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02.01.2013  |  Blume, Adrienne ,  Hydrocarbon Processing Staff, Houston, TX

Keywords: [LNG] [distillation] [safety] [equipment] [rotating equipment] [transmitters] [software] [gasification] [valves]

UK firm patents mid-scale LNG technology

Gasconsult Ltd. has announced the award of a patent for its new ZR-LNG liquefaction process. ZR-LNG has best-in-class energy efficiency for mid-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) applications. Specific power consumption for the liquefaction section will typically be in the range of 310 kWh/ton to 350 kWh/ton of LNG, which is marginally higher than current baseload plants but significantly better than single mixed-refrigerant cycles (350 kWh/ton to 400 kWh/ton) and dual nitrogen-expander cycle technology (400 kWh/ton to 500 kWh/ton).

The capital efficiency of the technology, combined with its low operating cost, opens the possibility of monetizing smaller gas fields that are unable to support the cost of sophisticated baseload technology. Having a low equipment count, small footprint, low weight, high tolerance to ship motion and no requirement for storage of flammable refrigerants, the process is particularly suited to the floating LNG (FLNG) concept.

Gasconsult also sees opportunities for the technology in “end-of-pipe” applications to make LNG for heavy-goods vehicles and as a marine fuel, thereby providing a lower-cost, environmentally benign fuel for these applications. Additionally, Gasconsult is seeking business partnerships or the appointment of licensors in key LNG production markets.

Select 1 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

ASTM diesel standard now includes PAC distillation method

ASTM recently published its latest version of the ASTM D975-12 Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils, which includes an alternate distillation method, ASTM D7345. This alternate method achieves significant response-time improvements compared to the conventional ASTM D86 method. PAC, a global provider of advanced analytical instruments for laboratories and online process applications, developed the ISL PMD 110 and ISL MicroDist instruments, both of which utilize this alternative method.

The ISL PMD 110 (Fig. 1) is a laboratory instrument that determines the complete distillation curve within eight minutes, using data from one phase transition (evaporation), thus eliminating the process of condensation. The analysis is based on fundamental thermodynamic dependencies. Immediately after test completion, distillation characteristics are calculated from collected data with an ASTM D86/ISO 3405-compliant, detailed report.

  Fig. 1. The ISL PMD 110
  instrument determines a
  complete distillation curve
  within eight minutes, using
  evaporation data.

This instrument is universal, reliable and applicable to any petroleum product, without prior knowledge of its properties. Since the ISL PMD 110 instrument is a portable unit requiring no sample preparation, it is also a perfect solution for terminals and mobile labs. It is able to compare the measured distillation curve with up to 80 user-defined specifications and give an in-spec/off-spec answer.

The ISL MicroDist instrument (Fig. 2) utilizes the same technology in the process that the ISL PMD 110 uses in the lab. The MicroDist is used for process optimization and product certification, as well as control of blending processes for various refining streams, including motor gasoline, fuel oils, naphtha and diesel.

  Fig. 2. The ISL MicroDist
  instrument is used for process
  optimization and product
  certification, as well as control
  of blending processes for
  various refining streams.

Select 2 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS  

FIRESAFE hose available for US market

Composite hose manufacturer Dantec has launched FIRESAFE, a product it claims is “the safest composite hose ever seen on the US market.” The hose (Fig. 3) is made from a series of specially designed ceramic cloths and heat-reflective films to counter the radiant heat effects of fire. This allows vapor to burn off slowly as the increased heat of the liquid inside the hose vaporizes and seeks to escape.

  Fig. 3. Dantec’s FIRESAFE
  hose is made from a series of
  specially designed ceramic
  cloths and heat-reflective films
  to counter the radiant heat
  effects of fire.

Designed as a safeguard of flammable, hazardous and volatile liquids, the FIRESAFE hose is built for use in environments where there is increased risk of explosion. According to Dantec, the hose is flexible, durable and flame-resistant for more than 30 minutes. Even at temperatures approaching 1,200°C, the hose will protect its contents and not burn.

The FIRESAFE hose first gained prominence in Europe in 1994 when it began its association with Formula One racing. During the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, driver Jos Verstappen was engulfed in flames when a refueling hose breached. Formula One contacted Dantec and placed an order for the hose, which was delivered in time for the next race. The company went on to supply the sport for 15 years.

Dantec produces a range of composite hoses designed for the loading, unloading and transfer of oil, gas and petrochemicals. The hoses are used in ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, ship-to-tank, plant-to-truck, truck-to-tank, in-plant and railcar-transfer applications.

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New indicator monitors machine health

SKF recently launched the SKF Machine Condition Indicator, a low-cost vibration- and temperature-monitoring device designed for rotating machinery with constant operating conditions. The indicator provides the ability to track basic machine health on assets that are not currently being monitored on a regular basis.

The device can be used indoors or outdoors, in almost any industry where rotating machines are used, such as oil and gas; pulp and paper; power; food and beverage; machine tools; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC).

The indicator periodically makes two types of vibration measurement. Velocity measurements are made to keep track of overall machine health and to highlight potential problems related to misalignment and imbalance. Enveloped acceleration measurements are used to detect possible bearing degradation.

The indicator features built-in intelligence for evaluating measurements and also avoiding false alarms, with an alarm status visually indicated via three LEDs. The indicator is fixed to the machine and runs on battery. The device also monitors machine operating temperature.

By utilizing the SKF Machine Condition Indicator, plant operators can save both time and money by freeing up maintenance engineers to spend less time on problem detection and more time focusing on root cause analysis and other, more significant issues. Maintenance schedules for noncritical equipment can be assigned at less frequent intervals, as the indicator will provide feedback via its LEDs.

