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May

2013

Inline
Viscosity
www.che.com Measurements
PAGE 34

PAGE 17

Direct Fired
Heaters

Shell-and-Tube
Heat Exchangers
Facts at Your
Fingertips:
Focus on Control Valves
Mixing

Compressors: Combustible
Pursuing Lowest Dust Safety
Cost of Ownership
Optimize your
plant monitoring
Applikon atline and online analyzers
improve:
EFFICIENCY by allowing closer process
control
UPTIME by long-term proven analyzer
technology
QUALITY MANAGEMENT by full
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Titration, KF, Colorimetry, ISE and more
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Circle 29 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-29
www.che.com

MAY 2013 VOLUME 120, NO. 5 17

COVER STORY
17 Cover Story Petroleum Refining Outlook
Petroleum from shale and oil sands offers opportunities for North
American refiners, but the shifting crude diet also presents challenges

NEWS
11 Chementator A waste-free monomer recovery process is licensed;
Gas-phase option for NOx abatement; A step closer to commercializa- 22
tion for a new green solvent; Bioengineers make an ideal
hydrogel for antimicrobial applications; Detecting bioparticles;
Dandelion rubber; Biodegradable anti-scalant; and more

22 Newsfront Combustible Dust Safety


While understanding combustible dust regulations can be difficult,
experts stress the importance of compliance

ENGINEERING
32a Facts at Your Fingertips Control Valve Performance
This reference summarizes important aspects of control valve perfor-
mance, including parameters for both static and dynamic responses

33 Technology Profile Gas-Phase Polypropylene Production 34


This one-page profile describes the technology and some
economic considerations for the titled process

34 Feature Report Inline Viscosity Measurements


Process viscometers can help keep process control and
product quality in check

39 Feature Report Correcting Improper Performance


of Direct-Fired Heaters
A practical, step-by-step approach for finding the root cause
and troubleshooting burner problems

47 Engineering Practice Specifying Shell-and-Tube


Heat Exchangers
Understand what heat-exchanger design specialists need to know
and remember, you know your process best
39

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 1


54 Engineering Practice Compressors: Pursuing
Lowest Cost of Ownership
Proper specification, purchase, mechanical-run and shop-performance
testing, installation, operation and maintenance are all important

EQUIPMENT & SERVICES


28 Focus on Mixing
A laboratory mixer that supplies data for scaleup; This drum mixer fits
54 on a laboratory bench; If the port is too small, consider this folding im-
peller; Blending can also be performed by this screw feeder; A robust
agitator that comes in many sizes; A blender for mixing hot, sticky mate-
rials; This mixer is also an energy-efficient dryer; and more

31 New Products Monitor cell growth with this sensor; Position this safety
light curtain anywhere; Get touchscreen navigation with this viscometer;
This dust-collection system has a low profile; and more

32I-1 AchemAsia Show Preview This event is expected to have more than
400 exhibitors from over 20 countries, and draw about 12,000 visitors.
As in previous years, AchemAsia 2013 includes a congress program cov-
ering areas such as chemical separation technology, alternatives to pe-
troleum, environmental protection, industrial water treatment and more.
A sampling of the equipment and services to be at the show is given in
this preview

28 COMMENTARY
5 Editors Page Recognizing Excellence Excellence and inspiration are
found at many levels, from the recipient of prestigious awards to the co-
worker who is doing a great job

70 The Fractionation Column


Small-company safety Small companies that do not have all the resources
of their large counterparts can turn to consultants and creative ideas to help
implement safe practices. The author shares his experiences

DEPARTMENTS ADVERTISERS
6 Letters 61 Gulf Coast Section
8 Bookshelf 71 Product Showcase/Classified
72 Reader Service 73 Advertiser Index
74 Whos Who
31 75 Economic Indicators

COMING IN JUNE
Look for: Feature Reports on Automation Standards; and Measuring Volume;
Engineering Practice articles on Process Development; Vapor Depressuriza-
*ONLY ON CHE.COM
tion; and Gas Seals for Compressors; a Focus on Explosion Protection;
Look for New Products;
News articles on Air-Pollution Control; and Sonochemistry; and more
Latest News; and more
Cover: David Whitcher

2 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013


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Winner of Eight Jesse H. Neal
Awards for Editorial Excellence
Editors Page

Published since 1902


An Access Intelligence Publication
Recognizing excellence
s it has done for more than 85 years, the Society of Chemical Indus-

A
PUBLISHER ART & DESIGN

MICHAEL GROSSMAN DAVID WHITCHER try (SCI; London, U.K.; www.soci.org), America International Group
Vice President and Group Publisher Art Director/
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EDITORS
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Dow has spanned roles in manufacturing, engineering, sales, market-
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MICHAEL CONTI
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TradeFair Group, Inc.
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EDITORIAL
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Rockville, MD 20850 www.accessintel.com CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 5
Letters

Lessons learned
Your Editors Page in todays Chemical Engineering
[March 2013, p.5] intrigued me because I too served
as a TA in a physical chemistry lab but long before
1980 and we did not have the luxury of a Fourier-
transform infrared spectrometer. But you certainly
have the experience to comment on the following:
The earth, according to Weils law at an average tem-
perature of 15C, radiates heat at 10 m, which Planck
teaches is a 330 m band centered around 10 m. The
principal CO2 absorption bands are at 14.99 and 4.26 m.
But spectroscopic studies indicate that atmospheric
transmittance of infrared radiation is about 80% from 8
to 12 m. That is the so called longwave window where
the earth is said to vent off excess energy.
It appears that the importance of CO2 as a greenhouse
gas may be overstated. . .
Gerald McDonald

SEE US AT MD&M BOOTH #3132


In your article in the March issue, you indicated that
both CO2 and water vapor have similar IR absorption
bands. I am curious, as perhaps are other readers, as
to their relative percentages of the atmosphere. Since
their IR absorptions are similar, would their percent-
age numbers be a factor in their contribution to any
Circle 18 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-18 warming effect? Thanks for any insight you can shed
on this.
Rick Smith, P.E.
Applied Thermal Engineering, Inc.
Turn Pipe Dreams
Into Hard Facts. Your Editors Page piece in the March 2013 maga-
zine was / is good. If I were your editor, I would have
ABRESIST wear resistant basalt moved the last two paragraphs to the top, thus lead-
KALOCER
linings help reduce costly alumina for extreme abrasion. ing with Words like myth, hoax . . .. I see this as
maintenance repairs and
production downtime.
grabbing the reader more effectively. Indeed, we need
Documented cases show all the grab we can get on a critical issue like this.
Abresist linings perform at Nicholas Sheble
optimum levels more than
25-30 years after installation. Engineering writer / Technical editor
Abresist Kalenborn offers 75 KALCOR
zirconium
years of experience and: corundum for Editors response:
other protective applications
up to 1830F. A good article that addresses queries of the first two
linings include
alumina and letters is Infrared radiation and planetary tempera-
zirconium corundum
Highly resistant to sliding
ture, Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Physics Today, Jan-
linings custom abrasion, ABRESIST uary 2011, pp. 3338. This author points out that CO2
designed for any improves material flow,
industrial application and eliminates periodic accounts for about a third of the greenhouse gas effect.
pipe rotation.
field survey service
installation assistance Postscripts, corrections
April, Nano-engineering infuses growing coatings
market, on pp. 1722, requires a clarification. On

kalenborn page 22, the article discusses the liquid repellent


coating from Ultratech International Inc. The highly
The Wear Protection People textured coating reduces the surface energy such that
liquids are prevented from wetting the surface. Liq-
Abresist Kalenborn Corporation uids are not actually prevented from contacting the
5541 North State Road 13, Urbana, IN 46990 surface, as the article states.
Toll Free: 800-348-0717 Fax: 888-348-0717
www.abresist.com E-mail: info@abresist.com
April, in Focus on Seals & Gaskets, on p. 30, the cor-
rect company name and location for the second item
is A.W. Chesterton Co., Woburn, Mass. Revised ver-
sions of both articles can be found at www.che.com.
Circle 4 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-4
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Circle 30 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-30
Bookshelf

Fundamentals of Automatic Process Control. By Utpal The book comes with a CD


Chaudhuri and Uttam Chaudhuri. CRC Press Inc., Taylor & containing a software simu-
Francis Group. 6000 Broken Sound Parkway, #300, Boca Raton, lation package that permits
FL 33487. Web: crcpress.com. 2012. 303 pages. $139.95. experimentation with the dif-
ferent techniques. The book also
Reviewed by Douglas White, includes a comprehensive guide
Emerson Process Management, to the simulation system along
Houston, Tex. with suggested exercises.
A particularly strong point of the book is an extensive

P
rofessors Uttam Ray Chaudhuri from Calcutta set of worked examples in each chapter. The book also
University (Kolkata, India; www.caluniv.ac.in) and includes an appendix containing problems and worked
Uptal Ray Chaudhuri from Jadavpur University solutions in process control from previous versions of the
(Kolkata, India; www.jadavpur.edu) have authored a Indian Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE).
preparatory textbook on automatic process control. The Some suggestions for the next version of the book in-
target audience for the book seems to be students in an clude the following. The preface states that cost of con-
introductory process-control course. trolling instruments at a plant is about 4060% of the
After an opening introduction, the book offers an open- initial investment of the plant. Automation costs for large
loop-system dynamic analysis using Laplace analysis and continuous-process plants in the chemical process indus-
continuous time differential equations. This analysis is tries (CPI) actually are typically 35% of the total capital
followed by material on closed-loop-control dynamic analy- investment. Also, the photographic reproductions in the
sis and PID (proportional-integral-derivative) tuning. The book are of low quality and difficult to interpret.
book includes a chapter on advanced single-loop regula- While practitioners may have differing opinions on
tory control techniques, such as cascade, feed-forward, the proper approach to PID tuning, there are much
adaptive and fuzzy logic, among others, as well as a chap- more widely accepted and newer methodologies than the
ter on computer control. Ziegler-Nichols and Cohen-Coon techniques presented

Circle 1 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-01
8 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
in the book. In the reviewers opinion, since virtually all
process-plant control systems execute digitally, students
should have an introduction to discrete time dynamic
analysis. Very few loops in the plant are fully standalone,
and some introduction to interacting and multivariable Visit us!
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Practical Process Research and


At BEUMER we have a reputation for making things a little
Development: A Guide for Organic
di erent. Take the stretch-lm pallet packaging system,
Chemists. 2nd ed. By Neal Ander-
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Circle 42 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-42
Edited by Gerald Ondrey May 2013

PSA Nitrogen

A waste-free monomer
recovery process is licensed Water
CW

wash

L ast month, Air Products (Allentown, Pa.;


www.airproducts.com) announced that
it has licensed its proprietary adsorption-
scrubber

Mechanical
refrigeration
based, monomer recovery process to custom unit
process equipment supplier Cryo Technolo- Mechanical
gies (Allentown, Pa.; www.cryotechnologies. Feed refrigeration
unit Temperature-swing
com). The hybrid Air Products technology Water discharge adsorption dryer
combines a partial condensation unit with Propylene
a pressure-swing adsorption (PSA) process To water wash scrubber product
to recover unreacted ethylene and propyl-
ene coming from the degassing step at a To water wash scrubber

polyolefin production plant. The recovery


technology reduces production costs by $10 the nitrogen gas into the PSA unit, where
per metric ton (m.t.) by recovering valuable more hydrocarbons are removed, leaving a Heap-leaching for REs
olefins, solvents and nitrogen and leaving no nitrogen gas stream with 50 to 1,000 ppm Studies conducted by Texas
waste. The process can achieve essentially hydrocarbons by weight, the company says. Rare Earth Resources Corp.
100% recovery of unreacted hydrocarbons, Hydrocarbons recovered from the PSA are (Sierra Blanca, Tex.; www.trer.
so no flaring is required, says Jeffrey Knopf, recycled in a low-pressure tailgas stream to com) indicate that heap leach-
ing with 15% (~150 g/L) sul-
Air Products licensing and technology trans- the feed compressor.
furic acid has the potential to
fer manager. Also, the recovery process re- Air Products monomer recovery technol- dissolve minerals containing
captures high-purity nitrogen gas that was ogy was originally developed with a grant rare-earth (RE) elements from
originally used in the degassing step and from the U.S. Dept. of Energys Industrial host rock at an RE mineral site
that can be re-used for further degassing. Technologies Program, and was installed near El Paso, Texas. Research
After compressing the unreacted mono- in three commercial polyolefin facilities in conducted by the heavy RE
mer-laden nitrogen gas stream to 200 to the mid-2000s by Air Products before the exploration company on the
300 psi, the compressed stream is cooled company placed its focus elsewhere, Knopf minerology, geochemistry and
in a partial condensation unit, condensing explains. Now, Cryo Technologies will offer kinetics of direct-acid leaching
the majority of the unreacted hydrocarbons. the technology to polyolefin makers around demonstrated that this tech-
nique is effective at recovering
The remaining hydrocarbons flow with the world.
more than 80% of targeted
heavy RE elements from
host rock. If further technical
Gas-phase option for NOx abatement results and economic assess-
ments prove favorable, the

T he first commercial application of a newly


developed process for the treatment of ox-
ides of nitrogen (NOx) waste gas has been
nate a stage from the process and reduce
equipment costs.
The major innovation of the technique is
company says that combining
open-pit mining and heap
leaching could signiicantly
established at a milling operation in Los the proprietary method for mixing the ClO2, reduce capital and operating
Angeles, Calif. Developed by Pacific Rim De- which is generated onsite via several pos- costs for a heavy rare-earth
facility. Texas Rare Earth is in-
sign and Development (PRDD; Reno, Nev.; sible routes, with the waste gas. The ClO2
vestigating different host-rock
http://prdd.net), along with DuPont (Wilm- reacts with NO to form NO2 and with NO2 particle sizes, as well as acid
ington, Del.; www.dupont.com), the process to form nitric and hydrochloric acids. The strengths to further optimize
uses gas-phase chlorine dioxide to react mixed acid waste can be used for neutraliz- the extraction method.
with both NO and NO2 to form nitric and ing high-pH solutions, Richardson notes.
hydrochloric acids. The gas-phase scrubbing technique can Anti-scalant
Because of the low solubility of NO, work with existing air-pollution control pro-
BWA Water Additives Ltd.
traditional liquid-phase scrubbers need cesses as either a pre- or post-treat option. (Manchester, U.K.; www.
to employ multiple stages to convert the The lighter equipment loads mean that such wateradditives.com) intro-
NO to NO 2 and then to react the NO 2 . a process could be mounted on the roof or duced a biodegradable anti-
Carrying out the reactions in the gas in the rafters of a building, rather than re- scalant product for reverse
phase allows high removal efficiencies quiring ground space. Richardson says the osmosis (RO) membranes
with short residence times, says Robert method can be used in chemical milling, that prevents common inor-
Richardson, president of PRDD. The re- etching, aluminum brightening and pickling ganic deposits from forming
action speeds make it possible to elimi- applications, among others. (Continues on p. 12)
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number
on p. 72, or use the website designation. ChEMICAL EngInEERIng WWW.ChE.COM MAy 2013 11
C HEMENTATO R (Continued from p. 11)
on ro membrane surfaces.
The specially designed
polycarboxylic acid material
maintains the scale-inhibition
performance of alternatives
A step closer to commercialization for a new green solvent and can break down by 55%
in 35 days, says nozi hamidi,
T he Circa Group (Melbourne, Australia;
www.circagroup.com.au) and the Green
Chemistry Center of Excellence at the
says the process differs from existing pro-
cesses used to convert biomass into liquid
products in that the Furacell technology
Bwas VP of marketing. The
product, tradenamed Flocon
855, is free of phosphorous
University of York (U.K.; www.york.ac.uk) produces a single product that is easy and nitrogen, and is suited
have signed an agreement to develop and to isolate and purify. Conventional ther- to areas where regulatory
commercialize a novel green solvent mochemical processing of biomass can also restrictions on phosphorous-
called Cyrene. Cyrene is a polar aprotic produce a liquid product, but the liquid is and nitrogen-containing
solvent a solvent that lacks an acidic hy- an extremely complex mixture of hundreds waste apply, such as the
drogen and has a high dielectric constant of organic chemicals that no one so far has great lakes region of the
and a high dipole moment targeted at managed to separate and purify on a com- U.S. and the north Sea.
pharmaceutical and chemical manufactur- mercial scale, he says.
ers, to help them avoid using petrochemi- In the Furacell process, cellulose in the Detecting bioparticles
cal based solvents. form of wood or straw is heated to about Bioengineers at the national
Circa is now supplying samples from its 450C in a vacuum in the presence of a University of Singapore (nUS;
third-stage pilot plant, and is finalizing a catalyst consisting of water, phosphate www.nus.edu.sg) have de-
project to upgrade to about 5 kg/d, which is and an inexpensive organic solvent. The veloped a microluidic device
for the rapid separation and
planned to come onstream within the next process takes place in a specially designed
detection of non-spherical
six months, in preparation for large-scale reactor, allowing continuous addition of bioparticles, such as patho-
production, says the company. small amounts of wood or straw in a vac- genic bacteria and malaria-
Cyrene has been produced from levo- uum. The product, LGN, is a molecule with infected red blood cells. The
glucosenone (LGN), a platform chemical a rigid shape that can be converted chemi- shape-sensitive technique
that can be the basis for many products. cally into anti-cancer drugs, anti-HIV is signiicant because most
Circa has produced LNG using its Fura- drugs, plant growth promoters, herbicides, separation techniques are de-
cell process that recycles cellulose waste. insecticides and environmentally benign signed for spherical particles.
Circas chief scientist Warwick Raverty solvents, says Raverty. The device has been shown
to complete a diagnosis in
less than an hour, compared
to the traditional detection,
Bioengineers make an ideal hydrogel based on bacterial culture,
which needs 2448 h before
for antimicrobial applications bacteria are detected.
The microluidic device

A lthough several antimicrobial hydrogels


have been developed in recent years,
they all have one or more drawbacks, such
to normal body temperature, the polymers
self-assemble, swelling into a synthetic gel
that is easy to handle. When applied to con-
uses an i-shaped pillar array,
which induces rotational mo-
tion of the non-spherical par-
as possible toxicity, insufficient stability taminated surfaces, the hydrogels positive ticles. This, in turn, increases
and biodegradability, and high costs. These charge attracts and ruptures negatively the effective hydrodynamic
size of the bioparticles, allow-
and other drawbacks have been overcome charged microbial membranes.
ing sufficient separation. The
with a synthetic hydrogel being developed The new gel is formed from stereocompl- design achieves 100% sepa-
by researchers from the Institute of Bioen- exation of biodegradable poly(L-lactide)-b- ration of red blood cells from
gineering and Nanotechnology (Singapore; poly(ethylene glycol)-b-polyL-lactide) and blood samples, and has also
www.ibn.a-star.edu.sg) and IBM Almaden a charged biodegradable polycarbonate tri- been tested successfully on
Research Center (San Jose, Calif.; www. block polymer. The stereocomplexes exist rod-shaped Escherichia coli,
ibm.com). as soluble micelles at room temperature says nUS.
The new hydrogel evolved from the IBM in aqueous solution, but upon heating to
nanomedicine polymer program, with the about 37C, form gel-like materials with Dandelion rubber
mission of improving human health, based distinctive fiber/ribbon structures. This last month, the biotech com-
on materials developed for semiconductor change in the materials properties was ac- panies Kultevat (Carlsbad,
technologies. The researchers looked for a companied by a significant increase in an- Calif.; www.kultevat.com)
long-lasting substance that should destroy timicrobial activity. and Keygene (wagenin-
specific types of bacteria but leave healthy The ability of the gels to disperse biofilms gen, the netherlands; www.
skin and cells intact, and be applicable to was tested against Staphylococcus aureus, keygene.com) entered into
medical facility surfaces, and surgical and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), Es- collaboration for production
of rubber based on the rus-
diagnostic instruments. cherichia coli, and Candida albicans. After
sian dandelion, Taraxacum
The researchers developed macromol- gel exposure, more than 60% of film bio- koksaghyz. This plant has
ecules that combine the properties of water mass was removed, and nearly 80% of bac- demonstrated potential as
solubility, a positive charge and biodegrad- terial cells were killed with a single treat-
ability. When mixed with water and heated ment, the researchers say. (Continues on p. 14)

12 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com may 2013


Improved coating for hydraulic fracturing proppants
T wo new coating products for sand
proppants used in hydraulic frac-
turing operations in the oil and gas
others, explains Michael ONeill,
CEO of Preferred Sands LLC.
Further, current proppant coat-
industry overcome the challenges of ings require activator compounds
traditional phenolic coatings, which to help curing once the proppants
can leach environmentally hazard- are injected into the well, with
ous chemicals. The coatings, developed the intention that they will cure
by Preferred Sands LLC (Radnor, Pa.; fully inside the fractures of the de- to penetrate fractures in the deposit
www.preferredsands.com), are based on posit. But if the fractures close before before curing. This feature allows the
a specialized polyurethane developed the coatings cure, then they lose their coated proppant to maintain 100% of
over the past three years with partner ability to bond, says Bob McDaniel, of its ability to prevent sand from flowing
The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, Preferred Sands. back into the well when extraction be-
Mich.; www.dow.com). The companys new coatings have the gins, says ONeill. This is a new type of
In hydraulic fracturing, sand used as ability to adhere to other particles, in- chemistry that hasnt been used for this
a proppant increases the contact area dependent of temperature, and without purpose before, said McDaniel.
between particles, which effectively the need for activator compounds, Mc- The companys coating-application
strengthens them against the crush- Daniel says. The phenolics require that method requires lower temperatures
ing pressures inside the fractures. Also, a good deal of chemistry happen down- than that for phenolics, and does not
coated proppants keep particle fines from hole, and that is the toughest environ- produce volatile organic compounds
the sand grains in place when water and ment to make coatings work well. The (VOCs). These features allow for a lower-
oil or gas flows back up the well. Preferred Sands formulation requires cost process, because you dont need as
Proppant coatings based on phenolic the closure stress of the fractures to much energy and dont need scrubbers,
resins leach phenol, formaldehyde and fully cure, which allows the coated sand says ONeill.

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Circle 13 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-13
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 13
C HEMENTATO R (Continued from p. 12)
a domesticated crop for the
U.S. and europe; the origin
One-pot synthesis of sugars from biomass of the species is the south-
eastern part of Kazakhstan.

