November 2020

Columns

Editorial Comment: Optimizing operations by advancing process controls, instrumentation and automation technologies

When driving by or visiting a refinery or petrochemical plant, one cannot help but gaze at the expansive sea of metal towers.

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

When driving by or visiting a refinery or petrochemical plant, one cannot help but gaze at the expansive sea of metal towers. Within these columns are some of the harshest environments on the planet. High temperatures and pressures mix with liquids and gases to convert a seemingly worthless, black, oily substance or natural gas into fuels and petrochemicals used by billions every day. These towers and, more importantly, the people that make these intricate refining systems operate, provide a higher standard of living for people around the world. However, the item that must be stressed is the word “system.” A refinery and/or petrochemical complex cannot operate as a standalone complex. A ple

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