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PCIC Europe 2008: The Essential Petroleum and Chemical Conference For Engineers

Following is an email that I received from the EngineerLive.com newsletter. Just wanna spread it out loud...

Weimar, Germany, June 10-12: Petroleum and Chemical Conference

Can you afford to miss a conference that could affect the way you use electrical and automation solutions for years to come?

At PCIC Europe 2008, you can learn from the experience of engineers like yourself who have installed, implemented and used electrical and automation equipment in real applications in your industry. Register now at:


With the emphasis on the practical, a number of papers will be presented at the conference, by experts from end user companies, engineering companies, manufacturers, regulators, certifying bodies and international standardization organizations. See the latest agenda at


Speakers will be available for questioning, making PCIC Europe a place for end users to air their views and influence the way your industry implements and uses electrical and automation equipment, now and in the future.

As well as the programme speakers, there will also be a guest appearance by Dr Bernard Bulkin, a leading expert on climate change who will give a presentation entitled, 'What do Engineers need to know about Sustainable Development?'-go to http://www.pcic-europe.eu for more information on this.

His presentation will examine the core issues of sustainable development and how they can be applied to engineering design, the importance of systems thinking and the education of the next generation of engineers.

Join us in Weimar, Germany, from June 10 -12, Register now at:

http://www.pcic-europe.eu/g3.cfm/s_page/61890/s_name/registration and bring your own ideas and experience to the table to help improve the use of electrical and automation equipment in the industry.

P.S.:To book your place at the conference and for further details, please visit: http://www.pcic-europe.eu
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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 1:07 AM, ,

RSCE-SOMChE 2008 in Kuala Lumpur

Following is an invitation by email that my university friend, Dr. Manal from UKM has sent to potential participants. This round the 15th Regional Symposium on Chemical Engineering (RSCE) will be carried out together with 22nd Symposium of Malaysian Chemical Engineering (SOMChE), which is Malaysia level symposium. Check out the adopted email below:

Dear Potential Participants of RSCE-SOMChE 2008,

We are inviting you all to participate in the 15th Regional Symposium on Chemical Engineering that will

be held in conjunction with the 22nd Symposium of Malaysian

Chemical Engineering on the 2nd - 3rd December '08, Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

You are welcome to KL and enjoy your stay here while attending the conference

Updates of RSCE-SOMCHE08 :

The conference date: 2nd - 3rd December 2008

The venue of the conference: Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa

The url of the website is http://www.rsce_somche08.ukm.my

Important dates: Deadline for Abstract Submission: 1st June 2008

Acceptance of Abstracts: 30th June 2008

Deadline for Full Paper Submission: 31st August 2008

You can send the abstract to rsce_somche08@eng.ukm.my

The fee structure is as follows:

Participant Malaysia:

Academics/Industries: RM750 Students: RM 450.0


Academics/Industries: USD 250 Students: USD 150


Academic/Industries: USD300 Students: USD 250

The International Scientific Committee (Advisory Panel):

Prof. Ir Dr. Wan Ramli bin Wan Daud (Malaysia) : Chairman

Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Mohamad Azlan Hussain (Malaysia)

Prof. Dr. Suryo Purwoto (Indonesia)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sanggono Adisasmito (Indonesia)

Prof. Dr. Masaaki Suzuki (Japan)

Prof. Dr. Hiroo Niiyama (Japan)

Prof. Dr. Susan A. Roces (Philippines)

Prof. Dr. Maria Natalia R. Dimaano (Philippines)

Prof. Dr. Ching Chi Bun (Singapore)

Prof. Dr. Xu Rong (Singapore)

Prof. Dr. Piyasan Praserthdam (Thailand)

Chutimon Satirapipathkul (Thailand)

Prof. Dr. Tran Vinh Dieu (Vietnam)

Prof. Dr. Le Cong Hoa (Vietnam)

Papers are invited in the following areas:

1. Biomolecular and bioprocess Engineering

2. Advance Materials and nanotechnology.

3. Process System Engineering.

4. Clean Production and Safe Practice

5. Complex Fluid Engineering

6. Renewable Energy

7. Food and Product Technolgy

8. Reaction Engineering

The tentative keynote speakers are:


1. Biomolecular and Bioprocess Engineering: Dato’ Dr.Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer, Inno Biologics Sdn Bhd, a home-grown biotech company.


