Process Optimization

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.

Digital: Technologies are advancing industry beyond alarm management

Hollifield, B., PAS Global

Let’s face it, alarm management is a fully mature body of knowledge. Since the mid-1990s, industry has improved thousands of alarm systems, transforming them from overloaded nuisances to valuable operator tools for abnormal situation detection and response.

Editorial Comment: Processing a sustainable future

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

An emerging topic along the entire oil and gas value chain is the move toward sustainability. Each company has a somewhat different definition of what sustainability means to its operations.

Onsite

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Business Trends: EPC 2030: Five vital characteristics that will define the EPC firm of tomorrow

Donnelly, P., AspenTech

The state of the global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) industry can accurately be described as “challenging.” Operating in an environment of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions, EPC firms are facing unsustainable levels of stress.

FCCU catalyst reformulations: Reducing risk and guaranteeing value with collaboration/testing

Hellenic Petroleum S.A.’s Aspropyrgos refinery is located near Athens, Greece. It has a total refining capacity of approximately 7.5 MMtpy and a Nelson complexity index of 9.7. The refinery was built in 1958 and has undergone several upgrades, including the installation of a fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU).

Optimization study in hydrocracker unit using simulation model

Hydrocrackers are key refinery units that convert heavy feed components into valuable lighter products. The profitability of these units is directly related to this conversion level. Conversion reactions take place in a nearly pure hydrogen environment, with the help of selective catalysts, under high pressure and high temperature. The products of the unit are separated in the fractionator section. Unconverted oil taken from the fractionator bottoms reveals the conversion performance of the unit.

A new liquid-phase isomerization process for xylene loop debottleneck and energy savings

Mhatre, S., Warke, V., Reliance Industries Ltd.; Choi, A., Molinier, M., Saple, A., ExxonMobil Chemical Co.

In a typical xylene loop, C8 aromatics are fractionated out of a heavy reformate C8+ aromatics stream and collected in the xylene column overhead. Then, paraxylene (PX) from the C8 aromatics stream is recovered as product—usually by an adsorption or crystallization process—in the PX recovery section.

Can ammonia be a future energy storage solution?

Ammonia is well known as a fertilizer. However, it is also a potential carbon-free fuel and an excellent solution for storage of renewable electricity, especially if the syngas needed for producing the ammonia is made by electrolysis.