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Xi Jinping , A Chemical Engineer to rule China

Do you know that the present leader of China is trained as a chemical engineer from Tsinghua University, China? Let's get to know about this powerful personality.

Xi Jinping has been chosen as the next leader of China, elevating the qualified chemical engineer to a position of extreme power for the next ten years.

Xi, the son of a veteran of the ruling Communist Party, studied chemical engineering at Tsinghua University from 1975–79. He moved away from chemical engineering to win a doctorate in law before climbing the political ranks as head of the Communist Party in Shanghai from 2007–2010 before taking over as vice-chairman of the central military commission.

His position to the highest political post in China – general secretary of the Communist Party, was confirmed yesterday as he led his fellow six members of the new Politburo Standing Committee onto the stage at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The move signals the transition of power from one political generation to the next, for a period of ten years. Xi will formally take over from incumbent leader Hu Jintao in March next year.

Xi’s speech to the press gave little clue to the specific goals he plans to achieve, though he made reference to some key challenges including corruption among party officials, the growing gap between rich and poor, and protecting the environment.

“Our people have an ardent love for life. They wish to have better education, more stable jobs, more income, greater social security, better medical and healthcare, improved housing conditions, and a better environment,” Xi said, in a transcription published by the South China Morning Post.

China’s environmental movement is gathering pace, following a spate of violent public protests that have led officials to scrap a number of industrial projects, including the expansion of Sinopec’s paraxylene plant in Ningbo. Earlier this week, on the fringes of the Communist Party National Congress, environment minister Zhou Shengxian announced that all future major industrial projects must conduct a ‘social stability risk assessment’ to gauge the tolerance of local communities.

Personal Note - As for me, I would like to see how the energy and chemical production sector evolve during his reign. This is pretty much interesting since I'm working on and monitoring the progress on olefin production in China. Before visiting China, I really underestimated this huge country. But when I was there, I think China is going to be a very strong industry leader and influencer. I'm impressed with the technology growth and application.

Article source.

posted by zaki yamani @ 11:38 PM, , links to this post

Industrial Welded Mesh Wires

Industrial welded mesh is basically a screen that is made of metal with wires that are placed in a crisscross way. This mesh is made of stainless steel wire ( or sometimes in other materials depending on its application) to avoid corrosion and rust. The industrial welded mesh is generally used for a number of purposes and available in different sizes and shapes. It is very much related to the engineering, procurement and construction industry.

Application of Industrial Wire Mesh

Application of industrial welded mesh varies from infrastructural projects, industries, construction sites,  commercial sites, agriculture as well as residential areas. It is also used in manhole chambers, tunnels and parking lots.

Wire meshes are also used for security reasons. It helps to keep people out of the secured premises and to protect people within. The welded mesh is available in different styles and colors to suit different premises. It ranges in different heights and are available in most of the online stores. It can be obtained in the form of rolls.

In addition to security measures, the stainless steel wire meshes are also used as a protection against rodents, pests and other animals. It has very tiny holes and is made of plastic or stainless steel or aluminium. Welded mesh is widely used for construction purposes like paving of roads which include paving of highways and airport roads. It is also used for the construction of floors along with concrete slabs to ensure strength and durability. Mostly anti rust wire mesh is used for construction purposes as it does not yield to corrosion or rust.

Various Types of Welded Mesh

There are various types of wire mesh that can be easily obtained from the markets today due to its increasing usage and many advantageous features.

PVC coated mesh: made of top quality stainless steel iron, it is coated in PVC to augment its durability. The anti-corrosion wire is covered in PVC and is extremely useful in fencing apartments, homes and office buildings. Available in a range of colors like black, white and green, this mesh can be obtained in the form of panels and rolls.

Square opening electro galvanised wire mesh: this mesh is also available in different colors and sizes and is mainly used for fencing of buildings. Available in rolls and panels, it is mainly used for structural buildings.

Galvanised mesh with zinc covering: this is another variety of welded mesh that includes stainless steel metal dipped in hot zinc. It is most appropriate for grating purpose, animal cages, grilling and for protection of machines.

Wire panels: available in the form of panels, it is used mainly for fencing purposes. Though it is available in both galvanised and non-galvanised forms, these meshed panels are widely used for fencing buildings and parks.

A variety of wire mesh of different shapes and sizes can be obtained from the numerous welded mesh manufacturers. One such reputable one is Siddal & Hilton, a leading European manufacturer of steel wire fence and welded mesh products based in UK. To have better comprehension on the various types of industrial welded mesh wire, lets check out the following product manufactured by Siddal & Hilton:


Figure 1: D49 Construction Mesh - Manufactured from 2.5mm copper washed drawn mild steel wire and conforming to BS 1052:1980, this construction mesh which is manufactured to the latest standards, suitable for construction reinforcement, is resistance welded at every intersection and CARES approved.


