Current Issue: March 2021

Archive

Special Focus: Petrochemical Technology

Fuels and chemicals: Finding the right refinery configuration for a less predictable world
Chaudhuri, S., Singh, R., Bechtel India

The refining industry links the upstream production of crude oil with the end markets for fuel products, as well as for the petrochemical/chemical industry.

How high can polyethylene and polypropylene plant capacities rise?
Divey, J. D., Polyolefins Technology Consultant

Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plants are the popular downstream derivatives of ethylene crackers or petrochemical fluidized catalytic cracking (petro-FCC).

Best practices for pygas-based styrene extraction
Liu, Z., Joshi, S., Ma, H., Zhang, R., Sulzer GTC Technology

Pyrolysis gasoline (pygas) is a by-produced fraction of hydrocarbons generated from a steam cracker.

A novel polymerization retarder with boosted performance and improved handling characteristics
Crom, B., Hood, D., Patel, N., Hong, M., SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions

Styrene monomer production plants continually face a need to slow polymerization rates in the purification section of the production process to increase monomer production rates, reduce polymerization/fouling and tar formation, and protect against equipment plugging, especially in the event of unplanned shutdowns.

Process Optimization

Specifying internals in sour water strippers—Part 2

Sour water stripping is a common process in petroleum refineries and other processes where hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is present.

Heat Transfer

Getting the most out of your process burner tiles
Baukal, C., Johnson, B., John Zink Hamworthy Combustion

It is often incorrectly assumed that the burner tile is simply a piece of refractory or firebrick. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The use of tube inserts in fired heaters
Martin, M., XRG Technologies

In 1896, Whitham1 reported the successful use of twisted tapes (originally called retarders, and now also called turbulators) to increase heat transfer in boiler fire tubes—their effectiveness in increasing heat transfer is well known.

Valves, Pumps and Turbomachinery

Optimizing failure data analysis
Stewart, L., Statham, S., exida LLC

A critical objective of engineers who design an automatic protection system is to lower the false trip rate and to lower a key metric called average probability of failure on demand (PFDavg).

Double-suction centrifugal compressor in ethylene plant inlet piping design
Zardynezhad, S., TurboTech Consulting Corp.

Centrifugal compressors are designed with different suction nozzle orientations and impeller layouts in casing.

Maintenance and Reliability

Strategies to minimize piping thermal maintenance system cost without compromising performance
Forbes, B., AMETEK

Where process fluid must be maintained within a certain operating temperature window, the piping will likely require the application of a thermal maintenance system.

Down with downtime: Repair complex petrochemical components with selective electroplating
Arana, T., SIFCO ASC

The volatile impact of the coronavirus pandemic hit at the same time the petrochemical industry was entering a downcycle.

High-frequency acoustic excitation—Part 2
Datta, A. K., Process Consultant

Failure of a piping section at the outlet of pressure safety valves (PSVs) and control valves—where significant differential pressure exists (particularly in gas processing industries)—is a common problem in industries.

Environment and Safety

Implement effective operational discipline programs to improve process safety performance—Part 2
Klein, J. A., ABSG Consulting Inc

Operational discipline (OD) describes human behavior in complying with required systems, every time, to consistently achieve organizational goals and overall operational excellence.1,2

Columns

Editorial Comment: Petrochemicals: Changing technologies and configurations to satisfy future demand
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

For nearly a decade, capital investments in new petrochemical capacity have skyrocketed. This

Reliability: Finding upgraded sealing solutions
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

By universal agreement, the safety and reliability of facilities in the hydrocarbon processing industry—and most other industrial plants—are of highest importance.

Engineering Case Histories: Case 111: Predict the cause of cracks in gear teeth and time to failure
Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

In the practice of engineering, we sometimes wish for better hindsight or foresight.

Executive Viewpoint: Interconnected neural networks drive breakthrough optimization
Cohen, G., Imubit

We have all learned that technology alone will not improve our operations.

Regional Focus: Russia looks to double petrochemicals and LPG exports by 2025
Gerden, E., Contributing Writer

Russia hopes to become one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of petrochemicals and LPG by 2025 by doubling its domestic output and exports.

Digital: ROI is the secret sauce for sustainable digital transformation
Burke, Z., Radix Engineering and Software

Digital transformation is a broad term that can mean vastly different things to different people.

Industry Perspectives
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) is steadily advancing through the energy transition.

Business Trends: A perspective on new technology impacts on the chemical processing industry
Fernandes, S., Yokogawa Corp.

Over the past five years, the industrial evolution has been propelled by the same technologies that have dramatically changed our private lives.

Industry Metrics
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

U.S. refinery margins extended their upward trend for the fifth consecutive month, exhibiting the largest upturn relative to other regions.

Global Project Data
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

After a tumultuous year, many active capital projects have been deferred, delayed or even abandoned.

Innovations
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

SPECTRO Analytical Instruments has introduced the newest version of its SPECTROGREEN inductively coupled plasma optical emissions spectrometry (ICP-OES) analyzer: the SPECTROGREEN TI, featuring SPECTRO’s proven twin interface (TI).

People

Motion Industries Inc. promotes Jim May to director of corporate development