July 2022

Trends & Resources


The Thermo Scientific Delta Q isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) is a next-generation gas IRMS designed to enable detailed analysis with greater precision and accuracy.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Net-zero mass spectrometer

The Thermo Scientific Delta Q isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) is a next-generation gas IRMS designed to enable detailed analysis with greater precision and accuracy. In addition to its improved specifications, including an upgrade in software to Qtegra ISDS to dramatically improve ease-of-use and laboratory productivity, the system’s carbon footprint will be neutralized, allowing scientists to conduct their work while minimizing their environmental impact. The Delta Q IRMS (FIG. 1) is the first product to be released as part of the IsoFootprint campaign, an initiative to permanently remove carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with the manufacture and supply chain of all new inorganic IRMS products.

FIG. 1. The Thermo Scientific Delta Q Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer (IRMS).

The Inorganic MS (IOMS) team at Thermo Fisher has committed to removing all embodied carbon in its new instrumentation, using technologies like direct air capture and bio-oil sequestration that lock away carbon from the atmosphere permanently. The company states that by 2026, its IOMS instruments will become carbon neutral, removing ~4,500 tCO2e from the atmosphere each year.

FCC additive for emissions and regenerator afterburn control

BASF has launched Enable™, its next-generation carbon monoxide (CO) promoter additive. Enable significantly enhances activity and delivers superior performance for refiners with more efficient use of precious metal, optimizing durability via support surface morphology modification. The combination of differentiating design features offers customers significant performance improvement in controlling regenerator afterburn. Enable is the latest addition to BASF’s advanced refinery additives portfolio, supporting customers by enabling environmental compliance with a cost-effective solution.

Extracting RSH, H2S, CO2 and COS from liquid and gas streams

Merichem Company’s THIOLEX™ technology removes mercaptan compounds (RSH), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbonyl sulfide (COS) and elemental sulfur from liquid and gas hydrocarbon streams. THIOLEX units (FIG. 2) use proprietary, non-dispersive FIBER FILM® Contactors (FFC) as a mass transfer device, with caustic and/or amine as the treating reagent in liquid and gas hydrocarbon streams. The technology removes H2S, RSH and CO2 and some elemental sulfur using caustic alone; with other additives, it can remove COS.

FIG. 2. Merichem’s THIOLEX™ removes light hydrocarbons with caustic regeneration for ultra-low sulfur product.

Typical treatment to remove H2S and RSH uses 14 wt%–20 wt% sodium hydroxide (caustic). For COS removal, the system uses monoethanolamine (MEA)/caustic, which is effective at hydrolyzing COS to meet clients’ specifications.

The FFC is a vertical pipe or vessel packed with proprietary fiber that achieves non-dispersive-phase contact without the problems inherent in conventional dispersive mixing devices, such as aqueous phase carryover, hydrocarbon losses, lack of turndown ability, long settling times, plugging and flooding. Because the aqueous phase adheres to the fibers rather than being dispersed into the hydrocarbon phase, carryover and uncontrollable emulsions are virtually eliminated.

This technology can be fully automated and typically requires minimal operator support. It operates efficiently over a wide range of throughputs and operating conditions, and is not limited by hydrocarbon-to-caustic ratios that typically limit counter-current systems. An ideal situation is operation over a wide range of caustic strengths, which achieves a high utilization of the caustic due to the efficiency of the mass transfer.

Merichem Company’s FIBER FILM technologies can be retrofitted into existing units or built new in stick-built or modular systems. Retrofitting existing vessels saves cost and space, and fabrication using modules offers “plug and play” opportunities to drive more efficient installation and improve safety at the site due to the minimal interface requirements of a modular system. From a pure treatment aspect, Merichem Company has designed new FFC Plus offerings that can be used in THIOLEX systems that increase the amount of sulfur that can be removed using a smaller FIBER FILM Contactor with even better separation, further reducing carryover.

High-accuracy ultrasonic flowmeter for process cooling systems

AW-Lake Company has introduced a Water Inline (WIN) Ultrasonic Flow Meter for highly accurate and reliable flow measurement of cooling water, condensing water and water/glycol solutions. Designed for process cooling applications, including industrial cooling circuits, the WIN Ultrasonic Flow Meter has no moving parts for long-term reliability and low maintenance costs. By incorporating two wetted ultrasonic transducers that face each other directly in the flow tube, the ultrasonic flowmeter reduces wear associated with moving parts and maximizes signal strength.

