December 2022

Trends and Resources


N’GENIUS Materials Technology has developed a new series of high-strength austenitic stainless steels that the company says will transform how materials are specified and utilized across the oil and gas sector.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

New series of high-strength austenitic stainless steels

N’GENIUS Materials Technology has developed a new series of high-strength austenitic stainless steels that the company says will transform how materials are specified and utilized across the oil and gas sector.

The N’GENIUS Series™ has been specifically developed to out-perform, supersede and supplement the majority of existing grades in the 300 Series, the corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) line pipe grades now available for selection in the API Specification 5LC and the DNV-ST-F101 standard, plus the CRA Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) in the API Specification 5CT for Casing and Tubing.

The company states that the range of alloy types, variants and grades in the N’GENIUS Series have strength properties equivalent to duplex and super-duplex stainless steels, and ductility and toughness levels normally associated with conventional austenitic stainless steels, but with superior corrosion resistance to suit all major oil and gas projects.

Key engineering design characteristics will allow a range of product forms and ancillary equipment to be designed, specified, manufactured and supplied with the objective of reducing wall thicknesses and overall size, using less material and producing lighter products. This makes products easier to manage and transport to site, leading to weight savings, an overall reduction in construction and project costs and—perhaps most importantly—contributing to lower carbon emissions.

The company states that the N’GENIUS Series fulfils the need for CRA pipeline material that satisfies all requirements of design engineers, process engineers, corrosion specialists and project engineers for major CRA pipeline projects in a wide range of service conditions, including high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) developments and process media environments containing various levels of chlorides, CO2, H2S and other constituents. The N’GENIUS Series also ensures resistance to hydrogen embrittlement and, in particular, stress corrosion cracking (SCC) in aggressive media environments.

Rupture disk improves process performance and efficiency

FIG. 1. OsecoElfab’s LoKr reverse rupture disk for chemical process and petrochemical plants.

OsecoElfab has launched its LoKr reverse rupture disk (FIG. 1) for chemical process and petrochemical plants. The new disk design delivers a best-in-class flow resistance factor, or KR, to maximize pressure relieving performance while delivering superior reliability and service life.

The disk’s architecture has been refined and optimized to improve performance in three key areas: keeping pressure drops in relief lines to an absolute minimum; providing maximum reliability and accuracy; and being suitable for the widest range of pressures, temperatures and line sizes possible.

The reverse-buckling disk combines a dimple on the disk with a knuckle on the holder to offer full-bore opening with exceptionally accurate burst ratings. This enables a higher flowrate on burst than previously possible, demonstrated by the disk’s low KR value of 0.22. This makes it easier to keep pressure drops across the relief line below 3%, when the LoKr is used in relief valve isolation. Process plants can continue to use smaller piping diameters with no loss of performance or efficiency, even at low flowrates. Designed to ASME XIII standards and certified with a UD stamp at a best-in-class KR value of 0.22, the LoKr is now available.

New line of differential pressure gauges

Marsh Instruments has introduced a new line of differential pressure gauges (FIG. 2). These devices measure the difference between two inlet pressures in a system using just one instrument, and can help extend equipment life and prevent malfunction. These are the first differential pressure gauges backed by Marsh Instruments’ century-and-a-half reputation as the standard of accuracy.

FIG. 2. Marsh Instruments’ new line of differential pressure gauges.

Diaphragm-type and piston-type differential pressure gauges are in stock and available to ship now through authorized distributors. Other configurations will be rolled out soon, and can also be manufactured to specific customer demand.

Options include aluminum or 316SS wetted parts; multiple dial sizes of 2.5 in., 4 in., 4.5 in. and 6 in.; static pressures up to 6,000 psi; inline, bottom or back connections/ports; and direct, front flange, 2-in. pipe and surface mounting. Maximum/minimum pointer and integrated pressure switches are also available.

Differential pressure gauges from Marsh Instruments can detect clogs, flow abnormalities and help determine proper system functioning in diverse applications such as oil and gas, irrigation, HVAC and filtration, as well as measure liquid levels in cryogenic tanks. Large-dial versions are available for use on backflow prevention and test applications in municipal water systems.

