September 2008

Special Report: Refining Developments

Optimize fuels blending with advanced online analyzers

Here are the advantages and disadvantages from this technology

Barsamian, A., Refinery Automation Institute, LLC

Forty-one refineries responded to a survey that was done to determine the use of near infrared (NIR) online blending analyzers. The purpose in using an NIR analyzer is that it replaces six to eight conventional analyzers with lower capital investment and maintenance costs along with higher reliability and quick response. The survey results show the parameters measured, modeling requirements and response times and can help in the decision to use an NIR analyzer. About 500 NIR analyzers are used in refining, as of July 2007, and only 215 are used in gasoline and diesel blending (Table 1). The low percentage indicates that many NIR owners are not entirely satisfied with the performance. The

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