The WIN Ultrasonic Flow Meter (FIG. 3) offers high accuracy (+1.0% of reading over 25:1 turndown, 100:1 total turndown) over a wide flow range with minimal pressure drop. An innovative flow tube design simplifies installation in limited straight runs and ensures no obstruction in the flow path. Holding an IP67 (NEMA 6) rating, the WIN Ultrasonic Flow Meter operates safely when temporarily submerged in water.

FIG. 3. AW-Lake Company’s Water Inline (WIN) Ultrasonic Flow Meter provides accurate and reliable flow measurement of cooling water, condensing water and water/glycol solutions.

An LCD display version comes standard with Modbus RTU communications, providing an output of flowrate, volume total, run hours, alarms and diagnostics. The display is detachable for remote mount installation up to 5 ft. from the sensor. A built-in data logger enables easy data access vis Modbus. Units without a display come standard with analog and pulse outputs, 24V AC/DC power, one pulse and one analog output.

Cognitive AI software products for refining

Beyond Limits, an industrial and enterprise-grade AI software company built for the most demanding sectors, has made available its new LUMINAI Refinery Advisor. Developed in collaboration with bp, this cloud-based offering leverages Beyond Limits’ Cognitive AI software to better adhere to commercial operating plans, capture and operationalize expert knowledge, reduce production material costs, maximize operational efficiencies, accelerate time to market, and reduce waste in critical downstream oil and gas sectors.

Beyond Limits’ LUMINAI Refinery Advisor allows plant operators to meet refinery operating plans more consistently and adapt to ever-changing constraints by providing real-time guidance and specific instructions based on expert engineering, operator knowledge and process conditions. The no-code solution provides an easily integrated and affordable application to optimize plant-wide process functions in a unified, digital space, improving alignment between planning, engineering and operations to ensure all teams have the specific directions they need to keep the refinery running at enhanced efficiency.

The company’s industrial-grade AI solutions provide plant operators and R&D organizations with explainable real-time recommendations to optimize operations and improve decision-making speed and accuracy across a broader decision space. These AI-powered extensions allow companies to maximize profits and gain a competitive advantage.

Global Standardized Plan 54 designed to fit a wide range of challenging, dual-pressurized seal applications

John Crane, a global leader in rotating equipment solutions, supplying engineered technologies and services to process industries, has launched its Global Standardized Plan 54 (GS 54), an API Plan 54 support system designed to fit a wide range of challenging, dual-pressurized seal applications.

The new GS 54 uses best-practice design to provide clean, cooled and filtered barrier fluid, optimal seal performance and pump up-time, and supports API Plan 54 standards for leakage prevention. In tough and technically challenging processes where reliability is a prerequisite, the API Plan 54 support system provides a standard solution, removing avoidable complexity from the design and selection process. Applicable for challenging applications in the oil and gas, chemical, pharmaceutical and other high-purity industries, the support system’s pre-engineered design offers high reliability and expedited customer delivery.

Designed with a focus on operational efficiency and reliability, features of the new booster include:

  • Streamlined design to minimize footprint and obstruction
  • System reservoir that provides a nominal volume of 30 gal (114 l) of barrier fluid
  • Filter housing with 10-micron filter elements
  • Shell-and-tube, water-cooled designed heat exchanger.

New valve configurator technology

GoExpedi, an end-to-end digital supply chain and data analytics solutions company that excels at procurement and delivery of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products for heavy industries, its new proprietary valve configurator (FIG. 4).

FIG. 4. GoExpedi’s new valve configurator minimizes technical and logistical procurement challenges.

With the wide variations in valve features, materials, availability and pricing throughout the supply chain, manually managing valve purchases for a single site or a global asset base can be time consuming, error-prone and expensive.

The valve configurator’s intuitive interface provides a 3D, 360° visualization as specifications—such as size and pressure class, connections, material types and more—are added to the configuration. It allows for various sizes to be created simultaneously, with recommendations for common selections provided throughout the building process. Once a valve is configured, users can compare all available product options based on price and lead times, review specifications, save and share the configuration, and instantly procure from the same interface.

This tool will help clients address the technical and logistical challenges of ordering and receiving the right valves, at the right place, at the right time. The tool is available to all industrial businesses as a component of GoExpedi’s digital procurement and logistics platform. HP

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