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Chemical Engineer Rocks in FaceBook.com

Just to let you know, I've created a group called Chemical Engineer Rocks in Facebook.com. So, if you happen to have a Facebook account, feel free to be a member of the Chemical Engineer Rocks group. How, just select and click groups on your left hand corner on the site and type Chemical Engineer Rocks. You'll reached the page and you can freely participate and share anything and everything related to chemical engineering.

Oh yes, if you already have a Facebook account, just login your Facebook and then click HERE. A new page will appear on your browser sending you to the Chemical Engineer Rocks group.

Chemical Engineer Rocks group is created with the intention to be a platform for worldwide future chemical engineer, young chemical engineer, practicing chemical engineer, and related chemical/process/project/biochemical engineers to:

- Discuss, communicate and share
- Build network and develop business
- Create a chemical engineering buzz
- Help create & produce better chemical engineers
- Make the world a better place
- Related announcement

It's totally cool stuff...

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 11:14 PM, ,

Technical Visit To NeWater Facilities Singapore

My second visit with IEM was to Newater Facilities in Singapore (pronounce it as New Water). NEWater is managed by Public Utility board (PUB) Singapore. I have looked forward for the visit few weeks the actual event. It was a really interesting technical visit and I wanted to learn about their process as an idea because I am handling the project to purify effluent water to be used for our cooling towers and washing facilities. Well, the visit have gave me some ideas on how I should approach to build our own micro or ultra filtration system.

The half day technical visit took place on the 24th of May 2008 on a nice beautiful Saturday (I planned to made an entry on it earlier but I was too occupied with my jobs etc). We gathered in front of the IEM building and get onto a specially chartered bus to bring us all (about 30+ engineers from various disciplines) to Singapore.

As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed by their officers and brought for a technical tour. We were so impressed with their modern and high tech facilities. They have also spent substantial amount of money to educate Singaporeans others (like us and foreigners) to learn how they process the water. The education and learning center was very impressive and anybody who visit their center would agree with me. We were given a bottle of NEWater drinking water as a souvernier - some of us immediately tasted them while others kept it. Well, no worries....the water is extremely clean and safe - Thanks to the Reverse Osmosis treatment system.

Fellow engineers enters the NEWater foyer and showroom

Among the items displayed in the foyer. There are various types of bottles and label designs for NEWater. NEWater drinking water is not for sale. They are distributed on certain occasions. Visitors to NEWater facilites will be given a Newater bottle as a token.

These are sample of the first batch of NEWater bottles being distributed.

This is part of NEWater reservoir. Nice...Cool...

A presentation by one of the NEWater tour guide. They have done a great job in explaining to us about the history, news, progress, technology, process, future etc.

The colourful NEWater fountain. We stepped on it and took photos (not shown here...).

A simulator to educate the visitors on how much water we used a day based on our lifestyle. It reminds us to appreciate clean water and do not waste them unnecessarily.

Visiting the NEWater process plant (from outside).

I never thought they made us see the control room. This means anybody, everybody can see the control room and its operators working in it. Cool...

Another site of the NEWater plant. On the left we can see the Reverse Osmosis membrane units.

Some of the piping of the system is made from stainless steel pipeline. The plant is very clean and well maintained. Well done.

There are a lot of LCD TV like this in the NEWater facilities to provide visual for better understanding to visitors. This visual shows the layout of ultrafiltration process.

These are the example of membranes for micro filtration of the water. Micro filtration takes place before preceding to reverse osmosis stage.

These are the casing for membrane filters exhibited. Water from outside the membrane will be forced to enter the membrane pores, leaving out bigger particles to provide cleaner water.

This is the membrane for reverse osmosis. Water from the micro filtration stage will enter the tube and forced to enter the membrane by exerting pressure onto it. The pure water will then enter the core of the membrane and channel to subsequent stage - UltraViolet process.

This is the ultraviolet step which is to terminate any nano sized bacteria that may possibly passed through the previous micro filtration and reverse osmosis system. This ensure us that the water produced from NEWater is extremely clean and safe for consumption.

Another view of the ultra violet system.

One tube of ultra violet canister will have 4 tubes of UV lights. The flanges , connections and fittings are made from stainless steel.

