Special Focus: LNG, NGL and Alternative Feedstocks

Commercialization of pyrolysis oil in existing refineries—Part 1
Arbogast, S., Bellman, D., Paynter, D., Wykowski, J., AOTA Energy Consultants LLC

In Part 1 of this article, the incentives and information needed to relax the constraints of being O2-free are outlined. The authors hope that this perspective provides new directions for improving the economics of using pyoil to produce advanced biofuels (ABFs).

Handling mercaptans in gas processing plants
Mokhatab, S., Consultant; Northrop, P. S., ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.

With the continued development of sour gas fields around the world, the removal of mercaptans from gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon streams is becoming a challenge for today’s gas processing plants.

Shift to gas: A contribution on the path to sustainability
Koenig, E., Schneider Electric

The COP21 event left the world with new mandates to develop and implement low-emissions energy sources to power the global economy. To limit global warming, the world must increase the use of resources like natural gas, which offers a quick, relatively clean and inexpensive interim step in the global transition from high-emissions resources to renewable energy sources.

Heat Transfer

Failure analysis of olefin furnace radiant tubes
Al-Meshari, A., van Zyl, G., SABIC Technology Centre

A detailed failure investigation into the cracking of ethylene furnace radiant tubes included visual, fractographic, metallographic, scanning electron microscopy/x-ray spectroscopy, and hardness and chemical examinations. These analyses showed that the tube crack was initiated by thermal shock, accompanied by restrained thermal expansion due to internal coke layer formation. Details of the failure’s contributing factors, and recommendations to avoid similar failures, are shared here.

Process Control and Instrumentation

Novel configuration for near-IR analysis of refinery LPG composition and control
Foulk, S., Guided Wave Inc.; Mistry, S., Suncor Energy Inc.

Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is a powerful tool that is in widespread use in the refining, chemical, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. NIR spectroscopic process analyzers are commonly used in refineries for a variety of composition and physical property measurements, such as octane number, aromatics content and distillation properties of feed and finished products.

Solve operator training in a challenging refining industry
Alamo, J., SNC-Lavalin Inc.; Ross, M., Honeywell Process Solutions

Workforce reduction, the expected retirement of baby boomers, personnel leaving the industry in search of better opportunities, and the lack of jobs for new graduates will create a skills deficit once the industry begins growing again.

Improve plant work processes with enhanced alarm response programs
Millinger, G., MAVERICK Technologies

One of the unfortunate realities of automation in process industries is the stubborn inability to improve on the weakest link of the chain: human beings.

Maintenance and Reliability

Integrated refractory dry-out and alkali boil-out for primary reformers in H2 units
Balaramakrishna, P. V., Sukul, G., L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering

With increasing worldwide demand for diesel, more stringent product specifications for cleaner fuels, reduced fuel oil demand and the economic advantages of processing heavier, sourer crudes, the demand for hydrogen in refineries continues to increase.

Process Engineering

Key design considerations for vacuum process condensers
Lines, J., Graham Corp.

The crude oil refining and petrochemical industries make extensive use of condensers that operate under vacuum (i.e., below atmospheric pressure). Distillation is the most common process using these condensers, either as a process precondenser ahead of an ejector system, or as an intercondenser within an ejector system.

Columns

Editorial Comment: In defense of intellectual property integrity
Andrew, Bob, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In the publishing business, a key editorial responsibility is ensuring the integrity of all articles that are chosen for publication. This column elaborates on additional ways that prospective authors can help ensure that readers trust what we print.

Reliability: Reliability and the EPC contractor
Bloch, H. P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In this column, I have often elaborated on critical information related to reliability thinking. However, reliability thinking is continually subverted by approaches that concentrate excessively on project cost and completion.

Automation Strategies: Rethinking automation: A stepwise approach to the IIoT
Fryer, J., Stratus Technologies

Energy producers are under tremendous pressure to reduce operational costs and maximize efficiency throughout the value chain. This is easier said than done.

Engineering Case Histories: Case 94: Why mentors are important for industry
Sofronas, T., Consulting Engineer

When I started working in industry 50 years ago, it was management’s job to have a senior engineer watch over my work. Much of the quality of my analytical work and technical discipline were formed early in my career with help from these engineers.

Viewpoint: Leadership commitment for safety and sustainability
Dutta, H., Gupta, L. K., Maji, S., Essar Oil Ltd.

Management commitment is an essential ingredient for building a healthy organizational safety culture. To achieve this objective, management must provide adequate resources, along with unstinted support and direction.

Viewpoint: Reshaping the industry toward innovation, certainty and efficiency
Brittain, J., Fluor

It is no secret that capital costs of major projects have skyrocketed over the past decade. A July 2015 industry report noted that the average megaproject’s cost increase is 80% of its original value, with an average schedule slippage of 20 months.

Industry Perspectives: New gas processing/LNG project announcements decline for second straight year
Nichols, L., Hydrocarbon Processing

According to Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database, over 1,000 new projects have been announced since 2014. Nearly half of these projects were announced in 2014, and the trend shows a steady decline in new project announcements since that time.

Business Trends: India’s natural gas demand—a welcome sign for LNG exporters
Nichols, L., Hydrocarbon Processing

India is emerging as the world’s new oil demand center. Complementing its thirst for crude oil, the country has the potential to become a hotbed for natural gas consumption over the next few years.

Industry Metrics
Rhodes, Michael, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Healthy US domestic gasoline demand continued, despite supply pressure from refineries returning from maintenance and resumed Colonial Pipeline operations.

Innovations
Andrew, Bob, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Lubricants play a key role in equipment performance and reliability. ExxonMobil has redesigned used lubricant analysis service to be quicker, easier and more useful.

People
Rhodes, Michael, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

ValvTechnologies Inc. has named Herman Benard Jr. as director of manufacturing. He will have senior management responsibility for the achievement of production, productivity, quality, safety and customer satisfaction goals, as well as spearheading manufacturing process continuous improvements.