Environment & Safety Gas Processing/LNG Maintenance & Reliability Petrochemicals Process Control Process Optimization Project Management Refining

July 2021


Special Focus: Plant Design, Engineering and Construction

Why EPC firms are accelerating digitalization
AspenTech: Donnelly, P.

Even before the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms were already under considerable stress.

Execution features of modularization projects
CTCI Corp.: Chuang, R.  |  Fan, A.

Due to growing global environmental awareness in recent decades, the petrochemical industries have been seeking more cost-effective construction solutions.

Oil refinery/petrochemical integration in a CO2-constrained world—Part 1
Fluor: Baars, F.  |  Oruganti, S.  |  Kalia, P.

Petrochemical demand will increase with gross domestic product, while motor fuel demand will only show modest growth and may even decline in certain regions, given environmental/legislative pressure and the introduction of battery-powered electric vehicles.

Evaluation of high-strength steel SA-517-Gr-F for large pressure vessels
BASF Chemicals India Pvt. Ltd.: Chaudhari, A.  |  Kulkarni, M.

Conventionally, carbon steel material has been widely used around the globe for the fabrication of static equipment—such as tall towers, vessels, heat exchangers, etc.—for less-corrosive service.

Fix nozzle elevations and orientations for distillation columns
Consultant: Dixit, P.

An engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor receives a front-end engineering design (FEED) package or basic design and engineering package as an input document from the owner.

Process Optimization

Analyze pressure loss during FCC standpipe catalyst transfer
PetroChina Karamay Petrochemical Co.: Wei, P.  |  Hongwei, Q.
China University of Petroleum: Yansheng, L.

The fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) is the primary conversion equipment for modern refineries to obtain clean transportation fuels, along with high-grade petrochemical feedstock.

Advances in light ends processing units using DWCs
Sulzer GTC Technology: Martin, G. R.

For those who have been in the refining industry for many years, it is obvious that significant changes are occurring.

Reverse refining: A novel approach to the refining process
Heatoil Solutions LLC: Echenagucia, J. E.

The crude oil refining processing sequence is based on the separation of distillate products from heavier ones and concentrating the heavy molecules of the barrel for processing at the end of the refining run.

Bonus Report: The Digital Plan

If you want AI to overcome limitations, give it more scalability
AspenTech: Brooks, M.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has caused a significant buzz not only within the hydrocarbon processing industry but also in everyday activities.

Integral vs. proportional gap for averaging level control
The University of Pretoria: Gous, G.  |  De Vaal, P.

In process plants, many instances of level control are required to keep the material balance of the plant from integrating to undesired operating conditions.

Optimize product blending using Excel spreadsheets and Lingo software—Part 2
A.K.C. Technology: Coker, A. K.
Texas A&M University: Alsuhaibani, A.

Linear programming (LP) for blending. LP is an optimization model that can be used to good advantage despite the highly nonlinear characteristics of the fluid flow-cash flow model.


Debottleneck analysis on a coker debutanizer via simulation models

Production requirements for more valuable refined products and/or increased refining flexibility are increasing due to new regulations.

Valves, Pumps and Turbomachinery

Extending proof test intervals by improving SIS final element reliability
Emerson: Hoyme, M.  |  Miller, J.

Large chemical and refinery units often run up to 5 yr between plant outages, and many would extend that time even longer to maximize production.

Maintenance and Reliability

Is coating required on stainless-steel components?
ITT Corp.: Kadikar, R.

Stainless steel is a generic term used for a large group of corrosion-resistant alloys containing at least 10.5% chromium (Cr), and possibly containing other alloying elements like nickel (Ni), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn) and nitrogen (N).


Editorial Comment: IRPC Process: A sincere thanks to all
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Last month, <i>Hydrocarbon Processing</i> hosted the International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC).

Reliability: Thinking outside of the box
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Bloch, Heinz P.

In late 1989, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District asked the author to present a three-day equipment maintenance course at one of its large effluent treatment facilities.

Project Optimization: Improve propylene recovery at FCC and DCU gas plants with mobile industrial refrigeration
Aggreko Process Services EMEA: Capra, M.

Polypropylene demand remained strong through the 2020 pandemic crisis and is booming in the Asia region, driven by strong Chinese import growth.

Engineering Case Histories: Case 113: The benefits of an engineering education and advanced degrees
Consulting Engineer: Sofronas, A.

It has been a long time since I graduated with my engineering degrees, but I feel qualified to discuss them after many years in industry.

Industry Perspectives
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Last month, <i>Hydrocarbon Processing</i> presented its mid-year market update to a global audience.

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Gulf Energy Information’s Global Energy Infrastructure database is tracking nearly 1,100 active downstream projects around the world, representing more than $1.8 T in capital expenditures. This month’s Construction section highlights some of the major projects and contracts that have been announced over the past two months. These projects will be instrumental in satisfying regional demand for finished hydrocarbon products.

Industry Metrics

U.S. Gulf Coast margins increased, supported by unplanned refinery outages that limited a stronger recovery in run rates and kept product outputs relatively supressed.

Global Project Data
Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Nichols, Lee

Gulf Energy Information’s Global Energy Infrastructure database is tracking nearly 1,100 projects around the world.


What are the latest advancements in HPI technologies? This month’s Innovations section details the tools and technologies that are optimizing plant operations.

Hydrocarbon Processing Staff: Rhodes, Mike

Orbital Energy Group Inc. appoints Jerry Sue Thornton and La Forrest Williams to board of directors