July 2017

Hydrocarbon Processing Awards

Hydrocarbon Processing Awards

The 2017 Hydrocarbon Processing Awards honored the leading technologies in the downstream hydrocarbon processing industries, as well as outstanding personal contributions to the industry.

The 2017 Hydrocarbon Processing Awards honored the leading technologies in the downstream hydrocarbon processing industries, as well as outstanding personal contributions to the industry. The inaugural event was held on the final night of Hydrocarbon Processing’s International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC Europe) in Vienna, Austria.

Honorees took home awards in nine categories, including: automation and modeling, catalyst technology, control and instrumentation, HSE, petrochemical, refining and gas processing technologies, lifetime achievement and most promising engineer. Hydrocarbon Processing would like to congratulate this year’s winners and finalists. Your commitment to revolutionizing the downstream industry with cutting-edge technologies and innovativeideas will continue to inspire your peers and the next generation of leaders.


This award is presented to the best use of modeling to improve speed, quality and reusability of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) supply chain.

Finalists: Dynamic Risk Analyzer, Near-Miss Management; InSite, KBR; Digital transformation of EPC project execution, Larsen and Toubro

Winner: gPROMS Olefins CrackingMonitor, Process Systems Enterprise Ltd.

The gPROMS Olefins CrackingMonitor is a virtual analyzer that uses advanced process modeling and mathematical techniques to provide accurate, real-time, inferred measurements of ethylene yield in steam cracking furnaces based on standard plant measurements. This technology provides accurate yield data in real time, enabling more effective control of furnace operations, as well as real-time, online margin optimization on a furnace-by-furnace basis, resulting in an estimated $1 MM/mos increase in production value. Better yield and coking information can be used to perform advanced end-of-run projections to support improved decoking scheduling, leading to higher furnace utilization rates. Ultimately, the information generated can be used in conjunction with dynamic optimization techniques to improve the operation of the entire furnace section over various run lengths, which assists in determining the optimal decoking schedule.


This award recognizes the best implementation and innovative use of catalyst technology for an improved product.

Finalists: EnviCat N2O, Clariant International Ltd.; ODH-Et, Mexican Petroleum Institute;
Molecular Highway Technology, Rive Technology

Winner: BoroCat FCC Catalyst, BASF

BASF’s BoroCat is the first FCC catalyst based on BASF’s new Boron-Based Technology (BBT) platform, designed to optimize refiners’ production yields. The key feature of BBT is the mobility of boron under FCC conditions and the selective hunting for the un-passivated nickel (Ni). Therefore, catalysts from the BBT platform can achieve a much higher degree of Ni passivation than conventional alumina-based trapping technology. BoroCat is tailored to meet the refiner’s unique metals passivation needs using a novel passivation technology. The technology’s benefits include: increased unit production rates by reducing the hydrogen and coke generation by 25%, improved liquid yields of valuable fuel products at higher production rates, and no adverse impact in terms of NOx emissions. Overall, BoroCat is said to improve a customer’s economics by more than $0.35/bbl of unit feed.


This award recognizes the best demonstration of advanced control systems and/or smart instrumentation.

Finalists: Micropilot NMR81, Endress+Hauser; Model-less Process Control Technology, CITGO Petroleum Corp.
and APC Performance LLC.; Adaptive and Advanced Process Controls process, ExxonMobil

Winner: Predict-RT, Honeywell Process Solutions

Predict-RT is a novel, intelligent data analytics framework that is transforming the refining industry from a traditional, reactive style of management into a proactive style of management through online, real-time corrosion prediction and monitoring technology. Predict-RT provides refinery engineers and plant managers with intelligent data insights about corrosion damage since the last inspection or replacement, stemming from predictions based on present operating conditions. The technology allows engineers to see the impact of process transients on corrosion rates and long-term unit functionality/integrity, identify risks, improve inspections, extend asset life and provide detailed data to make process decisions to minimize the impacts of corrosion.


This award recognizes the best demonstrated health, safety and environment (HSE) record during a refining
or petrochemical project commissioning, startup or initial operation.

Finalists: akvoFloat, akvola Technologies; CNotes, CSoft Technologies

Winner: Super Sour Technology, Indian Oil Corp.

The technology solves the problem of the release of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from the feed stabilization tanks of sour water stripper units, especially when the feed has a high concentration of H2S in the water. The Super Sour Technology process is a safe, simple and efficient solution to arrest the loss of H2S and recover H2S from the feed stabilization tank. The recovered gas is sent to the sulfur recovery unit to be converted into elemental sulfur. The process helps meet stringent environmental regulations on sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, along with mitigating the release of incinerated H2S into the atmosphere.


This award is given to the best executed petrochemical process globally, with nominees comprising the technology team for that project.

Finalists: Fluidized Catalytic Dehydrogenation (FCDh) technology, The Dow Chemical Co.; Maximizing Catalytic Propylene (MCP) technology, SINOPEC Research Institute of Petroleum Processing (RIPP)

Winner: BP Paraxylene (pX) technology, BP Amoco Chemical Co.