R esearchers from the group of Atsushi


Fukuoka at the Catalysis Research Cen-
ter of Hokkaido University (Sapporo; www.
lulose is depolymerized to glucose, and more
than 90% of the xylose is released as xylan.
Studies have shown that the active sites
Kultevat and Keygene will
invest in the development
and commercial introduction
cat.hokudai.ac.jp), and Showa Denko K.K. of the carbon are weakly acidic functional of new dandelion varieties
(SDK; Tokyo, both Japan; www.sdk.co.jp) groups, in which vicinal carboxylic and phe- that are enriched for latex in
have developed a new catalyst that effi- nolic groups synergistically work for the hy- their roots and are suitable
ciently decomposes biomass into sugars. The drolysis reaction. The milling serves to im- for large-scale production of
natural rubber. Keygene will
activated-carbon-based catalyst achieves prove the contact between the solid catalyst
be responsible for developing
high yields of both C6 and C5 sugars in a and solid biomass, and the researchers have new varieties using state-of-
single reaction step. shown that the new catalyst is durable. The the-art molecular breeding
To perform the saccharization, the re- scientists believe the simple process and in- technologies while Kultevat
searchers use alkaline-treated activated car- expensive, readily available catalyst has po- will develop appropriate pro-
bon (K26). The catalyst is then ball-milled tential for utilizing wood-based cellulose for duction practices and large-
together with cellulose or biomass, such as biofuels (such as bioethanol), biodegradable scale latex extraction and
bagasse, in aqueous 0.012% HCl solution, and plastics (such as polylactic acid) and the ar- rubber production in north
heated to 453K. After 20 min, 80% of the cel- tificial sweetener, xylitol. america. Keygene will use
the newly developed varieties
and its production technolo-
gies for production of rubber
Making 1,3-PDO from glycerin in other global locations. The
collaborators believe the im-

T he research groups of Keiichi Fujishige at


Tohoku University (Sendai, www.che.to-
hoku.ac.jp/~erec) and Daicel Corp. (Osaka,
that the reaction mechanism formed 1,3-PDO
via a 2,3-dihydroxypropoxide intermediate.
Now, Daicel and Fujishige have developed
proved dandelions will solve
the worlds need for sufficient
amounts of high-quality natu-
both Japan; www.daicel.com) have developed a pellet-type catalyst using an optimized sil- ral rubber within a period of 5
a process for making 1,3-propanediol (1,3- ica-gel support, which enables the reaction to to 10 years.
PDO) from glycerin, a byproduct of biodiesel- take place in a simple fixed-bed reactor. The
fuel production. The researchers improved a stability of the catalyst has been improved, CO2-free H2 production?
catalyst developed by Fujishige to be applied and leaching of metal has been suppressed. researchers from KiTs
to a rather simple reaction process. They are In a continuous fixed-bed bench-scale plant Karlsruhe liquid-metal labo-
expecting that their catalytic synthesis is scal- operating in Daicels R&D laboratory ratory (Kalla; www.kit.edu)
able and the stable production of 1,3-PDO will in Himeji since August 2012 Daicel has and the institute for advanced
contribute to the effective utilization of byprod- achieved similar selectivity as that found at Sustainability (iaSS; Potsdam,
uct glycerin and might open a new market. the university, and also confirmed that the both germany; www.iass-
In 2010, Fujishige developed a catalyst for catalyst system maintains its activity and se- potsdam.de) have recently
the hydrogenolysis of glycerol to 1,3-PDO, lectivity after more than 300 h of continuous started a project to investigate
a process to thermally crack
whereby a powder-type IrReOx/SiO2 cata- operation. The researchers believe this pro-
methane into hydrogen and
lyst is dispersed in the reaction solution. At cess is scalable as an industrial route to 1,3- carbon. Part of iaSS earth,
that time, the selectivity achieved for 1,3- PDO, and that the propanol a byproduct of energy and environment (e3)
PDO was 60%. Fujishige also demonstrated the reaction can be marketed as a solvent. Cluster, the project aims to
produce h2 without any Co2
emissions.
at Kalla, construction
Sensors with a transmitter built in has begun on a liquid-metal
bubble-column reactor. The
L ast month, Krohne Messtechnik GmbH
(Duisburg, Germany; www.krohne.com)
launched SmartSens, the first family of two-
These sensors can be connected directly to
the process-control system, and feature direct
communication via 420-mA HART. The com-
column will be illed with liq-
uid metal and heated up to
1,000C. as Ch4 is fed through
wire, loop-powered analytical sensors with pany claims to be the worlds first provider to a porous disc at the bottom,
integrated transmitter technology. Prior offer a direct connection from the sensor to bubbles will rise upwards,
to this, analytical sensors have required the process control system via a standardized decomposing Ch4 into h2 and
an external proprietary transmitter onsite fieldbus. The digital sensors also have advan- carbon, which deposits on
to deliver the sensor signals to the process tages over traditional analog sensors in that the walls of the bubble to be
control system. Krohne has miniaturized they can store calibration data (generated released at the top.
the transmitter and fitted it into the sensor offline) and simply be plugged into the pro- a similar approach was
head, thereby eliminating sources of error cess, onsite. For offline calibration, the sen- described by researchers at
caused by false installation, cabling or con- sor can be connected directly to a PC running argonne national laboratory
(argonne, ill.; www.anl.gov)
figuration of the transmitter. the same PACTware (FDT/DTM) as applied
about ten years ago, but the
The first sensors available are for pH, ORP in the asset-management system, using a process has not been devel-
(oxidation-reduction potential) and conduc- USB interface cable for bi-directional HART oped further, says KiT.
tivity, with other process parameters to follow. 7 communication and power supply.
14 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com may 2013
Partner with
the Best
This biodiesel process requires
no pre- or post-treatment
N aomi Shibasaki-Kitagawa at Tohoku University
(Sendai, Japan; www.che.tohoku.ac.jp/~rpel/) has de-
veloped a continuous reactor for making biodiesel fuel
from low-quality waste, such as cooking oil. Her produc-
tion process uses an expanded-bed reactor packed with
an anion-exchange resin that has both catalytic and ad-
sorption capabilities.
The waste oil and methanol, with a 3-to-1 mole ratio,
are continuously fed to the reactor, where the main
components of the feedstock (triglicerides) are trans-
esterified by the resins catalytic ability. Byproduct
glycerin, as well as impurities in the feedstock (free
fatty acids, water and dark brown pigment) are simul-
taneously removed from the product by adsorption
onto the resin. Product eluded from the reactor nearly
meet without further purification biodiesel qual-
ity standards (EN14214 in Europe and ASTM D6751
in North America).
Shibasaki-Kitagawa has demonstrated the process in
a fully automatic, flow-type pilot plant with a capacity
of 50 L/d. This process simplifies the conversion of waste
cooking oil into biodiesel because it does not require up-
stream processing to remove the impurities (free fatty
acid and water), nor the downstream processing to re-
move the catalyst and byproducts (glycerin and soap).

Togni reagent is reclassified


A team of researchers from Novasep (Pompey, France;
www.novasep.com) has discovered and characterized
the explosive properties of the so-called Togni reagent
II and intermediates at the Novasep Leverkusen site
in Germany. Invented by professor Antonio Togni at the
Laboratory of Inorganic Chemistry, ETH Zrich (Switzer-
land; www.eth.ch) Togni reagent II [1-(trifluoromethyl)-
1,2-benzoidoxol-3(1H)-one, 1] is a versatile reagent for
With over 50 independent subsidiar-
Circle 40 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-40

the electrophilic introduction of trifluoromethyl groups,


and is used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and ies and more than 220 engineering
widely used in universities, says Novasep. and sales offices spread across the
At its kilolab, Novasep performed a Koenin test world, SAMSON ensures the safety
a steel-sleeve test used to evaluate the safety of and environmental compatibility of
a compound during transport that showed the re- your plants on any continent.
agent to be highly explosive. Another critical property
of the reagent clarified by the researchers is its fast To offer the full range of high-quality
combustion when ignited. The combustion factor was control equipment used in industrial
measured as BZ6, the same classification as black pow- processes, SAMSON has brought
der (gun powder). This discovery has led to a revised together highly specialized compa-
classification for handling and transporting the Tongi nies to form the SAMSON GROUP.
reagent II, which must now be approved by national
authorities, says Novasep.
The findings were published last month in the March
issue of Organic Process Research and Development.
Novaseps Leverkusen plant has German government SAMSON AG MESS- UND REGELTECHNIK
authorization to handle energetic materials and oper- Weismllerstrae 3
ate hazardous reactions from laboratory to thousands 60314 Frankfurt am Main Germany
-of-tons scale. Phone: +49 69 4009-0 Fax: +49 69 4009-1507
E-mail: samson@samson.de www.samson.de
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Cover Story

PETROLEUM
REFINING

2012-2016 production increase (in thousands of bbl/d)


OUTLOOK
2,000

1,500

Petroleum from shale and oil sands


offers opportunities for North American refiners, 1,000

Tight Oils
but the shifting crude diet also presents challenges,
as refiners look to match product output with demand 500

Oil sands
I
ncreasing production of crude oil 0
an
n

sia

n
ria

da

il

S.
a

al)
from shale deposits in the U.S. and

az
ija

sta
an

U.
ud

na
Sy

lob
lay

Br
ba
Gh

kh

oil sands in Canada offers North

Ca
hS

(g
Ma
er

za
Az

ut

ls

American petroleum refiners op-


Ka

ue
So

of

portunities to access cost-advantaged


Bi

feedstock. However, shifting product


demand and hurdles in transporta- FIGURE 1. Tight oil in the U.S. represents the largest share of the increased petro-
tion logistics, along with technical is- leum production, and of non-OPEC production increases Source: Wood Mackenzie
sues associated with the properties of
the crude from those areas, present Tight-oil tidal wave from the current 1.5 million barrels
challenges as refiners optimize their Hydraulic fracturing of shale deposits per day (bbl/d) to between 2.8 and 4.2
product mix. Crude oil from shale has been widely associated with natu- million bbl/d by 2025, before declining
was among the many refining-related ral gas production in the recent past, to 2 million bbl/d by 2040 (Figure 2).
trends and issues discussed at the re- but a large price differential between Further, tight oil production will ac-
cent annual meeting of the American gas and crude oil has driven producers count for between 20 and 40% of total
Fuel and Petrochemical Manufactur- in the oil-and-gas industry to apply U.S. oil production through 2040 and
ers (AFPM; Washington, D.C.; www. horizontal drilling, hydraulic fractur- will comprise a significant portion of
afpm.org) in San Antonio, Tex. ing and other modern extraction tech- the crude slate for U.S. petroleum re-
At a press conference to open the nologies to areas containing so-called fineries. The majority of this surge in
meeting, AFPM president Charles tight oil, referring to crude oil that tight-oil crude will be refined domesti-
Drevna emphasized the potential resides in low-permeability geologic cally, Guneseelan says.
presented by increased development formations, such as shale deposits. The International Energy Agency
of hydrocarbons from shale deposits. A number of speakers discussed (Paris; www.iea.org) says that crude
Theres tremendous opportunity for the increasing tight-oil production oil from shale could allow the U.S. to
the nation right now, not just for re- at the AFPM meeting, including Mi- produce as much as 11 million bbl/d
finers, he said. Were at the prover- chael Wojciechowski, an economist overall by 2020, which would push the
bial fork in the road, where decisions with Wood Mackenzie (Edinburgh, U.S. past Saudi Arabia as the worlds
have to be made for the future. These U.K.; www.woodmac.com), who called largest oil producer.
decisions will determine the course of the increase a tight-oil tidal wave The major production areas for
the manufacturing renaissance in the (Figure 1). tight oil, and those where much of the
U.S. Pointing out the importance of Praveen Gunneseelan, of Vantage production growth will occur, are the
policy decisions in the near future, he Point Advisors (Houston; www.van- Williston Basin in North Dakota and
said, Theres a window of opportunity tageptllc.com) says that production of Montana, which contains the Bak-
now, but it wont last forever. tight oil in the U.S. is projected to grow ken formation, and the Western Gulf
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 17
Cover Story
Wood Mackenzie

Total US Liquids Supply Forecast Q4 2012 US Tight Oil Forecast Q4 2012

14,000 5,000

12,000
4,000
10,000
Thousands of bbl/d

Thousands of bbl/d
3,000
8,000

6,000 2,000

4,000
1,000

2,000
0
0

06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20

Bakken Niobrara
Conventional L48 Tight Oil Gulf of Mexico Alaska NGLs Eagle Ford Bone Springs/Wolfcamp
Other established tight plays Emerging/new tight plays

FIGURE 2. The largest fraction of the tight oil increase in the coming years will be from the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations

Basin in Texas, which contains the stream processing, he says, because [by refineries] before starting to erode
Eagle Ford formation. According to of the potential for fouling due to wax its value.
the U.S. Energy Information Adminis- deposition. Tight-oil crudes also gener- A wave of pipeline investment has
tration (EIA; Washington, D.C.; www. ally have a minimal asphaltine phase, ensued to address the logistics chal-
eia.gov), annual production of crude and varying amounts of filterable sol- lenges. A host of new pipelines have
oil from the Bakken formation already ids, hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans. either been recently completed or are
more than doubled between 2010 and Aside from paraffin wax deposits, tight under development, including several
2012. Other areas that are attract- oils can also create difficulties with projects to transport crude oils to and
ing significant investment for tight corrosion, bacteria growth and desta- from the major petroleum supply hub
oil production include Niobrara shale bilized asphaltenes, Wright points out. of Cushing, Okla. For example, phase
in Colorado and Wyoming, the Utica 2 of the TransCanada Keystone pipe-
shale, especially in parts of Ohio, the Pipeline infrastructure line, completed in 2011, delivers crude
Permian Basin in West Texas and the Aside from technology concerns, tak- oil from Hardisty, Canada and the
Monterrey shale in California. ing full advantage of tight oil requires Williston Basin to Cushing, while the
The new technologies for extracting corresponding transportation-logistics Enbridge/Enterprise Seaway expan-
oil and gas from shale have radically infrastructure, several speakers at the sion was completed earlier this year
changed the oil-and-gas supply picture AFPM meeting indicated. Currently, to expand an existing pipeline that
in the U.S., says Daniel Lippe, founder existing pipeline infrastructure for brings crude oil from the Cushing hub
of Petral Consulting Co. (Houston; transporting petroleum is not suffi- to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Other pipelines
www.petral.com). U.S. petroleum re- cient to handle the surging volumes to further increase take-away capac-
finers stand to benefit, because of the of crude oil from shale deposits in the ity from Cushing are planned to begin
steady supplies that will be available U.S., particularly from Bakken and service in late 2013 (TransCanada
to them via pipelines, rather than re- Eagle Ford. This situation is placing Gulf Coast Project) and early 2014
lying on imports shipped by sea. the shale oil at a discount compared to (Seaway Twin), according to the EIA.
Despite the opportunities, however, other benchmark crudes.
tight-oil crudes present unique tech- Because of the dramatic growth in Declining gasoline demand
nological challenges to petroleum re- tight-oil production from Bakken and The market for petroleum-derived
finers. Unlike most crudes, tight-oil Eagle Ford shale plays, there have been products is also shifting. A number
crudes tend to be light, sweet crudes pipeline pinchpoints that push people of factors, including increased CAFE
with high paraffin content and low toward non-traditional modes of trans- (corporate average fuel economy) stan-
acidity, according to a presentation port for crude, such as rail and barge, dards for automobiles in the U.S., man-
from Bruce Wright, a senior techni- says Wood Mackenzies Wojciechowski. dates for including ethanol in gasoline
cal engineer from Baker Hughes Inc. The market needs more relief as well as other factors have combined
(Houston; www.bakerhughes.com). valves to ease bottlenecks at pipeline to create the conditions for a projected
The significant molecular weight hubs, Wojciechowski comments. The decline in gasoline demand in the U.S.
distribution of paraffin in tight oil is question is becoming, how much do- Some estimates, including those from
a major potential problem for down- mestic tight-oil crude can be absorbed the EIA, project a decline in gasoline
18 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
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At the same time, diesel fuel demand
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For petroleum refiners, this shift
means closer attention must be paid
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they produce, relative to the crude Catalyst bed supports Basket strainers Nozzles Outlet/Inlet baskets Distributors
they are processing. As Vantage Hub and header laterals
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sion of his presentation at AFPM, As
diesel crack spreads are expected to be
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mand is expected to increase as gaso- Your Single Source for New or Retrot Internals
line demand shrinks, U.S. refiners that Why wait 10, 15 or 20 weeks for your delivery! Ask AMACS about our Fast
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John Boepple, a principal at Nex-
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nexant.com) says, Maximizing diesel
production will be important for refin-
ers using tight oils in their crude feed-
stock diet.
To navigate the gasoline-to-diesel
demand shift, as well as increased
price volatility and low natural-gas
costs, Daniel Thomas, from UOP (Des
Plaines, Ill.; www.uop.com) emphasized
the importance of flexibility and agil-
ity of refineries to be able to take ad-
vantage of price differences of gasoline
and diesel. At AFPM, he discussed the
approach of converting hydrotreater Visit our new website at
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Circle 6 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-06
Cover Story

net) points to technologies that add hy- hydrotreating catalysts is now being atoms available for incorporation into
drogen and remove sulfur compounds, manufactured at full scale. Impulse is mixed cobalt-molybdenum active sites,
such as thiols, thiophenes and organic a series of a cobalt-modified, molybde- which have the highest catalyst activ-
sulfides, as growing in importance. num-based catalysts for hydrotreat- ity, Axens says. Also the companys
Several new announcements made at ment of refined product streams. Impulse technology forms smaller-
the AFPM have relevance for produc- The Impulse catalysts are designed sized MoS2 slabs, which increases the
tion of low-sulfur fuels with hydrodes- to minimize the occurrence of inactive number of mixed active sites without
ulfurization catalysts. Axens recently Mo- and Co-containing compounds at increasing the total number of atoms.
announced that its Impulse brand of the catalyst surface, making more Mo With the new Impulse catalysts, Axens
also narrowed the distribution of pore
sizes in the catalyst support material,
fostering maximum activity towards
refractory species, the company says.
In pilot- and full-scale tests of ul-
tralow-sulfur diesel fuel, Axens says
it confirmed an increase in hydrodes-

Were Big
ulfurization activity with the Impulse
technology compared to its previous
catalyst product.
Haldor-Topse A/S (Lyngby, Den-
mark; www.topsoe.com) discussed a
without the burdens recent offering to its hydrotreating
catalyst product line that is designed
to improve the companys existing hy-
drotreating catalyst technology. Hy-
Brim catalyst is produced using a pro-
prietary preparation step that leads
to optimal interactions between the
active metal structures and the cata-
lyst carrier, the company says, leading
to higher activities.
Criterion Catalysts and Technolo-
gies (Houston; www.criterioncatalyst.
com) announced the first commercial
application of a product desinged to
prevent poisoning of hydrotreating
catalysts by arsenic, a potent poison
for hydrotreating catalysts. The prod-
uct, MaxTrap[As]syn, traps the arse-
nic that can be present sometimes
in high levels in some crude oils,
such as those from the Athabasca re-
As a Top 10-ranked firm in refineries and petrochemical plants by gion in Canada.
Engineering News-Record, we have the expertise and international Max Ovchinikov, a senior research
presence to execute and deliver your project anywhere in the world. chemist at Criterion, says that the de-
And with a flexibility and responsiveness that belies our size position of only 0.1 wt.% arsenic on a
thats why were big without the burdens. hydrodesulfurization and hydrodeni-
trogenation catalyst reduces catalyst
activities by as much as 50%. His-
torically, arsenic poisoning has been
treated as a part of natural catalyst
deactivation, Ovchinikov noted. For
People Oriented...Project Driven the past nine years, his company has
introduced a series of arsenic guard
catalysts, and its MaxTrap[As]syn is
For more information, contact us at
the latest offering. The catalyst ex-
processplants@mustangeng.com, call 713-215-8000
hibits a 70% better volumetric arsenic
or visit www.mustangeng.com/process. uptake capacity compared to its prede-
cessor, Ovchinikov says. The improve-
Circle 43 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-43
20 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013

Channel gasoline & diesel out of the zeolite

Easy Easy
way in way out

UnRived Zeolite

Y Zeolite Rive Zeolite

Small pores in conventional Y zeolite Rive Technology can control the


are not optimal for cracking amount and size of the mesopores

FIGURE 3. The first commercial results for Rive Technology's Molecular Highways
technology, where networks of larger-sized pores are integrated into the zeolite struc-
ture, were announced at the AFPM meeting in March

ment is due to an improved catalyst spersed along with the microporous


manufacturing process that enhances zeolite structures. The larger open- Defining the limit as standard
the kinetics of arsenic capture, he ex- ings allow improved mass transfer of
plains. The first commercial applica- hydrocarbon molecules into and out
tion was established in Q1 of 2013. of the catalyst material, says Andrew Actuators for the
Dougherty, Rives vice president for oil and gas industry
New developments sales and marketing. By getting gaso-
At the AFPM meeting, a number of line- and diesel-range molecules out of AUMA offer a comprehensive range of
companies announced new advance- the zeolite quickly, we are able to pre-
explosion-proof actuator and gearbox types
ments in other areas. vent secondary cracking, Dougherty
For example, zeolite technology explains, resulting in less dry gas and combined with suitable actuator controls for
firm Rive Technology Inc. (Monmouth less coke formation (Figure 3). the oil and gas industry.
Junction, N.J.; www.rivetechnology. Also at the meeting, Auterra Inc.
com), announced the second com- (Malta, N.Y.; www.auterrainc.com) an- AUMAs modular concept ensures perfect
mercial use of its Molecular Highway nounced that it has successfully com- integration
technology for fluid catalytic crack- pleted pilot-scale testing of FlexDS, its
Reliable corrosion protection
ing (FCC) catalysts. Deployed com- oxydesulfurization technology for up-
mercially at the Alon Refinery in Big grading and decontaminating heavy Suitable for all conventional eldbus
Spring, Tex., Molecular Highway cat- and sour crude oil and oil distillates.
alyst generated a $2.50/bbl increase Theres an environmental paradox systems
in value, according to a presentation with desulfurization, where the more Approved worldwide
by Larry Dight, vice president of re- sulfur you try to remove, the more
search and development at Rive. energy you use and the more carbon www.auma.com
Rive first introduced the technology dioxide you generate, says Eric Bur-
in 2011 (Chem. Eng., May 2011, pp. nett, president and CEO of Auterra.
1722), when it was used at the Coun- The catalytic FlexDS technology uses
tryMark refinery in Mount Vernon, a proprietary molecule whose struc-
Ind. Molecular Highway technology ture allows selective reactions with
is brought to market in collaboration sulfur and nitrogen in hydrocarbon
with W.R. Grace and Co. (Columbia, streams, while reducing energy costs,
Md.; www.grace.com), which formu- Burnett explains, so petroleum pro-
lates and manufactures the catalyst. ducers can field-upgrade their heavy
Weve had six commercial-scale man- sour oil while improving their econom-
ufacturing runs so far, says David ics. FlexDS can be used for off-loading
Aldous, CEO of Rive. This technol- hydrogen demand for heavy cuts and
ogy offers a rare chance for refiners to distillates in existing refineries.
realize gains in profitability without Following the completion of pilot-
large capital expenditures and with- scale tests, we are looking to conduct
out higher operating costs, he says. field tests of the technology in early AUMA Riester GmbH & Co. KG
Using surfactant micelles, Rive is 2014 with a partner in the Canadian P.O. Box 1362 79373 Muellheim, Germany
able to create a zeolite structure with oil sands, says Burnett. Tel. +49 7631 809-0 riester@auma.com
larger, mesoporous openings inter- Scott Jenkins AUMA Actuators Inc.
100 Southpointe Blvd. Canonsburg, PA 15317, USA
Tel. +1 724-743-AUMA (2862) mailbox@auma-usa.com
Circle 8 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-08
COMBUSTIBLE DUST 101
hat is a combustible dust? Ac-
Newsfront
W cording to both OSHA (CPL 03-
00-008) and NFPA 654, a com-
bustible dust is a combustible particulate

COMBUSTIBLE
solid that presents a fire or deflagration
hazard when suspended in air or some
other oxidizing medium over a range
of concentrations, regardless of particle
size or shape.

DUST SAFETY
The most common categories of com-
bustible dust include organic dusts, such
as sugar, flour, paper, soap and dried
blood; wood dusts, including sawdust;
metal dusts, such as aluminum and mag-
United Air Specialists nesium; plastic dusts and carbon dusts.
When it comes to knowing how to
handle these dusts, there are four main
While understanding standards for a variety of industries and
several consensus standards related to
combustible dust equipment that apply.
The four main combustible dust stan-
dards are as follows:
regulations can be Standard for the Prevention of Fires
difficult, experts stress and Dust Explosions in Agricultural
and Food Processing Facilities (NFPA
the importance of 61-2008)
Standard for Combustible Metals,
compliance Metal Powders and Metal Dusts (NFPA
484-2009)
Standard for the Prevention of Fires
and Dust Explosions from the Manu-

T
he U.S. Occupational Safety and FIGURE 1. Reputable air-pollution-con-
Health Admin. (OSHA; Wash- trol experts can recommend appropriate facturing, Processing and Handling of
ington, D.C.; www.osha.gov) has systems like United Air Specialists SFC Combustible Particulate Solids (NFPA
cartridge dust collector, which can be 654-2006)
flagged combustible dusts as one equipped and installed to safely handle
of its top issues since the Imperial hazardous dusts Standard for the Prevention of Fires
Sugar Mill explosion in Port Went- and Dust Explosions in Wood Pro-
worth, Georgia, that killed 14 em- inspectors can also cite hazards not cessing and Woodworking Facilities
(NFPA 664-2007)
ployees and injured many others in addressed in consensus standards
February 2008. Combustible dust is, under the General Duty Clause. This Additional Combustible dust consensus
in fact, one of OSHAs National Em- includes the statement that employ- standards are as follows:
phasis Programs (NEPs). ers must furnish each employee with a Explosion Protection by Deflagration
place of employment that is free from Venting (NFPA 68-2007)
The situation today recognized hazards that are causing, Explosion Prevention Systems (NFPA
Despite the attention, however, OSHA or are likely to cause, death or serious 69-2008)
does not yet actually have its own physical harm. Classification of combustible Dusts
standard pertaining to combustible According to the Status Report on and Hazardous (Classified) Locations
dust (see sidebar, Combustible Dust the Combustible Dust NEP, 11% of (NFPA 49902008)
101). Instead, the agency cites com- combustible-dust-related violations
bustible dust hazards including pertain to the General Duty Clause.
fire deflagration, explosion and re- Citations can also be issued for arent in compliance with relevant
lated hazards under its General deflagration, explosion or other fire NFPA standards during routine in-
Duty Clause (5(a)(1)). General Duty hazards that may be caused by com- spections or inspections under the
Clause citations related to combus- bustible dust within a dust collection NEP, which generally occur in facilities
tible dust may be issued for deflagra- system or other containers, such as that have accidents, fatalities or com-
tion, explosion or other fire hazards mixers and bins. In addition, citations plaints related to combustible dust or
that may be caused by combustible can be issued for conditions such as in industries with a higher potential
dust within a dust collection system improper deflagration venting, duct- for combustible dust explosions and
or other containers, such as bins or work-related problems, make-up air fires. (And, you can bet many chemical
mixers. Compliance officers may rely system and improper work practices. processors are in this category.)
upon National Fire Protection Agency What this means, in a nutshell, is Confused? You arent alone. Sup-
(NFPA; Quincy, Mass.; www.nfpa.org) that although there is currently no pliers of dust collection equipment
standards for evidence of recognition OSHA standard for combustible dusts, and systems say the uncertainty
of the hazard, as well as consult rel- based upon a National Emphasis Pro- surrounding combustible dust com-
evant NFPA standards for evidence of gram established by OSHA and Con- pliance is the biggest challenge the
feasible means of abatement. OSHA gress, OSHA can fine facilities that chemical or any other combus-
22 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
LEADING EMISSIONS CONTROL
MORE THAN
FOR INNOVATIVE
1,100 SOLUTIONS
PATENTS EARNED created to solve customer needs.

WE ARE

ON-SITE IN

51 COUNTRIES
ON

SEVEN SEAS
THE

to better serve our clients when and where they need us.

