July 2022

100th Anniversary

HP Flashback: Excerpts from the 1980s: Energy efficiency, advanced process controls, improved maintenance and a focus on the environment

Can a computer reduce your maintenance?

Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Can a computer reduce your maintenance?

H. Redding, January 1980

How do computers reduce costs and improve operations? What are some of the limitations? How do you justify a computer system? How large should your system be? These questions are answered here.

How to select hydrotreating catalyst

F. Kellett, A. F. Sartor and C. A. Trevino, May 1980

A comparison between cobalt/molybdenum (Co/Mo) and nickel/Mo (Ni/Mo) catalyst shows applications for desulfurization, denitrogenation and hydrogen uptake. Specifics are given for Shell catalysts to emphasize differences.

Make olefins from syngas

U. S. Rao and R. J. Gormley, November 1980

This catalyst of silicalite impregnated with iron and promoted with potassium has an exceptionally high selectivity for producing C2–C4 olefins from synthesis gas.

Chemicals from methanol

B. Sherwin, March 1981

Current and developing chemical synthesis based on methanol indicate dramatic demand growth as a feedstock.

How to evaluate distributed computer control systems

Cocheo, June 1981

Control systems and process engineers are faced with a wide variety of distributed systems to choose from. Which vendor’s offering is best for each plant? Here are the factors the engineer must understand and evaluate to make a proper selection.

Better use of refining energy

J. Ducote and R. Ragsdale, September 1981

If you are not trying to save energy, maybe you should be. Here are some ideas for energy savings in the hydrocarbon processing energy.

Stop emissions from liquid sulfur

A. Lagas, October 1982

Serious environmental and safety problems can arise in the handling of liquid sulfur. Fatal levels of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) can accumulate in the vapor spaces above the sulfur—or even flammable levels. Here is the story and how to handle the problem.

Convert to microprocessor controls without shutting down

E. Leister and R. R. Sanders, April 1983

Here is how this refinery converted 12 units (3,000 loops) to microprocessor-based controls without a process shutdown.

Convert steam balances into dollar balances

V. L. Campagne, June 1983

Use this method to determine the real value of steam, condensate and brake horsepower.

What is cogeneration effectiveness?

P. Polsky and R. J. Hollmeier, July 1983

Several evaluation methods of cogeneration effectiveness are analyzed, and their strengths and weaknesses presented.

How to upgrade heavy feeds

Schuetze and H. Hofmann

Refiners have many options for converting heavy black oil to light white oil. Here is a review of the choices.

Integrate gas turbine cogeneration with fired heaters

Iaquaniello, S. Guerrini, P. Pietrogrande and H. Dreyer, August 1984

Heat and power cogeneration is a potentially rewarding technique for achieving energy savings when applied to process industry systems. This article presets an innovative solution which can improve the efficiency of large petrochemical plants and refineries.

Make phthalic anhydride with a low-air-ratio process

Verde and A. Nari, November 1984

A new catalyst permits cutting the air ratio in half and reduces investment in energy consumption. This article features a novel proprietary process to produce phthalic anhydride.

Basics of fire protection design

D. Soden, May 1985

Most hydrocarbon processing facilities have an inherent potential for fire from materials and from processes and reactions being conducted. Little can be done to reduce or eliminate this potential. Fire safety design, therefore, addresses reducing the probability of fire occurrence (preventive design) and minimizing the consequences should a fire occur (protective design).

Turbines lower NOx emissions

Giacobbe, Y. Lee, P. Pietrogrande and G. Iaquaniello, October 1985

Combining gas turbine and conventional heaters for power and process use reduces pollution while making electricity and saving money.

What went wrong? Case histories

A. Kletz, December 1985

Murphy’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” To prove the point, here are examples of HPI losses and what can be done to prevent them.

Selecting your next MMA process

V. Porcelli and B. Juran, March 1986

Technological changes and end-use developments will affect the next round of methyl methacrylate (MMA) plants.

Career success and your self-image

Raudsepp, March 1986

Here is a step-by-step walkthrough of what it takes to be successful in your career, and a profile of failure patterns that damage career progress.

Special Report: Gas Process Handbook

April 1986

This complete review of processes for operations includes natural gas, sulfur, hydrogen, flue gas and cleanup, liquids treating, gasification, shift and methanation, and C3–C5 conversion.

AI and MAP in the processing industries

A. Kane, June 1986

Here are the principles of artificial intelligence (AI) and manufacturing automation protocol, and examples of their use in the processing industries.

Redesign catalyst to save energy

A. Russell, S. E. Lyke, J. K. Young and J. J. Eberhart, July 1986

Theoretical limits show the energy savings found when a catalyst is designed for optimum operation of a catalytic cracking unit.

How refinery inventories threaten profitability

M. Intille, July 1986

Inventory control may be second only to fluctuating crude oil prices in its potent challenge to refinery managers.

Use performance indices for better control

A. Bhandari, R. Paradis and A. C. Saxena, September 1986

Would it not be easier to control fuel usage in your automobile if it had a gauge that showed miles/gallon or kilometers/liter? Here is how to use your distributed control system (DCS) to do the same thing for your processes.

Avoid self-priming centrifugal pump problems

G. Reeves, January 1987

Design and installation guidelines ensure that horizontal self-priming centrifugal pumps operate correctly.

