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RENTECH breaks new trails in the

boiler industry with its focus on custom


engineering and design.
Theres no on the shelf inventory at RENTECH because we design and build each and every
boiler to operate at peak effciency in its own unique conditions. As an industry leader, RENTECH
provides solutions to your most demanding specifcations for safe, reliable boilers. From design and
manufacture to installation and service, we are breaking new trails.
APRIL 2012
HPIMPACT SPECIALREPORT BONUSREPORT
PETROCHEMICAL
DEVELOPMENTS
Innovative chemistry
and catalysts improve
profitability
Energy for economic
growth
Canadian oil sands
alliance
ROTATING EQUIPMENT
New seal designs
enhance operations
and reliability
www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Unlike a phony cowboy who is all hat with no
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Each boiler is designed and built to meet its demanding specications and operate in its unique
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SPECIAL REPORT: PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS
41
Optimize olefin operations
This operating company used process models to find solutions
to poor separation performance
K. Romero
47
Alternate feedstock options for petrochemicals: A roadmap
New hydrocarbons will be needed to meet future demand
S. K. Ganguly, S. Sen and M. O. Garg
55
Improve catalyst management at the FCC unit
System revamp reduces unloading time, boosts refinery operations
M. L. Sargenti, N. Ergonul, M. Scherer, H. Upadhyay,
R. McClung and T. S. W. Al Rawahi
59
Operational optimization for mixed-refrigerant systems
Use rigorous simulation to improve process efficiency
J. Zhang, Q. Xu and K. Li
67
Consider new economics for purification on a small scale
For smaller methanol units, new designs balance energy cost
against capital cost for long-term profitability
K. Patwardhan, G. Satishbabu, S. Rajyalakshmi and P. Balaramkrishna
Cover Night view of 25,000-metric-
tpy ethylene plant built in Texas
circa 1948. Project awarded to The
Lummus Co. (now CB&I) in 1945.
Photo courtesy of CB&I.
HPIMPACT
19 Energy for economic
growth
20 Medium-voltage AC
drives surge, thanks
to energy market
22 Canadian oil sands
alliance
23 Polyurethane news
from Riyadh
COLUMNS
9 HPINSIGHT
All hydrocarbons
have a place in
the global market;
timing depends on
economics
13 HPIN RELIABILITY
Pump alignment
saves power
17 HPINTEGRATION
STRATEGIES
The journey to supply-
chain excellence
in the refining
and petrochemical
industries
126 HPIN AUTOMATION
SAFETY
The imaginary hacker
DEPARTMENTS
7 HPIN BRIEF 25 HPINNOVATIONS
29 HPIN CONTRUCTION 37 HPIN CONSTRUCTION PROFILE
38 HPINCONSTRUCTION BOXSCORE UPDATE
122 HPI MARKETPLACE 125 ADVERTISER INDEX
BONUS REPORT: ROTATING EQUIPMENT

73
Use better designed turboexpanders to handle flashing fluids
New models eliminate vibration problems and improve reliability
K. Kaupert

79
Understand multi-stage pumps and sealing options: Part 2
Designing for dirty service involves many factors
L. Gooch
CATALYST 2012SUPPLEMENT

C-84
Perspectives on the 2012 energy industry
Here are several thoughts on how companies can adapt to
and profit fromthe uncertain environment
V. Doshi, A. Clyde and C. Click
ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY

103
Venting vapor streams: Predicting the outcome
Laminar and turbulent jet theories provide strong support
when addressing cold venting situations
R. Benintendi

109
Apply audits to reexamine safety procedures
Recognizing distinctive vulnerabilities in various refinery units
S. L. Chakravorty
CLEAN FUELS

117
Methanol contamination of naphtha: A case study
Creative problem solving was used to upgrade off-spec export products
while minimizing tank storage
F. Ovaici
www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com
APRIL 2012 VOL. 91 NO. 4
4

I
APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
EDITORIAL
Editor Stephany Romanow
Reliability/Equipment Editor Heinz P. Bloch
Process Editor Adrienne Blume
Technical Editor Billy Thinnes
Online Editor Ben DuBose
Associate Editor Helen Meche
Contributing Editor Loraine A. Huchler
Contributing Editor William M. Goble
Contributing Editor ARC Advisory Group
MAGAZINE PRODUCTION
DirectorProduction and Operations
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HYDROCARBON PROCESSING (ISSN 0018-8190) is published monthly by
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Periodicals postage paid at Houston, Texas, and at additional mailing office.
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Creating Value.
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HPIN BRIEF
BILLY THINNES, TECHNICAL EDITOR
BT@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I

7

The international availability of
massive US shale gas resources could
determine the fate of global gas pric-
es over the next decade, said Paolo
Scaroni, CEO of Italian oil and gas
major Eni. Mr. Scaroni delivered the
keynote address at the annual IHS
CERAWeek energy conference, held
March 59 in downtown Houston.
Mr. Scaroni bemoaned the global
differences in sales prices for the same
stupid molecule of natural gas, citing
values of less than $3/MMBtu in the US
compared with about $9 in European
spot markets, $11 on European oil-
linked contracts and $13 in Asia. The US
is an island in gas terms, he explained,
noting that the nation was set for at
least the next decade.
With recoverable gas resources and
stronger gas markets across the ocean,
there are many who think that the US
might become a major exporter over
the next decade, Mr. Scaroni said. But
this is more complex than it sounds.
For example, it remains to be
seen whether US citizens, who slowly
accepted the rationale of shale gas
exploration for their own energy secu-
rity, would be willing to export the
gas, thereby benefiting the financial
position of other countries.
On the whole, global gas demand
is expected to grow by 2020. But the
outlook on prices is murky, because
supply remains unclear, given US mar-
ketplace uncertainties. As such, Mr.
Scaroni said it can be difficult for com-
panies to gauge the viability of large-
scale gas projects.
Other key questions include the
fate of nuclear power following the
Japan disaster and whether gas-based
fuels can gain traction within the trans-
portation sector. On the other hand,
growth in LNG trade should allow for
at least some rebalancing in global
prices. Over the next decade, the key
to the market is LNG, Mr. Scaroni said.
In addition, the gap between US
gas and oil prices should narrow, he
observed. Scaroni noted that, based
on calorific power, US gas trades at
roughly
1
6 the price of oildown from
1
2 in 2008. HP
Ben DuBose
ExxonMobil plans to invest approximately $185 billion over the next
five years to develop new supplies of energy to meet expected growth in demand, CEO
Rex W. Tillerson said in a recent presentation at the New York Stock Exchange. During
challenging times for the global economy, ExxonMobil continues to invest to deliver
the energy needed to underpin economic recovery and growth, Mr. Tillerson told
investment analysts. He said that, even with significant efficiency gains, ExxonMobil
expects global energy demand to increase by 30% by 2040, compared to 2010 levels.
Demand for electricity will make natural gas the fastest-growing major energy source,
and oil and natural gas are expected to meet 60% of energy needs over the next three
decades. To help meet that demand, ExxonMobil is anticipating an investment profile
of approximately $37 billion per year through 2016. A total of 21 major oil and gas
projects will begin production between 2012 and 2014, he said.
Motiva Enterprises plans to convert all of its high-sulfur diesel heating
oil (2,000 ppm) storage to ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) (15 ppm) at its Sewaren
terminal in New Jersey. Motivas conversion aims to meet its customers needs under a
new New York state mandate that all heating oil sold in the state be no more than 15
ppm sulfur by July 1, 2012. It will also allow the Motiva Sewaren refined products ter-
minal with a capacity of more than 5 million bbl, to take deliveries of ULSD for New
York Mercantile Exchange-based contracts via marine and pipeline. In addition to the
conversion to ULSD heating oil, Motiva is undertaking a project to convert two tanks
of heating oil storage to B100 biodiesel at the Sewaren terminal. With the addition of
biodiesel tankage and improved rail logistics, Motiva Sewaren will be able to supply mul-
tiple blends of biodiesel to the Northeast over the truck rack, as well as via marine vessel.
Metso has acquired South Korean global valve technology and
service company Valstone Controls Inc. The acquisition enables Metso to expand its
offering for the oil and gas and power industries with globe valve technology that
plays a key role in most critical processes with extreme pressures and temperatures,
the company said. Valstone is a privately owned globe valve and service specialist com-
pany. Valstone has an established customer base in Korean engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) companies and in domestic South Korean petrochemical and
power-generation industries. Metso said it further plans to develop partnerships with
leading South Korean engineering, procurement and construction companies.
Petronas and BASF have taken the next steps in the development
of the previously announced 1 billion investment that will expand their partnership in
Malaysia, involving projects at their existing venture in Kuantan and at a new site with-
in Petronas proposed refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID)
complex in Pengerang, Johor. These projects are to be implemented between 2015 and
2018. Under the terms of the recently signed agreement, the partners have agreed to
form a new entity (BASF, 60%; Petronas, 40%) to jointly own, develop, construct and
operate production facilities for isononanol, highly reactive polyisobutylene, non-ionic
surfactants, and methanesulfonic acid, as well as plants for precursor materials. These
world-scale facilities will become an integral part of Petronas RAPID project.
Oil trading and logistics company Gunvor Group has reached an
agreement to buy the 107,500-bpd refinery that insolvent Swiss oil refiner Petroplus
shut down in Antwerp, Belgium. Gunvor said in a statement that it expects the deal to
close in the next month. Gunvor will retain all current workers, and will operate the
refinery on a long-term basis. The company plans to restart the refinery immediately
after the deal closes in late April. Petroplus began shutting down the Antwerp refinery
in late December amid mounting credit woes. The Antwerp site also has a storage
capacity of more than 1.2 million cubic meters. HP
Postcard from
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When pumps go down, so does my production.
To see which pumps are in danger, I need real-time monitoring.
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HPINSIGHT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I

9

All hydrocarbons have a place in the global market;
timing depends on economics
Remaining profitable continues to be a critical issue for hydro-
carbon processing facilities. Balancing new technology with gov-
ernment mandates is a thorny problem. Environmental issues add
more cost to refined products. Changes in transportation fuels
continue as vehicle manufacturers update engine designs. R&D
and innovative inventors continue to find solutions to old and
new challenges of the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI).
Headlines from Hydrocarbon Processing,
April 2002:
Clean fuels: Estimated $7 billion in US refining capital
spending. In 1999, The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) released Tier II sulfur mandates, as part of the Clean Fuels
Program. These rules require lowering sulfur concentrations in
gasoline to 30 ppm by 2006. Compliance with the low-sulfur
guidelines for gasoline and diesel is deemed to be complicated.
Most refiners have studied two possible options: revamping die-
sel hydrotreaters or constructing new desulfurization units. A
study of the 162 US refineries identified construction of 96 new
desulfurization units, representing $6.6 billion in total spending.
OPEC recommends output freeze; group will meet again in
June. OPEC continues to maintain its crude oil output until the
global economy and/or demand improves. The group also hopes
to improve crude oil contributions from non-OPEC producers.
Controversy swirls around renewable fuel standard. The
American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Renewable Fuels
Association (RFA) have joined forces against pending legisla-
tion to ban methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and to create a
renewable fuel standard. The new mandate would require use
of approximately 5 billion gallons of ethanol in gasoline before
2012. By providing liability protection to ethanol but not for
MTBE, refiners will have significant incentives to abandon
MTBE blending before the four-year ban takes effect.
Headlines from Hydrocarbon Processing,
April 1992:
Crude oil to remain inexpensive for two years, said the
renowned energy economist, P. K. Verleger. OPEC cut nearly
2 million bpd of production to attain a $21/bbl minimum refer-
ence set in July 1990. However, curtailment wont hold prices at
current levels, Verleger said.
City diesel curtails emissions. Year-long trials are underway
in Helsinki, Finland, with a new diesel fuel that promises to
cut both sulfur and particulate emissions from public transport
vehicles. City diesel was developed by Neste Oil, based on
surveys with engine manufacturers. The new diesel has a low
sulfur content (0.005 wt% as compared to 0.1 wt% to 0.2 wt%
of present diesel) and is also less aromatic.
Synthetic rubber demand on the rise. Recovery in the global
synthetic rubber (SR) market is anticipated. Worldwide con-
sumption of SR and natural rubber will increase over the next
five years (19911996) to 15.8 million tons, thus having an aver-
age annual 2.1% demand growth rate. All geographical regions
should experience new growth. However, demand in Central
Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is
expected to decline 17% over the same period.
OSHA issues final rule for chemicals PSM. The US Occupa-
tional Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final
rule entitled, Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous
Chemicals in the Federal Register on Feb. 24, 1992. This rule
requires employers to manage hazards associated with processes
using materials identified as highly hazardous. It will affect any
industry that produces, uses, stores, transports or handles any of
these materials in amounts equal to or greater than the specified
quantity. As part of the rule, employers must compile written
process safety information, conduct hazard analyses, develop and
implement written operating procedures, train employees on the
written procedures, and more. Twelve criteria are included under
the new rule.
Headlines from Hydrocarbon Processing,
April 1982:
LPG emerging as the motor fuel for fleet vehicles. Once again,
motor vehicles powered with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) are
under consideration, especially for fleet applications. Industry
statistics indicate that more than 500,000 vehicles per year will
be converted to propane during the 1980s. Most of the converted
LPG vehicles will be part of municipal fleets, such as police cars
and other emergency vehicles.
Get jet fuel from shale oil in single step? Amoco Oils new
experimental catalyst moved closer to the reality of converting
shale oil into aviation fuel.
Operations at Marathon Oil Co.s 200,000-bpd Garyville, Louisiana,
refinery are automatically and remotely controlled from four control
centers. This main process control center oversees all process
operations electronically. It is linked by radio and telephone to other
centers monitoring and controlling the boiler area, tank farm and
water treatment facilities. Hydrocarbon Processing.
HPINSIGHT
10

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Synfuels viability boils down to economics. A coal gasification
plants product would have to net $17/MMBtu in 1988 (as com-
pared to $100/bbl of crude oil). At present, the most expensive
category of natural gas is about $9/MMBtu. Capital cost for a
synfuels facility is another huge factor; construction costs for coal
gasification units continue to rise. The present oil glut, temporary
or not, is another factor.
Natural gas price decontrol? Decontrol of the US natural gas
(NG) market remains a controversial subject. As a major con-
sumer, the US chemical industry remains vulnerable to NG supply
shortages. Shortfalls are attributed to inadequate incentives under
the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA), passed in 1978. NGPA has
contributed to significant disruption in the NG market.
Headlines from Hydrocarbon Processing,
April 1972:
Heavy-oil cracking process developed. Kellogg International
and Phillips Petroleum have developed a new heavy-oil cracking
(HOC) process that can convert residuals from the atmospheric
or vacuum towers directly into high-octane gasoline. The Kellogg-
Phillips HOC Process disposes of high-sulfur residuals by extend-
ing the feedstock range for fluid catalytic cracking. The first unit
was constructed at Phillips Borger, Texas, refinery, and it has an
operating capacity of 25,000 bpd.
Anti-pollution control will cost billions by 1976. Over the next
four years, petrochemical/chemical companies will invest $1.43
billion on capital equipment alone for environmental projects.
Total estimated costs for water, air and solid-waste pollution-
control projects will bump $12.7 billion by 1976.
Lead drops, but US octane holds up. Despite a drop in the
average lead content, the octane of regular and premium gasoline
at US service stations remains at a high level. Octane levels were
maintained by altering the proportions of fuel additives, and by
incorporating new blending methods, to compensate for the lower
lead content. In 1972, lead content in gasoline dropped from 2.43
g/gal to 2.22g/gal.
New desulfurization process available. Chisso Engineering of
Japan has developed a new desulfurization process that can com-
pete with conventional hydrogenation processes. The new process
uses water at 250C to melt and extract undesirable compounds
from petroleum at a fifth of the cost of other methods.
Takahax process recovers sulfur dioxide directly from gases
with very low hydrogen sulfide (H
2
S) content. The process
was originally developed in Japan. Nissan Engineering has
constructed 40 units, and has issued an exclusive license to
Ford, Bacon & Davis to design and construct Takahax units in
the Western Hemisphere. The process uses a caustic solution
with an oxidation-reduction catalyst to remove nearly 100%
of the H
2
S.
Alaska pipeline seems far offand expensive. The Alyeska
Pipeline Service Co. says the cost of the pipeline from Prudhoe
Bay to Valdez would be about $3 billion. Putting this pipeline
through Canada would double construction costs. There is still
no (US) government approval on the construction project, but the
approval is expected no later than mid-June (1972).
To see more headlines from 1962 to 1922,
visit HydrocarbonProcessing.com.
Construction continues for the largest catalytic cracking and gas
recovery unit, with 63,000 bpd of crude oil capacity. The cracker was
designed and built by The M.W. Kellogg Co. for Gulf Oils Philadelphia
refinery. Petroleum Refiner, 1954.
The new 360-ft tall Houdriflow cat cracker dwarfs the fixed-bed
catalytic refining units at Sun Oils Marcus Hook, refinery. The new
18,000-bpd Houdriformer will increase the refinerys capacity to
produce high-quality gasoline. Petroleum Refiner, 1955.
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Good night.
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HEINZ P. BLOCH, RELIABILITY/EQUIPMENT EDITOR
HPIN RELIABILITY
HB@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I

13
Awareness of energy efficiency is one
of the minimum job qualifications for
reliability engineers. In the summer of
1994, Jack Lambley, then an intern at the
Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Rock-
savage site in the UK, was assigned the
task of quantifying the effects on power
consumption for misaligned process
pumps. A surplus pump was overhauled,
and new bearings were fitted. This pump
was reinstalled, and water was recircu-
lated in a suitably instrumented closed-
loop arrangement. Prueftechnik GmbH
loaned Lambley a modern laser-optic
alignment instrument.
Background. As an undergraduate
student, Lambley had learned how mis-
alignment affected bearing load, and how
bearing load increases caused exponential
decreases in bearing service life. Following
instructions from his supervisor, Lambley
reviewed the engineering sections of SKFs
general catalog, which stated that a 25%
increase in bearing load caused the rated
bearing life to be halved.
Lambley investigated the alignment
accuracy and the methods in use at that
time. He discovered that straight-edge
methods were inappropriate for refinery
pumps. Rim-and-face alignment methods
were judged difficult and unreliable. Prop-
erly executed, reverse-dial-indicator meth-
ods required consideration of the bracket
sag, and they would require more time to
apply than modern laser techniques.
From data available at the Rocksavage
site, he calculated that the typical misalign-
ment consisted of 0.02 in./0.5 mm vertical
and horizontal offset and 0.002 in./in. verti-
cal and horizontal angularity. In 1994, lasers
were known to be inherently more accurate
than the best competing techniques.
Proof. Lambley constructed several
graphs and tabulations, as shown in Figs
Pump alignment saves power
0
0
2
4
6
8
10 20 30 40
Horizontal offset, thousandth
P
o
w
e
r

c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
,

%
Accuracy +/ 3% of value
Source: ICI
50 60 70
Effect of parallel offset on power consumption of a pin
coupling at 3,000 rpm.
FIG. 1
0 5 10 15 20
0
2
4
6
8
10
Gap, thou./in.
P
o
w
e
r

c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
,

%
Accuracy +/ 3% of value
Source: ICI
Effect of angular misalignment on power consumption of a
pin coupling at 3,000 rpm.
FIG. 2
0 10 20 30 40 50 60
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Horizontal offset, thousandth
P
o
w
e
r

c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
,

%
Accuracy +/ 3% of value
Source: ICI
Effect of parallel offset on power consumption of a
toroidal (tire-type) coupling at 3,000 rpm.
FIG. 3
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
Gap, thou./in.
P
o
w
e
r

c
o
n
s
u
m
p
t
i
o
n
,

%
Accuracy +/ 3% of value
Source: ICI
Effect of angular misalignment on power consumption of a
toroidal (tire-type) coupling at 3,000 rpm.
FIG. 4
HPIN RELIABILITY
14

14. The resulting recommendations
were to align machinery to within 0.005
in./0.12 mm shaft offsets and to limit
deviations in the hub gap to 0.0005 in./
in. of hub diameter. Lambley further doc-
umented that adhering to these recom-
mendations would reduce ICIs power con-
sumption by about 1%. He confirmed that
laser alignment was faster and superbly
more accurate. Lambley determined that
laser alignment technology was bottom-
line more cost-effective; he deserves credit
for establishing these facts instead of
repeating the opinions of others.
Using data from a mid-size refinery:
Average demand: 27 kW/pump
8,760 hr/yr $0.1/kWh 1,000 pumps
0.01 = $236,520/yr. And, with 1,000
pumps operating at any given time, this
location could annually save approximately
$250,000 in avoided power consumption.
Total cost. The total cost for laser
alignment instruments includes equip-
ment costs plus training costs. The ben-
efit is 8 man-hours of time-saving credit
per alignment job. For gathering more
data, thermography and infrared moni-
toring techniques are possible options.
These methods have been used to quan-
tify significant temperature increases in
a coupling located between misaligned
pump and driver shafts. You could com-
pare the energy wasted by the rising
temperature of a coupling to the energy
loss, as described by Lambley. Regardless
of calculation method, laser alignment
will result in surprisingly rapid payback.
Remember: In all reliability improve-
ment endeavors, never let somebodys
opinion get in the way of sound science
and facts.
Knowledge update. If you are like
the majority of hydrocarbon process-
ing industry facilities in the industrial-
ized world, your worker and technician
resources are probably stretched to the
limit. Understandably, you may be look-
ing for ways to simplify some of your tra-
ditional work processes and procedures.
You may have had an experience that rein-
forces the contention in which high-tech
tools are not always the answer. And hold
the view that the back-to-basics thinking
has considerable merit. However, decades
of well-documented observation attest
to the fact that misalignment has been
responsible for huge economic losses. The
more misalignment of the rotating unit
permitted, the greater the rate of wear,
likelihood of premature failure, and loss
of efficiency of the machine.
As an inquisitive Lambley proved, mis-
aligned machines absorb more energy than
they consume more power. So, its always
advantageous to update ones knowledge
of shaft alignment and alignment toler-
ances. Competent vendors will assist you
in illuminating the roadway to becoming
reliability-focused. And indications are
that only the reliability-focused facilities
will be around in the future. HP
The author is Hydrocarbon Processings Reliability/
Equipment Editor. A practicing consulting engineer
with now 50 years of applicable experience, he advises
process plants worldwide on failure analysis, reliability
improvement and maintenance cost avoidance top-
ics. He has authored or co-authored 18 textbooks on
machinery reliability improvement and over 490 papers
or articles dealing with related subjects. For more on
alignment, refer to Bloch, H. P., Pump Wisdom: Problem
Solving for Operators and Specialists, John Wiley &
Sons, Hoboken, 2011, pp. 153162.
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HPINTEGRATION STRATEGIES
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I

17
preynolds@arcweb.com
PETER REYNOLDS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
The journey to supply-chain excellence
in the refining and petrochemical industries
In downstream refining and marketing, the handoff between
manufacturing operations and product distribution and market-
ing is often performed in a sub-optimal manner. Most process
manufacturing companies claim supply chain as a core compe-
tency, yet many still attempt to manage the workflow from end to
end. In many cases, the production operations and supply-chain
groups operate in silos. Refinery production groups typically make
superb products, using the manufacturing assets available to them.
However, since the logistics and supply-chain groups in refining
and petrochemical businesses usually handle product distribu-
tion and sales independently from production, their journey to
supply-chain excellence clearly lags behind many other industries.
With this understanding, leaders in process manufacturing
periodically peer into other industriessuch as discrete manu-
facturing and specialty chemicalsto learn ways to improve
supply-chain operational excellence. When they do, they often
learn that manufacturers must look at the entire supply chain
through multiple lenses and develop business processes based on
industry standards, best practices and appropriate use of technol-
ogy. All often offer opportunities to streamline business opera-
tions. In the downstream refining and petrochemicals industry,
one of the last levers left to improve profitability, is to streamline
the liquids supply chain.
Its often difficult to attain clear visibility into liquid-product
inventories due to inefficient or disconnected business processes
and technologies across primary and secondary distribution. Ter-
minal inventories are not reconciled in a timely fashion because
businesses often dont have the time to deal with spreadsheets and
complex IT applications.
Organizations implement supply-chain improvement projects
routinely, but with sub-optimal overall benefit. Successful IT proj-
ects for supply-chain integration need the business leaders to get
involved early in the project definition. However, these leaders are
usually busy running various marketing, distribution and trading
activities, and they seldom have adequate staff to support IT proj-
ects. Many business end users use a host of manual business pro-
cesses that involve e-mail, Microsoft Excel and hard-copy reports
to manage the complicated supply chains in the process industries.
Enter the Supply Chain Council. In 1996, the Supply
Chain Council (SCC) was formed to create and evolve an indus-
try-standard process reference model to help companies improve
supply-chain operations. The SCC created the Supply Chain
Operations Reference (SCOR) model; now companies can evalu-
ate and compare overall supply-chain activities and evaluate their
own performance.
The SCC is made up of over 800 members from worldwide
organizations. Owner-operatorssuch as Shell, DuPont, Irving
Oil, ExxonMobil and Chevroncomprise 40% of the mem-
bership. North American and European companies comprise
approximately 70% of the total membership. Most manufacturers
reported that the supply chain accounts for 60% to 90% of the
total company costs, while oil companies like ConocoPhillips and
Chevron disclosed spending 90% and 88%, respectively.
The SCOR model and framework. As the industry-stan-
dard supply chain business process reference model, the SCOR
contains over 200 high-level business processes; 550 supply-chain
metrics; and 200 skills classifications, including risk manage-
ment. The SCOR reference model includes five key management
process categories of activity. These provide a framework to link
suppliers, enterprise supply chains and customers. The SCOR
model is arranged with the fundamental business processes of
plan, source, make and deliver.
SCOR project toolkit. Initially, executing a supply-chain
project looks like a traditional project in which teams are devel-
oped, roles and responsibilities are aligned, and the standard
project charter is written. With the SCOR model, the competitive
SCORcard benchmark and analysis are introduced at an early
stage. SCOR metrics included in the benchmark are reliability,
responsiveness, agility, costs and assets. This process allows com-
panies to determine a supply-chain strategy and to analyze current
performance against competitors.
The SCOR project toolkit includes a number of tools that have
been used successfully to define a long-range plan to fix a supply
chain. Process mapping tools, like Aris, can be used in addition
to external benchmarking, logical and geographical maps, and
defect analysis tools. The SCOR model has several hundred best
practices that are easily identifiable with a given business process.
Organizations must execute IT projects in the correct order.
People, business process and technology are fully intertwined. At
the beginning of a project, it may be good practice to envision
the technology that will transform an organizations supply chain.
But technology cannot be implemented successfully on broken
business processes. Successful manufacturing companies look to
similar manufacturing companies and adapt standards when they
exist. These companies use the SCOR model to support tech-
nology procurement activities and the requirement documents
that are released to IT suppliers for bidding. The SCOR project
provides a proven methodology to transform the supply chain. It
includes the tools to define, analyze and benchmark supply-chain
performance and to choose the right supply-chain projects. HP
The author has more than 19 years of professional experience in process
control, advanced automation applications, information technology, enterprise
and supply chain in the downstream oil refining and petroleum product marketing
industry. Prior to joining ARC in 2011, Mr. Reynolds served as the strategic planning
manager for automation and IT at Irving Oil in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
Irving Oil operates Canadas largest refinery.
The Emerson logo is a trademark and a service mark of Emerson Electric Co. 2011 Emerson Electric Co. D351992X012 MX11 (H:)
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HPIMPACT
BILLY THINNES, TECHNICAL EDITOR
BT@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


19
Energy for economic
growth
Having proved resilient throughout the
recent recession compared to other sectors,
the energy industry has the potential to be a
key engine of economic growth and recov-
ery, according to a new study by IHS CERA
and the World Economic Forum. The report
provides a framework for understanding the
larger economic role of the energy industry
at a time when issues of employment and
investment are so critical in a troubled global
economy, its authors said.
The report examines the industrys role
as a driver of investment and job creation, as
well as energys importance as the key input
for most goods and services in the econ-
omy. Fig. 1 shows the energy sectors share
of business-sector gross domestic product
(GDP) along with other industries in sev-
eral Organization for Economic Coopera-
tion and Development (OECD) countries.
The energy industry is unique in its
economic importance, said Daniel Yergin,
IHS CERA chairman. The energy sector
has the potential to be a tremendous eco-
nomic catalyst and source of innovation
in its own right, while it simultaneously
produces the very lifeblood that drives the
broader economy.
The energy industryby nature, capi-
tal intensive and requiring high levels of
investmenthas the ability to generate
outsized contributions to GDP growth,
the study says. In the US, the oil and gas
extraction sector grew at a rate of 4.5% in
2011 compared to an overall GDP growth
rate of 1.7%.
The highly skilled technical nature of
energy industry jobs is reflected in compen-
sation levels. As a result, employees of the
energy industry contribute more absolute
spending per capita to the economy than
the average worker, and contribute a larger
share of GDP per worker than most indus-
tries, the study says.
The energy industrys most important
immediate source of economic potential
is its high employment multiplier effect,
which is a result of its extensive supply
chain and relatively high worker pay. Every
direct job created in the oil, natural gas and
related industries in the US generates three
or more indirect and induced jobs across
the economy, the study says. For further
illumination, Fig. 2 shows energy sector
employment when compared to other
industries in select OECD countries.
In the US, this places oil and gas ahead
of the financial, telecommunications, soft-
ware and non-residential construction sec-
tors in terms of the additional employment
associated with each direct worker.
We always suspected that energy had a
vital role to play in the economic recovery,
said Roberto Bocca, senior director and
head of energy industries at the World Eco-
nomic Forum. But we were still surprised
when the data uncovered the magnitude of
the sectors multiplier effects.
Energy prices. As the key input for most
goods and services in the economy, lower
energy prices reduce expenses for consum-
ers and businesses and increase the dispos-
able income available to be spent elsewhere.
Many countries, such as China, India and
South Korea, are increasingly focusing on
renewable energy sources as potential growth
sectors for their economies, the report said.
Developed countries are also investing in
renewables in an effort to meet sustainability
goals and emerge at the forefront of this
Germany
Mexico
Norway
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States
Percent
0 5 10
10.4
21.2
5.9
4.5
2.8
3.5
8.5
3.2
24.4
8.8
6.5
22.3
2.5
11.8
19.1
28
6.3
18.2
15 20 25 30
Energy-related
industries
Manufacturing Health and
social work
Source: IHS CERA and OECD Structural Analysis Database.
Note: Data are 10-year averages of the most recent data available:
20002009 for the United States, 19932002 for Norway,
and 19942003 for all other countries.
Share of business-sector GDP and energy compared to
other industries.
FIG. 1
Source: IHS CERA and OECD Structural Analysis Database.
Note: Data are 10-year averages of the most recent data available:
20002009 for the United States, 19932002 for Norway and
19942003 for all other countries.
Energy-related
industries
Manufacturing Health and
social work
Germany
Mexico
Norway
South Korea
United Kingdom
United States
Percent
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
16.9
18
1.2
0.9
2.6
0.6
18.6
2.7
11.9
0.8
9.5
22.1
1.4
14.3
2.3
27.8
11.1
15.7
Share of business-sector employment and energy
compared to other industries.
FIG. 2
HPIMPACT
20


growing sector. However, the higher costs
of these technologies create tradeoffs that
must be considered, the study said.
One must look at energys contribution
to the overall economy, not just its direct
contribution, said Samantha Gross, IHS
CERA director of integrated research. Max-
imizing direct jobs in the energy sector may
not be the right goal if it reduces efficiency
and increases energy prices to the detriment
of the economys overall productivity.
The study also examines the role
of policy in maximizing the economic
benefits of energy production, promot-
ing steady and reasonable energy prices
through stable tax and fiscal schemes,
and encouraging of industrial diversifi-
cation through cluster development. It
points to the challenge for a resource-rich
country to transform oil and gas earnings
into the foundations of a wider, more
diversified economy.
Medium-voltage AC
drives surge, thanks
to energy market
While large project orders helped main-
tain the market size of medium-voltage
AC drives in 2009, it also resulted in low
growth in 2010 compared to other auto-
mation product markets. However, 2010
was still not a disappointing year for the
medium-voltage AC drives market. The
market expected to experience higher
growth in 2011 compared to sluggish
growth in 2010, according to an ARC
Advisory Group study.
The impact of the extraordinary amount
of policy stimulus in 2009 boded well for
the high-power AC drives market in 2009
and 2010. Monetary policy had been
highly expansionary, with interest rates
down to record lows in most advanced, and
in many emerging, economies.
Growth in power and automation
solutions for all regions of the world [was
seen continuing] in 2011 and beyond, with
increasing market demand for building
newand upgrading existingpower infra-
structure and improving industrial efficiency
and productivity, according to Himanshu
Shah, the principal author of ARCs study.
Demand from emerging markets.
While demand in mature markets for auto-
mation solutions and AC drives is expected
to improve, emerging markets will remain
significant drivers of growth as they build
up their electrical power-generation capac-
ity and expand industrial production with
a major focus on improving energy effi-
ciency and industrial process quality. These
dynamics directly impact market growth
for medium-voltage AC drives. Demand
for commodities fueled by the economic
growth of emerging countries and the need
to become more globally competitive in
product quality is also expected to propel
demand for industrial automation solu-
tions and medium-voltage AC drives in the
emerging markets.
Infrastructure investment. Glo-
balization has created a growing demand
for modern infrastructures, especially in
emerging economies. Major investments
are underway, and more are being planned
for airport facilities, railway and public
transportation expansions, and new road
construction. These projects are driving
demand for products from the metals and
mining, cement and glass, and oil and gas
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HPIMPACT
22


industries. Emerging economies know that
their current infrastructures are a major
bottleneck for their continuing economic
growth. Medium-voltage AC drives are one
of the critical components for these infra-
structure investments, and they are used
extensively in these industries.
In spite of the unpredictable economic
conditions of some countries in Europe,
the globalization environment is expected
to resume over the next forecast period.
The beginnings of a modest recovery in the
global economy would present an excellent
backdrop for medium-voltage AC drives
market growth.
While every region will experience
growth in the medium-voltage AC drives
market over the forecast period, there are
significantly different factors affecting each
market. A brief description regarding the
economic scenarios for each region is cov-
ered in the report.
Canadian oil sands
alliance
Canadian oil sands producers have
formed a new alliance named Canadas
Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA),
seeking to accelerate the pace of improving
environmental performance in Canadas oil
sands. Companies involved in the alliance
include BP, Canadian Natural Resources,
Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips, Devon,
Imperial Oil, Nexen, Shell, Statoil Canada,
Suncor Energy, Teck Resources and Total.
CEOs from those companies signed the
alliances founding charter, committing to
COSIAs vision to enable responsible and
sustainable growth of Canadas oil sands
while delivering accelerated improvement
in environmental performance through col-
laborative action and innovation.
The creation of COSIA as an indepen-
dent alliance builds on work done over the
past several years by both oil sands industry
members and research and development
organizations, the group said. COSIA plans
to take these efforts to a much larger scale
and seeks to help the industry address envi-
ronmental challenges by breaking down
barriers in the areas of funding, intellectual
property enforcement, and human resources
that may otherwise impede progress.
The publics expectation of environ-
mental performance in the oil sands contin-
ues to evolve; we want to meet those expecta-
tions, and well work collaboratively to do so,
building on previous successes, said John C.
Abbott, executive vice president of heavy oil
for Shell Canada. Coming together today
to sign the charter is a significant and impor-
tant step for all our companies and marks a
pivotal point for our industry.
COSIA also announced Dr. Dan
Wicklum as CEO of the new alliance. Dr.
Wicklum has a background in environ-
mental science and was selected following
a national search. The organization said
that his scientific qualifications and leader-
ship experience position him well to lead
COSIA, a science-based alliance focused on
environmental technology and innovation.
I am confident COSIA will greatly
accelerate innovation and environmental
performance in priority areas that Cana-
dians care most about, Dr. Wicklum
said. Today is just the beginning, and I
am excited to be part of this new alliance.
We understand we have a lot of work to
do, and we are looking forward to working
with our stakeholders and reporting on our
progress along the way.
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HPIMPACT
COSIA will establish structures and
processes through which oil sands pro-
ducers and other stakeholders can work
together for the benefit of the environ-
ment. The alliance will identify, develop
and apply solutions-oriented innovations
around the most pressing oil sands envi-
ronmental challenges (specifically water,
land, greenhouse gases and tailings), and
will communicate COSIAs efforts and suc-
cesses in addressing those challenges.
Jean-Michel Gires, CEO of Total E&P
Canada, said that COSIA creates a new
dynamic for the oil sands industry, promot-
ing new approaches for intellectual property
management of environmental technology
and better working relationships with uni-
versities, research agencies, technology pro-
viders, regulators and oil sands stakeholders
in the communities where industry operates.
COSIA is a reflection of how the oil
sands have evolved into a global resource,
with companies committing to fostering
continuous innovation and the develop-
ment of new environmental solutions,
Mr. Gires said. We have seen what can be
achieved when we work together and multi-
ply our ideas and efforts. For example, work
done by the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative
and the Oil Sands Tailings Consortium is
already delivering technology that promises
to reduce our environmental footprint.
Companies participating in COSIA will
contribute at varying levels to the alliance,
based on their own areas of expertise, offi-
cials said. COSIA will rely on the input of
scientists and engineers from within the
ranks of the member companies, as well
as leading thinkers from government, aca-
demia and the wider public.
Polyurethane news
from Riyadh
Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC)
has signed a toluene di-isocyanate (TDI)
and methylene di-phenyl isocyanate (MDI)
technology license agreement with Mitsui
Chemicals, under which Mitsui will provide
manufacturing technology for producing
TDI and MDI. TDI and MDI are each raw
materials for producing polyurethane. The
agreement also provides for joint technology
development in TDI/MDI, officials said.
The official signing ceremony (Fig. 3) took
place at SABIC headquarters in Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia, and featured Mohamed Al-
Mady, SABIC vice chairman and chief exec-
utive officer, and Toshikazu Tanaka, Mitsui
Chemicals president and CEO.
Mr. Al-Mady said that the partnership
would spearhead a strategic collaboration
between the two companies to explore
future possibilities to collaborate in the
polyurethane business. The agreement
will spur our strategic business plan to
penetrate the global polyurethane market,
as well as to power the ambition and com-
petitive advantage of our customers for the
long term, he said. It will also enable a
fast development of polyurethane applica-
tion industries in Saudi Arabia, especially
with regard to thermal insulation, which
will contribute to employment creation in
addition to energy savings.
Mr. Al-Mady pointed out that Mit-
sui Chemicals has lengthy experience as
a manufacturer of TDI and MDI and has
developed pioneering manufacturing pro-
cesses. Through this technology license
agreement, we will strengthen our prod-
uct capabilities with high-quality TDI and
MDI, and expand into the polyurethane
business, he said.
For Mitsui Chemicals, this license
agreement will be the largest and most
extensive one we have ever made, Mr.
Tanaka said. We will support this project
full force on every front and are commit-
ted to its success. I hope that it will be just
the first step in a future business partner-
ship with SABIC, which may include the
establishment of a strategic supply base for
competitive TDI/MDI. HP
Executives from SABIC and Mitsui Chemicals ink a deal in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. FIG. 3
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Ethylene Producers Conference
at the AIChE 2012 Spring Meeting
Select 155 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Flexible H
2
S Removal
LO CATs fexible technologies and worldwide services are backed by over three decades of
reliability. Over 200 licensees in 29 countries are meeting todays compliance requirements by
turning nasty H
2
S into elemental sulfur with the use of LO CAT technologies. Efcient, efective
and environmentally sound, LO CAT is the technology of choice for H
2
S removal / recovery.
www.merichem.com
Sweet Solutions.

