Content related to safety and money ranked among the most-viewed subjects on ChemicalProcessing.com. Add to that list light-hearted content a la the Comical Processing cartoons and the ever-popular story from 2005 — Compressed Air Systems: The Secret is in the Pipe and you get the list of hot topics for 2014.
That 2005 article continues to get thousands of views every month. While I agree that compressed air is a sexy subject, what I can't figure out is how to replicate its appeal for all of our other content. But that's my issue, not yours. So let's move on to what you and your peers have been reading this year.
Get To The Root Of Accidents
This article acknowledged that accident investigations usually focus on operator error or technical failures. But applying systems thinking may provide greater insights on underlying causes and, in the long run, prevent more incidents.
2014 Salary Survey Yields A Mixed Bag
Our annual Salary and Job Satisfaction Survey showed that salaries are up but job satisfaction remains unchanged. The coverage includes salary charts and data that can't be found anywhere else — hence its wide appeal.
Virtual Reality Helps Field Operators Improve Performance
Immersive high-fidelity 3D visualization now is starting to play a role in the training of operators and maintenance staff at plants. This article offered a rundown of some initiatives already underway.
Head Off Hydrogen Hazards
Greater use of hydrogen in refineries has resulted in a rise in accidents, spurring engineers to develop stringent controls on pipe and equipment used in hydrogen service. This article looked at best practices.
Plant Safety: Leaks Don't Lie
Leaks provide a crucial warning that something is very wrong. This case study detailed the August 6, 2012, accident at Chevron's Richmond, Calif., refinery that nearly incinerated a fireman and has cost Chevron $12 million so far.
Choose the Correct Level Sensor
Selecting a level sensor may seem an easy job, not worth a lengthy and detailed evaluation. However, ensuring a sensor will provide reliable, accurate and safe performance long-term requires considering a wide variety of factors. This article delved into those factors.
Carbon Dioxide Gets a New Fizz
As regulatory pressures mount to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, a harmful greenhouse gas, increasing efforts are going into developing technologies that can use the gas for productive purposes, such as a chemical feedstock. This article highlighted a few technologies.
Rethink Nitrogen Supply for Chemical Blanketing
Tank can help prevent ingress of ambient air that could cause oxidative degradation or combustion. This article explored the ways to provide nitrogen for inerting.
Carefully Consider Nozzle Loads
Piping design should provide flexibility to avoid machinery alignment issues and component damage. Doing so requires consideration of two key factors — distortion of the machinery casing and internals, and shaft misalignment. This article helped readers consider those factors.
Linde White Paper Focuses on VOC Emissions Compliance for Oil and Gas Companies
The white paper will help companies determine the most efficient and cost-effective method to comply with air-quality regulations.
Chemical Engineering Majors Earn Most Over Lifetime
It pays to be a chemical engineer — literally. Chemical engineering graduates boast a higher median pay than any other major when measured over a lifetime, according to this news item.
DuPont Fined For Eight Chemical Leaks
DuPont settled a federal complaint over leaks that occurred at the company’s Belle production facility in West Virginia. One worker was killed due to exposure to phosgene.
Chevron Phillips Chemical CEO Says Industry Needs More Skilled Workers
U.S. petrochemical industry’s greatest growth challenge is a lack of skilled workers to build, operate and maintain planned chemical projects, according to the CEO of Chevron Phillips.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.