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Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing - How It Compares to Kirk-Othmer and Ullmann's

:: In mid-2005, Dekker will publish, in print and online, the Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing, a five volume set. Like many others, I have been curious to know the differences and overlap between this encyclopedia and the two related major works, Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology and Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, as well as its relationship to the 69-volume Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design, which began publishing in 1976.

On CHMINF-L, Regina Bendig of McMaster U asked the question:

My question is whether someone on this list knows of or has done a comparative review of this title and Kirk-Othmer and/or Ullmann. A quick comparison of a few entries in Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design and Kirk-Othmer gave me the impression that there is quite an overlap.
Oona Schmidt, Encyclopedias Editor/Supervisor for Dekker, responded accordingly:
As the publisher of the forthcoming ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHEMICAL PROCESSING (anticipated in mid-2005), I'd like to explain what market need we would like our reference to fulfill, apart from the very fine Kirk-Othmer and Ullmann references.

The primary focus of the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHEMICAL PROCESSING is to provide detailed descriptions of chemical processes including information on
description and design of key unit operations that are involved with chemical processes. This includes information about reactors and separation systems, their design, description of unit operations, system integration, process system peripherals such as pumps, valves, and controllers, analytical techniques and equipment, as well as pilot plant design and scale-up criteria. In short, this Encyclopedia includes information of vital interest to civil engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers, in addition to chemical engineers, polymer engineers, and chemists.

Our editor, Sunggyu Lee (the C. W. LaPierre Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia) seeks to support and cater to the dynamic areas of interest in both research and production phases of the chemical industry. A large portion of the entries is completely unique from the Kirk-Othmer in that they focus on design principles (such as entries on Tubular Reactor Design, Design of Extrusion Dies, Pressure Relief Valve Design, etc.); engineering fundamentals (with articles on Adsorption, Fluid Flow, and Multiphase Reactors); as well as emerging areas Nanotechnology, Microreactors and Microreactor Engineering, Plant Metabolic Engineering, etc.). The topics covered in this encyclopedia also provide in-depth knowledge about broad areas via separate entries on related subtopics. An example of this is the topic Distillation, where the Encyclopedia also has separate entries germane to this topic including Azeotropic Distillation, Distillation Column Design Packing, and Distillation Column Design Trays. Another example of this practice is allocation of separate entries related to the topic of Extrusion, namely Design of Extrusion Dyes, Extrusion Films, and Twin Screw Extrusion.

Dekker created the first volume of our reference in 1976, in order to address a specific need for this kind of information about how processes affect plant design and engineering. I am happy to answer any questions and can be reached at oschmid@dekker.com. Our editor, Dr. Lee, has also volunteered to answer any questions and he can be contacted at leesu@missouri.edu for additional information.

Oona Schmid
Encyclopedias Editor/Supervisor
Marcel Dekker, a division of Taylor and Francis Books, Inc
oschmid AT dekker DOT com

The detail Oona Schmid provides will help me and others decide whether or not to purchase this product. My question: why not include the above explanation, or a version thereof, on the web page for the encyclopedia? Unlike other Dekker products, there is no product description available on the site. It would also be valuable to include an explanation of the relationship between the 69-volume print edition, published over a 25+ year period, and the new, five volume set. In her e-mail, Regina Bendig noted that "I spoke with a representative at Dekker who told me that this 5 vol. edition is in fact not a 2nd edition, but rather new information to be published since the last volume 69 of the Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design appeared." If so, does the content of the new encyclopedia supercede the previous version? I hope Dekker provides a detailed explanation on the encyclopedia's web site, to help those of us considering its purchase for our collections.

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