WE HAVE BEEN THE

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providing industry-leading solutions
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11920 East Apache Street F: +1.918.234.2700 and conversions calculator
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74116 johnzinkhamworthy.com by John Zink Hamworthy
Combustion. Available in the
United States
iTunes App store.

2013 John Zink Company LLC. JOHN ZINK HAMWORTHY COMBUSTION is a trademark of John Zink Company LLC. JZ, KEU, KALDAIR and TODD are registered trademarks of John Zink
Company LLC. HAMWORTHY COMBUSTION is a registered trademark of Hamworthy Combustion Engineering Ltd. COEN is a registered trademark of Coen Company, Inc. AIROIL-FLAREGAS
is a trademark of Hamworthy Combustion Engineering Ltd. HAMWORTHY PEABODY is a trademark of Coen Company, Inc.

Circle 25 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-25
Aerodyne

Newsfront

tible-dust-producing industry design, duct layouts, equipment


faces. There really are no clear-cut selection, blower sizing, safety
guidelines, says Jamie Scott, vice considerations for the workers
president of Air Handling Systems and the combustible dust or explo-
(Woodbridge, Conn.; www.airhand. sion hazards of the collected mate-
com). And this makes awareness and rial, says Travis Haynam, director of
understanding the two biggest obsta- business development and technical FIGURE 2. The GPC
Cyclonic Dust Collector
cles to compliance when it comes to sales with United Air Specialists, Inc.
offers cyclonic action that is
combustible dust. Its a double-edged (Cincinnati, Ohio; www.uasinc.com). initiated by a sloped spiral inlet and vor-
sword, because although some proces- Every one of these aspects is critical tex reversal is accomplished by the use of
sors dont know exactly how to be in and if one is not done correctly, the sys- a solid ground plate. The unique design
compliance due to a lack of an OSHA tem may not meet the performance re- provides a high-efficiency, compact unit
that is available in horizontal or vertical
standard, they still can be cited dur- quirements or customer expectations. configurations
ing random or NEP inspections with- Compounding that problem is the
out even realizing theyre doing any- issue that dust collection is what is dian sales director and Northeast
thing wrong. considered by many to be a non-value- regional manager with Camfil APC
In an effort to avoid these citations, added expenditure. Everyone knows (Jonesboro, Ark.; www.farrapc.com).
many chemical processors now are they need to make their process safer But they must [invest in upgrades]
beginning to upgrade their dust col- and that knowledge is pushing pro- because they also dont want to get
lection equipment, but that also pres- cessors to upgrade their dust collec- shut downor worse.
ents challenges. There are so many tion equipment, but if they are barely
different aspects of a system in terms making a profit at the moment, they Taking action
of capturing, conveying and collecting dont want to spend money on some- The first step in overcoming the con-
the material in a safe and effective thing that is not going to make them fusion and getting the right equip-
way. These steps include proper hood money, says Matt Caulfield, Cana- ment with the lowest possible capital

Circle 2 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-02
24 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
Camfil APC

Newsfront

ducting design and equipment type fits-all solution. Each material, each
can be discussed. Keep in mind that process and each facility has different
different dusts require different solu- dust-collection and dust-safety needs
tions when selecting and configuring and requirements, explains Caulfield.
equipment. And, of course, combusti-
ble dusts require adequate means of Other issues to keep in mind
protection, such as explosion venting However, experts warn that even a
or suppression systems. properly selected, sized and installed
API Max CE
Unfortunately PM
theres not aDuster
one-size- 040113v4_Layout
dust-collection 1 4/1/13 4:06 PM Page 1
system is not enough.
FIGURE 4. Camil APCs Integrated
Safety Monitoring Filter (iSMF) requires
no additional loor space and prevents
collected dust from re-entering the work-
space should there be a leak in the pri-
mary iltering system
Other steps are needed to achieve
complete compliance, and to protect
employees and assets.
Housekeeping is the first line of de-
fense in fighting the dust battle, no
matter the type of dust. Fugitive dust
is often a problem because it collects
on hung or dropped ceilings, flat duct-
ing and flat hanging lights, says Scott.
Anywhere that dust can accumulate
1971 Plymouth Duster out of sight is a problem because if
there is a fire or explosion in a facility,
API Maxum
the initial explosion shakes the build-

Do you have flows up to


ing, which releases the dust sitting on
9,000 GPM (2,000
these surfaces and, as the flames from
m3/hr), heads up to
the initial fire tear through the facil-
720 ft (220 M), speeds
ity, this released fuel (the fugitive, dis-
up to 3,500 RPM, and
persed dust) can be ignited, creating
temperatures up to 600F additional explosions. For this reason,
(315C)? Then you need Carver it isPump
imperative to collect dust at its
API Maxum Series muscle! source and keep up with housekeep-
Specifically designed to meet the needs of the
ing to prevent it from accumulating
Hydrocarbon Processing Industry,on thesethe API Maxum
surfaces.
Series is fully compliant with API 610
While Specifications
dust collection equipment is
Manufactured in 35 sizes, standard
often viewedmaterials of
as a necessary evil, Dan-
construction include S-4, S-6, C-6 and
iel Novicky, D-1,
sales engineer with
at Aerodyne
others available upon request. Environmental,
Standard features
include a 682 Mechanical Seal compatible seal
Inc. (Chagrin Falls,

chamber and the ability to operate up to 400F


Ohio; www.dustcollectorhq.com), says

without external cooling. Options include aequipment


variety
there are ways to minimize the expense

of mechanical seals, lubrication/cooling


- that limits downtime,arrange
associated with it. Look for

ments, auxiliary protection devices and certified


reduces the fre-

testing capabilities. Whatever your


of working requirements,
quency of maintenance and the cost
let us build the muscle you need!
on that equipment, as well
as well-made equipment that does not
need frequent replacement.
Worker training is also very impor-
tant. OSHA interviews your employ-
Creating Value. ees, says Scott. They want to know
Carver Pump Company if the workers are aware of, trained
2415 Park Avenue about and know how to handle issues.
Muscatine, IA 52761
563.263.3410
So training your employees on haz-
Fax: 563.262.0510
ardous dust handling goes a long way
www.carverpump.com
toward avoiding OSHA citations and
loss related to explosions.
Joy LePree
Circle 12 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-12
26 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
Precise, Reliable Bulk Solids
Inventory Management.

A self-cleaning feature ensures


CONTOUR improves bottom-line
continuous performance integrity.
efficiency with more accurate
safety stock and COGS
management.
Low-frequency acoustic technology
maintains signal strength and
accuracy even during dusty filling
conditions.
CONTOUR measures challenging
applications that incur buildup
loads or random material surface Multiple-point measurement
irregularities. precisely maps material surface
variation.

CONTOUR transmits a 3D
graphical display to capture
powerful consumption data.

3D Visual Mapping Takes Volume


Measurement to the Next Level
Now, you can improve safety stock tracking and COGS (cost of goods sold)
To learn more about the bottom-line efficiencies with more precise control of your bulks solids and powders
benefits of CONTOUR acoustic volume inventory. New CONTOURTM acoustic volume mapping provides more accurate,
mapping for bulk solids and powders, reliable measurement than traditional level instrumentation to enable you to
visit: Contour.Magnetrol.com visualize true material consumption in your bins and silos.

contour.magnetrol.com 800.624.8765 info@magnetrol.com


Circle 28 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-28
FOCUS ON

Mixing Chemineer
A laboratory mixer that supplies
data for scaleup
The L5 Series laboratory mixers
(photo) are suitable for R&D, qual-
ity analysis and standard laboratory
work. The mixers have a capacity
Sharpe Mixers
range from 1 mL up to 12 L, and are
able to mix inline with flowrates up Silverson
Machines
to 20 L/min. Each machine is con-
structed with wetted parts in grade
316L stainless steel. The L5M-A lab-
oratory mixer features touchscreen
control with digital tachometer, pro-
grammable integral timer and am-
perage display, which is invalu-
able in scaling up production,
where validation and reproduc-
ibility are crucial, says the company.
Silverson Machines Inc., East
Longmeadow, Mass.
www.silverson.com

This drum mixer fits


on a laboratory bench
The new Ploughshare Type N
5 laboratory mixer (photo) Hapman
features a drum with a Ldige
Maschinenbau
volume of 5 L. The mixer
was conceived as a com- in. dia., these alloy material, and can be customized
pact, table-top model, and folding impel- for specific applications. Hapman,
comes completely assembled, lers enable greater Kalimazoo, Mich.
tested and thus ready for use. The flexibility in tank designs, and www.hapman.com
control unit is an integral part of the the blade-locking mechanism can be
housing. The speed of the mixer shaft accessed from outside the tank for re- A robust agitator that
is infinitely adjustable. The detachable moving the mixer, if necessary. Retro- comes in many sizes
front plate can be rotated for filling and fit applications include side entry for The HT Turbine Agitator (photo) fea-
emptying the mixing vessel through large storage tanks, or top entry when tures a unique design that results
the same neck, which also facilitates the tank service has changed and a in high strength, low wear, quiet op-
cleaning. A range of optional accesso- new mixer is required. Sharpe eration and minimal maintenance,
ries is available, including a feeding Mixers, Seattle, Wash. says the manufacturer. The device
hopper or spray lid for dosing liquid www.sharpemixers.com has output speeds of 5 to 350 rpm; a
products. Gebr. Ldige Maschinen- compact, right-angle gear drive; and
bau GmbH, Paderborn, Germany Blending can also be performed tapered roller bearings with service
www.loedige.de by this screw feeder rated to over 100,000 hours (L-10)
This new Screw Feeder (photo) is de- life. Thirteen standard drive sizes are
If the port is too small, signed to efficiently measure ingre- available, from 1 to 1,000 hp. A wide
consider this folding impeller dients and consistently deliver ma- variety of mountings, shaft seals and
This new high-performance folding terial to the process. Available with impellers are available. Chemineer,
impeller is suitable for new and ret- either volumetric or gravimetric con- Inc., Dayton, Ohio
rofit installations where tank entry trols, the feeder features an optional www.chemineer.com
is not practical or too expensive. integral agitator, which enables the
The Folding Blade Hyflo 218 Impel- feeder to effectively operate as a dry A blender for mixing hot,
lers (photo) feature a hydrofoil-style, material mixer. The unit can blend sticky materials
four-blade design that folds for easy multiple dry materials, combine thick, The new high-temperature, high-
installation, and opens with centrifu- wet mixes, and break up solid lumps. intensity continuous blender, Model
gal force, locking in place when fully The trough is available in 304 or 316 HM-165-AR (photo), mixes asphalt,
opened. Available in sizes up to 210- stainless steel, carbon steel, or special paints, resins adhesives and other
28 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number
on p. 72, or use the website designation.
TORQUEGUN.COM
the

torque gun
tm
TM

company

THE WORLDS FIRST IMPACT & TORQUE GUN


PUSH the shifter handle forward, engage the 4,000 rpm
high speed impact at low noise and vibration for a quick,
corrosion-overcoming pre-torque or run-up.
OF THE
PULL the shifter handle back, engage the continuous UCT YE
OD

AR
PR
rotation precision (+5%) torque mode for make-up and
TM
2013
break-out, free of reaction arm, inger pinching and
destructible side load. PATENTS RECEIVED & PENDING

Circle 22 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-22

ft3/h without sacrificing retention time sizes from 2- to 60-in. dia. Westfall
for homogeneous blending or coating, Manufacturing Co., Bristol, R.I.
says the manufacturer. Homogeneous www.westfallmfg.com
blends can be achieved in 1560 s resi-
dence time, depending on the material This mixer is also
characteristics. Munson Machinery an energy-efficient dryer
Company, Inc., Utica, N.Y. The Pegasus Mixer features a double-
www.munsonmachinery.com shaft paddle mechanism that gently
throws powders, granules and granu-
Munson Machinery
A static mixer for adjusting lates into the air during mixing. The
bitumen viscosity and density fluidized zone created allows the mul-
This company has introduced a static tifunctional processing unit to mix
mixer for bitumen processing that ingredients extremely gently, quickly
mixes multiple diluents to the correct and energy-efficiently, says the com-
viscosity and density, which allows pany. The new drying functionality
pumping over a wide range of flow- built into the mixer also takes ad-
rates. The Model 290 Variable Flow vantage of this fluidized zone, and
Static Mixer (photo) is combined with prevents agglomeration during the
the companys wafer-style static mixer drying process. Dinnissen B.V.,
to achieve a low coefficient of variation Sevenum, the Netherlands
(CoV) of injected diluents. Capable of www.dinnissen.nl
Westfall Manufacturing achieving a uniform concentration of
injected materials within a short down- Mix solids of modest bulk
abrasive, sticky or tacky compounds, stream distance, while meeting the density with this ribbon blender
slurries, emulsions and pastes that maximum pressure-loss criteria, this The 42B Model Ribbon Blenders
require heat to maintain consistency. mixer reduces consumption of the bitu- (photo) are used for blending of pow-
The units horizontal, cylindrical vessel men diluents, says the company. Accom- ders or other solid raw materials with
with a single agitator is supported by modating flowrates at up to a 20-to-1 a bulk density of 35 lb/ft3 or lower. The
externally mounted flange-block bear- turndown ratio, the mixer is made from blender features stainless-steel wet-
ings. It can blend at rates up to 2,000 316L stainless steel and is available in ted parts (polished to 60-grit finish);
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 29
Charles Ross & Son

Focus

a solid-shaft double-ribbon agitator A micro static mixer improves


designed for center discharge; a knife- bromination reactions
gate discharge valve; clamps to elimi- This company has released an applica-
nate dusting and fume migration; tion note that describes a continuous
safety limit switches to prevent opera- flow methodology for electrophilic bro-
tion when covers are raised; and more. mination that offers excellent control
Units are available from 0.5 to 1,000 of both temperature and mixing using
ft3 of working capacity. Charles a proprietary mixer chip. Using the
Ross & Son Co., Hauppauge, N.Y. static mixer chip on a FlowSyn flow-
www.mixers.com chemistry system controls both mixing
and temperature, which makes bromi-
Side mixers with fixed-angle and nation become a titration and the reac-
swivel configurations tion can be performed under elevated
The Cutlass side-entry mixers now temperatures. The chip-based bromi-
include the BSE-R fixed-angle and drive is protected by a rigid belt cover nation can be scaled to 28 g/h, says the
BSE-R swivel models. The mixers with quick-release captive fasteners company. The FlowSyn is a compact,
design features an easy-to-remove, and a polycarbonate viewing window integrated continuous flow-reactor sys-
cartridge-style mechanical seal that al- for checking the belt. When coupled tem designed for easy, safe and efficient
lows more room to access and maintain with a Lancer Advanced Pitch Propel- operation. The FlowSyn range includes
bearings and seals. The shaft is preci- ler, the Cutlass can yield energy savings models for performing single or mul-
sion-machined to reduce vibration and of 30% or more for elimination of basic tiple homogeneous or heterogeneous
to increase bearing life. Vibration and sediment and water in crude-oil tanks, reactions, either manually or automati-
temperature sensors can be mounted says the company. Philadelphia Mix- cally. Uniqsis Ltd., Shepreth, U.K.
on pads cast into the housing to moni- ing Solutions, Ltd., Palmyra, Pa. www.uniqsis.com
tor the unit while in operation. The www.philamixers.com Gerald Ondrey

Chemical
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For more info, call or visit the website +1 (214) 337 5100 www.minearc.com/chemsolutions

Circle 32 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-32
30 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
Endress + Hauser

Monitor cell growth


with this sensor
The OUSBT66 sensor (photo) is
designed for cell-density mea-
surements using near-infrared
Mott
(NIR) absorbance technology. SICK

The non-intrusive, hygienic sen-


sor can monitor cell growth in life
science processes, fermentation
biomass measurement and algae
biofuel applications. The sensor
allows rapid and accurate mea-
surement of cell growth activity
in cultures and can be used for
realtime, in-situ cell-production
optimization and to identify
the end-of-log-growth phase
and the achievement of sta-
tionary growth. The body of Brookfield Engineering
Laboratories
the OUSBT66 sensor is con-
structed of 316L stainless Vindum Engineering

steel and uses proven optical sen-


sor technology, the company says. Get touchscreen navigation pilot valves. The CV valves maintain
Using an LED light source, the with this viscometer a constant internal fluid volume and
sensor filters the light to 880 nm, The DV2T viscometer (photo) is now do not trap any fluid within the valve
the detection of which is corre- available with touchscreen technology, body when switched, the company
lated to the density of cells in the which creates an advanced user expe- says. Vindum Engineering Inc., San
process. Endress + Hauser, Green- rience, the company says. The 5-in., Ramon, Calif.
wood, Ind. full-color display guides users through www.vindum.com
www.us.endress.com test creation and data gathering for
fast and easy viscosity measurements. These gas-sampling filters
Position this safety light The DV2T also offers powerful new allow particle-free samples
curtain anywhere programming capabilities and re- All-metal inertial gas-sampling (IGS)
The deTec4 Core safety light curtain sults analysis, including data analy- filters (photo) from this company allow
(photo) is a guard-only safety light sis and quality-control limits with the collection of particle-free samples
curtain with this companys QuickFix alarms. Program generator software from virtually any gas stream. Even
and Flexfix brackets that can be po- can create multi-step test protocols. heavily contaminated gas streams
sitioned in any location on machinery Brookfield Engineering Laboratories, and extreme-temperature samples
housing without causing blind zones. Middleboro, Mass. can be handled by the durable filters,
The product is designed for hazard- www.brookfieldengineering.com the company says. Typical applica-
ous point protection and single-sided tions include gas sampling in stack
access protection, and can be used in This valve handles testing, utility coal pulverizers, lime
machine-building and storage and very high pressures or cement kilns, fluid catalytic crack-
conveyer applications. With a unique, This companys CV Series valves ers, coking-oven offgas atmospheres
built-in automatic range detection of (photo) are capable of continuous op- and general emissions-control moni-
10 m, the deTec4 Core is able to au- eration at pressures up to 20,000 psi. toring. The IGS filters feature a cross-
tomatically determine distance to The valve is available as either an on- flow design that keeps most particles
the sender, which eliminates manual off position model or a three-way, four- in the gas stream greatly reducing
setup of the sensing distance, the com- position model. In addition to high obstruction of the filter element. The
pany says. The deTec4 Core is avail- pressures, the patented valve design companys porous-metal filter media
able in heights from 300 to 2,100 mm, can be used in high-temperature appli- is durable and can be used in highly
with 14- and 30-mm resolutions. cations and with corrosive fluids. The corrosive environments. Mott Corp.,
SICK Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. CV Series valves are pneumatically Farmington, Conn.
www.sickusa.com operated via a set of small, low-voltage www.mottcorp.com
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 31
Camfil APC

New Products

This dust-collection system welding and thermal spray operations,


has a low profile the company says, while the Low Boy
Two dust collector hoppers, called the hopper is designed for use in applica-
Low Pro (photo) and the Low Boy, are tions with heavier dust loads involv-
designed for use where space con- ing a variety of dry dusts. Depending
straints require a low-profile dust- on the model, the low-profile hoppers
collection system. The Low Pro hop- can reduce overall collector height by
per is best suited to the collection of as much as 36 in., the company says.
dust and fumes from cutting, blasting, The Low Pro hopper comes with either

I NNOVATION a 55-gal drum or a half-size drum, and


has a drum-lid mechanism that read-
ily latches open and shut to expedite
emptying or change-out. The Low Boy
consists of a clamp-on angled hopper
and low-profile bin. Camfil APC,
Jonesboro, Ark.
PROFLUX www.camfilapc.com

severe service Use this hose reel


in harsh environments
grid packing
The 9000 Series industrial manual or
power rewind hose reel is designed for
harsh environments in chemical pro-
cessing, food processing and bottling
applications. The reels handle hoses
YOU CAN RELY ON US. with inner diameters of between 2
Engineered to endure harsh conditions.
and 3 in., and have a gear-driven
crank rewind or a chain-and-sprocket
Tests show that PROFLUX severe service grid has:
drive. The unit can be powered by an
Superior resistance to compression than conventional grid packing electric, hydraulic or compressed-air
Higher fouling resistance compared to conventional grid and motor. It has a standard 90-deg, ball-
structured packings bearing swivel joint and 3-in. female
Better de-entrainment preformance compared to similar surface pipe threads. The 9000 Series operates
area conventional grid packings at pressures up to 300 psi and is able
to withstand temperatures from 20 to
Strength Comparison of Grid Packings
225F. The product can also be custom-
ized to fit other special requirements.
Hannay Reels, Westerlo, N.Y.
www.hannay.com

This thickness gage offers


more transducer choices
The EHC-09A thickness gage offers
a number of features, including field-
upgradable options for more trans-
ducer choices, the capability to ignore
coatings and a live A-scan. It is said to
be the only entry-level thickness gage
available with this capability. The de-
1913-2013: Celebrating a century of innovation in mass transfer technology.
vice has three probes, a default, as well
United States (316) 828-5110 | Canada (905) 852-3381 | Europe +39-035-2273411 | Asia +65-6831-6500
www.koch-glitsch.com
as others for thicker materials, and
PROFLUX and YOU CAN RELY ON US are trademarks of Koch-Glitsch, LP. K KOCH-GLITSCH is a trademark of Koch-Glitsch, LP and is registered in the
smaller-diameter, thinner materials.
United States and various other countries. PROFLUX technology is protected by patent in the United States; other patents pending.
Danatronics Corp., Danvers, Mass.
www.danatronic.com
Scott Jenkins
Circle 26 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-26
32 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
Control Valve
Performance
Department Editor: Scott Jenkins

inimizing process variability is an response time and over-

M important component of a plants prof-


itability. The performance of control
valves within process control loops has a
shoot for a control valve
response to a step input
change. In this case,
significant impact on maintaining consistent stem position in percent
processes. This refresher outlines some of the of travel is used as the Output
important aspects of control valve perfor- control valve output.
mance, including parameters of both the Step-change size. The
static response and the dynamic response. dynamic response of b
a control valve varies a c
d
Static response depending upon the a < resolution b
A valves static response refers to mea- size of the input step
surements that are made with data points change. Four ranges c dead band < d
Input
recorded when the device is at rest. Key of step sizes to help

Amplitude
static-response parameters for control valves understand the static-
include travel gain, dead band and resolu- and dynamic- response
tion (Figure 1). metrics are defined by
Travel gain (Gx). This term represents the ANSI/ISA standards: Time
change in position of the valve closure Small input steps (Re- Dynamics are not shown
member divided by the change in input gion 1) that result in no
FIGURE 1. Dead band and resolution, illustrated here, are
signal. Both quantities are expressed as measurable movement
of the closure member key static-response parameters for control valves
a percentage of the full valve span. The within the specified
closure member is part of the valve trim (the wait time 39
combination of flow-control elements inside Initial overshoot to 38.11 = 23% Final steady-state
Input step changes average values
a valve). Travel gain measures how well the that are large enough input = 37.84, stem = 37.65
valve system positions its closure member to result in some 38 Stem
compared to the input signal it receives. control-valve response
Input, stem %

with each input signal Input


Without signal characterization in the valve
system, the travel gain should be 1.0. [1] change, but the re-
sponse does not satisfy 37 Travel gain = 0.91
Dead band. This term can be defined as Time to steady state, Tss = 18.3 s
the requirements of
the range through which an input signal the specified time and
may be varied, with reversal of direction, linearity (Region 2) 36
86.5% of response, T86 = 2.06 s
without initiating a response (an observable Step changes that are
Dead time Td =1.6 s
change in output signal). With respect to large enough to result
control valve performance, if the process in flow coefficient Initial steady state average values, input and stem = 35.67
changes, which sat- 35
controller attempts to reverse the position of 0 10 20 30
the control valve, the valve will not begin isfy both the specified
maximum response Time, s
to move until after the controller output has
time and the specified FIGURE 2. This graph shows the response of a control valve
reversed an amount greater than the dead maximum linearity to a step input (reprinted with permission from EnTech Con-
band. A large dead band will negatively (Region 3) trol Valve Dynamic Speciication V3.0)
impact control performance. Input steps larger than
Resolution. This term can be defined as the in Region 3 where the specified magnitude- istic refers to the curve relating percentage of
minimum amount of change in valve shaft response linearity is satisfied but the speci- flow to percentage of valve travel. Inherent
position when an input is applied. Resolu- fied response time is exceeded (Region 4) flow characteristic applies when constant
tion will cause the control valve to move Region 1 is directly related to dead band pressure drop is maintained across the valve.
and resolution. Region 2 is a highly nonlinear
in discrete steps in response to small, step Typically linear, quick opening or equal per-
region that causes performance problems and
input changes in the same direction. This should be minimized. Region 3 is the range of centage, this will impact both the magnitude
occurs as the valve travel sticks (when the input movements that are important to control and the consistency of the process gain over
starting friction on the valve shaft is greater performance [1]. the operating range [1]. Good control-valve
than the friction when the shaft is in motion). performance depends on proper valve sizing
Similar to dead band, a larger resolution Process gain and trim characteristics.
will negatively impact control performance. Process gain is the ratio of the change in
a given process variable to the change in References
Dynamic response controller output that caused the change. 1. Beall, James, Improving Control Valve Perfor-
Dynamic response for a control valve is the To achieve effective process control, the pro- mance, Chem. Eng., Oct. 2010, pp. 4145.
time-dependent response resulting from a cess gain should ideally fall within a certain 2. Emerson Entech, Control Valve Dynamic Specifi-
time-varying input signal. range, and should be consistent throughout cation, Version 3.0, November 1998.
Dead time. This term refers to the time after the operating range of the valve. When the 3. Hoop, Emily, Control Valves: An Evolution in
the initiation of an input change and before process gain is too high, valve non-lineari- Design, Chem. Eng., August 2012, pp. 4851.
the start of the resulting observable response. ties are amplified by the process gain and 4. Ruel, M., A simple method to determine control
Step response time. This term represents valve performance and its impacts on control
process control performance deteriorates.
loop performance, Top Control Inc., Swanton,
the interval of time between initiation of an When the process gain is too low, the Vt., white paper, 2001.
input-signal step change and the moment range of control is reduced. Changes in the 5. International Society of Automation (ISA) and
that the dynamic response reaches 86.5% process gain over the range of operation American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
of its full, steady-state value [1]. The step result in poorly performing regions in the ANSI-ISA-TR75-25-02-2000, Control Valve Re-
response time includes the dead time before closed-loop controller response. sponse Measurement from Step Inputs, 2000.
the dynamic response. Two control-valve features impact process 6. Neles-Jamesbury Inc., The Valve Book, Neles-
Overshoot. This term is the amount by which gain: the size of the valve trim and the inher- Jamesbury, Worchester, Mass., 1990.
a step response exceeds its final, steady-state ent flow characteristic of the valve. If the 7. Skousen, Philip L., Valve Handbook, McGraw
value. Overshoot is usually expressed as a valve trim is oversized, the process gain will Hill, New York, 1998.
percentage of the full change in steady-state be higher than it would be for an appropri- Editors note: Portions of this page were adapted
value. Figure 2 shows the dead time, step ately sized valve. The valves flow character- from the article in Ref. 1.
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PRESENTED BY:
Polypropylene Production
via Gas-Phase Process
By Intratec Solutions