Catalyst shaping technology

BASF has introduced its novel X3D™ technology, a new additive manufacturing technology for catalysts based on 3D printing. Catalysts produced with this technology feature an open structure, resulting in a reduction of pressure drop across the reactor and a high surface area, significantly improving the catalysts’ performance. BASF has capabilities to supply commercial quantities.

The technology offers a greater freedom of catalyst design compared to conventional production technologies. It brings catalysts’ performance to the next level and helps to customize catalysts to customers’ specific conditions and needs by designing infill pattern, fiber diameter and orientation. Customers can benefit from an increased reactor output, higher product quality and lower energy consumption. The novel catalysts are mechanically robust and proven in commercial plant operation externally and for several years in BASF.

BASF can apply the technology to a wide variety of existing catalytic materials, including base or precious metal catalysts, as well as carrier materials. BASF’s sulfuric acid catalysts O4-111 X3D and O4-115 X3D are the first catalysts produced with the new technology and are used in industrial plants.

Rotary lobe pump produces high flow in a compact package

NETZSCH Pumps North America LLC, an expert in solutions designed specifically for difficult pumping applications, has released its new TORNADO® T1 pump (FIG. 3), designed to produce high flow at low-to-medium pressures in a small compact package. It is ideal for applications in biogas and biomass plants. The TORNADO T1 pump can handle a wide range of viscosities, solids, temperatures, abrasions, and corrosive/acidic process fluids and environments.

FIG. 3. NETZSCH Pumps North America LLC has released its new TORNADO® T1 pump.

The TORNADO T1 pump is versatile for just about any orientation and installation. Its robust design offers longevity, operational flexibility and dry-run capabilities, allowing the pump to operate and handle many upset process conditions without causing harm to the pump. The pumps are available up to > 4,000 gpm and up to 130 psi.

The NETZSCH TORNADO T1 is a Full Service-in-Place (FSIP®) pump. The front pullout design allows for easy access for maintenance and inspection. Opening the front cover allows access to the wear plates, lobes and seals, making this pump easy to service. Additionally, there is no need to access the timing gears or bearing as they are protected with the NETZSCH Gearbox Security System (GSS). The GSS is an air gap that exists between the mechanical seal and the lip seal of the timing gearbox that establishes a physical separation between them and protects the gearbox from the process side of the pump (wet-end). Should the mechanical seal leak, no product can get into the pump’s gearbox to contaminate the timing gear oil. The air gap allows for the process fluid to drip away from the shaft and timing gearbox to prevent damage; the process fluid physically cannot pass through the air gap and migrate past the gearbox lip seal. This air gap fully prevents the intermingling of the two fluids, resulting in improved long-term operation and lowering total cost of ownership. Repairing bearings, lip seals and timing gears are greatly diminished with the TORNADO T1 rotary lobe pumps.

New upgrades include improved flange sealing, a one-piece housing design, additional seal configurations (single, double, flush, quench, etc.), a superior wear plate, and newer materials and coatings that extend operation life.

I/O interface software helps future-proof operations, reduce modernization costs

Emerson has released DeltaV™ IO.CONNECT, a new subscription software service designed to help plants simplify modernization with an open architecture pathway to more efficient control schemes without the need to completely overhaul existing infrastructure (FIG. 4). In a traditional plant with tens of thousands of I/O points and many controllers, this can save hundreds or thousands of hours of labor and up to 40% of the capital required for a total rip-and-replace upgrade.

FIG. 4. Emerson’s DeltaV™ IO.CONNECT subscription software service.

Many plants still using control systems from 20 yr–30 yr ago are unable to reap the benefits of modern, digital technologies that optimize operations and improve sustainability. Modernizing those systems is complicated by the extensive time, labor and capital expense required to convert the old wiring, terminations and other infrastructure they are built upon, leaving plants “locked in” to legacy control technologies.

