CHICAGO -- Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have invented a new foam, called Oleo Sponge, that can be used to clean up oil and diesel spills in water. The material not only quickly adsorbs oil from water, but also is reusable and can pull dispersed oil from the entire water column—not just the surface.
According to the Roman philosopher Seneca, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” The reverse also is true, particularly in the context of safety in the process industry.
The drop in crude oil prices since 2014 has impacted both upstream producers and downstream players. Upstream producers—those responsible for exploration, drilling and production—were the first to feel the effects. While refining margins benefitted from the drop in crude oil pricing, they began to suffer when record surpluses of gasoline and diesel flooded the market a year later.
One of the major challenges in the oil and gas processing industry is to strike a balance among handling the changing qualities of petroleum products and byproducts, increasing the productivity and service life of critical components and reducing environmental hazards. As an example, new refineries are moving to applying conversion methods, such as hydrocracking, to increase yields, while also utilizing conventional distillation. This juxtaposition translates into a higher Nelson Index rating. Greater refinery complexity makes processing low-quality crude oil difficult, if not impossible, thereby precluding bottom-of-the-barrel products.
When you are involved with a major failure and find yourself staring at pieces of debris scattered all over the area, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.
Preventing corrosion begins with the choice of materials and methods used to fabricate the equipment, piping, valves and instruments that will be exposed to varying process conditions and weather. At present, designers and fabricators can select from a multitude of modern materials and methods. Once in service, effective asset integrity programs will use smart condition monitoring and, where needed, a treatment regime to sustain the useful working life of all components. In the Special Focus section of this issue, we provide several articles that illustrate good practices in vessel fabrication, corrosivity analysis and corrosion prevention treatment.
At a recent conference attended by failure investigation professionals in San Antonio, Texas, a participant spoke about an explosion and fire event on a multistage horizontally opposed compressor in oxygen (O2) service. He had scant data, but he knew the machine did not have cylinder lubrication.
Process safety cannot be ensured solely by design, as it relies on the effective operability of safety and control components. Effective operability is influenced by factors that include the condition of components and operational practices.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Mexico's second-biggest oil refinery was hit by a power outage that halted production, state oil company Pemex said on Saturday.