Figure 2: Standard Mesh - This standard mesh is manufactured from copper-washed drawn mild steel wire and conforms to BS 1052:1980. It is available in both copper wash (self colour), hot dip Galvanised and Galfan finishes. The wire mesh is welded at every intersection to give maximum strength.

Figure 3: Stainless steel mesh - This stainless steel mesh panels has bespoke sizes and materials supported by a variety of mesh configurations. Welds at all intersections give maximum strength.
Figure 4: Gabion Mesh - Typical mesh aperture is 3" (76.2mm) though special designs. Typical applications for these products are for land reinforcement and soil retention, acoustic barriers, military defence barriers, river, flood and coastal protection and domestic garden walls and features. 


posted by zaki yamani @ 6:10 PM, , links to this post

My Humble Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC)

I was trained as a chemical engineer and had previously worked as a chemical and process engineer within the oil and gas as well as the oil and fats industry. It was a really pleasant, exciting, adventurous and memorable journey all together. However, I rarely share my story about my small involvement in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) aspect in my previous workplace. This is mainly because the exposure I received was minute compared to several of my colleagues who were full time project engineers, handling plant engineering and design, piling, procurement and construction tasks. 

Nevertheless, I managed to observed the expansion project of the new fractionation plant situated next to my physical refinery plant. It was really interesting to witness the piling job. The planning, design and calculation was a real mystery to me. Off course all concrete beams piled under the ground have been carefully measured and position. However, I noticed that the density of the beams piled were not well distributed. I asked my project engineer friend about it and he responded that the location where there were more beams being piled are the position for the crystallizers which are heavier than other spots in the plant. That explained my initial curiosity. At certain spots, double concrete beam was planted on the ground.

There were also occasion where new upgraded crystallizers and pack columns need to be installed in the plant. This was mainly decided by the management to increase production capacity. Since the plant is crowded with equipments such as plate heat exchangers, pipelines, filter cartridges, filter bags, headers and other tanks, the only way to fix and install the crystallizers and pack columns were via the plant roof. Careful planning and coordination must be made. Heavy crane and machinery was specially rented to lift the crystallizers and pack column into the plant via the roof top. To do this, proper work platforms were employed to first temporarily remove the roof. This was then followed by the maneuvering of the crystallizers and pack columns into the plant from the work platform. Finally, after the desired equipments have been successfully positioned, the roof was fixed back to its original spot. Witnessing the overall process was really interesting and breathtaking.

I also recalled another occasion where I was asked by my superior to install new hoist in the bleaching earth store adjacent to my plant which hosted a huge twin bleaching earth silo. The hoist was going to be used to ease the process of mobilizing bleaching earth bags that weighs up to 1 tonne each. The hoist needs to be installed on the railing or the I beam already existed in the high ceiling of the store. The effort requires some civil  modification so that the I beam can be used to mobilize the hoist.

Well, those were basically some of my tiny experiences in the EPC areas. Although they were not as huge as constructing an oil rig platform or a petrochemical plant, I still appreciate the experiences.

posted by zaki yamani @ 11:49 PM, , links to this post

Basic Waste Management Process

Believe it or not, we produce waste everyday. Whether in our own home or refinery or working site, waste is created. Such a huge waste need to be properly managed, otherwise the environment surrounding us will be a bad place to live and work.

At home, my maid (servant) manages our domestic waste, which is of course a small scale. She separates all the waste papers, waste card boards, waste metals, waste plastics and organic waste in her own way. After everything has been accumulated she will contact the waste recycling company to collect the segregated waste. I let her keep the money as an incentive (cash obtained after selling the used/waste for recycling purposes).

Previously, when I was still a process engineer in the refinery plant, I have my supervisors, plant operators and contract worker to handle all those waste. All the waste produced from the plants are managed in accordance to the procedure set by the management of the company.

Waste management is actually quite a fascinating area that has many aspects to it. Basically it involves collecting materials that others simply throw away as trash and sorting it into either stuff that has no further use or those that can be recycled. After that, they have to be transported to designated locations for safe and appropriate disposal.

The important feature to efficient waste management is that it is properly organized in such a way that it has no adverse effect on others or its surroundings. There are steps to deal with waste and they consist of examining it to find out what it consists of, how it can be collected safely, appropriate means of transport, the process method and its eventual disposal, whether this is to a landfill or a recycling facility.

