You might have taken chemistry in high school, and maybe even a course in college. Unless you’re an engineer, I think it’s safe to say you don’t know much about chemical engineering. The fantastic thing about this branch of study is that many significant industries utilize their practices to achieve goals and innovate. If you want to look for some of the most adaptive projects in the world right now, then I think it’s safe to say, keeping up with current events in chemical engineering is a good start.
Chemical engineering is a division of engineering that utilizes different aspects of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and economics. These various approaches work together to produce, use, transform, and transport materials, chemicals, and energy. Additionally, chemical engineering helps in solving the daily problems that human beings face and creates long-lasting solutions.
Several applications utilize this study to assist with contemporary issues and hurdles. You might not notice it, but if you keep up with current events, you’ll soon find chemical engineering involved in many significant projects. You don’t need to hold the expertise to keep up with the latest in the field. Let’s explore a few current events in chemical engineering from around the globe.
Current Events in Chemical Engineering: Better Understanding Molecules
Some say the best way to know how something works is to break it down to its most unaffected parts. In a lot of ways, chemical engineering uses this method to discover the core properties of life’s essential molecules. It’s a great way better to understand the smallest parts of our known world. It has yielded some of our most significant discoveries in the micro-universe. For that reason, breaking down molecules and organizing their properties assists in countless other ways. Master this process, and it’s a piece of cake to work with other studies and experiments.
That said, you can imagine it might be challenging at times. Even great scientists mistake parts of the process. Science is as perfect as humans working on its progress. In many cases, it can take some great work to get to the bottom of Even the most researched and studied molecules carry some mystery with them. For example, reactions are natural to look at and accept. Synthetic processes are great for understanding singular relationships.
When a problem occurs, however, certainties suddenly come into question. For this situation, scientists use retrosynthesis. Through retrosynthetic analysis, issues that arise from nowhere can resolve. In a lot of ways, the process takes things and works them backward. It’s much like retracing your steps. To find where things may have gone wrong, it helps to look at things from this perspective. When planning syntheses, a target molecule can carry a ton of potential reactions. Every precursor material that molecule will react to is tested and coded.
A platform from MilliporeSigma uses algorithms to do just that. Over 72,000 coded reaction rules sit in a database organized by the Cheminformatics Technologies unit of the organization. The project is nearly 15 years old as of 2019. Best of all, it’s a commercial platform for others to use in their work. Rather than do work for internal use, Synthia, the name for the software, is available via public database. It’s not always going to lead to a crystal clear answer.
The resource offers an excellent start for any lab wanting to get at the heart of a question. Synthia underwent construction for whatever with which it might assist. With highly tunable parameters and feedstock considerations, its algorithm is a vital tool for any chemical engineer. In a field like this, Synthia provides a resource that saves time, money, and energy. All of those things are crucial in any science.
Current Events in Chemical Engineering: The Decline of Chemical Engineering
It is no secret that Chemical Engineering is in slow decline. While there will always be a need for engineering, investments in chemical engineering education have stagnated in recent years. Additionally, much of the research depends on other scientific inquiries that work to undermine the engineering components of chemical engineering.
One need only look at department naming trends from pre-2000 and post-2000 to get an idea of the move away from chemical engineering. Only a small number of departments, mostly in the United States, still maintain the term Chemical Engineering. Many departments have altered names to account for other disciplines’ influence, with names like Biological and Chemical Engineering, Bio-molecular and Chemical Engineering, and Nanoscience and Chemical Engineering.
The rearrangement of names shows the new direction in which many academics are moving. They are putting greater emphasis on funding and moving away from the chemical engineering of the past. You could not merely persuade governments and big tech companies to fund a study on developing a new heat exchange system. These difficulties are mainly specific to engineering and do not require as much research like some other disciplines.
Research & Development
Gas and oil industries seem to use their R&D divisions to solve these problems. This process moved engineering departments away from research, forcing them to develop almost exclusively in an industrial capacity. Alternatively, many government agencies show an increased willingness to fund anything connected to bioscience if one can prove that it will aid progress in either neuroscience or medicine.
Additionally, when factories want to hire procedural engineers within the R&D department, they generally look for marketable skills under the umbrella of computing and mathematics. Someone well-versed in minimization algorithms, computer simulations, and general scientific computing will be attractive to many firms. This process is not without reason, though. Individuals with these preexisting skill sets can be trained much faster in industry procedures. Therefore, most companies seek to hire electrical engineers, computer scientists, and operations researchers.
Professor Grossmann, one of the top chemical engineering scholars in the world, keeps a close eye on these trends in hiring and academia. He believes that chemical engineering lost favor and importance with most people, excluding very particular chemical companies. Ironically, many of these companies do not need to employ chemical engineers actively; they just need their research.
Current Events in Chemical Engineering: The BMC Chemical Engineering Journal
Recently, BMC, an open-source journal that publishes biomedical research, launched a new research journal for chemical engineering. The journal uses the talent and knowledge of over twenty specialists from Australia, North America, Asia, and Europe. BMC Chemical Engineering’s department Editor, Dr. Gongping Liu, has shown great excitement about this new project.
Chemical engineering pools ideas from different disciplines to help solve global problems and hopefully improve the human condition. For instance, research into water purification techniques is of great importance as the world deals with climate change. Refining the processing of cheap materials for solar cells might be the solution to the coming energy crisis. Though it has seen less funding in recent years, chemical engineering is now taking on new significance as fears concerning global warming continue to rise. BMC has established the BMC Chemical Engineering journal to report on the latest progress in the field. This role makes the information and research easily accessible to a higher number of scholars, many of which do not have access to paid databases.
