March 2023


Special Focus: Petrochemicals Technology

Crude C4 alternatives for a successful grassroots petrochemicals project

The disposition of the crude C4 stream from a steam cracker is a project configuration topic that deserves some discussion.

An advanced extractive distillation process for aromatics recovery
Lee, F. M., Shen, M. Z. Y., Chen, C. Y., Shin-Chuang Technology Co. Ltd.; Chen, Y. H., Cartell Chemical; Hsu, K. C. R., International Innotech Inc.

This article focuses on a novel extractive distillation (ED) process for recovering benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX) aromatics from a full-boiling-range pyrolysis gasoline or reformate feedstock—a process that has been commercially demonstrated and is ready for licensing or a JV.

Efficient and robust hydrogen peroxide propylene oxide (HPPO) process
Xia, C., Lin, M., Zhu, B., Peng, X, Luo, Y., Shu, W., Research Institute of Petroleum Processing, SINOPEC; Li, H., Wang, W., Changling Petrochemical Co. Ltd., SINOPEC

Propylene oxide (PO) is an important organic building block in industry and is used to manufacture polyether polyols, unsaturated resins, nonionic surfactants and carbonates.1,2,3

Process Optimization

New state-of-the-art in sulfur recovery?—Part 3: Economic benefits
Njuguna, H., Lewis, J., Worley Comprimo; Jensen, F. E., Topsoe

Worley Comprimo and Topsoe have developed a new sulfur recovery processa that combines conventional Claus technology from Comprimo with the proven wet gas sulfuric acid (WSA) process from Topsoe.

Heat Transfer

Practical application of expansion joints for heat exchangers
Acharya, B. N., Pal, N., Contributing Consultant; Daru, K., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.; Panchal, A., PVA Systems

Expansion joints are used throughout industry for various purposes.

Environment and Safety

VOC reduction at Raffineria di Milazzo’s SRU complex—Part 1

Based on new environmental regulations focusing on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at the emissions point of a refinery’s sulfur recovery unit (SRU), Raffineria di Milazzo—a JV between Eni and Kuwait Petroleum Italia—carried out troubleshooting activities to identify and implement suitable actions to minimize the concentration of VOCs at the emissions point of the SRU complex.

Design, operation and troubleshooting of sulfur-handling plants: Challenges and practices
Bahubali, C., Wood India Engineering & Projects Pvt. Ltd.

The transportation of large quantities of liquid sulfur is costly and often impractical since it requires a continuous supply of heat energy to maintain its liquid form.

Carbon Capture/CO2 Mitigation

Control valves for carbon sequestration applications

Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction projects have become a focus for many nations around the world—carbon capture technologies are a way to reduce the release of carbon into the atmosphere and help contribute to meeting emissions targets.

Valves, Pumps and Turbomachinery

The effect of viscosity on centrifugal pumps and predicting performance for different fluids
Dominic, A., ADNOC Refining

Centrifugal pumps are used for a wide range of applications and services in the refining industry. In today’s dynamic scenario, changes in pumped fluid characteristics are common, especially for transfer/loading pumps.

Liquid applications for ASME Section I service
Merriam, R., Fels, G. W., Curtiss-Wright

Extensive guidance is available for relief protection of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (B&PVC) Section VIII process equipment for scores of applications, such as run-away reactions, distillation and heat exchangers. Sources include ASME, American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Design Institute for Emergency Relief Systems (DIERS), among others.

Maintenance and Reliability

A finite element method analysis revealing the structural behavior of load bearing brackets
Kittur, A., Saudi Aramco

The hydrogen (H2) generation unit (HGU) manufactures H2 by steam reforming propane and butane.

Plant Design, Engineering, Construction and Commissioning

Optimizing the construction process through lean project management
Parmar, A., MilliporeSigma, an affiliate of Merck KGaA; Shahani, G., Shure-Line Construction

Lean project management leans towards a business philosophy that brings value to the customer as opposed to conventional project management, which is focused on a product or project.


Editorial Comment: Juggling the increasing global demand for thermoplastics vs. reducing their environmental
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

If you were to review any forecast for global thermoplastics demand to 2050—high-density polyethylene (PE), low-density PE, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene terephthalate, among others—chances are that you will see a steady rise in consumption.

Executive Viewpoint: Drive the decarbonization of chemical plants through energy efficiency enhancements
Hooper, J., Siemens Energy

Like all process industries, the chemical sector is under intense pressure to drastically reduce its carbon footprint and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Globally, > 90 MMbpd of crude oil, natural gas and refined hydrocarbons are produced, transported, stored and sold to end users.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Personnel changes at BASF