The device costs less than a standard industrial accelerometer, which makes the indicator a good solution for manufacturers seeking an economical way to ensure that their semi-critical machine assets are kept up and running.

Select 4 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS  

Pressure transmitters lower plant costs

Honeywell’s new SmartLine industrial pressure transmitters (Fig. 4) enhance communication abilities, improve operational efficiency and reduce lifecycle costs for process manufacturers. In industrial process plants, field devices that measure pressure, flow and level are used throughout the manufacturing process to support safe and efficient production. Large industrial complexes, such as those for refining crude oil, can have thousands of these devices to support their manufacturing processes.

  Fig. 4. Honeywell’s SmartLine
  industrial pressure transmitter
  line enhances communication
  abilities, improves operational
  efficiency and reduces lifecycle

The SmartLine pressure transmitters make it easier to support field devices and promote plant reliability with their unique efficiency-enhancing features, such as a graphic display capable of showing process data in graphical formats and communicating messages from the control room. The transmitters also feature modular components to simplify field repairs and reduce the inventory required to make those repairs.

The new display supports graphical process data in easy-to-read trend lines and bar graphs while also providing a unique platform for operator messages, comprehensive diagnostic warnings, and loop status for maintenance. These capabilities, which are part of the transmitter’s Smart Connection Suite, allow control room operators to send messages to the display. This makes it easier and faster for field operators to identify the correct transmitter and determine the required maintenance tasks.

When integrated with Honeywell’s Experion Process Knowledge System (PKS), the transmitter can also display its maintenance mode, telling field operators if the control loop is in a safe state to perform maintenance. Even installation is made easier with this new display. Three buttons at the top of the transmitter are used with the graphic display to completely configure the transmitter, with no external handheld devices required.

The modular design streamlines maintenance by allowing the replacement of individual transmitter components instead of the entire unit, even in hazardous locations. This design reduces plant lifecycle costs by providing purchasing flexibility, lowering inventory costs and reducing maintenance and repair work.

Other safety and efficiency features include enhanced security alerts and wiring polarity insensitivity. Tamper reporting alerts the control room and records any change in the transmitters’ configuration, or writes a protection setting to allow operations to investigate any unauthorized access. Unlike most other transmitters, SmartLine transmitters cannot be damaged by reversed wiring polarity and will function correctly if connected as such. This protection is useful during a plant startup, when time can be wasted locating and repairing incorrectly wired devices.

Select 5 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS  

Strategic alliance advances biomass initiatives

Tri-Mer Corp., a developer of advanced technologies for the control of NOx, fine particulate and industrial gases, has partnered with Enginuity Energy LLC, a renewable energy company and holder of the patented Ecoremedy gasification technology. The two firms have established a research agreement for the testing of biomass fuels at Enginuity Energy’s research and development lab in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The agreement gives Tri-Mer Corp. access to Enginuity Energy’s Ecoremedy gasification technology, which economically gasifies a wide range of extremely high-moisture and high-ash content material. Enginuity Energy will have access to Tri-Mer’s patented UltraCat catalyst filter system, which removes NOx, acid gases, particulates and dioxins in one system. The companies will conduct extensive air emissions testing on a wide range of biomass fuels (Fig. 5).

  Fig. 5. A Tri-Mer UltraCat
  catalyst filter pilot unit was
  tested by Enginuity Energy in a
  series of three burns averaging
  40 hours each.

Select 6 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS  

Valve line receives fire-safe approval

AS-Schneider’s ISO FE Series monoflanges are fire-type tested and certified to guarantee protection for the plant and personnel in the event of a fire (Fig. 6). AS-Schneider’s monoflanges, VariAS blocks and K-Series ball valves are tested and approved for fire safety as standard.

  Fig. 6. AS-Schneider’s ISO FE
  Series monoflanges are fire-
  type tested and certified to
  guarantee protection in the
  event of a fire.

The test bases at AS-Schneider are ISO 10497: Testing of Valves—Fire-Type Testing Requirements and API 607: Fire Test for Quarter-Turn Valves and Values Equipped with Non-Metallic Seats. The type test is monitored and certified at AS-Schneider by the Technical Inspection Authority TÜV SÜD.

The term “fire-safe design” is encountered often. However, this term is no guarantee that the valve will offer safe emergency operation in the event of a fire. Only if the valve undergoes an appropriate type test can it be ensured that the medium will be safely shut off in the event of fire.

ISO 10497 defines the requirements and the process for evaluating the functionality of valves and fittings that are exposed to fire. These requirements are identical to API 607 in terms of content. In this test, the valve to be tested is exposed to fire and to water under pressure for a period of 30 minutes. There are strict specifications for the temperature of the flames and of the valve body that are measured with the help of thermocouples for the entire duration of the fire.

After being allowed to burn for a period of 30 minutes, the burners are switched off, and within 10 minutes the valve is force-cooled to below 100°C. The 30-minute burning period corresponds to the maximum period required by the fire brigade to extinguish the fire in a plant.

The leakage from the valve seat and the external leakage are measured for the entire duration of the test. The leakages may not exceed a specific limit value. The valve is then tested again to ensure that it is operable.

To guarantee the external tightness, only graphite or metallic seal rings are used for stem and body seals. Spring washers ensure guaranteed internal tightness for outside screw and yoke needle valves that compensate for the different length expansion of the individual parts and, therefore, prevent the valve tip from lifting off the valve seat.

Concerning ball valves, a secondary metal sealing guarantees the internal tightness. Under normal operating conditions, a polymeric seat provides a bubble tight sealing. In the event of fire, the secondary metal sealing will ensure the tightness instead of the burned polymeric seat.

Select 7 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS

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