April 2022


Special Focus: Maintenance and Reliability

Investigation and diagnosis of startup foaming issues at a new tail gas treater

In May 2021, Phillips 66 started up a new methyl diethanolamine (MDEA)-based tail gas unit at its Belle Chasse, Louisiana, refinery.

A new era of turbomachinery reverse engineering
Alzahrani, A, Saudi Aramco

Engineering is all about solving problems with efficient solutions by designing and building various technologies and techniques.

Use straightforward troubleshooting and failure analysis to benefit the HPI
Paradies, M., System Improvements, Inc.; Bloch, H. P., Process Machinery Consulting

To operate reliably and profitably, oil refineries, petrochemical plants and gas processing facilities must avoid equipment failures.

Mechanical impact of rerating process equipment
Rupesh, S., Independent Consultant

Process equipment operating in a brownfield environment is often rerated pertaining to the changes in process parameters during debottlenecking.

Heat Transfer

Uncommon lessons: Shell-and-tube heat exchangers—Part 1
Daru, K., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; Panchal, A., Independent Consultant; Gala, P., Reliance Industries Ltd.

Shell-and-tube heat exchangers (STHEs) are the most common heat transfer process equipment in all types of industrial plants.

Air-cooled heat exchanger operation under emergency cooling service
Pramanik, R., Contributing Editor

One of the challenges in the operation of air cooled heat exchangers (ACHEs) is to decide whether or not to operate under natural convection.

Preferential baffle reboiler—Part 1
Sharma, A., Process Engineer

Distillation towers consume ~30% of the energy in a refinery or petrochemical facility.

100th Anniversary

History of the HPI: The 1950s: Capacity expansion, HDPE/PP, polycarbonate, computers and rocket science
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The 1950s marked an evolution in the use of oil by nations around the world.

Industry Pioneers: Cracking technology, catalysts, polymers and zeolites
Sharma, Sumedha, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Donald Campbell, Eger Murphree, Homer Martin and Charles Tyson—often called the ‘Four Horsemen’—are credited with the landmark invention of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC).

HP Flashback: Excerpts from the 1950s: Capacity expands after WW2 and technologies and maintenance mature
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The following is a mixture of technical articles, columns and headlines published in the 1950s by Petroleum Refiner, the forerunner to Hydrocarbon Processing.


The EPC executive’s challenge and opportunity: Navigating the sustainability shift in capital projects
Beck, R., Aspen Technology Inc.

According to an industry report published by McKinsey and Co., accelerating the decarbonization of the U.S. economy to achieve net-zero targets by 2050 will require approximately $275 T of cumulative capital spending over the next 30 yr.1

Green Petrochemicals

Plastics circularity: How to solve the challenge of retaining quality in recycled polymers

Businesses and governments around the world have united behind the vision of a circular economy for plastics.

Environment and Safety

Raising the alarm: Understanding the operator’s perspective on refinery process alarms

As refineries and petrochemical complexes worldwide are moving toward more automated operations, plant operators are increasingly becoming dependent on process alarms for safe, smooth and continuous operation.

Digital Technology

High risk, high stakes: Why digitalization is critical for hydrocarbon processing
Reynolds, S., AVEVA

Hydrocarbon processing, by nature, is a high-risk operation.

Blockchain and the downstream segment: Increasing efficiency through technology
Laturkar, K., Facility for Rare Isotope Beams; Laturkar, K., Validation Associates LLC

Oil and gas companies are finding creative ways to look for solutions to new problems in the face of climate change and growing environmental awareness.

Process Controls, Instrumentation and Automation

Expect the unexpected: Estimation of uncertainty in custody measurement

Uncertainty in input parameters does not have an identical effect on uncertainty in the output.

Accelerating and expanding process control benefits
Cox, J., Seeq

Advanced industrial data analytics has a prominent role to play in process control and automation.


Editorial Comment: Advancing maintenance ultimately leads to increased reliability
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

This year, Hydrocarbon Processing is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Throughout this year, the editors are publishing excerpts from past issues.

Reliability: Valuable trends combine innovation and time management
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

These days, regrettably, it is not unusual to encounter shallow thinkers.

Industry Perspectives: 1Q project announcements this year down vs. 1Q 2021
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

New capital project announcements are down 27% in 1Q 2022 vs. 1Q 2021.

Business Trends: The economics of reliability: Global chemicals
Krimmel, J., Pinnacle

Chemical manufacturers worldwide are navigating an inflection point. Following the pandemic-fueled demand crash of 2020, a strong but stilted recovery unfolded in 2021.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

H2scan, a leading provider of proven, proprietary H2 sensors and technologies for the H2 economy, has begun shipping prototypes of its new HY-OPTIMA™ 5000 Series designed for process industries (FIG. 1).

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Anne Chassagnette appointed Johnson Matthey's first Chief Sustainability Officer