How construction affects column control

Mizsey, H. Hajdú and P. Földes, February 1987

In the development of control strategies for distillation columns and absorbers, generally no attention is paid to the construction parameters and the type of built-in trays of the column. This article compares the responses of various trays to flow disturbances to show how column control is affected.

Europe’s future gasoline options

May 1987

Legislative limits on engine emissions and fuel properties have severe consequences for Europe’s cars and fuels. Estimates are given for refining options.

Include tech service engineers in turnaround inspections

E. Miller, May 1987

Startup problems can be reduced because of the unique perspective that process and technical service engineers have on equipment operation. Here is how to include them.

Advanced Process Control Handbook

March 1988

More than 100 strategies for advanced control of refining, gas processing, petrochemical and utility processes are presented. To make the handbook more complete, the best of previously published control strategies are included in abbreviated form without diagrams. New descriptions are presented with half-page diagrams so that more could be included.

Low-cost ammonia and CO2 recovery

A. Shah and J. McFarland, March 1988

Using a low-energy CO2 recovery process on the syngas intended for ammonia production results in an overall lower cost ammonia plant. Data are given to compare capital and operating costs.

Modern control tricks solve distillation problems

F. Bozenhardt, June 1988

Replacing old controls with a new DCS and implementing the advanced control algorithms described here provided a 2-mos payout on this azeotropic distillation column.

Ways to revamp urea units

Granelli, June 1988

Several factors should be examined when considering a revamp of a urea plant. Experience teaches which parts of the unit are likely to be involved.

Economics of new MTBE design

M. Al-Jarallah and A. K. K. Lee, July 1988

Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) is produced industrially by the catalytic reaction between methanol and isobutene. The catalyst that is widely used is an acidic ion exchange resin. This article explores design and economics when sulfuric acid is the catalyst.

Build an effective group for instrumentation systems

E. Fullen, August 1988

A skilled, experienced, efficient team is needed because of the advancement in recent years by microprocessing/electronics.

Magnetic bearings and dry seals improve compressor operation

Fort and J. Jehl, October 1988

An advanced oil-free compressor featuring active magnetic bearings and dry gas seals has been operating successfully for more than 7,500 hr. Here is a description of the project.

Better ethylene separate unit

Kaiser and M. Picciotti, November 1988

An ideal column concept guides improvements to ethylene plant gas separation. This results in better efficiency from limited investments.

Reduce olefin plant fouling

F. Martin, November 1988

Process-side fouling reduces the overall operating efficiency of an olefin plant. The fouling is commonly caused by the formation of organic polymers that can also contain small amounts of inorganic constituents. This article provides several case studies to show the results of effective remedies for fouling in various locations of the olefin plant.

Operational speed balancing: Should you be doing it?

Fisher, January 1989

Vibration is one of the primary enemies of rotating equipment and eliminating or lessening vibration can significantly improve operating efficiency and system longevity. Since a large portion of vibration problems in high-speed turbomachinery is due to an unbalanced motor, operational speed balancing of the rotor might achieve these objectives.

Refinery heat integration using pinch technology

L. Lee, M. Morabito and R. M. Wood, April 1989

Direct and indirect integration schemes for crude oil refining applications are compared using pinch technology procedures.

Data reconciliation: Getting better information

J. Lawrence, June 1989

Good data are essential to control and information systems. Here is how to use data reconciliation to improve instrumentation and corporate decision-making.

Bioremediation on the move

H. Vervalin, August 1989

The current frenzy in the HPI to meet groundwater protection needs is bringing with it some interesting developments in soil-contamination activity. For example, microbes with a taste for hydrocarbons can be grown to remove oily waste from dirt. These “bugs” promise to chew their way through some of the HPI’s waste disposal problems. The future is not here yet, but it is coming.

Hydroprocess catalyst selection

T. Adams, A. A. Del Paggio, H. Schaper, W. H. J. Stork and W. K. Shifflett, September 1989

Flexibility in residuum hydroprocessing becomes a requirement as fuel oil demand weakens, crude slates tend to be heavier, and variability in crude oil cost and supply become the norm. One way of providing flexibility is to incorporate residuum hydrotreating ahead of a heavy-oil catalytic cracking unit that converts heavier components into lighter, more valuable products. Alternatively, significant conversion of the residuum to lighter products can be achieved by the operation of the residuum hydrotreater at a higher severity to facilitate hydrocracking reactions.

In both cases, the proper combination of catalysts for the desired feedstock selection and more of operation is critical for economic hydroprocessing operations. This article focuses on the design and selection of catalytic systems in the framework of a unified reactor modeling scheme for such residuum hydroprocessing applications.

Guidelines for rotating equipment

P. Goyal, October 1989

Engineers, designers and operators must know certain facts about rotating equipment process concepts, design aspects, operating needs and troubleshooting methods. Experience has shown that a list of selected guidelines makes their jobs more effective. In this article, guidelines are compiled for centrifugal pumps, centrifugal compressors, reciprocating compressors, electric motors and steam turbines.

HPI 1990 Outlook: A Special Report

December 1989

The HPI will spend $117.5 B in 1990, with $66 B earmarked for petrochemicals alone. Approximately $18 B will go into maintenance. Capital expenditures are forecast at $27.4 B, with around $13.7 B being spent on equipment and materials. A construction boom is helping to drive the “big bucks” outlay.

Simulator trains for new equipment use

Elston and D. Potter, December 1989

This “stepping stone” approach to training operators uses a process simulator as one of the steps. Trainees adapt quickly, willingly.

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