P olypropylene (PP) is one of the worlds most widely used poly-


mers, second only to polyethylene in terms of global demand. The
global market for polypropylene is over 60 million metric tons per
year, and it is utilized in a broad and diverse range of end-uses from
injection-molding applications to films and sheets, as well as synthetic
350,000
Total fixed investment costs

Direct
expenses
Indirect
expenses
Project
contingency

raffia and other fibers, among others. Traditionally, the most representa- 300,000
tive types of propylene polymerization are the following: hydrocarbon
slurry or suspension, bulk (or bulk slurry), gas phase and hybrid (uses 250,000

$, thousands
bulk- and gas-phase polymerization reactors).
200,000
The Unipol PP process, a leading gas-phase process technology, was
recently offered for sale by Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.; www. 150,000
dow.com). The company is looking to focus on high-margin areas, and is
seeking buyers for its polypropylene licensing and catalyst business. 100,000

The process 50,000


PP is a thermoplastic material formed by the polymerization of propyl-
0
ene, resulting in a macromolecule that contains from 10,000 to 20,000 Non-integrated scenario Integrated scenario
monomer units. The production of a polypropylene homopolymer via a
gas-phase process similar to Dow Unipol is depicted in the diagram (Fig- FIGURE 2. Elevated propylene prices make it unproitable to operate a
ure 1). The process shown is capable of producting homopolymer and standalone PP unit
random copolymer PP. For impact copolymer production, a secondary
reaction loop is required. In this process, gaseous propylene contacts a The integrated scenario is based on the construction of a plant linked
solid catalyst in a fluidized-bed reactor. The process can be separated to a propylene supplier. In this case, storage for propylene is not re-
into three different areas: purification and reaction; resin degassing and quired. However, the estimated investment for the integrated scenario
pelletizing; and vent recovery. includes storage for PP equivalent to 20 days of plant operation
Purification and reaction. Fresh polymer grade (PG) propylene is sent The non-integrated scenario is based on the construction of a grass-
to fixed-bed dryers to remove water and other polar impurities. The roots PP processing unit. Thus, a time period of 20 days of operation
purified propylene, a recycle stream from the vent recovery system and was considered for storage of both products and raw materials
comonomers (in case of copolymer production) are then fed continu- The economic evaluation was based on data from the third quarter of
ously to the reactor. A gas compressor circulates reaction gas upward 2011 and a plant nominal capacity of 400,000 ton/yr erected on the
through the reactor, providing the agitation required for fluidization, U.S. Gulf Coast (only the process equipment is represented in the simpli-
backmixing and heat removal. No mechanical stirrers or agitators are fied flowsheet).
required in the process reactor. The overhead gas from the reactor The level of integration with nearby facilities significantly impacts
passes through a cooler for reaction heat removal. Catalyst is continu- the total fixed investment required for the construction of a PP plant, as
ously fed to the reactor. represented in the graph (Figure 2).
Resin degassing and pelletizing. Resulting granular polypropylene is More than that, the elevated market prices for propylene in the U.S.
removed from the reactor by the discharge tanks and sent to a purge make it unprofitable to operate a stand-alone PP unit. However, PP units
bin where residual hydrocarbons are stripped with nitrogen from the that are integrated upstream with a propylene production plant may pur-
resin and are sent to the vent recovery system. The resin from purge bin chase propylene at prices below the market average, reaching EBITDA
is combined with additives and then flows to the pelletizing unit. The (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) margins
pellets are dried, cooled and sent to product blending and storage. of above 20%.
Vent recovery. The vent gas is processed to separate hydrocarbons and
Edited by Scott Jenkins
nitrogen purge gas, which is returned to the process. The condensed
components are separated into a propylene stream, which is returned to Editors Note: The content for this column is supplied by Intratec Solutions LLC
the reaction system, and a propane stream. (Houston; www.intratec.us) and edited by Chemical Engineering. The analyses
and models presented herein are prepared on the basis of publicly available and
Economic performance non-confidential information. The information and analysis are the opinions of
Intratec and do not represent the point of view of any third parties. More informa-
An economic evaluation of the process was conducted for two distinct tion about the methodology for preparing this type of analysis can be found, along
integration scenarios: with terms of use, at www.intratec.us/che.

CW 1. Fixed-bed dryer
2. Polymerization reactor
5 3. Gas compression and cooling
3
4. Discharge and blowdown tanks
9 5. Purge bin
CW
6. Horizontal ribbon blender
7. Extruder and pelletizer
Additives ST
8. Centrifugal dryer
1 6
2 9. P-P splitter
Propane
purge
PG propylene 7 CW Cooling water
ST Steam
4
Catalyst and Polypropylene
additives 8 pellets

FIGURE 1. Homopolymer PP production process similar to Dow Unipol


Feature Report

Inline Viscosity
Measurements FIGURE 1. A Couette-
style viscometer with
defined shear rate
measurements is
typically used when
Process viscometers can help keep measurements that
can be compared to
laboratory-type
process control and product quality in check measurements
are needed

Steve Cicchese Plant personnel may have an indica- simulate, in part, what is happening
Brookfield Engineering Laboratories tion of the viscosity or consistency of to the fluid during processing. This
a material by looking at it, rubbing it analytical procedure for simulating

I
nline viscosity measurements can between their fingers, or having it drip the shearing action with an instru-
give continuous, realtime read- off a stick or shovel. This type of prac- ment is the key to predicting flow
ings of a fluids viscosity during tical measurement of a materials behavior.
processing and consequently, can characteristic was eventually devel- Rotational viscometers (Figure 1)
provide a means to automate the vis- oped into a somewhat more scientific are widely accepted tools for the mea-
cosity control of process fluids. While approach by using cups with holes in surement of viscosity across most in-
it is difficult to control all factors in the bottom and a stopwatch to measure dustries. The spindle of a rotational
the process that can affect a fluids how much time it would take to drain viscometer, when inserted into the
viscosity (such as temperature, air the fluid. The cups (for example efflux liquid, rotates at various fixed speeds,
bubbles, shear history, turbulence cups) are relatively inexpensive and thereby shearing the material contin-
and so on), if these factors are kept easy to use. This type of test uses the uously at defined shear rates. Simul-
relatively constant, then good control force of gravity to drain the fluid out taneously, the viscometer measures
can be achieved. This article presents of the cup. The shearing action on the the amount of torque resistance expe-
the applications for inline viscos- fluid takes place at the orifice on the rienced by the spindle at each speed
ity measurement and the means by bottom of the cup. As the level in the of rotation. This torque measurement
which they are achieved. Lets first cup goes down, the shear rate at the is quantified as a shear stress, which
discuss the subject of viscosity. orifice decreases because the weight of acts across the surface area of the im-
the fluid remaining in the cup is lower. mersed portion of the spindle. These
The basics This type of measurement is referred two key concepts torque resistance
Viscosity is a property that is often con- to as kinematic viscosity. This method and shearing action are combined
sidered by process engineers, but sel- was one of the earliest quality control in an equation that defines apparent
dom completely understood. It is gen- (QC) tests that checked viscosity in a or dynamic viscosity as the ratio of
erally not a subject that is covered in quantifiable way. shear stress to shear rate.
much detail in many engineering cur- But the cup method could not al- The unit of measurement used to
ricula. Most engineers know what vis- ways discriminate successfully be- quantify rotational viscosity is the
cosity is, but may have trouble explain- tween materials that proved accept- centipoise (cP) in the western hemi-
ing it or even understanding the full able and those that were marginal or sphere, and the milliPascal second
implications of the measured number. even poor performers because of the (mPa-s) in other countries, although
Scientifically, viscosity is the property varying shear rate. Understanding a there is some degree of overlap in
of a fluid that causes it to resist flow. defined shear rate and how it can useage. The good news is that the two
For materials that flow, either while affect the viscosity of the fluid is im- units are interchangeable because
being processed (for pumping, spray- portant. Imagine that the fluid you 1 cP equals 1 mPa-s. There is a way
ing or coating) or in an end-use (like want to test is sandwiched between to correlate viscosity measurements
shampoo, detergent or paint), it is im- two plates separated by a known dis- made with dynamic and kinematic
portant to think about the materials tance. Keeping the bottom plate sta- methods for materials that are New-
flow characteristics or viscosity. En- tionary and moving the top plate at tonian, using the following equation:
gineers and quality-control personnel a defined velocity, shear rate is the Dynamic viscosity = kinematic vis-
need ways to measure viscosity so that ratio of the moving plate velocity, V, cosity density (for more on the fun-
they can quantify whether a material to the distance separating the plates, damentals of viscosity, see Viscosity:
will flow the way it needs to for the X. The use of a rotational viscome- The Basics, Chem. Eng., August 2009,
process or for the application. ter running at different speeds can pp. 3439).
34 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013

Viscosity
Viscosity

Upper limit Upper limit

Manual set point Automatic set point


Lower limit FIGURE 3.
Lower limit
Better product
and process
Reject point control can be
obtained with
t t inline measure-
Time Time ments
FIGURE 2. With manual control, upper ferent, so it is unlikely that the same sitive to change in the process will
and lower control limits can often be ex-
ceeded, allowing for out-of-speciication equipment can be used for both styles allow the engineer to properly control
product of measurement or that the exact the process.
same measured value will be gener-
Process measurements ated. However, if done properly, the Applications
Automatic control of process fluid vis- results of both laboratory and inline Most products are formulated to flow,
cosity ensures consistent product all measurements will follow the same spray or coat in a controlled manner.
the time, reduces product hold times, trend, making inline measurement Monitoring viscosity at critical shear
and can eliminate human errors and useful for ensuring consistent pro- points ensures that the product will
expensive sample testing (Figures duction quality. act the same way every time for the
2 and 3). Also, it provides for a com- Choosing an instrument for in- user. This is the most tangible indi-
plete record of how the process varied line measurement. When evaluat- cator of quality. With the increase
over a span of time, instead of at just ing an instrument for inline viscosity in standardization initiatives, such
one point in time. In a plant environ- control, there are several parameters as ISO 9000 and process analytical
ment, there are many ways that vis- that must be considered to provide technology (PAT), there is an increas-
cosity can be measured, such as by the proper installation. The answers ing use of viscometers to establish
a rotational viscometer, a vibrating to these questions will eliminate some and document the desired properties
element and by a falling object. Un- types of viscometers, and aid in defin- of products. To a much larger extent,
derstanding whether a true, defined ing the specifications of the final in- the use of viscometers for quality con-
shear-rate measurement is needed, strument. These questions include trol, and in particular, the use of in-
or if you are really just looking for the following: line viscometers, wherever possible,
set-point control, is beneficial when What are the minimum, maxi- to automate the process of controlling
choosing the right type of instrument mum and average pressure and desired fluid properties is on the rise.
for your application. temperature requirements for the Quality, consistency and customer ac-
Process measurements are made application? ceptance require testing and control of
inline or in a flow loop. A bench-top ro- What is the expected viscosity range, key parameters, of which viscosity is
tational viscometer can be used for off- and control set-points desired? certainly an important one.
line or near-line measurements, where What are the minimum, maxi- Some typical operations where pro-
a sample of the process fluid is drawn mum and typical flowrates in the cess viscosity control can be important
and tested under controlled conditions process? include the following:
(using the same bath temperature, What is the area electrical classifi- Determining the endpoint. For
shear history, shear rate and so on). cation (NEMA 4; NEMA 7; ATEX, applications involving chemical re-
Inline viscometers are immersed in for example)? actions, viscosity of a product is con-
the process stream and measure con- What are the necessary materials of tinuously monitored in-tank and the
tinuously under process conditions. construction, and recommended seal process is either stopped, or the next
Installation can be in a side-stream, and elastomer materials? (This can steps are taken once a specific viscos-
in the main flow stream or in a tank. often be determined based on what ity limit is reached.
It is important to consider how clean- the plant is using for other process In addition to determining the end-
ing and maintenance of these devices equipment in the area, such as point of chemical reactions, this ap-
might occur, if necessary, when decid- pumps.) proach is also used to determine the
ing on the installation. Where will the instrument be endpoint of blending operations, such
It is also important to make sure mounted? This will determine the as the blending of multiple ingredi-
that a representative sample of the style of instrument to be used. Ex- ents in a batch process. One example is
fluid will be measured. Possible con- amples include a tank/flange mount synthetic-fiber manufacturing. Latex,
cerns about stratification, mixing and (Figure 4); a flow-through housing spandex and other synthetic materials
turbulence should be considered. The (Figure 1); a probe style for barrels are used to manufacture fibers, which
instrument will measure the product (Figure 5); and mounting from the are stretchable, rugged and used in
with which it makes contact, so mak- top of an open tank many applications such as clothing.
ing sure the fluid that the instrument For process control measurements, The manufacturing process is carried
sees is the material that you want the critical factors are stability, re- out in a reactor, where both tempera-
it to measure, is a primary consid- peatability and sensitivity to changes ture control and tight viscosity control
eration. The demands of laboratory in viscosity. A stable, repeatable read- are required over the steps and addi-
versus process environments are dif- ing from an instrument that is sen- tions made during the process.
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 35
Feature Report

Carrying properties in oil and gas. FIGURE 4. This


In many oil and natural-gas production vibrating-probe
style viscometer
applications, viscosity is monitored and can be mounted to
controlled to make sure that the fluids a flange on the side
have the proper rheological properties of a tank, for example.
to carry solids. For example, hydraulic Vibrating-probe style
viscometers are typi-
fracturing fluid must have the proper cally used for trending FIGURE 5.
viscosity under various shear condi- viscosity changes, rather This vibrating-
tions to carry the proppant downhole, than obtaining absolute probe style viscom-
and deposit it at the required location. viscosity values eter can be mounted on
For drilling fluids, the viscosity must the top of a tank, for example
be correct to carry the cuttings away
from the drill bit and out of the hole, as The inline couette viscometer (Fig- cosity of a fluid is controlled
well as to lubricate the bit. ure 1) gives field engineers reliable vis- so that when it is pumped
Field engineers in oil-and-gas drill- cosity measurement, onsite at the well. through a spray nozzle,
ing operations can experience operat- This simplifies complicated test pro- proper atomization of the
ing problems if the viscosity specifica- cedures, minimizes human error and material occurs. Proper
tions of fluids pumped downhole are ensures quality control without delay. atomization through spray
incorrect. This complicates testing The instrument output allows for con- nozzles, which requires con-
procedures, increases the risk of costly stant monitoring and reporting of fluid tinuous and accurate viscosity
errors and wastes time. Consequently, viscosity or for use in ECD (equivalent measurement and control, en-
it is necessary to ensure fast, accurate circulating density) calculations by oil- sures the best combustion efficiency
viscosity measurement, data collec- rig engineers. in oil-delivery systems. To burn fuel
tion and analysis of fluid samples be- Oil-delivery systems, such as for oil at the high-volume flowrates de-
fore they are pumped downhole. burners. In this application, the vis- manded of modern boiler units, the

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36 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
FIGURE 6. This vibrational viscometer is commonly
used in printing and coating applications

oil must be atomized (dispersed into sign considerations, which may also cations include shampoos, detergents
the furnace as a fine mist). This as- be of interest to other spray-type ap- and yogurts to name a few. In these
sures high-speed vaporization and plications, such as spray-drying oper- cases, too thin a product might ap-
ignition. Most burners atomize oil by ations. Some of these considerations pear to be of poor quality (such as a
shearing the oil into small droplets. are the following: runny yogurt, or a shampoo that pours
Burner manufacturers recommend Bypass loop for viscometer installa- like water, without any body). Here it
that the oil be supplied to the burn- tion for fail-safe operation is a matter of consumer perception
ers at a specific viscosity to main- Use of viscosity feedback to control where specifications of final products
tain consistent atomization. Failure the heat rate to the oil-feedline heat are written by companies based upon
to maintain proper atomization re- exchanger consumer test groups, and the product
sults in the following: poor fuel burn- Output from the viscometer may go must fall within these specifications
ing due to carbon and soot buildup; to a single-loop controller that in- in order to be shipped.
higher fuel consumption and costs; stantly responds to inline viscosity Other quality-related applications
increased stack emissions and possi- changes where viscosity is important are in
ble fines from government agencies. Quality control. To ensure consis- coatings, such as paint applications. A
The inline process viscometer mon- tent quality of many different prod- few more examples follow.
itors and controls viscosity and tem- ucts, it is important that the viscosity Roll-coating thickness control.
perature in pressurized oil-delivery be constantly measured and controlled When dealing in any large-volume
systems. Repeatable viscosity mea- during the production process. In- coating and printing applications
surements are necessary to maximize line measurement ensures consistent where millions of products are being
the efficient atomization and delivery quality control in realtime. It saves on printed per day, the payback on the
of a variety of paraffin-based oils, laboratory testing times, and reduces cost of inline control can be very
asphaltic-based oils, as well as heat- hold-up of product in tanks waiting short when measured against costs of
ing fuels and waste oils. The process for evaluation. Examples of quality- wasted ink, varnishes, or coatings from
viscometer can include additional de- control and quality-assurance appli- too high a viscosity or from wasted

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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 37
Feature Report

product if the viscosity (and hence the sistency of a fluid is controlled so that For food batter applications, too thin
color) are too light. when something is dipped in it and a batter will mean improper coating
In printing applications, constant pulled out, it is uniformly and consis- and product quality. Too thick a batter
maintenance of proper ink viscosity tently coated. will mean bad product quality, longer
ensures the quality of the printing, Dipping applications are designed in cook and dry times, and raw mate-
which reduces rejects and waste, while automated systems whereby an item rial waste. You can easily imagine a
also keeping ink costs to a minimum. is brought over a tank or pan, dipped chicken nugget with too much batter.
To assure the uniform application of into the bath, removed and allowed This can be from too viscous a batter
inks on a variety of substrates (boxes, to drip dry before proceeding through during the coating process.
newspapers, cartons) it is necessary the process. The main problem with Edited by Dorothy Lozowski
to control viscosity. Continuous moni- the open tank or pan is with the evap- Author
toring and control of the ink reservoir oration of fluids to the environment. Steve Cicchese is the gen-
viscosity using an inline viscometer Viscosity control is used for addition eral manager of process sales
and marketing for Brookfield
(Figure 6) can provide viscosity mea- of water, solvents or other modifiers Engineering Laboratories
surement and control at multiple sta- as needed to control viscosity to a set (11 Commerce Blvd., Mid-
dleboro, MA, 02346; Email:
tions and save money by using less point. In pharmaceutical capsule man- s_cicchese@brookfieldengi
ink. Similar controls are needed in the ufacturing, for example, if the fluid is neering.com; Phone: 508-946-
6200) where he has worked
coating of, and the printing on soda too thin, the capsule will break during for the past 12 years. Prior to
that, he spent 15 years with
and other beverage cans. filling, or dissolve too soon when swal- Bird/Baker Process, a manu-
Dip-coating thickness control. The lowed, which would release medicine facturer of liquid-solid separation equipment.
Cicchese holds a B.S.Ch.E. from Northeastern
thickness or consistency of a fluid is in the throat instead of the stomach. If University, an MBA from Babson College and a
controlled to provide a dependable and it is too thick, then there is raw mate- certificate in business administration from Har-
vard University. He is a member of the AIChE
uniformly coated item when dipped, rial waste on millions of capsules that and Society of Petroleum Engineers, and has
then removed, from a coating tank. In will raise product costs, and it may not written numerous articles on process viscosity
measurement in various industries, including
this application, the thickness or con- dissolve properly when swallowed. food, printing, asphalt and oil and gas.

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38 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
Feature Report

Correcting Improper
Performance of
Direct Fired Heaters
A practical, step-by-step approach for finding the
root cause and troubleshooting burner problems FIGURE 1. Faulty burner performance
and continuous flame impingement have
caused excessive tube-metal tempera-
tures and coke buildup in heater tubes
Babak Maghbooli and Afshin Bakhtiari
Tarahan Naftoon Arya Engineering Co.

Hamidreza Najafi
Farayand Sabz Engineering Co.