Oh yea... That's me signing off from the NEWater facilities in Bedok, Singapore.

For more information on the NEWater, please check the NEWater website. If you are interested to pay them a visit, they also welcome you to do so, just click here. You can call them or book online at their website to arrange for the visit. Sometimes I like to learn from their FAQ, so I include the link, incase you are interested to learn by their FAQ - click here.

Finally, check out following video to have a clearer view on the NEWater center. Just ignore the first 1 minute and 50 seconds of the video (Total time 7 minutes +).

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 8:35 PM, ,

Biodiesel From Jatropa

Biodiesel and biofuel...believe or not they are huge business. It is one type of renewable energy that has gain interest from fellow researchers, technologist, engineers, scientists, politicians, investors etc few years ago. Since then, many people began planting the likes of palm oil, rape seed, soya been etc to produce biodiesel. However, recently, there had been issues on food supply shortage and thus this has contributed to the increase price of the crops.

How can we use palm oil, rape seed and soya been to produce biodiesel when we know that the food supply for the world is insufficient? We need those crops for food, to feed human, not for energy!

Hence, the world has turned to a species of tree called jatropa. Why jatropa? Simply because it is non-edible. It cannot be consumed by humans. In addition to that, it has high content of oil. Now, a lot of countries such as Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand and others are encouraging their farmers to grow jatropa for biodiesel. Infact, in Malaysia, Bionas was established to facilitate everything associated to jatropa from planting them to processing them in a refinery.

To have a better comprehension on the subjects, please check out the following videos.

Video synopsis: Brazil is the world's leading country in BioFuels! Over 30 years ago in order to find a renewable and greener source of fuel, the Brazilian Government started the "Ethanol Boom" and has been successful ever since; for today, 8 out of 10 cars manufactured in Brazil have the so called "Flex Power" engines. These engines can run both in Alcohol Ethanol as well as with gasoline in any blend

This video shows Conatus team go to Taubate, Sao Paulo state, Brazil to check on the regional jathropa plantation project. Called Pinhao-Manso in Portuguese, Jathropa could be what sugar cane is for ethanol to biodiesel.

So, you have seen the videos and you should notice how great jatropa will become. It will be a huge business. There will be massive research and development to optimize the entire process. Farmers and those who have association with jatropa can expect good fortune in future. What about those who are not associated with jatropa? Can they earn a piece of the fortune?
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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 4:10 PM, ,

IEM Southern Branch Technical Visit to Claytan Group

Last month, we (me and my wife) joined the Institute Engineer Malaysia (IEM) Southern Branch for a technical visit to Claytan Group. It was my first technical visit with IEM and I began enjoying my association with the institution. This technical visit is worth 4 CPD hours (BEM approved). All together there were about 30 professional engineers joining the visit.

Here is a little bit information about Claytan Group (adopted from their website):

"Founded in 1920, Claytan Group manufactures high quality ceramic products ranging from vitrified clay pipes, sanitaryware, artware, tableware to hotelware. Combining nearly a century worth of experience and cutting-edge ceramics manufacturing technology from Japan and Europe, we are one of the most experienced Malaysian ceramics manufacturers with the most diversified ceramic product range in the country.

Claytan Group products are designed with the customer in mind. We strive to find innovative ways to improve the quality of our ceramic products to produce products that rank high on customer satisfaction.

The quality of our products is recognised by many international Quality Assurance (QA) bodies such as SIRIM, PSB, AS and CSA. They carry out third party audits twice a year to ensure that our quality management system and products meet their stringent requirements."

These are some of the very gorgeous tableware shown in their display room. These are products from Claytan Group. Most of the beautiful ones are exported. Some of it are sold locally.

More elegant and modern looking tableware exhibited. Do you like them?

Technical presentation from Claytan Group representative. All IEM members were tentatively listening to what he was presenting. We were the youngest engineer participating in the technical visit.

Some of the clay pipes manufactured by Claytan Group. We visited the plant and learn their processes which began from various clays being crushed in a crusher. We witnessed their efficient conveying system and large mixers. Then there are a very huge kiln to bake and harden the clay pipes.
There are also various tests carried out on the clay pipes to ensure the quality is up to the required standard. On of the test is the hydro test which is to test whether the clay pipe can withstand its designated pressure or not.