A small refinery or company can easily and possibly managed its own waste. However, things can get more complicated for a larger organization. Should this happen, engaging with an environmental company may solve the tedious waste management process. A great example of such company is DS Smith Recycling. It is a good example of an integrated waste management company. Nevertheless, regardless of you are managing your own waste or contracting it to an environmental company, the process involving waste management is all the same. I would like to share the basic process of waste management (my version).

a. Identification
First things first. You need to identify the types and amount of waste produced before they can come to any decision as to how to deal with it. Once this has been identified and processes put into place, the service keeps track to check their systems are working at their best and if not make changes to rectify this.

b. Collection
After identifying and separating the waste, it need to be collected. During the collection process, special containers for hazardous materials are implemented and other containers, such as skip bins and bottle banks, put into place and arranged to be emptied at regular intervals depending upon how quickly they are filled. Each company will be different in their needs and services tailored to fit.
 
c. Transportation
For some waste special vehicles are required to dispose of it safely. Hazardous waste collection vehicles are specially designed for the collection of liquid and contaminated waste, anything from oils and cyanide waste to detergents, adhesives, acids and chemicals. Collections are generally scheduled but many companies also offer 24 hour service and emergency response. I must say, paying for handling schedule waste is quite expensive.

Waste processes and environmental solutions are being updated all the time due to ongoing research. Some refineries will take part and get involve by implementing ISO14001 (just like my previous work place) to ensure complete compliance and support to protect the environment. Quality management system such as 5S can also indirectly and directly help to manage our waste. Just understand the basic 5S which consists off seiri (sorting), seiton (straightening or setting in order), seiso (sweeping or shining), seiketsu (standardizing), and shitsuke (sustaining the practice). It has proven to work in my plant.

That's it for now. If I am to cover about this topic, it will take more time and articles. Let this article be an introduction or appetizer to other supplementing waste management posts from me in future. For further information or reading material, I highly recommend you to grab hold of the following magazine.

Waste Management World

Waste Management World delivers the latest news and global developments from across the industry. Articles report on international projects, best practices, technological developments, trends and legislation. Each issue covers biological waste treatment, collection and transport, recycling and waste minimization, sanitary landfill and thermal treatment of waste. To get this great magazine free of charge, click here.

1st image credited to http://www.businessregiongoteborg.com/huvudmeny/clusters/businessenvironment/biogasasvehiclefuelinwestsweden/westswedishprojects/wasterefinery.4.3f6ce9a51288179dfcb80005323.html

posted by zaki yamani @ 11:02 PM, , links to this post

Chemical Engineering Matters - Get this comprehensive report on 21st Century Chemical Engineering

I am very delighted to share a very good information surrounding us Chemical Engineers and the future chemical engineers. ICheme has just published a new report setting out and explaning how chemical engineers can provide possible solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Chemical Engineering Matters focuses on four areas where chemical engineers can make a positive impact on (1) securing sustainable energy supplies (2) food and nutrition (3) access to clean water, and (4) health and wellbeing.

“Chemical engineering is a vital part of the jigsaw that is 21st century living. IChemE is dedicated to advancing chemical engineering worldwide; and this new report restates our intention to support chemical and process,” says Ed Daniels, IChemE technical vice president and executive vice president of Shell’s downstream business. 

The 15 page report explores the application of chemical engineering and also presents current thinking on safety and risk, education, training and research. It claims that there will be no universal solution to meet growth in global energy demand, acknowledging that fossil fuel assets will maintain a central position in the world’s energy economy for decades but warns that a shift towards decarbonisation and sustainable energy use is required.

The report is an update of IChemE’s technical strategy, first published in 2007, though with a change in focus.

“The original document was seen as too restricting,” says IChemE director of policy and communications Andrew Furlong. “The 20 position statements that it contained are still valid, and IChemE will still work in order to deliver against those propositions, but the original roadmap took some criticism because its didn’t focus strongly enough on wealth creation and it didn’t really take into account external matters.

“The new document, Chemical Engineering Matters, is more of a statement of possibilities. ‘This is what chemical engineering is all about in the 21st century. This is what chemical engineers can do.”

Part of the section discussing about the sustainable energy vista - now, near, horizon and breakthrough. Click the image for bigger and clearer view.
The document insists that IChemE remains politically neutral, but does cite the need for greater engagement with policy-makers to ensure decisions that impact upon funding and regulation are evidence based. It also highlights the need for increased public engagement to overcome a negative, often inaccurate, public perception of chemistry, chemicals and chemical engineering.

“This is not just a document that will sit on our desks,” says IChemE CEO David Brown. “It will guide policy development and how we plan our work for the future.”

Chemical Engineering Matters is available for at no cost download from the IChemE website.

The article source is from here.


