Changing from Batch to Continuous Processing

Photo by Lalit Kumar on Unsplash Our approaches to process engineering must always be evolving. Otherwise, we’ll never grow and innovate. Recently, I contributed a feature to The Chemical Engineer on making the change from batch to continuous processing. Here's an edited version of that article for my loyal blog readers.  As there is a push to become more efficient, many process industries have begun thinking about continuous processing. Many specialty and fine chemical operations are batch…


Contribute to a Holistic Approach to Unit Operations!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/writer-working-on-typewriter-in-office-3808904/ As the chemical industry changes and becomes more integrated worldwide, there is a need for information exchange. This must include not only principles of operation but practical knowledge transfer. That’s why I have agreed to edit a new book for Elsevier, “Integration and Optimization of Unit Operations.” As my readers know, in 2015, I published the “Handbook of Solid-Liquid Filtration”…


Dryer Selection and Bulk Solids Handling 

Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash 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 estimated “that >70% of everything we use or…


Clear thinking about automated clarification technologies

Photo by Michael & Diane Weidner on Unsplash 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…


Troubleshooting Filter Aids and Filtration Systems

Filter aid pretreatment can improve filtration properties and efficient removal of fine solids. Whether the filter aids are used in Plate-and-frame filter presses, horizontal and vertical pressure leaf filters, candle or tubular filters, Nutsche filters, or rotary vacuum drum filters, these practical tips can help this part of the process run smoothly. We typically see diatomite, perlite and cellulose filter aids today. They meet the requirements of a filter aid in that they: Consist of rigid,…