BMC Chemical Engineering opens the door to a wide range of new and exciting possibilities. The journal accepts papers in both primary and applied chemical engineering research. Some of the topics include engineering processes, process design, transport phenomena, and biochemical and sustainable chemical processes. Additionally, the department provides its special formatting and style to enhance the articles for readers.
BMC suggests that its readers look through the full spectrum of topics to get a better understanding. The journal divided into six general areas of interest: process design, optimization and intensification; reaction engineering and catalysis; transport phenomena; separation and purification processes; plant design, management, and control; and sustainable chemical and biochemical processes. BMC also employs experienced peer reviewers and editors to comb through their content to ensure the best quality for their readers.
Current Events in Chemical Engineering: The 24th European Symposium on Computer-Aided Process Engineering
Chemical engineering arguably remains the area of engineering most concerned with sustainable growth. Chemical engineers often develop industrial processes that convert resources like fossils, biogenic natural gas, and minerals into resources that provide the energy for further production.
Additionally, they take responsibility for improving and protecting the environment. To some degree, this makes chemical engineers accountable for the future of the human race. This vital position develops a specific responsibility to meet the needs of sustainable growth. The EFCE (European Federation of Chemical Engineers) has been a driving force in advancing sustainable practices.
In chemical engineering, the department of CAPE (Computer Aided Process Engineering) has become a primary resource for tools and methods aiding chemical engineers. However, addressing different challenges requires the development of brand new ways. Three problems are particularly crucial for CAPE to send:
- The incorporation of life cycle valuation into chemical engineering plan;
- A transformation towards renewable means for energy provision;
- A systemic method for incorporating in chemical engineering transforms the job into supply chains while also offering energy services.
One way to evaluate the progress of chemical engineering in its ability to meet the issues facing society is through conferences. At these conferences, young chemical engineers meet with established researchers to identify new ways of tackling existing problems. The CAPE Forum in Graz, Austria, provided such an opportunity. The conference devoted time to the different sustainability encounters in chemical as well as process engineering. Experts also took the opportunity to discuss new and innovative plans related to sustainable energy.
Software Architectures and Tools for Computer Aided Process Engineering
Chemical engineering fails to be ranked among the top areas of interest when looking at new technological advancements. While mechanical engineers develop 3-dimensional computer-generated motor cars, chemical engineers do most of the work with two-dimensional movement sheets. Chemical engineering often gets less attention because the result is not quite as flashy.
Civil engineers and architects now offer virtual tours of constructions, giving people a glimpse of their work with the technology of the 21st century. Though conforming chemical engineers also utilize virtual technology for their work, and this tech helps them in their day-to-day work, it is not quite as valuable to the general public or even undergraduate studies. The potential of this tech is theoretically so productive that it warrants further research. Nonetheless, many in the academic and research communities take chemical engineers for granted in this respect.
Current Events in Chemical Engineering: 26th European Symposium on Computer-Aided Process Engineering
Chemical engineering learners could now exist in fields that require expert knowledge, such as nanotechnology, molecular engineering, and microelectronics. To improve the curriculum, academics and institutions might need to present ideas at higher standards within the chemical engineering program. Specialization choices are often detailed and may reproduce in research. It usually remains a top priority to support teachers with specialized knowledge to build interest and enthusiasm regarding training efficacy. Conversely, when considering additional areas of interest, the curriculum attempts to move away from the educational traps of the past.
For example, individuals deliberate the expansion of education programs involving chemical engineering and hands-on studies at a certified training institution. Academics and chemical engineers recognize that the knowledge acquired in these courses will require curriculums on subjects like molecular science, physical science, and Chemistry. Therefore, these subjects included as part of the core curriculum under the umbrella of material science and chemistry.
The training of these subjects could also learn through an ontological lens. Thus, a choice must exist concerning how to structure additional education material on these topics. This process could assist researchers when developing new curriculums at university and college levels, where previous education remains applicable to the different articles.
Changes in Chemical Engineering
Subsequently, chemical engineering continues to change at a gradual pace. It has now gone beyond the primary manufacture of chemical products and has progressed to developing and producing materials that have a much higher value. There is increasing interest in the development of these processes and associated equipment that helps to address new challenges. Such systematic approaches should allow these goods to penetrate the marketplace more quickly and at a lower cost.
Recently, chemical engineering has been moving toward incorporating process and product planning for the development of innovative businesses. Such tactics require the management and use of a large quantity of data, property representations, and calculation procedures. By streamlining the application of these techniques, chemical engineers combine different methodologies into a computer-aided program to help classes. These classes involve formulation products, single-phase emulsions, and liquid formulations.
The outline entails a strategic workflow in which specific patterns are obtainable for diverse types of product plan problems. One unique aspect of the framework relates to the application of templates via the basic design workflow. VPPD-Lab wants to find the most cost-effective method for administering virtual tests while still providing the best possible experience for their most promising candidates. When there is a discovery, VPPD-Lab endorses tests to confirm the validity of its formulations. In other words, researchers apply computer-aided methods to investigate development. While a process simulator could analyze and simulate various chemical processes, the VPPD-Lab can interpret and design a variety of chemical products.
The articles above highlight recent developments and news stories in the field of chemical engineering. It is an area of study and research that is both complex and extremely important for our society. Many of the products and systems that we use every day would not exist without the expertise and dedication of thousands of chemical engineers. As a result, many chemical engineering departments forced to change the focus of their research or rename their entire departments to secure the funding they need.
What are some ways you recognize chemical engineering in the news?
Why is chemical engineering vital to a variety of industries?
What surprises you about the work a chemical engineer completes?