These are different batches and design of toilet bowls being tested in their R and D department. Honestly, before this, I never imagine a toilet bowl being studied as extensive as this. There are also a lot of test being perform to ensure the toilet design works well and can remove the "sludge" in it. I also learned that there are 2 types of toilet bowl, one which can operate with 4.5 liters while the other one with 6 liters of water. It was also interesting to learn about the vacuum type flushing toilet which are also used in some places like in a plane.

I'm really impressed with all the hard work made by the research and development department to ensure they produce a very quality toilet bowl that can work efficiently and effectively. It was also my first time touching the holes of the water outlet from the bowl. I never touched it before. I never thought of touching them... I touched it to inspect the size and diameter of the holes where the water poured out during flushing. Very interesting...

These are part of the sanitary ware exhibited at the display room. Claytan Group is a major player of the country's sanitary market.


It was a very informative and beneficial visit for us. Besides listening to the technical presentation, checking out their sanitary research and development department, visiting their clay pipe plant, they also served us good warm food for lunch and a gave us a very nice colourful mug (as souvenier). We also visited their wholesale tableware and saw a lot of their collection. I sincerely thank them for their hospitality to us.

For those who are not yet associated with IEM or any professional engineering association in your country, I urge you guys to do so. It is very good for your future. You can also mix and mingle with other fellow professional engineers and hence expand your network. Cool stuff....

Next entry...
Technical visit to New Water Facilities in Singapore. Wait for it.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 7:43 PM, ,

Lab 2008 and ICA 2008

If you are in Malaysia, then you should come to Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (KLCC) and attend two huge exhibitions: Lab 2008 and ICA 2008 (Instrument, Control and Automation Technology). Personally, I've attended both exhibitions last year and I can say it is an event that we cannot miss as an engineer, technologist, researcher and scientist. Besides learning a lot the products and technology related to lab equipments, instrumentation - control -automation technology, I get to know new companies, establish my own network and brought home a lot of freebies and souvenirs.

OK, enough about that. Following are the details of the event:

Date: June 10-13, 2008
Venue: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Opening Hours: 11.00 am – 6.00 pm daily (June 10-12, 2008)
11.00 am – 5.00 pm daily (June 13 2008)

Lab 2008 presents:

The International Exhibition on Measurement, Calibration and Testing Instrumentation and Equipment
The International Exhibition on R&D and Analytical Instrumentation and Equipment

The International Exhibition on Life Science Laboratory Instrumentation and Equipment

The International Exhibition on Teaching and Pratical Training Laboratory Instrumentation & Equipment

The International Exhibition on Automation and Information Technology

for more information about Lab 2008, please visit the official website - faconex.com/lab_intro.asp


Whereas ICA 2008 presents:

The 9th International Exhibition on Measurement, Testing, Calibration Instruments and Services.

The 9th International Exhibition on Scientific Laboratory, Research & Analytical Instruments

PROCESS CONTROL SYSTEM The 9th International Exhibition on Process Controllers, Software and Systems Technology

The 9th International Exhibition on Environmental Testing, Monitoring, Control & Waste

The 9th International Exhibition on Pumps, Valves and Motors Technology

The 9th International Exhibition on Robotics, Automation, Drives, Software Technology & Services

For more information on ICA 2008, please go to: faconex.com/ica_intro.asp

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 11:56 AM, ,

Engineer Train Engineer - What is the Benefit?

In a space of 3 months, I taught and trained 2 new graduated chemical engineers about my physical refining plant. As a person in charge of the plant, I thought I already know everything about my plant. However, having those 2 new engineers really tested my real understanding of my own plant.

The two of them were fresh graduates and they haven't seen or experienced being in a plant before. So, they were very curious about the plant, its process, equipments, vessels, PID drawing and a lot more. I explained to them the process involved in the plant step by step with reference to the plant PID drawing. As I went through the initial stage i.e. from the storage tank, then to a pump, strainer, heat exchanger and so on... both of them (in different occasions) tentatively listen and made notes. Then we went through the Niagara filters, filters bags, filter cartridges.... and so on. Then the heating stage... passing through few plate heat exchangers, shell and tube etc. Then to the pack column, another series of heat exchangers, filters and to a product storage tank (I'm not trying to explain my process here, that's just a brief idea on how I explained the steps and processes to them).