O
ccasionally, direct fired heaters be caused by heating surface burner-
that have operated satisfac- flame impingement, improper excess
torily for long periods of time air-fuel ratios, damaged burner tiles
subsequent to startup develop or tiles of improper diameter, improper
operating problems that do not allow burner spacing and other causes.
for operation at design conditions, as For example, continuous flame im-
specified in the manufacturers API pingement with heater tubes in places
data sheets for the heater. where no tube-skin thermocouple is in-
Performance that may be guaran- stalled can be the cause of unexpected
teed, or otherwise specified by the coke buildup, as shown in Figure 1. In
supplier would include the type and cases such as this, the main question is:
characteristics of the feedstock pro- Why has the operator ignored the prob- FIGURE 2. Faulty burner performance
cessed, the heater duty, inlet and out- lem for such a long period of time so and improper flame-shape problems
let temperatures and pressures, heat that it has eventually led to disastrous could not be solved by operators for a
long period of operation time due to lack
flux, tube-metal temperature and coke buildup and heater shutdown? of troubleshooting knowledge
any other process conditions that are For the most part, human factors,
measurable by instrumentation pro- such as inadequate training, improper for performing root-cause analysis);
vided with the heater or calculable scheduling of visual inspections and and second, they didnt know how to
through the use of the heater instru- the lack of troubleshooting skills are treat the problem following a logical,
mentation data. to be blamed. While many firms do be- stepwise procedure (in other words, a
In many cases, operators cannot lieve that the first two reasons are the lack of knowledge for taking correc-
identify the cause of an operating most important, one should not forget tive action).
problem by simply comparing the the significance of effective trouble- Such situations are not unfamiliar
specified data and faulty data obtain- shooting procedures, too. for fired heater operators and field en-
able from the heater instrumentation. In many cases, recognizing the gineers, because these problems hap-
For example, although the measured problem and observing indications pen frequently in many petroleum re-
tube-metal temperatures demon- of it are not enough, because without fineries or petrochemical plants.
strate no significant increases, an un- proper knowledge and understanding A proper root-cause analysis of
expected pressure drop may occur in of the troubleshooting sequence, any burner performance problems and
heater passes because of internal attempts to solve the problem will a proper troubleshooting algorithm
fouling, mainly caused by coke for- fail. For example, in one of our expe- can be a great help to operators for
mation. In many cases, operators are rienced case histories, despite many overcoming problems. In this article
unable to achieve the design heater trial-and-error efforts, operators were we have proposed a simple root-
duty and overall thermal efficiency, unable to tune improper flame shapes cause analysis and also a computer-
while the cause of faulty performance (Figure 2) because of two reasons. ized troubleshooting algorithm that
is unknown to them. Most of these First, they couldnt diagnose the root sequentially directs the heater op-
cases may be due to faulty burner cause of the problem according to its erator from one burner problem to
performance. Such performance could symptoms (that is, a lack of knowledge another, indicating how each of the
39 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 39
TABLE 1. TYPICAL FIRED-BURNER PROBLEMS AND ROOT CAUSES

Improper dry-out practice or wrong material selection


Burner-tip poor installation or assembly practice
Improper primary or secondary air adjustment
Root Cause

Frequent changing of fuel composition

Rapid temperature changes in firebox


Improper amount of atomizing steam
Burner-tip improper drilling diameter
Improper amount of combustion air

Burner-tip improper drilling angle

High content of impurities in fuel


Improper fuel temperature
Improper fuel pressure
Burner tip damaged

Burner tile damage


Burner tip plugged

Electrical problem

Choked fuel ring


Fuel oil spoilage
Excessive firing
Improper draft
Problem
category Problem subcategory

Unsteady flame Erratic flame


pattern
Pulsating flame

Loose or hazy flame

Cloudy flame

Non-definitive shape

Undesirable flame Long flame


height
Short flame

Fame lift off

Flame flashback

Undesirable fuel Luminous blue


gas flame color
Yellow

Dark orange or brown

Undesirable fuel oil Luminous yellow


flame color
Dark orange or light brown

Flame impingement

Mechanical Burner tip damages


damages or
problems Burner tile damages

Pilot ignition problem

Improper air entrance

Burner goes out

improper performances for a given problems can be classified into the fol- Each of these categorized problems
cause is to be corrected, and con- lowing eight main categories: can be divided into many subcategories.
tinues in this vein until all possible 1. Unsteady flame pattern In order to analyze each category and
causes for improper burner perfor- 2. Undesirable flame height its subcategories in the most concise
mance are corrected. 3. Undesirable flame color and efficient way, a root-cause-analysis
4. Flame liftoff or blowoff table has been proposed (Table 1).
Typical problems & root causes 5. Flame flashback
Based on our field experience and the 6. Flame impingement Troubleshooting actions
valuable information found in Refer- 7. Mechanical problems & damages Understanding the root causes of
ences 13, typical fired-heater-burner 8. Burner extinguished burner operating problems is the
40 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
Feature Report

A-1

Measure combustion air, in case of low Specify your problem Check burners fuel pressure,
combustion air, increase excess air amount. in case of low pressure,
I III Yes
I- Erratic flame pattern adjust fuel pressure if possible.
Is your problem solved? II- Pulsating flame
III- Loose or hazy flame pattern Is your problem solved?
See also: How to adjust draft
and excess air? (Reference 1) II No
No Yes

Go to Point T Is burner tip Measure combustion air, in case of low combustion air, Measure fired heaters draft and excess air,
in Figure 8 damaged? increase excess air amount. in case of low excess air and low draft,
Yes Caution: Reduce fuel flow before increasing air flow, adjust damper and registers.
No danger of explosion or flame flashback exists. Yes
Is your problem solved?
Is your problem solved?
See also: How to adjust draft and excess air? See also: How to adjust draft
Go to Point BT Is burner tile (Reference 1) and excess air? (Reference 1)
in Figure 9 Yes damaged?
No Yes No No

Measure combustion air, in case


Seek of low draft, increase draft amount. No Seek
engineering Is your problem solved? engineering
consultancy Yes See also:How to adjust draft consultancy
and excess air?(Reference 1)

FIGURE 3. Troubleshooting
algorithm for unsteady lame End troubleshooting
pattern (Part 1) procedure

A-2

FIGURE 4. Troubleshooting
algorithm for unsteady lame Specify your problem
pattern (Part 2) I II
I- Cloudy flame
II- Non definitive flame shape

Check burner fuel pressure, in case


Yes of high pressure, adjust fuel pressure
if possible.
Specify your fuel type:
1 2 Is your problem solved?
1- Gaseous fuel
2- Fuel oil or
Combination firing
No

Yes
Low air-to-fuel ratio. Go to Point T Is burner tip
Adjust fuel pressure Too much atomizing steam, in Figure 8 damaged?
and air flow by adjusting adjust steam pressure in
accordance to fuel oil pressure. Yes
damper and
burner registers. No No
Is your problem solved?
Is your problem solved?
See also: How to adjust Measure fired heaters draft and
draft and excess air? excess air, in case of improper
No Yes
(Reference 1) excess air or draft, adjust damper
and registers.
Yes Low air-to-fuel ratio. Adjust fuel Is your problem solved?
pressure and air flow by See also: How to adjust draft
adjusting damper and and excess air?
burner registers. (Reference 1)
Seek No
engineering Is your problem solved?
consultancy No
See also: How to adjust draft
and excess air? (Reference 1) Seek
engineering
consultancy
Yes

End troubleshooting
procedure

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 41


B

Specify your flame height:


I II
I- Long flame
II- Short flame

Check burners fuel pressure, in case of high pressure Check burner fuel pressure, in case of low pressure
Yes (over fire), adjust fuel pressure if possible. (low fire), adjust fuel pressure if possible. Yes

Is your problem solved? Is your problem solved?

No No

Inspect primary air registers, in case of low primary air, Inspect primary air registers, in case of too much primary
increase primary air amount. air, decrease primary air amount.

Yes Is your problem solved? Is your problem solved? Yes


See also: How to adjust draft and excess air? See also:How to adjust draft and excess air?
(Reference 1) (Reference 1)

No No

Yes Yes Is burner tip


Is burner tip Go to Point T in Figure 8
damaged? damaged?

No No

Inspect diameter of the Yes Yes Inspect diameter of the


burner tip nozzles. Is Go to Point DT in Figure 8 burner tip nozzles. Is
drilling diameter narrow? drilling diameter wide?

No Seek engineering No
consultancy.

End troubleshooting
procedure.
FIGURE 5. Troubleshooting algorithm
for undesirable lame height
C

FIGURE 6. Troubleshooting Specify your problem


algorithm for lame lift off and I II
II
lashback I- Flame lift off
II- Flame flashback

The burners are designed to work with limited range of fuel The burners are designed to work with limited range of
compositions, too much fuel switching during operation can fuel compositions, too much fuel switching during operation
Yes can cause flame misbehaviors, such as flashback or lift Yes
cause flame misbehaviors such as flashback or lift off. If
your facility switches fuel composition frequently, solve this off. If your facility switches fuel composition frequently,
problem in the first step. Then follow other steps. solve this problem in the first step. Then follow other steps.

Is your problem solved? Is your problem solved?

No No

Fuel speed is more than flame speed. Check fuel pressure, Flame speed is more than fuel and air mixture speed.
Yes Check fuel pressure, increase fuel pressure if possible. Yes
reduce fuel pressure if possible.

Is your problem solved? Is your problem solved?

No No

Measure fired-heaters draft and excess air, in case Measure fired-heaters draft and excess air, in case
of too much draft, adjust damper and registers. of low draft, adjust damper and registers.
Yes Yes
Is your problem solved? Is your problem solved?

See also: How to adjust draft and excess air? See also: How to adjust draft and excess air?
(Reference 1) (Reference 1)

No No

Inspect diameter of the Yes Yes Inspect diameter of the


Go to Point DT
burner tip nozzles. Is burner tip nozzles. Is
in Figure 8
drilling diameter narrow? drilling diameter wide?

No No
Seek engineering
consultancy

End troubleshooting
procedure

42 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013


D

Low excess air or low draft can cause non-suitable flame shapes. Measure fired
heaters draft and excess air. In case of low excess air or low draft, adjust damper
Feature Report and registers. Yes

Is your problem solved? See also: How to adjust draft and excess air? (Reference 1)

No
primary step of burner troubleshoot-
ing. Now what matters the most is Check burner tips. Are they installed according to the burner installation manual?
the proper sequence of troubleshoot- If not, correct burner tip installation angles. Yes
ing actions, which are provided by a
Is your problem solved?
set of comprehensive algorithms pre-
sented here. No
These troubleshooting algorithms
are based on the logic depicted in Fig- Yes Check nozzles of burner tips.
Go to Point DA
ures 3 to 12, and have been success- in Figure 8 Are the drilling angles correct?
fully used to both recognize what a
burner problem might be, indicate the No
cause of the problem and correct the Go to Point T
Yes
Check burner tips. Are they damaged?
burner defect, so as to achieve the de- in Figure 8
sired heater performance.
No

A practical example In case of fuel oil burning, poor atomization can cause flame No Seek
Lets assume that an operator tries impingement. Correct poor atomization problems. engineering
consultancy
to solve a burner firing problem like Is your problem solved? See also: How to solve poor
the one depicted in Figure 1. As it can atomization problems. (Section PA in Figure 11)
be seen, the firebox of the specified
fired heater (which is a crude charge Yes End troubleshooting
procedure
heater) has suffered from long-term FIGURE 7. Troubleshooting
flame impingement to tubes and algorithm for lame impingement

E-1
Yes Yes

Please specify If you are using fuel oil, do you Analyze fuel for content
your mechanical experience poor atomization of impurities dissolved in
problem: problems? If so, solve poor fuel stream. If content of
Burner tip problems atomization problems first. Impurities is high, schedule
Adjust atomizing steam ratio No
regular burner cleaning
to fuel oil properly. program and seek
P
engineering consultancy
Is your problem solved? to solve your fuel problem.
I See Also: How to solve Is your problem solved?
atomization problems?
Please specify burner tip (Point PA in Figure 11) No
problem:
II
T I- Burner tip plugged DA If you experience regular
II- Improper drilling angel refractory and burner tile
III- Damaged burner tip damage, broken tiles or
IV- Unsuitable drilling diameter Contact burner designer and refractory pieces can plug
ask for after-sale services. Done burner tips.
The burner design must be Solve this problem.
IV III Yes
revised under engineering
supervision. Is your problem solved?

See also:
How to solve damaged
Replace burner tip with spare one, if damage is tile problems?
caused by incorrect mechanical installation (Point BT in Figure 9)
practice, follow correct installation procedures.
If damage is caused by continued burner-tip
plugging, solve the root cause of tip plugging in Done No
order to avoid further damage.

See also: Seek


How to solve burner plugging problems? engineering
(Point P) consultancy

Revise drilling diameters


according to the burner general
FIGURE 8. arrangement maps and burner No Seek End troubleshooting
Troubleshooting DT data sheets. engineering procedure
algorithm for consultancy
mechanical Is your problem solved?
problems and
Yes
damages (Part 1)

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 43


E-2
In case of improper If you experience Improper dry out or
flame pattern, long refractory damages improper material
Please specify your time flame impinge- and downfalls, falling selection can cause
mechanical problem: ment to tiles, can parts of the refractory burner tile damages
cause tile damage. Do you can damage burner during startup after
I No experience No No
I- Burner tile damages Solve flame pattern tiles. Seek engineering overhaul or shortly
BT problems. rapid temper- consultancy and ask after overhaul. Seek
II- Pilot ignition problems
III- Improper air entrance ature change inspection engineer engineering
Is your problem in fire box? to find the cause consultancy and ask
solved? and solve the problem. your inspection
II III Yes engineer to find
See Also: How to Is your problem cause and solve it.
solve unsteady flame Thermal shock solved?
pattern problems? caused burner
(Point A-1 in Figure 3) tile damage,
revise operating
Yes conditions and Yes Done
Go to Point E-3 avoid thermal
shocks.
Done
End troubleshooting
procedure

If pilot ignites by means Analyze fuel In case of fuel oil firing, If you experience The fuel
of automatic electrical composition. In case oil spoilage can plug regular refractory and ring of pilot
ignition system, first of Improper fuel pilot tips. This happens burner tile damage, is choked,
become sure that composition (according when burner suffers broken tiles or clean fuel
system works properly. to design conditions) from problems caused refractory pieces ring and try
If any electrical or high content of by poor atomization. can plug pilot tips. to ignite
problem exists, No impurities, pilot tip No Correct atomization No Solve this problem. No pilot again. No Seek
eliminate it in first step. can plug frequently. problems in first step. engineering
Clean tips and revise Is your problem Is your consultancy
Is your problem fuel composition. Is your problem solved? solved? problem
solved? See Also: How to solve See Also: How to solved?
Is your problem atomization problems? solve damaged tile
solved? (Point PA in Figure 11) problems? (Point BT)

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes

Inspect burner plenum, in case Check burner air blades, damper


of excessive noise, mechanical or registers, in case of finding any
damage or improper installation No visual damage, such as broken No Seek
E-3 practice is possible. Inspect blades, deformed registers and engineering
plenum for mechanical damages. others. Repair it immediately. consultancy
Is your problem solved? Is your problem solved?

FIGURE 9. Troubleshooting algorithm for mechanical problems and damages (Part 2)

needs immediate corrective action to Occasionally, some refineries try to the simplest solution, which is tuning
prevent further tube damage and pos- process as much crude oil as the equip- excess air and draft amounts. Low ex-
sible internal coke buildup. ment can withstand during operation. cess air or low draft can cause unde-
By taking a look at Table 1, one This means pushing the equipment to sired flame patterns, which can lead
can find the root causes of flame im- its overdesign limits. For fired heaters, to flame impingement. It should be
pingement problems, which are as this limit is often 20% over normal op- noted that excess air and draft are in-
follows: erating conditions. In many cases this terrelated and should be tuned simul-
1. Improper amount of air or draft means excessive firing. It is impracti- taneously to achieve proper results,
2. Burner tip problems (either dam- cal to ask the operator to reduce the therefore the operator is asked to use
aged or plugged) firing rate in order to tune flame pat- the procedures described extensively
3. Poor installation or maintenance terns, while the vapor quality of out- in Ref. 1 to tune draft and excess air to
practices let stream and its temperature limit proper amounts.
4. Improper fuel oil atomization are vital to downstream separation If the problem still exists, the op-
5. Excessive firing. processes. In such cases engineering erator is asked to check burner-tip in-
Except for Point 5 (excessive firing) precautions must be given to the re- stallation practices and their drilling
in some cases, all the other causes can finery management team. If the fur- angles according to burner tip gen-
be treated by stepwise troubleshooting nace design parameters show limita- eral drawings and data sheets. Some-
procedure outlined in Figures 312. As tions for satisfactory operation within times after overhaul or maintenance
for the excessive firing, if it happens demanded new heat release amounts, services, burners are assembled in a
only in few burners or in combination solutions like building parallel fired rush in order to startup fired heat-
firing cases, the operator can easily heaters must be taken into account. ers as soon as possible. This rush
tune fuel pressure and control exces- In order to solve flame impingement can lead to poor assembly or instal-
sive firing rate; but if it is due to heater problems, the operator can start with lation practices. Such shortcomings
overdesign operating conditions, the the troubleshooting procedure given could be solved according to guidance
solution would not be that easy. in Figure 7. This procedure starts with given in the specified troubleshoot-
44 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
F-1

Feature Report
Specify your fuel type
II Go to Point F-2
I- Gaseous fuel in Figure 11
II- Fuel oil or combination firing

I
Measure fired-heater excess air, Measure fired-heater excess air,
in case of too much excess air or in case of low excess air or draft,
draft, adjust damper and registers. adjust damper and registers.
Yes Specify flame color Yes
Is your problem solved? 1 2 Is your problem solved?
1-Luminus blue
See Also: How to adjust draft 2- Yellow See also: How to adjust draft
and excess air? (Reference 1) 3- Dark orange or brown and excess air? (Reference 1)
3
No
Lack of combustion air. Increase
combustion air amount by opening No
registers and main damper
immediately. After stabilizing
Seek No condition, adjust draft and
engineering excess air. Yes
Go to Point T Is burner tip
consultancy
Is your problem solved? in Figure 8 damaged?

See also: How to adjust draft


No
and excess air? (Reference 1)

Seek
Yes engineering
consultancy

End troubleshooting
procedure
FIGURE 10. Troubleshooting algorithm
for undesirable lame color (Part 1)
F-2 Lack of combustion air. Increase
combustion air amount by opening
registers and main damper and
adjust excess air and draft
Yes
No 1 Specify flame color: 2 according to proper instructions.
Do you see sparks
in the flame? Is your problem solved?
1-Luminus yellow
2- Dark orange or light brown
Yes See also: How to adjust
draft and excess air?
(Reference 1)
Too much atomizing steam is used, Yes No
balance atomizing steam to fuel oil ratio.

Is your problem solved? PA

No

Poor atomization problems exist.

Examine your fuel oil, possibly high Done


content of ash and impurities in fuel oil.
Seek engineering consultancy to solve
Yes Too much fuel oil is used, balance
your fuel problem.
atomizing steam to fuel oil ratio.

Is your problem solved?

No
Measure fired-heater excess air, in
case of too much excess air or draft,
No
adjust damper and registers. Seek Poor atomization, because of
engineering Yes plugged oil guns. Check oil guns,
Is your problem solved? consultancy if they are plugged clean them.
See Also: How to adjust draft
and excess air? (Reference 1) Is your problem solved?

Yes No

FIGURE 11. Poor atomization, because of


Done
Troubleshooting improper fuel-oil temperature. Seek
engineering consultancy to solve
algorithm for your fuel temperature problem.
undesirable lame
color (part 2) End troubleshooting
procedure

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 45


Feature Report

G
References
1. American Petroleum Institute, Burners for
Measure fired-heater draft and excess air. In case Fired Heaters in General Refinery Services,
of low excess air or low draft or high excess air Publication No. 535, API, Washington, D.C.,
and high draft, adjust damper and registers. Yes July 1995.
End troubleshooting
procedure 2. Witte R.H., and Barrington E.A., Trou-
Is your problem solved? bleshooting, Chapter 17 in Baukal C.E.,
See also: How to adjust draft and excess air? Schwartz R.E., eds., The John Zink Com-
(Reference 1) bustion Handbook 1st ed., CRC Press, New
York, N.Y., 2001.
No 3. Patel S., Typical Fired Heater Problems and
Root Causes, Hydrocarbon Process., 86 (3),
pp. 6869, March 2007.
Yes
Are burner tips Go to Point P
plugged? in Figure 8
Authors
Babak Maghbooli works as
No a member of the research and
development team of Tara-
han Naftoon Arya Engineer-
Does the operator inspect Yes Seek ing Co. (No.75, Radafzoon
burners frequently? engineering Street, Tehran, Iran; Email:
consultancy maghbooli@xthermo.com).
With more than six years of
experience in the field of tun-
No
ing process fired heaters and
troubleshooting their prob-
lems, he has provided con-
sultancy services for more than five petroleum
refineries in the field of troubleshooting, main-
tenance and analyzing mechanical and thermal
Prepare a suitable burner behavior of fired heaters and boilers. He also
has practical and professional experience in the
inspection time schedule for field of process simulation and developing root-
each shift or ask the operator No
cause analysis procedures for chemical process
to follow regular inspection problems. He is an advanced VBA programmer
due to inspection work order. and has developed many process simulation so-
lutions in MS-Excel for various consulting proj-
Is your problem solved? ects. Maghbooli holds a B.Sc.Ch.E. degree from
Arak University.

Yes
Hamidreza Najafi works
as the head of the research
and development team of
Farayand Sabz Engineer-
ing Co. (No.117, Somaye
FIGURE 12. Troubleshooting algorithm for burner goes out Street, Tehran, Iran; Email:
hrnajafi@xthermo.com). He is
a professional object-oriented
ing algorithms. If the problem is still this program in industrial environ- programmer and his main
not solved, operators can check the ments, like petroleum refineries and interest is developing simu-
lator packages for industrial
burner tips for damages, either by petrochemical plants, operators have processes by means of mod-
mechanical or thermal means. If this been able to identify and correct the ern programming techniques. With more than
12 years of experience, he has practical and
is the case, proper guidance is given burner operating problems faster and professional experience in the fields of thermal
in Figure 8. In case of fuel oil or com- more efficiently. There were fewer radiation especially for design and simula-
tion of thermal cracking furnaces and process
bination firing, poor atomization can complaints about faulty burner op- fired heaters and also development of chemical
kinetics and thermodynamics framework for
be the cause of flame impingement, erations, and, as result, less mainte- simulator software. He has provided numerous
and proper corrective actions are nance operations were needed. solutions for process problems in these fields for
various oil and petrochemical companies. Najafi
given in Figure 11. It should not be forgotten that the has a B.Sc.Ch.E. degree from Sharif University
Following this procedure will usu- main cost-saving benefits of this pro- of Technology and a M.Sc.Ch.E. degree from
Shiraz University.
ally eliminate flame impingement gram are the following:
problems. For the situation shown in Less fuel consumption due to proper Afshin Bakhtiari is founder
Figure 1, tuning the amount of draft levels of excess air and draft and CEO of Tarahan Naftoon
Arya Engineering Co. (same
and excess air solved the problem Less damage due to overheated address as Maghbooli; Email:
totally. In exceptional cases where a tubes abakhtiari@naftoonarya.
com). With more than 12
problem cannot be eliminated by fol- The possibility of increasing through- years experience, he has pro-
lowing the steps described in this put and decreased downtime for de- vided numerous solutions for
process problems of different
paper, professional engineering con- coking operations petroleum and gas refineries.
His company has done more
sultancy must be sought. Edited by Gerald Ondrey than three consultancy proj-
ects for troubleshooting process fired heaters at
three different refineries and has also developed
Computerized algorithm Acknowledgment simulator software for process fired heaters.
A computer program (computer wiz- The authors wish to thank the help and contribu- Bakhtiari holds B.Sc.Ch.E. and M.Sc.Ch.E. de-
tion of Mr. Alan Cross. He gave us the motivation grees from Tehran University. He has also served
ard) was developed based on logic de- for preparing and submitting our experiences in for two years as the head of the project manage-
scribed in Figures 3 to 12. By using the current article. ment team of the National Iranian Gas Co.

46 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013


Engineering Practice

Specifying Shell-and-
Tube Heat Exchangers
Understand what heat exchanger design Shellside
fluid

specialists need to know and remember,


you know your process best Tubeside
fluid

Asif Raza

S
hell-and-tube heat exchangers temperature change re- FIGURE 1. Which luid goes on the shellside and
are one of the most important quired. Refer to heat and which on the tubeside? There is no straightforward
and commonly used process material balances. answer, but the guidelines presented here will help
you decide
equipment items in the chemi- 2. Process fluid properties
cal process industries (CPI). If you density, viscosity and thermal con- sible to clean the tubes by water jet-
are working on a project during either ductivity at the operating tem- ting, having simply opened the head
the basic or the detailed engineering perature and pressure. of the exchanger, without needing to
phase, there is a good chance that you remove the tube bundle. The shell
will need to specify one or more shell- Which fluid on which side? and the outside of the tube bundle,
and-tube exchangers and perhaps Next comes your first design deci- on the other hand, are harder to
many of them. sion: Which fluid goes on the shellside clean mechanically, and chemical
While the actual design will likely and which on the tubeside (Figure 1)? cleaning is often the only option.
be done by a specialist at an equip- There is no straightforward answer, The shellside offers a larger cross-
ment vendor or within your own com- but some considerations and rules of section for vapor flow, and hence
pany, you still need to fill out a process thumb outlined in an online reference lower pressure drops. Process va-
datasheet for each heat exchanger and (http://smartprocessdesign.com) and pors to be condensed are therefore
in due course, review the vendors de- incorporating the authors experience normally placed on the shellside,
tailed proposal. You know your process are summarized here: though the tubeside is generally
best, and it is a bad idea to rely on the Corrosive fluids are best kept to the used for condensing steam.
vendor always to make the right deci- tubeside. Since the tubeside has less The baffles on the shellside help to
sions. This article shows you the basics metal than the shellside, this will ensure good mixing, which reduces
of specifying and selecting shell-and- minimize the use of expensive met- the effects of laminar flow and there-
tube heat exchangers: the process in- als that may be needed to withstand fore tends to increase heat-transfer
formation and preliminary design deci- the fluids corrosive properties. coefficients. Hence you will get bet-
sions needed to fill out the datasheet, Fluids at extreme pressures and ter heat transfer if viscous fluids are
and how to check any corresponding temperatures are preferably kept to kept on the shellside I confirmed
assumptions made by the vendor. Al- the tubeside, because they are likely this recently on a project involving a
though it does not go into detail on the to require a greater metal thickness, very viscous polymer.
design procedure, the article is also a or more expensive materials of con- Twisted tubes, static mixers or tube
good starting point if you intend to de- struction. The tubes, being smaller inserts increase turbulence and
sign the heat exchanger yourself. in diameter than the shell, with- thus heat-transfer coefficients on
stand higher pressures. the tubeside by reducing the effects
Datasheet information Fluids that need to be kept at a high of laminar flow. Because these are
Though every company is likely to have velocity, such as water or propylene usually proprietary technologies,
its own heat exchanger datasheet, glycol for cooling, should be kept on however, your ability to check the
most of them look much like the the tubeside. vendors performance claims may be
sample shown in Figure 2 (p. 49). To Dirty fluids, or streams that are oth- limited. If you think you would ben-
complete the datasheet you will need erwise likely to cause fouling, should efit from one of these technologies,
to know: go on the tubeside. This is because work closely with the vendor and be
1. The composition and normal flow- the tubes are easier to clean than sure to evaluate all the options.
rate of the process fluid(s), and the the shell. For instance, it is often pos- In heat exchanger designs that fea-
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 47
TABLE 1. TYPICAL FOULING FACTORS
Fluid Typical foul-
Engineering Practice ing factor
(ft2Fh/Btu)