LO CAT

Select 84 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
HPINNOVATIONS
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


25
SELECTED BY HYDROCARBON PROCESSING EDITORS
Editorial@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
Vessel monitoring system
uses thermal cameras
The Critical Vessel Monitoring Sys-
tem from Land Instruments International
Ltd., a unit of AMETEK Inc., uses indus-
trial-strength thermal-imaging cameras
to provide higher measurement density
than traditional systems based on ther-
mocouples. The system measures surface
temperature once every 16 cm
2
, as com-
pared with one measurement every 250
cm
2
in thermocouple systems. Each cam-
era records over 110,000 individual mea-
surements, ensuring that even the smallest
degradation can be detected.
By measuring temperatures in more loca-
tions, the system allows for earlier detection
of refractory wear or breakdown. Measure-
ments from all cameras are reported using
graphical software that signals an alarm if a
potential breakout is detected. The software
also compiles temperature trends to sup-
port statistical analysis of refractory wear.
An integrated web interface allows for the
visualization of current vessel conditions
from all plant locations.
The system is optimized for use in
gasifiers and other critical vessels in pet-
rochemical production, power genera-
tion, chemical and coal processing, waste
management, and fertilizer and plastics
production. Benefits include greater pro-
tection against catastrophic vessel failure
and extension of refractory lifetime based
on actual data.
Select 1 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
New catalyst produces
high-performance polymers
Dow Chemical Co.s CONSISTA C601
polypropylene catalyst, which is included
in its Ziegler Natta catalyst family, is a
non-phthalate-based catalyst system for the
production of high-performance polymers.
The system requires no capital or upgrades
to existing facilities, and accommodates
drop-in technology for Dows UNIPOL
Polypropylene Process Technology.
CONSISTA C601 Catalyst was imple-
mented in production trials at Slovnaft
Petrochemicals in Bratislava, Slovakia.
There, the catalyst was used to produce
homopolymer and high melt flow impact
copolymers. CONSISTA C601 Catalyst
demonstrated high yield and the capability
to make a broad range of products with a
non-phthalate-based catalyst system.
Andrej Horak, polypropylene plant
manager for Slovnaft Petrochemicals, noted
that the trials confirmed expectations for
improved product properties, and resulted
in lower production costs ensured by
40% higher catalyst yield compared to our
current system. Slovnaft Petrochemicals
plans to install the CONSISTA C601 cata-
lyst system for its entire production portfolio
in the near future, enabling it to meet future
REACH (Registration, Evaluation and
Authorization of Chemicals) requirements.
Additionally, in a separate trial of CON-
SISTA C601, the catalyst demonstrated
excellent operability and process perfor-
mance with homopolymer production,
using a standard operation protocol, thereby
validating the drop-in technology concept.
Select 2 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Pump shaft seal listed
as Shell best practice
Shell Global Solutions has listed IHC
Lagersmits LIQUIDYNE water-lubricated
pump shaft seal as best practice for use with
its cooling water pumps worldwide. The
seal is also included in Shells Technically
Accepted Manufacturers and Products
(TAMAP) list.
The LIQUIDYNE seal was originally
developed for dredging pumps and has
been adapted to fit cooling water pumps.
Since the condition of the heavily rein-
forced seal can be determined at any time,
it offers significant reliability and above-
average mean time between maintenance
(MTBM) for cooling water pumps. The
high MTBM improves grip on the pump-
ing process and prevents both unnecessary
maintenance and sudden pump failure,
thereby reducing maintenance costs.
Select 3 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Wireless network solution
links remote field sites
The Wireless Network Module (WNM)
from Moore Industries is an accurate and
reliable solution for sending process signals
between remote field sites. The bidirectional
WNM provides a low-cost wireless commu-
nications link between field sites that are in
rugged or impassable terrain, with a single
unit transmitting for up to 30 miles. The
unit can also act as a repeater for a virtually
unlimited transmission range.
The WNM uses Spread Spectrum Fre-
quency Hopping technology to avoid inter-
As HP editors, we hear about new products,
patents, software, processes and services
that are true industry innovations
a cut above the typical product offerings.
This section enables us to highlight these
significant developments. For more
information from these companies,
please go to our website at
www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/rs
and select the reader service number.
This vessel monitoring software shows the exact locations of imaging cameras. FIG. 1
26

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
HPINNOVATIONS
ference problems caused by crowded radio
spectrums. This technology allows multiple
radio networks to use the same band while
in close proximity. The WNM does not
require a regulatory license, and it typically
can be installed without performing costly
radio frequency site surveys.
The WNM is ideal for use with Moore
Industries NCS NET Concentrator Sys-
tem, as well as with other supervisory con-
trol and data acquisition (SCADA) and
distributed input/output systems. WNM
models are available for data communica-
tions networks that use Ethernet and serial
(RS-485) communications.
Select 4 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Clean CCS process replaces
coal-mining steps
Refineries with delayed coker technol-
ogy and open-pit or pad solids handling
resemble a coal-mining operation. How-
ever, engineering firm TRIPLAN AGs
Closed Coke Slurry (CCS) system offers
a modern, state-of-the-art delayed coking
process with sound economic incentives
and low emissions. The CCS technology
significantly improves overall plant reli-
ability and reduces costs.
The CCS system is technically a closed
system, improving mechanical, environ-
mental and worker hygiene compared to an
open-pit or pad system. All coke-handling
stepsfrom coke drum outlet to discharge
of dry coke to load-out, and the separa-
tion and disposal of coke fineshave been
converted from solids handling into one
smooth, swift step.
CCS technology enables a reduction
in cycle time of up to four hours, allow-
ing for greater feed processing and clean
products output. Also, improvements in
the metallurgy have made the CCS process
very stable, unlike the pit and pad designs.
The instrumentation allows for fully con-
trolled operation, and it enables the con-
sole operator to view a complete status of
the process at any time.
The typical payout time for a CCS sys-
tem is one and a half years to two years
(for a two-drum unit processing 1,000
tons of coke per day), as long as down-
stream modifications do not dilute the
economics. Since each delayed coker and
overall refinery configuration are different,
careful investigation and review of the site
are recommended before the installation
of the CCS system.
Select 5 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Linde buys Chorens
Carbo-V technology
Linde Engineering Dresden GmbH
recently acquired the Carbo-V multistage
biomass gasification technology of the
insolvent Choren Industries GmbH, for
an undisclosed sum. Linde plans to offer
the technology for commercial projects in
the future.
During the Carbo-V technologys first
process stage, the biomass reacting in a
low-temperature gasifier (LTG) is con-
verted to biocoke and carbonization gas.
The second process stage comprises the
partial oxidation of the carbonization gas
that takes place in a high-temperature gas-
ifier (HTG), and, during the third process
stage, the biocoke is blown into the hot gas
stream of the HTG. After adequate pre-
conditioning, the synthesis gas produced
may be subsequently processed into green
products; e.g., second-generation biodiesel.
Select 6 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Detector tube and slide card
monitor gas pipeline humidity
The combination of Gastecs direct-
read water vapor detector tube No. 6LP
and Methanol Correction Slide Card helps
simplify quality assurance for humidity
control in natural gas pipelines. Offered
by Nextteq, the 6LP tube allows for quick
and accurate detection of water vapor con-
centrations with a measuring range of 3
pounds per million cubic foot (lb/MMcf )
to 100 lb/MMcf. The tube is designed to
measure the maximum acceptable water
vapor concentration of 7 lb/MMcf set by
most gas distributors.
If methanol is present in natural gas, it
can interfere with water vapor measure-
ments and require extra analysis and cal-
culations to determine the correct water
vapor level. For a precise methanol mea-
surement, Nextteq offers the Methanol
Correction Slide Card, which provides an
on-the-spot correction factor. The slide
card, for use with Gastec Gas Detector
Tube No. 6LP (water vapor) and No.
111L (methanol), expedites the analysis
and reduces the risk of miscalculations.
Select 7 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
The water-lubricated pump seal
extends mean time between
maintenance.
FIG. 3
Example:
Cycle time (actual) = 19 hr
Cycle time (target) = 17 hr
Expected prot up to 32 MM/y when
changing from pit to CCS system
Two-drum coker, 250 ton/hr of fresh feed
Uplift = 100/ton of fresh feed
25,000/y
One turnaround/y = 800 hr
Run length of CCS = 8,000 hr = 100%
pit = 7,600 hr = 95%
0
24
23
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
7,600 hr/
year (yr)
Pit
region
1
7
1
8
1
9
2
1
2
2
2
3
2
4
2
0
CCS
region
8,000 hr/
yr = 100%
10 20 30
Earnings, MM/y
C
y
c
l
e

t
i
m
e
,

h
o
u
r
s

(
h
r
)
40 50 5 15 25 35 45 55 60
Attractive economics are achievable with the CCS system. FIG. 2
HPINNOVATIONS



27
Epoxy coating fights
steel corrosion offshore
Sherwin-Williams recently launched a
high-build, hazardous air pollutant (HAP)-
free epoxy coating formulated for application
to marginally prepared and damp surfaces in
marine and offshore applications. The coat-
ing, Macropoxy 80, combats steel corrosion
caused by immersion in saltwater and fresh-
water, as well as by atmospheric exposures.
A modified phenalkamine epoxy with
high surface tolerance, Macropoxy 80 is
recommended for use in coastal areas, salt-
water and freshwater immersion, bilges and
wet void areas, water and wastewater tanks,
underwater hulls, and decks and super-
structures. It can also be used as an anti-cor-
rosive primer in an underwater hull system
with anti-fouling coatings. The coatings
high solids formulation (80%) reduces the
likelihood of solvent entrapment, which
can lead to premature coating failure.
In addition to being HAP free, Macro-
poxy 80 is low in volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) (< 250 grams/liter) and is available
in a standard hardener for applications
between 40F and 120F (4C and 49C) or
a low-temperature hardener for applications
between 0F and 77F (18C and 25C).
Select 8 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Drger unveils new industrial
breathing apparatus line
Two new National Institute for Occu-
pational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-
approved units, the Drger PSS 3000 and
Drger PAS Lite, are designed to protect
workers, increase plant productivity and
reduce cost of ownership.
Drger Safety AG & Co.s PSS 3000
self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
is designed for use in plant maintenance,
plant and operational safety, and emer-
gency response in the petrochemical,
oil and gas industries, as well as in other
industrial applications. The PAS Lite
unit, which offers both SCBA and airline
options, is designed for use in industrial
applications where a simple, easy-to-use
breathing apparatus is required.
The harnesses used in both systems are
five times more durable than those made
of traditional materials. The PSS 3000 unit
uses fire-retardant ethylene-vinyl acetate,
while the PAS Lite system uses styrene-
butadiene rubber-coated webbing, making
them both less permeable to liquids and
almost 100% inert to chemicals, thereby
reducing the time and effort required to
clean and maintain the units.
Select 9 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
The Drger PSS 3000 breathing
apparatus is more durable than
traditional equipment.
FIG. 4
This bench top analyzer tops all others in its price range for
features and performance. Its equipped with an intuitive user
interface, full-color touch screen and on-board Windows XP
computer. Ethernet electronics that permit remote access for
calibration, diagnostics or service support. Plus, the Phoenix II
has a large sample compartment that accommodates spinners
and special holders yet requires little or no sample preparation.
It all adds up to the lowest cost of ownership, backed by
AMETEKs reputation for reliability and world class customer
support. Visit: ametekpi.com
Select 156 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Reliability has
no quitting time.
Think about ITT.
Conoow | Enidine | Fabri-Valve | Fiberbond | Goulds | ITT Standard | Midland-ACS | Neo-Dyn
In oil and gas facilities around the world, ITT delivers pumps, valves, composite piping, switches,
regulators and vibration isolation systems that can handle harsh conditions and keep going.
After all, in the 24/7/365 renery business, the last thing you want is a piece of equipment that
fails. With ITT, your processes stay upand your total cost of ownership stays down. For more
information, and to receive our Oil and Gas catalog, visit www.ittoilgas.com or call 1-800-734-7867.
Select 86 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


29
HPIN CONSTRUCTION
HELEN MECHE, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
HM@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
North America
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, L.P.
has selected Exterran to design, manu-
facture and construct a natural gas-pro-
cessing plant in South Texas. The project
includes engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) of a cryogenic gas-
processing plant with a capacity of 150
million scfd of natural gas produced from
the Eagle Ford shale.
It is expected that the equipment
designed, fabricated and installed by Exter-
ran will be capable of achieving up to 93%
ethane extraction.
Clean Energy Fuels Corp. has signed
a 10-year agreement with Green Energy
Oilfield Services to build, supply and
maintain a new liquefied natural gas
(LNG) fueling station at Green Energys
headquarters in Fairfield, Texas.
The LNG fueling station will fuel Green
Energys new fleet of 60 LNG-powered
heavy-duty Peterbilt trucks, which will sup-
port Green Energys oil production custom-
ers within a 100-mile radius of Fairfield, in
the Freestone oil region of Central Texas.
The trucks are anticipated to use approxi-
mately 1.2 million gpy of LNG.
The new Green Energy Fairfield LNG
stations development is set to begin in
August 2012, with completion scheduled
by the end of 2012. Green Energys future
plans include development of additional
LNG truck-fueling stations in the Barnett
(Fort Worth), Haynesville (Marshall), and
Eagle Ford shale (Laredo) petroleum-pro-
ducing areas of Texas.
Fluor Corp. has an engineering, pro-
curement and construction management
(EPCM) contract from Joule Unlimited,
Inc., to design and build a biofuels demon-
stration facility in New Mexico.
The facility is intended to scale up a
pilot process to produce liquid fuels via
Joules novel technology, which uses sun-
light to convert proprietary organisms and
carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons
and ethanol.
Fluors Greenville, South Carolina
office is leading the EPCM services proj-
ect. Engineering, procurement and site
mobilization is underway.
Freeport LNG Expansion, L.P. and a
joint venture comprising Zachry Indus-
trial, Inc. and CB&I Inc. have a front-end
engineering and design (FEED) contract for
the engineering and design of the Freeport
Liquefaction Project near Freeport, Texas.
Under the FEED contract, the Zachry/
CB&I joint venture will engineer and
design three LNG liquefaction trains (each
rated at 4.4 million tpy) and corresponding
pretreatment facilities to be located near
the existing Freeport LNG Regasification
Terminal, which is owned and operated by
Freeport LNGs parent company, Freeport
LNG Development, L.P.
Within the three-train design, the
Zachry/CB&I joint venture will develop
a fixed-price/fixed-schedule proposal
for both a one-train initial develop-
ment and a two-train initial develop-
ment. This optionally enables Freeport
LNG to choose the optimum size of the
initial phase of the project based upon
customer demand and financing con-
siderations. In addition, the three-train
projects design will allow for expansion
of additional liquefaction trains and pre-
treatment facilities after the initial devel-
opment has commenced.
MDU Resources Group, Inc. ,
through its wholly owned subsidiary, WBI
Holdings, Inc., and Calumet Refining,
LLC, an entity owned by the existing
owners of the general partner of Calumet
Specialty Products Partners, L.P., have
signed a nonbinding letter of intent to
explore the feasibility of jointly building
and operating a 20,000-bpd diesel refinery
in southwestern North Dakota. The facil-
ity would process Bakken crude and mar-
ket the diesel within the Bakken region.
Site selection, permitting, crude-oil feed
procurement, marketing and engineering
studies are underway. Upon successful
completion of the project, Calumet Refin-
ing, LLC expects to contribute its interest
in the joint venture to Calumet Specialty
Products Partners, L.P., in exchange for
cash and/or partnership interests.
Air Liquide Large Industries U.S. LP
has started up a new air-separation unit
(ASU) at its facility in Geismar, Louisiana.
The Geismar facility supplies nitrogen,
oxygen and argon to customers in a range
of industries, including refining, natural
gas, chemicals, metals and many others.
The new ASU began commercial
production in October 2011, producing
high-purity oxygen, nitrogen and argon.
It is one of three at Air Liquides facility
in Geismar. The first ASU became opera-
tional in October of 1999, and the second
in February of 2000.
Formosa Plastics Corp. will be invest-
ing more than $1.7 billion in capital
equipment and construction at its Point
Comfort, Texas, site. This investment will
increase the security and flexibility of the
companys raw and intermediate mate-
rial supplies, as well as the reliability and
breadth of the companys products.
The investment consists of a new,
grassroots 800,000-metric-tpy olefins
cracker, an associated 600,000-metric-tpy
propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit
and a new 300,000-metric-tpy low-den-
sity polyethylene (LDPE) resin plant. The
olefins cracker will take advantage of the
increasingly reliable and low-cost domestic
natural gas and supply feedstock both to
existing production units and to the new
LDPE unit. The PDH unit will produce
additional propylene, increasing opera-
tional flexibility. The addition of the coun-
Trend analysis forecasting
Hydrocarbon Processing maintains an
extensive database of historical HPI proj-
ect information. The Boxscore Database is a
35-year compilation of projects by type, oper-
ating company, licensor, engineering/construc-
tor, location, etc. Many companies use the his-
torical data for trending or sales forecasting.
The historical information is available in
comma-delimited or Excel

and can be custom


sorted to suit your needs. The cost depends on
the size and complexity of the sort requested.
You can focus on a narrow request, such as
the history of a particular type of project, or
you can obtain the entire 35-year Boxscore
database or portions thereof. Simply send
a clear description of the data needed and
receive a prompt cost quotation.
Contact: Lee Nichols
P.O. Box 2608, Houston, Texas 77252-2608
713-525-4626 Lee.Nichols@GulfPub.com
HPIN CONSTRUCTION
30


trys newest LDPE resin plant will comple-
ment the companys existing product line
of Formolene polyethylene (PE) and poly-
propylene (PP), and Formolon polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) and specialty PVC.
Europe
CB&Is Lummus Technology busi-
ness sector has been awarded two separate
contracts by a client in Russia. The com-
bined value of the contracts is approxi-
mately $120 million. The first contract
was awarded in the fourth quarter of 2011
and the second was awarded in January
2012. The work scope includes detailed
design, engineering and material supply
for numerous heaters for a refinery-mod-
ernization project.
Sibur and Reliance Industries Ltd.
(RIL) have formed a joint venture (JV)
named Reliance Sibur Elastomers Pri-
vate Ltd. to produce 100,000 tpy of butyl
rubber in Jamnagar, India. Reliances share
in the JV will total 74.9%, while Sibur
will account for 25.1%. The JV will invest
$450 million to build the facility, which
is expected to be commissioned by the
middle of 2014.
The company has also signed a tech-
nology license agreement facilitating
Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private Ltd.s
use of Siburs proprietary butyl-rubber
production technology at the new facility.
Sibur will develop the facilitys basic engi-
neering design and also train the JVs per-
sonnel at its production site in Togliatti,
Russia. The JV will reportedly be the first
manufacturer of butyl rubber in India and
the fourth largest supplier of butyl rubber
in the world.

KBR has been awarded a contract by
the TAIF Group to provide licensing and
engineering services for the Veba Combi
Cracker (VCC) to be implemented at the
Nizhnikamsk refinery in the Republic of
Tatarstan, Russia.
Under contract terms, KBR will pro-
vide the license, basic-engineering pack-
age and other services for TAIFs VCC-
based Deep-Conversion Complex. The
complex will process 2.7 million tpy of
refinery vacuum residues and 1.6 million
tpy of distillates into high-value petro-
chemical feedstocks and Euro 5 diesel.
This award marks the third VCC license
and KBRs largest VCC project award
since the acquisition of the rights to the
technology in January 2010.
ITT Corp. has an enterprise framework
agreement with Shell Global Solutions in
which ITTs Goulds Pumps brand will pro-
vide American Petroleum Institute (API)
centrifugal pumps to support Shell opera-
tions worldwide.
Under the agreement, Goulds Pumps
will supply these pumps in several configu-
rations to Shell operations and affiliates
worldwide.The agreement is for five years
with an option for an additional five years.
Shell applied a comprehensive process in
selecting ITT Goulds Pumps, and this
agreement includes the development of
common specifications, terms and condi-
tions, as well as pricing.
ZAO Far East Petrochemical Co.
(FEPCO), which is implementing OJSC
NK Rosnefts project for the construction
of a petrochemical complex in the Pri-
CREATING
VALUE IN
EVERY PHASE
WorleyParsons provides a
comprehensive range of
refnery and petrochemicals
services through all phases
of the asset lifecycle, and
has been doing so for over
60 years.
refning@worleyparsons.com
petrochemicals@worleyparsons.com
With over 2,100 cumulative refning and petrochemicals projects, our customers can be
assured that critical issues such as sustainability; health, safety and environment; budget;
schedule; quality; operating reliability; and technical integrity are optimized in all phases,
from Identify through to Operate.
Select 157 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Decades of experience in the oil and gas industry, leading
technical expertise, and our own product development
and production facilities are the solid foundation for a
wide range of high-performance products and services.
We offer comprehensive solutions for the entire life cycle
of a plant and along the entire oil and gas value chain.
The basis is our global engineering and project manage-
www.siemens.com/oilandgas
Solutions for the oil and gas industry
ment expertise as well as extensive experience in turnkey
projects. Siemens early involvement in the concept phase
results in the best possible technical solutions and limits
project risks. And packages for entire functionalities
reduce interface conflicts to help optimize a plants CAPEX
and OPEX.
Solutions for real
technical challenges
Siemens always goes the extra mile to supply innovative
and reliable oil and gas solutions.
E
5
0
0
0
1
-
E
4
4
0
-
F
1
5
7
-
V
1
-
4
A
0
0
Select 101 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
HPIN CONSTRUCTION
32


morsk region of Russia, has selected Axens
AlphaButol and AlphaHexol technologies
for producing high-purity linear alpha-
olefins. It is foreseen that the AlphaButol
and AlphaHexol units, with a cumulative
linear alpha-olefins capacity of 50,000 tpy,
will be included into this complex.
AlphaButol will supply high-purity
1-Butene by ethylene dimerization,
while AlphaHexol will produce high-
purity 1-Hexene by ethylene trimeriza-
tion. Based on homogeneous catalysis
and associated low-investment cost, both
technologies are designed and optimized
to ensure a flexible and reliable source
of high-quality co-monomers for down-
stream polyolefin applications.
A subsidiary of Foster Wheeler AGs
Gl obal Engi neeri ng and Construc-
tion Group has a contract from a sub-
sidiary of JSC LUKOIL for the supply
of a waste-heat boiler for the LUKOIL
Ni zhegorodnefteorgsi ntez refi ner y,
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
The waste-heat boiler will be installed
downstream of a fluid catalytic-cracking
unit, producing gasoline to meet European
Union Euro-5 standards.
Foster Wheelers scope of work is sched-
uled to be completed by March 2013.
Middle East
Si emens Industr y Automati on
Division is providing Abu Dhabi Oil
Refining Co. (TAKREER) with a Zim-
pro wet-air oxidation (WAO) system
to treat refinery spent caustic as part
of TAKREERs refinery expansion in
Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The WAO
system will treat odorous sulfides and pro-
duce biodegradable effluent for discharge
to the facilitys effluent-treatment plant.
The expansion project is scheduled to be
complete by late 2013.
The refinery expansion project will
increase crude-oil refining capacity by
417,000 bpd, using the latest advanced
technology for downstream processing
units to produce higher-quality products
and to comply with UAE and interna-
tional environmental standards. The Zim-
pro WAO system will be part of the new
downstream units.
Subsidiaries of Foster Wheeler AGs
Global Engineering and Construction
Group have been awarded an engineer-
ing, procurement and construction man-
agement (EPCM) contract by Aramco
Overseas Co., B.V. (AOC), a subsidiary
of Saudi Aramco, and Dow Europe
Holding B.V., for a propylene-oxide
(PO) unit at Jubail Industrial City, King-
dom of Saudi Arabia.
This unit will be part of a world-scale,
fully integrated chemicals complex, one
of the largest of its kind in the world,
which will be constructed, owned and
operated by Sadara Chemical Co., a
joint venture between Saudi Aramco and
Dow. This contract has been awarded as
an extension to the front-end engineering
design (FEED) contract awarded to Foster
Wheeler by AOC and Dow in 2008.
The world-scale unit is expected to be
completed during the first quarter of 2015.
Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC)
has signed a TDI and MDI technology
license agreement with Mitsui Chemi-
cals, Inc., in keeping with the companys
think control
XNX Universal Transmitter from
Honeywell Analytics performs the way you
want it to. It detects most industrial gases and
links to virtually all industrial communications.
XNX leverages your existing infrastructure
and future-proofs your operation. It saves you
money and puts you more in control.
XNX adds performance and value to your safety system through
its advanced modularity and simplied installation, operation and
maintenance. Want open-path Infrared, point Infrared, catalytic bead
or electrochemical protection? XNX satises all requirements. It is eld
upgradeable with 4-20mA, HART, Modbus or Foundation Fieldbus,
allowing you to expand diagnostic capabilities, reduce maintenance
costs and boost uptime. With the industrys largest display (user-
selectable to eight languages), XNX is easy to use and easy to train
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RELIABILITY ISSUES NEVER SLEEP.


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At Dresser-Rand, we know any unscheduled interruption of a clients downstream operation is
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HPIN CONSTRUCTION
34


strategic plan to be a global leader in poly-
urethane (PU) and serve its customers
with value-added services, solutions and
products. Under the agreement, Mitsui
will provide manufacturing technology
for producing TDI and MDI, which are
both raw materials for producing PU. The
agreement also provides for joint technol-
ogy development in TDI/MDI.
Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chair-
man and CEO, pointed out that Mitsui
Chemicals has a long experience as a man-
ufacturer of TDI and MDI, and has, over
the years, developed pioneering manufac-
turing processes. Through this technol-
ogy license agreement, we will strengthen
our product capabilities with high-quality
TDI and MDI and expand into the poly-
urethane business, he said.
Toshikazu Tanaka, Mitsui Chemicals
president and CEO, commented, For
Mitsui Chemicals, this license agreement
will be the largest and most extensive one
we have ever made. We will support this
project full force on every front and are
committed to its success. I hope that it
will be just the first step in a future busi-
ness partnership with SABIC, which may
include the establishment of a strategic
supply base for competitive TDI/MDI.
Asia Pacific
The Shaw Group Inc. has a contract
to provide the technology license and
process design package for the revamp of
Star Petroleum Refining Co.s residue
fluid catalytic-cracking (RFCC) unit in
Map Ta Phut, Thailand. The design will
upgrade the 40,800-bpd RFCC unit by
incorporating the latest advances in reac-
tor-system technology.
Shaw jointly developed the proprietary
RFCC technology through an alliance
with Axens and Total that began in the
early 1990s. To date, Shaw and Axens have
licensed 51 grassroots units and performed
more than 200 revamp projects.
Sumitomo Chemical held a ground-
breaking ceremony for its new solution-
styrene-butadiene rubber (S-SBR) man-
ufacturing plant to be constructed in
Merbau area, Jurong Island, Singapore,
by its group company Sumitomo Chemi-
cal Asia PTE LTD. In November 2010,
the company decided to construct the
new 40,000-tpy S-SBR plant in Singa-
pore because of its geographical advan-
tage in supplying rapidly growing Asian
markets, and stable procurement of the
raw material butadiene, as well as tie-ups
with Sumitomo Chemical Groups existing
businesses in the region.
Construction work commenced in
January 2012, and the facility is scheduled
for completion in June 2013. Commer-
cial operations are planned to begin during
the fourth quarter of 2013. The company,
expecting further demand growth, is work-
ing on a plan to build an additional plant to
increase production.
Sumitomo Chemicals S-SBR is man-
ufactured by its proprietary production
process technology. With its advanced
polymer-modification technology, it is
a key to achieving higher product per-
formance. The company continues to
enhance its S-SBR business globally
through increased production with the
new plant in Singapore and future expan-
sions, along with its existing 10,000-tpy
plant in Japan.
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via Grazioli, 30
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tel. +39 02.66.20.20.66
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For more than eighty years, we at Costacurta have been
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Every day at Costacurta, we work to improve the quality
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Within the wide range of Costacurta products you will
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HPIN CONSTRUCTION



35
By selling a new hydrogen-generation
plant to Indonesia (the fourth plant sold
to Asia in 2011), Caloric has reportedly
further boosted its market position and
proven its strength. Once again, a major
chemical company has chosen Calorics
know-how and reliability.
The plants design capacity is 1,000
Nm
3
/h of hydrogen. The steam-reform-
ing process will be initially started with
natural gas as feedstock, but it is also
prepared to run with liquefied petro-
leum gas (LPG). CO-Shift reaction and
pressure-swing adsorption complete the
process and ensure the highest purity of
99.9999% hydrogen.
Caloric will pre-assemble and test the
plant at its workshop, and will also super-
vise on the plants erection site, commis-
sioning and startup.
INEOS Technologies has licensed
its Innovene PP process to Zhong Tian
He Chuang Energy Co., Ltd. Located
in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia Autono-
mous Region, the 350-kiloton/yr plant
will manufacture a full line of polypro-
pylene resins, including homopolymers,
random copolymers and impact copo-
lymers. It will serve the rapidly growing
Chinese PP markets.
Zhong Tian He Chuang is a joint ven-
ture between Sinopec and China Coal
Energy Group Co., Ltd. The final selec-
tion of Innovene PP in their Methanol-
To-Olefin Complex demonstrates a grow-
ing appreciation for Innovene PP in the
Chinese coal industry.
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is
executing four contracts from Arkema
France for basic-engineering services to
support the provision of Arkemas propri-
etary suspension and emulsion technology
to four of its clients in China. Arkemas
technology is being used in four new poly-
vinyl chloride (PVC) production plants
in Hefei, Golmud, Etuoke Banner and
Wu Lan Cha Bu, Peoples Republic of
China. Jacobs PVC technology experts
in its office in Leiden, The Netherlands,
and Arkemas PVC technology team based
in Lyon, France, are at present performing
the basic engineering work.
Arkemas PVC technology is reportedly
one of the most efficient in the world. As
planned, the four new projects in China
will bring the total production capacity
of facilities using Arkema PVC licenses to
more than 4 million tpy.
Saudi Aramco Asia Company Ltd.
(SAAC), a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco,
and PT Pertamina (Persero) have signed
a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
to jointly evaluate the economic feasibil-
ity of building an integrated refining and
petrochemical project in Tuban, East Java,
Republic of Indonesia.
The project represents an opportu-
nity for Saudi Aramco to partner with
Pertamina, and to capitalize on invest-
ment opportunities in Indonesias grow-
ing downstream industry. Additionally,
it extends the close cooperation between
Saudi Aramco and Pertami na, and
increases prospects for industrialization
and economic diversification in Indonesia.
Following the signing of the MOU,
a project team will work on the proj-
ects next phase, which will include a
joint scoping study comprising market
research, configuration studies and eco-
nomic analysis.
Chiyoda Corp., as joint venture
leader, jointly with Saipem S.p.A, has
been awarded a contract for front-end
engineering design (FEED) and early
works for the PETRONAS Liquefied
Natural Gas (LNG) Train 9 Project
in Bintulu Sarawak, Malaysia, under
the dual-FEED scheme envisaged by
PETRONAS.
The project is intended to add a
new ninth LNG train with a capacity
of 3.6 million tpy to the existing LNG
production complex at Bintulu. The
feed gas for this Train 9 comes from
various offshore gas fields developed by
PETRONAS.
Startup is set for the fourth quarter
of 2015. To attain this scheduled tar-
get, PETRONAS adopted a dual-FEED
scheme, wherein two contractors are con-
tracted to compete in the FEED design
and EPC price proposal as a whole.
The Chiyoda/Saipem joint venture was
selected as one of the contractors for this
task. Chiyoda and Saipem concluded
a cooperation agreement to develop
onshore LNG and upstream projects in
2011. Project execution will be developed
by an integrated team at Saipems office in
Milan, Italy. HP
Select 160 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Select 81 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


37
BEN DUBOSE, ONLINE EDITOR
Ben.DuBose@HydrocarbonProcessing.com
HPIN CONSTRUCTION PROFILE
Methanex targets US for relocation of capacity
Methanex plans to move at least one
methanol plant from Chile to the US,
seeking to capitalize on a trend of low
natural gas prices and possible interest in
gasoline alternatives.
For now, the Canada-based company
hopes to relocate one of its four methanol
plants in Punta Arenas, Chile (Figs. 1 and 2),
to a new US Gulf site in Geismar, Louisiana.
The individual Chile plants have capaci-
ties of between 800,000 tpy and 975,000
tpy of methanol. At least two are currently
idled amid insufficient gas supply.
Project specifics. The move is expected
to cost about $400 million and be com-
pleted by the second half of 2014.
Methanex purchased the 225-acre land
in Geismar and awarded Jacobs Engineering
Group with an engineering services contract.
The outlook for low North American
natural gas prices makes Louisiana an attrac-
tive location in which to produce methanol,
said Methanex CEO Bruce Aitken (Fig. 3).
It is also a large methanol-consuming
region, possesses world-class infrastructure,
skilled workers and is a positive environ-
ment in which to do business.
We have a number of parallel work
paths ongoing and expect to make a final
investment decision on this project in the
third quarter of [2012].
Further moves possible. Those paths
could include multiple plants being shifted
to Louisiana. Aitken said that the Geismar
site has space for multiple plants, so we
will consider future expansion.
Charles Neivert, analyst at investment
bank Dahlman Rose, said in a research note
that Methanex is likely preparing the Geis-
mar site to accommodate a second plant
from Chile.
The advantages of this option are that
the timeframe may be the shortest, the gas
is most available, and the Louisiana site has
available room for the unit, Mr. Neivert said.
Demand is growing for methanol in the
US, but the nation remains a net importer
after production shutdowns during the
recent recession.
US shale boom sparks interest.
Recent shale gas discoveries, however, have
made natural gas feedstocks available and
affordable.
Last year, Egypt-based Orascom Con-
struction Industries acquired an idled
750,000 tpy methanol plant in Beaumont,
Texas, formerly run by Eastman Chemical.
It plans to restart production in the first
half of 2012.
Methanol in transportation fuels
mix. Rising US prices for crude-based
gasoline could also play a role.
Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Home-
land Security, argued in a February edi-
torial in The New York Times that the
nation should produce more cars to run
on methanol.
Consumers should have a choice in the
cost and type of fuel their vehicles require,
Mr. Ridge wrote.
It would cost about $3 to travel the same
distance on methanol as on a gallon of gaso-
line, according to the Methanol Institute.
If such a scenario materializes, US-based
plants like the one in Geismar would be in
prime position to reap benefits.
This project represents a unique
opportunity in the industry to add capacity
at a lower capital cost and in about half the
time of a new greenfield methanol plant,
said Mr. Aitken.
The timing of this project is excellent.
There is strong demand growth for metha-
nol globally and there is little new produc-
tion capacity being added to the industry
over the next several years. HP
Methanol can be produced from four plants at the Punta Arenas, Chile, site. Photo
courtesy of Google Earth.
FIG. 2
The Methanex methanol complex
in Punta Arenas, Chile.
FIG. 1
Bruce Aitken, Methanex president
and CEO.
FIG. 3
38

