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

April 2017


Special Focus: Petrochemical Developments

Shaping the future of on-purpose propylene production
DOW Chemical Co.: Pretz, M.  |  Fish, B.  |  Luo, L.  |  Stears, B.

In the early 2000s, very few analysts predicted the innovation that would change the landscape in the energy, refining and petrochemical sectors over the next several decades.

An investigative study for technological innovation for ethylene plants
National Research Center (NRC): Abdel-Aal, H. K.

The development of an industrial process like an ethylene (C<sub>2</sub>H<sub>4</sub>) plant requires skills and knowledge in two main subject areas: synthesis and analysis. Optimal configuration through process synthesis (PS) with selected task selection (STS) is the main theme of this work.

Extract the best from your PVC reactor
Reliance Industries Ltd.: Jain, S.  |  Patil, R.  |  Gupta, A.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the world’s third-most widely produced commodity polymer, after polyethylene (C<sub>2</sub>H<sub>4</sub>)n and polypropylene (C<sub>3</sub>H<sub>6</sub>)n.

Simulation for the prevention of hydrates during FCC gas processing
Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Co. (TAKREER): Karakaya, M.  |  Rakib, M.  |  Musharfy, M.  |  Suleiman, M.

In the last decade, maximizing refinery production of polymer-grade propylene (PGP) has gained importance due to high demand from the petrochemical industry.

Process Engineering

Enhancements in EO/EG production technology
Shell Global Solutions International BV: Van Milligen, H.
CRI Catalyst Co.: VanderWilp, B.  |  Wells, G.

The markets for ethylene oxide (EO) and ethylene glycol (EG) continue to see attractive growth. This means that at least one or two new plants will need to be constructed every year if the industry is to meet forecast demand.

Calculate gasoline RVP seasonal change giveaway economics
Refinery Automation Institute, LLC: Barsamian, A.  |  Curcio, E.

Despite high demand and depressed refining margins, the US is in the midst of a glut of gasoline. This predicament is causing a rush to convert summer gasoline into cheaper winter gasoline, in the hope that using cheap butane and higher Reid vapor pressure (RVP) specs will increase refining profits.

From olefins to oxygenates: Fuel additives, solvents and more
thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG: Streich, T.  |  Kömpel, H.  |  Geng, J.  |  Renger, M.

Oxygenates are hydrocarbons containing oxygen atoms as part of their molecular structure.

Process Control and Instrumentation

Overcome challenges of correct level reading in a petrochemical reactor
Palmela: Almas, A.

Achieving the correct level reading in a petrochemical reactor is a critical process variable in maintaining good process operations (oxidation, digestion, polymerization, crystallization, hydrocracking, hydrogenation, etc.) in the petrochemical industry.


PBT polyester evaluation on catalyst and secondary reactions
Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem): Shirpurkar, V.

Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is an important, versatile thermoplastic polyester that has exceptional resistance to both heat and chemicals.

Heat Transfer

IR camera technology provides new perspective on furnace inspection routines
FLIR Systems, Inc.: Boccella, M.

A few years ago, managers at a US-based oil refinery called in an expert to inspect their oil furnaces with an infrared (IR) camera.

Environment and Safety

Through the looking glass: How US EPA regulations are changing the way we visualize methane leaks
Opgal: Yanai, O.

In mid-2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published Regulation 40 CFR, Part 60, Sub-part OOOOa, commonly known as QuadOa. This regulation has propelled optical gas imaging (OGI) firmly into the mainstream, and presents a major shift in the way fugitive emissions are regulated and the technologies that can be used.

Process safety incidents, cognitive biases and critical thinking
Primatech, Inc.: Baybutt, P.

Process hazard analysis (PHA) is performed to identify possible hazard scenarios that may occur in a process.


Editorial Comment: Petrochemical project announcements top $80 B since 2014
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Although new petrochemical project announcements have fallen over the past 3 yr, the global petrochemical sector will continue to see strong growth through the end of the decade.

Reliability: Achieve longer bearing life in rotary asphalt pumps
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

When a major asphalt manufacturer experienced random bearing wear in its gear pumps, there was justified concern.

Refining: Uncertainty grips South Africa’s Clean Fuels Program
Contributing Editor: Oirere, S.

The planned upgrading of oil refineries in South Africa to produce Euro 5-specified fuels will likely take longer than initially anticipated.

Viewpoint: Operational excellence—The path to world-class performance
Petrotechnics: Murray, P.

Why is operational excellence (OE) increasingly being recognized as the path to world-class performance?

Industry Perspectives: What is the solution to comply with the IMO’s Global Sulfur Cap regulation?

In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced that it will implement a new regulation that calls for the sulfur content in marine fuels to be reduced from 3.5% to 0.5%.

Business Trends: Standardized modularization—Drivers, challenges and perspectives in the oil and gas industry
RTS Ltd.: Eftimie, C.

Modularization is an alternative way of performing engineering aimed to reduce the number of interfaces, the total installed cost (TIC) and overall schedule length of a project, while optimizing the return on investment (ROI) and allowing standardization for similar future projects.

Industry Metrics
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Rhodes, Mike

Asian refinery margins remained healthy ahead of the spring maintenance season, despite a slight fall due to signs of a bearish gasoline market.


Udo Bauer has been appointed to the executive board of Hoerbiger Holding AG. Mr. Bauer will represent the compression technology strategic business unit, now comprised of the previous compressor OEM business area and the previous compressor service business area, as the business unit’s CEO.