Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Troubleshooting Process Operation 18

Troubleshooting Process Operation 18

Ratings: (0)|Views: 85 |Likes:
Published by Refinery Pedia
Download this book @ http://refinerypedia.blogspot.com/2011/09/troubleshooting-process-operation.html
Contact me @ http://refinerypedia.blogspot.com/2011/08/contact-me.html
Refinery Pedia: Oil Refinery Processes, Gas Processing, Petrochemicals, courses, articles, books, videos ,and more...
Download this book @ http://refinerypedia.blogspot.com/2011/09/troubleshooting-process-operation.html
Contact me @ http://refinerypedia.blogspot.com/2011/08/contact-me.html
Refinery Pedia: Oil Refinery Processes, Gas Processing, Petrochemicals, courses, articles, books, videos ,and more...

More info:

Published by: Refinery Pedia on Sep 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
See more
See less

08/13/2013

 
-_
SECTION
3
Practical --Problems
-
Man
propo&s,
 
:but
 
Gdd-
disposes.
--
283
 
CHAPTER 18
.
;,-.
-
Unstable gas plant operations
T
he distillation of light hydrocarbons ifeature of almost every refinery
gas01
ical
product slate from such a gas
pl;
n a gas plant is an integraline producing unit. A
typ-
ant might be:. Propane for LPG
-_
.
Tsobutane
for alkylation plant feed’. Normal butane for gasoline-vapor pressure control
._..-..-I
.-
--
--*m--.,-Light
naphtha for
b1endin.g
 
-int-o
gasoline;.----= Heavy naphtha feed to a reformer unitEach of these, products has a’specification to meet. In addition toconsistent quality,
.each
stream should
be~run
down at a steady rate.Products transferred between units at erratic rates upset the operationsof the
downs$eam
unit.
-
Many of the factors causing unstable gas-plant operations are re-lated, to instrumentation. Others are caused by process. problems..Although-the purpose here is
tom
examine the causes and cures forunstable gas-plant operations, the ideas presented are generally
appli-
cable for all refinery processes.
Instrumentation Malfunctions
The purpose of a feed-forward control
schez
is to improve the
stability,of
a process. For instance, a sudden increase in feed rate willautomatically start increasing the steam to the reboiler. A conventionalcontroller would wait for the reboiler temperature to drop beforebringing up the steam rate.On one distillation tower (an isobutane-normal butane splitter)an advanced feed-forward control system was installed. The new
con:
trols were an instant success. However, after a few days the operators
 
reported that gremlins had entered the
new
system and were playingmalicious tricks. The. butane splitter, without any prior notice,
would---~
suddenly go
completely.wild.
Both the reboiler steam and reflux rates
wou-Id
change erratically.After a few weeks, the mystery was solved. Anytime an electricaloutlet in the control room was used, the feed-forward system wasaffected in the same way that running an electrical appliance interferes
_
..----...
with TV reception.There is a general rule for determining whether or not instrumenttroubles are causing unstable gas-plant operation: If a tower cannot be
-
operated successfully in manual, regardless of operator time and atten-tion, simply tuning the controllers will not help. There is a process orhardware problem to be resolved.
ORIFICE TAPS PLUGGED
A more subtle but frequently encountered problem is attributed toplugged orifice-flow meter taps.A debutanizer that was
controiled
by a feed-for-ward system oper-
ated
perfectly. One day the debutanizer began to die; that is, the reflux
-and
steam-flows, the
totierpressure,
 
an.d
the temperature all
starte,d-to
---
 decline. An alert operator noticed the debutanizer’s impending de-mise. He switched. the reboiler steam flow control from automatic tomanual and thus manually restored
,the
steam flow back to its normalrate. This move resuscitated the tower.The debutanizer’s problem appeared to bechronic. The symptoms,reappeared with greater intensity and frequency. After several weeks ofunstable operations and 100,000 bbl of off-spec butane, managementdecided to shut the tower
dotin
forrepair. The nature of the plannedrepairs was never specified.
*
Suddenly, with no apprent logic, a long-time shift operator hit onthe solution: the orifice taps on the reboiler steam flow meter wereplugged. The taps were drilled out. The tower’s control immediatelyreverted to its former smooth operation. An investigation conductedlater on revealed what had happened.The
feed-fonvard
control logic was designed to reduce the reboilerheat input when the debutanizer feed rate dropped. The measuredsteam flow was relayed back to the feed-forward controller. If the mea-sured steam flow did not decline in step with the reduced feed rate, thecontroller signaled the steam flow control valve to continue
closing.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->