1. Nanotechnology: Prof. Anurag Mehra, Indian Insititute of Technology, Mumbai, India

2. Process System Engineering: Prof. Iftikar Karimi, NUS Singapore

3. Cleaner Production and Safe Practices: Prof. Emeritus Isao Somiya, Ryukoku University, Japan (formerly aProfessor at Kyoto University, Japan)

4. Renewable Energy: Prof. Nobuyoshi Nakagawa, Gunma University

5. Food and Bioproduct Technology: Prof. Ernesto Reverchon / Dr. Giovanna Della Porta, Italy

6. Chemical Engineering Education: David ShallCross, University of Melbourne


IChemE Technical Roadmap: David Brown

Please do not hesitate to email me for further enquiries.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Dr. Manal Ismail

Secretariat RSCE-SOMChE 2008

Chemical & Process Engineering Dept,

Faculty of Engineering,

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Office: +603 89216404

Fax : +603 89216148

RSCE-SOMChE 2008 email: rsce_somche08@eng.ukm.my

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 12:44 AM, ,

Things That I Learned From A Simple Bolt and Nut

During the previous shut down, I got myself to become more hands on. Why? You can read this entry to know why in case you haven't read them.

There are lot to learn from a simple bolt and nut. There are various problems and difficulties that we can possibly encounter from a pair of bolt and nut. Followings are few things that I have learned from that small item (which are inclined to maintenance)...

1. If you over tightened those bolt and nuts, you might have some difficulties to open it later in future. If things get worse, the bolt and nuts can break. If it breaks, it will be difficult to open/dismantle the flange. In certain cases, you need to cut those bolt or nuts using oxy-cutting. However, we can only use oxy-cutting for bolt and but made from mild steel or GI. Stainless steel bolt and nut normally don't have any problem to be loosen because they do not corrode/rust.
Morale: Do not over tighten the bolt and nut. Just tighten it according to your normal human power.

2. Over paint... Sometimes you paint the bolt and nut for certain reason. One popular reason will be to avoid rust. One problem that our team faced during the previous shut down is to unscrew the nut. Oh my God, it was very tough because the paint covering the bolt and nut was so thick. We applied paint remover but still the stubborn paint would not completely removed. As a result, we took about 3 hours just to remove an 8" flange with 8 bolt and nuts. This affected our time and productivity.
Morale: do not over apply the paint.

3. Unsuitable length or size of bolt and nut. There were cases where we lost some bolt and nuts due to some slight work inefficiencies. When we want to replace them, we need to get suitable bolt and nuts. A shorter bolt will be required for a simple flange. However, a longer bolt will be required to sandwich a check valve between flanges.
Morale: Use the correct size and material of bolt and nut.

4. Grease the bolt and nut. After removing the bolt and nut from a flange, it's better to clean them if there are any debris or rust. Then apply grease to avoid rust and to ease screw and unscrew of it.
Morale: Get a cup of grease and ask your operator/fitter/worker to apply the grease.

5. Ensure there are sufficient stock of bolt and nuts. During a shut down or turn around, we normally dismantle flanges and manhole to clean vessel, pipeline, distillation column, deodorizers or others. Sometimes, a small number of those bolt and nuts broke and they need to be replaced. We must have ample stock of the correct bolt and nuts so that we can smoothly connect the flanges or close manholes.
Morale: Ensure your store has sufficient stock of the required bolts and nuts.

6. Tightening the bolt and nut. When tightening the bolts and nuts, we need to criss cross the arrangement. Normally a flange will have 8 holes for the bolts. Commence with 12 o'clock, followed by 6 o'clock. Then tighten 3 o'clock followed 9 o'clock and so on. This will ensure even compression towards the gaskets when we tightened the nuts.
Morale: Do it patiently and correctly. If not, the system may leak and we'll get in trouble (that is if we don't do a steam or air test before starting the plant).

7. Prepare the correct size of spanar. It's a waste of time if we don't use the correct size of spanar to unscrew a nut from a bolt. Ensure you have the correct spanar size. If you are want to unscrew a nut of size 24, use spanar size 24. If you want to use an adjustable spanar, use the one that is closer to the size range. Do not use an adjustable spanar which is too big. If you use an over size adjustable spanar, you will get tired pretty fast or you might trigger an accident.
Morale: Ensure you have the correct size of spanar when dealing with bolt and nut.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 12:39 AM, ,

Capturing Carbon and Storage For A Cleaner Future

EngineerLive.com sent me a routine newsletter and one topic caught my attention. The topic entitled Capturing carbon for a cleaner future is not a new topic for me and for some of you. It is basically a new developed technology that can purify clean our environment. Before this I have only heard about Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) but I wondered how the carbons in the air will be captured... After reading the interesting article below, I have better comprehension on the subject and how am I impressed with a compound called Alumina Silica (Al2O3 - SiO2). I have been working with Silica Alumina during my full time research few years ago and at my present work, SiO2 Al2O3 are the main compound in bleaching earth. Check out the article below which I adopted from EngineerLive.com:

In what the two countries are describing as an important step towards a greener global future, Australia and China have signed a formal international agreement for clean coal research. The agreement, between the Australian Commonwealth Scientific Research Organisation (CSIRO) and China’s Thermal Power Research Institute (TPRI), will see TPRI install, commission and operate a post combustion capture pilot plant at the Huaneng Beijing co-generation power plant as part of CSIRO’s research programme (Fig.1).

