June 2011

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Fine-tune ethylene unit startups

Advanced modeling methods provide useful information on operating main compressor system and feeds

Yang, X., Li, K., Xu, Q., Lamar University

The cracked-gas compressor (CGC) system is one of the most important and valuable operating compressor systems within ethylene plants. Any deterioration of the CGC unit can result in significant operating difficulties within the entire plant; thus causing severe economic losses. In this example, a rigorous pressure-driven dynamic simulation (DS) model is used to examine and to improve the CGC operating performance during plant startup. A real-case study demonstrates the efficacy of this proposed methodology. Background. Ethylene plants are heavy users of compressors, among which the CGC is the major unit that is used to compress the cracked gas to a designated high pressure (HP) for downs

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