April 2011

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Better control-loop management lowers energy costs

This petrochemical producer found improved output and became more energy efficient through new software

Lang, L., Montes, G., LyondellBasell; Mahlstadt, J. R., Equistar

A small team of LyondellBasell engineers at its plant in Channelview, Texas, helped this company save significant dollars in annual energy costs by addressing regulatory control-loop problems using a “control-loop monitoring” program. This program provided tools and methods for continuous process improvements. LyondellBasell Channelview facility. The LyondellBasell site in Channelview, Texas, produces a wide variety of petrochemical products (Fig. 1). This facility applies very energy-intensive processes. Separation of key components requires tall distillation towers with high reflux rates. To improve energy efficiency, LyondellBasell invested in advanced process control (APC) a

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