September 2017

Archive

Special Focus: Refining Technology Developments

FCC collector tray leaks impact column operation
Hanson, D., Brown Burns, J., Teders, M., Valero Energy Corp.

In the collective experience of the authors, one of the most troublesome pieces of refinery fractionation equipment is the collector tray.

Iron poisoning investigations enable opportunities for success

The function of fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCUs) is to maximize profits from a given barrel of oil.

HF alkylation conversion is finally within reach—Part 1

Because of its clean-fuel properties (paraffinic, high octane, low vapor pressure and very low sulfur), alkylate is considered one of the most desired components in the gasoline pool.

Dividing wall column applications in FCC naphtha splitter columns
Bhargava, M., Kalita, R., Gentry, J. C., GTC Technology US LLC

Dividing wall column (DWC) technology is becoming more widely accepted throughout the process industries as a means to increase efficiency and reduce capital and energy costs.

Process Optimization

Savvy separators: An introduction to CFD for separator design
Read, A., Siemens

Dividing wall column (DWC) technology is becoming more widely accepted throughout the process industries as a means to increase efficiency and reduce capital and energy costs.

Environment and Safety

Upgrade the ALARP model as a holistic approach to project risk and decision management
Benintendi, R., De Mare, G., University of Salerno

The ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) model was developed by the UK Health and Safety Executive to establish and justify risk acceptability limits.

Safety in design during I&C engineering
Kunte, V. A., Agarwal, S., TATA Consulting Engineers Ltd.

After process engineers complete their preliminary documents—process flow diagrams; material and energy balances; piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs); process control philosophy; identification of the hazardous nature of raw materials, chemicals, byproducts and final products; process equipment layout drawings (plan and elevation); and unit plot plans—those documents are issued to engineers of other disciplines.

Columns

Editorial Comment: Is the refining market oversupplied, or is the capacity needed?
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Over the past two years, the editorial comment in our September issue has focused on the topic of overcapacity in the global refining sector.

Reliability: Choices—Treat the symptom or define and eliminate the cause?
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In an urgent communication, a paper plant customer reported that the mechanical seals in one of its ANSI pumps were moving axially whenever an unexpected process problem caused the normally liquid pumpage to turn into a thick, odorous gel.

Project Management: Bridging the gap in revamp projects—From business need to design basis

Revamp projects are notorious for scope creep, cost and schedule overruns.

Refining: Use of Alloy 400 for hydrofluoric acid corrosion in a refinery alkylation unit

Alkylation units can be based on sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid as a catalyst.

Global: The slow closing of Africa’s refining technology gap
Oirere, S., Contributing Editor

Technology gaps in the crude oil refining sector of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are making it difficult for crude oil processing plants to achieve energy efficiency, produce high-quality products or adhere to international carbon emissions requirements.

Digital: Emerging technologies and processes take project execution off the critical path
Overly, D., ABB

Engineering in the Cloud, standardized processes, automated data management, smart input/output (I/O) systems and soft marshalling are helping decouple hardware and software engineering activities.

Machinery: Soft skills and habits all machinery professionals must develop—Part 1
Perez, R. X., Consultant

When I ask people that work around machinery, “How do you improve reliability?” they often tell me to buy better bearings, seals, monitors or some other hardware-based improvement.

Viewpoint: Advanced H2O systems and the drive for efficiency
Andersen, K., Veolia Water Americas

For both upstream and downstream operations, H2O is a critical resource in the oil and gas industry.

Boxscore Construction Analysis: Smaller-scale and modular technologies drive GTL industry forward
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Between 2013 and 2015, numerous GTL facility projects were announced, primarily in the US. GTL technology was made attractive to investors by the onset of cheap natural gas prices (spurred by US shale gas exploration) vs. a spike in crude oil prices.

Industry Perspectives: Emerging trends in the global refining industry
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database is tracking nearly 700 refining projects around the world.

Business Trends: The state of the global refining sector
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Over the past few years, the world has witnessed significant downstream capacity growth in all sectors of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI).

Industry Metrics
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

US margins recorded solid gains as crack spreads for all products increased due to healthy domestic demand.