Dryer Selection and Bulk Solids Handling 

  Image source: https://www.toolshero.com/decision-making/blindspot-analysis/ Solids handling is not a unit operation. Therefore, it’s not covered in engineering courses. This leaves process engineers struggling to understand the “flowability” of bulk solids. This blind spot is huge. So, let’s talk about dryer selection and bulk solids handling. Recently in The Chemical Engineer, Grant Wellwood described bulk solids handling as the biggest industrial activity on the planet. The article…


Slurries

Containment of Slurries in Continuous and Batch Operations

Image source In the 1970s, the chemical operations used acetone and benzene for the main slurries solid-liquid separation process. Next, there was a push to minimize solvent use. We looked to use water as the process liquid, but still had open filter presses and rotary drum filters; the entire plant was white from titanium dioxide or pharma stearates. Today, we all know that processes remain open with filter presses, vacuum filters, and centrifuges. Our job is finding solid-liquid separation…


Engineer Checklists and Learning from Apollo

Recently, I discussed the five management lessons that we can learn from the Apollo lunar landing in 1969. Continuing on this theme, an article in The Chemical Engineer, “Houston-We have a checklist” a UK magazine that I write for, had an interesting take on the lunar landing and engineer checklists.  I was intrigued, of course, as I periodically invoke Sherlock Holmes and the benefits of checklists for testing, analysis, etc.    The magazine article, written by Mark Yates, looks at the…


API filtration technologies

Weighing Alternative API Filtration Technologies

Image source: Google images Being a process engineer is all about making choices. When it comes API filtration technologies, many different types of equipment can be used for removing catalyst residues. While conventional filtration equipment is operated manually, I recently worked with PharmTech on an article outlining how both candle filters and pressure plate filters are operated as automated systems. This article reviews what we discussed. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are increasingly…


Clear thinking about automated clarification technologies

Photo by SplitShire on Pexels.com This is an edited version of an article I wrote for The Chemical Engineer. I hope you enjoy this take on automated clarification technologies. Throughout my career in the solid-liquid separation market space, I have seen some interesting solid-liquid separation solutions. At one melamine resin facility, the slurry was in a formaldehyde process. The operators were wearing masks, opening up a manual plate filter in a room with residential floor fans, to dig out…