I
APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
HPI CONSTRUCTION BOXSCORE UPDATE
Company City Project Ex Capacity Unit Cost Status Yr Cmpl Licensor Engineering Constructor
AFRICA
Algeria Sonatrach Arzew LNG Liquefaction Plant 4.7 m-tpy 2400 U 2012 Saipem|Chiyoda
Snamprogetti
Angola Angola LNG Ltd Soyo LNG Storage 5.2 MMtpy 4000 U 2012 ConocoPhillips Bechtel|Saipem|KJT Bechtel
Nigeria Nigeria LNG Ltd Bonny Island LNG (7) 8.5 MMtpy U 2012 Technip|FW|JGC|KBR
Chiyoda|Snamprogetti
Nigeria Nigeria LNG Ltd Bonny Island LNG (8) 8 MMtpy U 2012 Chiyoda|TSKJ
Nigeria Chevron Nigeria\ Escravos GTL (2) EX 17 Mbpd U 2012 Haldor Topse JGC|KBR KBR|JGC
Nigerian Natl Pet Corp Chevron|Saso Snamprogetti Snamprogetti
Nigeria Chevron Nigeria\ Escravos GTL (3) Mbpd P 2012 Haldor Topse JGC|KBR JGC|KBR
Nigerian Natl Pet Corp Chevron |Sasol Snamprogetti Snamprogetti
Repub S Africa PetroSA Coega Refinery 400 Mbpd 10500 F 2016 KBR
Uganda Undefined Hoima Refinery 200 bpd 2000 P 2015 FW
ASIA/PACIFIC
China Dalian West Pacific Petrochem Dalian Wet Sulfuric Acid (WSA) 30 Mtpd U 2012 Haldor Topse
China Henan Jinkai Chemical Group Henan Wet Sulfuric Acid (WSA) 122 m-tpd U 2012 Haldor Topse
China Zhong Tian He Chuang Energy Co. Ltd. Ordos Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) 350 kty U INEOS
China Sinopec Xinjiang Refinery EX 200 bpd 8.41 P 2015
India Mangalore Rfg & Petrochemicals Mangalore Refinery EX 9.69 MMtpy 2400 U 2012 EIL|Toyo Japan EIL EIL
Indonesia SAAC/Persero Tuban Refinery 300 bpd S
Indonesia Caloric Undisclosed Hydrogen Generation 1000 Nm3/h U
EUROPE
Ireland Conoco Phillips Co Cork Wet Sulfuric Acid (WSA) 30 m-tpd U 2012 Haldor Topse
Russian Federation TAIF NK Tatarstan Cracker 2.7 m-tpy U KBR KBR
Scotland Shell UK Ltd\Esso E & P Mossmorran Natural Gas Plant RE None E 2014 Wood Group
Scotland Shell UK Ltd\Esso E & P St Fergus Gas Plant RE None E 2014 Wood Group
LATIN AMERICA
Brazil Petr Brasileiro SA Pernambuco Refinery TO 230 bpd 12000 U 2014
Brazil Petrobras Rio de Janeiro Petrochemical Complex 165 bpd U 2013
Mexico Pemex Tula, Miguel Hidalgo Refinery Amine Regeneration Unit None 800 E 2013 Saipem
Peru CF Industries Inc San Juan de Marcona Ammonia 2.6 Mtpy 2000 U 2013 Haldor Topse Technip
Peru Petroperu Talara Wet Sulfuric Acid (WSA) 460 t/a E 2015 Haldor Topse
MIDDLE EAST
Qatar QP/QAPCO Ras Laffan Ethylene 1.4 m-tpy 5000 P 2018
Saudi Arabia Sadara Chemical Co. Al Jubail Petrochemical Complex TO t/a 15000 F 2015 FW
Saudi Arabia Sadara Chemical Co. Jubail Ind City Propylene Oxide None F 2015 FW
UNITED STATES
North Dakota WBI Holdings/Calumet Refining Undisclosed Diesel 20 bpd S
Texas Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP Eagle Ford Shale Natural Gas Plant 150 MMcfd 180 U 2013 Exterran
Texas Zachry Freeport LNG 4.4 Mtpy F 2013 CB&I
Texas DCP Midstream Glasscock Co Natural Gas Plant EX 75 MMcfd P 2013
Texas Valero Refining Co Port Arthur Desalter (2) RE 260 Mbpd U 2013 Cameron
FOR A FREE 2-WEEK TRIAL,
contact Lee Nichols at +1 (713) 525-4626
or Lee.Nichols@GulfPub.com.
www.ConstructionBoxscore.com
THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE FOR TRACKING
GLOBAL HPI CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY
For more than 50 years, Hydrocarbon Processing magazine remains the only
source that collects and maintains data specically for the HPI community,
publishing up-to-the-minute construction projects from around the globe with
our online product, Boxscore Database.
Updated daily, our database helps engineers, contractors and marketing
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Select 71 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
Select 63 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


41
Optimize olefin operations
This operating company used process models
to find solutions to poor separation performance
K. ROMERO, Pequiven S. A., Ana Maria Campos Complex, Venezuela
B
ulk petrochemical manufacturing is a highly competitive
global industry. When margins are tight, manufacturers
seek ways to optimize performance and to reduce costs
while maximizing yields and revenue. Optimization options
include alternative feeds, plant/process revamps and improved
operations to achieve better separation and yields to lower
energy consumption, to minimize product loss and to decrease
maintenance costs.
Case history. Pequiven is a leading petrochemical company
based in Venezuela. Its products include fertilizers (ammonia and
urea), chlor-alkali, methanol, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE),
aromatics, olefins (ethylene and propylene) and other plastics.
Fig. 1 shows Pequivens Ana Maria Campos petrochemicals
complex, Venezuela. This facility began operating in 1976, and
it was expanded in 1992. This petrochemical complex has two
olefin plants with a combined capacity of 635,000 metric tpy of
ethylene and up to 250,000 metric tpy of propylene for 100%
propane feed and uses ethane and propane as feedstocks.
Propane/propylene splitter study. The olefin plants
performance had deteriorated. The conditions resulted in sig-
nificant propylene losses, higher energy consumption and rising
maintenance costs. To improve performance, Pequiven needed a
better understanding of process problems and a list of possible
cost-effective solutions. Pequiven elected to simulate targeted
sections of the olefin plant. Results from the models would
provide more insight into the root causes of the poor operat-
ing performance. This article discusses the simulation study
for the propane/propylene splitters. The study focused on the
conceptual design and what-if analyses for various revamp
options. Using the study results, Pequiven
selected the best option to optimize the
distillation columns.
Pequiven olefin process. The
Olefins I Plant at the Ana Maria Campos
Complex was designed to produce 250,000
metric tpy of ethylene and 120,000 metric
tpy of propylene, using feedstocks rang-
ing from 100% propane to a mixed feed of
30% propane and 70% ethane. Fig. 2 is the
process flow diagram of the Olefins I plant.
The site processing operations are:
Pyrolysis. This plant uses three sets
of furnaces. The furnace effluent is first
quenched and then cooled to condense the dilution steam, oils
and polymers. All are removed by a circulating water system.
Process-gas compression. The process stream is compressed
and cooled to separate ethylene and propylene (principal products)
from other byproducts and unconverted feed. Five compression
stages are used, with acetylene conversion, caustic scrubbing and
gas-drying occurring between the fourth and fifth stages. The pro-
cess gas from the fifth-stage discharge filters is chilled in three stages
using refrigerants and a hydrogen/tail-gas stream from the process.
Separation. The cryogenically chilled stream is processed
through a series of distillation columns. Several columns are
needed to separate out the desired products. This process sec-
tion consists of a demethanizer, ethane/ethylene and propane/
propylene splitters, and a debutanizer, as shown in Fig. 3.
Feedstocks
Pyrolysis
Ethylene
Propylene
Ethane
Propane
Efuent
water
scrubbing
Chilling
section
Acetylene
conversion
Caustic and
water wash
Process gas
drying
Ethane/propane recycle
Splitting
section
Process gas
compression
stages
I II III IV V
Process flow diagram of Olefins I plant. FIG. 2
Pequivens Ana Maria Campos petrochemical complex. FIG. 1
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
42

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
This study focused on revamping the propane/propylene (C
3
)
splitters to maximize recovery of propane and propylene with
greater efficiency and reduced losses. Fig. 4 shows an in-depth
description of the C
3
splitter section.
The deethanizer bottoms stream (at approximately 21.3
kg/cm
2
g and 62C) is split into parallel C
3
splitter systems
primary and secondary trains. Each parallel train consists of
two splitter columns. The feed is distributed between the two
systems. The primary C
3
splitter train receives 60% of the
propane feed flow.
The primary train has 277 trays between the first column
(124 trays) and second column (153 trays). Both columns use
multi-downcomer trays. Feed enters the first column above tray
35 (tray 188 for the combined column) for the propane case,
or above tray 51 (tray 204 for the combined column) in the
mixed-feed case. The secondary train is configured and oper-
ated similarly to the first train with a total of 198 trays between
the first column (88 trays) and the second column (110 trays).
The secondary system has sieve trays. The feed enters the first
column on tray 26 (tray 136 for the combined column) for the
propane case or on tray 36 (tray 146 for the combined column)
for the mixed-feed case.
The C
3
splitter system was designed to produce 99.6 mol% of
propylene in the overhead stream. The bottom stream from the
C
3
section is sent to the debutanizer column where the top prod-
uct, containing propane and butane, is recycled to the pyrolysis
furnaces. The heavier components are recovered as a C
5
+
pyrolysis
gasoline stream. In the mixed-feed case, there are fewer heavier
components to recover.
Plant operating problems. During 20052009, the pro-
pane/propylene system experienced several problems. Gradually,
the facility operating performance worsened. Performance issues
included:
High propylene loss, 25 mol% vs. design < 1 mol%
Poor separation and high energy usage of the C
3
splitters
Fouling in the splitter reboilers
TABLE 1. Results from the Revamp Proposal A
simulation modeling study
Column C (from secondary Primary propane/
system) depropanizer propylene splitter
1
Feed flowrate, metric tph 16.98 14.16
Stages 88 277
Feed stream stage 36 171
Distillate rate, metric tph 14.16 6.9
Mol purity propylene, top 0.484 0.998
Mol purity propane, top 0.513 0.001
Bottom rate, metric tph 2.8 7.3
Mol purity propane, bottom 0.0007 0.992
Top pressure, bar 18.9 18.9
Reflux rate, metric tph 22.7 146
Reboiler duty, MW 2.9 12.3
TABLE 2. Results from the Revamp Proposal B
simulation modeling study
Column D (from secondary Primary propane/
system) depropanizer propylene splitter
1
Feed flowrate, metric tph 16.9 14.2
Stages 88 277
Feed stream stage 36 171
Distillate rate, metric tph 14.2 6.9
Mol purity propylene, top 0.484 0.998
Mol purity propane, top 0.513 0.001
Bottom rate, metric tph 2.8 7.3
Mol purity propane, bottom 0.0007 0.992
Top pressure, bar 18.9 18.9
Reflux rate, metric tph 22 146
Reboiler duty, MW 2.85 12.3
Chilling
section
Compressed
gas
Separators
Demethanizer
Methane
Propane,
propylene
and heavier
components
Propane and butane
Propane
and heavier
components
Propylene
Ethane and ethylene
Ethane
Ethylene
Deethanizer
Debutanizer
C
2
splitter
C
3
splitter section
(2 trains each
with 2 columns)
C
5
+
/pygas
Separation section of the Olefins I plant. FIG. 3
C
3
/C
3
=
/C
4
+
deethanizer
bottoms
C
5
+
Propane
and C
4
+
Debutanizer
Propylene
Propane and butane
to pyrolysis furnaces
Propylene
Secondary splitter
system
Primary splitter
system
Propane/propylene splitter section of the existing unit. FIG. 4
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43
Low propylene and propane recovery, problems with the
overhead-product purity and high concentration of unsaturates
in the recycle propane to the pyrolysis furnaces.
These problems resulted in significant propylene loss that
cumulatively amounted to more than 70,000 metric tons over five
years. The lost products were valued at over $75 million. Fouling
of reboilers due to using oily water as the hot utility, and coking
of the transfer line exchangers from higher propylene content in
recycle propane, contributed to higher maintenance costs.
Process simulation study. The objectives of the modeling
were to:
Understand the root causes for these problems
Develop suitable and cost-effective solutions
Provide ongoing guidance for troubleshooting
Improve unit performance.
The simulation model was constructed from design data from
the operating manuals and engineering drawings, as shown in
Fig. 5. This model was tuned and validated against other data
sets. This tuning included comparing different thermodynamic
methods and selecting the best with respect to accuracy. The
Peng-Robinson (PR) and Soave-Redlich-Kwong (SRK) models
were used to describe thermodynamic behavior and equilibrium
coefficients. Both methods are commonly used for hydrocarbon
systems. For the Olefins I plant, Peng-Robinson provided an
accurate fit with the design cases.
Several commercially available simulation programs were used
to simulate the C
3
splitters while also considering the existing col-
umn geometries and tray efficiencies. This distillation model is a
core element. It helped predict column performance and ensured
robust initialization and convergence. The rate-based algorithm also
significantly improved the models accuracy compared to the equi-
librium-based and first-generation rate-based distillation models.
Simulation resultssuch as column pressure, operating tem-
perature, reflux ratio, composition, reboiler/condenser duties,
column stages, feedrate, overhead and bottoms yield, and tray
detailswere specified to achieve 99.6% propylene recovery.
Propane/propylene (principal products), isobutane, butanes,
butenes and heavier components (traces) were also considered
in this model. Once the model was tuned, it was used to study
a series of conceptual design alternatives, including energy and
economic analysis for the different proposals.
Revamp Proposals A and B. The first two options (A and
B) were similar. They both involved reconfiguration and using one
of the columns in the secondary splitter system as a depropanizer,
while taking the other column out of service, as shown in Fig. 6.
The simulation model showed that this approach would improve
propane/propylene recovery and increase the recycle propane to
the pyrolysis furnaces. Proposal A studied using the first column as
the depropanizer, and Proposal B looked at using the second col-
umn for this purpose. Tables 1 and 2 summarize the study results.
Findings for Proposals A and B. The operating condi-
tions for Proposals A and B are similar to the original design. A
TABLE 3. Results from the Revamp Proposal C
simulation modeling study
Secondary propane/propylene Primary propane-
splitter (depropanizer) propylene splitter
1
Feed flowrate, metric tph 17 14.4
Stages 198 277
Feed stream stage 37 172
Distillate rate, metric tph 14.4 6.8
Mol purity propylene, top 0.489 0.999
Mol purity propane, top 0.494 0.0002
Bottom rate, metric tph 2.6 7.6
Mol purity propane, bottom 0 0.996
Top pressure, bar 18.9 18.9
Reflux rate, metric tph 23 182
Reboiler duty, MW 2.9 60.9
TABLE 4. Results from the revamp proposal D
simulation modeling study*
Primary Secondary
propane/propylene propane/ propylene
system LP steam system LP steam
1
Required temperature, C 128.7 128.7
Required pressure, bar 2.75 2.75
Propylene recovery composition 0.9985 0.9985
Required flowrate, metric tph 24,366 19,035
Total cost, $ million/yr 1.41 1.102
*Based on the original design with propylene losses of less than 1%
Simulation model of the propane/propylene splitter
system.
FIG. 5
C
3
/C
3
=
/C
4
+
deethanizer
bottoms
C
3
/C
3
=
C
5
+
C
4
+
Debutanizer
Depropanizer
Butane to pyrolysis furnaces
Propane to
pyrolysis furnaces
Propylene
Secondary splitter
system
Revamp
Proposals
A and B
Primary splitter
system
Proposals A and B: Use one column in the secondary C
3
splitter as a depropanizer.
FIG. 6
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
depropanizer in the C
3
splitter system does increase propane and
propylene recovery (about 99 mol%). Heating requirements are
significantly reduced15.2 MW vs. 22.8 MW from the original
design. Jet flooding is 0.65 (well below the maximum jet flooding
limit of 0.85). There is no evidence of overloading in the multi-
downcomer trays, in spite of the high reflux rate requirements.
3
Revamp Proposal C. This option considered using the entire
secondary C
3
splitter system (both columns) as a depropanizer,
as shown in Fig. 7. The objectives were to improve propane and
propylene recovery and to increase recycle propane to the pyrolysis
furnaces. Table 3 summarizes results from this processing option.
Findings for Proposal C. The operating conditions are similar
to the original design. A depropanizer in the C
3
splitter system
increases propane and propylene recovery (about 99.8 mol%).
Additional heating is required60.9 MW vs. 22.8 MW specified
in the original design. The risk of jet flooding in multi-down-
comer trays in the primary system was identified. Due to tray
overloading, this process option was not pursued further.
Revamp Proposal D. This option evaluated replacing oily
water with low-pressure (LP) steam as the heating medium in the
C
3
splitter reboilers. The change could reduce fouling on tube
surfaces, as shown in Fig. 8. The conceptual design and analysis
are based on revamping the original design for the most limiting
conditions, as represented by the 100% propane feed case.
2
Table
4 lists the study results.
Annual steam costs are estimated at $1.41 million and $1.102
million, respectively, for the primary and secondary systems. The
total steam consumption across the C
3
splitter system is approxi-
mately $2.51 million/yr.
Revamp Proposal D project costs. Option D not only
addresses exchanger tube-side fouling and maintenance, but it
also reduces propylene losses in the splitter bottoms. This will
improve propylene recovery from the product and propane for
recycle. The economics for this case were evaluated in detail. Table
5 summarizes cost estimates and project economics.
The total capital investment is estimated at $3.025 million,
with an annual steam utility cost of $2.51 million as reported ear-
lier. These process improvements are expected to result in 8,915
metric tpy of incremental propylene production. At $1,080/met-
ric ton, the increased production represents $9.62 million of addi-
tional annual revenue. This is an excellent return on investment
for the project. Switching to LP steam reduces exchanger fouling
and enables easier cleaning and maintenance of the thermosiphon
reboilers. Annual savings of $500,000 are expected from reduced
cleaning and maintenance costs.
Lessons learned and other findings. The overview of
the entire study raised several interesting findings:
Proposals A and B. This design delivers the best performance
for the C
3
splitter system. The depropanizer aids in increasing
product recovery (about 99 mol%) and improves operations for
high-purity propylene (approximately 99.6 mol%). This design
lowers heating requirements (15.2 MW vs. 22.8 MW for the orig-
inal design). There is no evidence of overloading (flooding) in the
multi-downcomer trays, even with high reflux rate requirements.
Proposal C. This alternative is not practical due to a high risk
of tray flooding and higher energy requirements.
Proposal D. This design uses LP steam to meet reboiler duty
requirements. The switch in heating medium provides easier
C
3
/C
3
=
/C
4
+
deethanizer
bottoms
C
5
+
C
4
+
Debutanizer
Butane to pyrolysis furnaces
Propane to
pyrolysis furnaces
Propylene
Secondary splitter
system
Primary splitter
system
C
3
/C
3
=
Depropanizer
Revamp
Proposal C
Proposal C: Use the secondary splitter system as a
depropanizer.
FIG. 7
Propylene
Propane/
propylene
splitters
TC
TG
Propane and C
4
+
LP steam
Process water
Process water return
Condensate return Revamp
Proposal D
Proposal D: Using LP steam as the heating medium in
reboilers.
FIG. 8
TABLE 5. Pequiven C
3
splitter revamp proposal D
economic analysis
1

Cost estimates USD, thousand
Basic and detailed engineering 500
Reboiler modification, process oily water to LP steam 250
Condensate removal system 1,200
Stainless steel pipe, 16 in. 18.5
Stainless steel pipe, 14 in. 13.7
Stainless steel pipe, 12 in. 10.8
Stainless steel pipe, 2 in. 5.3
Isolation 2.8
Installation and manpower costs 1,024
Total 3,025
Total investment (CAPEX) 3,025
Steam utilities and operating costs (OPEX) 2,510
Propylene incremental annual production 9,620
% profitability, propylene recovered/CAPEX x 100 318%
% profitability, net annual profit/CAPEX x 100 235%
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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45
cleaning and lowers maintenance time for reboilers. Greater
recovery of propylene and increased purity of recycle propane are
possible. This option improves furnace operations.
This study demonstrated that revamping the C
3
splitter sys-
tem to use one of the columns from the secondary C
3
splitter
as a depropanizer (Proposal A or B) results in propane recovery
close to 100%. Heating requirements for the revamped system
are lower, with easier cleaning and maintenance of reboilers.
Propylene recovery would be 100% while the probability of tray
flooding or weeping is low.
Simulation studies also indicated that it is not technically pos-
sible to use the primary splitter system or one of its columns as a
depropanizer, and the second one as propane/propylene splitter.
This arrangement risks overloading trays and has higher heating
requirements and reflux rates compared to the original design.
Optimization study. The results from this simulation and
engineering study show that Proposals B and D are the opti-
mal revamp alternatives. They deliver improved operability and
performance for propane/propylene separation with lower duty
requirements, better product recovery and purities and lower
utilities and maintenance costs. These options would improve
conversion and lengthen the service life for the furnaces, reboilers
and distillation columns. However, due to budgetary constraints,
only Proposal D is being implemented firstmodification of
reboilers from wash water to LP steam heating.
Pequiven is executing the project. The scope includes further
developing the conceptual design, basic engineering and Class 4
cost estimates ( 20%). Project duration is expected to be around
24 months. When completed, this revamp will deliver 8,915
metric tpy of incremental propylene product valued at $9.62
million/yr, and additional annual savings of $500,000 through
reduced reboiler cleaning and maintenance costs.
The process simulation and conceptual estimates in this study
were invaluable. Both helped Pequiven gain clearer insight into
its olefin plant operations. With such information, Pequiven was
able to develop a better understanding of plant and equipment
performance problems. HP
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author thanks Sanjeev Mullick of AspenTech for his help in preparing
this article for publication.
LITERATURE CITED
1
Aspen Plus and Aspen Capital Cost Estimator documentation, Aspen
Technology, Inc., Massachusetts, USA.
2
Billet, R., Distillation Engineering, M. Wulfinghoff Chemical Publishing Co.,
New York, New York, 1979.
3
Hsi-Jen, C. and L.Yeh-Chin, Case Studies on Optimum Reflux Ratio of
Distillation Towers in Petroleum Refining Processes, Tamkang Journal of
Science and Engineering, Tamsui, Taiwan, Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 105-110, 2001.
4
Romero, K., Optimizing a Propane-Propylene Splitter in an Olefins Plant,
OPTIMIZE 2011, AspenTech Global Conference, Washington, DC.
Karen Romero is a process engineer at Pequiven. She has over 10 years of experi-
ence in oil and gas and petrochemicals, with a focus on design, development, manage-
ment and execution of projects. Ms. Romero is a chemical engineering graduate from
the University of Zulia . She holds an MS degree in gas engineering. Ms. Romero is also
an instructor professor of gas processing at Universidad Rafael Maria Baralt, Venezuela.
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PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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47
Alternate feedstock options
for petrochemicals: A roadmap
New hydrocarbons will be needed to meet future demand
S. K. GANGULY, S. SEN and M. O. GARG,
CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, India
F
ollowing the economic slowdown in the US and Europe, a
gradual demand shift has occurred from west of the Suez to
east of the Suez. Asia-Pacific nations are the areas for energy
and petrochemical-based product demand growth. After China,
India is the next growth hub for chemicals. A steadily growing
middle class, which is about one third of the population, is a sig-
nificant driver in Indias economy and supports new petrochemi-
cal/chemical consumption. This young population with rising
incomes is responsible for growing demand for consumer durable
goods, such as automobiles and packaging. Petrochemicals con-
stitute over 20% of the total chemical sector output63% as
polymers and 29% as synthetic fibers.
1
Population function. Indian companies contribute 3% of
global petrochemical capacity. This is unbalanced since India has
almost 20% of the worlds population.
2
India has a clear advantage
in the petrochemical market. This nation has a rapidly growing
domestic market and an abundance of trained manpower. Con-
struction costs for Indian manufacturing facilities are 30%40%
cheaper.
13
The present growth rate of the Indian chemical, indus-
try is 8%10%the third largest in Asia.
4
The high growth rate for polymers over the past five years can
be attributed to substantial development in consumer industries,
durables, automobiles, construction, infrastructure and the packag-
ing industry.
3
Table 1 lists growth rates of several polymeric materi-
als. This demand growth in end-user segments can be translated
into increased demand for basic petrochemicals such as olefins
and aromatics. The additional demand for basic petrochemicals in
2020 is forecast to reach 20 million tpy (MMtpy).
1,3
Feedstocks. Naphtha and natural gas (NG) are the major
feedstocks in the petrochemical value chain. Limited crude and
NG resources, and the volatility of crude oil prices, pose a threat
to long-term naphtha supplies. There is an urgent need to identify
alternative feedstocks to support new growth of the Indian pet-
rochemical industry. A roadmap for diversification in the Indian
petrochemical/chemical industry will be discussed.
57
Searching for feedstock options. Globally, five regions
have witnessed a significant shift in petrochemical market dynam-
ics. Besides India, Brazil, Russia, China and the Middle East (ME)
are centers of new growth for the hydrocarbon processing industry
(HPI). Russia and the ME have abundant natural resources such
as low-cost NG. Brazil has successfully spearheaded a global bio-
ethanol movement. China has substantially invested in coal to
reduce its dependence on crude oil imports.
Brazil. This nation has been a vanguard in the development and
usage of bioenergy. Brazils large-scale sugarcane production and
subsequent ethanol production capability have made this nation one
of the worlds most competitive biofuel producers. In 2005, Brazil
was the largest producer of sugarcane, sugar and ethanol with 34%,
19% and 37%, respectively, of the worlds production. More than
half of the countrys sugarcane yield is used for ethanol production.
Brazil has an extensive production platform for bio-ethanol and
biopolymer production. International corporate giants are invest-
ing in R&D for biobased technologies. Brazils Braskem and the
US Dow Chemicals are partnering with Mitsui Japan, and they
have announced plans to construct world-scale polyethylene (PE)
facilities based on bioethanol. Braskem commissioned its first
200,000-tpy (200-Mtpy) green plastic plant in September 2010
at Triunfo. Excess ethylene generated in the process is converted
to propylene through an on-purpose metathesis technology.
The company plans to expand its capacity to 300 Mtpy by 2014.
Braskem is successfully marketing its green PE at premium prices.
Dows biopolymer production initiative, with a planned 350
Mtpy of capacity, is forecast to be operational by 2015. When
complete, Dow and Mitsui will have the worlds largest integrated
facility for biopolymer production based on renewable, sugarcane-
derived ethanol. This project is part of Dows low-carbon strategy.
With every ton of green plastic produced, it is the equivalent
of reducing 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide (CO
2
) from the atmo-
sphere. The green plastics have identical properties and applica-
tion characteristics to a hydrocarbon-derived plastic. The green
TABLE 1. End-user sector demand in India, thousand tpy
Sector Market size, 2006 Demand, 2011 Increase, %
Fiber and filament 59 117 98.3
Film and sheet 1,269 2,333 83.8
Woven sacks 860 1,570 82.6
Pipe 161 277 72
Roto molding 69 110 59.4
Blow molding 273 439 60.8
Injection molding 628 985 56.8
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
polymer can be used for home appliances, packaging, personal
care, cleaning products and toys. Other chemical producers also
plan to undertake projects in Brazil. Belgium-based Solvay plans
to build a green polyvinyl chloride (PVC) facility in Brazil. The
Solvay project is expected to produce 60 Mtpy of bioethylene for
conversion to PVC.
69
Russia. This nation has vast oil and NG reserves. Development
of a domestic petrochemical/chemical industry is critical to Rus-
sias future growth. Growth has been slow. The main hindrance
for the petrochemical sector has been the absence of an industrial
policy and a legislative framework aimed at overhauling this busi-
ness sector. Despite having some of the largest NG and oil reserves
in the world, Russia does not have a well-developed infrastructure
for petrochemicals.
6,7,10
Strengthening of the HPI infrastructure
is essential before expansion can start.
Moreover, the Russian export market is seriously lacking. Stra-
tegic ports must be built so that the HPI products can be distrib-
uted and exported. Pipelines to supply feedstock and products are
urgently needed. The Ministry of Energy is formulating compre-
hensive plans to address these issues. Russias petrochemical industry,
was severely impacted and reduced domestic plastic production by
10% to around 4 MMtpy in 2009.
As the markets stabilize in 2012, consumer confidence should
rise. Market recovery is expected to be more pronounced as the
2018 World Cup approaches. Numerous commercial construc-
tion projects are expected to impact PVC demand.
6,7,10
With
banks well placed to lend, it is believed that household spending
will become an important driver of future growth. This should
stimulate greater polymer consumption through expanding con-
sumer-goods industries.
Petrochemical production growth will be led by Sibur. The com-
panys proposed Tobolsk 1 MMtpy cracker would represent a heavier
reliance on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and ethane as feedstocks
instead of naphtha. This is in line with the governments policy for
cracking lighter feedstocks. Thus, Russia should exploit its low-cost
NG resources to produce more petrochemicals. The new cracker is
Siburs second cracker at Tobolsk. The existing plant has a capacity
of 220 Mtpy. Another polypropylene (PP) project with a capacity
of 500 Mtpy is expected to be onstream by 2012 at Tobolsk. The
propylene feedstock will be supplied by a propane dehydrogena-
tion (PDH) facility. The 330-Mtpy RusVinyl PVC complex, a
joint venture between Sibur and SolVin at Kstovo, is due to come
onstream in 2013.
Nizhnekamskneftekhim is also planning a new, 1-MMtpy eth-
ylene facility at Kstovo. Sibur is revamping its ethylbenzene (EB)
production in Perm, and is building an expandable polystyrene
(EPS) plant at the site in phases. The company is also deliberat-
ing with Gazprom on a gas cracker project in Russias Far East
region, specifically Vladivostok or Khabarovsk. Vladivostok is the
preferred location because the port is ice free. Sibur desires access
to sufficient feedstocks to build a world-class cracker on the Baltic
coast in the Leningrad region. Dow Chemical and Gazprom are
partners on the proposed project.
Russia is expected to expand its petrochemical facilities,
improve infrastructure and undergo a gradual shift in feedstock
from naphtha to low-cost NG. Apart from meeting domestic
demand, Russia plans to export petrochemicals to China. Russia
possesses 13% and 34% of the worlds oil and NG reserves, respec-
tively. The abundance of Russian reserves, with its close proximity
to Asia, is a good reason for synergy and collaboration.
6,7,11
China. In China, the HPI is dominated by three major players:
China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), China National
Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp.
(CNOOC). All three companies have constructed world-class
refining and petrochemical centers over the past 15 years. Even
with many new projects under development, China continues to
import petrochemicals and chemicals to meet domestic demand.
Petrochemical imports are expected to double from 22 MMtpy to
39 MMtpy by 2012. Due to rapidly increasing demand for pet-
rochemicals, China is aggressively exploring alternatives to reduce
its heavy dependence on foreign oil, which currently comprises
approximately 50% of total domestic consumption.
The chemical industry views coal as a feasible alternative
feedstock, and is accelerating production of 114.5 billion tons
of coal reserves. China has large coal reserves. In 2010, China
developed several new technologies for coal-based chemicals,
such as di-methyl ether (DME), synthetic natural gas (SNG) and
olefins. By 2020, Shenhua Group, Chinas largest coal producer,
plans to bring onstream new coal-to-liquids (CTL) facilities with
a total capacity of 30 million tons. Shell has licensed its gasifica-
tion technology to 15 units in China. Due to the volatility asso-
ciated with the price and availability of crude oil, coal is rapidly
becoming the most favored alternative feedstock for polyolefins
and other petrochemicals.
6,7,12
The rapid development of polymer and polyester industries
in China has resulted in a major demand surge for basic materi-
als such as methanol, olefins and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG).
Responding to this demand growth, the Chinese methanol indus-
try significantly increased its output in 2010. However, stagnant
growth in conventional products such as formaldehyde and acetic
acid, along with obstructed DME growth, drove the industry to
other processes/products such as methanol-to-olefins (MTO),
methanol-to-propylene (MTP) and methanol-to-aromatics
(MTA).
13
It is estimated that more than 20 MTO and MTP
projects, with a total capacity of 10 MMtpy, are in the planning
stages or under construction. Several Chinese companies involved
in coal-based MTO projects are Ningbo Heyuan, Dalian Fujia
Dahua, Zhejiang Xingxing New Energy Technology, Jiangsu
Shenghong Group, Chia Tai Energy Chemical and Shenhua
Ningxia Coal Group (SNCG).
In addition, the big gap between MEG supply and demand has
identified another new developmentcoal-to-MEG (CTMEG).
Nearly 20 CTMEG projects are at different stages, with a com-
bined capacity of 4 MMtpy. However, China plans to manage its
total methanol capacity to be less than 50 MMtpy, with a maxi-
mum of 150 producers by 2015.
6,7,13
The Chinese coal-chemical
industries are backed by intense government interest, along with
new-generation technologies from Western multinationals. Lured
by the countrys ample supply of coal, companies such as Total
Petrochemicals, Celanese and Dow Chemical are advancing their
cutting edge technologies in China.
Table 2 provides a few examples of new projects in China. It is
anticipated that approximately 90% of PVC and 85% of methanol
will be coal based by 2012. Dow is redoubling its efforts on coal-
to-chemicals projects; the company has been studying this process
with Chinese coal company Shenhua in Yulin, Shaanxi Province
since 2007. The companies have submitted a project application
report to the Chinese government for review and approval.
Construction of coal-based industries raises issues over CO
2

emissions, which make sequestration an additional investment.
Considering climate change protocols, carbon capture and seques-
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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49
tration (CCS) of CO
2
is an important issue. Construction of
the first CCS demonstration unit in the Chinese coal chemical
industry has occurred. The project was designed to capture and
sequester 100 Mtpy of CO
2
from Shenhuas Ordos CTL complex.
The success of this demonstration unit will invite investment
for mega-sized CCS facilities.
7,13
Developing a domestic coal-
chemical industry in China has made it possible to supplement
and partially substitute traditional naphtha feedstocks. Develop-
ing a clean coal-chemical industry by capturing CO
2
will help
China ensure energy security and sustainable development of its
petrochemical industry.
The Middle East. A wave of ME capacity additions are expected
to come online in the near term. Mega petrochemical projects are
under construction in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait. By 2012, ME ethylene capacity is
expected to increase to 28 MMtpy, and propylene capacity will
increase by 7 MMtpy. Table 3 lists major ME projects. Saudi Arabias
ethylene capacity will reach 13.5 MMtpy, and its propylene capacity
will reach 4.1 MMtpy by 2012. Iran is the second major petrochem-
ical player in the ME and is expected to increase its ethylene capacity
to 8.4 MMtpy and its propylene capacity to 1.4 MMtpy by 2012.
Qatar has two major ethylene producers, Qatar Petrochemi-
cal Co. and Qatar Chemical Co. Several ethylene projects are in
progress for startup by 2018. Qatar has no propylene production
capacity; however, a 700-Mtpy propylene unit is in planning with
startup by 2013. The UAE has only one ethylene-producing facil-
ity; it is currently under expansion. Kuwait increased its ethylene
capacity by 80 Mtpy in 2010.
7, 17
The ME holds an advantageous position when it comes to PE
and PP production, due to its lower-cost NG natural resources
and feedstocks. However, ME NG prices are expected to increase
beyond $0.50/MMBtu$0.75/MMBtu, as production costs have
also risen significantly. The ME only consumes about 20% of the
polyolefins it manufactures. Thus, ME petrochemical companies
are focused on exports. Fast-growing China has always been a
lucrative market for ME producers. However, a recent surge in
ethane crackers has resulted in an imbalance of the ethylene-
propylene market. The anticipated annual growth rate of ethylene
over the next decade is 4%. During the same period, the expected
propylene growth rate is 5%. To close the gap, the ME is heavily
investing in on-purpose propylene technologies.
7,18
For new
projects, the era of extremely cheap NG feedstock is over. The
price will not rise dramatically, but it will remain in the range of
$1.50/MMBtu$2/MMBtu.
17
US and Europe. Although China, the ME, India and Latin
America are witnessing steady economic growth, mature econo-
mies such as the US and Europe are facing demand decline for
petrochemicals. The official start of the most recent economic
downturn was December 2007; it deepened during 2008 and
2009, thus seriously affecting petrochemicals and derivative mar-
kets in the US and Europe. US data showed that the petrochemi-
cal market dipped by 11.9% in 2008 compared to 2007 and by
13.1% in 2009 compared to 2008.
The recovery has been rather tepid. For the US and Europe,
which are historically the largest regions for producing and con-
suming ethylene, the strategy has evolved around delaying new
investments in the region, consolidating markets and rationalizing
assets.
57,19
Table 4 and Fig. 1 show how refinery utilization rates
have changed. The trend is part of the rationalization occurring
in Europe and the US. The sale/change of refinery ownership has
increased in Europe and the US as major international refining
companies restructure their downstream businesses.
Stagnant demand growth and the inability to compete with
more efficient refineries have led to closure or capacity reduc-
tions of 50 MMtpy in Europe and the US over the last two years.
Another 35 MMtpy of capacity rationalization is forecast over the
next two years.
57
However, the US is moving forward with shale
gas exploration. Shale is a very fine-grained sedimentary rock with
parallel layers of low permeability. The US is estimated to have
3,600 Tcf of shale gas reserves. Between 2005 and 2010, US NG
production jumped by 18% due to shale gas. US companies like
Cheniere Energy Inc., ConocoPhillips, BG Group and Southern
Union are considering opportunities to export NG as LNG, for
which prices are two to three times higher than in the US.
Shell is planning to build a world-scale ethylene cracker with
derivative units in the Appalachian region. The cracker would
process ethane from Marcellus NG to produce ethylene. Other
companies considering crackers include Dow Chemical, Chev-
TABLE 2. Recent coal-to-chemicals project in China
Company Location Startup Technology Capacity, MMtpy
SNCG and Air Liquide Ningxia 20122013 MTP 0.50
Ningbo Heyuan Guangdong 2012 MTO 1.80
Shenhua Baotou Inner Mongolia 2010 MTO 1.80
Qinghai Salt Lake Industry Company and Dow Chemicals Qinghai 2013 MTO 0.16
Total Petrochemicals and China Power Investments Inner Mongolia 2015 MTO 1.00
Celanese Shaanxi 2014 Coal-to-ethanol 0.80
Sinopec and Syntroleum Zhejiang 2010 Coal, asphalt, petroleum coke 80 bpd
to petrochemicals
Henan Coal Chemical Industry Group and Danhua Technology Group Henan 20112012 Coal-to-MEG 1.00
East Hope Group Inner Mongolia 2012 Coal-to-PVC 0.40
Shaanxi Beiyuan Group Shaanxi 2010 Coal-to-PVC 0.50
Huadian Group and Tsinghua University Shaanxi MTA (fluidized bed)
CNOOC Hainan 2010 Coal-to-methanol
Shaanxi Changqing Energy Chemicals, Xuzhou Mining Group Shaanxi 2013 Coal-to-methanol 1.50
and Shaanxi Coal Field Geological Expl. Dev. Co.
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
50

