Environment & Safety Gas Processing/LNG Maintenance & Reliability Petrochemicals Process Control Process Optimization Project Management Refining

October 2007


Special Report: Process Control and Information Systems

Improving refinery reliability, performance and utilization
Motiva Norco Refinery: Funkhouser, J.
Emerson Process Management: Manley, F.

A new digital control system incorporating fieldbus provided substantial benefits

Gage multivariable predictive control motility to guide support
Tesoro Corp.: Kern, A.G.

Manipulated variable analysis is much simpler than controlled variable analysis for determining controller health

Probabilistic alarm management
University of La Laguna: Larraz, R.

A procedure using Markov chains provides insights based on HAZOP report information

Optimizing wireless systems in hydrocarbon processing plants
Apprion: McPherson, I.

Here's how to manage the many disparate technologies

Intrinsically safe fieldbus for hydrocarbon processing plants
MooreHawke Fieldbus: O'Neill, M.

The key issue is delivering enough power to a large number of field devices

Effective pH control through intelligent automation
Mettler-Toledo Ingold: Queeney, K.  |  van der Wal, S.

This technology can improve reliability while reducing operating costs

Zero-lag exponential moving average for real-time control and noisy data processing
Lamar University: Chen, D. H.
Chevron Phillips Chemical: Lo, P.
Sasol: Swan, W. P.

The filtering technology has no time delay

Model-free adaptive control technology enables ethylene quench water pH control
CyboSoft: Cheng, G.
PetroChina: Gao, F.  |  Wang, L.-Z.

PetroChina has improved ethylene production efficiency and plant safety

Gas Processing

Predicting the true vapor pressure of LPG and natural gasoline
Curtin University of Technology: Bahadori, A.
Consultant: Mokhatab, S.

Using this simple correlation can help determine proper storage for these products

Heat Transfer

Understand the secrets of fired heaters tuning
Heaters Revamping and Troubleshooting, Inc.: Vinayagam, K.

New guidelines help engineers fine-tune heaters to consume less fuel and improve thermal efficiencies

Maintenance/Computer Technology

Optimizing preventive maintenance by combining discrete event simulation and genetic algorithms
University of Mondragon: Goti, A.
Mondragon Unibertsitatea University, Industrial Management Department: Oyarbide-Zubillaga, A.
Polytechnich University of Valencia, Department of Statistics and Operational Research: Sanchez, A.

Cost and benefit criteria are applied to a multi-equipment system

Process Developments

Reduce alkylate costs with solid-acid catalysts
Exelus, Inc.: Mukherjee, M.  |  Nehlsen, J.

New developments in alkylation processes mitigate risk while reducing operating costs

Consider better practices for refining operations
AspenTech: Snell, B.  |  Stommel, J.

Improved refinery planning involves two-way communication with plant groups

Process and Laboratory Analyzers

Monitor sulfur levels in your olefin feedstocks
Air Liquide: Benesch, R.  |  Biela, B.  |  Haouchine, M.  |  Jacksier, T.  |  Moore, R.  |  Talbert, B.

Analyzing this element is essential for polyolefin producers to improve catalyst performance

Safety Guidelines/Plant Design

What can you do to enhance the safety of operations?
Fluor Daniel: Bhullar, R. S.

The US Chemical Safety Board's fatal blast report makes it imperative to take a serious look at your plant's loss prevention practices, particularly the instrumentation and sensors that provide critical information for prompt action


HP Control: Controlling the mundane naphtha stabilizer, Part 2
Petrocontrol: Friedman, Y. Z.

Part 1 of this editorial (September issue) discussed a debutanizer control strategy (Fig. 1). Given that feed composition varies with ambient conditions, one could argue that unless you have advanced ..

HP Reliability: Counting interventions instead of MTBF
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet a very experienced machinery reliability professional at a refinery in the UK. Among his many tasks was tracking mean-time-between-failures (MTBFs) of..

HP Integration Strategies: Enhance safety culture in your manufacturing sites
HP Editorial Staff: Ghosh, A.

Safety culture is a term that was introduced in 1986 by the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group in a report published after the Chernobyl disaster. A widely cited definition from the UK Health..

HPIn Europe: World's oceans: harmless emissions sink or fuel-quality Jurassic Park?
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Wright, Tim L.

The controversy over bunker fuels is growing and broadening its reach. Dominic Boot, director of the Netherlands Petroleum Industries Association (VNPI) was recently in touch. He sees calls for a new ..

HPIn LNG: Managing execution risks for LNG projects
Consultant: Mokhatab, S.

