary to a circulating fluidized bed, the dense suspension of particles' flows operates at low gas velocity and large solid fraction. A single-tube solar receiver was tested with 64μm mean diameter silicon carbide particles for solar flux densities in the range 200-250kW/m 2 , resulting in a solid particle temperature increase ranging between 50°C and 150°C. The mean wall-to-suspension heat transfer coefficient was calculated from experimental data. It is very sensitive to the particle volume fraction of the suspension, which was varied from 26 to 35%, and to the mean particle velocity. Heat transfer coefficients ranging from 140W/m 2 K to 500W/m 2 K have been obtained, thus corresponding to a 400W/m 2 K mean value for standard operating conditions (high solid fraction) at low temperature. A higher heat transfer coefficient may be expected at high temperatures because the wall-to-suspension heat transfer coefficient increases drastically with temperature. The suspension has a heat capacity similar to a liquid heat transfer fluid, with no temperature limitation but the working temperature limit of the receiver tube. Suspension temperatures of up to 750°C are expected for metallic tubes, thus opening new opportunities for high efficiency thermodynamic cycles such as supercritical steam and supercritical carbon dioxide. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Alberto Abad | Pilar Gayán | Luis F. de Diego | Francisco García-Labiano | Juan Adánez

A fundamental part of the reliability of the chemical-looping combution system when a solid fuel, such as coal, is fed to the reactor is based on the behaviour of the fuel reactor, which determines the conversion of the solid fuel. The objective of this work is to develop a model describing the fuel reactor in the chemical-looping combustion with coal (CLCC) process. The model is used to simulate the performance of the 1MW th CLCC rig built in the Technology University of Darmstadt. The fuel reactor is a fluidized bed working at high velocity regime, using ilmenite as oxygen carrier. The developed model is based on semi-empirical correlations, and considers the reactor fluid dynamics, the coal conversion and the reaction of the oxygen carrier with evolved gases from coal. The efficiency of a carbon separation system is also considered in order to analyze this parameter on the fuel reactor performance.The main outputs of the model are presented in this work, i.e., (1) the fluid dynamics structure of the reactor; (2) the axial profiles of gas composition and flows (volatiles, CO, H 2 , CO 2 and H 2 O); (3) the conversion of the oxygen carrier and char in the reactor; (4) the char concentration in the reactor; (5) the gas composition and solids flow in the upper reactor exit; and (6) the char flow to the air reactor. From these outputs the oxygen demand of the flue gases and the CO 2 capture efficiency are calculated.Simulations on the effect of the efficiency of the carbon separation system are presented. A highly efficient carbon separation system should be used to reach a high carbon capture value. Also incomplete combustion of gases is predicted in the fuel reactor, mainly from unconverted volatile matter. The model can be later used to obtain basic design parameters of the fuel reactor and optimize its operation. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Adeeb Hayyan | Mohd Ali Hashim | Farouq S. Mjalli | Maan Hayyan | Inas M. AlNashef

This study explores the possibility of producing low grade crude palm oil (LGCPO)-based biodiesel using a two-stage process in which a phosphonium-based deep eutectic solvent (P-DES) and an alkali are used as catalysts. The pre-treatment of LGCPO was conducted using a P-DES composed of a hydrogen bond donor (i.e. p-toluenesulfonic acid monohydrate) and a salt (i.e. allyltriphenylphosphonium bromide) as a novel recyclable catalyst. The P-DES was used in different dosages in the presence of methanol to reduce the level of free fatty acids (FFA) to the acceptable limit for alkaline transesterification reaction. Batch pre-treatment of LGCPO was carried out to study the influence of P-DES dosage (from 0.25 to 3.5%. wt/wt). The effects of other operating parameters such as molar ratio, reaction temperature and reaction time on FFA content reduction, yield of treated LGCPO and FFA to FAME conversion were studied. The P-DES showed high catalytic activity in the pre-treatment of LGCPO. The lab scale investigation proved the viability of esterification and transesterification of oil using P-DES and alkaline catalysts. The biodiesel produced from LGCPO meets the international standards (ASTM D6751 and EN 14214). Three to four times recycling runs of P-DES were achieved without losing its activity. This study introduces a new generation of catalysts for possible batch esterification reaction using P-DES followed by an alkaline transesterification reaction. This study will open a new field for utilizing this strong acid-based DES catalyst for many chemical reactions and industrial applications. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

P. Y. Liu | R. Y. Yang | A. B. Yu

This paper presents a numerical study based on the discrete element method (DEM) to investigate the transverse mixing of wet particles in a rotating drum. The effects of the liquid surface tension, the drum rotation speed and the filling level on particle mixing were investigated. The results showed that particles had quick mixing in the transverse plane and the well mixed states were achieved within a few revolutions. The Lacey mixing index showed an exponential increase with mixing time. The presence of the capillary force in general reduced mixing performance. However, the mixing of dry particles was poorest at 64% filling level compared with other filling levels, and increasing cohesion at that level actually improved particle mixing. The analysis of particle movements indicated that particle mixing was dominated by the particle circulation period, which is the time required for a particle to complete one circulation in the drum, and its standard deviation. A model was proposed to estimate the circulation periods at different streamlines which were comparable with the simulation results, thus providing a general method to predict mixing performance in the transverse plane. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