The PID (Piping and Instrumentation Diagram) contains all the piping, valves, actuators, pump, RTD, pressure transmitters, level sensors, flow meters, heat exchangers, vessels, strainers, filters and so on in the plant. I need to really look at it and trace the lines in order to show the flow. Well, my plant is quite big and that is really shown in the complicated PID drawing. That's good... at least it refreshes me when I'm explaining to them.

At several occasions, they asked about this and that.... Some of the questions were easy to answer while some others were surprisingly difficult to answer because I forgot, or I don't know about it. That means, there are still points and stuffs about my plant that I haven't covered yet (that I don't know). They made me realized about it and it made me seek for answers. So, after investigating about it and getting answers, I informed those new engineers and indirectly my comprehension on my own plant became better. Looking the scenario at a different angle, I'm actually revising and learning about my own plant when I teach or explain to others. Isn't that cool? Both parties benefited. They learned new process and engineering knowledge while I established my understanding on my plant.

Conclusion and morale of the story...

Don't keep the technical knowledge to yourself. Share them. The more you share, the more you'll get. The more you share, the better you are. The more you share, the stronger you become.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 8:21 PM, ,

Webcast: 6 Key Metrics to Align Asset Management and Energy Efficiency

Plantservices.com proudly presents a webcast and you are all invited to join it. Check out the detail below:

Webcast: 6 Key Factors that Drive Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
Sponsored By: Infor
When: June 12, 2008 at 2pm EDT
Time Frame: 60 minutes

» Register for this webcast

Join us for this live event! Join industry experts David Berger and Rod Ellsworth as they talk with Plant Service’s editor Paul Studebaker about the 6 key factors that drive Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) and how you can implement them in your plant. With energy representing the single largest operating expense, and energy efficiency serving as a leading indicator of asset performance, companies are now taking a new approach to asset management, centered on energy efficiency and Overall Equipment Effectiveness. Attend this Webinar on June 12th and:

Date: June 12, 2008
Time: 2pm EDT/1pm CDT/11am PDT
Location: Your office via Talkpoint conference technology

» Register for this webcast
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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 7:22 AM, ,

Submersible Pumps

A submersible pump is one that has a sealed motor, fitted in a pump body. The total assembly is immersed in the fluid that needs to be pumped. The main advantage of this type of pump is that it can offer a considerable amount of lifting power, as it does not rely on external air pressure.

A submersible pump has a system of mechanical seals that is used to prevent the fluid being pumped from entering the motor, resulting in a short circuit. A pump can either be attached to a pipe or a flexible hose.

Some of the types of submersible pumps are bladder pumps, bilge and ballast pumps, borehole pumps, booster pumps, and centrifugal pumps. Other examples are condensate pumps, dewatering pumps, fountain pumps, grinder pumps, micro pumps, sampling pumps, trash pumps, utility pumps, and well pumps. Some submersible pumps are manufactured for particular applications. These pumps are water submersible pumps, sewage submersible pumps, 12-volt submersible pumps, sand submersible pumps, irrigation submersible pumps, and solar submersible pumps. Solar submersible pumps have many uses and are suitable for slow and steady water transfer into a holding tank.

Submersible pumps are found in many appliances. Single stage pumps are utilized for drainage, sewage pumping, common industrial pumping, and slurry pumping. Multiple stage submersible pumps are normally used for water abstraction. These pumps can also be found in oil wells. Moreover, submersible pumps can be positioned directly in a pond and require comparatively little installation. These pumps are also relatively silent.

The four main specifications that should be considered while choosing a submersible pump are maximum expulsion flow, maximum discharge pressure, horsepower, and discharge size.

Earlier, the main drawback of submersible pumps was that its pump seal could rupture and release oil coolant into the water. However, newer pumps are magnet-driven, and no longer require a coolant. These magnet-driven pumps are more expensive, but they consume less electricity.

Pumps provides detailed information on Pumps, Water Pumps, Heat Pumps, Sump Pumps and more. Pumps is affiliated with Sun Powered Heat Pumps.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 12:30 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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