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
ron Phillips Chemical and LyondellBasell.
20
In Europe, Norways
Statoil has cut deals for shale gas over the past year. The extraction
of shale gas is more expensive than NG due to massive hydraulic
fracturing procedures. Significant capital investment is the only
deterrent to its wider commercialization.
Recommended roadmap. Selection of alternate feedstock
options is a geopolitical and need-based issue. Every region must
consider feasibility in terms of geopolitical and geographical posi-
tion, economic strength and demand addressability. India has
several initiatives:
6,7
Waste plastics. The rising middle class of India has created
a growing demand for polymers, which are major components
in most consumer products. Current polymers consumption
is reported at 12 MMtpy14 MMtpy. The limited shelf life of
products leads to large-scale production of waste plastics, which
are non-biodegradable. Environmental concerns associated with
these plastics make incineration and land-filling less desirable.
Chemical recycling of such materials can address waste man-
agement and bridge the growing gap between supply and demand
of base petrochemicals. The catalytic conversion of such polymeric
materials (particularly PP and PE) can yield a substantial amount
of olefins (ethylene, propylene, butylenes and olefins of C
10
C
14
range) or aromatics. This technology has the potential to produce
around 1.5 MMtpy2 MMtpy of aromatic petrochemicals or
alternately, 1 MMtpy1.25 MMtpy of olefinic petrochemicals,
which can comfortably meet the 5%10% projected additional
petrochemical demand by 2020.
However, the key hindrance lies in the logistics associated with
collecting raw materials for the catalytic conversion process. Policy
can be initiated for effective collection and segregation of waste
plastics. Plastics can be collected at a nominal price of 5Rs/ kg10
Rs/kg. A common facility to process these wastes from about 10 to
15 different city municipalities can be developed for petrochemi-
cal production purposes.
6,7,21
Lignocellulosic biomass. India is a favorable place to
develop residual biomass into ethanol, lignin, olefins and phe-
nolics due to the abundance of raw materials from forest and
agricultural residues. About 800 MMtpy of forest and agricul-
tural residues are generated annually in India. After distribution
into animal fodder, fuel for heating, and manure, approximately
150 MMtpy of nonfodder residue is available at a nominal price
of 2 Rs/kg5 Rs/kg. A new biotechnological process can con-
vert residual biomass into ethanol- and lignin-rich material. At
25% utilization of the available residual biomass, 7.5 MMtpy
of ethanol or 4.5 MMtpy of equivalent ethylene, along with
associated lignin-rich material, can be processed. This option
has the potential to meet around 15%20% of the additional
petrochemical demand in 2020. However, technology must be
improved for the efficient conversion biomass to ethanol; a more
costeffective reactor design is needed.
22
Table 5 lists the commonly available nonfodder biomass found
in India. One possible solution is to construct biomass-processing
plants at sites where biomass residues collected from 10 to 15
nearby villages and/or forests may be processed at a common
processing plant. Rural organizations should focus on collecting
agricultural and forest wastes and then selling the biowaste to
process plants for olefin production and to downstream petro-
chemical industries for biopolymer production.
6,7,22
TABLE 4. Global refinery utilization rates
5
Refinery utilization, % OECD Non-OECD
2001 89 76
2002 87 75
2003 88 77
2004 88 79
2005 87.5 82
2006 86 82.5
2007 86.5 82.5
2008 87.5 83
2009 82.5 81
2010 82 80
Year
R
e

n
e
r
y

u
t
i
l
i
z
a
t
i
o
n

r
a
t
e
s
,

%
65
70
75
80
85
90
95
Non-OECD nations
OECD nations
10 09 08 07 06 05 04 03 02 01
FIG. 1
TABLE 3. Recent ME petrochemical projects
Ethylene, Propylene,
Country Project Startup MMtpy MMtpy
Saudi Arabia PetroRabigh 2009 1.3 0.6
Saudi Arabia Saudi Ethylene and 2009 1.3
Polyethylene Co.
Saudi Arabia SABIC Eastern Petrochemical 2010 1.3
Co. (Shark III)
Saudi Arabia Saudi Kayan 2011 1
Saudi Arabia Sadara Chemical Co. 2016 1.2 0.4
Iran Morvarid Petrochemical Co. 2010 0.5
Iran Kavya Petrochemical Co. 2011 2
Iran Ilam Petrochemical Co. 2012 0.153 0.12
Iran Gachsaran Petrochemical Co. 2012 1
Iran Persian Gulf Co. 2014 1.3 1
Qatar Qatar Petrochemical 2011 0.18
(MIC complex)
Qatar Ras Laffan Olefin Complex, 2015 1.6
Exxon
Qatar Ras Laffan Olefin Complex, 2018 1.31.6
Shell
UAE Borouge 2 Petrochemical Co. 2011 1.4
UAE Borouge 3 Petrochemical Co. 2012 0.6
Kuwait Equate Petrochemical Co. 2010 0.8
Event Host Sponsor:
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Organized by:
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You are Invited to Attend
Milan, Italy | 1214 June | www.HPIRPC.com
International Rening & Petrochemical Conference
Dear Readers,
You are cordially invited to attend the third annual Hydrocarbon Processing International Rening and Petrochemical Conference, organized by
Gulf Publishing Company, to be held 12-14 June 2012 in Milan, Italy.
As an attendee, you will have the opportunity to share your professional knowledge with others, while learning about the latest technical advancements
from some of the brightest minds in the hydrocarbon processing industry. In addition, the networking opportunities aforded by a gathering like IRPC
2012 provide the personal contact necessary for the free-owing exchange of ideas.
In past years, this event has welcomed attendees representing companies such as ABB, Baker Hughes Incorporated, BP, DuPont, Dresser, eni, ExxonMobil,
Fluor Corporation, GE, Indian Oil Corporation, Reliance Industries, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Technip, UOP and Walter Tosto.
Following the highly successful 2010 conference held in Rome and the 2011 conference in Singapore, IRPC 2012 will maintain a high-level, two-day technical
conference program devoted to knowledge sharing and best practices in international rening and petrochemicals.
By registering now, you will be able to take advantage of our Early Bird rate a 15 percent discount of our regular attendee price. Please visit
www.HPIRPC.com or call +1 (713) 520-4402 to complete your registration today. Thank you for your interest and consideration.
Sincerely,
Bill Wageneck , Publisher, Hydrocarbon Processing
The Advisory Board for this conference is made up of industry experts from operators and service companies. The IRPC 2012 Advisory Board
members are:
Dr. Madhukar Onkarnath Garg
FNAE Director
Indian Institute of Petroleum
in Dehradun
Rajkumar Ghosh
Executive Director
Indian Oil
Andrea Gragnani
Refning Product Line Director
Technip
Dr. Syamal Poddar
President
Poddar & Associates
Andrea Amoroso
Vice President
Process Technology
eni
Stephany Romanow
Editor
Hydrocarbon Processing
Michael Stockle
Chief Engineer
Refning Technology
Foster Wheeler
Giacomo Rispoli
Executive Vice President, Research
& Development and Projects
IRPC Advisory Board Chair
eniRefning & Marketing Division
John Baric
Licensing Technology Manager
Shell Global Solutions
International B.V.
Eric Benazzi
Marketing Director
Axens
Carlos Cabrera
Executive Co-Chairman
Ivanhoe Energy
Dr. Charles Cameron
Head of Research
& Technology
BP
Antonio Di Pasquale
Vice President
Refning Product Line
Technip
Giacomo Fossataro
General Manager
Walter Tosto S.p.A.
www.HPIRPC.com
www.HPIRPC.com
MILAN, ITALY | 1214 JUNE
About IRPC 2012
Hydrocarbon Processings International Rening and Petrochemical Conference is a market-leading technical conference, providing an elite forum for
industry leaders to come together to share knowledge and ideas relating to the rening and petrochemical industries.
The conference emphasizes the latest technological and operational advances from both a local and global perspective and is attended by project
engineers, process engineers and hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) management of cials from around the world.
In todays increasingly competitive global HPI, managers and engineers are actively seeking information and solutions to make their company or
organization more ef cient and protable. This is your chance to take part in the discussion. IRPC ofers an intimate, thought-provoking working
environment to meet and network with industry leaders and key decision makers as they explore how technological and operating advances can
benet their organization or plant.
This years conference will feature a dual-track program with topical sessions on heavy oil, hydrogen, environment/safety, energy ef ciency,
petrochemical/renery integration and biofuels/clean fuels.
Why Attend IRPC 2012?
To be part of a focused forum dedicated to exploring the latest developments within the hydrocarbon processing industry
For the opportunity to participate in real-time information sharing with leading HPI professionals
To benet from ample networking opportunities between technical sessions that allow you to connect with old and new business contacts
Have the chance to hear the opinions of key industry players on both general and area-specic topics
Who will be at IRPC 2012?
HPI professionals looking to discover the elds latest technological advancements
Purchasing agents scouting out and mapping new ways to strategically invest
International HPI leaders representing a range of operating and technology companies
Engineers looking to expand their technical knowledge alongside other industry professionals
Companies of all sizes from the areas of operating, technology, service, construction and more
For sponsorship opportunities, contact Bill Wageneck, Vice President and Publisher, Hydrocarbon Processing at +1 (713) 520-4421 or
Bill.Wageneck@GulfPub.com.
IRPC 2012 Sponsors:
Event Host Sponsor Silver Sponsor Gold Sponsor
Delegate Bag Sponsor USB Key Sponsor
eni Plant Tour
By registering to attend IRPC 2012, you will have the chance to reserve your spot on an exclusive tour of enis Sannazzaro de Burgondi Renery in Pavia,
Italy. A short bus drive from Milan, the renery is home to the rst-ever industrial application of the companys proprietary eni Slurry Technology for
the conversion of heavy oil residue. To enter your name for a chance to take part in the tour, please email Gwen Hood, Events Manager, Gulf Publishing
Company, at Gwen.Hood@GulfPub.com. Space is limited for this tour. Entrants must be paid registrants of IRPC 2012 in order to be eligible to attend.
www.HPIRPC.com
8:309:15 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9:159:30 a.m. Opening Remarks: John Royall, President & CEO, Gulf Publishing Company
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
9:3010:15 a.m. Giacomo Rispoli, Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Projects, eni
10:1510:45 a.m. Michael Lane, Secretary General, CONCAWE
10:4511 a.m. Cofee Break
TRACK 1: HEAVY OIL TRACK 2: HYDROGEN
Session 1
Session Chair: Michael Stockle, Chief EngineerRening
Technology, Foster Wheeler
Session 2
Session Chair: Syamal Poddar Ph.D, P.E Fellow AIChE,
Poddar & Associates
1111:30 a.m. Heavy Oil Processing in IOCL ReneriesShri
Susobhan Sarkar & Shri Tapan Kumar Basak of Indian Oil
Corporation Limited
Balancing Hydrogen Demand and Production: Optimising
the Lifeblood of a ReneryLuigi Bressan of Foster Wheeler
11:30 a.m.12 p.m. Processing Heavier Crudes to Meet Future Energy
Needs; Improved Modeling Improves Design
Joseph McMullen (speaker) & David Bluck of
Invensys Operations Management
Ef cient Hydrogen Management in ReneryDebangsu
Ray & Mukesh Mohan of Indian Oil Corporation Limited
1212:30 p.m. Latest Improvements in VGO Based Hydrocracking
TechnologiesAxens
Hydrogen-Creep Resistant 9% Chromium Heavy Plates for
Future High Temperature Rening ReactorsCedric Chauvy
(speaker), S. Pillot & L. Coudreuse of Industeel,
ArcelorMittal Group
12:30 1 p.m. Commercial Experience in Dif cult Feedstock
Upgrading with Criterion/Zeolysts CatalystsGert
Meijburg of CRI/Criterion Catalyst Company Ltd.
Simulate Your Renery to Increase Your Bottom Line
Luigi Pedone (speaker) & Regina Meloni of Saipem S.p.A.
and Vassilis Harismiadis of Hyperion Systems Engineering,
Modeling and Simulation (speaker)
12:30 p.m. Lunch Followed by Cofee & Desserts in Exhibit Hall
TRACK 1: HEAVY OIL TRACK 2: ENVIRONMENT & SAFETY
Session 3
Session Chair: Eric Benazzi, Marketing Director, Axens
Session 4
Session Chair: Madhukar Onkarnath Garg, FNAE, Director,
Indian Institute of Petroleum
IRPC 2012 Agenda | Day 2: Wednesday, 13 June
eni PLANT TOUR
2:15 p.m. Depart from MiCo Milano Congressi
3:30 pm Arrival at enis Sannazzaro de Burgondi Renery EST Project
3:45 pm Induction Meeting and Presentation of the Project
4:30 pm eni Plant Tour Begins
5:30 pm eni Plant Tour Ends, Refreshments Served
5:40 pm Depart from enis Sannazzaro de Burgondi Renery EST Project
7:00 pm Arrive Back at MiCo Milano Congressi
IRPC 2012 Agenda | Day 1: Tuesday, 12 June
www.HPIRPC.com
IRPC 2012 Agenda | Day 3: Thursday, 14 June
2:303 p.m. (Getting) More Value from FCC BottomsVictor Scalco,
General Atomics/Gulftronic Electrostatic Separators
(speaker) & John Paraskos of Chevron Research/
Gulf Petroleum
Sulphur Recovery Facilities of Petroleum Reneries with
Very Stringent Requirements of SO2 EmissionsMichele
Colozzi of Tecnimont KT S.p.A. & Antonio Salati of
Processi Innovativi
33:30 p.m. A Proper Design and Sophisticated Numerical Analysis
May Extend the Life of Coke DrumsPatrizio Di Lillo of
Walter Tosto S.p.A.
HSE Management SystemBest PracticeDr. Dhiraj D.
Radadiy of ADNOC/SPC
3:304 p.m. Technological Advancements in Delayed Coking
EquipmentDeltaValve, presented by
Werner Vermeire
Ef uence & Carbon Management in PetkimDilek Celenk
Akinci, Sadi Senocak & Secil Kirsen Dogan of Petkim
Petrochemical Inc.
44:30 p.m. Afternoon Break
TRACK 1: HEAVY OIL TRACK 2: ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Session 5
Session Chair: Giacomo Fossataro, General Manager,
Walter Tosto S.p.A.
Session 6
Session Chair: Carlos Cabrera, Executive Co-Chairman,
Ivanhoe Energy
4:305 p.m. EST Technology for Tar Sands Upgrading: A Protable
and Sustainable Business by Nicoletta Panariti and
Andrea Amoroso of eni
Flaring Minimization Program Saudi AramcoMuhsin D
Al-Khudhairi of Saudi Aramco
55:30 p.m. Sour2PowerP.C. Chandrahasan of Siemens Oil & Gas Energy Ef ciency in Oil ReneriesRakesh Jain of
Indian Oil Corporation Limited
5:306 p.m. Co-Processing Canola Oil with HVGO for Green Oil by
HydrotreatingSong Chen of CanmetENERGY
Energy Ef ciency Monitoring and Improvement in Renery
Process Plants Through Chemcad Process Simulation
SoftwareKarthik Ramesh & Manish Mishra of Indian Oil
Corporation Limited
67:30 p.m. eni Welcoming Reception in Exhibit Hall
99:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
9:309:35 a.m. Morning Remarks: T. Wright, Director, Global Events, Gulf Publishing Company
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
9:3510:20 a.m. Dr. Fereidun Fesharaki, Chairman, FACTS Global Energy
10:2010:50 a.m. tbd
10:5011 a.m. Cofee Break
TRACK 1: HEAVY OIL TRACK 2: ENVIRONMENT & SAFETY
Session 7
Session Chair: Rajkumar Ghosh, Executive Director,
Indian Oil Corporation Limited
Session 8
Session Chair: Andrea Gragnani, Rening Product Line
Director, Technip
1111:30 a.m. The First EST Industrial Plantthe EST Project at
Sannazzaro Renery by Andrea Amoroso and Francesco
Misuraca of eni
The Ultimate Path to H2S-Free GasJoseph Gentry &
Zhepeng Liu of GTC Technology US LLC
11:30 a.m.12 p.m. Maximize Heavy Oil ProtsRobert P. Bartek & Scott
Fess of Applied Rigaku Technologies, Inc.
Greenhouse Gases Inventory Management in the Brazilian
Chemical and Petrochemical IndustryObdulio Fanti of
Brazilian Association of Chemical Industries (Abiquim)
www.HPIRPC.com
IRPC 2012 Agenda | Day 3: Continued
1212:30 p.m. New Gasier Design to Convert the Bottom of the
BarrelDev Barot of KBR
Sulfur Recovery from Dilute H2S Sources: An Alternative
to the Liquid Redox ProcessMichael P. Heisel of ITS
Reaktortechnik GmbH (speaker) & Angela F. Slavens of
WorleyParsons
12:30 1 p.m. Oil Renery Product BlendingAlan Munns of ABB Ltd. Efect of Reliability on ROICRick St. Laurent & Logan
Anjaneyulu of Valero Energy Corporation
12:30 p.m. Networking Lunch Co-sponsored by ABB followed by Cofee & Desserts in Exhibit Hall
TRACK 1: HEAVY OIL TRACK 2: PETROCHEMICAL/
REFINING INTEGRATION
Session 9
Session Chair: Antonio di Pasquale, VP Rening
Product Line, Technip
Session 10
Session Chair: Stephany Romanow, Editor,
Hydrocarbon Processing
2:303 p.m. Diesel for Bunker. An Environmental Constraint or an
Opportunity for Deep Convesion in the Long Run?
Laura Zanibelli and Carlo Gabriele Clerici of eni
Expand the ThroughputLeon Markowski of PROBAT Leon
Markowski & Kamil Marszalek, ORLEN Projkt S.A. (Speaker)
33:30 p.m. Transportation Fuels and Petrochemicals from Waste
PolyolensSanat Kumar, H U Khan, Manisha Sahai,
Ajay Kumar, S M Nanoti & M O Garg of CSIR-Indian
Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun
Renery & Petrochemical IntegrationIOCLs Experience
& Future OptionS.M.Vaidya & Sanjiv Singh of Indian Oil
Corporation Limited
3:304 p.m. Production of US Grade Gasoline and Pure Benzene
from FCC C6 Heart Cut SimultaneouslyM O Garg, S
M Nanoti, B R Nautiyal, Sunil Kumar, Prasenjit Ghosh,
Jagdish Kumar & Pooja Yadav, Misha of CSIRIndian
Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun
Unique Petrochemical Opportunities Harvesting Shale
Gas DepositsSteven Cho of Lummus Technology, a
CB&I Company
44:30 p.m. Afternoon Break
TRACK 1: HEAVY OIL TRACK 2: BIOFUELS/CLEANFUELS
Session 11
Session Chair: John Baric, Licensing Technology
Manager, Shell Global Solutions International B.V.
Session 12
Session Chair: Andrea Amoroso, Vice President, Process
Technology, eniRening & Marketing Division
4:305 p.m. Heavy Oil to LiquidsCarlos Cabrera of Ivanhoe
Energy
Industrial Investigation on Feasibility to Raise Near Zero
Sulphur Diesel Production by Increasing Fluid Catalytic
Cracking Light Cycle Oil ProductionIlshat Sharafutdinov,
Dicho Stratiev & Ivenline Shishkova of Lukoil
Neftochim Bourgas
55:30 p.m. Maximise Transport Fuels and Power with Foster
Wheeler PetroPowerMichael Stockle of
Foster Wheeler
Bio-Based Chemicals: Going CommercialRon Cascone
of Nextant
5:306 p.m. Integrated Rening and Petrochemical Units Convert
Residue to PropyleneDalip Soni, Rama Rao & Gary
Sieli of Lummus Technology, a CB&I Company, and Ujjal
Mukherjee of Chevron Lummus Global
100% Renewable Jet Fuel from BiothyleneEdward
Peterson of Synfuels International, Inc.
67:30 p.m. Closing Reception
www.HPIRPC.com
How to Register for IRPC 2012
To reserve your spot at the conference, please visit www.HPIRPC.com or contact Gwen Hood, Events Manager, Gulf Publishing Company
at +1 (713) 520-4402 or Gwen.Hood@GulfPub.com. For more information about the conference, and to learn about other ways to get involved,
please contact Teresa T Wright, Director, Global Events, Gulf Publishing Company at +1 (713) 520-4475 or Teresa.Wright@GulfPub.com.
Registration
By registering to attend IRPC 2012 you will have access to:
More than 40 unique technical presentations
Receptions and breaks between sessions to maximize
networking potential
Complimentary USB key containing all conference materials
The chance to register for a tour of Enis Sannazzaro de
Burgondi Renery
Location
IRPC 2012 will be held at the MiCo Milano Congressi, which is located in Milans city center and is one of the largest conference venues in Europe.
MiCo Milano Congressi | Piazzale Carlo Magno, 1 | 20149 Milano
Accommodations
Enterprise Hotel | Corso Sempione 91 | 20149 Milano | +39 02 31818 1
Please visit www.enterprisehotel.com to check room availability for 1214 June 2012. Enter code irpc2012 in the customer code box to receive the
special per-night rates of 135 (Single), 155 (Double), 165 (Executive Single) or 185 (Executive Double)subject to availability.
Admiral Hotel | Domodossola 16 | 20145 Milano | +39 023492151
Please visit www.AdmiralHotel.it to check room availability for 1214 June 2012. Click on the International Rening and Petrochemical Conference
link under ofers to receive the special per-night rates of 199 (Single), 119 (Double Single Use) or 149 (Double)subject to availability.
MILAN, ITALY | 1214 JUNE
IRPC 2012 Registration Rates:
Registration Type Early Bird (by 30 April) Regular (by 1 June)
Single Attendee USD $930 USD $1,095
Team of Two USD $1,674 USD $1,969
Pack of 10* USD $8,415 USD $9,900
*Pack of 10 purchase includes a reserved table at lunch, listing as a Team Pack Sponsor in the event program, and signage with your company name and logo
displayed at the conference.
www.HPIRPC.com
1
3 m
3 m
3 m
3 m
3 m
5.5 m
5
.
5

m
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35
13
14 15 16
17 18
* As of March 19.
1 Carpenteria Corsi
5 Sicelub Iberico
6 Pilosio S.p.A.
7 Hiller GmbH
8 ONIS
9, 10 Invensys
11 Auma Italiana Srl
14 ABB
15 eni
16 Walter Tosto
19 Catapano S.r.E.
24 West Virginia, USA
25 Intergraph Italia L.L.C.
26 Ametek
27 Ansaldo
28 Shin Nippon
29 SIS SERVIZI INTEGRATI
DI SICUREZ
30, 31 Curtiss-Wright
32 Scame Sistemi S.r.L
33 GTC Technology
34 Foster Wheeler
35 Eidos
Exhibition Booths Sold To Date
Available
*
Sold
Conference Exhibit Floor at MiCoMilano Congressi in Milan, Italy:
How to Feature Your Company at IRPC 2012
There is a way for your company to participate in IRPC 2012, no matter the budget. Sponsorships and exhibitor packages of various levels are still
available. To reserve your sponsorship or exhibition space today, contact Bill Wageneck, Vice President and Publisher, Hydrocarbon Processing
at +1 (713) 520-4421 or Bill.Wageneck@GulfPub.com.
For more information about the conference, and to learn about other ways to get involved, please contact Teresa T Wright, Director,
Global Events, Gulf Publishing Company at +1 (713) 520-4475 or Teresa.Wright@GulfPub.com.
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PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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51
Carbon dioxide. With climate-change policies in place, reduc-
ing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a key issue. Petrochemi-
cal/chemical facilities are major GHG sources through CO
2
emis-
sions. Technologies to reuse CO
2
as feedstock for chemicals are
under development.
Fertilizer demand in India is rising at the rate of 3%/yr,
with a consumption rate of 29 MMtpy. About 7 MMtpy
of fertilizer is imported. Planned additions will not meet
demand. This gap between supply and demand can be par-
tially addressed by reusing sequestered CO
2
. Using CO
2
as
feedstock for urea is a synergistic option provided hydrogen
from a non fossil source is possible. To produce 30 MMtpy of
urea would require stoichiometrical 22 MMtpy of CO
2
. The
CO
2
can be sequestered from sources such as power plants,
vehicles, refineries and chemical and cement industries. The
amount of CO
2
produced ranges from 0.2 kg kg
1
0.5 kg kg
1

of the final product produced. Indian refineries alone produce
around 30 MMtpy35 MMtpy of CO
2
.
6, 7
There is sufficient
CO
2
for urea production, but sourcing renewable hydrogen
is the main challenge.
Others. Indias rich coal reserves can be a key driver in devel-
oping gasification technology, which involves converting coal
to a synthesis gas and then into olefins. This technology has
shown fantastic potential. But it is uncertain that this process
can be used to effectively replace ethylene crackers. Moreover,
the cost for gasification technologies is quite high due to the
reactor size and recycle issues. The process is not currently
economically attractive.
Recent prospecting of shale gas shows that India possesses
300 Tcf of shale gas that is methane rich. Low conversion lev-
els (10%20%) of methane sourced from shale gas or NG to
petrochemicals require more process improvement before com-
mercialization. However, R&D efforts will certainly make it more
affordable and profitable.
Considering the necessary government policies and technol-
ogy development in place, it is expected that roughly 20%30%
of additional petrochemicals demand in 2020 can be met by the
suggested alternate feedstock options. HP
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This is a revised and updated version from an earlier presentation from the
International Refining and Petrochemical ConferenceAsia, July 1921, 2011 in
Singapore. The authors would like to thank their colleagues, Dr. D. K. Adhikari
and Dr. Sanat Kumar at CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, for their
fruitful technical discussions that helped in the development of this article.
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TABLE 5. Commonly available biomass residues in India
Byproducts
Agricultural residues Forest residues Agro-based industries
Rice straw Mahua flowers Sugarcane bagasse
Cassava Tree tops Molasses
Sweet sorghum Leaves Oil seeds
Jute plant Sawdust
Wheat straw
Cotton stalk
Sugarcane tops
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I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
LITERATURE CITED
1
Navavaty, K., Vision 2020: Indian Chemical Industry Outlook, Chemical
News, May 2009, pp. 2125.
2
Purwaha, A. K., Indian Petrochemical Industry-Challenges and
Opportunities, 9th Petrochem Conference, Mumbai, India, Nov. 1920,
2007.
3
Bansal, B. M., M. Mitra and M. George, India-Polyolefin Perspective,
Hydrocarbon Processing, April 2009, pp. 4146.
4
Hari, P., Indian Chemicals: Hungry for Profits, Chemistry & Industry,
January 2009, pp. 2325.
5
Ruwe, P., Refining outlook: Capacity expansion and rationalization,
Hydrocarbon Processing, September 2011, pp. 5357.
6
Ganguly, S. K., S. Sen and A. Bansal, Alternate Feedstock Options for
Petrochemicals: A Roadmap, International Refining and Petrochemical
Conference, Singapore, July 1921, 2011.
7
Feasibility Study on Alternative Feedstock Options for Petrochemicals,
CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum Report: SPD-02-09, 2010.
8
Jagger, A., Viva Pretty Polymers, Chemistry & Industry, September 2007, pp.
2223.
9
Dow Chemical, Mitsui form Biopolymers JV in Brazil, Hydrocarbon
Processing Newsletter, July 19, 2011.
10
Russia Petrochemicals Report Q4 2010, Business Monitor International,
2010.
11
Russia Petrochemicals Report Q2 2011, Business Monitor International,
2011.
12
Milmo, S., Petrochemicals-New Technologies for Making Olefins, Chemistry
and Industry, September 2007, pp. 2426.
13
China Coal to Chemicals, ASIACHEM Monthly Report, November 2010.
14
Air Liquide to Engineer, license coal to propylene project in China,
Hydrocarbon Processing Newsletter, Aug. 26, 2011.
15
Dow Propylene process technology chosen for new Qinghai unit in China,
Hydrocarbon Processing Newsletter, Aug. 23, 2011.
16
Sinopec, Syntroleum open China coal to liquid unit, Hydrocarbon Processing
Newsletter, Aug. 2, 2011.
17
Adibi, S., A Special Report-Middle East, Hydrocarbon Processing, April 2009,
pp. 2937.
18
Tallman, M. J. and C. Eng, Consider new catalytic routes for olefins produc-
tion, Hydrocarbon Processing, April 2008, pp. 95101.
19
Swift, T. K., A Special Report-North America, Hydrocarbon Processing,
April 2009, pp. 5556.
20
Shell plans world scale US ethylene cracker near Marcellus shale region,
Hydrocarbon Processing Newsletter, June 6, 2011.
21
Catalyst and Processes on Conversion of Waste Plastics to Value added
Products, CSIR- Indian Institute of Petroleum Report no SPD-02-06, 2006.
22
Kumar, S., S. P. Singh, I. M. Mishra, and D. K. Adhikari, Recent Advances
in Production of Bio-ethanol from Lignocellulosic Biomass, Chemical
Engineering Technology, 2009, 32(4), pp. 517526.
Sudip K. Ganguly is a principal scientist for the CSIR-Indian Institute of Petro-
leum in Dehradun, India, a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and
Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India. He has 15 years of research experience.
Mr. Ganguly is involved with modeling and simulation at CSIR-IIP. His research inter-
ests include mechanistic kinetics of refinery conversion processes. He has published
30 research papers and is a member of AIChE. He is also Dean (Academics) of the
post-graduate research program in engineering at CSIR-IIP.
Shounak Sen Sharma is a chemical engineer from the Birla Institute of Tech-
nology and Sciences PilaniGoa Campus, India. He is also a business analyst with Mu
Sigma Business Solutions in Bangalore, India. His work primarily involves development
of statistical models for firms in the banking, financial services and insurance sector.
Madhukar O. Garg is the director of CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum in
Dehradun, India. He has 35 years of research experience in the field of refining and
petrochemicals. Dr. Garg specializes in the area of liquid-liquid extraction, modeling
and simulation, process integration, advanced control and process conceptualization.
He obtained his Ph.D from the University of Melbourne. Dr. Garg has developed and
commercialized several technologies and has been awarded two CSIR Technology
Shields for his commercialization efforts. He has published 213 papers and holds 26
patents. He is also a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering.
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PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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55
Improve catalyst management
at the FCC unit
System revamp reduces unloading time, boosts refinery operations
M. L. SARGENTI, N. ERGONUL and M. SCHERER, Grace Catalysts Technologies;
H. UPADHYAY, R. McCLUNG and T. S. W. AL RAWAHI, Orpic Sohar Refinery
T
he performance of the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit
benefits from the stable and consistent addition of catalyst
to the unit. For the regular addition of fresh catalyst, the
best practice is to ensure steady activity in the inventory and mini-
mize upsets typically caused by slug additions of fresh catalyst.
However, catalyst management in the FCC unit is important
during a number of activities associated with the FCC, and the
risks and costs of mismanagement can be magnified if a large
volume has to be moved every day. The Orpic Sohar refinery in
Oman sought to improve the injections of normal catalyst, equi-
librium catalyst (Ecat) and additives, and to find an optimum
solution to the hoppers configuration while improving the fresh
catalyst unloading system, which is described in this article.
Orpic Sohar site description. The Sohar refinery, located
220 kilometers (km) northeast of Muscat in Oman, is the larger
of the countrys two refineries. With a production capacity of
116,000 barrels per day (bpd), the refinerys main products (gaso-
line, propylene and diesel) are distributed to different markets
inside and outside of the country.
The FCC unit typically processes 100% atmospheric residue,
and approximately 2% of the total catalyst inventory is rejuve-
nated with fresh material every day. Between 20 metric tons per
day (mtpd) and 30 mtpd of fresh catalyst combined with addi-
tives and/or Ecat (depending on the operational requirements)
are injected daily.
Catalyst and additive injection system. In the original
design setup, four hoppers were used for the storage of fresh FCC
catalyst, Ecat and a ZSM-5 additive. Over the last year, a spe-
cifically customized, multi-component database and information
system (DAIS) for the simultaneous addition of various additives
was installed to enable the refinery to operate at maximum flex-
ibility and reliability.
1
Due to the particular setup of the refinery, a technical visit
prior to the installation of the addition device was necessary to
determine the optimal location of the DAIS units and to design
the proper connections between the hoppers. Catalyst injection
is an intensive operation, since the volume managed in the daily
additions is substantial. Therefore, it was suggested that two multi-
component DAIS system units be installed, for operation on a
standby basis. With this solution, it is possible to constantly main-
tain an uninterrupted dosage of fresh catalyst into the FCC unit.
An additional flow bin was included to allow separate injections
of a combustion promoter, if required, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2.
Revamp of catalyst unloading system. In the conven-
tional operation, approximately 20 to 30 super sacks of fresh cata-
lyst, weighing 1,000 kilograms each, were unloaded every day into
Design schematic of catalyst and additive injection system. FIG. 1
Sohar refinery catalyst and additive injection system. FIG. 2
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
the storage hopper (Fig. 3). The handling of such a large volume
of material was a time-intensive and environmentally unfriendly
operation. In addition, during the catalyst unloading, inevitable
dust generation caused catalyst losses and limited maintenance
activities in the area.
An effective way to avoid the handling of super sacks is to
deliver larger volumes of catalyst and additives overseas in more
suitably designed containers fitted with polyethylene bulk liners.
However, this method requires specific facilities for unloading the
trailer containers onsite.
Bulk-lined containers are the desired solution to safely and
effectively transport catalyst overseas and to store large volumes
of catalyst from the initial production site for shipment to the end
user at the refinery. For the operation at the Sohar refinery, trailer
tipping equipment was supplied to allow the plant to change from
the traditional super sack delivery method to the safer, cleaner
container system, while also providing a second backup system.
This solution was easily and successfully installed onsite, with-
out the need for extra engineering and construction. The frame
is adjustable to various trailer heights, and can accommodate
a trailer of up to 40 feet without the front car. The maximum
capacity is 35 mt, including the trailer tilting chassis. In this
system, the truck drives the container onto the frame, the truck
is removed, and the whole trailer is then fixed while being tilted
backwards. After the container is emptied, the truck pulls away
as the new supply arrives, as shown in Fig. 4. The catalyst is then
transported into the storage hopper by a proprietary piping system
(Fig. 5). This easy-to-use system is operated by a vacuum, which
substantially reduces the time of the unloading operation. While
one trailer is being unloaded, a second trailer can be prepared for
unloading on a second tilting chassis.
Improved operation and benefits. Implementing the
above-mentioned solutions in a holistic approach allows for a large
reduction in dust generation while handling the fresh catalyst. The
reduced dust generation within the process areas could decrease
the number of hours spent on site cleaning and housekeeping.
Additionally, the lesser dust generation represents a safer and more
pleasant working environment for operations personnel.
The reduced manual handling of catalyst, on the other hand,
can be used either to free operator hours for other duties or to
reduce site costs accordingly. For example, the number of contract
personnel performing the manual handling can be reevaluated, or
the personnel can be assigned to new duties.
In conclusion, the use of the newly implemented, multi-com-
ponent DAIS system and the custom-built container offloading
facilities at the Sohar refinery allowed the plant to operate at maxi-
mum flexibility and reliability. Lastly, the unloading process for
the daily consumption of catalysts was considerably simplified and
shortened to around one quarter of the previous time required. HP