The liquefaction plant is the central component of the value chain linking natural gas (NG) reserves to end users. Because the liquefaction process is crucial to attaining optimum business performan..

HP Automation Safety: Still not using a safety PLC?
exida LLC: Goble, W.

The concept of using a special-purpose programmable logic control (PLC)/controller designed for fail-safe operation started over 25 years ago. The early programmable machines were designed applying th..

HP Associations: HPIn Associations
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Thinnes, Billy

"HPIn Associations" offers event listings and keeps track of association leadership.  We interview professional staff and high-ranking advisory board members, asking about their goals, lobbying p..

New Developments

Sensors for chemical industry applications InPro 4260 pH probes are said to integrate a patented polymer composition, XEROLYT EXTRA, with an open junction reference system to ensure the performance an..

HP Construction: North America
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Thinnes, Billy

  HNNG Development LLC has commissioned a nitrogen rejection unit (NRU) for Oso Oil & Gas Properties LLC to treat gas vented from an underground coal mine in Carbon County, Utah. HNNG's role in t..

HP Construction: South America
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Thinnes, Billy

  Integrated Biodiesel Industries Ltd. (IBI) has an agreement with biodiesel producer Diferal S.A. to buy a minority equity stake in the company and to market the total output of its plant. Dif..

HP Construction: Europe
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Thinnes, Billy

  A subsidiary of Foster Wheeler Ltd.'s Global Power Group has a contract with Jyvaskylan Energia Oy for a 200-MWe (gross megawatt electric) circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) steam generator. Th..

HP Construction: Middle East
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Thinnes, Billy

  Aker Kvaerner has a contract with Gemsa Petroleum Co. for operation, management and maintenance of the Al Zaafarana FPSO located offshore Egypt in the Red Sea. The contract value is NOK 200 mil..

HP Construction: Asia Pacific

  Aker Kvaerner has a contract with Reliance Petroleum Ltd. to provide project management, procurement and engineering services for a new polypropylene plant being built in a special economic zon..

HP Construction: Africa
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Thinnes, Billy

  Emerson Process Management has completed the commissioning phase of a project with BP Angola for the automation of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). The vessel, whi..

Free Literature

  Expanded line of electronic metering pumps  Neptune Chemical Pump Co. offers a 10-page brochure featuring its full line of Tacmina PZ series electronic metering pumps. Details in..

HP In Brief: HPIn Brief
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Weirauch, Wendy

  Energy use in IEA "Improvements in energy efficiency have played a key role in limiting increases in energy use and CO2 emissions in IEA coun..

HP Impact: HPImpact: DME use challenges growth of LPG demand in China
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Weirauch, Wendy

Imports of LPG into China peaked at 6.4 million tons in 2004. At the time, that amount wasn't expected to be the "peak." The anticipation then was of further LPG demand and import growth. However, LPG..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Polyester chain faces global oversupply
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Weirauch, Wendy

CMAI recently completed an annual global study covering the period 2002 to 2012 for the terephthalates and polyester markets. Major polyester chain products include terephthalic acid (TPA) and dimethy..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Despite hurdles, US refining capacity creep continues
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Weirauch, Wendy

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), recently released its annual Refining and Storage Capacity Report. The report contains data supplied by the Energy Information Administration ..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Encouraging women to join, stay in engineering field
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Weirauch, Wendy

The concern about acute labor shortages in the HPI has been receiving global focus. One avenue—drawing women into the engineering field and retaining their services—continues to be a parti..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Technology offers multiple pathways to biogasoline
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Weirauch, Wendy

Overall, the bioethanol industry is evolving from a base primarily of fermenting grain (corn, wheat, milo, etc.), sugar (sugarcane and beet) and starch (cassava, potatoes, etc.) to cellulose fermentat..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Need heightens for security in automation and control systems
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Weirauch, Wendy

The call for protecting industrial automation and control system (IACS) computer environments from malicious cyber intrusions has grown significantly over the past decade. A combination of increased u..


HPImpact: Product surpluses to balance as project additions slow

 WENDY WEIRAUCH, Managing Editor       Comments? Write:WW@HydrocarbonProcessing.com In 2006, Asian oil demand grew by 336 thousand barrels/day (Mbpd), while glob..

Biofuels in the US
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Wright, Tim L.

The US biofuels market is developing rapidly, spurred both from President Bush's State of the Union address commitment to reduce dependence on foreign oil, and by a growing concern about the global en..

The role of biofuels uncovered

More processing to reach tighter fuel specifications and Europe's growing appetite for diesel means that carefully selected biofuels will have to bear the weight of efforts to reduce fuel-chain CO2 emissions