DeltaV IO.CONNECT provides a faster, easier and more cost-effective path to replacing any legacy system with a new DeltaV distributed control system while leaving existing I/O infrastructure in place. The solution is provisioned as a subscription software component of Emerson’s Guardian™ Support offering, helping plants drive strategic goals and meet business needs with future-proof operation. No legacy vendor software is required for the configuration and maintenance of I/O.

By preserving existing I/O and leaving wiring intact, plants can reduce new system transition time by > 90%, keeping production on pace, reducing risks and minimizing downtime. Once the interface is installed and the plant is running new control technologies, technicians can update I/O on their preferred schedule while the plant runs, shifting what used to be a capital expenditure to the operations budget and driving immediate return on investment through improved process control performance.

Observability platform to help increase uptime

ControlRooms has launched its first AI-powered observability platform for chemical and energy producers, and has announced its selection and deployment by OCI N.V., a leading global producer and distributor of hydrogen-based products. OCI is utilizing ControlRooms in its U.S. methanol and ammonia plants to provide end-to-end observability of production. The ControlRooms platform enhances safety and efficiency, resulting in reduced downtime, costs and emissions.

With ControlRooms, operators and engineers can improve troubleshooting and achieve true observability of their operational data. ControlRooms uses advanced AI to shine a light on the trends that matter and identify anomalies across plant systems. Unlike other AI solutions, ControlRooms is quick to set up, designed for operators, and is able to deliver value in minutes, not months.

ControlRooms is now available to use for free, and users can indefinitely upload unlimited data batches to be processed within ControlRooms for free, as well. Companies can also sign up for ControlRooms’ Pro and Enterprise tiers where data from plants is streamed and monitored in real time to give plant operators and engineers an active view of trends and anomalies within their systems.

Military-approved portable oil analysis lab for sale

AMETEK Spectro Scientific, one of the world’s largest suppliers of oil and fuel analysis instrumentation and software, has released a unique portable oil analysis laboratory that has delivered proven operational benefits for the U.S. military.

Rugged, compact and lightweight, the FieldLab series offers a comprehensive and detailed oil and particulate analysis that enables quick and effective maintenance decisions to be made. A highly reliable asset for customers operating mobile fleets, FieldLab dramatically shortens analysis turnaround times by providing rapid, accurate results within minutes. This immediately solves challenges where access to remote laboratories is expensive and results can take weeks to be returned, a problem that greatly reduces effectiveness.

Extensively trialed in the field by the U.S. military, FieldLab “M” series success resulted in multi-year supply contracts with the U.S. Marine Corps for $8.7 MM, followed by a $39.9 MM contract to supply FieldLab 58MA to the U.S. Air Force. FieldLab’s reliable and consistent performance for the U.S. military enables Spectro Scientific to release the FieldLab “C” series for use in commercial applications.

FieldLab offers a swift and inexpensive method to gauge potential machine wear by determining the condition of the oil and the presence of metallic wear particles. By measuring oil condition via molecular and viscosity analysis, FieldLab enables customers to extend the service life of lubricants used in their applications, optimize labor resources, and minimize disposal costs and environmental impact.

Samples can be collected from machines such as gas-powered turbines, generators, diesel engines, gearboxes, pumps and hydraulic systems, and immediately tested onsite. The results are available within minutes, allowing potential customers to make near immediate time- and cost-saving decisions.

User-friendly with minimal set-up time and no routine calibration required, FieldLab produces easy-to-understand results and diagnostics within minutes in eight different languages. Comprehensive analysis is provided via an X-ray fluorescent system, infrared grating spectrometer and kinematic viscometer. The unique mobile system is battery-operated for instant oil analysis using the touch-panel controller. FieldLab integrates with Spectro Scientific’s TruVu 360 expert system and data management software.

Building on a successful track record of use by the U.S. military, the FieldLab is now available for commercial sale to customers across a range of industries, including power generation, commercial aviation, mobile service teams, heavy equipment, marine vessels, race teams, and upstream oil and gas production. HP 

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