Post combustion capture (PCC) is a process that uses a liquid to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from power station flue gases and is a key technology that can potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing and future coal-fired power stations by more than 85percent.

In a traditional power station, coal is pulverised and burnt to produce high-pressure steam. The steam is expanded in turbines, which turn generators to produce electricity. Flue gases leaving the boiler are filtered to remove dust and then vented to the atmosphere. These gases contain around 10–15percent CO2.

PCC enables the capture of most of the CO2 from power stations. Flue gas is cooled and cleaned then fed into the bottom section of a CO2 absorber where it passes through an absorbing solution, containing a chemical to capture the CO2. The absorber captures more than 85percent of the CO2 and the clean flue gas, virtually 100percent nitrogen, is released into the atmosphere.

The CO2 is then removed from the absorbing solution by steam heating, so the absorber can be reused. The CO2 is compressed and cooled to form a liquid. Using the technique of geosequestration this liquid can then be sequestered, or permanently buried, in: deep saline aquifers; depleted gas or oil reservoirs; deep unmineable coal seams and adjacent strata; or other deep geological formations.

There are numerous benefits associated with PCC, including:

* It can be retrofitted to existing plants and is a very prospective means of substantially reducing their greenhouse gas intensity.
* It can be integrated into new plants to achieve a range of greenhouse gas intensity reductions down to near zero emissions.
* In contrast to competing technologies, PCC has high operational flexibility (partial retrofit, zero to full capture operation) and can match market conditions for both existing and new power stations – for instance, during periods of high power prices.
* It can be turned off and maximum power delivered to the market;
It offers a lower technology risk compared to competing technologies – this is further enhanced by the ability for staged implementation, which is not possible with competing technologies.
m It can be applied to capture CO2 from natural gas fired power stations and other large stationary sources of CO2, for instance, smelters, cement kilns and steelworks.

For its part, the Beijing pilot plant is designed to capture 3000t/y of CO2 from the power station.

CSIRO’s involvement in this PCC project has been made possible through funding from the Australian government. The Australian government is supporting this work through a A$12million grant, A$4million of which supports this work in China.

Director of CSIRO’s Energy Transformed National Research Flagship, John Wright, said low emission energy generation was a key research area for the Flagship.
The installation of the PCC pilot plant in Beijing is a CSIRO Energy Transformed Flagship research project and forms part of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate initiative (APP). The APP programme for PCC also includes a pilot plant installation at Delta Electricity’s Munmorah power station on the NSW Central Coast, with an additional Australian site currently under negotiation. The Energy Transformed National Research Flagship is also undertaking PCC research outside the scope of the APP programme with a A$5.6million project in the Latrobe Valley, which focuses on brown coal.

New material to capture CO2

Meanwhile researchers in the US have developed a new, low-cost material for capturing CO2 from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants and other generators of the greenhouse gas. Produced with a simple one-step chemical process, the new material has a high capacity for absorbing carbon dioxide – and can be reused many times.

Combined with improved heat management techniques, the new material could provide a cost-effective way to capture large quantities of carbon dioxide from coal-burning facilities. Existing CO2 capture techniques involve the use of solid materials that lack stability for repeated use – or liquid adsorbents that are expensive and require significant amounts of energy.

The new material is known as hyperbranched aluminosilica (HAS).
Growing concern over increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide has prompted new interest in techniques for removing the gas from the smokestacks of such large-scale sources as coal-fired electric power plants. But to minimise their economic impact, the cost of adding such controls must be minimised so they do not raise the price of electricity significantly.

Once removed from the stack gases, the CO2 might be sequestered in the deep ocean, in mined-out coal seams or in depleted petroleum reservoirs. If the CO2 capture and sequestration process can be made practical, America’s large resources of coal could be used with less impact on global climate change.

Working with Department of Energy scientists Daniel Fauth and McMahan Gray, Jones and graduate students Jason Hicks and Jeffrey Drese developed a way to add CO2-adsorbing amine polymer groups to a solid silica substrate using covalent bonding. The strong chemical bonds make the material robust enough to be reused many times (Fig.2).

Production of the HAS material is relatively simple, and requires only the mixing of the silica substrate with a precursor of the amine polymer in solution. The amine polymer is initiated on the silica surface, producing a solid material that can be filtered out and dried.

