Process Optimization

Leveraging modern flow technologies to improve safety in refineries

The refining industry is facing increased pressures, such as crude oil supply changes, changing product distributions and increasing regulations. These pressure points create a highly competitive market where refiners are looking for options that include digitally transforming operations and adapting new technologies to enhance safety and improve uptime, flexibility and efficiency, while securing their competitive position in a dynamic market. Improving personnel and process safety remains a top focus area for refiners.

Five key innovation concepts to impact frontline engineers in 2020

McIntee, A., KBC, a Yokogawa Company; Finnan, K., Yokogawa Corp. of America

Gas processing, liquefaction, oil refining, bulk petrochemicals and chemicals plants represent a large population of frontline engineers and technical managers. Their professional lives will become increasingly impacted by the growing adoption of disruptive digital technologies and digital platforms.

Industry Perspectives: The Main Column—Hydrocarbon Processing's new podcast series

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In December 2019, Hydrocarbon Processing's launched its new podcast series: The Main Column. The podcast series will feature the latest in hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) trends, technology developments, engineering and operations.

Editorial Comment: Adopting digital technologies to enhance operations

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

What is the future of refining and petrochemical operations? One trend that has been the focus of many articles, whitepapers and conference presentations is the digital transformation of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI).

Viewpoint: How digital transformation impacts daily manufacturing operations

Price, E., Honeywell Connected Enterprise

With the ever-increasing speed of technology innovation around the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cloud offerings, industrial manufacturers are evaluating how these new solutions can impact their daily operations. Specifically, they are looking at how these innovations enable real-time, actionable insights across processes, assets and the workforce. These insights allow for quicker and more informed decisions, thereby driving efficiency and profitability.

Project Management: How human intelligence and AI are driving project planning in the oil and gas industry

Patterson, D., InEight

The science of project planning has something of a tenuous reputation. How often do large oil and gas capital expenditure (CAPEX) projects really come in according to plan? Almost never. Indeed, 30% of respondents to a 2018 PWC survey said they had experienced cost overruns of 10%–50% on their Middle East capital projects.

Digital: How digital tools improve access to device information

Thompson, A., Emerson Automation Solutions

Welcome to the future! The plant runs fully automated; robots glide silently back and forth, ensuring an optimized process; and your maintenance technician—with a few keystrokes—can tell you exactly how each piece of equipment is running. The promise of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has been delivered.

Brazilian developments in the biofuels market

Since the 1970s, Brazil has been a world reference in automotive biofuels, especially bioethanol produced from sugarcane. In 1973, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forced a sharp rise in oil prices, triggering a massive slowdown in the country’s economic growth, which had been going through what was dubbed the “economic miracle,” with growth at an average of 12% of GDP. This study gives an overview of the biofuel sector in Brazil, along with the main business challenges and opportunities in this area.

Circular economy: Getting in the door of opportunity ahead of a vanishing polymer market

Bjacek, P., Accenture

Significant change is coming to the hydrocarbons industry. Up to 43% of the global conventional polymer production expected by 2040 may disappear due to circular economy (CE) initiatives. In addition, due to the growth in wind turbines and solar panels, and in lightweight composite materials in cars and planes, advanced materials waste is just beginning.

Optimal gas analysis decisions improve ethylene plant operation

Kamphus, M., McMillen, D., Emerson Automation Solutions

One of the most common and important building blocks in the petrochemical industry is ethylene, constituting a huge and fast-growing worldwide industry. Ethylene is an intermediate chemical used to manufacture many commercial products—approximately 200 MMt will be produced in 2020.