October 2008


Special Report: Process Control and Information Systems

Real-time performance measurement improves plant operations
Barr, R., Invensys Process Systems

The technology is saving Sasol more than $400,000 per year

Fault-tolerant control protects processes and products
Kettunen, M., Koivisto, K., Neste Oil Oyj; Leger, J-B., Predict; Liikala, T., Sourander, M., Neste Jacobs Oy; Sauter, D., Universite Henri Poincare

The benefits include automatic recovery from faults, improved safety and prevention of severe product contamination

Predicting important parameters using artificial neural networks
Ramakumar, K. R., Gujarat Refinery, Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Consider them for complex nonlinear processes

Redesign of a compressor antisurge control loop using dynamic simulation
Chittibabu, H., Kostjuhin, I., Valli, A., Bechtel India Pvt Ltd.

The new design solved the two-phase flow problem

Maintenance and Reliability

Innovative approach solves CCR regenerator pinning problem

The root cause was regenerator gas blower oversizing

Process Developments

Better manage vacuum on gas systems
Datta, K. A., WorleyParsons

A systematic approach estimates optimum conditions to prevent air ingress for flares

Improve calculating cetane numbers
Dhar, A. K., Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.

An empirical formula simplifies estimating cetane values for different diesel fuel specifications

Consider advanced catalysts for Claus units
ZareNezhad, B., Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Semnan University

This evaluation explores the most influencing parameters regarding catalyst selection for sulfur recovery units


Operator training simulator: myths and misgivings
Sneesby, M., Advanced Process Engineering & Simulation Services

Ten special 'features' are analyzed to assess whether these add-ons provide real value or if informed users (and vendors) would be better off focusing on core values


Outlook for multivariable predictive control
Kern, A.G., Tesoro Corp.

Saudi Aramco's Allan Kern has been a frequent contributor to HP in recent years on the subject of multivariable predictive control (MPC). For HP's 2008 process control and information systems report, ..


HPIn Europe: Investing in biofuels? How many farms did you buy?
Wright, Tim L., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The early popularity of some biofuels in Europe has soured into a sense that they are wasteful of food resources. As long as biofuel investors continue to ignore how plants are grown on the farm, then..

HP Automation Safety: Value of failure data
Goble, W., exida LLC

A good instrumentation failure tracking system can provide many benefits; most are linked to saving money and to increasing plant performance. So, why isn't this common practice? Many companies in the..

HP Integration Strategies: Laboratory informatics' evolving role in the enterprise
Hollywood, Paula, ARC Advisory Group

Each day hydrocarbon processors perform hundreds of chemical analyses to ensure product quality, meet regulatory and safety standards, and, most importantly, minimize product quality giveaway. To keep..

New Developments

Flue-gas analyzers for improved combustion efficiency Enhanced Rosemount Analytical X-STREAM oxygen analyzers are claimed to improve the efficiencies of large boilers and furnaces, and provide immed..

HP Associations: HPIn Associations
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Rice University hosts the Rice Global E&C Forum People representing all facets of the engineering and construction business came together for a day..

HP Construction: North America
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Technip has an agreement with Premcor Refining Group, Inc., for an engineering, procurement, construction and management contract for part of the $2.4 billion expansion of the Valero refinery locate..

HP Construction: South America
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Franklin Oil and Gas plans to construct a gas-to-liquid processing plant capable of producing 20,000 bpd of diesel fuel, kerosene and other petroleum products in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. The prov..

HP Construction: Europe
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

AB Maþeikiø Nafta has an agreement with Chevron Lummus Global for a new grassroots VGO hydroprocessing isocracking unit to be built in its refinery in Maþeikiai, Lithuania. An importan..

HP Construction: Middle East
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Chevron Lummus Global has contracts with Saudi Aramco and Total S.A. to provide process technology for two hydrocracker units, with a total capacity of 120,000 bpsd, for the planned 400,000-bpd refi..

HP Construction: Asia-Pacific
Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc. LLP has selected LyondellBasell Industries' polyethylene and polypropylene technologies for three new plants that will have a combined capacity of 1,300 KT o..

Free Literature

  Up-to-date flow technology information McCrometer's A–Z flowmeter literature CD showcases its applications and product-specification information in an easy-to-use format. U..

HP In Brief: HPIn Brief
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Tracking oil's geopolitical risks As the global energy market faces new challenges, Amy Myers Jaffe, with the James A. Baker III Institute for Publ..

HP Impact: HPImpact: US refiners increase capacity despite high oil costs, low margins
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) recently released its annual US Refining and Storage Capacity Report. As of January 1, 2008, there were 150 operable refineries in the US (excl..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Spending in 2009 for equipment, materials to be up $7 billion
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

HPI spending for equipment and materials is forecast to exceed $104.1 billion worldwide in 2009. This is $7 billion more than was forecast for 2008. All three budgets: capital, maintenance and operati..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Business tool helps protect intellectual rights in China
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

China is a major trading partner for the EU and its biggest source of imports. Thus, more European companies are operating in the Chinese market. However, many are worried about intellectual property ..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Robust commodities boost enterprise asset management outlook
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

A strong manufacturing sector with high demand for commodities and energy has permitted many companies to increase budgets for maintenance and capital expenditures. However, some remain cautious as e..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Study: Hard times ahead for biofuels infrastructure
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Despite the emerging biofuels market, the creation of a global biofuels industry is forecast to be "much more difficult to achieve than originally thought," according to findings of a recent Accenture..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Automotive design drives new focus for chemicals makers
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Trends emerging now in the automotive industry have the potential to bring significant change to several areas of automotive engineering, says James D. Eddy, Automotive Industry Manager of Zeon Chemic..

HP Impact: HPImpact: Optimizing input of construction needs in front end planning
Weirauch, Wendy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

A new decision-aid tool has been developed by a Construction Industry Institute (CII) research team to give capital project stakeholders a better means for evaluating specific items or project activit..

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Revisiting canned motor pumps When we received an interesting letter relating to canned motor pumps, we had already sent Dennis Fegan's article in the August issue ("Canned motor pumps make important..


Remembering Flixboro: part 1
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

At a recent gathering of over 500 reliability professionals in Texas, we invited questions from the audience. I was asked what I thought of installing flexible piping (or connectors) on centrifugal pu..

Improve refinery reformate yields
Argirov, G., Shishkova, I., Stratiev, D., Tsingov, T., LUKOIL Neftohim Burgas

This refiner installed a hybrid catalytic reforming unit to raise octane of the gasoline blending pool

Improve speed and convergence of distillation column simulation

The proposed bounding method significantly improves performance

Process modeling and optimization strategies integrating neural networks and differential evolution
Garawi, M. A., Khalfe, N., Lahiri, S. K., National Institute of Technology

The technology was applied to an ethylene oxide reactor