1
DAIS units are exclusively manufactured for Grace by Pneumix.
Design schematic of container trailer tipper facility. FIG. 4
Sohar refinery vacuum piping system. FIG. 5
Nathan Ergonul is a technical sales manager at Grace Catalysts Technologies.
Talal Said Wasser Al Rawahi is a senior process engineer at the Orpic Sohar
refinery in Oman.
Robert McClung is the general manager of technical services at the Orpic Sohar
refinery in Oman.
Hemant Upadhyay works as a senior process engineer at the Orpic Sohar
refinery in Oman.
Matthias Scherer is director of sales for administration and logistics at Grace
Catalysts Technologies.
Maria Luisa Sargenti holds the position of technology coordination manager
at Grace Catalysts Technologies.
Super sacks previously used to unload fresh catalyst. FIG. 3
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HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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59
Operational optimization
for mixed-refrigerant systems
Use rigorous simulation to improve process efficiency
J. ZHANG, Q. XU and K. LI, Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering,
Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas
R
efrigeration systems are among the most critical operating
systems in the chemical processing industry. A refrigeration
system generally works by removing heat from low-temper-
ature streams and transferring it to higher-temperature streams
through vapor-compression cycles at the expense of mechanical
work, magnetism, laser or other means.
1
Since a refrigeration system can cool down a process stream far
below the ambient temperature, it is indispensable to cryogenic
cooling and separation operations in many chemical industries,
such as the large-scale production of ethylene, oxygen, nitrogen
and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Refrigeration systems may
employ a single compound as the refrigerant, as long as it is envi-
ronmentally safe (e.g., nontoxic), thermodynamically desirable
(e.g., having a sufficiently low boiling point, high latent vapor-
ization heat and high critical temperature), and operationally
feasible (e.g., noncorrosive).
A multi-component mixture can also be used as the refriger-
ant.
2
From a thermodynamic viewpoint, a mixed-refrigerant
system (MRS) provides refrigeration over a range of tempera-
tures, with smaller temperature differences at the lower temper-
atures. This leads to a smaller increase in entropy, or a smaller
loss of energy.
3
The MRS has many inherent advantages over a traditional
single-component refrigeration system (SCRS), which has led to
the application of MRS in new chemical processes. For example,
an ethylene plant may need to process various streams with tem-
peratures ranging from +40C to 140C. In the conventional
refrigeration method, this broad temperature range is accom-
plished by a cascade refrigeration system, where three single-
component refrigeration subsystems are integrated together. Each
refrigeration subsystem will employ a compressor, a set of flash
drums, and many other types of auxiliary equipment.
To reduce capital costs and the operational complexity of
the refrigeration system, an ethylene plant can employ a single
refrigeration system with mixed refrigerants to accomplish the
same refrigeration task.
4
Thus, the number of compressors is
MIX3
MIX6
MIX1
MIX2
EE-13
EC-6
EC-4 EC-3
EC-1
EC-7
FD-2
FD-3
FD-4
FD-5
EC-2
EC-3
EE-8 EE-9
EC-9
EC-8
EC-1
EC-10
C-3
C-2
V-12
V-9
V-10
FD-1
C-1
MIX5
V-1
EE-5 V-1
EE-6 V-4
EE-7 V-3
V-6
SPL2
SPL3
SPL5
SPL4
EC-2 V-2
EC-5
EC-4
V-11
EC-12 EC-11
V-7
V-8
Flowsheet of an MRS. FIG. 1
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
reduced from three to one, and over 25 pieces of equipment are
saved. It has been reported that the introduction of a mixed-
refrigerant system can reduce the capital cost of the entire eth-
ylene plant by 7%.
5
This article describes the operating performance of an MRS
used in an ethylene plant that was studied through rigorous simu-
lation. Insights on the MRS working mechanism are presented.
Based on the simulation, optimization strategies have been devel-
oped to improve the MRS operation under the disturbance of
cooling-water temperature change.
Process description of an MRS. The studied MRS, which
contains a mixed refrigerant of 0.1 wt% H
2
, 11.7 wt% CH
4
, 17.6
wt% C
2
H
4
, and 70.6 wt% C
3
H
6
, is used for an ethylene plant.
As shown in Fig. 1, the refrigeration system has a three-stage
compressor. All three compressor stages have suction drums to
buffer inlet pressures and knockout liquids if any leak out of the
compressor. The first stage (C-1) compresses the refrigerant from
a pressure of 0.16 MPa to 0.61 MPa. The outflow of C-1 mixes
with the vapor flow from suction drum FD-2 and then goes to the
second stage (C-2), which compresses the refrigerant from 0.61
MPa to 1.02 MPa.
The outflow of stage C-2 is partially condensed, by cooling
water, to 32C, and then goes into another suction drum (FD-3)
together with a mixed vapor flow from evaporators EE-5, EE-6,
EE-7 and EE-9. About 88% of the FD-3 vapor flow goes to
the third stage (C-3). The rest of the vapor flow moves through
coolers EC-4, EC-5 and EC-6, which reduces its temperature to
12C. Then, the stream is flashed in drum FD-4 at 0.79 MPa to
vapor and liquid streams at a temperature of 16C. The vapor
stream is used in evaporator EE-10, while the liquid flow is used
in evaporator EE-13.
In the third stage (C-3), the refrigerant is normally compressed
from 1.02 MPa to 3.0 MPa, with a flexibility of 0.2 MPa for
the output pressure. The output refrigerant of C-3 is partially
condensed to 32C in EC-2 by the cooling water. The condensate
temperature may change from 29C to 34C due to the amount
of cooling water and the inlet temperature.
The mixed refrigerant is separated into high-pressure light
mixed refrigerant (HP-LMR) and high-pressure heavy mixed
refrigerant (HP-HMR) in flash drum FD-5. HP-LMR is the
vapor output of the flash drum, and HP-HMR is the liquid out-
put. The compositions of HP-LMR and HP-HMR vary with
EC-2 output temperature and C-3 output pressure. When the
temperature is 29C and the pressure is 2.8 MPa, the composition
of HP-LMR is 0.2 wt% H
2
, 26.7 wt% CH
4
, 25.4 wt% C
2
H
4
and
47.7 wt% C
3
H
6
; while the composition of HP-HMR is 5.7 wt%
CH
4
, 14.5 wt% C
2
H
4
and 79.8 wt% C
3
H
6
.
HP-LMR has the lower boiling point in the refrigeration sys-
tem, and can refrigerate process streams to 130C. HP-LMR is
used at evaporators EE-1, EE-2, EE-3 and EE-4 in the chilling
train section. It refrigerates the charge gas to 127C, liquefying
most of the C
2
and heavier components, while the hydrogen and
methane remain in the gas phase. The liquid-phase and gas-phase
charge gases are separated by flash drums. The liquid flows to the
demethanizer tower, and the gas flows to the Joule-Thompson
expansion process to separate hydrogen from methane. After
passing through evaporator EE-4, the HP-LMR goes into a
pure vapor state, and then travels to the C
2
splitters overhead
condenser EE-13 as the cooling utility.
The HP-HMR has the higher boiling point in the refrig-
eration system. About 38% of the HP-HMR is used in EE-5,
EE-6, EE-7 and EE-9 to refrigerate the charge gas, hydro-
gen and methane flows to 15C. After that, the HP-HMR
goes to the suction drum of C-3. The rest of the HP-HMR is
used to condense the overhead stream from the low-pressure
depropanizer tower to or under 20C. After that, it travels to
the suction drum of C-2.
TABLE 1. Statuses of process streams in MRS
evaporators and coolers
Heat Input Output
duty, temp., temp.,
Name Type GJ/hr C C Description
EE-1 Evaporator 12.4 102 127 Charge gas condenser
EE-2 Evaporator 4.0 102 123 Charge gas condenser
EE-3 Evaporator 84.7 43 102 Charge gas condenser
EE-4 Evaporator 9.0 21 40 Charge gas condenser
EE-5 Evaporator 17.9 32 14 Charge gas condenser
EE-6 Evaporator 22.2 45 14 Caustic tower cooler
EE-7 Evaporator 1.0 31 15 Hydrogen cooler
EE-8 Evaporator 2.5 23 8 Refrigerant inter-cooler
EE-9 Evaporator 28.8 37 11 Methane cooler
EE-10 Evaporator 15.7 2 20 Depropanizer condenser
EE-11 Evaporator 0.2 14 19 Charge gas condenser
EE-12 Evaporator 1.4 23 14 Refrigerant inter-cooler
EE-13 Evaporator 144.1 35 36 C
2
fractionator condenser
EC-1 Cooler 31.9 27 35 Water cooler
EC-2 Cooler 272.5 27 35 Water cooler
EC-3 Cooler 6.9 39 38 Ethane heater
EC-4 Cooler 25.9 12 11 C
2
fractionator reboiler
EC-5 Cooler 5.3 19 16 C
2
fractionator
side-draw reboiler
EC-6 Cooler 0.7 20 19 Refrigerant inter-heater
EC-7 Cooler 119.2 132 30 Charge gas heater
EC-8 Cooler 14.9 15 30 Ethylene product heater
EC-9 Cooler 23.3 18 8 Refrigerant internal heater
EC-10 Cooler 1.6 27 15 Ethylene product heater
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550
-150
-100
-50
0
50
100
Enthalpy, GJ/hr
T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

C
Theoretical power
needed from
the compressor
Pinch
point
MR in evaporators
Hot process ows
Cold process
ows
MR in condensers
Cooling water
MR in compressors
Temperature-enthalpy diagram of the MRS. FIG. 2
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
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61
HP-LMR finally mixes with the liquid flow from FD-4 and
goes to EE-13 to condense the overhead stream of the C
2
splitter
to under 35C. Evaporator EE-13 has the largest cooling duty
among all of the evaporators in the refrigeration system. The HP-
LMR flow is in pure vapor phase, which gives a small amount of
cooling duty. Most of the cooling duty of EE-13 is provided by
the liquid flow from FD-4.
Modeling and operational optimization. A rigorous
simulation model has been developed based on the aforemen-
tioned process description. The thermodynamic package used
in this simulation is the Peng-Robinson cubic equation of state
with the Boston-Mathias alpha function. During the simula-
tion, the minimum temperature difference is set at 2C, and the
minimum temperature difference in normal heat exchangers is
set at 5C. A compressor efficiency of 0.72 is used in this case.
To check the performance of the MRS operation, the normal
process operation condition has been simulated as the base case.
In the base case, the process stream status in each evaporator
and cooler is fixed as input (see Table 1); C-3 outlet pressure is
fixed as 2.8 MPa.
Based on the simulation results, Fig. 2 presents the temper-
ature-enthalpy diagram to describe the composite hot and cold
flows of the entire MRS. The MR hot-flow curve represents the
refrigerant as it undergoes condensing operations in various
condensers. Thus, the refrigerant functions as the hot stream,
and the heat will be removed from it. The released heat will be
transferred to cooling water at higher temperature and the cold
process stream at lower temperature.
However, contrary to the simulation results, the MR cold-flow
curve represents the refrigerant as it undergoes evaporating opera-
tions in various evaporators, where the refrigerant functions as the
cold stream for absorbing heat. The absorbed heat/energy comes
from the compressor and the hot process stream at lower tem-
perature. Note that, since the minimum temperature difference
is set at 2C, the pinch point lies at a temperature of 20C. Also
note that the horizontal distance of the dashed line represents the
theoretical power provided by the compressor. When compressor
24.0 25.0 25.5 26.0 26.5 27.0 27.5 28.0 28.5 29.0
2.7
2.8
2.9
3.0
3.1
3.2
3.3
24.5
C
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
o
r

o
u
t
p
u
t

p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
,

M
P
a
Cooling water temperature, C
38,000
39,000
40,000
41,000
42,000
43,000
44,000
45,000
46,000
47,000
T
o
t
a
l

c
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
o
r

w
o
r
k
,

k
W
Profiles of total compressor work and compressor outlet
pressure under various cooling-water temperatures.
FIG. 3
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
efficiency is known, the total energy consumption of the compres-
sor will be identified. Obviously, any operational changes to the
process streams or MRS will result in a corresponding energy flow
change in the temperature-enthalpy diagram.
Note that, in the simulated base case, a large amount of the
cooling-water temperature is set at 27C. If the cooling-water
temperature is changed due to a seasonal temperature difference,
it will influence the MRS cycles and cause operational problems.
Therefore, the optimal strategy for operating an MRS under
the disturbance of cooling-water temperature is presented in
this article.
Assume the cooling-water temperature ranges from 24C to
29C. When the cooling-water temperature decreases, the opera-
tional temperature of FD-5 will also decrease. Thus, the amount
of HP-LMR will respectively decrease because the vapor fraction
of FD-5 will decline with lower temperature. This would make
HP-LMR hard to guarantee for the heat duties for evaporators
EE-1 and EE-3. To balance it, the compressor output pressure
should be decreased to raise the vapor fraction of FD-5. There-
fore, the C-3 output pressure should be suitably adjusted within
the feasible operating range.
The disturbance of cooling-water temperature also influences
the heat duty of EE-13. Note that HP-LMR travels to evaporator
EE-13, which has the largest heat duty among the evaporators.
When the cooling-water temperature increases, the temperature
of the HP-LMR flowing to EE-13 will also increase. Therefore,
the HP-LMR will not be able to provide enough heat duty to
EE-13. To handle this problem, the amount of liquid flow from
FD-4 should be increased to provide enough heat duty to EE-13.
Based on the developed simulation model, nine case studies
have been conducted for a cooling-water temperature change from
24C to 29C. Since the main manufacturing process should not
be affected, the operating statuses of all process streams in these
nine cases are unchanged. This means that the input flowrate,
temperature, pressure, composition and output temperature of
all process streams are still the same as those shown in Table 1.
Fig. 3 shows simulation results of the nine case studies under var-
ious cooling-water temperatures. The related total compressor work
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2.80 2.85 2.90 2.95 3.00 3.05 3.10 3.15 3.20
41,500
42,000
42,500
43,000
43,500
44,000
44,500
45,000
45,500
46,000
46,500
Compressor output pressure, MPa
T
o
t
a
l

c
o
m
p
r
e
s
s
o
r

w
o
r
k
,

k
W
Simulation results of compressor work consumption and
compressor output pressure.
FIG. 4
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
and the compressor outlet pressure can be simultaneously obtained
from this figure when the cooling-water temperature is given. Thus,
Fig. 3 actually provides optimal MRS operation strategies under
the disturbance of cooling-water temperature. For instance, if the
cooling-water temperature is 28C, the appropriate compressor out-
let pressure should be controlled at 3.15 MPa. Under this scenario,
the compressor will consume 45,410 kW of energy.
Fig. 4 provides more insight into the total compressor work
and the compressor output pressure. It shows that, when the
compressor output pressure increases from 2.8 MPa to 3.2 MPa,
the total compressor work increases from 41,836 kW to 46,381
kW. Although lower pressure will reduce compressor work con-
sumption and operational cost, it will require lower cooling-water
temperature. Therefore, the simulation results provide an effective
way to handle this issue. HP
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
This work was supported in part by the Texas Air Research Center (TARC)
and the Texas Hazardous Waste Research Center (THWRC).
LITERATURE CITED
1
Vaidyaraman, S. and C. D. Maranas, Optimal synthesis of refrigeration cycles
and selection of refrigerants, AIChE Journal, Vol. 45, Issue 5, May 1999.
2
Lee, G. C., R. Smith and X. X. Zhu, Optimal synthesis of mixed-refrigerant
systems for low-temperature processes, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Vol. 41, Issue
20, 2002.
3
McKetta, J. J., Encyclopedia of Chemical Processing and Design, Vol. 28, Marcel
Dekker Inc., pp. 213-221, New York, New York, 1988.
4
Mafi, M., M. Amidpour and S. M. Mousavi Naeynian, Development in
mixed refrigerant cycles used in olefin plants, Proceedings of the 1st Annual
Gas Processing Symposium, Elsevier, 2009.
5
Stanley, S. J., R. Thakral and J. deBarros, Changing the ethylene plant
process chemistry and flowsheet configuration for improved return on invest-
ment, Petrotech 2009, New Delhi, India, 2009.
Jian Zhang is a research associate at the Dan F. Smith Depart-
ment of Chemical Engineering at Lamar University. He has five
years of experience in planning and scheduling for the petroleum
and petrochemical industries. He holds BS and MS degrees, as well
as a PhD, all in chemical engineering, from Tsinghua University in
China. Dr. Zhangs research interests include process planning and scheduling, process
simulation, process optimization and synthesis, and industrial waste minimization.
Qiang Xu is an associate professor at the Dan F. Smith Depart-
ment of Chemical Engineering at Lamar University. He holds BS
and MS degrees, as well as a PhD, all in chemical engineering,
from Tsinghua University in China. His research interests include
process modeling, scheduling, dynamic simulation and optimiza-
tion, industrial pollution prevention, waste minimization, and chemical process safety
and flexibility analysis. Dr. Xus research work on proactive flare minimization and
environmentally benign manufacturing has been extensively supported by TCEQ,
TARC, THWRC, the US Department of Defense and industry.
Kuyen Li is a professor at the Dan F. Smith Department of
Chemical Engineering at Lamar University. He received BS and MS
degrees in chemical engineering from Cheng Kung University of
Taiwan and a PhD in chemical engineering from Mississippi State
University. His research interests include air pollution control by
dynamic simulation and advanced oxidation, advanced remediation methods for
contaminated soil and sludge, and industrial wastewater treatment by biological and
advanced oxidation methods. His research work has been strongly supported by the
US Environmental Protection Agency, TCEQ, TARC and industry.
Engineering advanced
2012 Chemstations, Inc. All rights reserved. | CMS-322-1 2/12
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HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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67
Consider new economics for
purification on a small scale
For smaller methanol units, new designs balance energy cost
against capital cost for long-term profitability
K. PATWARDHAN, G. SATISHBABU, S. RAJYALAKSHMI and P. BALARAMKRISHNA,
R&D Center, Hydrocarbon IC, Larsen and Toubro, Powai, Mumbai, India
C
rude methanol (MeOH) distillation is an energy intensive
separation process and it contributes significantly to the
total production cost. It is very important to choose the
right distillation configuration for MeOH purification. In the
following study, a two-column configuration is compared with
a three-column configuration with forward- and backward-heat
integration schemes. Approximately 38% reduction in low-pres-
sure (LP) steam consumption is observed in a three-column con-
figuration case as compared to the base case for a small capacity
plant (about 230,000 metric tpy). Further energy reductions for
a three-column configuration is possible with a backward-heat
integration scheme.
KEY PETROCHEMICAL
Methanol is one of the most important petrochemicals. It is
extensively used as a feedstock in the production of chemicals
such as formaldehyde, methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE),
tertiary amyl methyl ether (TAME) and acetic acid. It is also a
hydrogen source in fuel cells used in automobiles. The majority
of MEOH is produced through steam reforming of natural gas;
other processing methods include use of petroleum fractions and
process offgas. The MeOH manufacturing process can be divided
into three major sections: feedstock purification and syngas
generation, compression and MeOH synthesis, and MeOH
purification. Fig. 1 is a general flow diagram of a MeOH facility
using natural gas as the feedstock.
The three process sections may be considered independently,
and technology may be selected and optimized separately for each
section. The normal criteria for technology selection are capital
cost and plant efficiency.
In a conventional natural gas-based
MeOH plant with a capacity of 2,500
+
met-
ric tpd, syngas generation accounts for 55%
of the total capital cost, distillation accounts
for 12%, compression and MeOH synthesis
accounts for 12%, and utilities and other
services account for 24%.
Methanol purification. Crude
MeOH, as removed from the synthesis
section, contains water, higher alcohols,
impurities and light ends. Table 1 summa-
rizes the typical composition of crude MeOH obtained through
commercial processes. US federal-grade specification OM-232e
identifies three grades of MeOH. Grade C is for wood alcohol
used in denaturing. Grade A covers methanol generally used as
a solvent. Federal-grade AA is the purest product. It is used for
petrochemical/chemical applications in which high-purity and
low-ethanol content are required, such as for MTBE, methyl
amines manufacture, etc. The general standard observed by the
chemical industry for MeOH product purity is US federal-grade
AA. Another known methanol grade is fuel-grade; it is used as
a blending component for gasoline.
Purification schemes. Crude MeOH is purified by distil-
lation with one- or two- or three- or four-column configuration.
Fuel-grade methanol is normally produced with a single distillation
tower. But to produce federal-grade AA methanol, two-, three-,
and, sometimes, even four-tower distillation systems are used. The
amount of distillation required depends on the byproduct forma-
tion of the MeOH synthesis catalyst and plant capacity.
The economics of the purification scheme involves the com-
plex relationship of plant capacity, available heat, energy export
and customer requirements, etc. For example, the four-column
configuration is justified only at large capacities such as 5,000
metric tpd of MeOH production. The two- or three-column
configuration depends on the customers requirements and energy
availability in the front end.
Single-column configuration. For fuel-grade MeOH as
a blending component, the major demands regarding quality
are water content and dissolved gases. Fuel-grade MeOH should
Reforming
technologies
1. Steam
2. Combined
3. Autothermal
Reactor
technologies
1. Isothermal
2. Adiabatic
Distillation
technologies
1. Single column
2. Multicolumn
Desulfurization
Syngas
production
Compression
MeOH
synthesis
MeOH
distillation
Natural
gas MeOH
General flow diagram for a natural-gas based MeOH facility. FIG. 1
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
be dissolved-gas free and not contain more than 500 wt-ppm of
water. The limitation on water content is due to its immiscibility
with gasoline (Fig. 2).
Multi-column configuration. Condensate from the synthe-
sis loop is generally purified in two stages using conventional dis-
tillation columns at pressures slightly above atmospheric pressure.
The first distillation stage is for light ends removal, and is carried
out in a single-distillation column known as the topping column.
This column acts as a refluxed stripper. Liquid feed enters near
the top stage, and MeOH vapor generated in the reboiler strips
the light endssuch as dimethyl ether (DME), methyl formate
and acetoneand residual dissolved gases from the crude MeOH.
The main area of investigation is the second stage of MeOH
purification. This is the MeOH refining stage, where MeOH is
recovered as the overhead product from one or more distillation
columns. Water is withdrawn as the bottoms product. Middle
boiling impurities (principally ethanol, but also higher alcohols,
ketones and esters), are referred to as fusel oil and are withdrawn
as a side stream below the feed stage.
The side stream enables MeOH production to US federal
specification O-M- 232K Grade AA. In a typical two-column
MeOH purification scheme, as shown in Fig. 3, about 20% of
the total heat for purification is associated with the topping
column. The remainder is required to separate MeOH from
ethanol and water. This basic arrangement is widely reported
in the literature.
1,2
With the sharp rise in energy costs, MeOH technology
licensors and operators have focused attention on alternatives
to this standard two-column arrangement.
28
A double-effect
three-column scheme was developed, and it is widely applied.
4

A number of these alternative schemes involve splitting the refin-
ing column into two separate columns that operate at different
pressures, such that the overheads of the higher pressure column
can be used to reboil the lower pressure column. Several novel
energy-saving three-column distillation configurations have been
explored in the literature.
9
The capital cost of the three-column schemes is significantly
greater than the standard two-column arrangement. The three-
column distillation unit consists of a topping column and two
refining columns. Refining column II operates at normal pressure.
Refining column I operates at a higher pressure, thus utilizing the
condensation duty of this column as reboiler duty for refining
column II. This substantially reduces the LP steam consumption
of the distillation section. Another configuration of three-column
systems is operating the refining column I at atmospheric pressure
and refining column II at a higher pressure (HP).
Federal-grade AA MeOH is withdrawn close to the top of
both refining columns. Although the three-column system is more
costly, it can reduce the required distillation heat input by 30%
40%. Multi-column systems (three or more columns) can only
be justified when energy costs are prohibitively high. The design
of the MeOH distillation unit primarily depends on the energy
situation in the front end. The two-column distillation unit rep-
resents the low-cost unit, and the three-column distillation unit is
the low-energy system. Multi-column designs maximize the yield
and minimize LP steam consumption.
The four-column design (Fig. 4) includes the three columns
described previously as well as an additional recovery column.
The fusel oil purge from refining column II is processed in the
recovery column to minimize MeOH losses. The distillation unit
can be designed to limit the MeOH content in the process water
to a maximum of 10 wt-ppm. The heat available from the front
end (syngas generation) at a low temperature is efficiently used to
minimize steam consumption. In four-column configurations, as
high as 60% savings in the steam consumption can be achieved
when compared to a two-column configuration.
Raw MeOH
LP steam
Process gas
Fuel-grade
product
Tail gas
Single-column configuration for an MeOH plant. FIG. 2
LP
steam
Recycle water
Product
MeOH
Liquid off
steam
Reux
drum 2
Process
gas
Stabilizer MeoH pump
Higher alcohols
Reux
drum 1
Crude
MeOH
Stabilizer
column
Concentration
column
Condenser 1 Condenser 2
Stripped gas
Two-column configuration for an MeOH plant. FIG. 3
TABLE 1. Typical crude MeOH composition to
purification section
Component Wt%
CO, CO
2
, H
2
, CH
4
, N
2
, DME, aldehydes, ketones 0.50.8
Methanol 8890
Ethanol, higher alcohols (propanol, butanol, etc.) 0.10.6
Water 911
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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69
SIMULATION STUDY
An analysis was conducted for purifying AA grade MeOH
from crude MeOH through a two-column and three-column
configuration using a commercially available process simula-
tor. The results were validated with reference data available for
the two-column scheme. The simulations were extended for the
three-column configuration. In the three-column configuration,
due to higher degree of freedom, one extra case is generated for
the reboiler coupling. In forward-heat integration, out of the three
columns, the first column is the topping column, as in the two-
column case; the second is a HP refining column; and the third
is LP refining column.
Total heat required for the HP column reboilers is provided
by LP steam. Instead of using a cooling water heat exchanger
to chill overheads of the HP column, heat is used to run the
LP column reboiler. This is called forward-heat integration
because heat integration is in the direction of material flow. The
HP column is operated at a pressure of 7 to 10 atmospheres
depending on feed composition. The LP column is operated
near atmospheric pressure.
In backward-heat integration, the second and third columns are
exchanged. In this scheme, the overheads from the third column
(HP) supply heat for the second-column reboiler. The material and
heat flow in opposite directions. The basic assumptions are:
All trays behave ideally (tray efficiency is 100%).
Liquid reflux from the condenser is saturated at calculated
conditions.
Pressure drop/tray is 0.01 kg/cm
2
.
Negligible pressure drop occurs in reboiler and condenser.
Reductions or increases in the pressure between the columns
are achieved by the reduction valve and pump, respectively.
A 15C approach ( temperature difference) is maintained
between LP column reboiling liquid and HP column overheads.
Table 2 summarizes the simulation results for the Base Case of
two-column, three-column schemes with forward- and backward-
heat integration configuration.
LP steam consumption in the two-column configuration is
much greater than the three-column configuration, as the heat
required for the concentration column is supplied by LP steam. In
a three-column configuration, there is a possibility to couple the
reboiler of one column with the condenser of another.
Temperature differences between utility (LP steam) and
reboiler temperature decrease with increasing column pressure.
TABLE 2. Simulation results for column schemes
Two-column scheme
Stabilizer column Concentration column
No. of stages 38 80
Reboiler duty, Gcal/hr 5.20 25.53
Condenser duty, Gcal/hr 6.26 25.22
Diameter, m 1.84 4.10
Reflux ratio 132 2.21
Boil-up ratio 0.64 13.27
LP steam consumption, 1.3384
metric ton/metric ton of MeOH
Three-column (forward integration) scheme
Stabilizer column HP column LP column
No. of stages 38 58 53
Reboiler duty, Gcal/hr 5.20 19.47 17.98
Condenser duty, Gcal/hr 6.26 17.98 19.09
Diameter, m 1.84 2.61 3.51
Reflux ratio 132 5.64 2.96
Boil-up ratio 0.64 3.45 9.44
LP steam consumption, 0.934
metric ton/metric ton of MeOH
Three-column (backward integration) scheme
Stabilizer column HP column LP column
No. of stages 38 55 58
Reboiler duty, Gcal/hr 5.20 17.46 17.85
Condenser duty, Gcal/hr 6.26 17.67 17.46
Diameter, m 1.84 3.36 2.62
Reflux ratio 132 2.70 5.00
Boil-up ratio 0.64 3.83 9.92
LP steam consumption, 0.8265
metric ton/metric ton of MeOH
Process
gas
Stabilizer
MeOH pump
Liquid
off
steam
Reux
drum 1
Topping
column
Condenser 1
Condenser 2
Stripped
gas
LP
steam
Reux
drum 2
HP
column
Reboiler
3
Recycle water
Product MeOH
Reboiler
2
Reboiler
1
Higher alcohols
Reux
drum 3
LP
column
Crude
MeOH
Three-column configuration (forward integration) for an
MeOH plant.
FIG. 4A
Process
gas
Liquid
off
steam
Reux
drum 1
Topping
column
Condenser 1 Condenser 2
Stripped
gas
LP
steam
Reux
drum 2
HP
column
Reboiler
3
Recycle water
Product MeOH
Reboiler
2
Reboiler
1
Higher
alcohols
Reux
drum 3
LP
column
Crude
MeOH
Three-column configuration (backward integration) for an
MeOH plant.
FIG. 4B
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
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Thus, the reboiler requires a higher area for the same duty when
compared to the base two-column configuration.
In the backward-heat integration scheme, due to altered col-
umn sequencing (i.e., LP column preceding the HP column),
around 60% of MeOH product is recovered in the first stage. It
offers advantages in two ways:
1) Ease of separation (characterized by the relative volatilities)
increases with decreasing operating pressure for a constant feed
composition
2) Altered composition as compared to a forward-heat inte-
grated scheme distillation can be done at a lower pressure in the
HP column.
This reduces the heat duty on the HP column reboiler. The
reverse heat integration results in more energy savings.
ECONOMICS OF METHANOL DISTILLATION
An MeOH distillation complex involves distillation column,
reboiler, condenser, reflux tank, pump and associated column
controls. The cost for each unit depends on various operating
and design parameters. Fig. 5 summarizes the contribution of the
individual costs to the total cost for the distillation setup under
consideration. Cost contribution is higher for instrumentation in
a three-column backward configuration than for a forward design
due to the complex control system.
The capital cost in the case of the three-column configuration
is more (12%17%) than the two-column configuration due
to the additional column and associated equipment. It is very
important that before adopting any of the listed schemes, a bal-
ance between the fixed and operating costs is done.
Operating cost. The operating cost for the distillation column
scheme under consideration includes cost for cooling water in
the overhead condenser and steam in the reboiler. The operating
cost of cooling water is governed by various factors such as ambi-
ent conditions, electrical consumption in fans and cooling water
pumps, water cost and chemical treatment. The cost of cooling
water is taken as $0.2/m
3
.
The three-column configuration saves energy consumption
in terms of LP steam supplying heat to the reboiler. The steam
required is the operating cost, and it can be expressed in terms
of natural gas consumption. The steam costs can be determined
assuming water at available temperature is heated in a boiler by
burning natural gas, and it can be expressed by:

Cost of steam, $ =
M Cp
w
T
B
T
ref
( )
+
( )
LHV
NG
( )
Boiler

NGunit price ( )
The three-column configuration saves energy. Thus, less natural
gas is consumed via lesser steam demand by the reboiler. Almost
30%40% savings can be realized by adopting either three-column
forward configuration or three-column backward configuration. It
also requires less coolant compared to a two-column scheme. But a
Column
Reboiler
Condenser drum
Condenser
Pump
Instrumentation
76.68% 9.58% 3.36% 0.27% 7.18%
2.93%
77.52% 7.75% 4.27% 0.28% 3.15%
7.04%
84.69% 4.23% 2.58% 0.34% 2.56%
5.61%
(a)
(b)
(c)
Cost contribution to the capital cost of equipments for
various configurationA: two-column configuration, B:
three-column forward integration configuration and C:
three-column forward integration configuration.
FIG. 5
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
2-column
conguration
3F-column
conguration
3B-column
conguration
Relative cost
Operating cost
Capital cost
Relative capital/operating cost for column configuration. FIG. 6
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
2-column
conguration
3F-column
conguration
3B-column
conguration
Relative cost
LP steam
CW
Operating cost contributions. FIG. 7
PETROCHEMICAL DEVELOPMENTS SPECIALREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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71
higher coolant flow is required in forward-integration scheme com-
pared to a backward-integration scheme. Accordingly, operating
costs are higher. Fig. 6 illustrates the combined effect. Operating
costs are higher for a three-column configuration with forward
integration, while, in others, marginal savings can be seen, as
shown in Fig. 7.
New thinking. A comparison of the two- and three-column
schemes for a medium capacity MeOH plant is presented here.
The three-column scheme with backward-heat integration offers
approximately 38% saving in LP steam as compared to two-
column scheme. Although, in the three-column scheme, back-
ward integration offers higher savings as compared to forward
integration scheme, column control will be complicated, and
more operating attention is necessary. HP
LITERATURE CITED
1
Pinto, Methanol distillation process, US patent 4,210,495, 1980.
2
Fiedler, E., G. Grossmann, D. B. Kersebohm, G. Weiss, and C. White,
Ullmanns Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Wiley-VCH Verlag/ GMbH &
Co., Weinheim, 2002.
3
Meyers, R. A., Handbook of SynfuelsTechnology, McGraw Hill, New York,
1984.
4
M. Harvey, Methanol Distillation-Two and Three Column Schemes,
IMTOF, London, 1993.
5
Chiang, T. P. and W. L. Luyben, Comparison of energy consumption in
five integrated distillation column configurations, Industrial Engineering
Chemical Process Des. Dev., No. 22, 1983, pp. 175179.
6
Wu, J. and L. Chen, Simulation of novel process of distillation with heat
integration and water integration for purification of synthetic methanol,
Journal Chemical Industrial Engineering, China, No. 58, 2007, pp. 3210
3214.
7
Liu, B. Z., Y. C. Zhang, P. Chen, and K. J. Yao, Research on energy sav-
ing process of methanol distillation, Chemical Industry Engineering Progress,
China, Vol. 27, 2008, pp. 16591662.
8
Douglas, A. P. and A. F. A. Hoadley, A process integration approach to the
design of the two- and three- column methanol distillation schemes, Applied
Thermodynamics Engineering 26, 2006, pp. 338349.
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73
Use better designed turboexpanders
to handle flashing fluids
New models eliminate vibration problems and improve reliability
K. KAUPERT, Energent, Santa Ana, California
M
illions of dollars or euros in revenue are creatively found
by clever process engineers through flashing liquid tur-
bines. These turbines convert a liquid into a vapor for
hydrocarbon processes. A flashing liquid turbine generates electric-
ity and concurrently removes heat from the process fluid.
For simple electric-power-generation applications, the obvi-
ous benefit of a flashing liquid turbine is generating power on a
turbine shaft while a liquid is flashing. This power can be used
to drive a generator. Examples of this case include waste-heat-
recovery systems and geothermal plants where the so-called tri-
angular power cycle approaches an ideal power cycle for sensible
heat sources.
1
But, the triangular power cycle requires a flashing
liquid turbine to generate electricity.
1
Energy efficiency. For petrochemical/chemical applications,
a flashing liquid turbine also generates electricity, but this is
only a small benefit. A much greater value is the heat removal
from a flashing liquid, especially in a refrigeration cycle. In
this example, the heat removed through the turbine shaft load
results in a reduced specific input power for the refrigeration
cycle. Examples of heat-removal benefits can be found in ethyl-
ene plants, air-separation units, natural-gas liquids plants and
natural-gas liquefaction operations.
2

The reduced refrigeration input power resulting from heat
removal from process fluids can have 10 to 20 times greater
value than the electric power generated. For a 3-MW flashing
liquid turbine, the benefits are 1 million/yr in electric power
produced plus 20 million/yr in heat rejection. This rejected
heat translates to input power that can be saved by the compres-
sors in the refrigeration cycle, thus reducing the specific input
power for the cycle.
The industrial demand for flashing liquid turbines is not
new. It existed in the 1960s. Since then, many lessons have
been learned on how to and how not to design flashing
liquid turbines. Initially, many attempts tried to adapt exist-
ing thermal or hydraulic turbines for operation with flashing
liquid flow. As shown in this article, those attempts met with
some success for very small vapor quantities in the liquid,
e.g., a turbine-outlet vapor-volume fraction less than 10%.
For moderately higher vapor-volume fractions, these early
adapted machines had poor thermodynamic performance
and were unreliable. With such poor performance, major
turbomachinery manufacturers abandoned flashing liquid tur-
bines until their more recent resurgence.
History of flashing liquid turbines. The most obvious
development path for flashing liquid turbines is to adapt exiting
thermal and hydraulic turbines to handle a flashing liquid. This
was attempted initially by NASA in the 1960s using radial-inflow
centrifugal turbines. The results were unsatisfactory in terms of
efficiency and vibrations. Later, in the 1980s, other companies
again tried the radial-inflow centrifugal turbine for handling flash-
ing liquids. This attempt, likewise, had poor efficiency and high
vibrations when the vapor-volume fraction at the turbine outlet
rose above 10%.
3,4
Figs. 1 and 2 show results from both studies.
In Fig. 1A, the liquid was not actually flashing; rather, air was
added to the water in closely controlled amounts. The turbine
was a three-stage centrifugal pump operating in reverse. The mass
vapor fraction reaches 0.002 (a vapor-volume fraction of nearly
30%) and the efficiency drops by more than 20 points. The effi-
0.0
0.2
0.4
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

c
o
e
f

c
i
e
n
t
,

)
E
f

c
i
e
n
c
y
0.6
0.8
0.8
Gas content X ()
x = 0.002
x = 0.001
x = 0.0005
x = 0.0005
0.05 0.01 0.15
Flow coefcient, ()
0.2 0.25
x = 0.001
x = 0.002
x = 0
x = 0
1.2
1.6
2.0
2.4
2.8
Performance of three-stage centrifugal pump operating
as a radial-inflow centrifugal turbine with water and
changing air content.
4,5
FIG. 1A
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ciency degradation is summarized in Fig. 1B, as a function of the
vapor-volume fraction in the liquid. In Fig. 2, an eight-stage cen-
trifugal pump was operated in reverse and a hydrocarbon mixture
was flashed through the machine. The turbine outlet fluid had
35% vapor volume. The measured efficiency is five points lower
than with a single-phase nonflashing liquid.
Due to performance deteriorations, the radial-inflow centrifu-
gal turbine was abandoned by the turbomachinery community
for use with flashing liquids. It was correctly reasoned that the
centrifugal field, which is the functioning basis for radial-inflow
turbines, acts as a centrifugal separator between liquid and vapor.
Such action leads to poor efficiency as the vapor-volume fraction
increases at the impeller inlet. An upper limit of near 0 is set on the
amount of vapor that can be flashed before the flow enters the cen-
trifugal impeller. From a design perspective, this can be reviewed in
the example P vs. h diagram of Fig. 3. For example, a 0.5 degree of
reaction is assumed for the centrifugal turbine, although this could
easily be lower for greater enthalpy drop in the nozzles. If vapor
forms in the nozzle before entering the impeller, then efficiency
deteriorates and vibration levels rise. This is due to the centrifugal
separator effect, as the vapor and liquid have different densities.
The radial-pressure gradient acts on each phase with dP/dr = V

