Environment & Safety

Sustainability and the water management company’s role

Perpich, W., Veolia Water Americas

Water is key to the hydrocarbon processing and chemical processing industries. Yet, it is not an infinite resource, which creates operational, financial and regulatory risks. The true cost of water can include insurance and litigation costs and disposal costs, plus the capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX) of water infrastructure.

Improved cooling system performance begins with data

Dalebroux, J., Emerson Automation Solutions; Aleynik, B., Consultant

Refineries consume large amounts of energy and water to refine crude oil into products. Up to 10% of crude oil’s energy content is consumed during processing, and it takes 1.5 bbl of water to process one barrel of crude oil. Refining processes also generate large quantities of excess thermal energy that needs to be expelled into the environment using a once-through or recirculating cooling system.

Use submerged combustion systems to efficiently destroy hazardous plant waste

Predatsch, E., Armstrong, P., Selas-Linde North America

In the production of clean fuels, plastics and other hydrocarbon-based products, refineries and petrochemical facilities generate unwanted (waste) byproducts. Having no market value, the undesired byproducts must be recycled, minimized or eliminated. Depending on the feedstocks, end products and reactant materials, the unwanted materials can be gases, liquids or multiphase materials.

When digital transformation hits all four sustainability buckets

Morse, P., Aspen Technology

Sustainability is emerging as a critical business topic, as many companies focus resources toward lowering emissions, waste and energy use in their production processes. This important concept can apply broadly to company operations, especially when considering the expansive view of the triple bottom line that measures the impact of company operations on profits, people and the planet.

Diversifying the future: Incentives for worldwide adoption of renewable fuels and chemicals—Part 2

Bio-based, renewable fuels and chemicals can reduce the environmental footprint of maintaining global transportation and product demands, while also offering supplementation of traditional fossil fuels in a global environment with increasing energy demand. The renewable energy sector is large and growing rapidly.

FCC catalyst deactivation studies to mimic refinery conditions for high-propylene applications

The fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) is a conversion unit located at the heart of many refineries. Its main purpose is to crack crude oil-derived feedstocks into valuable liquid products, primarily LPGs (propylene and butylenes), and gasoline and light-cycle oil (LCO) precursors. The process uses a fluidizable catalyst, comprising an alumina-silica framework and tailored for each refinery to meet its specific needs. Often, the changing of a catalyst includes catalyst testing evaluations, employed by about 50% of the FCCUs in the world. The testing process is cumbersome, in which multiple methods are available to refineries.

Hydrocarbon Processing Awards Winners

Hydrocarbon Processing, the downstream processing sector’s leading technical publication, has announced the winners for its third annual awards. The HP Awards celebrate innovative technologies and people that have been instrumental in improving facility operations over the past year.

Pay attention: LockerGoga and Trisis/Triton demand an improved cybersecurity strategy

The need for a solid cybersecurity strategy has been discussed and debated for nearly half a century. However, the basic worm-type attacks first documented in 1972 are still with us today. Why? The reason is because even the most basic measures to protect control systems from these types of attacks are still not systematically employed.

Building industrial networks to serve IIoT and digitalization

Logue, C., Emerson Automation Solutions

Two of the terms growing in popularity over the past few years are “digital native” and “digital immigrant.” Natives are those individuals young enough to have known computers and the internet since childhood. For them, such technologies have always existed. Immigrants, either through age or circumstance, had no exposure until later in life. Hopefully, for them, such technologies are a welcome addition to work and life, but they can remember times when most activities were more manual, local and isolated.

Business Trends: One downstream—Strategic imperatives for the evolving refining and chemical sectors

Dickson, D., Slaughter, A., Deloitte Services; Mittal, A., Deloitte Services LP

Downstream executives will remember the present decade as a golden age for the industry, driven by low feedstock prices and healthy end-use demand.