What Were the Hot Chemical Processing Topics in 2015?

Nov. 12, 2015
Check out the most popular technical and news articles.

Here’s our annual roundup of what your peers are reading online at For 2015, the topics are varied but the underlying theme is best practices. Whether it’s improving, implementing, sizing, resisting, comparing, analyzing or stopping, readers are interested in how-to articles. Let’s review the top ten technical articles of the year, followed by the top five news articles.

Properly Size Control Valves
This article offers tips for spotting oversized valves already in place and for preventing oversizing when specifying new valves.

Improve Your Plant’s Safety
A number of elements ranging from safety culture to functional safety management to safety instrumented systems are essential for achieving effective process safety. Maintaining it requires continuous and collective efforts. This article helps readers appropriately address both people and technology issues.

Successfully Implement an Operator Care Program
An operator care program gets operators to act as owners of the equipment for which they’re responsible. This article shows how it can improve reliability, quality and safety; reduce waste, training and downtime; and boost job satisfaction.

Lactic Acid Process May Cut Glycerol Glut
This article examines how a two-step process for making lactic acid promises environmental and economic advantages over anaerobic sugar fermentation.

2015 Salary And Satisfaction Trends Revealed In The Chemical Processing Industry
Results of our annual survey indicated an improved outlook. A total of 1,247 people participated in this year’s survey. We asked everything from annual salary earned to bonus information to likes and dislikes about the job. Readers gave us great insight into what it’s like to work in the chemical industry and what engineers are struggling with daily.

Distillation: Resist the Temptation
Close control of liquid and vapor rates inside distillation columns may provide significant benefits. This requires knowing internal flows. Don’t rely on a heat and material balance to get them unless there’s no other option. This article shows that one option to infer internal flow rate in a column rarely makes sense.

Stop Explosion Propagation
Plants handling combustible vapors or finely divided combustible dust face the constant threat of explosions. Besides explosion prevention measures, such sites also should consider strategies to prevent explosion propagation. This article helps readers choose a suitable method to limit damage elsewhere in the process.

Exchanger Technology Heats Up
Development of enhanced technology and equipment for heat transfer promises significant benefits for many processing operations. This article looks at interesting innovations to improve heat exchanger performance to save space and energy and fend off fouling.

U.S. Chemicals: The Luster Returns
This article offered a look at the state of the American chemical industry. It provided not just an economic forecast but also a discussion of the key factors affecting the prospects of chemical manufacturing in the U.S.

Don’t Flub Front-End Loading
This article looks at what happens when a plant ignores the early phases of front-end loading. The result can imperil project success.

Top News:
Emerson Integrates Logbooks With DeltaV
Emerson’s electronic database of operator log entries embeds in the DeltaV distributed control system interface to improve task management and enable more-effective shift handovers with real-time visibility to active entries, according to the company.

Air Liquide And ExxonMobil Debut Gas-To-Gasoline Technology
Air Liquide will market and license its Lurgi MegaMethanol technology combined with ExxonMobil’s proprietary methanol-to-gasoline technology to transform natural gas into ultra-low-sulfur gasoline.

Yokogawa And Cisco Collaborate On Shell SecurePlant Initiative
Yokogawa and Cisco will offer comprehensive security solutions involving the deployment, operation and monitoring of control system environments.

Explosion Rocks Chemical Plant In China
An explosion at a processing plant located in China's southeastern Fujian province required 600 firefighters to battle the blaze that ensued.

Chemical Explosion Injures Worker
A worker was injured in an explosion at Alfrebro LLC’s site in southwest Ohio. The plant makes natural extracts and aroma chemicals.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor. You can email her at [email protected].

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