June 2006

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Balance tail gas operations

Cutting corners can incur long-term performance issues and expenses; this refiner used revamp monies wisely to stretch capacity and increase equipment availability

Sanghavi, K., Alon USA

Tail gas treating is a well-established technology to handle sulfur-bearing gases. Refineries use tail gas units (TGUs) to manage sulfur from processing streams. Thus, TGU is an open method widely applied. Due to low-operating margins for the refining industry, cost was the single largest determining factor when selecting a process/ engineering company to design a new TGU. When preparing a fixed-price bid, some design companies have historically applied a "cookie cutter" approach. To control costs, past design packages are reused, and data sheets and sizes are revised to accommodate new rates. Often, the previous project information can be reused completely with only minor changes. Unfortuna

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