To test the effectiveness of the material, the Georgia Tech researchers passed simulated flue gases through tubes containing a mixture of sand and HAS. The CO2 was adsorbed at temperatures ranging from 50–75°C. Then the HAS was heated to between 100 and 120°C to drive off the gas so the adsorbent could be used again.

The researchers tested the material across 12 cycles of adsorption and desorption, and did not measure a significant loss of capacity. The HAS material can adsorb up to five times as much CO2 carbon dioxide as some of the best existing reusable materials. The HAS material works in the presence of moisture, an unavoidable by-product of the combustion process.

Because of their chemical structure, the amine groups provide three different classes of binding sites for carbon dioxide, each with a different binding energy. Optimising the production of binding sites is a goal for future research.

Beyond the material, other components of the separation and sequestration process must also be improved and optimised before it can become a practical technique for removing CO2 from flue gases. The best way to expose the flue gases to the adsorbent material is also key issue.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 10:44 PM, ,

Richest Chemical Engineer

Meet the richest chemical engineer in the world. He is Mukesh Ambani. According to the Forbes latest 2008 top billionaires in the world, Mukesh Ambani is rated #5 and his net worth is estimated at $43.0 billion.

He heads petrochemicals giant Reliance Industries, India's most valuable company by market cap. His fortune is up $22.9 billion since last year, making him the world's second biggest gainer in terms of dollars. He inherited the fortune from his late father, renowned industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani. I'm not sure whether he has previously worked as an engineer or not. But who cares, when one inherit such a substantial amount of fortune, he will use his intelligence and knowledge to manage and grow his wealth. Check out some of his details:

Age: 50
Fortune: inherited and growing
Source: petrochemicals
Country Of Citizenship: India
Residence: Mumbai , India, Asia & Australia
Industry: Manufacturing
Marital Status: married, 3 children
Education: University of Bombay, Bachelor of Chemical Engineering
Stanford University, Master of Business Administration

News and story adopted from Forbes
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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 11:51 PM, ,

One Vital Plant Shutdown Lessons

We just completed our 7 days plant shutdown and it left me with a mixed feeling. In my earlier entry, "Interrupted Planning", I highlighted about how the plant shutdown suddenly took place and it had interrupted not only my plans but also others.

I bet a lot of you may have enjoyed your Labour Day break last Thursday. Before this, I really look forward for it. Luckily I haven't plan anything special or big during that public holiday. Whenever the plant shutdown was instructed to be conducted, I already knew that I'm going to be in trouble. I had already approved annual leaves for 3 of my downline staffs (2 supervisors and 1 shift leaders). They have taken leave for 4 straight days from Thursday (the Labour day) till Sunday. It's difficult for me to asked them to cancel their annual leaves because they have planned the leaves 3 or 4 weeks ago, applied the leaves and I have approved it.

The problem does not happen just in my area... The maintenance department, who plays some significant role in our shutdown also have some manpower shortage with similar reason.

So, we have to arrange our limited manpower accordingly to do all the routine and special jobs for the annual shutdown. To make things worst, another 2 of my manpowers (1 my senior supervisor and 1 operator) were sick and unfit to work. The senior supervisor had a kidney stone while my plant operator had a high blood pressure up to 170. As a result, the amount of manpower I had was slashed down again.

It was a really serious challenge for me. I'm having a shutdown but I don't have my key people to assist me. As a result, I have to make myself an engineer cum supervisor. I walked around the plant, checked and assisted all work. I managed our contract worker manpower as well. I cannot imagine what's going to happen to all those work if I wasn't there to coordinate and monitor the jobs. I personally did some of the shutdown work such as filling up the high pressure boiler with deionized water, working on those flanges to dismantle or tightened the nut and bolts etc. I became a physical hands on person...

It was a very expansive lesson for me. Next time, I cannot simply approve annual leaves for my downline staffs. They can take leave, but when ever there are very important job like a shutdown, they need to sacrifice their leaves. I'll share some of the valuable experiences during my shutdown later.
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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 4:17 PM, ,

Offshore Life Video

For those of you who haven't been offshore but want to have a sneak peak on how it feels traveling and working there, check out the following videos. They are very interesting and it certainly reminds me on those early days when I used to go offshore.

In this first video, you might wander why the helicopter is not landing yet? Why it is circling the platform?

The second video display some view on how the life begins when you start the journey from the main land, fly in a helicopter and land at the platform. It's really amusing.

This 3rd and final video really shows the life as a citizen of an offshore platform. You can see the sunset (oh yea..i remembered that, and I love that moment), yea.... I traveled on a Sikorsky 76 as well, check out the living cabin, the drilling process. It also shows my favourite spot which is the cafeteria where we are served with fantastic tasty foods while watching TV.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 12:11 AM, ,

The Author


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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