Chemical Processing Education: Learn By Osmosis

Feb. 16, 2011
Industry leaders offer you insights via free webinars.

When I learned about osmosis in grade school I started fantasizing about how cool it would be to apply that theory to learning. If only I could place my textbooks under my pillow and have the knowledge that lay within seep through to my brain during my sleep.

Trust me when I tell you it doesn't work that way. To learn via osmosis I had to refine my technique. What I did find useful to help prepare for exams was to play tapes while I was doing simple chores. For example, while I was weeding the flower beds I also was learning how to conjugate verbs in French. (Écouter (to listen to): écoute, écouterai, écoutais, écoutant – See, I can still do it!)

Using the same theory, I have learned so much from Chemical Processing's free Webinars and online panel discussions. I serve as moderator for these events and can't help but pick up things.

Our production team does a terrific job of rounding up top-notch speakers who are a part of the chemical processing community. From these folks I have learned the finer points of energy-efficient synchronous belt drives as well as how to pinpoint problems within steam and process-heating systems during the "Energy Efficiency" panel discussion.

I've also listened in as experts on the European Union's REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances) discussed compliance requirements across supply chains — from procurement to manufacturing to distribution — during "The Impact of REACH & GHS on Your Supply Chain/Manufacturing Processes" Web event.

And speaking of the supply chain, during the "Best Practices In Inventory Optimization And Supply Chain Planning" event I learned how Eastman Chemical Co. balances supply with demand to ensure reliable and sustainable order fulfillment across complex chemicals environments.

I also was fortunate enough to sit in on the "Dust Control" panel discussion with several experts that I have met with in person to gain a better understanding of the risks involved with powder and dust in the manufacturing process. In addition to this event, will soon be launching a three-part video series on explosion protection featuring interviews I did with Guy Colonna, P.E., division manager, National Fire Protection Association (Guy was one of the panelists on the Dust Control discussion.)

We have a great panel-discussion series set up for the rest of the year including emissions, alarm management and process safety. More information on these upcoming and on-demand events is located online at And the videos I just mentioned will be available at

I bet you could learn a thing or two from our educational offerings. And if you have anything you'd like to teach, let me know. We're always looking for good presenters.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's Senior Digital Editor and queen of learning by osmosis. You can e-mail her at [email protected]

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