BP’s pX technology consists of three main sections: isomerization, fractionation and crystallization. The low-energy usage process helps produce pX in an environmentally friendly manner. It uses crystallization to make pX, which is based on differences in freezing points rather than boiling points. The process utilizes a novel fractionation section consisting of a much smaller, single distillation column. The xylene recovery column features a vapor side draw that can be used for steam generation or as a boiling source. Another fractionation section features reduced column traffic, which decreases the overall column size, flare load, capital cost and energy consumption.


This award is given to the best executed refining process globally, with nominees comprising the technology team for that project.

Finalists: CrudePLUS, GE Water and Process Technologies; KBR Solid Acid Alkylation Technology (K-SAAT), KBR; Innovative hydroprocessing upgrade, Indian Oil Corp.; Selective Yield Delayed Coking technology, Amec Foster Wheeler

Winner: Ecofining technology, Eni SpA

The two-stage process, developed by Eni and Honeywell UOP, converts biofeedstocks—such as vegetable oils, animal fats and used cooking oils—into green diesel. Both stages are carried out under hydrogen pressure–hydrodeoxygenation and hydroisomerization. The Ecofining process maximizes the yield in green diesel with lower outputs of green naphtha and LPG. The produced green diesel is chemically identical to diesel made from petroleum, but emits up to 85% less greenhouse gas emissions vs. diesel from petroleum. The green diesel can be used in diesel engines without needing to be blended with other fuels.


This award is given to the best executed gas processing process globally, with nominees comprising the technology team
for that project.

Finalists: Next generation NGL/LPG recovery processes, Ortloff Engineers Ltd.; ZR-iLNG, Osomo iLNG;
Innovative triple-function valve design, Saudi Aramco

Winner: NGL-MAX, CB&I

NGL-MAX is a multi-reflux process designed to operate in high ethane recovery, deep ethane rejection or in between to offer superior flexibility and/or variability due to market conditions and inlet gas compositions, including streams with elevated levels of CO2. The NGL-MAX process can recover 99% of C2 and essentially 100% of C3+ when operating in the ethane recovery mode. In deep rejection mode, the process can limit the C2 recovery to less than 1%, while maintaining C3+ recoveries in excess of 98%.


This award honors an individual who has made considerable contributionsto the downstream oil and gas industry for an extended period of time.

Finalists: Gary Pipenger, Amalgamated Inc.; Mike Williams, KBC Advanced Technologies; Tracy Snow, TLV Corp.; Trinath Sahoo, Indian Oil Corp.

Winner: Les Antalffy, Fluor

With nearly 50 yr of mechanical engineering experience on domestic and international projects, Mr. Antalffy has shaped the industry with his inventions and published works. He is an Executive Director of Process Technology and Engineering, and a Fluor senior fellow.

He serves as Fluor’s subject matter expert on American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) codes and standards, reactor design and fabrication, hydrocracker and hydrotreater reactor mechanical design, delayed coking units, coke drum fabrication and replacement, FCC units, pressure equipment and pressure vessel design, fabrication and revamps.

He has worked on nearly 110 different projects around the world and holds 12 patents, with one pending. He has also conducted numerous technical presentations and has authored 110 technical publications—the first being published in Hydrocarbon Processing in 1986. He has served on numerous American Petroleum Institute (API) committees and five ASME committees related to materials, high-pressure vessels and post-construction standards.

Mr. Antalffy is a registered professional engineer in Texas, a chartered engineer in Australia and a Life Fellow
of the ASME.


This award honors an engineer who has been making significant impacts and contributions since starting their career, whether on a specific project or by demonstrating overall innovative thinking.

Finalists: B. Ravi Kumar, Indian Oil Corp.; Babak Firoozi, Fluor; Vanamamalai Bharathy, Kuwait National Petroleum Co. (KNPC)

Winner: Oleg Giiazov, RRT Global Inc.

Mr. Giiazov gained experience in engineering large international facilities at 20 yr old. After helping commission the largest petrochemical complex in China in 2010, he saw a global potential for a technological breakthrough in petrochemicals by applying the principle of catalytic distillation to reduce capital and energy costs.

At 22 yr of age, he left a large engineering company and founded RRT Global Inc. to develop a new isomerization technology in the catalytic distillation column. Within 6 yr, the main stages of scaling technology were passed: laboratory unit, pilot unit and a pilot plant. In 2015, construction began on the world’s first commercial isomerization unit for n-paraffins C5–C6 in Tolyatti, Russia. Since 2015, this technology has been licensed by KBR under the brand MAX-ISOM.

At present, Mr. Giiazov (now age 28) manages a large independent research and development center in the field of catalytic distillation. With his direction, a number of new and promising developments in the fields of isomerization, dehydrogenation, hydrotreatment and selective hydrogenation will be commercialized over the next 5 yr–8 yr. HP

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