Fuel oil 0.005


ture gaskets or floating heads, the with your equipment-design
shellside typically is not a suitable engineer that it can provide Steam (clean) 0.0005
location for fluids that are hazard- the necessary pressure drop.
ous, corrosive or especially valu- For cooling water, check for Exhaust steam (oil bearing) 0.001
able, because the risk of leaks is too constraints on the allowable Refrigerant vapors (oil bearing) 0.002
high. Such fluids should therefore return pressure at the bat-
normally go on the tubeside. Ex- tery limit of the unit. Compressed air 0.002
changers featuring all-welded con- Sometimes the need to
struction can safely carry hazardous optimize the heat exchanger Industrial organic heat-transfer 0.001
media
fluids on the shellside, though you means that you will have to
should remember the difficulty of take a higher pressure drop Refrigerant liquids 0.001
cleaning the shellside. than originally specified. A
Thermal expansion may be an issue higher pressure drop means Hydraulic fluid 0.001
if one of the fluids undergoes a tem- higher velocity, which in
Molten heat-transfer salts 0.0005
perature change of more than 150 turns gives a higher Reyn-
200C (300400F). In this case you olds number and a higher Acid gas 0.001
would normally put the high-tem- heat-transfer coefficient.
perature-change fluid on the shell- Give the heat exchanger Solvent vapors 0.001
side, which is better able to handle vendor an allowable pres-
MEA and DEA solutions 0.002
large temperature changes in cer- sure drop as high as real-
tain exchanger designs. istically possible to allow DEG and TEG solutions 0.002
In summary, the fluids preferred on flexibility in optimizing the
the tubeside are the following: design. Once the designer Caustic solutions 0.002
Cooling water has confirmed the calcu-
Vegetable oils 0.003
The more-fouling, erosive or corro- lated pressure drop, pass
sive fluid this value on to your rotary Lean oil 0.002
The less-viscous fluid equipment engineer, who
The fluid at higher pressure will need it for sizing pumps Cooling water 0.001
The hotter fluid and compressors.
Natural gas 0.001
The smaller volumetric flowrate. Fouling factors. These are
Remember, however, that none of the very important in sizing the Atmospheric tower overhead 0.001
suggestions above is definitive. Use heat exchanger. Do not ex- vapors
them as a starting point, but if they pect the vendor to provide
indicate a different fluid arrangement you with fouling factors. A Vacuum overhead vapors 0.002
from what has been used in the past higher fouling factor trans- Specifying appropriate fouling factors is im-
in your plant or industry, you may find lates to a lower design heat- portant but not always easy. In the absence of
that there is a good reason. If two sug- transfer coefficient (Ud) and operating experience, pick figures from reliable
gestions conflict, or the performance a larger required surface published sources.
of your initial configuration looks un- area. Fouling factors can Source: TEMA
satisfactory because the predicted often be taken from existing
pressure drop or heat-transfer per- plant data. If these are not available, 10%, but can be up to 30%. Choose a
formance does not meet your require- you will have to assume a value taken value from your plants or units de-
ments do not be afraid to reverse from company guidelines or published sign basis, or ask your customer.
the arrangement of the two fluids and sources (Table 1). Make sure that your Heating and cooling curve. If the
see whether that improves matters. customer whether internal or ex- heat exchanger will be used to con-
ternal is in agreement with your as- dense or vaporize process fluids, the
More key decisions sumed fouling factor. Designing with vendor will require a corresponding
Allowable pressure drop. You will a too-high fouling factor will result in heating or cooling curve showing how
have to understand the process thor- an oversized heat exchanger that will the vapor fraction varies with temper-
oughly before you can attempt to cost you more and probably will not ature, and the corresponding thermal
specify the pressure drop on each side work as intended. properties of the liquid and vapor frac-
of the heat exchanger. As a rule of Excess area. The difference between tions. A heating or cooling curve with
thumb, start with 10 psi on both the the design heat-transfer coefficient 810 points can easily be generated
shellside and the tubeside. If there and the service heat-transfer coef- using simulation software.
is a pump upstream of the heat ex- ficient provides a safety factor, often Design temperature and pressure.
changer, there probably will be no con- known as excess area because it is Calculate the design temperature and
cern about pressure drop as long as equivalent to specifying a larger heat- pressure on both the shellside and the
the pump can handle this. For gases, if transfer area than necessary. The tubeside by adding an appropriate
there is a compressor upstream, check excess area is usually a minimum of safety margin to the maximum values
48 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
1 Job No.
2 Customer Reference No.
3 Address Proposal No.
4 Plant Location Date Rev.
5 Service of Unit Item No.
6 Size Type (Hor/Vert) Connected in Parallel Series
7 Surf/Unit (Gross/Eff.) sq ft; Shells/Unit Surf/Shell (Gross/Eff.) sq ft
8 PERFORMANCE OF ONE UNIT
9 Fluid Allocation Shell Side Tube Side
10 Fluid Name (In|Out)
11 Fluid Quantity Total lb/hr
12 Vapor | |
13 Liquid | |
14 Steam | |
15 Water | |
16 Noncondensable | |
17 Temperature F | |
18 Specific Gravity | |
19 Viscosity, Liquid cP | |
20 Molecular Weight, Vapor | |
21 Molecular Weight, Noncondensable | |
22 Specific Heat BTU / lb F | |
23 Thermal Conductivity BTU ft / hr sq ft F | |
24 Latent Heat BTU / lb @ F
25 Inlet Pressure psia
26 Velocity ft / sec
27 Pressure Drop, Allow. /Calc psi / /
28 Fouling Resistance (Min.) hr sq ft F / BTU
29 Heat Exchanged BTU / hr LMTD (Corrected) F
30 Transfer Rate, Service Clean BTU / hr sq ft F
31 CONSTRUCTION OF ONE SHELL Sketch (Bundle/Nozzle Orientation)
32 Shell Side Tube Side
33 Design / Test Pressure psig / /
34 Design Temp. Max/Min F / /
35 No. Passes per Shel
36 Corrosion Allowance in
37 Connections In
38 Size & Out
39 Rating Intermediate
40 Tube No. OD in;Thk (Min/Avg) in;Length ft;Pitch in 30 60 90 45
41 Tube Type Materia
42 Shell ID OD in Shell Cover (Integ.) (Remov.)
43 Channel or Bonne Channel Cover
44 Tubesheet-Stationary Tubesheet-Floating
45 Floating Head Cove Impingement Protection
46 Baffles-Cross Type %Cut (Diam/Area) Spacing: c/c Inlet in
47 Baffles-Long Seal Type
48 Supports-Tube U-Bend Type
49 Bypass Seal Arrangemen Tube-to-Tubesheet Joint
50 Expansion Joint Type
51 p v2-Inlet Nozzle Bundle Entrance Bundle Exit
52 Gaskets-Shell Side Tube Side
53 Floating Head
54 Code Requirements TEMA Class
55 Weight / Shell Filled with Water Bundle lb
56 Remarks
57
58
59
60
61
FIGURE 2. A typical datasheet for a shell-and-tube heat exchanger lists all the information required for a detailed design
Source: TEMA (Tubular Exchanger Manufacturers Association, Inc.; Tarrytown, N.Y.; www.tema.org).

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 49


Engineering Practice

Source: TEMA

Front-end Shell types


Rear-end
stationary head types head types

E L
A Fixed tubesheet
One pass shell like A stationary head

Channel and
removable cover F M
Two pass shell Fixed tubesheet
with longitudinal baffle like B stationary head

B
G N
Fixed tubesheet
like N stationary head
Bonnet (integral cover) Split flow

P
H Outside packed
Removable floating head
C tube
bundle Double split flow
only
Channel integral with tube- S
sheet and removable cover
J Floating head
with backing device

Divided flow
N T
Pull through floating head

K
Channel integral with tube-
sheet and removable cover
U
Kettle type reboiler
U-tube bundle

D X
W
Externally sealed
Special high pressure Cross flow floating tubesheet
closure

FIGURE 3. TEMA exchanger-type codes provide a shorthand for different basic designs and construction methods

expected in service. Consider the fol- must be at least 77% of the tubeside such as steaming of the heat ex-
lowing guidelines: design pressure (the 10/13 rule). changer during maintenance.
1. To arrive at the design temperature, For instance, if the tubeside design Design codes. Under ASME rules, if
add a margin of 30C (50F) to the pressure is 500 psig, the minimum the operating pressure is higher than
maximum allowable operating tem- shellside design pressure should be 15 psig, then the heat exchanger is
perature of the exchanger. 500 10/13 = 385 psig. The logic of considered a pressure vessel, and the
2. Similarly, the design pressure can be this is that ASME codes require the pressure-vessel design code ASME
calculated by adding an appropriate shell to be hydraulically tested at section VIII, Div. 1 or 2 applies. Simi-
margin to the maximum allowable 1.3 times its design pressure, so tube lar logic applies to different pressure
operating pressure. rupture which is generally con- vessel codes used outside the U.S. and
3. If the process hazard analysis has sidered an unlikely event would Canada; make sure you use the code
identified tube rupture as a hazard, not pressurize the shell beyond its appropriate to the country in which
to avoid the need to design a pres- test pressure. the equipment will be used.
sure relief valve for the tube rupture 4. When deciding the design tempera- The Tubular Exchanger Manufactur-
case, the shellside design pressure ture, consider routine operations ers Assn., Inc. (TEMA; Tarrytown, N.Y.;
50 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
chemicals and petrochemicals at higher
TABLE 2. TYPICAL DESIGN HEAT-TRANSFER COEFFICIENTS
temperatures and pressures. TEMA R,
Hot fluid Cold fluid Ud (Btu/hFft2) for severe service involving high pres-
sures and temperatures, is widely used
Water Water 250500 in petroleum refineries, and is the most
Aqueous solution Aqueous solution 250500 expensive option. Inappropriate TEMA
ratings will significantly increase the
Light organics Light organics 4075 cost of a heat exchanger, so choose
carefully based on existing plant data
Medium organics Water 50125
or suitable guidelines.
Heavy organics Heavy organics 1040 Keep in mind that you do not nec-
essarily have to design your heat
Heavy organics Light organics 3060 exchanger to TEMA standards. In
particular, TEMA B and R standards
Light organics Heavy organics 1040
enforce a minimum tube diameter
If a vendors calculated heat-transfer coefficients are reasonably close to reliable which could lead to too-low velocities
published values, the thermal design is probably correct. Do not expect an exact if the tubeside flowrate is small. The
match. Light organics are fluids with viscosities less than 0.5 cP. Medium organics resulting low heat-transfer coefficient
are 0.51 cP, and heavy organics are above 1 cP.
may require a large and expensive
Source: Process Heat Transfer, Donald Q. Kern, McGraw-Hill Companies, 1950. heat exchanger. In such situations, it
may be best not to design your heat
www.tema.org) issues its own design to water, oil and air at low or moderate exchanger to TEMA standards.
and manufacturing codes. There are pressures and temperatures, and is the Heat exchanger type. It is very im-
three categories: TEMA C, B and R. In most cost-effective standard in cases portant to specify the correct type of
simple terms, TEMA C applies mostly where it is applicable. TEMA B is for heat exchanger for the application

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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 51
Engineering Practice

(Figure 3, p.50), and in this case there rating on the shellside and cooling Material of construction. Do not
are no right or wrong answers. Here is a process fluid on the tubeside, con- trust the vendor to pick the right ma-
a list of criteria that will help you in sider a heat exchanger of type BKU. terial of construction for your service.
making a decision: 4. Similarly to Point 2 above, if the dif- That is your job. That said, do not take
1. If the fluids are relatively clean and ference in operating temperature responsibility for the material of con-
the difference in temperature between between shellside and tubeside is struction unless you have agreed it
the shellside and the tubeside is not more than 100C (200F), consider a with the user or verified it with an ap-
very high (around 100C / 200F), then design with hairpin tubes, a floating propriate expert.
consider a BEM (fixed tubesheet) head or a floating tubesheet (types Tube-to-tubesheet joints. These de-
design. Typical applications are con- PW). These types are best suited to termine the integrity of your shell-
densers; liquid-liquid, gas-gas, and dirty fluids, and may be either hori- and-tube heat exchanger. The basic
gas-liquid heating and cooling; and zontal or vertical. guidelines are the following:
vertical thermosyphons. 5. If you encounter a temperature 1. For a design pressure of less than
2. If the heat exchanger must accom- cross that is, if the outlet temper- 300 psig and a design temperature
modate a significant amount of ther- ature of the hot fluid is below the below 180C (350F), use rolled and
mal expansion between shell and outlet temperature of the cold fluid expanded tube-to-tubesheet joints.
tubes (more than 100C / 200F), con- then you cannot use a single These are used primarily for water,
sider type BEU, in which the tubes BEM or BEU type heat exchanger. air and oil service.
are free to expand. Keep in mind Consider a BFS type with a two- 2. For higher design pressures or tem-
that BEU exchanger tubes can only pass shell and a longitudinal baffle, peratures, use grooved, rolled and
be cleaned chemically, not mechani- or two shells in series. Other types expanded tube joints.
cally, so these exchangers are best of heat exchanger, such as spiral 3. When dealing with light hydrocar-
suited to clean service on both the and plate types, are fully counter- bons or other flammable fluids, even
shellside and the tubeside. current and so better suited to han- at low pressure and temperature,
3. For a chiller with refrigerant evapo- dling temperature crosses. consider seal welding.

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52 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
4. For hydrocarbons or flammable va- ferent vendors will propose differ- of heat-transfer coefficients, fouling
pors at high pressures and tempera- ent values based on varying ex- factors and so on, you will be on the
tures, consider additional welding changer geometry and calculated right track to design and select the
for strength. heat-transfer coefficients. Pick a most appropriate heat exchanger for
Special instructions. This category geometry that meets your require- your process.
covers specifications including the ments best. Edited by Charles Butcher
tube pitch, baffle type, minimum tube Check the heat duty and make sure
diameter, tube length and orientation it matches your specified value.
Author
of the heat exchanger. Use customer Check the code requirements.
Asif Raza (Mississauga, Ont.,
specifications or guidance where Check that the vendor has com- Canada; Phone: 905607
available, and ask vendors whether plied with any special instructions 1335; Email: asifraza_us@
yahoo.com) is an equipment
these will have any implications. If no including tube diameter, tube pitch, design engineer at Praxair
Canada. His work involves
specifications are available, use your tube length, baffle type, baffle pitch, the design and specification
judgment. For instance, if your shell- and excess area. of major equipment, such as
cryogenic centrifugal pumps,
side fluid is very fouling, use a square Check the price and delivery shell-and-tube heat exchang-
tube pitch to aid cleanability. Decrease schedule for the heat exchanger. ers, vessels and vaporizers.
He has more than 15 years
baffle spacing to increase turbulence, Weigh all the options and select of experience in process design. His interests
and thus heat-transfer coefficient, a vendor. include sizing and specifying major equipment,
P&ID development, process simulation and se-
on the shellside. If you have a height Close coordination with the heat ex- lection of control logic. Before joining Praxair he
was lead process engineer at Zeton Inc., where
limitation, ask the vendor to limit the changer vendor and a solid under- his work involved design and fabrication of pilot
tube length. standing of the process requirements plants for research and development. Previously
he worked with companies including Bantrel
are essential to heat exchanger de- and SNC Lavalin. He holds a B.Tech degree in
Reviewing vendor quotes sign and selection. By understanding chemical engineering from Amravati University,
India. Raza is a registered professional engineer
After you have received your quotes different kinds of heat exchangers in the province of Ontario and is also a member
it is time to review them and select a and developing a solid understanding of Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.

vendor. Here are the most important


points to look for:
Basic process requirements: For
both fluids (shellside and tubeside),
the vendors specification should
match your specified flowrate, op-
erating temperature and pressure,
and properties such as density, vis-
cosity, and thermal conductivity.
Materials of construction, design
pressure and design temperature
as per your instructions.
Fluid velocity: Should generally be Advanced Inspection and Remaining Life Assessment
in the range of 38 ft/s on both the
tubeside and the shellside. Lower Solutions for Steam Reformer Tubes
velocities will mean lower heat-
transfer coefficients and larger re-
quired surface areas.
Watch the LOTIS animation to learn more:
Compare the calculated clean heat- www.QuestIntegrity.com/LOTIS
transfer coefficient (Uc) and the de-
sign heat-transfer coefficient (Ud)
with typical values from your com- Accurate, repeatable inspection data
pany sources or published litera- Reduce risk of unplanned shutdowns
ture (Table 2, p. 51). Do not expect
close matches each application Tube life extension
is different, and heat-transfer co-
efficients depend on many factors. Improve asset planning
If the U values proposed by the ven-
dor are very different from what
+1 253 893 7070
you would expect, however, then www.QuestIntegrity.com/CE
the design may be at fault. In such
a situation, review the design with
the vendor. A TEAM Industrial Services Company
Check the heat-transfer area. Dif-
Circle 37 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-37
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 53
Feature Report

Compressors:
Pursuing Lowest
Cost of Ownership FIGURE 1. This centrifugal compres-
sor is an electric-motor-driven machine
Proper specification, purchase, mechanical-run that uses a gear unit for the speed match

and shop performance testing, installation, Unusual operating conditions


even insignificant items should also
operation and maintenance are all important be mentioned. Examples include the
presence of hydrogen sulfide or chlo-
ride in the gas, even if levels may be
Amin Almasi will have inappropriate consequences in the ppm range. Keep in mind that
Rotating Machinery Consultant down the road. And, there is usually the compressor vendors knowledge of
more than one compressor type that your process will be limited. Keep the

A
variety of technologies, methods may be well suited for any given CPI following facts in mind during com-
and best practices are available application. For example, many mod- pressor specification:
to obtain the lowest total cost of ern CPI applications can use either the 1. The compressor manufacturers spe-
ownership for compressors used integrally geared centrifugal compres- cialize in compressor design and
in plants throughout the chemical pro- sor or the conventional-type centrifu- manufacturing and they are not
cess industries (CPI). This article dis- gal compressor. Thus, the reliability focused on the intricacies of CPI
cusses several critical areas in which and efficiency of the various competing processes.
concerted effort can help to reduce the compressor types should be evaluated 2. If engineers at the vendor company
overall cost of ownership. early in the specification process. have experienced a problem in an-
Know the operating scenario. The other customers process that is simi-
Specifying compressors first cost (that is, the initial purchase lar to the current job, he or she may
The ability to carry out proper shop- price) is an important factor that be able to share that experience (by
based performance tests and mechani- should always be considered during raising questions and seeking solu-
cal run tests that is, testing that is compressor selection. However, on- tions) during the development of your
carried out by the vendor, before the going costs related to operation and specification. However, considering
unit is delivered to the CPI facility maintenancemust also be evaluated to vendor-staffing policies, the vendors
can provide tremendous value for assess the total cost of ownership. overall philosophy in that regard,
users. Shop-based performance test- The operating conditions (as de- the fact that vendor engineers often
ing is of particular necessity for any scribed in the compressor data sheet only know a small part of any process
CPI compressor, because it allows for and specification) should be divided (that is, the part of the process that is
careful analysis of the compressor into two types those that charac- related to their machine), and many
under conditions that closely simulate terize normal operation, and those different processes (and process li-
those of the actual installation, to help that characterize operating conditions censes) that exist for most CPI units,
detect potential malfunctions and that deviate from normal. The entire the ability to rely on the vendor for
other problems before the compressor anticipated range of operating condi- process-specific input tends to be the
has been delivered. This is important tions should also be defined, either by exception rather than the rule.
because corrections and modifications range limits or by alternative operat- As a result, it is important that the
at the CPI plant site tend to be costly. ing conditions. compressor purchaser use its own deep
A solid compressor specification A common example of off-design knowledge of the process in terms
outlines for the vendors what the com- conditions is the scenario in which of the potential scenarios that could
pressor package must have, and how the compressor encounters deviations lead to unusual conditions or process
reliable the unit must be. Key aspects in the molecular weight of the com- upsets that could impact compressor
to be addressed in the specification in- pressed gas, as might be encountered operation during the life of the unit
clude the following: in a CPI plant during startup. Another during compressor specification. A
Proper sizing. Before the start of any situation that could lead to off-design good example is the gas-temperature
compressor specification, the equip- conditions is the equipment holding runaway potential in hot-gas units.
ment must be sized, at least in a pre- period when a part of a process is not The specification should set forth the
liminary manner. For example, speci- yet in operation. Such anticipated sce- expected maximum temperatures, and
fying a single-stage compressor when narios must be evaluated and noted ask the vendor to verify the maximum
a multi-stage compressor is needed during the specification stage. temperature the unit can handle.
54 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
Another example is the potential requirements can help the vendor are usually supplied with sole plates.
of sudden dead-ending of a compres- during the machine design phase. Large steam turbines or gas turbine
sor during switching of operations in However, the specifications set forth drivers are most often installed on an
the batch-type reactors. Generally, by the purchaser should not be so rig- individual base-plate-mounted skid.
compressor operation in batch-type orous that they prohibit the vendor Control considerations. The control
processes requires careful attention, from drawing from its vast experience panels that are required to integrate
and this potential impact of plant op- with many materials. Such a limita- compressor control and operation
eration should be brought forth during tion (imposed by the purchaser) may into CPI facilities are typically quite
the development of the specification. lead to operating problems later. By complex, because a great amount of
Minimizing fouling. By accurately properly wording the specification, the coordination is required to have them
noting the likely opportunities for minimum material requirements can conform to CPI plant panel standards.
fouling, the compressor vendor may be spelled out while still allowing the Today, large CPI companies typically
be able to incorporate a relevant solu- vendors experience with the materi- prefer that vendors only supply the
tion into the compressor offering (such als to come into play. sensors, and that the purchaser sup-
as a washing procedure and required A large number of unscheduled plies the control panel, the condition-
provisions, the establishment of ad- shutdowns can be traced to issues that monitoring system and the control
ditional head margins or materials of the vendor is responsible for, such as units. Small companies prefer to leave
construction). the compressor design, the material all items (control panels, condition
Incorporate startup and shutdown selection, the component selection (for monitoring, and other items) in the
conditions. Startup and shutdown instance, seal and bearings), excessive vendor scope.
considerations also influence various fouling, degradation, corrosion, erosion
compressor components (and their or similar. However, such problems are Evaluating competing bids
specifications), particularly seals and often more accurately a reflection of a A side-by-side comparison of compet-
thrust bearings. Regarding several lack of application knowledge and im- ing bids should be made, considering
design parameters (for example, the proper material selection, which could such important aspects as the energy
allowable speed), whatever is set forth have been prevented if the purchaser cost, the purchase cost and the reli-
in the specification is often consid- had communicated the specification ability issues using suitable economic
ered by vendors to be the target. For more thoroughly. criteria. If data are available, the total
some parameters, vendors will test A good example is the use of auste- cost of ownership can be estimated by
the approximate value given by the nitic stainless steels. These premium evaluating competing bids.
purchaser, and then exceed it by some materials are often used for applica- However, it is absolutely necessary
margin to see if a deviation in perfor- tions that require good corrosion re- to fix all items and clarify all issues
mance will result. sistance. However, an austenitic stain- before placing the purchase order.
As a practical step, the maximum- less steel cannot be used if chlorides Until the vendor is certain that it has
allowable parameter values should may be present, because inter-granu- the order, the purchaser will remain in
be given by the compressor purchaser lar corrosion and subsequent cracking an advantageous trading posture.
after thorough research and evalua- problems will result. The winning bidder will be the ven-
tion has been carried out of the most Packaging and assembly consid- dor for the project once a contract has
recent technology options and modern, erations. The purchaser must also been written and accepted. This is im-
reliable installations. These maxi- make a number of decisions related to portant because the clock is started
mum allowable values for key param- the compressor package arrangement, at this time and all future dates will
eters should be supplied consistently, delivery conditions, and extent of pre- be referenced back to this date. This
from vendor to vendor, to allow for an fabrication and packaging. This part is also the date from which delivery
apples-to-apples comparison among of the process begins with the speci- is counted.
competitive bids. fication of a sole plate versus a base
In general, high speeds in compres- plate. The first option (sole plate) is Practical notes on compressors
sors can increase the overall efficiency often specified for packages that must Variable-speed centrifugal compres-
of the unit. However, high operating be delivered in pieces and assembled sors (Figure 1) are the backbone of the
speeds can also raise the stresses on onsite. The second option (base plate) CPI compression industry. This type
the system and could decrease the re- will result in skid-mounted compo- of compressor should be considered as
liability of the unit over the long run, nents; for this scenario, installation the first option for most CPI general
so a tradeoff must often be evaluated. is typically easier. This important applications.
High operating speed may also lead decision should be noted in Performance curves. Centrifugal
to bearing and seal problems, particu- the specification. compressors exhibit a relatively flat
larly if the speed exceeds the speed of For large compressor trains, the typ- curve of head versus flow compared to
similar compressors used in previous ical recommended arrangement is to other compressors. Compared to the
applications) install the compressor (and gear unit, steep curves of the axial compressors
Consider materials of construc- if applicable) on a heavy-duty base and positive-displacement compres-
tion. Stating the minimum material plate. Large electric-motor drivers sors, the flat curves of most centrifugal
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 55
Engineering Practice