2
/r
where P is the pressure, r is the radius, is the density and V

is
the tangential velocity. If the liquid begins to flash well inside the
turbine impeller near the turbine outlet and not in the nozzle,
then satisfactory performance for very low-vapor-content liquids
can be achieved by the centrifugal turbine. The centrifugal field
is not as strong near the impeller outlet. However, vibrations will
still be problematic due to flashing liquid in the rotating impeller.
The poor performance and high vibrations caused by flashing
liquids in radial-inflow centrifugal turbines were the motivation
for NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to embark
on developing a new way to expand flashing liquids. The driving
application was a magnetohydrodynamic power system project.
5
The flashing liquid turbine methodology applied at JPL was a linear
nozzle expansion of the flashing liquid flow, avoiding curvature and
ensuring close coupling between the expanding vapor and liquid
droplets. This method proved highly successful; it produced the
maximum conversion of available enthalpy drop to the nozzle out-
let kinetic energy. The successful nozzle design was applied to a pure
axial-impulse turbine impeller. The new style of turbine, as shown
in Fig. 4, was an axial-impulse turbine, similar to an axial cross-flow
impulse turbine or even similar to a Pelton style impulse turbine.
6
Simple physics. In a radial-inflow centrifugal turbine, any
flashing liquid flow will be separated by a centrifugal field into
liquid and vapor. This is the basic functioning principle of a
centrifugal separator or a centrifuge. The heavier liquid is slung
outward, while the lighter vapor passes inward and a sizable recir-
culation pattern is formed within the liquid-vapor mixture. This
causes substantial mixing losses and efficiency degradation. Fur-
thermore, the liquid droplets in the liquid-vapor mixture are large
and uncontrolled in size. This has the consequences to generate
entropy by flow and contribute to total flow losses. The simple slip
velocity of a liquid droplet in a vapor stream is given by:
V
s
= V
v
V
l
where V
s
is the slip velocity
V
v
is the vapor velocity
V
l
is the liquid droplet velocity.
A larger slip velocity logically leads to larger entropy losses due
to friction, wakes and mixing.
7
Entropy losses will always be gener-
ated due to the interphase exchange process of mass, momentum
and heat transfer due to the phase change occurring from liquid
to vapor. A low slip velocity will reduce these losses and lead to the
highest efficiency during the flashing process. The size of the liquid
droplets during flashing can be determined by examining a force
balance between the two forces acting on the liquid droplet. These
forces include drag force, due to the slip velocity, and buoyancy,
due to the pressure gradient in the flow. In the Lagrangian reference
frame (the frame moving with the particle), the force balance is:
8
(Dynamic pressure of relative gas flow) (Drag coefficient)
(Frontal area of droplet)
(Volume of droplet) (Pressure gradient) =
(Mass of droplet) (Droplet acceleration)
T
u
r
b
i
n
e

e
f

c
i
e
n
c
y
,

0.04 0.06 0.08 0.10 0.12


Flow coefcient,
Measurements with
35%-40% outlet vapor
Single-phase
measurements
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
Turbine efficiency vs. flowrate coefficient as measured on an
eight-stage radial-inflow centrifugal turbine.
FIG. 2
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.0
1.1
1.2
1.3
E
f

c
i
e
n
c
y
,
E
f

c
i
e
n
c
y
,

T
P
/

S
P
L

T
P

S
P
L
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4
Void fraction, z
1.0 bar back pressure
3.45 bar back pressure
5.9 bar back pressure
7.85 bar back pressure
Efficiency and energy correction factors due to vapor in
a radial inflow centrifugal turbine. For a vapor-volume
fraction of 30%, the 20 points decrease in efficiency from
1 to 0.8 can be seen.
4
FIG. 1B
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75
(0.5
v
V
s
2
) (C
d
) (D
2
/4) (D
3
/6) (dP/dx) =
(
l
D
3
/6) (V
l
dV
l
/dx)
Vs
2
= 4D[
l
(V
l
dV
l
/dx) + (dP/dx)]/(3
v
C
d
)
where
v
is the vapor density
C
d
is the drag coefficient along a linear direction x

l
is the liquid density
P is the pressure
D is the liquid droplet diameter.
The final equation shows that larger droplet diameters lead to a
larger slip velocity and larger efficiency losses. When expanding a
liquid to vapor through a turbine, large droplet diameters should
be avoided to achieve the highest efficiency. This is the motiva-
tion for a controlled linear acceleration of the flashing liquid, to
provide a fine small-diameter uniformly distributed mist that has a
small slip velocity. Curvature of the flashing flow must be avoided
to ensure that the vapor mist is uniformly formed and distributed.
During a controlled linear acceleration of the flashing liquid,
the maximum droplet diameter can be found from the Weber
number (We). We is proportional to the ratio of the pressure
force breaking up the liquid droplets to the surface tension force
holding the drops together:
We =
v
D(V
v
V
l
)
2
/2
where is the surface tension. Based on several experimental
data sets in the literature, setting We equal to 6 for liquid droplet
breakup is appropriate in linear acceleration nozzles.
6,8
This gives
a maximum liquid droplet diameter of:
D
max
= 12/
v
V
s
2
Example. If we take the following values for a methane-rich
hydrocarbon flashing liquid at a nozzle exit, the representative
values of = 0.013 N/m,
v
= 3.5 kg/m
3
, V
s
= 60 m/s give D
max
=
12.4 m as the largest liquid droplet size during a controlled linear
acceleration of the flashing flow. This is a very small diameter-sized
mist, which is dispersed in the vapor to make up the liquid-vapor
mixture. Large liquid droplets, or larger liquid slugs and plugs, are
avoided with the linear acceleration of the flow in linear nozzles.
It has been suggested that there is a delay during flashing of a
liquid to a vapor in the turbine so that a 50% degree of reaction,
radial inflow centrifugal turbine may not have quite the amount
of vapor predicted by a P vs. h equilibrium diagram (Fig. 3).
However, measurements with flashing hydrocarbons in short
two-phase nozzles have shown that an almost equilibrium expan-
sion does occur.
Mathematical models in the literature also tend to confirm that
the time taken for the liquid to flash is equal to or less than the
time it takes for the fluid to pass through the turbine. An almost
equilibrium behavior is found during the flashing.
911
There is
very little measureable time delay, and the flashing of the liquid
occurs practically instantaneously per the P vs. h diagram.
Fig. 5 shows a flashing hydrocarbon liquid-vapor jet exiting
from a 100 mm-length linear nozzle. In this example, the mea-
sured expansion efficiency of 92% agreed with the computed
equilibrium expansion of the flashing liquid, which is proof of the
near instantaneous flashing. Furthermore, in most flashing liquid-
expander applications, some vapor is present in the liquid upstream
of the turbine. Thus, the entire turbine must function with both
liquid and vapor present. Even if there were a sizable delay and no
liquid flashing through the turbine, then the turbine would merely
be a liquid turbine without gaining the additional enthalpy drop
and power from the expansion of the flashing liquid into vapor.
Axial-impulse turbine. An axial-impulse turbine design that
uses linear nozzles to flash a liquid to vapor has several advantages:
Avoiding a centrifugal field that separates the flashing liquid
and vapor phases
No curvature of the flashing flow in the nozzles, which
avoids separating the phases.
Fig. 6 is an example of a linear nozzle. In an axial-impulse tur-
bine, the inlet liquid undergoes a controlled linear expansion in the
nozzle and forms a flashing liquid-vapor mixture. This controlled
expansion forms a fine mist of droplets that has a low slip velocity
0.16 x
v
0.52
v
0.00 x
v
0.00
v
Nozzle inlet
T1 T2 T3 T4 T4 T6
Nozzle inlet
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
Nozzle outlet
Nozzle outlet/impeller inlet
Impeller inlet
Enthalpy
Molar composition, Molar
Methane: 94%
Nitrogen: 5%
x
v
= vapor mass fraction

v
= vapor volume fraction
Impeller outlet
Impeller outlet
0.29 x
v
0.83
v
Typical P vs. h diagram for a single-stage radial-inflow
centrifugal turbine during a liquid to vapor, flashing
expansion with a hydrocarbon liquid.
FIG. 3
Impeller
blades
Vapor
Liquid
Nozzle
Two-phase jet from nozzle
Sketch of a vapor-liquid axial jet flow exiting the nozzle
and entering an axial-impulse impeller blade.
Above right: A titanium axial-impulse impeller produces
1 MW of power. Below: Visualization of a flashing liquid
mixture as it passes through an axial impulse impeller.
FIG. 4
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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
and high efficiency nozzle. These findings were verified by NASA,
JPL and Caltech by experimental testing and development.
6
In
the axial-impulse turbine, the impeller is an impulse style so there
is no pressure or enthalpy drop across the impeller, only across the
nozzles. The impeller can be manufactured from hard, lightweight
titanium, which, together with impact velocities, is well-below the
erosion threshold. This design eliminates any erosion that droplet
impact could cause. Titanium impellers are commonplace in the
turboexpander industry, with a long history of success.
Existing axial-impulse turbine designs. Over 100
axial-impulse style flashing liquid turbines have been in service
for 30 years. Examples include in refrigeration chillers.
12
The
power levels are only at 20 kW to 55 kW in these chillers. Larger
axial-impulse flashing liquid turbines are found operating in
geothermal applications including units at 800 kW and 1.6
MW power levels.
13
Ten other axial-impulse turbines for flashing
liquids are found in the oil and gas industry, with sizes ranging
from 20 kW to 100 kW.
13
From a new construction point of view, Fig. 7 is a new 1-MW
axial-impulse turbine for a flashing hydrocarbon liquid application
now under commission. The design features an axial-impulse impel-
ler with 10 nozzles to flash a liquid hydrocarbon. The generator is
an external air-cooled type. The single-stage design keeps the unit
axially compact to ensure stable rotordynamics and low vibrations.
Options. The research and development work done in the
1980s by several large turbomachinery manufacturers revealed
that radial-inflow centrifugal turbines are not suitable for handling
flashing liquid flows when the vapor volume fraction at the tur-
bine outlet is greater than 10%. The work by NASA and JPL has
shown that axial-impulse turbines, which dont use a centrifugal
field for power transfer can achieve reasonable efficiency when
liquid is flashed through the turbine. Axial-impulse turbines are
known to have reduced vibration levels compared to the radial-
inflow centrifugal turbines when a liquid is flashed. This has
consequences for bearings and seals, as the reduced vibrations
promote reliability and a longer service life. HP
LITERATURE CITED
1
Dipippo, R., Ideal Thermal Efficiency for Geothermal Binary Plants,
GeothermicsInternational Journal of Geothermal Research and its Applications,
Vol. 36, pp. 276285, 2007.
2
Hahn, P., et al.,Application of a Flashing Liquid Expander to Enhance LNG
Production, LNG-15 Conference Poster Presentation, Barcelona, April 2007.
3
Apfelbacher, R., C. Hamkins, H. Jeske and O. Schuster, Kreiselpumpen in
Turbinenbetrieb bei Zweiphasen-Strmungen, KSB Technische Berichte, Vol.
26, pp. 2028, 1989.
4
Glich, J., Energierckgewinnung mit Pumpen in Turbinenbetrieb bei
Expansion von Zweiphasengemischen, Sulzer Technical Review, Vol. 3, pp.
8791, 1981.
5
Glich, J., Kreiselpumpen: Handbuch fr Entwicklung, Anlagenplanung
und Betrieb, Springer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2010.
6
Elliott, D. G., D. J. Ceromo and E. Weinberg, Liquid-Metal MHD Power
Conversion, Space Power Systems Engineering, Academic Press Inc., pp.
12751297, 1966.
7
Elliott, D. G., Theory and Tests of Two-Phase Turbines, JPL Publication
81-105, DOE/ER-10614-1, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California,
1982.
8
Young, J. B., The Fundamental Equations of Gas-Droplet Multiphase Flow,
International Journal of Multiphase Flow, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 175191, 1995.
9
Elliott, D. G., and E. Weinberg, Acceleration of Liquid in Two-Phase Nozzles,
JPL Publication 32-987, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California,
1968.
10
Gopalakrishnan, S., Power Recovery Turbines for the Process Industry,
Proceedings of the Third International Pump Symposium, Houston, 1986.
11
Grison, P. and J. F. Lauro, Biland es tudes de Thermohydraulique des
Pompes Primaries de Reacteurs PWR, La Houille Blanche 7/8, 1982.
12
Payvar, P., Mass transfer-controlled bubble growth during rapid decompres-
sion of a liquid, International Journal of Heat Mass Transfer, Vol. 3.0, No. 4,
1987, pp. 99706, 1987.
13
Hays, L. G. and J. J. Brasz, Two-phase flow turbines as stand-alone throttle
replacment units in large 20005000 ton centrifugal chiller installations,
Proceedings of the 1998 International Compressor Engineering Conference,
Purdue, Vol. 2, pp. 797802.
14
Hays, L. G., History and Overview of Two-Phase Flow Turbines,
C542/082/99, IMechE International Conference on Compressors and Their
Systems, Sept. 1315, 1999, City University, London, UK, pp. 159168.
Hydrocarbon-liquid flashing expansion at the outlet of a
linear nozzle with no curvature. There is a fine mist in the
expansion due to the high nozzle efficiency.
FIG. 5
The linear 1D nozzle design linearly accelerates the
flashing liquid before the flow enters the axial flow
impeller. Curvature is avoided to ensure a fine well-
dispersed mist flow, as seen in Fig. 5.
FIG. 6
New 1-MW flashing liquid expander being commissioned
using, hydrocarbon flashing liquid.
FIG. 7
Dr. Kevin Kaupert is the director of technology at OC Tur-
boexpanders. He holds a doctorate in turbomachinery engineering
from the ETH Zurich Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He has
over 25 years of experience in turbomachinery for cryogenics,
power generation and aerospace applications.
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79
Understand multi-stage pumps
and sealing options: Part 2
Designing for dirty service involves many factors
L. GOOCH, AESSEAL plc, Rotherham, UK
W
ell-engineered single and dual seals are needed in the
hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI). As more pro-
cesses involve high-pressure (HP), toxic, flammable,
lethal or explosive pumping services, a thorough understanding of
the available options for rotating equipment, especially pumps, is
mandatory. Seals in produced-water injection (PWI) services are
typical applications deserving further investigation.
Option 1: Single seals for multi-stage pumps. For-
tunately, single seals are often a possible option for multi-stage
pumps. Unlike dual-mechanical seals, single seals will not require
a buffer fluid support system; thus, single seals are less expensive.
Although the service life for single seals is about two years, these
seals require more frequent replacement; some may last only a
few weeks. The main issue with some single seals is often design-
related. Some single seals ignore the deleterious effects of salt and
other contaminants. It appears that careless selection routines
allow API seals designed for clean-duty applications to be applied
to dirty salt water.
Old design
Modern design
Examples of the older and newer styles of mechanical seals. (Source: AESSEAL Inc., Rotherham, UK, and Rockford, Tennessee.) FIG. 3
B A
A. common style of mechanical seal often found in PWI
water applications. As salt accumulates near A, fretting
damage often occurs near B.
FIG. 1
Multiple springs are exposed to the process fluid in this
seal.
FIG. 2
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A common seal style used in PWI service is shown in Fig.
1. The principal drawback of this design is a lack of clearance
under the seal faces (point A). Single seals operating in a fluid
with a high salt content often allow salt crystals to accumulate
under the seal faces. The lack of clearance then causes the seal
faces to hang up and fail. Moreover, these seals can sometimes
experience problems if hard plating is used under the elastomer
at point B. The plating tends to lift off unless the underlying
substrate is corrosion resistant.
Another version of a single seal is shown in Fig. 2; it, too,
has distinct drawbacks. The seal in question is a stationary car-
tridge seal, i.e., the spring-loaded face does not rotate-a gen-
erally advantageous feature. However, multiple small springs
are located in the contaminant-laden process fluid. This design
should be considered less reliable than those that place the spring
(or springs) away from the process fluid.
An area of concern common to all seal styles is the location
of the flush port location, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2. Unfor-
tunately, the flush ports are directly placed over the seal faces.
Most PWI pumps are fitted with API Flush Plan 31. This plan
involves using cyclone separators. Apart from being expensive,
cyclones are typically only about 97% effective in removing
abrasive particles from the flush stream. When they are slightly
undersized or are starting to clog, the effectiveness of cyclones
is reduced even further. Solids then manage to reach the seal
region and cause erosion damage. This is why the pump and
seal specifications of at least one major international oil com-
pany have disallowed cyclone separators for several decades.
This company has discovered a far more suitable alternative to
flush arrangements for its PWI pumps. They are collectively
called recent, or modern, seals.
Fig. 3 shows diagrams of the older and more recent seal
designs. In the older design, debris may impede the axial move-
ment of the rotating seal face. Also, the flush port is very close
to the two seal faces. In the newer design, care is taken to move
the springs away from both pumpage and flush fluid. The flush
port is relatively far from the seal faces. Note: The older seal is
conventional inasmuch as the axially moving seal face is part of
the rotating assembly. In the modern design (Fig. 3), the nonro-
tating (stationary) seal can move axially.
Single-seal options. By addressing the key causes of pre-
mature failure, thoughtfully engineered, reliable single-seal solu-
tions are available for PWI systems. The same principles can be
applied to crude-oil transfer pumps, wastewater pumps, water
outfall booster pumps and many others. When dealing with
crude oil, consideration must be given to the presence of hydro-
gen sulfide (H
2
S). Even small amounts
(approximately 10 ppm) can cause sulfide-
stress corrosion in conventional metal-
lurgies. So, the proper metallurgy must
be selected. Recall that in H
2
S-containing
services, the elastomers should be changed
from the more commonly used Viton to
Kalrez. Fig. 4 is a representative example
of the single-seal alternative in PWI or
related services. These seals are installed
in pumps, as shown in Fig. 5.
Option 2: Dual-seal option. Con-
ventional industrial applications tend to
use dual seals whenever difficult-to-seal
fluids are involved. This thinking would
also prevail in the case of fluids with high
salt content. Dual seals offer extended ser-
vice life because the fluid film is controlled
and the salt-crystal accumulation is effec-
tively prevented.
Yet, dual seals in PWI systems are often
impractical because of pump location and
Cross-sectional view of a modern stationary single-seal
option that does not allow process fluid to reach the small
springs. Potential leakage flow would be seen exiting from
the seal drain port. (Source: AESSEAL Inc., Rotherham, UK,
and Rockford, Tennessee.)
FIG. 4
Pump type 6UZDL21 2-stage
Service/duty Water disposal booster
Fluid Salt water
Temperature 55C-80C
Speed 1,450 rpm
Seal pressure 10 bar
Current seal UCW-4250-5X4U
Metal parts C 276
Other materials SiC/SiC/Aas
Pump type 6 x 13 WMSN 5-stg
Service/duty Shipping pumps
Fluid 20% Crude oil
+ 80% Formation water
Temperature 63C
Speed 2,960 rpm
Seal pressure 104 psi
Discharge pressure 1,000 psi
Seal currently used Borg Warner (N2031 90)
Metal parts Hastelloy C
Other materials SiC/SiC/Aas
Two single seals are installed in two pumps. (Source: AESSEAL Inc., Rotherham, UK,
and Rockford, Tennessee.)
FIG. 5
ROTATING EQUIPMENT BONUSREPORT
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


81
geography. Much of the Middle East is considered an extreme
environment for typical PWI stations. The average daytime tem-
perature can exceed 45C (115F), and the nearest freshwater
supply could be more than 40 miles away. As a rule, severe station
environments make using dual seals problematic. The primary
issues are quite obviously how to conserve fresh water and how to
cool the barrier fluid that separates the inboard and outboard seals.
Whenever dual-seal systems are used in harsh environments,
they are expensive. The costs escalate when the seals are rated for
full-pump discharge pressure. Conversely and not surprisingly,
dual-seal systems have significantly extended seal life.
Fig. 6 shows a particular HP dual seal found on PWI and
crude-oil transfer pumps. Its manufacturer supplies seals rated
to the full discharge pressure of the pump. The owner-user is
instructed to operate with a barrier fluid pressure in excess of 100
bar, even if the seal environment does not exceed 15 bar.
The HP rating of certain seals can lead to unforeseen draw-
backs. So as to prevent O-ring extrusion, the clearances between
the component part tolerances must be extremely tight. Tight
clearances in dirty fluids are prone to clogging and to elevated
risk of seal-face hang-up.
Materials of construction. Often single and dual seals use
the same materials of construction. Since corrosion is an issue,
the metallic components must be Hastelloy C, unless dictated
and specified otherwise by the owner-user. Viton serves as the
traditional elastomer; Kalrez is used if H
2
S is present. Silicon
carbide/silicon carbide face combinations are used for single
seals and for the inboard seal faces of dual seals. Silicon carbide/
carbon combinations are used on external dual-seal faces. One
successful approach to sealing produced water, as shown in Fig.
4, is giving due consideration to potential problem areas:
Best materials of construction include C 276/SiC/SiC/Viton
or Kalrez. Using the correct materials of construction virtually
eliminates corrosion issues.
Springs not contacting process fluid. Multiple small springs
offer many benefits over a single, large-coil spring. However,
small springs are prone to clogging. An advantageous design
deliberately places the springs outside the process fluid. This may
be considered a simple item. Yet, it is often overlooked, and not
even API-682 makes reference to the issue.
Large clearance under the seal faces. Comparing seal cross-
sectional views from different manufacturers will reveal how the
properly designed modern seals have greater clearance under the
seal faces than seals potentially offered by another manufacturer.
Suitable designs consider that the fluid has a high salt content
and will crystallize under the seal faces. There should be sufficient
room for this to happen without restricting seal-face movement.
Directed-flush port. For applications where solids could
potentially cause a problem or where the customer wishes to
move away from cyclone separators, at least one major manufac-
turer offers a directed flush design. This design allows solids to be
directed away from the seal faces while still providing circulation
in the seal chamber.
Modern dual-seal options. With oil companies moving
toward lower-pressure-rated seals and striving for longer equip-
ment operating times, users are compelled to find knowledgeable
seal manufacturers and suppliers. Compliance with the dual-seal
recommendations of API-682 is highly desirable as well.
Apart from being modular in design and thus allowing for
interchangeability between single and dual components, the mod-
ern O-ring pusher dual seal, as shown in Fig. 7, has many advan-
tages over traditional seals. It represents a true dual seal with two
independently mounted seal faces. Both seal faces are internally
pressure-balanced. The inboard seal faces are double-balanced and
all faces are flexibly mounted.
A standard dual seal is typically used in conjunction with a
conventional thermosiphon system in duties or at sites where
cooling water is readily available. At such locations, most PWI
Side view of an HP seal offered by a prominent seal
manufacturer.
FIG. 6
Side view of a modern dual mechanical seal. (Source:
AESSEAL Inc., Rotherham, UK, and Rockford, Tennessee.)
FIG. 7
An API Plan 54 cooling unit. (Source: AESSEAL Inc.,
Rotherham, UK, and Rockford, Tennessee.)
FIG. 8
ROTATING EQUIPMENT BONUSREPORT
82

and water-disposal pumps use dual seals per API Plan 54 sys-
tems, as shown in Fig. 8. The modern dual seal is then often
supplied with the pumping ring removed (Fig. 7). It achieves a
measure of enhanced cooling between the seals while retaining
all the advantages of interchange with other seals onsite.
There is, however, a note of caution. When fitting seals to PWI
or HP water-disposal pumps, be sure to use nickel-plated, carbon-
steel grub screws. These must be secured to the shaft by dimpling
the shaft surface to rule out seal sleeve slippage during operation.
More on Plan 54 systems. As mentioned earlier, heat
removal from the seal is a prime concern, especially so that the
pumps can operate in high ambient conditions. With PWI stations
generally situated in remote locations, cooling units must be self-
contained. Figs. 8 and 9 are two examples of API Plan 54 units.
The Plan 54 water-circulating cooling unit in Fig. 9 is perfectly
acceptable at locations with ample cooling-water supplies. Con-
versely, air cooling (Fig. 10) is the preferred method in regions or
areas where water is at a premium or not available. An air-cooled
Plan 54 unit has the standard water-cooled shell-and-tube heat
exchangers replaced with air fans or blowers. A second example is
illustrated in Fig. 11.
The systems used in the oil and gas industry are generally far
more sophisticated than those found at normal industrial sites.
They are also more expensive and often equal (if not exceed) the
value of the seals involved. It is, therefore, vital that the reliability-
focused user-purchaser gives equal attention to seals and seal-
support systems.
Comments. The intent of this two-part article is to give the
reader a basic insight into the many opportunities for well-engi-
neered components offered by highly competent seal manufactur-
ers. Most of the applications illustrated are either dirty water or
dirty oil. There obviously are a multitude of applications that can
greatly benefit from best available technology. HP
End of series: Part 1, February 2012.
A water-circulating API Plan 54
cooling unit operating onsite.
(Source: AESSEAL Inc., Rotherham,
UK, and Rockford, Tennessee.)
FIG. 9
An air blower unit for an API Plan
54 seal support system.
FIG. 11
A high-capacity air cooler unit
for an API Plan 54 seal support
system. (Source: AESSEAL Inc.,
Rotherham, UK, and Rockford,
Tennessee.)
FIG. 10
Lee Gooch has been with AESSEAL for 14 years. He has held
various positions within the company including project engineer
and senior sales engineer. He now is responsible for business devel-
opment and applications engineering roles for AESSEAL and spe-
cializes in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. Before
joining AESSEAL, he worked for Fisher Rosemount in the control valve division, and
for Mono Pumps where he served in a mechanical technicians apprenticeship and
went on to hold a project application engineers position in UK Sales.
Select 169 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
CATALYST 2012
Perspectives on the 2012 energy industry [C84]
CORPORATE PROFILES
Axens [C87] BASF [C89] Chevron Lummus Global [C91] Criterion [C93] Grace Davison [C95]
Haldor Topse [C97] Sabin Metal Corporation [C99] Saint-Gobain NorPro [C101]
COVER PHOTO Photo courtesy of Criterion.
Special Supplement to
CATALYST
C84 CATALYST 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
PERSPECTIVES ON THE 2012
ENERGY INDUSTRY
Here are several thoughts on how companies can adapt toand profit fromthe uncertain environment
V. DOSHI, A. CLYDE and C. CLICK, Booz & Co., Paris, France
Never has the old adage that the only cer-
tainty is uncertainty been truer for the energy
sector. In the past 12 months, weve seen a
strong emphasis on green energy evaporate
as countr y after countr y withdrew support
for renewables. While the green imperative
slipped, natural gas took center stagepar-
ticularly in the US. A raft of new shale gas pro-
duction has put the US on course to be a net
exporter, rather than an importer, of natural gas.
If that transition takes place quickly, European
and Asian gas distributors and users that had
locked in long-term, oil-price-related contracts
could be vulnerable.
More developments. Japans Fukushima earth-
quake has tainted the prospects for nuclear
energy, once considered to be the answer for
abundant clean power. Germany has already
banned nuclear utilities. We can expect a slow-
down in nuclear plant development in virtually
every country.
Oil will remain extremely sensitive to politi-
cal turmoil in the Middle East, risks of potential
environmental accidents, the (US) dollars value
and the notion that it is a dwindling resource.
All are contributing to ongoing price volatility
and supply uncertainty. In North America, the
debate over the Keystone XL pipeline project
further highlights the uncertainties facing this
industry, as political decision makers balance
concerns over energy security, the environment,
job growth and consumer prices. Another great
unknown affecting oil price and availability is
the extent of future production from producers
outside the US, such as Brazil, Canada, Iraq,
Russia and West Africa. Biofuel, improved gas
mileage, and increased use of hybrid and elec-
tric vehicles will further nibble away demand.
All of these factors will contribute to the uncer-
tainty with which energy companies will have
to cope. Most energy companies will find that
their current operating models, strategy and plan-
ning processes, and optimization practices are
inadequate. They will need new capabilities to
enable them to meet whatever the future holds.
The four capabilities that are particularly impor-
tant include:
Strategy and long-term planning
Managing inherent risks in joint ventures
Capturing information and insight
Supply-chain optimization.
Strategy and long-term planning. Leading an
energy company over the next few years will
be like sailing. At any given moment, compa-
nies will need to look at the way the wind is
blowing and execute an integrated plan to align
the sails in the right direction, while remaining
alert to any changes in the winds direction and
then rapidly adjusting the strategy as required.
We believe that energy companies will need to
develop dynamic strategy capabilities. These
involve betting on a set of integrated options, any
one of which can be switched on or off depend-
ing on results and how the business environment
evolves. This involves integrated-option planning.
Integrated-option planning is often over-
looked because companies dont usually think
of it as a capability that they must develop.
They believe that it is simply a part of normal
businesssomething that they already do rou-
tinely and perhaps on an annual basis. These
companies believe that coordinating disparate
elements of the business to operate in sync is a
natural byproduct of an organization. But, such
a task requires a concerted investment of time
and resources to create the structure that can
coordinate a complex set of elements, behaviors
and analysis at a very high strategic level. This
is particularly true if a company may suddenly
need to change course to a different direction on
short notice. For example, there could be a shift
in financial, supply chain and human capital
resources to more liquids-rich gas basins and
away from dry-gas fields, or a shift in capital
deployment based on geopolitical changes.
A company with a strong integrated-option
planning capability is accustomed to laying out
multiple options and linking strategic choices,
such as which projects to pursue, which markets
to focus on and which regions to target. These
choices are linked to the appropriate operat-
ing models, including supply chain, logistics,
workforce planning and capital management.
With a holistic integrated planning capabil-
ity in place, a company can react quickly to
uncertainties, responding dynamically to chang-
ing upstream and downstream conditions and
redirecting resources, technology, talent and
capital to areas of opportunity.
For many energy companies, this is an elu-
sive capability. With so many different layers
and business operations to manage, few organi-
zations have systems that fuse the right processes,
people and data to drive profitable outcomes on
a consistent basis. But the lack of integrated-
option planning can often lead to missed oppor-
tunities. For example, one oil company hoped to
broaden its Middle East operations with a series
of investments. Focusing solely on the financial
angle, the company spent months developing a
cant-miss capital structure for this expansion,
including an inexpensive approach to building
the new plants. But management completely
neglected the substantial costs of hiring and train-
ing skilled workers that would be needed. It did
not put in place contingency plans for the poten-
tial spread of political disruptions in the Middle
East. Already, its clear that this company will not
get the return on investment projected by its initial
one-dimensional plan. A more risk-mitigated plan
would have built in a variety of options, including
the ability to withdraw at various checkpoints if
certain criteria were met, without fear of writing
off sunk costs.
Managing inherent risks in joint ventures.
In periods of high uncertainty, delivering on
multiyear capital projects requires unique risk-
management capabilities. Energy projects are
big, complicated, expensive and risky. And,
for those reasons, they are often best pursued
through joint ventures (JVs) and other multi-owner
entities. Indeed, for some energy companies,
minority stakes or JVs spread the project risks
and are the only practical way to access
resources and build portfolio diversification.
But the success rate of JVs is stunningly low.
Often, the varied owners have different concep-
tions ofor outright misunderstandings about
their respective roles in the project. Sometimes,
the partners agendas (what they each hope to
gain from the project) work at cross-purposes,
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C85
CATALYST
ultimately affecting the smooth running of the
operation. Insufficient attention may be given
to governance or assigning accountability. The
decision-making processes are typically not
designed to deal efficiently with complex, multi-
stakeholder issues, let alone to flexibly redeploy
or redirect investment in response to changing
market conditions.
Moreover, the Macondo incident of 2010
brought attention back to operational risks for all
offshore assets. The fracking debate continues
to intensify for shale gas and oil. The public
battles over environmental impact and highlights
the need for well-honed operational capabilities
and incident preparedness. Many of these com-
panies, pursuing opportunities without a coher-
ent view of their strengths and strategy, have
built up project portfolios that have become
overly broad and incoherent over time.
Dramatic improvements in JV management
capabilities can be gained by any energy
company. Those that have this capability have
learned to invest the time to understand the stra-
tegic intent and objectives of partners and to
ensure that these objectives are aligned. They
identify in advance the capabilities that the proj-
ects will require and the roles played by each
operating and non-operating partner. They then
allocate assignments for each entity, based on
the capabilities it has or can develop. They also
develop the influencing and communication
skills needed to guide operating partners to
best practices. Finally, they have governance
and decision-making model in place that lets
each owner protect its strategic agenda and
that maximizes the efficiency of joint decision
making. This model also establishes processes
for information sharing, performance review
and flexible capital allocation.
Capturing information and insight. This capa-
bility can make the difference between earnings
and losses, especially where oil products and
gas inventories are involved (as in the down-
stream) or where there is high dependency on
third-party suppliers (as in the upstream). Com-
panies that have been diligently pursuing the
more traditional paths to prosperityfor exam-
ple, by executing multiple rounds of cost cutting
and restructuringmay well find that any gains
in their earnings are dwarfed by the impact of
price volatility. These companies need to invest
in the capability of capturing information and
insight, and putting them to use.
At the heart of this capability is an integrated
information base that covers every aspect of the
marketplace and operations, and that is avail-
able to every business and function within the
company. Skilled people on the front line can
now make split-second decisions about oppor-
tunity and risk. They have updated information
about where the tanker ships are located, how
much stock is available, what will be left after
each shipment, whether demand is rising or
falling, where customers are located, which are
fixed- vs. variable-contract customers, how much
profit they can make under different options,
and much more.
For example, a strategic pilot working
within this capability might say, I wont meet a
customers suddenly increased demand today,
because I cant get enough product in time and
still make a profit. However, tomorrow, if the
price goes up, Ill have shipments and a new
contract ready. The capability to leverage
information and insight can create value and
reduce risk across the value chain and across
functions. A control-tower operator role for
supply chain and logistics can improve coordi-
nation and avoid unnecessary expediting costs.
This capability is not just an IT tool. It also
involves the shift in decision making that ensues,
with all of the appropriate risk-managed pro-
cesses, authorities, and commercial and techni-
cal abilities required to make it work in the front
office. These abilities are equally required for
managing third-party procurements.
Supply-chain optimization. As much as 80% of
the operational budgets at most oil and gas com-
panies is earmarked for supply chainsprimarily
for materials and services provided by third-party
suppliers. Because of the size of this percentage,
many companies have, over the years, targeted
supply chains for cost cutting and efficiency
improvements. Although these campaigns have
led to incremental, short-term successes, most
oil and gas companies are poorly equipped to
take the big-picture steps that would drive supply-
chain management improvement.
A powerful way to address this shortcom-
ing, particularly in companies with diverse busi-
ness models, is a concept that we call natural
supply chains. Under this approach, business
operations are segmented into a few relatively
similar groups, such as deepwater domestic
offshore production, onshore unconventional
development, onshore production, midstream
and refining. The goal is to take advantage of
economies of scale for those supply-chain activi-
ties that can deliver cost and value advantages
to all of the groups, while customizing supply-
chain capabilities for the specific requirements
of disparate segments of the portfolio.
Human resources, information technology
and contract support can probably be shared
across the organization. But other supply-chain
activities must be managed individually, in a
way that empowers the front line to be agile.
For example, one part of an energy com-
panys portfolio might demand services such as
maintenance logistics to support an overarching
objective around production uptime. A pressure-
pump truck may be needed every 30 days in
each of several different locations. To manage
this schedule, the company would establish an
exclusive arrangement with its trucking suppliers,
with incentives and penalties based on meeting
deadlines and quality of work. For this part of the
business, performance and safety imperatives out-
weigh all other considerations, including price.
Another business in the same company may
center on major capital projectsfor example,
pipeline construction. As it buys 400 miles of
pipe for half a dozen projects scattered across
a continent, the company will negotiate low-
priced bid contracts with a primary focus on
delivered cost. There would not need to be as
much emphasis on narrow delivery windows,
because of access to warehouses and staging
locations. The difference in priorities is explicit,
and if people move from one part of the busi-
ness to the other, they easily manage that shift
because it is clear to everyone on the front line.
Putting it all together. The subject of building
capabilities to deal with uncertainty is particu-
larly important in the oil and gas sector. Many
independents are already running up against
the limits of their scale, struggling with the clash
between their small-company cultures and the
process and bureaucracy inherent in large
projects. They are scrambling to manage an
increasing portfolio breadth that stretches the
limits of their existing capabilities. For the large
companies, continuous rounds of cost cutting and
restructuring have failed to yield sufficient profits,
in part because gains in earnings are often offset
by price volatility. Also, they have not invested
in building the essential capabilities and agility
they need to grow in these uncertain times. HP
Viren Doshi, senior vice president, is head of the
Global Energy, Chemicals and Utilities Practice at Booz
& Co. He has 30 years of experience in supporting oil
and gas companies in developing and implementing new
integrated operating models. Prior to joining Booz & Co.,
he worked at ExxonMobil. Mr. Doshi holds a BSc degree
with honors from the University of Southampton and an
MBA from Cranfield School of Management.
Christopher Click, vice president at Booz & Co., is
focused on developing and implementing growth and
organizational strategies for oil and gas companies in the
US for the past 10 years. He specializes in the upstream
and oilfield services sectors.
Andrew Clyde is a vice president with Booz & Co.,
and is based in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Clyde has spent over
20 years in consulting to the oil & gas sector globally. He
holds an MS degree in management from the Kellogg
Graduate School of Management from Northwestern
University and a BBA degree from Southern Methodist Uni-
versity. Mr. Clyde is a licensed CPA in the State of Texas.
The winning catalyst combination
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Single source lSC 9001 lSC 14001 CHSAS 18001
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HRK, HDK, HK series: the expert trio to maximize
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SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C87
AXENS
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o CCR technology (medium to high severity applications):
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o Fixed bed technologies (all reactor types):
RG 582, RG 586, PR 9, PR 15
Cyclic reactors: RG 532, P 15, P 155
Semi regenerative reactors: RG 682, PR 30, PR 33, PR36.
CONTACT INFORMATION
89, Bd Franklin Roosevelt BP 50802
92508 Rueil-Malmaison Cedex France
Email: information@axens.net
Website: www.axens.net
Hydrocracking catalyst performance mapping.
THE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT
SPECIALISTS
HRK 658
HDK 776 HDK 786 HDK 766
HYK 762
HYK 752
HYK 742
HYK 732
Increasing Conversion Activity
Increasing Middle Distillate Selectivity
HR
Series
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SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C89
BASF
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Precious metal services
Precious Metal Services support the catalysts business and BASF
customers with services related to precious metals. The business pur-
chases, sells, refines and distributes these metals and provides storage
and transportation services.
Key capabilities of BASF
Technology innovation
Production efficiency
Strict working capital management
Technology leadership in mobile emissions and process catalysis
Keen insight on global precious metal markets
Partnerships with industry leaders
Strong position in Asia through joint ventures
CONTACT INFORMATION
Americas
BASF Corporation
Iselin, NJ 08830, USA
Tel: +1-732-205-5000
E-mail: catalysts-americas@basf.com
Asia Pacific
BASF East Asia Regional HQ Ltd.
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2731-0191
E-mail: catalysts-asia@basf.com
Europe, Middle East, Africa
BASF SE
Ludwigshafen, Germany
Tel: +49-621-60-21153
E-mail: catalysts-europe@basf.com
Wesbite: www.catalysts.basf.com
BASFThe global leader in catalysis
We create chemistry
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Learn how CLGs tailored hydroprocessing catalyst systems
maximize coversion to clean products visit clg-catalysts.com
ICR 512
ICR 180
ICR 185
ICR 250
ISOCRACKING
VGO
clean transportation fuels
ultra-low sulfur diesel (<5 ppm)
high smoke point jet (25-30 mm)
Ultra-low sulfur naphtha (<0.5 ppm)
FCC feed
Select 70 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C91
HYDROPROCESSING CATALYSTS
FOR IMPROVED PROFITABILITY
Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) has been helping refiners with
hydrocracking solutions as an entity since 1993. Chevron pioneered
development of the modern hydrocracking process through focused
R&D, design, and operating experience dating back to the late 1950s.
As the market leader in licensing world-class units, CLG relies heavily
on state-of-the-art, high-performance catalysts to process even the most
difficult feeds and provide high operating stability.
At a time when many are cutting back, weve been busyCLGs
focus on catalyst development is stronger than ever because our indus-
try requires it. Hydrocracker utilization continues at record levels and
severity of operation continues to grow as more upgrading of low-value
stocks such as HCGO, DAO, and LCO is required while environmental
regulations on products continue to tighten. Feed endpoints continue
to increase, adding even further difficulty. CLG catalyst development
efforts have been focused on both pretreat and cracking catalysts to
address refiners needs to safely process these feeds and to increase
unit throughput as well.
PRETREAT CATALYST
CLG has recently introduced ICR 512, a high-activity pretreat catalyst
targeting higher activity HDN, HDS, and HDA. ICR 512 is fully commer-
cialized and successfully operating in several hydrocrackers. ICR 512 is
designed to meet the needs of hydrocrackers around the world process-
ing heavier and/or more refractory feeds. Combined with unit-specific
demet and grading catalysts such as ICR 161, ICR 132, and ICR 171
ensures that these catalysts will perform at their maximum efficiency and
provide a long and stable operating cycle.
HYDROCRACKING CATALYST
CLG has also introduced several new hydrocracking catalysts which
are in perfect alignment with our latest pretreat catalyst introductions.
These new catalysts are the result of our ongoing and focused develop-
ment programs, noted as follows:
ICR 250base metal max. diesel
ICR 214base metal max. naphtha
ICR 185base metal max. middle distillate
While these catalysts are designed for somewhat different markets
and operating objectives, they all share common attributes for which
CLG catalysts are known, including:
Low gas make
High liquid yield
Low deactivation rates
High nitrogen tolerance
All CLG catalysts are successfully utilized in units designed by CLG
or by others with no special requirements. Accompanying all of these
catalysts is CLGs extensive technical and operations support networks
to help our customers get the most from their operating units.
LUBES CATALYST
Unconverted oil from a hydrocracker is often utilized as feedstock
for lubes processing. CLG has been in the business of licensing lubes
hydrocrackers and catalytic dewaxing and hydrofinishing units since the
early 1980s. We design and service fully integrated base oil plants
with hydrocrackers and finishing units. We can uniquely provide a com-
prehensive catalyst solution from start to finish, ensuring the consistent
production of high-quality base oils. Like hydrocracking, our researchers
have been focused on improved lubes and finishing catalysts for these
units as well as replacement catalysts for others. Recent developments
include the introduction of ICR 432.
Were an operating company just like you! We know the value of
Operational Excellence, we know how to extract maximum value from
complex hydroprocessing units, and how to employ safe operating
practices. Combining our own first-hand operating expertise with our
rich history of catalyst developmentsand knowledge gained from
over a hundred new unit process designsprovides our customers with
unparalleled technology and support.
CONTACT INFORMATION
Phone +1.510.242.3177
Fax +1.925.842.1412
Email clgllc@chevron.com
Website clg-catalysts.com
CHEVRON LUMMUS GLOBAL
EVER WONDER WHAT MAKES
OUR CATALYSTS SO ADVANCED?
INDUSTRY-LEADING MINDS, OF COURSE.
Even with a wide range of proven catalysts like CENTERA

