Process Optimization

Heat Transfer: Designing electric process heater systems for catalytic regeneration

Bartell, P., Valin Corp.

Achieving effective catalyst regeneration requires a process that produces a very high level of heat in a very efficient manner. Over the years, several different approaches have been taken to create this required heat. Traditional steam has been a popular choice, as has heated transfer media. However, these methods have limitations.

Digital: Better maintenance through better data

Eichelberger, N., Accruent

When I talk to professionals in the refining and petrochemical businesses, they are always interested in how new technologies can improve operational efficiency, make plants safer and increase profitability.

Optimization: Steam methane reformer vs. electrolysis technology

Koul, S., Shah, M., Linde Engineering

Hydrogen market demand is forecast to expand. Bulk petrochemicals, ammonia, methanol and gasoline refining consume nearly two-thirds of global hydrogen demand.

Editorial Comment: Honoring the industry’s best … take 2!

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Due to Tropical Storm Imelda, Hydrocarbon Processing issued its first force majeure in postponing the third annual HP Awards.

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.

Accurate prediction of phase equilibrium properties—Part 2

Katyal, A., Independent Researcher/Inventor

Phase equilibrium properties, such as bubble point, hydrocarbon dewpoint, water dewpoint, phase envelope, two-phase compositions, compressibility factor, hydrate equilibrium properties, etc., for hydrocarbon mixtures have been calculated accurately using the Peng-Robinson cubic equation of state by implementing constant and temperature-dependent binary interaction parameters in the Van der Waals mixing rule.

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.