June 2012

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Fine-tune relief calculations for supercritical fluids

Improvement in process simulation can assist in relief load and valve sizing.

Nezami, P. L., Jacobs Engineering; Price, J., Jacobs Consultancy

In the past 40 years, several different methods have been suggested for relief load and pressure relief valve (PRV) orifice sizing calculations for a supercritical fluid exposed to an external heat source. The following sources include some of these methods: API 521 suggests the use of a latent heat of 50 Btu/lb for hydrocarbons near the critical point. In the absence of a better method, this led to the use of 50 Btu/lb for even supercritical fluids. “A Calculation of Relieving Requirements in the Critical Region”1 “Rigorously Size Relief Valves for Supercritical Fluids”2 “Calculation of Relief Rate Due to Fluid Expansion and External Heat.”3 T

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