compressors offer better operation. For compressors (centrifugal


instance, centrifugal compressors offer and axial compressors). A
a relatively low head rise for a given Type-1 performance test is
flow change, compared to that of axial carried out in the shop by
or positive-displacement compressors. the vendor, prior to deliv-
The curve shape is a function of the ery of the unit, under con-
impeller geometry (mainly impeller- ditions that closely match
blade angles), and the process condi- those anticipated in the
tions. Radial impeller blades result in actual installation. Specifi-
a (theoretically) near-flat curve (that cally, this test is conducted
is, close to a flat line). using the same process gas FIGURE 2. Shown here is an example of a compact
An impeller with a more-backward as will be found at the CPI lubrication skid for a shop test-stand facility
angle will create a higher reaction site [the same gas with
(from the compressor wheel) and thus the molecular weight (MW) deviation considered when establishing suitable
will yield a steeper curve. In general, below 2%]. Generally, permissible de- test conditions.
centrifugal compressors are also more viations on pressures, temperatures, As noted, the ASME-PTC-10 Type-2
reliable compared to other compres- compressor speed and capacity are test allows for considerable deviations
sors types. below 4-8%. in the test conditions. For example,
On any performance curve, the op- By comparison, the Type-2 perfor- a natural gas (MW=16) compressor
erational area of a dynamic compres- mance test is completely different. can be performance tested (Type-2
sor (either centrifugal or axial com- The Type-2 test permits the use of a test) using CO2 (MW=44) with around
pressor) is bounded on the left by the substitute test gas and allows for ex- half the inlet flow, approximately 20%
surge line, on the right by the choke tensive deviations between the shop of the mass flow, around 50% of the
line (stonewall effect), on the top by test conditions and the specified op- speed, approximately 6% of the ab-
the maximum speed line, and on the erating conditions at CPI site. There sorbed power and much less pressures
bottom by the minimum speed line. are only a few limits on some essential (even less than 10%) compared to the
The orientation of the inlet piping gas dynamic parameters of the test specified operating conditions.
and its influence on the compressor conditions compared to the specified The idea behind the Type-2 per-
performance is also an important con- operating conditions. For a Type-2 formance test is to allow a test to be
sideration during compressor specifi- test, the following limits are usually performed by the vendor using differ-
cation. There should be neither pre- considered: ent gas and flow details (while still
rotation, nor anti-rotation, in the flow The volume ratio and the flow coef- maintaining the major fluid charac-
suction of the dynamic compressors. ficient are maintained within 5%. teristics within certain limits), and to
The flow should be free from any ran- The machine Mach number is main- use available knowledge and formula-
dom distortion. tained within 0.1 deviation tions of fluid mechanics to estimate
Centrifugal compressors are some- The Reynolds number of the Type-2 the compressor performance in the
what more forgiving in terms of flow test arrangement should be within specified operating conditions. The
distortion in the inlet stream than 0.1 to 10 times of the Reynolds flow patterns of a dynamic compressor
other compressors (such as axial com- number of the expected operating (centrifugal or axial compressor) are
pressors); however, there are some lim- condition mainly a function of the major fluid
its. Based on the compressor design, When using the Type-2 test, the test characteristics, such as the volume
gas velocities and process conditions, speed, capacity, mass flow, pressures, ratio, the flow coefficient, the machine
a minimum length of straight pipe is temperatures, compressor power, and Mach number and Reynolds number.
necessary ahead of any dynamic com- other operational details are often to- Reynolds number. Fluid friction is
pressor inlet. As a rough indication, tally different from the specified oper- mainly affected by the machine Reyn-
for the centrifugal compressors, this ating condition speed. olds number. In a Type-2 test, the
straight pipe length should be around For the Type-2 test, an alternative Reynolds number during the test may
four to six times the pipe diameter. gas (generally an inert gas) should deviate from that of the specified op-
When the minimum straight length be selected preferably, one that erating condition; however, it should
of piping cannot be achieved, vaned does not lead to an excessive power stay within a range (for instance,
elbows or straighteners may be used or a high discharge temperature and within 0.1 to 10 times of the Reynolds
instead. However, these should only be is readily and cheaply available. The number at the expected operating con-
used in very special cases, as the last substitute gases that are typically dition) to keep the governing friction
solution because they may create ad- used are air, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, model (and formulations) relevant.
ditional operational problems. helium, or mixtures of these gases. Mach number. The machine Mach
The safe operating-speed range, the number is a measure of the maximum
Performance testing critical speeds, the maximum allow- compressor capacity and is mainly as-
There are two different types of per- able pressures, the allowable temper- sociated with the stonewall effects
formance tests available for dynamic atures and other machine limits are (That is, the operation of a compres-
56 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
sor at the maximum capacity, which capacity, the power, the pressures, and for the Type-2 test. Unfortunately, the
is also known as operation at end of others) that are as close as possible to ASME-PTC-10 Type 2 code allows the
the curve; this corresponds to the far the specified operating conditions. vendor to use the simplest arrange-
right-hand side of the normal opera- The arrangement and details of ment. In other words, the code gives
tion point). The specific volume ratio Type-2 tests should be fixed in the vendors freedom to use simple setups
and machine Mach number are closely compressor bidding stage and before and deviations, and vendors usually
related to the test speed. The molecu- the machine order placement. Com- opt for the cheapest setup.
lar weight of the test gas is extremely pressor vendors always prefer the Often the Type-2 test gas selections
important because a significant dif- simplest and cheapest arrangement and testing arrangements are dis-
ference between the test gas MW
and the actual gas MW can affect the
gas density and the calculated
compressor head.
As a rule of thumb, a deviation
greater than 3040% could be consid-
ered significant. Any significant dif-
ference in the molecular weights of
the specified gas and the test gas can
result in a test speed that is far from
the rated speed. For the most relevant
results, the test speed should be as
close as possible to the rated speed.
Ideally, a test speed at around 8095%
of the rated speed is always desir-
able (if other limits allow this speed
range). Too often, the above-men-
tioned desired speed range is difficult
to achieve for commonly used Type-2
test arrangements (particularly when
a close match to the gas MW cannot
be achieved).
Based on the Type-2 test theory,
the modifications (often called correc-
tions) to the test results are applied
based on the available gas dynamic
knowledge to estimate the compressor
performance in the specified operating
condition. All correction formulations
are available in the ASME-PTC-10 for
the estimation. In practical terms, this
means that the vendor carries out the
Type-2 test, and then applies the cor-
rection formulation found in ASME-
PTC-10 to find expected performance
in operating site conditions.

Balancing the tradeoffs


Some engineers do not trust the Type-2
method, because it allows for so many
deviations from actual conditions. As a
result, the ASME-PTC-10 Type-1 test
is always preferred. However, if the
ASME-PTC-10 Type-1 is not possible
(for example, if the actual process gas
cannot be supplied or used in the man-
ufacturers shop), then the only possi-
ble option is to carry out a Type-2 test
using modified test conditions (the
gas molecular weight, the speed, the
Circle 21 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-21
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 57
Engineering Practice

cussed after the compressor order or following limits should be confirmed: tee, elbow or other obstruction. The
even near the test time. This delay can 1. Head and the capacity: Zero neg- temperature-measurement accuracy
usually cause considerable change-or- ative tolerance (In other words, the has one of the largest effects on com-
der costs or can lead to an unsuitable head and the capacity in the shop pressor power calculations because of
Type-2 test. test should be equal to or more than its direct influence on the calculated
Ideally, the Type-2 test is most use- expected ones) enthalpy rise.
ful if a suitable substitute gas (one 2. Power: The consumed power should An incorrect flow measurement
that closely approximates the actual not exceed 104% of the predicted could cause the compressor to appear
gas) is used and the test procedure power. Often, when the CPI plant at the shop test with a head that is ei-
details (such as pressures, compressor efficiency is critical, lower limits for ther too low or too high because the
speed, capacity, power and others) are the power tolerance for instance, operating point could be indicated in-
properly matched within the specified even 2% or 1.5% limits instead of correctly on the performance map. The
ASME-PTC-10 limits and as close as the 4% power tolerance could be best way to determine if a flow mea-
practical to the actual operating con- negotiated before the compressor surement is incorrect is to obtain sev-
ditions. When this is done, the Type-2 order eral data points to compare against
test can yield very useful predictions 3. Surge: The stable operation should the entire curve.
on the future compressor behavior, be maintained near the calculated Seal leakage is normally around
such as potential performance prob- surge (typically around 610% 12% or even less in the normal opera-
lems, operations close to the surge above calculated surge flow). tion (as a rough estimation), but this
point, some types of aerodynamic ex- can easily be calculated using proper
citations, and other performance and Practical notes instruments.
operational effects. Pressure and temperature transmit- The shop test uncertainty should
Establishing proper test con- ters should be located within around be calculated considering all test pa-
ditions. For performance testing 0.51 m of the compressor nozzles, at rameters. The required uncertainty
Chemical Engineering e 1.2 86x123 2013
Mu?llerGmbH_Chemical Engineering_e_86x123_2013.qxd:MllerGmbH_Chemica
(whether Type-1 or Type-2 is used), the least 10 pipe diameters from any valve, limits should be understood prior to

For perfect

methods
production

Handling equipment
Lifting, weighing, blending,
pallet transfer
Mobile or stationary
Manual or fully automatic
Loads up to 2500 kg handled
Hygienic stainless steel
GMP-compliant design
ATEX conformity

Mller GmbH - 79 618 Rheinfelden (Germany)


Industrieweg 5 - Phone: +49 (0) 76 23 / 9 69 - 0 - Fax: +49 (0) 76 23 / 9 69 - 69
A company of the Mller group
info@mueller-gmbh.com - www.mueller-gmbh.com

Circle 33 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-33 Circle 3 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-03


58 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
the shop performance test. For ex- are stabilized. Then the compressor rise through the bearing should not
ample, data with an uncertainty of 2% should be operated for 15 minutes exceed certain limits (as an indica-
cannot yield conclusions requiring an at the trip speed. After that, the unit tion, oil temperature rise could be
accuracy of 1.5%. Thus, if 1.5% accu- should be operated continuously for around 30C). Vibration readings and
racy is required (for instance, by the four hours at the maximum operating bearing temperatures at the end of
CPI operator) for assessment of a shop speed. The main focus of the shop run the four-hour run should essentially
performance test, then the entire shop test is to evaluate vibration. be the same as those recorded at the
test installation and test procedure During the shop test of the lubri- beginning of the test. After the test is
should reflect the uncertainty goal. cation oil system, the oil temperature complete, all bearings should be re-
The polytrophic efficiency (that is,
the efficiency corresponding to theo-
retically reversible compression pro-
cess) depends on many details, such
as the impeller specific speed, but this
is usually limited to approximately
7480% for traditional 2D impellers,
and about 8087% for modern 3D
impellers (usually with vaned diffus-
ers). The most important performance
checkpoint is a comparison between
the driver power (compressor driver-
generated power) and driven power
(compressor absorbed power).
If the difference between the driver
power and driven power is small, and
the calculated head and efficiency are
also lower than expected, then the
shop performance data are likely cor-
rectly measured and the compressor
likely has a performance problem.
However, if either the head or the ef-
ficiency is off, in terms of having large
differences compared to the theoreti-
cal or expected values, but the powers
(that is, the driver power and com-
pressor power) do not agree, this often
indicates inaccurate test data.

Mechanical run tests


A pressurized run test is always pre-
ferred (one that is pressurized usually
with nitrogen), except for very special
cases for which testing under vacuum
conditions may be required. As far
as practically possible, all job compo-
nents should be used in a shop test,
and the use of shop facilities should be
minimized. If the use of a job coupling
is not practical, the shop test can be
carried out using a coupling simulator
(to simulate the weight and the bend-
ing effects of the job coupling).
The shop mechanical run-test proce-
dure is straightforward. The compres-
sor is started and the speed increases
to the maximum continuous speed.
The operation continues until bear-
ing metal temperatures, lubrication
oil temperatures and shaft vibrations
Circle 23 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-23
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 59
Engineering Practice

moved, inspected, and reassembled. casing is gas-leakage tested to evalu- When users and vendors work to-
However, removal and inspection of ate the joints and the seals. The as- gether as a team, and when all engi-
the dry gas seal is not recommended. sembled compressor is tested to the neers involved give sufficient atten-
Many dry gas seals (particularly car- maximum operating pressure for a tion to the important details, changes
tridge-type seals) require that the seal minimum of 30 minutes. The inert gas and requirements, it is possible to
be returned to the seal manufacturer with MW less than the actual gas MW specify reliable, high-performance
if removed for inspection. If traditional should be used for this test. Helium is compressors. n
(old-fashioned) oil seals are used, they usually employed as a substitute for a Edited by Suzanne Shelley
should be removed for inspection after low-MW gas and nitrogen (or an inert
the test (Note that such mechani- refrigerant gas) is typically used as a
cal, oil-film-type shaft end seals are substitute for a high-MW gas. Author
Amin Almasi is a rotat-
not typically used today for dynamic Varying the lubrication-oil condi- ing machine consultant in
compressors). tions (such as the oil pressure and Australia. He is a chartered
professional engineer of En-
Minor scuffs and scratches may the temperature at the minimum and gineers Australia (MIEAust
occur on the bearings. Subsequent maximum values) during the shop test CPEng Mechanical) and
IMechE (CEng MIMechE).
minor cosmetic repairs of these parts is strongly recommended to evaluate He holds an M.Sc. and B.Sc.
do not justify repetition of the test. the impact of these changes on com- in mechanical engineering
and RPEQ (Registered Pro-
However, if melting or smearing, over- pressor performance. This will help to fessional Engineer in Queen-
sland). He specializes in ro-
heating or distinct wear occurs in the evaluate correctly the mechanical op- tating machines including centrifugal, screw and
Babbit layer of bearing shoes, then eration of the machine. reciprocating compressors, gas turbines, steam
turbines, engines, pumps, subsea, offshore rotat-
these parts should be replaced or re- It is not recommended to perform ing machines, LNG units, condition monitoring
paired. The cause of the defect should a post-test-inspection of the inter- and reliability. Almasi is an active member of
Engineers Australia, IMechE, ASME, Vibration
be investigated and eliminated, so the nal casing, because most operators Institute, SPE, IEEE, and IDGTE. He has au-
test can be repeated. prefer to receive a proven-run and thored more than 80 papers and articles dealing
Chemical Eng.1-4pgKrytox Ad 2012:Layout
with rotating 2 12/11/12
equipment, condition monitoring, 5:08 P
After the run test, the compressor pressure-tested compressor. offshore issues and reliability.

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Circle 41 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-41 Circle 31 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-31


60 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013
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Inline is able to provide this economy tor mounting kit by directly coupling the and semicon-
by designing and building its own valve actuator to the valve body. This system ductor indus-
products as a vertically integrated manu- improves performance, reduces misalign- tries. The
facturer. The company pours its own cast- ment, side loading, and hysteresis, and company man-
ings, machines, then assembles and tests shrinks the size of the valve package, ufactures one
each valve to exacting industry standards. saving up-front material costs as well as of the broad-
Valves are cast to applicable ASTM reducing long-term maintenance. est selections
material standards and designed and Direct mount technology has been of multi-port
tested to ASME B16.34 specifications to integrated into the high-performance 334 valves in Inline 324 Series ball valve
assure that the products will perform at Series ball valve which serves as the foun- the process
the pressures and temperatures for which dation for valve derivations designed for industry with a large inventory of diverter,
they are designed. Each casting is heat fire-safe, high pressure, high temperature 3-, 4-, and 5-way valves available from
stamped and documented through an and control applications. All Inline direct stock. Inline also offers a wide selection of
ISO 9001:2008 quality control process to mount valves are available with locking end connections and seat and seal materi-
provide consistency and complete product lever handles or as complete pneumati- als for compatibility with different process
traceability. cally or electrically operated systems. applications. www.ballvalve.com

62||||||CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013


Gulf Coast Special Advertising Section

Getting to the heart of large columns


Tiger Tower Services, operating within a tight timeframe, changes out the internals of
a complicated multiple column turnaround; thus giving new life to old vessels
F our very large stainless steel columns
needed alterations to accommodate
new packing. Sounds simple enough, but
The tight time limit was not the only
challenging feature of this job a restric-
tive footprint around the columns also
this project had many challenges. made the work logistically challenging. The
Column number one is 17 ft 6 in. in tremendous quantity of internals had to be
diameter and stands 184 ft high. All the dis- housed at a remote location. Tiger Tower
tributors, bed limiters and existing random Services worked closely with its own
packing had to be removed and replaced internal manufacturer alliance partner to
with five beds of replacement packing, create a precise materials control/delivery
bed limiters, distributors and four sophis- system that functioned smoothly as the
ticated anti-foaming devices. Additionally, project progressed.
the flash gallery was replaced along with The clients end-user engineering
an H-type pipe distributor. New bed limit- representatives worked in tandem with
ers also were installed above each new The Tigers to ensure that the turnaround
bed of packing, requiring hot work modifi- resulted in a high-quality installation com-
cations at each bed level to accommodate pleted within the time schedule.
the new design. Tiger Tower Services is known for get-
The other columns required similar ting to the heart of any tower/column turn-
alterations. One needed only one bed of around, revamp or emergency. The firm is
packing, while another required six. In well known for its ability to address tight
Tiger Tower Services answered a tall all, 81,782 cu. ft of packing was removed footprint issues, using its Window Section
and logistically challenged order when and replaced with new random packing. Resection (WSR) in-situ technique as a
a client needed to give new life to four All of the distributors in each column were more viable solution than the traditional
existing columns replaced and leveled to the manufacturers lift down top half approach.
precise specifications. www.tigertowerservices.com

Cracking furnace burners and olefin plant flares


Describing itself as a combustion company, not just a flare or burner manufacturer,
Zeeco takes an integrated approach to process design and retrofits
F rom the wellhead to chemical and petro-
chemical facilities worldwide, Zeeco has
more than three decades of combustion
company, the firm takes a more complete
view of plant processes and interactions.
The rise of shale gas means many olefin
the process tubes, reducing the possibility
of localized hot spots or flame interaction.
Zeeco is dedicated to delivering on
experience. All of the companys activities facilities are working to increase capaci- time and on budget worldwide. The Zeeco
relate to combustion, including innova- ties. Retrofitting or equipping ethylene Houston Service Center provides local
tive burners, flares and thermal oxidizers. furnaces with the latest low-emission service to the Gulf Coast area 24/7, includ-
Combustion experts design and deliver burner technology can be difficult due to ing heater tuning, burner cleaning, flare tip
specifically engineered applications for burner spacing issues and their resulting replacement, controls/pilot upgrading,
olefin plants on time, on budget, and with effect on burner flame quality. As existing and more. www.zeeco.com
guaranteed performance. furnaces are upgraded to achieve higher
Zeeco understands the complex inter- capacities, more floor burners are added.
action of flame, fuel, emissions, and public Designed for compact operation with no
perception. For instance, flare systems for flame rollover, patented Zeeco Ultra Low-
olefins production are designed to oper- NOx GLSF Min-Emissions Enhanced Jet Flat
ate smokelessly at significant flowrates Flame burners are often used to increase
for long periods of time. For plants near heating capacity without flame interac-
population centers, in environmentally tion in ethylene cracking furnace retrofits.
sensitive areas, or with limited space, the The GLSF Min Emissions burner provides a
experienced team at Zeeco will design an stable flame over a wide range of operat-
enclosed multi-point ground flare system ing conditions and does not require any
to eliminate visible flaring and reduce stabilization metal in the burner throat.
environmental impacts without sacrificing GLSF Min-Emissions burners can achieve
efficiency, safety or reliability. NOx emissions levels as low as 44 ppmv
Because Zeeco is a combustion com- without sacrificing burner flame quality. Zeeco burners in an olefin furnace
pany and not just a flare or a burner The GLSF burner transfers heat evenly to

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013||||||63


Gulf Coast Special Advertising Section

Valve vendor seizes new international markets


Control valve and pressure regulator manufacturer Cashco has opened new sales and
service offices to cover the South American, European, and western Asian markets
S purred by the growth in international sales of its diversified
line of control valves, regulators and tank equipment, Cashco,
Inc. recently opened new sales and service offices in both Brazil
and Germany to better serve its world-wide customer base. While
the Brazil office, located in the outskirts of So Paulo, will initially
service the customer base within the country, it will eventually
provide service and support to Cashco customers through-
out South America. The other office, located in Hoppegarten,
Germany, will be a sales and service center for all of Europe and
western Asia.
In addition, the German location, which is actually near Berlin,
provides us with engineering and design capabilities, as well as
new manufacturing capabilities, explains Clint Rogers, General Blue skies ahead
Manager, Valve Division, Cashco, Inc. This will allow us to design
and introduce new products that are unique to the European mar- ple at both locations who understand the markets and languages.
ket, yet hold the potential for future use in the U.S. By having one or more technicians within the country, we can also
Rogers says the plan is to eventually share some design capa- deal with issues that come up in a much more timely and efficient
bilities between the U.S. and Europe and, hopefully, ship more manner than if we were to address them from the U.S. At the
U.S. products to Europe and vice versa. By collaborating on design same time, Rogers insists customers in South America and Europe
capabilities, he relates, Cashco can better fit the needs of both can be assured that Cashco products meet the highest standards
markets with a broader line of products built in both countries. and adhere to all compliances, no matter the import country.
The new sales and service offices in Brazil and Germany, Cashco manufactures a broad line of throttling rotary and lin-
along with the new corporate headquarters in Ellsworth, Kansas, is ear control valves, pressure reducing regulators, back pressure
just part of our commitment to growing our business and support- regulators and vapor control systems in a wide range of sizes.
ing our customers, Rogers continues. We already have local peo- www.cashco.com

A classic mixing tool for the petroleum industry


Ross LPD Static Mixers are rugged, reliable devices for inline mixing at minimal
pressure loss
R oss Low Pressure Drop (LPD) Static Mixers are used through-
out the oil and gas industry for turbulent-flow mixing appli-
cations. These heavy-duty low-maintenance devices serve in
continuous operations where high performance and accuracy are
required, such as on-line water determination of crude oil; dosing
of various additives into gasoline; blending different kinds of fuel
oils; gas-gas blending; and pipeline reactions, among others.
Static mixers have no moving parts and the energy for mix-
ing is available in the form of pressure. Pressure loss a natural
consequence of static mixing sometimes becomes the deciding
factor in mixer selection. The LPD Static Mixer remains a classic
choice for many inline blending requirements due to its simple and
durable design capable of uniform mixing with little pressure loss.
The mixer elements consist of semi-elliptical plates carefully posi-
tioned in series to split and rotate the product 90 deg. in alternat-
ing clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
LPD mixers in diameters from 1 in. through 2.5 in. are welded
to a central rod, while larger elements are welded to four outside
support rods for maximum rigidity and stability. Units as large as
48 in. diameter can be supplied as stand-alone mixer elements or
as modules complete with a mixer housing and injection ports.
Established in 1842, Ross is one of the oldest and largest mix-
ing equipment companies in the world. Ross mixing, blending, dry-
Shown are removable LPD mixing elements supplied with a ing and dispersion equipment is used throughout many industries
retainer ring which goes between two mating flanges to keep in the manufacture of foods, adhesives, electronics, coatings,
the mixer from spinning or moving downstream cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastics and composites.
www.staticmixers.com

64||||||CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013


Gulf Coast Special Advertising Section

A smart approach to SIS Five questions to ask about


Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) just blast-resistant buildings
got a whole lot smarter, says Emerson by Jeff Lange, Owner of A Box 4 U
S afety is a growing concern
among process industries on
the Gulf Coast and throughout
T here are no regulations governing the design and construction
of blast-resistant buildings (BRBs), so its important to educate
yourself before making a purchase. Here are the five big questions
the world. Government standards to ask when you shop for a BRB:
and new regulations make safety
instrumented systems (SIS) a 1. Was the BRB designed and tested by a blast expert?
critical part of many operations. A surprising number of BRBs have not been proven safe through
Emersons DeltaV SIS system real blast testing. Make sure your BRB design has been taken off
with its game-changing electronic the drawing board and successfully blast tested under the super-
marshaling technology gives vision of a well-credentialed engineer.
unprecedented flexibility
to provide safety when and 2. Are blast-test reports specific and conclusive?
where it is needed and There are many interpretations of the term blast-tested (also
with dramatic savings, the see question 5), but a successfully blast-tested building has the
company claims. The system proven ability to actually save lives. Pay special attention to psi
is designed to be smart: to ratings when you review blast test reports because different
shut down the plant when applications call for different specifications.
necessary for safety, but to
keep it running safely when 3. Was the building blast tested for non-structural as well as
components fail. structural components?
The DeltaV SIS system provides If a structure survives a blast, but its interior walls, lights or other
an integrated but separate architec- fixtures create shrapnel, the risk of casualties is still high. Always
ture to meet IEC 61511 requirements ask BRB vendors to provide data and rationale for non-structural
for separation of safety and control. items like wall finishes, cabinets, lights and electrical fixtures.
The systems electronic marshal-
ing with signal characterization 4. Can the following information be provided?
modules (CHARMs) allows much (These items are too technical to cover in the context of this article
shorter cable runs from field devices but should be on your list of discussions to initiate with any BRB
to localized junction boxes, which vendor.)
then connect multiple control loops Was the BRB tested dynamically rather than statically?
to the control room via two redundant Was the BRB tested in a free-field environment?
Ethernet cables. Traditional marshal- Was a pressure-impulse (P-I) curve generated to show the BRBs
ing cabinets and cross-wiring with response over a wide range of blast loading?
fault-prone connection points and
screws are eliminated. This reduces 5. Does the buildings response level demonstrate its capability
not only engineering and wiring costs, to save lives?
but also weight on offshore plat- A BRB vendor can claim their product has been blast tested, but
forms. Refineries are achieving similar if closer examination of test data demonstrates a high-response
engineering savings when applying result, this is not the BRB you want protecting your personnel.
DeltaV SIS CHARMs in remote instrument Response level ratings have been established by the American
enclosures (RIEs) in Class 1, Div 2 hazard- Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to predict the extent of repair
ous areas. Because DeltaV SIS CHARMs give com- resources needed after an explosion:
plete flexibility to accommodate any signal type, late engineering
changes or facility expansions can be accommodated easily. Response level Description
The DeltaV SIS system helps to improve process safety by con- Localized building/component damage
tinuously monitoring and diagnosing the ability of sensors, logic Low Response Building can be used, however repairs are required
solvers, and final elements to perform on demand as required. To (Low Damage) to restore the integrity of the structural envelope
increase process availability, the DeltaV SIS system detects com- The total cost of repair is moderate
ponent failures and keeps the facility running when other systems Medium Response
Widespread building/component damage
might shut it down. Building cannot be used until repaired
(Medium Damage)
Total cost of repairs is significant
The system provides dedicated safety hardware, software and
networks; and integrated configuration, operations, and mainte- Building/component has lost structural integrity
High Response May collapse due to environmental conditions
nance with the DeltaV system. This approach provides unmatched (High Damage) Total cost of repairs approach replacement cost of
visibility into the process, by enabling direct access to all SIS building
information across the entire safety loop.
This seamless integration with the DeltaV system provides When you go shopping for a BRB, its important to ask solid
comprehensive process safety that leverages investment in questions and expect solid answers; your employees lives could
automation. www.EmersonProcess.com/DeltaV depend on it. www.abox4u.net

