Current Issue: February 2018

Archive

Special Focus: Materials Manufacturing

Metallurgy solution to prevent polythionic acid stress corrosion cracking in hydroprocessing
Hoehn, R. K., Bradley, S. A., M. W. Mucek, Honeywell UOP; Anada, H., Osuki, T., Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp.

Hydrotreating is a staple process found in nearly every refinery. The process removes undesirable feed contaminants, such as sulfur, nitrogen and metals, and saturates olefins and/or aromatics to produce high-quality products.

Improve welding technology for heavy-wall pressure vessels in creep-resistant steel

The standard practice recommended for high-pressure vessels with heavy wall thickness requires the implementation of weld joint preparation with a narrow gap technique. This generally calls for a two-beads-per-layer sequence, along with the use of the submerged arc welding (SAW) process.

How the “LLF” condition monitoring technique can improve manufactured product profitability
Das, S., Bahrain Petroleum Co. (Bapco)

Technological advances have allowed predictive maintenance (i.e., condition-based maintenance) to overtake preventive maintenance in plant operations. “Look, listen and feel (LLF)” is a condition monitoring technique that improves the reliability of equipment and machinery in manifolds.

Maintenance and Reliability

Eliminate mechanical seal failure in a crude distillation unit
Telmesani, A. A., Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (YASREF) Ltd.

Multiple mechanical seal failures in a crude distillation unit (CDU) resulted in total losses of $3 MM in a refinery since its startup in January 2015. The maximum seal life achieved did not exceed 6 mos, which was much shorter than the American Petroleum Institute (API) 682 “Advancements in Mechanical Sealing” goal of 3 yr of seal life.

Consider pitot tube pumps for low-flow, high-head applications
Alshaye, A., Saudi Aramco

Low-flow, high-head pumping requirements in refining and petrochemical plants make up less than 2% of the total pump population. This minor percentage is creating significant reliability concerns, which result in low mean-time between failures (MTBF), as well as high maintenance costs.

Evaluate structural stiffness for piping stress analysis
Choudhury, M. G., Tripathi, R., Reliance Engineering Group (REG)

Hydrocarbon plants use a system of pipes of various sizes, pressures and temperatures. Sometimes these pipes have pulsating flows that result in piping system vibration. These piping systems must be designed for a high degree of reliability, which requires a comprehensive piping stress analysis for thermal, sustained, occasional and dynamic loading conditions.

Environment and Safety

Use your data to its full potential to prevent outages
Creef, B., HIMA Americas, Inc.

In a process plant, the safety system is responsible for the protection of personnel, resources and the environment, by taking the plant to a safe state in the event of a fault. However, is the system capable of contributing more to the plant’s uptime and profitability?

Safety in design during piping engineering
Kunte, V. A., Pareek, S., TATA Consulting Engineers Ltd.

A process engineer must complete the preliminary preparations of process flow diagrams, material and energy balances, piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs), process control philosophy, and identification of the hazardous nature of raw materials, chemicals, byproducts and final products.

Bonus Report: LNG Developments

The future of LNG—Part 2
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Over the past several years, new gas processing/LNG capacity has surged in nearly every region. Growth on both the supply and demand sides has resulted in the announcement of billions of dollars of capital investment around the world. Millions of tons of new LNG import and export capacity have begun operations, with hundreds of millions of tons still under development.

Optimize LNG production through contaminant mitigation—Part 2
Wines, T. H., Pall Corp.; Mokhatab, S., Consultant; Trifilieff, O., Pall France

The production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) requires a number of stages to effectively purify the feed gas. These stages are essential to maintain continuous operation and to meet product specifications. Liquid and solid contamination issues are common in many feed gas purification operations and can cause severe problems with equipment fouling, leading to additional expenses in maintenance and equipment repair, reduced production capacity and even unscheduled shutdowns.

Process Optimization

Dynamic simulation of integrated syngas, O2 and steam networks for a gasification complex—Part 1
Dadhich, V., Karvekar, N., Mathew, T., Reliance Technology Group, Reliance Industries Ltd.; Bhattad, G., Saxena, M., Kodolikar, P., Honeywell Automation India Ltd.

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) operates the world’s largest refinery complex, with a combined crude processing capacity of 1.24 MMbpd that is split between two refineries: a Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) refinery and a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) refinery in Jamnagar, India.

Use online analyzer technology to optimize CCR unit operations

First, we must consider the background: Why is optimization of refinery process units so common and so necessary, and what analytical tools exist to help?

Aggressive optimization programs are critical for the survival of marginal refiners
Micklem, D., KBC, a Yokogawa Company

The global refining industry is constantly evolving and responding to new crude supplies and sources, more stringent fuel/product specifications, perpetually changing demand patterns and other global and regional trends. Increased competition from large, efficient refineries is forcing small- to mid-sized refiners to rethink their strategies to remain competitive.

Columns

Editorial Comment: It’s all in the makeup of things
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

This issue of Hydrocarbon Processing features a topic that has been addressed in sections of the magazine for several decades, but has never been a focal point of the publication. That topic is materials manufacturing.

Reliability: Include pump wear rings in your upgrade efforts
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Most centrifugal pump designs include replaceable rotating wear rings on the impeller (impeller wear rings) and stationary wear rings inside the casing (case wear rings). Although pump wear rings are simple components, they can have profound impacts on pump reliability, efficiency and safety. These wear rings serve three purposes:

Engineering Practices: Develop a questioning attitude
Tharakan, J., Suncor Energy Inc.

A questioning attitude is a trait that all engineers should cultivate. Most scientific inventions have resulted from such an attitude, and the classic example is Sir Isaac Newton’s story of developing the law of gravity while seeking the answer to the simple question of why an apple had fallen from a tree.

Machinery: Making the business case for machinery upgrades
Perez, R. X., Consultant

Machinery professionals are constantly searching for ways to improve the reliability or capabilities of process machines. However, the level to which improvements can be economically justified is limited.

Petrochemicals: Asia to lead growth in the aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents and thinners market
Sakhrani, V., Markets and Markets

A variety of aliphatic hydrocarbon solvents and thinners are being consumed globally. Preferences for one solvent over another depend on various factors, such as solvency, evaporation rate, boiling point, viscosity and surface tension.

Viewpoint: Standards professionals are crucial to business and industry success
Morgan, K., ASTM International

Businesses throughout the oil and gas industry use technical standards—specifications, test methods and guides, among others—as part of the foundation for developing the best processes and products. For example, standards are deeply integrated into how petroleum is refined, tested, stored and transported.

Digital: Fulfilling the promise: The next phase of asset performance management
Hague, J., AspenTech

As asset performance management (APM) continues to evolve, the introduction of new methods and cutting-edge technologies are rapidly increasing its bottom-line value. Cloud computing, data science and machine learning are among the technologies that are now being integrated with automated methodologies directly into APM solutions. As a result, operators and engineers now have advanced analytical capabilities at their fingertips.

Industry Perspectives: HPI project announcements analysis shows decline over past 3 yr
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

According to Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database, more than 870 new projects have been announced since 2015.

Business Trends: The impact of industrial analytics on the chemical industry
Vesely, E., Presenso

The opportunities for industrial analytics within the chemical industry, and how advances in machine learning can impact revenue, operations, employee safety and capital investments, are analyzed here.

Industry Metrics
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Record low temperatures in the eastern US strengthened the diesel market but extended the downward trend in refining margins.

Global Project Data
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database is tracking more than 1,700 projects around the world.

People
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Amy Hebert has joined Haldor Topsoe A/S as Deputy CEO and Executive VP (EVP), Chemicals.