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The Chemical Engineer's Book Corner

book21.gif (17120 bytes)The Pilot Plant Real Book

Author(s): Francis X. McConville
Publisher: FXM Engineering and Design

Bottom Line:  Bridging the gap between the laboratory, the pilot plant, and the process unit has never looked so effortless.  Fran McConville shares practical tips, pitfalls, quality engineering data, and valuable insight into unit operations to help chemists and engineers collaborate to take a process from infancy to adulthood.

Summary:  Containing useful information about small and large scale unit operations, this book can be of value to any chemical engineer.  Discover topics such as filtration scale-up, installation and operation tips for all kinds of pumps, electrical enclosure data, and hundreds more.  Too often, people involved in process development don't know where to start...they should start with this book.  The real beauty of "The Pilot Plant Real Book" is that process engineers working with a 20 year old process unit can still learn something from the wealth of knowledge being shared. 

     The book is divided into the following main sections: 
The Pilot Plant
Equipment and Operations
Liquid Handling
Heat Transfer
Electricity and Instrumentation
Compressed Gas
Chemical Data
Chemical Hygiene and Safety
Material Selection

Layout:    No doubt a lot of thought went into the book's layout.  It even includes double spiral binding so it lays flat while your hands will be free to work.  The organization makes perfect sense, graphics are used thoughtfully, example problems are offset (a favorite feature of ours), and charts are well annotated and explained.

From the Book:

Developing Scalable Reactions
     Get the input of the scale-up team early in process development.   The value of doing so is often overlooked.  A simple engineering solution, which might not be traditionally attempted at the bench, can rescue some promising routes from being abandoned.  Conversely, experienced engineers might recognize at once that a proposed route must be modified to operate safely in plant equipment.

Highs:     Approaches a difficult subject in a focused manner and delivers quality guidance where there is serious need.   Easy to reference, applicable, and derived directly from experience on each topic.   Even if you may never touch a pilot plant, still a useful reference.

Lows:     The author makes an effort to utilize both english and metric units of measure throughout the text, but the first edition does not include dual units for all topics.  However, there is a section with conversions in "Miscellaneous".

Overall:     A fantastic book that meets its goal of bringing experience-based knowledge about process development to the fingertips of each owner.  Gain access to valuable information and advice from "The Pilot Plant Real Book".

Rating:     3.5stars.gif (1022 bytes)  (out of four stars)

Star Guide:     starguide.gif (9683 bytes)


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