September 2018

Columns

Editorial Comment: The reemergence of a collaborative platform

Readers have witnessed that throughout the life of the publication, Hydrocarbon Processing has always published information on new technologies to increase efficiency, safety and profitability in downstream processing operations, while introducing techniques to decrease environmental footprint and emissions and produce high-quality, clean fuels and petroleum products for consumers around the world.

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Readers have witnessed that throughout the life of the publication, Hydrocarbon Processing has always published information on new technologies to increase efficiency, safety and profitability in downstream processing operations, while introducing techniques to decrease environmental footprint and emissions and produce high-quality, clean fuels and petroleum products for consumers around the world.

These ideas emerge from our readers, who, in turn, are responsible for delivering the sought-after technical content that makes the downstream processing industry more efficient and safer. Without them, these technologies and techniques would not be broadcast to Hydrocarbon Processing’s global audience of engineers, business developers, company officials/managers, superintendents, supervisors and consultants.

The editors of Hydrocarbon Processing have been brainstorming different ways to better connect thought leaders and voices of the industry. After all, are we not in the business of constantly optimizing operations? Emerging trends have led to new sections of the publication—especially over the past several years—including Digital, Cybersecurity, Executive Viewpoints/Forecast, Supply Chain, Business Trends, Global Project Data, EWAnalysis, View/Alt-view and Roundtable, among others.

To better connect our audience to the Hydrocarbon Processing editors and authors of columns and technical content, the editors of Hydrocarbon Processing are resurrecting a simple platform to better engage dialogue in the industry—Letters to the Editor. Interestingly, this straightforward approach first appeared in the July 1953 issue of Refiner, the predecessor to Hydrocarbon Processing. The first iteration was presented under the name “The Mail Box,” and featured two entries. The first insert, written by a staff engineer of Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Co. (now Union Carbide, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical), thanked the more than 320 respondents that showed interest in the author’s technical work on thermal insulation requirements in industrial applications. The second insert was written by a safety and fire director for Pan American Refining Corp., which was sold/merged into two established entities: Standard Oil of Indiana (now merged with BP) and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now ExxonMobil). The director’s comments focused on a safety preparedness drill plan for one of the company’s stabilizer reboiler cracking units, which caught fire a month after the article was published. To quote the author, “Damage was slight, but calling the shot was somewhat disturbing.”

The Mail Box was published in issues of Refiner up until April 1981 (the publication took the name Hydrocarbon Processing in 1966). From 1981–2010, The Mail Box took the name of Letters to the Editor. After 2010, the section quietly disappeared from the publication—until now.

Hydrocarbon Processing is inviting our audience to become more engaged in the technical and market content within its pages. Should you be interested in interacting with authors, providing comments on technical content, offering ideas on additional sections/topics or applauding a specific article or column, please contact the editors at editorial@hydrocarbonprocessing.com. Your suggestions/comments will be reviewed and may appear in the publication.

This tried-and-true platform is one small step to better connect the publication’s audience with thought leaders in the industry. More collaboration can lead to better communication and, ultimately, an optimized approach to operations.

It is now up to you, the reader, to drive engagement in this platform. When ideas have a place to flourish, we can accomplish great things. HP

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