Challenges in Solving Mixing Problems in the Petrochemical Industry
Mixing is a unit operation encountered in numerous industries such as petroleum, chemical, polymer, food, pharmaceutical, pulp & paper. It is a technology and not a manufacturing process and therefore receives little attention as a research area by the petrochemical industry. Since fluids in most petroleum and chemical processes must be homogenized or contacted for fast mass transfer, mixing problems frequently occur and need to be addressed. Lack of emphasis on mixing research thus creates challenges in solving these problems.
This paper describes some technical challenges faced by the engineers responsible for mixing applications. The R&D approach used is also described along with some process examples involving a wide slate of mixing issues.
Mixing & Reactor Solutions
Dr. Ramesh Hemrajani holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. He is a recognized expert on Mixing in the Petroleum and Chemical Industry. He retired from ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company after 28 years in which he dealt with various mixing problems in chemicals manufacture, crude-petroleum production, refining, and synthetic fuels developments. Since his retirement in 2005 he has been consulting for a variety of Industries on Mixing, Reactor Engineering, Process Engineering, and Separations. Along with the vast experience involving difficult industrial problems, his contributions to the field of mixing technology can be summarized as below:
+ Mixing Award sponsored by North American Mixing Forum, 2007.
+ Twelve patents on mixing systems and processes.
+ Over twenty five papers in international journals and at various mixing conferences.
+ Two invited papers in Chemical Engineering.
+ One invited paper in Chemical Industry Digest – India.
+ One invited paper in Chemical Processing Magazine.
+ Chapter on “Mixing and Blending” in the Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology by Kirk & Othmer.
+ Two chapters in the “Handbook of Industrial Mixing” published by John Wiley & Sons.
+ Chairman of 16th Biennial Mixing Conference by the North American Mixing Forum.
+ Past-President of the North American Mixing Forum.
+ Conducted mixing workshops in North America, Europe, Japan, India, and Singapore.
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