Chemical Engineering Magazine
Recommended magazine: 
Title: Chemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering serves chemical engineering professionals in the chemical process industry including manufacturing, engineering, government, academia, financial institutions and others allied to the field serving the global chemical process industry.

Subscribe for this magazine at NO COST >> here <<.

posted by zaki yamani @ 11:31 PM, , links to this post

Direct and Indirect Impact from Sandy Flood Disaster

This article is dedicated to the victims of Superstorm Sandy...

I believe by this moment, everybody have heard about the impact that Superstorm Sandy has created in the US. Not just that, the heavy rain and flood impacting UK and Italy recently has also caused interruption in daily activities. A number of other countries are facing heavy rain as well. My place (Johor, Malaysia) included although the disaster is not as bad as those experienced in the cities like New York and Newcastle, UK (June 2012). I wish all the best for those who are directly involve in the disaster.

I was in Newcastle, UK in this year's summer and I personally experienced the heavy rain for the first time in UK. The massive rain resulted in an unexpected flood.  13 years ago, I stayed in Bradford, UK for 2 years and I know that this country barely have rains. But, perhaps due to climate change and human action, rain storms took place. In this photo, floodwaters rise around stranded cars as the rain teems down in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne where roads were transformed into lakes in a matter of seconds.  Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2165944/


Well this is something that we seriously need to take care off, anticipate and have a plan to overcome its problem. Back in 2006, when I was a process engineer in a physical refinery plant, similar disaster stroke us. Almost half of peninsular Malaysia experienced such a terrible flood. Properties and goods were damaged. That was something that we can directly see.

However, there were something else that I have not even imagine before. Being a process engineer for a huge 3000 metric per day plant, we have to run edible oil such as crude palm oil (CPO). Unfortunately due to heavy rainy season that caused the flood, all tankers were not able to arrive at our plant which is located south of peninsular Malaysia. Another direct result was that the price of CPO escalated. The price became too expensive and at the same time the quality of oil are very poor. Imagine harvesting palm oil in a flood and retrieving them under the dirty water!!! 

A CPO tanker trapped in a heavy flood in Segamat, Johor, Malaysia.

The quality of CPO was very poor that the moisture and impurities (MNI) was very high. Such high MNI was indeed not good for my plant to process and as a result my plant experienced pressure vacuum drop besides numerous other problems. That year was really bad. The production capacity dropped significantly and the processing cost increased. After the rainy season we had to stop the plant and perform heavy maintenance to clear the pipelines and vessels from the effect of processing poor quality CPO that resulted from the dirt and moisture from flood. It was a comprehensive and integrated flood restoration process in a huge refinery plant. 

Not just that, the damage on the (tar) road from flood and puddle has resulted in 2 of my car sport rims badly dented. That was a minor problem for me that needs repair and my money, off course. As a result of many holes on the road, many accidents occurred, some of it which involved lost of lives too. Well, those were examples of indirect impact of flooding that I experienced 6 years ago.

But I know I cannot compare what I experienced with the people who experienced it directly. At least in my country, the flood happens in a hot and humid whether, whereas people in New York (and places attacked by Sandy) are now very cold due to winter coming on pretty soon. Many private and public properties were spoil and damaged. Not to mention the vehicles trapped or swept away by the flood. The power disconnected and people living in dark cold. Possibly freezing.

Brooke Clarkin tries to salvage some personal items from her mother's home in Staten Island, New York, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012. Her mother's home was not only flooded to the ceiling, but was swept off its foundation and was carried to the other side of the street. The National Guard and federal emergency management officials will deliver 1 million meals and bottled water to New York areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig). Source: news.yahoo.com.

As temperatures begin to drop, people wait in line to fill containers with gas at a Shell gasoline filling station Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Keyport, N.J. In parts of New York and New Jersey, drivers lined up Thursday for hours at gas stations that were struggling to stay supplied. The power outages and flooding caused by Superstorm Sandy have forced many gas stations to close and disrupted the flow of fuel from refineries to those stations that are open. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) Source: news.yahoo.com.
Debris covers the lower floor of Don Durando's house in Long Beach, N.Y. Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, after sustaining flooding and other damage from Superstorm Sandy. Three days after Sandy slammed the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, New York and New Jersey struggled to get back on their feet, the U.S. death toll climbed to more than 80, and more than 4.6 million homes and businesses were still without power. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek) Source: news.yahoo.com.

The images which I took from news.yahoo.com are ample to illustrates the devastation that just took place. The list won't end if I am to write all the sadness of the victims of Sandy here.I just hope and pray that everything will be fine and get back to normal.

posted by zaki yamani @ 10:32 PM, , links to this post

The Author

zyz

I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!


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