November 2021


Special Focus: Process Controls, Instrumentation and Automation

Manage integrated operating limits
Baliga, M. A., Reliance Industries Ltd.

For safe and smooth operations of petrochemical and refining facilities, it is vital that they are continuously run within defined operating limits, ensuring high reliability of the plant and equipment and delivering per rated capacities throughout their lifecycle.

The path forward for process automation: Multivariable control as core competency
Kern, A., APC Performance LLC

In process automation, multivariable control has always been considered an area of specialization and a luxury for those companies with sufficient scale and resources to justify its high costs of ownership.

Engineering and Construction

Materials management: Data-centric execution to enhance organizational productivity—Part 2
Wyss, S., Bechtel Corp.

In Part 1, the broad concept of materials management was discussed, along with materials management as an investment and attitude.

Purchase order, contract or purchase agreement: Which is best for your procurement strategy?
Berg, J., ShureLine Construction; Parmar, A., COIM USA; Rentschler, C., Shahani, G., Consultant

Procuring equipment, materials and services are very important to a project’s financial success.

Installation of magnetic level gauges in modularization projects
Sardana, S., Sinha, M., Fluor Daniel India Pvt. Ltd.

In today’s competitive world, new ways of more efficiently executing a project are being developed every day: one of these is modular construction.

Maintenance and Reliability

Continuous corrosion monitoring improves process optimization
Fazackerley, W., Emerson

Corrosion is one of the most insidious challenges in the oil refining industry.

Calculate the MTBR of pumps in an oil refinery
Zardynezhad, S., TurboTech Consulting Corp.

Mean time between repairs (MTBR) is an index for judging the performance of a specific piece of equipment.

Hydrocarbon Processing 2021 Awards WINNERS

Hydrocarbon Processing 2021 Awards WINNERS
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hydrocarbon Processing, the downstream processing sector’s leading technical publication for nearly 100 yr, has announced the winners for its fifth annual HP Awards, which celebrate innovative technologies and people that have been instrumental in improving facility operations over the past year.


H2O2 and its hydrocarbon nitridation/oxidation to produce caprolactam and propene oxide
Zong, B., Shi, Y., Sun, B., Sinopec

Traditional hydrocarbon nitridation and oxidation technologies, such as caprolactam (CPL) and propene oxide production technologies, present low atom utilization and serious environmental pollution problems.

Environment and Safety

Assessment of independent protection layers in an LOPA study—Part 1
Patel, H. J., Fluor

Industrial facilities, especially those operating in the chemical, oil and gas and petroleum industries, contain inherent risks in operations due to the processing of materials that are hazardous in nature.


Monitoring hydrogen plant performance—Part 2
Ramakumar, K. R., Johnson Matthey

Process monitoring is an indispensable practice to keep track of KPIs of an H2 plant.

Water Management

Impact of inaccurate water-in-oil measurement
Yang, M., TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory

Water-in-oil content is an important parameter for both the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Advanced methods for controlling boiler tube corrosion and fouling—Part 2
Kraetsch, K., Buecker, B., ChemTreat, Inc.

In Part 1 of this article, the authors covered techniques for minimizing corrosion and contaminant ingress from condensate return and feedwater to industrial steam generators.

Bonus Report: Digital Transformation

Integrate artificial intelligence with natural intelligence
Fernandes, S., Yokogawa Corp. of America Inc.

Have you noticed that many articles about artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) or digital transformation likely include an image of a human brain?

Valves, Pumps and Turbomachinery

Control valve design challenges for green diesel processes
Prusha, J., Emerson Automation Solutions

Green (or renewable) diesel is a biofuel that offers several advantages over biodiesel, so many refineries are increasingly including it in their production portfolios.

Vertically suspended molten sulfur pumping challenges and best practices
Brashler, K., Allah, W. K., Saudi Aramco

The objective of this article is to share industry experience related to the reliability challenges with vertically suspended molten sulfur pumps. Due to the operating temperatures and the unique chemical properties of sulfur, several operational and reliability challenges are inherently present across the industry.

How to select the proper valve for reliable performance in critical/severe service applications
Leavitt, D., Gremillion, J., Emerson Automation Solutions

Critical and severe service applications demand automated valves that perform reliably under punishing conditions, such as high temperatures, high cycle rates, high shutoff pressures, high velocities, very long required service lives and zero-leakage requirements.


Editorial Comment: In pursuit of operational excellence: A thank you from Hydrocarbon Processing
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In late September, Hydrocarbon Processing hosted the International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC).

Reliability: Houston: We have another problem
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The state of understanding science and facts on one side and distinguishing these from anecdotes and far-fetched opinions on the other side, should be concerning to us.

Process Controls, Instrumentation and Automation: Why it is time to move on from the thermowell

Thermowells are widely used in industrial applications for measuring temperature; however, with new, high-accuracy, non-invasive alternatives available, it is time to move on from thermowells and embrace more innovative measurement techniques.

Digital: Digital twin for refinery production optimization
Garcia, C. A., Repsol

Digitalization is fundamental to Repsol’s strategy for the future.

Industry Perspectives
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

As detailed in the Editorial Comment of the October issue of Hydrocarbon Processing, the nominees for the 2021 Top Projects Awards have been announced, with voting ongoing at

Business Trends: Battle of the biofuels: Renewable diesel vs. biodiesel
O'Brien, P., Opportune LLP

As new low-carbon diesel fuels and blends become more readily available, it is important to understand the differences between them and how each impacts engine performance.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Pilot Chemical promotes Mike Clark to CEO