May 2008

Special Report: Maintenance/Reliability

Ultrasonic flowmeters improve delayed coker reliability

A US refiner significantly reduced flowmeter maintenance costs and improved safety by changing to ultrasonic flowmeters for coker furnace feed flow. A second refiner chose to install ultrasonic meters from the start.

Scelzo, M. J., Flow Measurement Solustions GE Sensing

The recent surge in building and upgrading refinery delayed coking units, particularly in the US, Canada, India and Eastern Europe, is the result of the need for refinery operators to maximize the amount of refined products they extract from crude oil. The reason for adding or upgrading delayed cokers is to convert heavy distillation bottom streams into lighter, profitable products and is driven by increased demands for cleaner fuels, the higher cost of crude oil and the need to operate refineries more efficiently. This article discusses the use of transit-time ultrasonic flowmeters to measure vacuum distillation recycle and coker furnace feed flows at two refineries. In these processes, v

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