in our portfolio and nearly 300 cycles


of commercial ULSD operations around the world, at CRITERION, we know the ultimate key to
performance is our people. Our research and development team represents a select force of obsessively
dedicated thinkers industry-leading scientists with the ability to transform an idea into a breakthrough
solution. Rest assured, the next generation of catalyst technology is in good hands (and heads).
www.CRITERIONCatalysts.com
CRITERION: Leading minds. Advanced technologies.
Select 54 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C93
CENTERA

CATALYSTS:
IMPROVED STRUCTURE AND ACTIVITY
JOHN A. SMEGAL, THOMAS T. WEBER and LAWRENCE (LARRY) S. KRAUS
CENTERA

catalysts are the newest commercial hydrotreating cata-


lysts from Criterion Catalysts & Technologies and are available in NiMo
(DN-3630) and CoMo (DC-2618) versions for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel
Hydrodesulfurization (ULSD HDS) applications. CENTERA

catalysts
are more active for ULSD HDS than previous catalyst generations. This
paper presents catalyst characterization data identifying the source of
CENTERA

activity improvements.
CATALYST CHARACTERIZATION
Commercial CENTERA

DN-3630 catalyst was characterized using


Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine
Structure (EXAFS), and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR)/Nitric Oxide
(NO) Adsorption. TEM and EXAFS analyses indicate a reduction of aver-
age metal particle size from the 4.5 nm and 3.5 nm values measured for
Criterion CENTINEL and CENTINEL GOLD NiMo Type II commercial
catalysts, respectively, to 2.53.5 nm for CENTERA

catalysts.
TEM measurements done at the Technical University of Delft show
that CENTERA

consists of supported (75%) and unsupported (25%)


domains, each having particle sizes around 3.5 nm. Analyses of CEN-
TINEL GOLD and CENTINEL TEM images yield average particle sizes of
3.5 nm and 4.5 nm, respectively. The degree of stacking is greater with
the CENTERA

catalyst, indicating a greater degree of Type II character.


The extent of the Mo-S interactions can be detailed utilizing EXAFS.
The Mo K edge full EXAFS spectra of the catalyst samples studied were
measured at the SuperXAS beamline of SLS at the Paul Scherrer Institute,
Villigen, Switzerland.
The first shell at about 2 is due to Mo-S contributions. It is identical
with that of bulk MoS
2
and corresponds to the ideal coordination number
(CN) of 6, indicating complete Mo sulfidation. Mo-S distances (R) in sul-
fided DN-3630 are very close to that of 2H-MoS
2
(2.415 ). The second
shell is due to Mo-Mo contributions and reflects a coordination number of
4.4 (6.0 in 2H-MoS
2
), corresponding to the typical 3.16 Mo-Mo dis-
tance. Using the size-correlation correction suggested by Shido and Prins
(1)
,
the diameter of the MoS
2
slabs in DN-3630 is determined to be ~2.5 nm.
This compares favorably to the average diameter of 3.5 nm from TEM.
FTIR analysis of NO adsorption on DN-3630 and a CENTINEL
NiMo catalyst was used to characterize the surface of the sulfided
catalysts. The N-O stretching vibrational frequency of NO shows char-
acteristic differences when adsorbed on Ni, Co, or Mo. Figure 1 depicts
MoS
2
edge surface models consistent with FTIR/Adsorbed NO spectra
of sulfided DN-3630 and CENTINEL NiMo catalysts.
The DN-3630 spectrum (top) shows only coordinately unsaturated Ni
centers on the edge of DN-3630 active metal particles as indicated by
the single peak indicative of NO adsorbed on nickel (pink area) and the
lack of a peak indicative of NO adsorbed on Mo (blue area) as found
in the CENTINEL NiMo spectrum (bottom).
This finding leads to the conclusion that the edge surface of sulfided
DN-3630 contains only coordinatively unsaturated Ni and does not contain
any coordinatively unsaturated Mo. This is in contrast to the CENTINEL NiMo
spectrum that shows NO adsorption on unsaturated Mo and therefore less
efficient edge decoration of the MoS
2
crystallites with the promoter nickel.
Further, an unusually high N-O stretching vibration associated with the
nickel edge in DN-3630 suggests unique surface structural properties as
compared to CENTINEL. DFT molecular modeling calculations indicate that
this can be explained by the presence of two to three adjacent unsaturated
Ni centers (Figure 1). The full presence of these specific active structures is
believed responsible for the increased activity of the CENTERA

catalysts.
CATALYST ACTIVITY TESTING
Criterion CENTERA

catalysts have been tested extensively in straight


run and cracked distillate HDS at low and high pressure. CENTERA

catalysts show up to 20F (11C) ULSD HDS activity improvements over
previous catalyst generations. Detailed CENTERA

activity test results


can be found elsewhere
(2)
.
CONCLUSIONS
Criterion CENTERA

catalysts show significant activity improve-


ments over previous catalyst generations. TEM, EXAFS, and FTIR/NO
Adsorption show that these improvements are due to increased active
metal dispersion, complete Mo sulfiding, and more efficient active site
decoration with promoter atoms.
REFERENCES
(1)
Shido, T. and Prins, R., J. Phys. Chem B, 1998, 102, 8426.
(2)
Smegal, J.A., Weber, T.T., and Kraus, L.S., Prepr. Pap.-Am. Chem.
Soc., Div. Pet. Chem., 2010, 5 (2), 21
CONTACT INFORMATION
John SmegalSenior Research Chemist
Criterion Catalysts & Technologies
E-Mail: John.Smegal@Shell.com
Website: http://www.criterioncatalysts.com
Figure 1. CENTERA

DN-3630 and Centinel NiMo NO


Adsorption FTIR Spectra
CRITERION
Rare-earth price inflation is a serious issue facing the global refining industry.
Grace, with our long history of innovation and strong R&D, leads the industry
with the first line of commercially successful zero/low rare-earth FCC catalysts:
the REpLaCeR

family.
Launched in the first quarter of 2011, the REpLaCeR

family includes five new


catalysts for both hydrotreated and resid feed processing with zero and low
rare-earth content. The REpLaCeR

family of catalysts utilizes proprietary


zeolites and state-of-the-art stabilization methods to deliver performance similar
to current rare-earth-based FCC technologies.
Were also investing in our plants to bring these products to the refining industry
quickly and globally.
So if youre concerned about rare-earth pricing and availability, but need optimal
FCC performance, call the technical experts at Grace. Well customize a solution
using one of our new zero/low rare-earth catalysts that delivers the yields you expect.
REp R

Worried about the cost of rare earth?


Grace has the solution:
Grace Catalysts Technologies
7500 Grace Drive
Columbia, MD USA 21044
+1.410.531.4000
www.grace.com
www.e-catalysts.com
Select 57 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C95
GRACE DAVISON
INNOVATIVE CATALYSTS SOLUTIONS FROM
THE INDUSTRYS BROADEST PORTFOLIO
Grace is dedicated to helping refiners achieve success with innova-
tive catalytic solutions from our broad catalyst portfolio. We help refiners
stay competitive in various ways, such as reducing exposure to rare-earth
pricing, using our products to reduce commodity spend, or maximizing
the yield of diesel in the refinery.
MEETING CURRENT CUSTOMER NEEDS
Rare-earth price inflation is a serious issue facing the global refining
industry. Launched in the first quarter of 2011, the REpLaCeR

family
includes five new catalysts for both hydrotreated and resid feed pro-
cessing with zero and low rare-earth content. The REpLaCeR

family
of catalysts utilizes proprietary zeolites and state-of-the-art stabilization
methods to deliver performance similar to current rare-earth based
FCC technologies.
In response to shrinking supplies of equilibrium catalyst, Grace has
introduced TITAN
TM
, a unique catalyst solution for removing contaminant
metals from refining operations. Unlike traditional equilibrium catalysts,
TITAN
TM
is completely free of nickel, vanadium and additives.
Grace has multiple catalyst solutions to maximize LCO yield in
your FCC. MIDAS

is our benchmark bottoms conversion catalyst with


commercial success well-documented in over 100 refineries around the
world. The same conversion capability can now be achieved without
rare earth, which is available in the new REBEL
TM
technology. Now in
nine applications and growing, REBEL delivers similar activity and
bottoms cracking conversion to MIDAS

. For those units desiring deep


bottoms conversion, but without sacrificing in-unit activity to get there,
Grace offers ALCYON

M catalyst. Designed for short contact time


units desiring deep bottoms conversion, ALCYON

M will crack the


bottom of the barrel without giving up activity or violating unit constraints
such as circulation rate.
SUPPORTED BY TECHNICAL SERVICE
Our world-class Technical Service engineers support refiners so they
realize the maximum value from our products. Catalyst performance
partnered with industry-leading technical serviceis what differentiates
Grace from its competitors. The best catalyst in one unit may not be the
best catalytic fit for another application. Graces Technical Service team
has the knowledge, experience, and application expertise to thoroughly
understand a refiners FCCU configuration, operation, constraints, and
objectives and then match that to the catalyst technology that delivers
optimal performance.
Regular operational reviews with the refiner to assess catalyst perfor-
mance versus changing unit objectives, constraints and feedstock are
standard practice ensuring the refiner is always using the best catalyst
technology available. Graces highly specialized Technical Service
engineers, with experience in both catalyst application and FCCU
operations, are ready to assist refinery engineers with unit optimization.
By working closely with refinery technical staff, our Technical Service
team can help the unit engineers maintain a profitable reliable operation
of the FCCU in even the difficult circumstances.
A WIDE ARRAY OF FCC ADDITIVES TO MEET SPECIFIC CHALLENGES
Our current portfolio of FCC additives allows refiners to reduce
SOx, NOx, and CO emissions from their FCC units, as well as lower
sulfur content in gasoline and diesel fuel. Grace also offers additives
to maximize propylene yield from the FCC unit such as our leading
ZSM-5 additive technologies, OlefinsMax

and OlefinsUltra

. We
have commercialized Super DESOX

MCD, a high efficiency, low


rare-earth environmental additive, that at modest SOx reduction levels
makes an economically attractive option to reduce wet gas scrubber
caustic consumption.
Grace offers a broad portfolio of state-of-the-art catalytic solutions
to meet refiners needs. Our experience, backed by manufacturing
excellence, has made us the worlds leading supplier of FCC catalysts
and additives. We are the only global producer of FCC catalysts and
additives with manufacturing facilities in three countries and sales in 63
countries. We look forward to joining with you to help you optimize
your operations.
CONTACT INFORMATION
7500 Grace Drive, Columbia, MD 21044 USA
Phone: +1-410-531-4000
Fax: +1-410-531-4540
E-mail: catalysts@grace.com
Website: www.grace.com
Launched in the first quarter of 2011, the REpLaCeR

family is in
use in over 80 units worldwide.
Are you looking to step up plant performance?
Topses next generation BRIM catalysts offer refiners the opportunity to increase
performance through an increase in catalyst activity.
Using the original BRIM technology Topse has developed several new catalysts, resulting
in higher activity at lower lling densities.
The next generation BRIM catalysts display
- high dispersion
- high porosity
- high activity
We look forward to stepping up your performance!
WWW. TOPSOE. COM
Stepping up performance
next generation BRIM

technology
Select 102 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C97
HALDOR TOPSE
CATALYSING YOUR BUSINESS
Through half a centurys dedication to heterogeneous catalysis,
Topse has developed and strengthened its position as a leading market
player in catalysts, and technologies for process design.
Topses markets include oil refineries, chemical plants and the
energy sector, where the catalysts and technologies ensure smooth-
running and cost-efficient operations with optimal production results.
HYDROPROCESSING WORLDWIDE
Topse has developed process design and catalysts for virtually all
areas of hydroprocessing and the catalysts and technologies are in
operation in plants worldwide.
Topses hydroprocessing expertise offers integrated solutions
including reactor internals, grading material, catalysts, process design
and detailed reactor engineering. The supply of catalysts and technology
offers clients a single point of expertise and responsibility.
In the design of new hydroprocessing units, Topses research and
test facilities offer clients testing opportunities including detailed feedstock
and process analyses, which form the basis of tailor-made solutions.
TOPSES REFINING COMPETENCIES
Through extensive hydroprocessing research and development
Topse offers
a broad hydroprocessing catalyst portfolio and tailor-made
technologies for revamps and grassroots units meeting all specific
needs of the refiner
in-depth knowledge of hydroprocessing reactor fluid dynamics
and in-house developed designs for reactor internals ensuring
efficient catalyst usage
more than 20 years of experience with graded bed catalyst design
based on particle size, shape, void and catalytic activity for
pressure drop abatement
RESEARCH BASED CATALYSTS AND TECHNOLOGIES
A fundamental understanding of catalyst behaviour at the nano scale
enables Topse to continuously develop new and improved products
to meet clients needs. One recent development was Topses BRIM
catalyst preparation technology, which has led to a whole new generation
of unmatched activity hydrotreating catalysts with great stability.
MARKET EXPERIENCE
Topse has extensive market experience with all aspects of
hydrotreating ranging from naphtha to heavy residue. More than 200
hydrotreating units have been licensed using Topse hydrotreating
technology of which a large number are designed for production of
ultra-low sulphur diesel with less than 10 wt ppm sulphur.
Topse has more than 180 references in operation or projected for
the production of ultra-low sulphur diesel having less than 50 wt ppm
sulphur, corresponding to 5 MMBPD. 150 of these references use
catalysts produced with Topses BRIM technology.
RENEWABLES FUEL
Topse has developed hydroprocessing catalysts and technology for
processing a wide range of renewable feedstocks to gasoline, jet and
diesel. Feedstocks include vegetable and animal oils, fatty acid methyl
esters, waste oils and greases, tall oil and other forest waste products,
algae and plastics. These feeds can be converted to transport fuels, either
in stand-alone plants or by co-processing with normal refinery feedstocks.
RELATED INDUSTRIES
Topses refining experience extends to related industries offering
solutions for hydrogen supply, sulphur management and NOx emission.
Efficient hydrogen technology and catalysts from Topse ensure
optimised processes with low energy consumption to capacities from
5,000 to more than 200,000 Nm
3
/h hydrogen.
Topses WSA and SNOX t echnol ogies remove sul phur
and nitrogen oxides from flue gases, recover the sulphur oxides as
concentrated sulphuric acid and reduce the nitrogen oxides to free
nitrogen. The SNOX process is particularly suited for purification of
flue gas from combustion of high-sulphur petcoke and other petroleum
residues such as heavy fuel oil and tars as well as sour gases.
Topses SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) DeNOx process is the
most efficient process for removing nitrogen oxides from gases and is
suitable for treating off-gases from a wide range of different industries
and applications including fossil-fuel and biomass fired utility boilers,
gas turbines, oil refining and chemical plants, stationary diesel engines
and waste incinerators.
CONTACT INFORMATION
Nymoellevej 55, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark
Phone: +45 4527 2000
Fax: +45 4527 2999
Email: topsoe@topsoe.dk
Website: www.topsoe.com
Experience
the Sabin difference
for PGM catalyst recovery
and rening.
We turn science into art for highest
possible returns and added value.
The science of recovering and rening precious metal
catalysts is straightforward: state of the art technology.
The art of this process, however, is what makes Sabin
different from all others: thats the knowledge, experience,
and expertise gained from seven decades of successfully
serving thousands of organizations around the world. Wed
be pleased to count you among them.
Learn more at
sabinmetal.com
Select 81 at www.HydrocarbonProcessing.com/RS
SPONSORED CONTENT HYDROCARBON PROCESSING CATALYST 2012 C99
RECOVERING PRECIOUS METALS FROM
SPENT PROCESSING CATALYSTS
SABIN METAL CORPORATION
Sabin Metal Corporation is the largest secondary precious met-
als refiner in North America, serving a worldwide customer base.
We recover and refine PGMs from spent catalysts used for hydrocar-
bon processing and end-of-pipe pollution control equipment. PGMs
(Platinum Group Metals) include platinum, palladium, ruthenium and
rhodium. Sabin Metal also recovers rhenium, gold, silver, and other
precious metals from spent catalysts that typically are configured as
pellets, beads, extrudates, and monolithic structures. Sabin recovers
remaining precious metals from spent catalysts from soluble and insol-
uble alumina, silica-alumina, zeolite, and carbon supports. Precious
metals are also recoverable from waste byproducts associated with
catalyst materials. We handle all details from suggestions on packag-
ing and shipping/logistics through accurate materials tracking to final
settlement with many options.
Advance labs. Sabin Metal offers the industrys most advanced ana-
lytical and processing capabilities, along with fair, straightforward
treatment and high standards of service that weve provided to our
customers for more than 65 years. These include detailed weights and
analyses of their materials, and the ability to follow their shipments
throughout the entire recovery and refining process. Catalyst samples
are assayed in triplicate to assure accuracy and fairness.
Sabin Metal is unique in that it is one of the only precious metals
refiners in the world to provide full service and full in-house capa-
bilities (from door-to-door shipping/handling) through pre-burning,
sampling, and assaying to prompt return of refined materials instead
of employing outside subcontractors for one or more of these activities.
Use of these outside services can reduce returns, increase process
turnaround time, and negatively impact the environment. These outside
services may also introduce possibilities of materials loss, which can
result from third-party handling (repackaging, shipping, etc.).
Meets international rules. Sabin Metals analytical and processing
facilities are the most advanced in the industry, along with fastest pos-
sible processing turnaround time to reduce metals costs. We provide
full documentation with regard to environmentally responsible handling
and disposal of solids, liquids, or gaseous byproducts from our facilities.
Because of complex rules, regulations, and laws (both internationally
and domestically), Sabin Metals subsidiary, Sabin International Logistics
Corp. (SILC) specializes in transporting large quantities of spent catalyst
materials in compliance with the rules and regulations of the exporting
country as well as the materials importation into the U.S.A. SILC oper-
ates on every continent except Antarctica, and holds all required permits
needed to transport materials to and from its refining facilities.
Refining at our processing facilities is accomplished through a wide
variety of equipment including rotary, crucible and electric arc furnaces,
kilns, roasters, thermal processors, pulverizers, granulators, screens,
blenders, auto samplers, reactors, dissolvers, precipitators, electrolytic
cells, and filter presses. Pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical tech-
nologies are employed to achieve the highest possible metal recovery
at the lowest possible processing costs.
Sabins analytical laboratory uses advanced X-ray fluorescence
equipment, atomic absorption (AA) and inductively coupled plasma
(ICP) emission spectroscopy instrumentation and also employs classic
volumetric, gravimetric, and fire assay techniques.
Our new 120,000-sq-ft. refining facility in Williston, North Dakota
U.S.A. is specially equipped to sample and process precious-metal-bear-
ing catalysts from hydrocarbon processes such as petroleum catalysts,
vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) catalysts, and chemical catalysts. In-house
pre-burn capability and electric arc furnace technology provide total-
capability refining services for lower costs and faster turnaround. For
full technical details about our facilities, capabilities, and services for
recovering and refining precious metals from spent catalysts, please visit
us at www.sabinmetal.com.
CONTACT INFORMATION
Corporate Headquarters:
300 Pantigo Place, Suite 102
East Hampton, NY 11937
Phone: 631-329-1717
Fax: 631-329-1985
Main Plant/Sales Office:
1647 Wheatland Center Road
Scottsville, NY 14546
Phone: 585-538-2194/Fax: 585-538-2593
Web: www.sabinmetal.com
Email: sales@sabinmetal.com
Additional Facilities: Williston, ND; Cobalt, Ontario, Canada;
Europe; Asia; Mexico; Latin America
This electric arc furnace represents the latest technology for recov-
ering PGMs from spent catalysts.
WorId-cIass
products and servIce,
the worId over
$ENSTONE

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ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


103
G
as and vapor venting to the atmosphere from tanks and
equipment may provoke hamful effects due to the flam-
mable, toxic and corrosive properties of the released sub-
stances. Venting lines are generally connected to flaring or treat-
ment systems, where they are burned or processed with the aim of
preventing harm to personnel and the environment. Nevertheless,
cold vents may not always be avoided, and, when they are feasible
and environmentally acceptable, they offer significant advantages
over alternative methods.
Cold venting is frequent in both onshore and offshore installa-
tions, despite efforts made in the design phase to prevent or prop-
erly manage the emissions. In these cases, applicable regulations and
standards require identification of the quantitative features of the
released streams. This narrows the engineering choices to consider
the acceptability of a safe, open discharge by implementing the
necessary protection. A general reference is given by API RP 521,
1

which says that disposal can be accomplished without creating a
potential hazard or causing other problems, such as the formation
of flammable mixtures at grade level or on elevated structures.
Also, NORSOK standards
2
require that cold vents be based on dis-
persion calculation results to prove that explosive mixtures are not
created in the installation vicinity and to ensure that the concentra-
tion therein does not exceed a fraction of the lower flammable limit.
Background. Open discharges should be considered when:
Safety valve releases from atmospheric tanks storing hydro-
carbons or organic compounds, in case of process offset or instru-
ment failure
Releases from rupture disks or emergency-relief valves
(ERVs) from atmospheric tanks storing hydrocarbons or organic
substances, in case of external fire
Emissions from pressure equipment in onshore and offshore
facilities; examples include methane emissions from common vent
stacks or low-boiling, pressurized compounds.
Release from atmospheric tanks. Flammable and combus-
tible liquids stored in atmospheric tanks are assumed to be blanketed
with nitrogen working at a low relative pressure, as shown in Fig. 1.
The working conditions are the operating temperature (T
OP
) and
the operating pressure (P
OP)
. The relieving scenario assumed for
the pressure relief valve (PRV) is a control valve failure, with a set-
ting pressure (P
S1
) and a corresponding temperature equal to T
OP
.
Vapor pressure is given by the Antoine equation:
(1)

P
VAP -OP
=10
A-
B
C+T
OP
The gas molar fraction corresponding to the set pressure can
be calculated as:

(2)

X
S1
=
P
VAPOP
P
S1
and the nitrogen molar fraction as:
(3)

X
N
2
=1
P
VAPOP
P
S1
The assumed relieving scenario for the ERVs is external fire,
with a setting pressure (P
S2
)
.
The nitrogen content in the tank
head space is assumed to remain the same, whereas the gas amount
will increase due to heating from fire. Accordingly, if the head-
space volume does not change significantly, the second law of Gay
Lussac may be applied:
(4)

T
fire
=T
OP

P
S 2
P
OP
and the gas molar fraction (X
S2
) corresponding to P
S2
is:
(5)

P
VAPT
fire
=10
A
B
C+T
fire
Venting vapor streams:
Predicting the outcome
Laminar and turbulent jet theories provide strong
support when addressing cold venting situations
R. BENINTENDI, Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd., Reading, UK
To atmosphere at safe location
Emergency
relief valve
PC
Nitrogen
Atmospheric tank relief scenarios. FIG. 1
ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY
104

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
(6)

X
S 2
=
P
VAPT
fire
P
S2
where P
VAP-T
fire
is the vapor pressure at T
fire
.
The gas outlet characteristics have now been completely iden-
tified. For the purpose of this work, the released mass flowrate
is essential information, being a venting design issue covered by
the standard API 520.
3
The described scenario has been sum-
marized in Table 1, where input design data and calculated values
have been included. The gas stripping from a solution can be
approached in the same manner, using gas-liquid equilibrium
equations, such as the Henry formula.
Release from pressure vessels. Cold venting from pres-
sure vessels is much less frequent than atmospheric venting, and it
consists of a pressurized gas or a vapor in equilibrium with its liq-
uid. The first case, natural gas in offshore facilities, is completely
defined by the pressure and the geometrical characteristics of the
jet, and the second case can be treated as atmospheric blanketed
storage, being that the substance in both of these cases is formed
by a single compound under pressure.
Modeling. Modeling aims to describe the concentration con-
tour of a gas jet downstream from a nozzle outlet, with reference
to specific toxic or fire end points. As the gas leaves the nozzle,
it is entrained by air, strongly depending on the fluodynamic
features and on the wind velocity and direction. This results in a
progressive gas concentration dilution as both the axial and the
radial distance from the outlet increase (Fig. 2).
The theory of turbulent and laminar jet is based on the original
studies of Ricou and Spalding
4
and Schlichting,
5
respectively.
Momentum driven turbulent jets from relief valves are also cov-
ered by the API 521 standard, and its conclusions fit well with the
Ricou and Spalding theory of entrainment approach.
A full development of the jet air dispersion model relative to
both turbulent and laminar regimes has been carried out by the
author,
6,7
with the aim of predicting the endpoint concentration
contour of hazardous areas due to flammable substances. This
method gives much more realistic results than those provided by
the standard IEC 60079-10,
8
as confirmed by Webber et al.
9
The
same models may be used to investigate whether (and to what
extent) gas cold venting is harmful.
Turbulent jet. According to literature data
6
and to the standard
API RP 521, the fully turbulent regime exists from the Reynolds
number of 10
4
upward. If it is verified, air entrainment works
reducing the jet gas concentration according to the following
general equation:
(7)

M( y)
M
e
=C
e

y
D
Within the equation, M
e
and M(y) are the initial and the overall
entrained gas mass flowrates at a distance y from the exit, D is the
outlet diameter and C
e
is the coefficient of entrainment, which is
0.32 according to Ricou and Spalding
4
and 0.264 according to the
standard API RP 521. This approach has been followed
6
in order
to define the distance along the axis, where the lower flammable or
toxic endpoint is reached. Assuming a cross sectional average gas
concentration, the jet development is as outlined in Fig. 3. Indicat-
ing with EP the flammable or toxic endpoint, with MW
G
and MW
A

as the gas and air molecular weight, and X
Mo
as the initial gas mass
fraction, the mentioned distance is given by the following equation:

(8)

y
EP
= X
Mo

1
EPMW
G

1
MW
G

MW
A
+1

C
e
D
Laminar jet. The laminar jet theory is based on the original
work of Schlichting.
5
Accordingly, the same calculation carried
out for turbulent jet has been developed
7
for the laminar regime,
resolving the mass and momentum equations and obtaining an
exact solution for the axial and radial concentration gradient. The
jet surface, as defined by the points of space where the concentra-
tion is the end point, is given by the following formula:
Core
D

Transition
r(y)
C(0,y)
y
C(r,y)
Fully developed ow
Jet flow showing gas concentration distribution. FIG. 2
y
Flammable/toxic
endpoint
D
y
EP
Turbulent discharge illustrating distance to flammable or
toxic endpoint.
FIG. 3
TABLE 1. Atmospheric tank relief scenario
Design Calculation
Variable Relief case Symbol input output
Operating temperature T
OP

Operating pressure P
OP

PRV set pressure Control failure P
S1

ERV set pressure External fire P
S2

Fire temperature External fire T
fire

Gas concentration at PS1 Control failure X
S1

Gas concentration at PS2 External fire X
S2

PRV/ERV diameter D
Mass flow rate
ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


105

(9)

R
EP
( y) = y
3X
o
v
e
D
2
32EPy
1
64
3
e
M
e

Within the formula, is the gas diffusivity in air; v


e
is the gas
velocity at the outlet; is the gas viscosity; X
o
is the initial gas mass
fraction; EP is expressed in the same unit; and M
e
is the initial
average momentum. As for the turbulent jet, the distance along
the axis, where the lower flammable or toxic end point is reached,
has been determined as:
(10)

y
EP
= X
o

3v
e
D
2
32EP
Meanwhile, the maximum transversal distance R
EP
is calcu-
lated as:
(11)

R
EP
MAX
= X
o

27v
e
D
2
512EP
In Fig. 4, the endpoint contour has been depicted for a typical
application. In the previous equations, X
Mo
and X
o
are equal to 1
for pure gases.
End points for venting. Flammable and toxic endpoints
must be defined for the substances under investigation. For fire
and explosion cases, the lower explosion limit (LEL) is entered
into Eq. 8 or Eq. 10, depending on the existing regime. Toxic
clouds can be described in terms of immediately dangerous to
life and health (IDLH), temporary emergency evaluation levels
(TEELs), emergency response planning guides (ERPGs) and
acute emergency guidance levels (AEGLs) or, in accordance
with the applicable safety philosophy, more stringent values can
be assumed. Basic information can also be obtained relative to
the occupational impact of venting, considering TLV-TWA and
TLV-STEL indices.
The model can easily be adjusted in the case of a gas mixture
containing more than one substance, other than the inerting gas
only. In this case, with reference to the flammable endpoint, a
mixture limit can be calculated using the Le Chatelier equation:
(12)

LEL
mix
=
1
X
i
LEL
i i

Within this equation, X


i
is the single component molar fraction.
The same additive mixture formula applies, as per the ACGIH
guidelines,
10
to two or more hazardous substances having a similar
toxicological effect on the same target organs or systems.
Applications. Table 2 includes data relative to an ethyl acrylate
storage tank blanketed with nitrogen. The Reynolds number is
higher than 10.000, so the turbulent model is to be used. The
calculation has been carried out considering both the LEL and the
IDLH, obtaining two very different results. Roughly, it could be
concluded that fire and explosion hazards are unlikely, whereas the
toxic scenario does not seem negligible. A further confirmation of
the accuracy of the method may be found in the volume of J. L.
Woodward edited by the CCPS.
11
Here, the concentration profile
drawn for a methane turbulent jet would fit very well with the
values calculated through the model.
Final analysis. An exact method has been presented with the
aim of predicting the outcome of an open discharge from tanks and
equipment. The method has been split into two different equations,
R
EPmax
R
EP
(y)
y
EP
y
R
(
y
)
Laminar discharge illustrating distance to flammable or
toxic endpoint.
FIG. 4
TABLE 2. Ethyl acrylate cold venting
Substance Relief Relief rate Discharge Calculation Refer. Set pressure, Vap. pressure, Outlet
Item Location released case kg/hr destination scenario temp., K mbarg mbar concent., %
PRV Atmospheric Nitrogen ethyl Control valve 500 Atmosphere Equilibrium @ 313 107 105 9.48
tank acrylate failure max. operating
temperature
ERV Atmospheric Nitrogen ethyl External 35,000 Atmosphere Equilibrium @ 319 143 115 10.06
tank acrylate fire ERV set pressure
Outlet Outlet Mass flow Average
Mass flow concentr., concentr., rate, IDLH, PVRV or ERV Outlet velocity, LEL, molecular weight Distance to Distance to
rate, kg/h ppm mg/m
3
kg/h ppm diameter, m m/sec % at the outlet LFL, m IDLH, m
112.29 94,850.9 369,532.62 136.28 300 0.1016 12.64234 2 34.84 0.15 11.46
9,061.98 100,612.4 384,606.28 9,999.98 300 0.4572 44.01475 2 35.25 0.79 58.08
Wind
Hemispherical approach to endpoint contour. FIG. 5
ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY
106