P. M. Geffroy | J. Fouletier | N. Richet | T. Chartier

Mixed electronic and ionic conductors are of potential interest in improving the efficiency of high temperature processes that require oxygen. One of the primary industrial applications for these conductors is in the separation of oxygen from air for the production of hydrogen through the partial oxidation of methane (POM) or oxy-combustion at high temperatures. This brief review provides a methodical approach for the selection of a membrane material for the POM applications. From a practical point of view, this paper focuses on perovskite or perovskite-derived structures. The primary performances and characteristics of the published data on perovskite materials are compared, such as the oxygen semi-permeation, the coefficient of thermal expansion, and the chemical stability at high temperature under a reducing atmosphere. The most promising membrane materials and key structural parameters are identified and discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Dalibor Jajcevic | Eva Siegmann | Charles Radeke | Johannes G. Khinast

The combination of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Discrete Element Model (DEM) is a powerful tool for studying fluidized particulate systems and granular flows. In DEM, the individual interaction forces between particles are treated on a particle-particle pair basis, and therefore, this method is computational expensive. In addition, the CFD-calculation of the fluid flow increases the computational effort. Thus, current CFD-DEM simulations are limited to systems with particle numbers not exceeding 10 5 . In order to simulate realistic systems, the recently available Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) technology can be applied, which can perform massively-parallel DEM-simulations with several million particles on a single desk-side Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The objective of this work is to present a new hybrid approach to solve CFD-DEM problems in gas-solid fluidized beds systems applying an efficient coupling method suitable for large-scale simulations. We are using the CUDA technology for the particle simulation and introducing a coupling methodology with a commercial CFD-code. The coupling method between a CFD-code, running on the CPU and our CUDA-based DEM-code running on the GPU, is introduced and di scussed. The numerical results are compared to the CFD-DEM and the experimental results of Van Buijtenen et al. (2011). A good agreement was achieved. Finally, fluidized system simulations with up to 25 million particles are presented, which is an unprecented number. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

A. Nikolopoulos | N. Nikolopoulos | A. Charitos | P. Grammelis | E. Kakaras | A. R. Bidwe | G. Varela

This work focuses on the 3D full-loop CFD isothermal simulation of a transparent plexi-glass small-scale CFB carbonator built by IFK for the hydrodynamic investigation of the CFB reactor, utilized for the investigation of the calcium looping (Ca-L) process. This work couples the state of the art TFM approach with the advanced EMMS scheme for the calculation of drag coefficient exerted in the solid phase by the gas one. The CFB loop is discretized by 286,753 elements. In contrast to the majority of the published work, the flow characteristics of the re-circulation system of the unit, i.e. cyclone, downcomer and the pneumatic valve type of loop seal working as a flow regulator, is as well simulated and allows for the in-depth investigation and understanding of the whole CFB operation by means of CFD. In order to achieve this, the new proposed Pitman-Schaffer-Gray-Stiles yield criterion forms the basis, upon which the stresses exerted in the particulate phase within the loop-seal are calculated. The numerical results are averaged over a time period of 120 QUOTE s and the predicted flow patterns are compared against corresponding visual observations. Simulation results agree quite well with the experimental data, regarding the re-circulation flux and the pressure profile along the full-loop. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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Chemical Engineer

The chemical engineer is an invaluable link between scientific
principles and manufacturing realities. It involves the use of chemical,
physical, and engineering principles.
The scientist in a laboratory does basic research to develop new
compounds and processes. When the scientist discovers a product that may be
useful, the chemical engineer takes over. They adapt the product for big scale
manufacturing. They do this by designing a plant to produce the item on large
scale. Thus the engineer is the link between the laboratory and commercial
The chemical engineer"s earnings depend on several factors. Their
educational background dictates much of what the engineer will earn. Also,
experience and the location of the employer will make a very big difference.
The starting salary for a chemical engineer with a Bachelor"s Degree can range
from $30,000 to over 35,000 per year. An engineer with a Master"s Degree can
earn anywhere from $35,000 to over $40,000. A chemical engineer with a
doctorate can earn $45,000 to well over $60,000.
"To be successful in chemical engineering, one must be curious and
persevering" (Finney IV 13). The person must be flexible in order to adapt to
each phase encountered. They must also be ambitious. Honesty is another very
important trait. They must be cooperative since they are a member of a team.
In order to get a job as a chemical engineer, a person should have at
least a Bachelor"s Degree. The degree should be in chemical engineering. The
degree is acquired by four years of study. Subjects studied include engineering,
drawing, chemistry, mathematics, English and speech, computing, economics, and
social studies. The actual specialization in chemical engineering is usually in
the third year of study. There are many advantages that go along with this job.
The career offers challenges in both science and industry. Also, the work
allows for other companies to expand and hire more people. Thus, this creates
new jobs. There are also disadvantages. First, there is a great responsibility
placed onto the engineer. Also, there is a great deal of pressure involved with
this kind of work. The future for the chemical engineer looks very promising.
As new drugs and vaccines develop, the chemical engineer will be needed. This a
new and exciting field to work in. Many people are becoming more and more
interested in it. This increase in engineers called for and increase in jobs.
Someone interested in becoming a chemical engineer should concentrate on the
sciences in high school. They should be "good" at chemistry and physics. Also,
they should enjoy these classes. Mathematics classes are also important. A
knowledge of the computer is extremely important.
Many colleges offer engineering programs. More specifically, most offer
chemical engineering programs. MIT offers an excellent chemical engineering
program. It is known world-wide for its engineering department. Carnegie Melon
also has a great program. Montana University is of another college with a great
engineering program.
The occupation of a chemical engineer is a very exciting one. It requires
a lot of responsibility and hard work. But, if you enjoy being part of a team
and working hard, this is the right job for you.


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