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
depending on the fluodynamic regime existing at the jet outlet.
The equations can be used in a very flexible way, since the contour
describes the concentration field of the specific endpoint used,
whatever it is. The results expected could be considered satisfacto-
rily reliable, provided that the following boundary conditions exist:
A steady state can be assumed
The jet does not impinge over adjacent obstacles and barriers
The equipment under investigation is not installed in a
congested zone, where closed spaces and a cul-de-sac can provoke
hazardous gas accumulations and significant modifications of the
concentration profile obtained using the entrainment equations
Borderline cases or specific lay outing and spacing concerns
should be further investigated through CFD and more accurate
dispersion models; the method is very useful in giving a first esti-
mate of the predictable outcome.
A specific mention must be made relative to the action of the
wind, both on the laminar and the turbulent jets. Even if it results
in an increased air entrainment, an uncertainty might exist about
the direction of the plume and its profile. This is the case even if
the standard API 521 states that, for high Reynolds numbers, the
turbulent equation is valid anyway, provided that jet velocity is
higher than about 12 m/s or the jet-to-wind velocity ratio is more
than 10. The same standard shows how the effect of the wind, in
terms of wind velocity to initial jet velocity ratio, is effective in
reducing the endpoint vertical downwind distance; whereas, the
horizontal distance is much less affected.
As a conservative application of the presented model, engi-
neering judgment suggests extending the hazardous zone to the
whole hemispherical volume of radius equal to the endpoint
distance (Fig. 5), and to use an endpoint concentration equal to
25% of its real value. HP
LITERATURE CITED
1
ANSI/API Standard 521, Pressure-Relieving and Depressuring Systems, Fifth
Edition, January 2007 (addendum May 2008).
2
NORSOK Standard S-001, Technical Safety, Fourth Edition, February 2008.
3
API Standard 520, Sizing, Selection and Installation of Pressure-Relieving
Devices in Refineries, Eighth Edition, December 2008.
4
Ricou, F. P. and D. B. Spalding, Measurements of entrainment by axisym-
metrical turbulent jets, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 11(1), 21 e 32, Cambridge
University Press, 1961.
5
Schlichting, H., Boundary Layer Theory, Sixth Edition, McGraw Hill, New
York, 1968.
6
Benintendi, R., Turbulent jet modeling for hazardous area classifica-
tion, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Vol. 23, Issue 3,
pp. 373378, May 2010.
7
Benintendi, R., Laminar jet modelling for hazardous area classifica-
tion, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Vol. 24, Issue 2,
pp. 123130, March 2011.
8
IEC 60079-10-1 ed 1.0, Explosive atmospheres, Part 10-1: Classification of
areasExplosive gas atmospheres.
9
Webber, D. M., Ivings, M. J. and R. C. Santon, Ventilation theory and dis-
persion modeling applied to hazardous area classification, Health and Safety
Laboratory, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Vol. 24, Issue 5,
pp. 612621, September 2011.
10
ACGIH, Threshold limits values for chemical substances and physical agents and
biological exposure indices, 2008.
11
Woodward, J. L., Estimating the flammable mass of a vapor cloud, CCPS,
American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1998.
Renato Benintendi is a loss prevention and process specialist at Foster Wheeler
Energy Ltd. in Reading, UK. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from the
University of Naples Federico II in Italy. He has been working for 25 years in process
safety and environmental projects and has been a lecturer and a professor of process
safety and environmental engineering at Salerno University and Naples University.
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ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


109
I
n the hydrocarbon industrys early days, processes were rela-
tively simple, and societal expectations regarding safety were low
by current standards. With the development of newer process
technologies, complexity increased while societal expectations for
safety in all industrial activities also rose. Since accidental loss of
containment can result in unacceptable process safety incidents
such as fire, explosion or toxic release, a robust system for manag-
ing safety should be in place. Such a system should address safety
vulnerabilities and employ focused safety audits that help identify
physical conditions in need of corrective measures.
Hazards. Refining is challenging because of the large number of
processing units at each plant (Fig. 1). Crude and vacuum distilla-
tion units (CDU/VDUs) require attention,
along with a number of complex, second-
ary units like fluidized catalytic crackers,
delayed cokers and visbreaking units. Refin-
eries also have to manage hydrogen alloca-
tion and the catalysts used to maximize dis-
tillates and improve stream qualities. Each
of these elements intensify potential hazards.
Audits. A quality plant safety manage-
ment program embraces audits of all stripes.
These include leadership and management
evaluation, risk identification, risk manage-
ment and monitoring procedures. These
evaluations should determine if management
actions prevent human injury, limit equip-
ment and property damage, protect the envi-
ronment, comply with legislative regulations,
reduce risk and minimize loss exposure. As
a part of the audits verification phase, the
plants process safety culture should be scru-
tinized to determine managements ability to
prevent catastrophic accidents, explosions,
fires and toxic releases. Such competence
is verified by auditors through discussions
and field checks/inspections of the facilities,
comparisons with best practices, evaluation
of safe design standards, and observation of
operating and maintenance practices.
Risk identification. Risk identification
requires the participation of all employees.
Safety committees should be deployed at every employment level,
from the bottom to the top. Each safety committee needs to carry
out internal health, safety and environment (HSE) audits and
inspections through focused inspection checklists. Each of the
disparate units in a refinery presents its own set of challenges, but
all audits of each unit should focus on operation control systems,
work permit system implementation, written procedures and
standing instructions. Within this common framework, though,
are different audit strategies for specific units. What follows is an
itemization of such strategies.
Crude and vacuum distillation units. CDU/VDUs (Fig. 2)
are the primary units in a refinery, and, in certain facilities, these
units are likely to be the oldest and most debottlenecked. The units,
Apply audits to reexamine
safety procedures
Recognizing distinctive vulnerabilities in various refinery units
S. L. CHAKRAVORTY, Oil Industry Safety Directorate, New Delhi, India
ATU-I
ATU-II
SR LPG treater I
SR LPG treater Il
Amine reg.
Amine reg.
SWS
SWS
Fuel gas
Sulfur
LPG
Naphtha
PX feed
Gasoline
ATF
Kero
HSD
HPS
Bitumen
IFO
Coke
SRU
SRU
LPG
Gasoline
DHDS
DHDT
HCU
OHCU
RFCCU
CCR
HGU-I
HGU-II
NSU-I
NSU-II
Kero
VIS
breaker
BBU
DCU LPG
Naphtha
Kero
LGO
HGO
AVU-I
AVU-II
&
Crude
VGO
Vac.
diesel
Vac. residue
Layout of a typical refinery. FIG. 1
ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY
110

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
which run at high temperatures of up to 434C, have some typical
vulnerabilities. For instance, column operating temperatures are
generally above auto-ignition temperatures for the heavier product
fractions (kerosine, gasoils, reduced crude, vacuum distillates and
all residues including short residues), and any leak will invariably
result in a fire incident.
The plant design must employ the correct metallurgy for the range
of sour and sweet crudes typically processed. Plant corrosion mitiga-
tion programs are essential, along with a good desalter operation.
Small air leaks in VDUs can result in combustion within a fuel-
rich environment. Vacuum-hold testing during unit commissioning
is, therefore, very important to make sure all eqipment conforms to
the stipulated test norms. Inadequate lockouts, de-energizing and
energizing the rotating equipment provide other possible pitfalls.
Operation of a VDU under abnormal or emergency conditions,
especially during startup, is a concern. Both rotary and station-
ary equipment will be under stress. Clearly written instructions
enumerating approved procedures for unit operation are essential.
A history of incidents at these units should be compiled. Some
common incidents in CDU/VDUs include explosions inside
the furnace during startup, a fire due to a leak through piping
in column bottom pumps, mechanical seal leaks in pumps and
overhead system leakage. The absence of clear-cut instructions
and deviations from written procedures have also led to accidents.
Other units. Catalytic reforming units, naphtha hydrotreaters
and isomerization units all involve the handling of hydrogen under
high pressures and temperatures. Since hydrogen has explosive lim-
its of 4%74%, very little energy is required to ignite it. Hydrogen
mishaps can stem from procedural deficiencies, material failures or
material incompatibility. Operational and work area deficiencies
and design flaws are other common causes of trouble. Since these
units operate at a high temperature involving hydrogen and cata-
lysts, the equipment must withstand mechanical stress from internal
pressure and thermal excess. Policies should be in place, to address
hydrogen leaks from flanges, tube ruptures or process upsets.
Legend: Preheat exchangers
Vac bottom
pump
Column
bottom
pump
Vac. furnace
pump
Crude
furnace
Vac.
column
Crude
column
To ejectors
Crude oil SR to
preheat
circuit
A typical crude and vacuum distillation unit. FIG. 2
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ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY



111
Delayed coker. Events that contribute to hazardous delayed
coker unit (DCU) operations include coke drum switching, coke
drum head removal and coke cutting. Coke transfer, processing,
and storage can also lead to safety incidents. Because of these fac-
tors, emergency evacuation policies should be reviewed regularly.
Workers at a DCU run the risk of toxic exposures, dust irritants
and burn trauma.
Fluidized catalytic cracker units (FCCUs). FCCUs upgrade
heavy hydrocarbons to lighter, more valuable products by cracking
at high temperature in the presence of catalysts. Safety vulnerabili-
ties specific to FCCUs are numerous (Fig. 3). Risk can escalate
when the operation is nonroutine (especially during startup and
shutdown), and when equipment maintenance is taking place or
utility disruption has occurred. There is significantly more wear
and tear on the process equipment during these intervals.
Unstable catalyst circulation in FCCUs can lead to surges in
the pressure and temperature balance. During these activities, a
significant amount of expansion and contraction occurs and exces-
sive stress is placed on the equipment. This can lead to the opening
of process flanges and subsequent hydrocarbon leaks and fires.
The bottom of the main fractionator is also vulnerable because
it handles high temperature oil above the flash point. Vigilant
maintenance is required to prevent fouling. Yet another high haz-
ard operation involves changing the reactor vapor blind. Exposure
to toxic gases during deblinding and blinding is a preventable error.
Hydrocracker unit. Many refineries employ hydrocracking
technology to convert heavy hydrocarbon oils into lighter and more
valuable products. One safety concern with hydrocrackers is the
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more heat generation. This effect can spiral out of control and result
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excessive temperature. In an emergency situation, depressurization
can stop the reaction. When depressurizing, the reactor pressure
and partial pressure of the hydrogen decrease and the reaction rate
quickly falls off. However, a delay in depressurizing the reactor can
result in a temperature excursion leading to a major catastrophe.
Improper reactor pressurization, heating or cooling can lead to
embrittlement in a hydrocracker. The unit handles large amounts
of hydrogen sulfide in its high-pressure and sour water system
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Feed Combustion air
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ENVIRONMENT AND SAFETY
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

I


113
and any sour water system leak can be extremely dangerous.
Offsite storage and handling. Petroleum products are nor-
mally stored above ground at atmospheric pressure, within low
pressure storage tanks or in underground tanks. Distribution of
petroleum products from storage is executed via truck, pipeline,
tanker or barge. Fire and explosions are a potential danger result-
ing from leaks or overflow of the storage tanks. During loading
and unloading activities, these dangers are particularly acute. Pos-
sible ignition sources include sparks associated with the buildup
of static electricity, lightning and open flames. Pipes and other
ancillary equipment are also potential sources for an incident.
Sulfur block. This section of the refinery usually includes the
sulfur recovery unit, sour water stripper and amine units. One
source of possible trouble here involves the offgas from the sour
water stripper and amine regeneration unit. This offgas contains
a high percentage of toxic hydrogen sulfide, and any leak from
the system can result in toxic exposure to operating personnel.
The sulfur recovery unit is prone to chokage. Dechoking can
happen by shifting the unit to fuel gas mode, but this might result
in a runaway reaction that leads to auto-ignition of sulfur deposits
which opens process lines and thus exposes hydrogen sulfide. It
should also be noted that the sour water containing hydrogen sul-
fide cannot be released to an open sewer, which otherwise would
cause flashing of dissolved hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere.
Flaring. A flare is a pressure safety relief device used to ensure
that the equipment does not exceed the safety limits set to maintain
the process units integrity. A flares function is to eliminate excess
process gas by burning it off. However, a flare ignition failure may
lead to unburned venting of dangerous gases, creating an explosion
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Know the vulnerabilities. Hazard audits and risk identifi-
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The work permit system for maintenance activities should include
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CLEAN FUELS
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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117
Methanol contamination
of naphtha: A case study
Creative problem solving was used to upgrade
off-spec export products while minimizing tank storage
F. OVAICI, Al-Ghurair Energy, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I
n this article, a refiner needed a solution to recover export-ori-
ented naphtha contaminated by methanol (MeOH). This is an
actual case in which one of three 30,000-m
3
capacity tanks used
to store naphtha export was found to be severely contaminated
with MeOH. A water-washing solution was applied to reprocess
the naphtha in-situ and to remove MeOH from the naphtha, along
with returning the storage tank back to continuous operations.
Problem-solving approach. The approach to solving prob-
lems such as this type is threefold. First, understand the root cause
of the incident and rectify it. Second, develop a theoretical basis
to resolve the problem and validate it. Third, evaluate and imple-
ment a practical solution.
Contamination mishap. Naphtha contamination with
oxygenates, such as MeOH, is a costly problem for any refinery.
Reprocessing or re-blending naphtha is a risky proposition, espe-
cially when only limited storage is available. A creative and scien-
tific water-washing solution was identified to remove oxygenates
from the naphtha. Understanding the chemistry of the problem
is only the first step. Substantial laboratory and engineering work
was necessary to successfully identify and to validate the solution.
PROBLEM: MeOH CONTAMINATION IN NAPHTHA TANK
This Middle East refinery exports straight-run naphtha (SRN)
from the crude distillation unit (CDU). There are three storage
tanks available to store, blend and certify the naphtha prior to
shipping. The refinery also operates a tertiary amyl methyl ether
unit that uses imported MeOH as a feedstock.
Following a routine MeOH unloading at the refinery, 25,000
m
3
of SRN product in an export 30,000-m
3
storage tank was
later found to be contaminated. This naphtha failed a product-
certification test. Contamination results were further confirmed
by a third-party laboratory.
Test results of the SRN showed an oxygenate content of 240
ppm against the maximum acceptable level of 50 ppm to obtain
a quality certificate. Unfortunately, the SRN of this tank could
not be exported. Now, there were only two naphtha tanks left in
operation. The quantity of material and oxygenates prevented
meaningful re-blending and reprocessing. Contamination of the
other two tanks remained a real and immediate threat to plant
operations. During the incident, naphtha rundown from the
process plant was continuously showing acceptable oxygenate
content that was less than 50 ppm.
Step 1: Identify and rectify root cause. The investigat-
ing team successfully determined the root cause for the MeOH
contamination. The investigation revealed that both the meters
installed on the line to the jetty for naphtha export and the meter
on the MeOH import/unloading line share the same meter prover.
A single cross valve on the meter prover was mistakenly left open.
Pressure differential allowed imported MeOH from the vessel to
flow unimpeded to the naphtha-product line from the CDU to
the storage tank during unloading of the cargo vessel.
Rectification of the problem involved strict new operating
procedures for the meter and meter prover. Operator training was
improved, and it focused on careful handling of equipment with
checklists and verification by foremen. For the long-term solution,
a separate meter and meter prover would be installed.
Different ways of disposing the off-spec naphtha were stud-
ied. However, disposal could impose higher financial losses to
the company due to contamination of the naphtha lines to the
jetty. Moving the material to other tanks had a higher inherent
risk of cross-contamination for the remaining product-storage
tanks. At that time, no buyer could be found to purchase this
8+
+
+
Oxygen atoms
More negative changes

Hydrogen atoms
More positive charges
Water is a polar molecule with positive charges on one
side and negative charges on the other.
1
FIG. 1
CLEAN FUELS
118

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
batch of off-spec naphtha. Unfortunately, the MeOH-contam-
inated naphtha remained in the tank for several months as vari-
ous options were considered.
Step 2: Theory and validation. The rule for determining
if a mixture becomes a solution is that polar molecules will mix
to form solutions and nonpolar molecules will form solutions,
but a polar and nonpolar combination will not form a solution.
Both MeOH and water are polar. So extraction of MeOH in an
aqueous solution is a feasible pathway. The geometry of the atoms
in polar molecules is such that one end of the molecule has a
positive electrical charge and the other side has a negative charge.
Nonpolar molecules do not have charges at their ends. Mixing
molecules of the same polarity usually results in the molecules
forming a solution.
Low-molecular-weight alcohols, such as MeOH, are com-
pletely soluble in water. Because of their polar structure, the
alcohol molecules actively associate with water molecules through
the hydrogen bonds. The hydrogen bonds are strong enough to
prevent separation of the water/alcohol mixture by distillation, as
shown in Fig. 2.
2
Various molecules may mix and dissolve in each other if they
have approximately the same polarity. In the case of water and
MeOH, this is the situation. The hydrogen of the OH group on
the alcohol is polar in the same manners as the water molecule.
Solubility of MeOH in naphtha. In terms of polarity,
MeOH is a strong polar molecule, and aromatics, such as toluene,
are slightly polar. Paraffins, such as hexane, are nonpolar. Aromat-
ics will be temporarily polarized within the vicinity of a polar
molecule (MeOH), and the induced and permanent dipoles will
be mutually attracted (Debye Interactions). However, MeOH is
not completely soluble in streams, such as SRN that contain low
levels of aromatic compounds. Paraffinic/naphthenic hydrocar-
bons (HCs) comprise 90 wt% of the SRN, and the remaining
TABLE 1. SRN water-washing effects on T6217C
Mixing with magnetic stirrer Without mixing
Water inject, Oxygenates Methanol Moisture, Water inject, Oxygenates Methanol
vol % content, wt ppm content, wt ppm ppm Remark vol % content, wt ppm content, wt ppm Remark
0 220.4 196.5 140.7 Top/Mid/Btm: 190.4/ 0 220.4 196.5
188.8/151.5 (MeOH)
1 44.1 22.7 147.8 Color: No change
5 30.9 12.8 165.7 Color: No change 5 160.9 141.6
10 18.2 1.4 170.8 Color: No change 10 90.2 72.6
20 17.1 1.8 177.0 Color: No change 20 98.0 80.5
Magnetic Stirring Duration 10 min
Settling Duration 1 hour (end table 1)
TABLE 2. Effect of MeOH removal from naphtha at different water addition rates with/without mixing
SR naphtha (T6217C) water-wash oxygenate result Sample date: Feb. 15, 2008
With H
2
O wash With H
2
O Wash
Before H
2
O wash (10 mins mixing/1 hour standby) (no mixing)
Case 1, Case 2, Case 3, Case 4, Case 5, Case 6, Case 7,
1 vol% 5 vol% 10 vol% 20 vol% 5 vol% 15 vol% 25 vol%
Component, wt ppm Top Mid Bot Comp H
2
O H
2
O H
2
O H
2
O H
2
O H
2
O H
2
O
Ethyl methyl ether 3.0 2.7 2.7 2.7 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.4 2.2 2.3 2.3
MTBE 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.5 1.3 1.3 1.4
Isopropyl ether 0.0 0.8 0.8 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 0.0 0.0
Butyl methyl ether 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Methanol 190.4 188.8 151.5 196.5 22.7 12.8 1.4 1.8 141.6 72.6 80.5
Acetone 1.0 1.0 0.9 1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.8 0.6 0.7
2-Butanone 8.6 8.3 8.1 8.3 7.0 6.8 6.2 5.5 7.1 6.6 6.6
Methyl butyrate 1.7 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.3 1.3
Hexanol 1.6 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.1
2-Pentanone 3.1 3.0 2.9 2.9 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.4 2.5 2.5 2.4
2-Butanol 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.2 1.0 0.7 0.0 1.2 1.1 1.0
Tertiary amyl methyl ether/alcohol 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8
Total oxygenates 214.5 212.6 174.9 220.4 41.1 30.9 18.2 17.1 160.9 90.2 98.0
TABLE 3. Water requirement for each water-wash cycle
BasisBased on Option 1
Description Remarks
Contaminated naphtha in T6217C 25,000, m
3
Demin. water for water wash 1%
Demin. water for water wash 250, m
3
~ 10 m
3
/hr will be required
CLEAN FUELS
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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119
10% are aromatic HCs. Therefore, the MeOH and naphtha are
not soluble in any large ratios.
SRN, depending on the crude type processed, normally con-
tains 8 wt%10 wt% of aromatics. MeOH solubility in aromat-
ics is temperature dependent. Essentially above 0C, for every
percentage of aromatics present, 0.5% of MeOH will be soluble.
Following this rule, it is expected that the SRN can dissolve up to
a maximum of 4 wt%5 wt% MeOH.
Laboratory testing was proposed and arranged. Test samples
with different water concentrations were added to known volumes
of the off-spec naphtha0% water content in naphtha was the
control sample with 1%, 5%, 10% and 20% water concentration
standards tested. To investigate the effect of thorough mixing, the
samples were analyzed with and without a magnetic stirrer used.
Table 1 summarizes the lab results.
Another set of tests was done on the samples from the con-
taminated tank to measure the effect of water washing at different
vol% of water to remove the various oxygenates from the con-
taminated naphtha. Test results show that water washing removed
the majority of the MeOH content from the naphtha while other
oxygenates were not affected. Table 2 lists these test results at dif-
ferent water-wash volumes with and without mixing. Fig. 4 shows
the appearance of the SRN after water washing at different vol%
of water with a one-hour settlement time and the settled water
drained from the sample. These tests showed that there was not
much difference in haziness of the naphtha when different volumes
of wash water were used. The lab report can be summarized as:
MeOH and total oxygenate content decrease dramatically
to within specs (50-wppm maximum) when the contaminated
naphtha was water-washed with subsequent mixing (by a mag-
netic stirrer similar to actual tank mixing). The MeOH content
remained high when mixing was not done.
There was no change in color and the product was not hazy.
There is only a slight increase in water content after the
sample remains stagnant if water is not drained.
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
C
C
C
C
C
C
= hydrogen bonding
Source: C. Ophardt 2003
MeOH-hydrogen bonding
C
C
MeOH hydrogen bonds and polarity.
2
FIG. 2
250
200
150
O
x
y
g
e
n
a
t
e
s
,

p
p
m
100
50
0
0 1 5
Water content, vol%
Oxygenates content
Methanol content
Moisture
10 20
Lab results of water washing of contaminated SRN. FIG. 3
Haziness of treated naphtha after water washing with
different water volumes.
FIG. 4
TABLE 4. Estimated time for each activity during each
water-wash cycle
Timeline
No. Activity Remarks
1 Time for filling water, @ 10 m
3
/hr 25 hr
2 Mixing by tank mixer 24 hr
3 Settling time, maximum 24 hr
4 Water draining time, @ 25 m
3
/hr 10 hr
5 Sampling and analysis 0 hr Sampling and analysis to
be done during settling
and draining
Total time 83 hr
3.5 days
DW tanker
DW was pumped
using the pump of
a water tanker
Naphtha tank
T6217C
30 ft
4-in.
200 m of
re hose
Process scheme for Option 1: Direct water injection to
tank.
FIG. 5
CLEAN FUELS
120

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
The tests also confirmed the understanding that, if water wash-
ing is done together with mixing, MeOH removal would be more
efficient. Based on these results and the lab report, it was also
decided that the contaminated naphtha should be washed with
demineralized (DM) water.
Lab results showed that 10% water addition to the naphtha
with mixing would reduce the MeOH content from 190 ppm to
1.4 ppm, while 1% water can reduce it from 190 ppm to 22.7
ppm. Subsequently, it was decided to inject only 1% of water wash
and to drain after mixing, and repeat several times, until the total
oxygenate concentration dropped to less than 50 ppm. Using this
method, less DM water would be used, thus, limiting cleanup
costs and time to recover the product naphtha.
Step 3: Effective implementation. Now that a lab-scale
solution was available, the emphasis shifted to execution. Several
ideas were considered, with three of the most viable choices listed
here:
Option 1. Direct water injection to tank. Water can be
pumped directly into the tank T6217C. After injection, the SRN
could be mixed with the aid of an available tank mixer. Advantages
of this process were:
Water can be introduced through a larger nozzle (4-in. size).
TABLE 6. Moisture content of naphtha water
settlement
Moisture content
Top Middle Bottom
Feb. 28 @ 11:30 H 194 200 200
Feb. 29 @ 11:00 H 171 187 184
March 1 @ 08:10 H 194 200 215
March 4 @ 13:45 H 1,640 1,700 1660 Free water was detected
March 4 @ 20:45 H 181.3 182.5 176.2 After 7 hr settling @ lab
March 4 @ 22:45 H 1,82.7 187 187.8 After 9 hr settling @ lab
TABLE 5. Water-washing effect on SRN in T6217C SRN
Test parameter
Date T6217 SRN Oxygenates, ppm MeOH, ppm Chlorine, ppm Remarks
Feb. 26 @ 0400 H Top 242 219 < 1 Before water washing
Middle 242 220 < 1 DM water 3.4/1.7/Nil(4) Cl ppm
Bottom 245 223 < 1
Composite 242 220 < 1
Feb. 28 @ 11:30 H Top 64 47 1st water washing
Middle 48 30
Bottom 53 36
Composite 54 36
Feb. 29 @ 11:00 H Top 61 42 1st water washing
Middle 61 43
Bottom 58 41
Composite 60 41
March 1 @ 08:10 H Top 59 41 1st water washing
Middle 60 42
Bottom 62 44
Composite 60 41
March 4 @ 13:45 H Top 46 23 2nd water washing
Middle 37 16 9 hr settling @ lab
Bottom 41 17
Composite 41 19
March 5 Top
Middle
Bottom
Composite
Tank mixing patterns for Option 1: A and B. FIG. 6
9 hours
6 hours
3 hours
Tank mixing pattern
CLEAN FUELS
HYDROCARBON PROCESSING APRIL 2012

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121
The associated lines would not be contaminated.
The procedure can be done several times. In case of failure,
the other two naphtha tanks would remain available for rundown
and dispatch.
The disadvantages included:
Mixing will require a longer time.
Mixing may not be as effective as circulating the SRN to
and from the tank.
The tentative time required for each cycle of water, assuming
1% DW will be mixed to the naphtha tank and drained after mix-
ing and settlement, are summarized Tables 3 and 4.
Option 2. Water injection via export piping. Naphtha inven-
tory of the tank can be circulated by way of marine-loading pump.
Water can be put into the suction line of the pump0.75-in.
nozzle with two nozzles with a capacity of 3 m
3
/hr per nozzle.
The resulting mixing could be done by the pump itself and would
not rely on the effectiveness of the tank mixer. The advantages of
this option include:
There is thorough mixing of SRN and water
The mixing time will be shorter
The experiment can be carried out several times. In case of
failure, the other two tanks will be available for rundown and
dispatch.
However, the disadvantages are:
Associated pipelines will have to be flushed thoroughly with
on-spec naphtha
Limitations would have to be imposed on the scheduling of
naphtha shipments.
Option 3. Water injection and mixing using remaining
tanks. Water can be sent to one of the other tanks (T6217 A/B.
The T6217C can be transferred to it. The advantages from this
option include:
There is thorough mixing of SRN
The mixing time will be less, as the SRN can mix while it
is filling the tank.
Conversely, the disadvantages are:
Only one tank will be available for operation.
If the procedure fails for any reason, then the additional tank
also contains contaminated naphtha.
Associated pipelines will have to be flushed thoroughly with
on-spec naphtha
Naphtha shipment schedules would be affected.
SOLUTION
Option 1 was selected as the preferred method. As per the plan,
1% DW or 250 m
3
of DW would be injected directly to the tank.
The tank mixer would be used to mix the SRN and DW, followed
by tank settling and draining of settled water. This procedure
would be repeated as required until the naphtha is completely
washed and meets all oxygenate specifications.
Successful water-washing plan. Water injection to the
tank started on Feb. 26 during the day shift. Table 5 shows the
result of oxygenates, MeOH and chlorine content of the naphtha
before and after the water washing. Water draining started right
after nine hours of settling. After the first water wash, the oxygen-
ate level dropped to 60 ppm, close to spec, from the average result
of 240 ppm. Therefore, after the water was drained, a second
water-wash operation started on March 4, after which the total
oxygenates dropped to 40 ppm; both were acceptable and on-spec.
Fig. 8 shows how the oxygenate level changed with water washing.
Table 6 summarizes the moisture content of the SRN before and
after the water-washing operations. The SRN then received a qual-
ity certificate and it was successfully exported. The refinery contin-
ues to successfully operate with all three naphtha tanks in service,
and with no further incidents of MeOH contamination. HP
LITERATURE CITED
1
http://www.school-for-champions.com/chemistry/polar_molecules.htm.
2
http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/162othermolecules.html.
Farzad Ovaici received his MSc degree in chemical engineering
from Shiraz University in 1978. In 1979, he began his career with
Bandar Imam Petrochemical Co. in Iran. In 1980, he moved to the
Isfahan refinery. Mr. Ovaici was later responsible for reconstruction
and rehabilitation of Abadan refinery, a 630,000-bpd refinery. This
refinery severely damaged due to the Iran-Iraq War. In 1992, he
joined Tabriz Petrochemical Co., and was assigned as project director for EB/SM,
and different polystyrene plants. Later, he was assigned as chairman and managing
director of Tabriz Petrochemical Co. In 2000, he became the managing director of
Kala Naft Canada Ltd. Mr. Ovaici received an M. Sc. degree in engineering from the
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering School of University of Calgary. He is a member
of the Association of Professional Engineers Geologists and Geophysicist of Alberta
Canada. In 2005, he moved from Canada to Oman and joined Oman Refinery Co.
as the general manager, of the Mina Al-Fahal Refinery. Later, he was promoted to
general manager of the two refineries in Oman Refineries and Petrochemical Co. Mr.
Ovaici joined Al-Ghurair Energy as the managing director, of refining and petrochemi-
cals and is based in Dubai, UAE. In addition to his position in Al-Ghurair Energy, Mr.
Ovaici is currently chief executive officer of Libyan Emirates Oil Refining Co.
DM water
Naphtha tank
18 in.
30 in.
0.75 in.
To jetty
Processing scheme for Option 2: Water injection via export
piping.
FIG. 7
0 0
1
2
3
4
50
100
150
O
x
y
g
e
n
a
t
e
s
,

p
p
m
C
h
l
o
r
i
n
e
,

p
p
m
200
250
300
Feb. 26 Feb. 28
Date
Methanol, ppm
Chlorine, ppm
Oxygenates, ppm
Effect of water washing, T6217C
Oxygenate content changes over time with water washing. FIG. 8
122

I

APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
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125
Altra Couplings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 (152)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-152
Ametek Process Instruments . . . . . . . 27 (156)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-156
Axens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C86, 128 (53)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-53
BASF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C88 (77)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-77
BASF AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 (100)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-100
BETA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 (162)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-162
Bete Fog Nozzle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 (98)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-98
Borsig GmbH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 (155)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-155
Burckhardt Compression AG . . . . . . . 15 (79)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-79
Cameron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 (55)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-55
Carver Pump Company . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 (151)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-151
CB&I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 (97)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-97
Chemstations Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 (167)
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Chevron Lummus Global . . . . . . . . C90 (70)
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Colfax Americas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 (94)
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Costacurta SpA Vico . . . . . . . . . . . . 34a (65)
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Criterion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C92 (54)
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Curtiss Wright Flow Control . . . . . . . . 72 (89)
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Curtiss Wright Flow Control,
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TapcoEnpro International . . . . . . . . 78 (78)
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Dresser-Rand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 (60)
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Eidos Sap SRL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 (160)
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Elliott Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 (52)
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Emerson Process Management . . . . . . 8
Emerson Process Management
(Fisher) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 (76)
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Flexitallic LP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 (93)
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FourQuest Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 (168)
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Fugro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 (61)
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Gastech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C102
Grace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C94 (57)
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Greene, Tweed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 (82)
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Gulf Publishing Company
Construction Boxscore . . . . . . . . . . . 38
EventsIRPC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50a
HP Webcast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
HPI Market Data 2012 . . . . . . . . . . 113
HPI Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . 122123
Workforce Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Haldor Topse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C96 (102)
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HTRI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 (154)
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Hermetic Pumpen GmbH . . . . . . . . . . 62 (166)
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Heurtey Petrochem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 (63)
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Honeywell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 (158)
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Idrojet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 (169)
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ITT Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 (86)
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Johnson Screens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 (91)
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Koch-Glitsch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 (165)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-165
Linde AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 (81)
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Linde Process Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 (85)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-85
Man Diesel & Turbo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 (59)
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Merichem Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 (84)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-84
Neptune Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 (173)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-173
ONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114115
Paharpur Cooling Towers, Ltd. . . . . . . 39 (71)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-71
Paratherm Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . 34 (159)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-159
Prosim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 (172)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-172
Quest Integrity Group LLC . . . . . . . . . 35 (174)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-174
Rentech Boiler System . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 (51)
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Roth Pump Company. . . . . . . . . . . . 106 (170)
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Sabin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C98 (81)
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Saint-Gobain NorPro . . . . . . . . . . C100 (64)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-64
Scott Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 (68)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-68
Selas Fluid Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 (73)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-73
Servomex Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 (164)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-164
Siemens AG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 (101)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-101
Spraying Systems Co . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 (66)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-66
Sulzer Chemtech, USA Inc. . . . . . . . . . 77 (74)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-74
Team Industrial Services. . . . . . . . . . 112 (95)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-95
ThyssenKrupp Uhde GmbH . . . . . . . . . 6 (88)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-88
Total Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 (99)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-99
Trachte USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 (171)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-171
Velan ABV SpA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 (153)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-153
Winsted Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 (163)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-163
Wood Group Mustang . . . . . . . . . . . 107 (90)
www.info.hotims.com/41427-90
Worley Parsons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 (157)
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ZymeFlow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 92
www.info.hotims.com/41427-92
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WILLIAM GOBLE, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
HPIN AUTOMATION SAFETY
wgoble@exida.com
Under recent economic conditions, it is understandable that
a control-system cyber-security audit is not the top priority
for many plant operators. Less staff due to layoffs and deferred
maintenance can present a clear, tangible threat to operations.
Too often, the imaginary hacker, discussed in many papers and
blogs, is often considered as a non-credible threat. No matter
how many blogs, magazine articles and white papers are written,
a real credible threat to a refinery or petrochemical facility from
some vague person or organization seems imaginary to those
controlling plant budgets.
StuxnetThe structure of cyber-attacks. Some
believed that control-system cyber-security threats would be
clearly credible after the 2010 Stuxnet incident. Stuxnet is
rogue software; it was created to penetrate and breech Sie-
mens programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in Iran. The
rogue software actually infiltrated the system. Stuxnet reached
the controllers and modified the programmed control logic.
This code was very specific and targeted nuclear-fuel process-
ing. The allegations are that a well-financed organization was
responsible for the attack. I recall first reading about this event
and thinking this is no real problem for anyone not making
nuclear fuel. The real threat to the hydrocarbon processing
industry (HPI) is negligible.
Later, I learned that the Stuxnet code was completely reverse
engineered and, more importantly, posted on hackers websites.
Now, these techniques, created with all that engineering effort
and funding, were available to every individual or organization
that had a web browser. The true problem is that this software/
code can now provide evil groups the tools to facilitate attacks
on any manufacturers control/automation products for any
applicationnot just nuclear-fuel processing. All HPI facilities
are vulnerable, and it is time to worry.
Control systemsThe new market for security
researchers. Again, control-system cyber-attack risk levels
have increased. I read articles describing how many individu-
als, and even companies, are working to discover the vulner-
abilities present in industrial controllers. Since Stuxnet, these
researchers have realized that there is a whole new category of
potential customers. Some researchers publish, and even pres-
ent, this information at hackers conferences. Others contact
the compromized controller manufacturer and offer to sell
the vulnerability information. If no sale is made, then they
publish and/or present it to the world. In conversations with
my IT friends, I understand that this is a normal practice
in the personal computer/server world. Finding the attack
points within systems is the latest path to fame and glory in
the hacker community. Something about this business model
is most unethical.
All this news means that the industrial control community
is now a target. Gone are the days of flying below the radar of
the imaginary hacker. Although the Repository of Industrial
Security Incidents (www.risi.org) has recorded hundreds of
incidents, few were caused by deliberate malicious hackers. Its
too bad that things have changed. Today, tremendous volumes
of information are being published addressing how to cause
trouble in process control/automation systems.
Defensive actions. Fortunately, a number of very practical
defense techniques have also been published. The ISA SP99
zone and conduit concepts, combined with a systems-level
audit, is a simple and effective technique that provides some
protection. Some control-system vendors are upgrading their
software to meet requirements of the ISA Security Compliance
Institute for embedded systems. That will provide more layers
of protection.
Although we have much to learn about cyber-security protec-
tion, I believe that some protection is a whole lot better than
none. I am reminded about an old story. Two hikers were out in
the woods when they suddenly encountered a grizzly bear. The
bear spots them and rises up on its hind legs and roars. The first
hiker yelled, Im sure glad I wore my running shoes today.
The second hiker replied, It doesnt matter what kind of shoes
youre wearing; you are not going to outrun that bear. I dont
have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun YOU, the first
hiker answers back.
I can imagine a hacker trolling the Internet looking for vul-
nerable control systems. Systems that are easier to hack are
the most likely targets. So, I am thinking that the basic, cost-
effective cyber security measures are good prevention options,
at least for now. The best policy is to outrun other control
systems and, hopefully, avoid being cyber attacked. HP
The imaginary hacker
126

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APRIL 2012 HydrocarbonProcessing.com
The author is a principal partner of exida.com, a company that does consult-
ing, training and support for safety-critical and high-availability process automa-
tion. He has over 25 years of experience in automation systems, doing analog and
digital circuit design, software development, engineering management and mar-
keting. Dr. Goble is the author of the ISA book Control Systems Safety Evaluation
and Reliability. He is a fellow member of ISA and a member of ISAs SP84 commit-
tee on safety systems. Dr. Goble can be reached by e-mail at: wgoble@exida.com.
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