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013||||||65


Gulf Coast Special Advertising Section

Plastic control valves handle corrosive chemicals


Collins 2-in. valves and actuators are specially designed to handle corrosive fluids
acids, bleaches, chlorine, pH control and aggressive environments
C ollins Instrument Companys line of
economical 2-in. flanged plastic control
valves handle corrosive liquids including
outside of the valve and actuator. Collins
plastic control valve packages withstand
salty marine atmospheres as well as indus-
hydrochloric acid, caustic, sulfuric acid, trial environments that are too corrosive
and many others. With bodies of either for metal valves and actuators.
PVDF or polypropylene, these highly- Collins actuators incorporate a unique
responsive control valves are specifically internal locking ring to attach the cylin-
designed for use with corrosive media der to the yoke. A semicircular groove is
and/or corrosive atmospheres. machined inside the lower edge of the
Suitable for applications in numerous cylinder, and a matching groove cut in
industries, including chemical, petrochem- the yoke. When the yoke and cylinder are
ical, pulp and paper, and municipal, these assembled, a flexible polypropylene rod is
valves are extremely corrosion-resistant, Plastic valves and actuators from inserted into the groove through a slot in
and feature fast-acting positioning (stroke the side of the cylinder, securing the two
rate approximately 12 in./s). They are avail- The integral positioner eliminates the need sections together.
able with a wide selection of trim sizes, in for external linkages which are subject to Along with its corrosion resistance the
globe, angle, and corner configurations. corrosion and malfunctioning. Valves may Collins control valve features a stem pack-
The differential-area piston eliminates also be furnished without a positioner for ing arrangement that virtually eliminates
the necessity for auxiliary loading regu- on/off applications. the problem of fugitive emissions, thereby
lators. All actuator parts apart from the Collins also offers a plastic pneumatic protecting the environment.
integral positioner are molded of glass- actuator. The combination of a plastic Located on the Texas Gulf Coast in
filled, UV-inhibited polypropylene. Before actuator and a plastic valve body provides the town of Angleton, Collins Instrument
shipment, the aluminum positioner and a an effective way to handle both corrosive Company has been serving the chemical
portion of the cylinder are immersed in Dip materials flowing through the valve, and and petrochemical industry for over
Seal to provide atmospheric protection. harsh environments that can attack the 65 years. www.collinsinst.com

50 years of service for heat transfer fluid systems


Therminol heat transfer fluids from Eastman have been used in gas processing,
refining, oil and gas pipeline operations and reprocessing used lube oils for 50 years
other heat transfer options.
In gas processing and fractionation, Therminol fluids are fre-
quently used to heat gases for regenerating solid desiccants (such
as molecular sieve) in gas dehydration beds; to reboil liquid desic-
cants (such as glycols) used for gas dehydration; to regenerate
liquid solvents (such as amines) used for gas sweetening; to heat
gas stabilization and NGL fractionation reboilers; and for other
gas processing operations.
In oil processing and refining, Therminol fluids are often used
to enhance oil/gas/water/sediment/salt separation and for other
processing and refining operations such as low-sulfur gasoline
production, solvent extraction, and sulfur recovery.
Therminol heat transfer fluids have applications in transpor-
tation too. Pumping stations along oil and gas pipelines often
require heating to control the viscosity of oil streams, and to pre-
vent condensation of components from gas streams.
Therminol heat transfer fluids have proven capable of meeting

T herminol heat transfer fluids are commonly used in offshore


and onshore oil and gas processing, fractionation, refining,
transportation,and recycling operations. Therminol 55, Therminol
these requirements in virtually any environment. And the repro-
cessing of used lubricating oils involves operations at very high
temperatures and high vacuum, for which Therminol heat transfer
59, Therminol 62, Therminol 66 and Therminol VP1 have success- fluids are ideal.
fully demonstrated low-cost, reliable, and safe performance in A variety of Therminol fluids are available with low vapor pres-
these applications for five decades. sure, high thermal stability, and good heat transfer performance,
Therminol fluids are selected because they provide lower supporting process needs at virtually any temperature.
capital and operating costs, and better temperature control, than www.therminol.com

66||||||CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013


Gulf Coast Special Advertising Section

Delivering results for chemicals and polymers


Wood Group Mustang provides highly experienced process engineers and project
managers for all types of process projects over the project lifecycle
W ood Group Mustang has a wide range of experience in chemi-
cal and polymer projects, facilitated by project manage-
ment teams who have worked together for more than 30 years.
Similarly, the companys process engineers average more than
20 years experience. And, behind the scenes, superior support
teams utilize the latest 3D modeling techniques, including laser
scanning, to streamline projects and reduce costs. Additionally,

iStockphoto.com/pattieS
Wood Group Mustang staff use their proprietary stage gate pro-
cess and project management tool (PACESETTER) to ensure that
projects are successful from start to finish.
Clients projects are managed from concept through to opera-
tions. With field-proven processes and a focus on safety, the
company execute projects with predictable results on budget,
on time and with flawless start-up. Personnel have experience in
most licensed and proprietary petrochemical, chemical and poly-
mer processes, and regularly assist clients with the introduction
of first of a kind or licensed technologies. Wood Group Mustang
offers comprehensive technical and economic studies, technology
evaluation, experimental program design, pilot plant programs,
and acquisition of physical and chemical property data.
Founded in 1987, Wood Group Mustang has established a
global reputation for quality engineering design, project man- Wood Group Mustang has completed more than 11,000
agement, procurement, and inspection services. Wood Group engineering projects worldwide
Mustang consistently leverages its global organization to deliver
the best resources and most cost-effective solution for chemicals and polymer projects to its clients. www.mustangeng.com

Celebrating a century of mass transfer innovation


At Koch-Glitsch, the culture of innovation has been going strong for 100 years with
brands that set the standards and are the preferred technology in the industry
F or many years, equipment designers
searched for the ultimate mass transfer
device one that could be used for any
ations in severe operating conditions, such
as fouling, coking, erosion, corrosion, and
frequent upsets.
ous generations of random packing. It is
applied in acid gas removal, demethanizer/
de-ethanizer, sour water strippers and
application. Over time, they reached the In new columns, high-performance atmospheric and high-pressure distillation.
conclusion that there is no single device trays can reduce vessel diameters, Koch-Glitsch continues its long tra-
for all applications; rather, there is always heights, or both. In existing columns, they dition of innovation in developing new
a device that has distinct benefits and can increase capacities, reduce utility equipment designs that provide higher
characteristics that make it the most suit- costs, and improve separations. efficiency, higher capacity, improved plant
able to meet the requirements for a par- INTALOX ULTRA random packing pro- performance, and increased reliability
ticular application. vides higher capacity and efficiency and yielding significant capital and energy
Koch-Glitsch put decades of practi- lower pressure drop compared to previ- savings. www.kochglitsch.com
cal knowledge, innovative thinking, and
tremendous expertise into research and
testing that led to the development of a
comprehensive product portfolio. The line
of products includes high-performance
trays, random packing, structured pack-
ing, and severe-service grid to address the
needs of plant operators.
Koch-Glitsch set the standards with
IMTP random packing and FLEXITRAY valve
trays, which were the preferred technology
in the industry for many years.
PROFLUX severe-service grid and
PROVALVE trays provide reliable unit oper-

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013||||||67


Gulf Coast Special Advertising Section

Not all blast-resistant buildings are created equal


A Box 4 U is the only manufacturer to have successfully blast tested its blast-resistant
buildings to meet a low to medium response rating, says Dr Ali Sari, PE
There were other companies selling blast-resistant buildings,
so our first step was to research their products. I was surprised to
learn that no testing had been done on these designs, so no one
really knew how they would stand up in a blast. I was even more
alarmed to learn that every blast-resistant building on the mar-
ket was designed to hold together as a structure but gave little
attention to protecting the personnel inside. Some petrochemical
plants were buying them based on interior amenities like attrac-
tive lighting fixtures and even glass mirrors in the restrooms,
which could injure or kill personnel in a blast. This is still true of
many blast-resistant buildings being sold today.
We designed our unit, built it, and then did something unprec-
edented in the field of blast-resistant buildings we tested it.
If you like to watch Hollywood-quality explosions, click on the
Video evidence: testing a blast-resistant building from A Box 4 U blast test video links on www.abox4u.net. They speak for them-
selves, in terms of the products ability to survive close-proximity

M y team was called in to investigate the Texas City, Texas,


refinery disaster in 2005. The wood-frame office trailers at
the site had been reduced to splinters, and 15 people had died in
explosions.
What you dont see in these videos is the most important
part of the process. When we tested, we didnt just use an empty
and around them. I thought to myself, there has to be a better way. structure. We added lights, furniture, office equipment and a test
Around the same time, ConocoPhillips approached A Box 4 U, dummy, then hit it with 1,250 lb. of ANSI high explosive. The build-
a Kansas-based company that had been supplying ConocoPhillips ing moved less than two inches and suffered no structural dam-
with ground-level offices, to ask if the company could build a more age. The same was true of the test dummy. With designs like these
rugged office design to protect personnel in a blast zone. A Box 4 available today, there never has to be another deadly refinery
U contacted me, and we set out on a mission to save lives. disaster. www.abox4u.net

Heat transfer simulation software updated


HTRI releases version 7 of its industry-leading simulation suite for process heat
transfer equipment
H eat Transfer Research, Inc. (HTRI) has released version 7 of
Xchanger Suite, the culmination of more than 50 years of
research. Xchanger Suite is a comprehensive suite of modules
ers. Based on ASME codes, the shell-and-tube module automati-
cally performs and updates a rigorous mechanical design of your
exchanger as you enter data. This mechanical design provides the
that predict the performance of process heat transfer equipment. basis for the most flexible tube layout available.
Xchanger Suite 7 represents the largest increase in capabilities Of course, software is just a part of the package. With experi-
ever for HTRI software and includes simulation modules for: mental and analytical research, engineer-based technical support,
shell-and-tube exchangers and worldwide training, HTRI provides a complete solution for
jacketed pipe and hairpin exchangers process heat transfer.
plate-and-frame exchangers Heat Transfer Research, Inc. is a leading global provider of
plate-fin exchangers process heat transfer and heat exchanger technology, research,
spiral plate exchangers and software. Founded in 1962, this industrial research and devel-
fired heaters opment consortium serves the engineering needs of nearly 1500
air coolers and economizers corporate member sites in more than 60 countries. www.htri.net
tube vibration analysis
New to version 7, the plate-fin module continues HTRIs practice
of developing rigorous, incremental simulations that are based on
extensive experimental research. In addition to this new module,
version 7 incorporates significant additions and upgrades through-
out. Ten major updates have been made to the predictive models,
including shellside reflux condensation, horizontal tubeside
condensation, tubeside convective boiling, kettle reboilers, and
tubeside laminar flow. The graphical interfaces have been reorga-
nized and streamlined to make data entry easier than ever before.
Perhaps the single most significant upgrade is an interactive,
behind-the-scenes mechanical design for shell-and-tube exchang-

68||||||CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013


Gulf Coast Special Advertising Section

Combustion authority for 80+ years


John Zink Hamworthy Combustion provides proven emissions-control and clean-air
systems to a variety of industries worldwide
J ohn Zink Hamworthy Combustion solu-
tions include:
Flare systems: advanced flare design and
Combustion flare gas recovery systems
reduce normal flaring by nearly 100%. This
near-zero flaring allows the recovered gas
Hamworthy Combustions three R&D cen-
ters (Tulsa, Okla.; Luxembourg; and Poole,
England) make up the largest and most
clean flare technologies set the standard to be reused as fuel or feedstock, combin- advanced testing complex in the indus-
for upstream, downstream and biogas ing environmental control with an immedi- try, with a team of PhD engineers using
flaring. John Zink Hamworthy Combustion ate return on investment. advanced CFD to solve turbulent flow
has more than 700 biogas flare systems Vapor control: John Zink Hamworthy problems involving multiple-step chemical
in operation, including the ZULE Ultra Low Combustion has more than 2,000 vapor reactions and non-linear heat transfer.
Emissions flare system. combustion and vapor recovery instal- www.johnzinkhamworthy.com
Thermal oxidation: More than 3,500 ther- lations worldwide. The firms vapor
mal oxidation systems installed around the control technologies are recognized as
world destroy up to 99.9999% of a variety the Best Demonstrated Technology
of hazardous industrial wastes. and the Maximum Achievable Control
Process burners: A broad range of conven- Technology by the U.S. Environmental
tional low-NOx and ultra-low-NOx process Protection Agency.
burner systems reduce pollution and maxi- Marine and offshore: With thousands
mize heating performance for the ethylene, of installations, John Zink Hamworthy
refining and reforming industries. Combustion is a world leader in gas and
Boiler burners: John Zink Hamworthy oil combustion systems for the marine and
Combustions customized boiler burners offshore sector. Specialized burner sys-
accommodate variable fuels, emissions tems handle a variety of fuels and cover a
levels, boiler types and flame geometry for wide range of applications including main
industrial steam generation, power gen- and auxiliary boilers, thermal heaters, John Zink Hamworthy Combustion has
eration and marine markets worldwide. flare systems and well-test burners. installed thousands of flare systems
Flare gas recovery: John Zink Hamworthy Research and development: John Zink

The Chemical Engineering bookstore offers a


variety of industry topics you will come to rely on.

Environmental Management: Air-Pollution Control


Environmental Management: Wastewater and Groundwater Treatment
Fluid Handling
Gas-Solid and Liquid-Solid Separation
Liquid-Liquid and Gas-Liquid Separation
Managing Bulk Solids
17792

For a complete list of products, visit the Chemical


Engineering bookstore now. http://store.che.com/product/book

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING||||WWW.CHE.COM||||MAY 2013||||||69


EnvironmentalColumn
Fractionation Manager

Small-company safety
ome injuries are permanent; some and Consulting Co., performs an an-

S injuries are total. People who work


for, or near, small companies need to
be protected just as much as those
associated with large companies. Small
companies, however, usually cannot afford
nual radiation audit that addresses
FRI gamma-scan apparatuses and co-
balt sources. The bulk of FRIs safety
efforts, however, are performed on a
part-time basis by four FRI employ-
Mike Resetarits is the technical direc-
tor at Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI;
to employ full-time, certified, degreed, ees, including myself. Not too long Stillwater, Okla.; www.fri.org), a distilla-
safety professionals. From my own career ago, we benefitted appreciably from tion research consortium. Each month,
Mike shares his irst-hand experience
experiences, it seems as though a com- a surprise all-day audit of our safety with CE readers
pany with less than 50 employees cannot programs by the U.S. Environmental
afford to employ an expert full time. FRI Protection Agency (EPA). According regarding forklift operation; Safety
is such a small company. to that inspector, FRI is doing a very meeting run by AD regarding PPE;
One solution for a small company good job for a small company. In and KM plugged insulation holes on
is to utilize consultants. For example, fact, every outside auditor seems to reflux line. With the first two exam-
professor Jan Wagner has assisted FRI say just about the same thing. ples, other documentation of the event
with process hazard analyses (PHAs), Following the EPA audit, FRI created was, of course, prepared. This Safety
risk management plans (RMPs), relief a safety tool that might be unique. FRI Journal has many benefits, including
system analyses and dispersion stud- created an electronic Safety Journal. the fact that it is word-searchable. Any
ies. Alan Drew, of Meridian Technol- Every employee who performs any sig- FRI employee can search for objects
ogy, teaches safety classes and per- nificant safety chore is encouraged to like the following: CWK, forklift, PPE,
forms outside audits. Ming Yu, of enter a dated sentence in the journal. KM, insulation, and so on. The Safety
Red River Environmental Laboratory One example, TCT re-trained CWK Journal has proven extremely valuable
with external auditors when they have
asked questions like, When was the
last time that you . . . and Is there any
documentation regarding . . . FRIs
Safety Journal is also the place where
FRI stores reminders regarding future
safety/reporting deadlines. Some large
companies employ dashboards and
scorecards, which are similar to FRIs
Safety Journal, to keep track of process
safety management (PSM) information.
The idea for FRIs Safety Journal came
from my MBA studies (many years ago)
when I learned about the journals that
accounting departments keep.
About a year ago, at a general safety
meeting, I went around the room and
asked several engineers, technicians
and administrators the same question,
What is the key to safety? The an-
swers that came back included words
like training, caring, documentation,
pre-engineering, personal protective
equipment, inspections, audits, follow-
ups and communications. When I was
done receiving input, I reached under
the table and pulled out a string of
592 metal keys, which I held above the
table. I stated, There are many keys
to a safe working environment. Now,
whenever anybody enters my office,
the first thing they see is the FRI safety
keys hanging from my coat rack.
Mike Resetarits
Circle 11 on p. 72 or go to adlinks.che.com/45772-11
CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 70
PRODUCT
NEW & USED EQUIPMENT SHOWC ASE

RIBBON Protect pressure or vacuum

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instruments from clogging,
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units in stock
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WABASH SELLS & RENTS


Boilers
20,000 - 400,000 #/Hr.
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50 - 25,000 KW
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Valves Tubes Controls Compressors adlinks.che.com/45772-201
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CONSULTING
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INDUSTRIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND LEVEL SURVEYS REGULATORY COMPLIANCE STUDIES

HEAT EXCHANGERS Circle 244 on p. 72 or go to

Liquid Cooled
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CRYSTALLIZATION &
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FOR GASES & LIQUIDS!


Talk Directly with Design Engineers!
Engineering e-material, e-solutions, e-courses Dr. Wayne J. Genck
and e-seminars for energy conversion systems:
Blower Cooling Vent Physical
Condensing
Genck International
Properties Steam Approximations 3 Somonauk Court, Park Forest, IL. 60466
Power Cycles Power Cycle Components/Processes
Compressible Flow Tel (708) 748-7200 Fax (708) 748-7208
ENGINEERING SOFTWARE
genckintl@aol.com http://www.genckintl.com
Phone/FAX: (301) 540-3605
Web Site: http://www.engineering-4e.com Design/Scale-up Purity
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GET CONNECTED TODAY Industrial Seminars

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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 71
New Product Information May 2013

JustFAXit! or go to www.che.com/adlinks
Fill out the form and circle or write in the number(s) go on the web and ill out the


below, cut it out, and fax it to 800-571-7730. online reader service card.
name Title

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address
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email | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

FREE PRODUCT INFO 14 engineering, Design & Construc- 29 10 to 49 employees 47 Pollution Control equipment
(please answer all the questions) tion Firms 30 50 to 99 employees & Systems
15 engineering/environmental Ser- 31 100 to 249 employees 48 Pumps
YOUR INDUSTRY
vices 32 250 to 499 employees 49 Safety equipment & Services
01 Food & Beverages
16 equipment manufacturer 33 500 to 999 employees 50 Size reduction & agglomeration
02 wood, Pulp & Paper
17 energy incl. Co-generation 34 1,000 or more employees equipment
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20 Corporate management 53 Valves
06 Soaps & Detergents 40 Drying equipment
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nance ware/Peripherals
08 organic Chemicals 42 heat Transfer/energy Conserva-
22 engineering 55 water Treatment Chemicals
09 agricultural Chemicals tion equipment
23 research & Development & equipment
10 Petroleum reining, 43 instrumentation & Control Sys-
24 Safety & environmental 56 hazardous waste management
Coal Products tems
26 other Systems
11 rubber & misc. Plastics 44 mixing, Blending equipment 57 Chemicals & raw materials
12 Stone, Clay, glass, Ceramics EMPLOYEE SIZE 45 motors, motor Controls 58 materials of Construction
13 metallurgical & metal Products 28 less than 10 employees 46 Piping, Tubing, Fittings 59 Compressors

1 16 31 46 61 76 91 106 121 136 151 166 181 196 211 226 241 256 271 286 301 316 331 346 361 376 391 406 421 436 451 466 481 496 511 526 541 556 571 586
2 17 32 47 62 77 92 107 122 137 152 167 182 197 212 227 242 257 272 287 302 317 332 347 362 377 392 407 422 437 452 467 482 497 512 527 542 557 572 587
3 18 33 48 63 78 93 108 123 138 153 168 183 198 213 228 243 258 273 288 303 318 333 348 363 378 393 408 423 438 453 468 483 498 513 528 543 558 573 588
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11 26 41 56 71 86 101 116 131 146 161 176 191 206 221 236 251 266 281 296 311 326 341 356 371 386 401 416 431 446 461 476 491 506 521 536 551 566 581 596
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72 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com may 2013


Advertisers Index

Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number


Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service #

A Box 4 U 8, 24 Heat Transfer Research, Inc. 57 Mller GmbH 58


1-877-522-6948 adlinks.che.com/45772-01, 02 adlinks.che.com/45772-21 49 (0) 7623/969-0 adlinks.che.com/45772-33

Abbe, Paul O. 58 Hytorc 29 * OHL Gutermuth 32I-6


1-800-524-2188 adlinks.che.com/45772-03 adlinks.che.com/45772-22 49.60 47.80 06-0 adlinks.che.com/45772-34

Abresist Kelenborn Inline Industries 59 PNC Financial Services Group16a


Corporation 6 1-800-568-8998 adlinks.che.com/45772-23 1-855-762-2361 adlinks.che.com/45772-35
1-800-348-0717 adlinks.che.com/45772-04
* Italvacuum 32I-2 * Pompetravaini 32I-8
Aggreko 38 39 011 470 4651 adlinks.che.com/45772-24 41 61 338 18 18 adlinks.che.com/45772-36
1-800-348-8370 adlinks.che.com/45772-05
John Zink Hamworthy Quest Integrity Group 53
AMACS Process Combustion 23 1-253-893-7070 adlinks.che.com/45772-37
Tower Internals 19 1-918-234-1800 adlinks.che.com/45772-25 Ross, Charles & Son Company 25
1-281-716-1179 adlinks.che.com/45772-06
1-800-243-ROSS adlinks.che.com/45772-38
Koch-Glitsch, LP 32
* Arca-Regler GmbH 32I-4 1-316-828-5110 adlinks.che.com/45772-26 Saint Gobain
49 2156 9709-0 adlinks.che.com/45772-07
Load Controls 52 Structural Ceramics 36
AUMA Riester GmbH 1-888-600-3247 adlinks.che.com/45772-27 1-716-278-6233 adlinks.che.com/45772-39
& Co. KG 21
49 7631 809-0 adlinks.che.com/45772-08 Magnetrol International 27 Samson AG 15
1-800-624-8765 adlinks.che.com/45772-28 49 69 4009-0 adlinks.che.com/45772-40
* Berndorf Band GmbH 32I-3
(39) 0331/864841 adlinks.che.com/45772-09 Metrohm USA, Inc. SECOND SoundPLAN International LLC 60
1-360-432-9840 adlinks.che.com/45772-41
Beumer Group GmbH & Co. KG 8 COVER
1-866-METROHM adlinks.che.com/45772-29 Therminol 3
adlinks.che.com/45772-10
1-800-426-2463 adlinks.che.com/45772-16
Brookield Engineering 70 Metso Automation Oil & Gas 7
1-800-628-8139 adlinks.che.com/45772-11 adlinks.che.com/45772-30 Tiger Tower Services 10
1-281-951-2500 adlinks.che.com/45772-42
Carver Pump 26 Miller-Stephenson
1-563-263-3410 adlinks.che.com/45772-12 Chemical Co., Inc. 60 Wood Group Mustang 20
1-800-992-2424 adlinks.che.com/45772-31 1-713-215-8000 adlinks.che.com/45772-43
Cashco VCI 13
1-785-472-4461 adlinks.che.com/45772-13 MineARC Systems 30 Zeeco, Inc. 4
1-214-337-5100 adlinks.che.com/45772-32 1-918-258-8551 adlinks.che.com/45772-44
Check-All Valve Mfg. Co. 51
1-515-224-2301 adlinks.che.com/45772-14

Collins Instruments Co. 37


1-979-849-8266 adlinks.che.com/45772-15 Classiied Index May 2013
Emerson Process FOURTH
Management COVER Advertiser Page number Advertisers
Phone number Reader Service #
* Fine Tek Co. Ltd. 32I-6 Product Showcase . . . . . . . . .71
88 6 2 22696789 adlinks.che.com/45772-17 Applied e-Simulators Software 71 Computer Software . . . . . . . . .71
Fluid Metering, Inc. 6 adlinks.che.com/45772-241
Consulting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
1-800-223-3388 adlinks.che.com/45772-18 Engineering Software 71 Equipment, New & Used . . . .71
* GEA Wiegand GmbH 32I-5 1-301-540-3605 adlinks.che.com/45772-242
49 7243 705-0 adlinks.che.com/45772-19 Genck International 71 Advertiser Page number
* Haver & Boecker Drahtweberei 1-708-748-7200 adlinks.che.com/45772-243 Phone number Reader Service #

und Maschinenfabrik 32I-7 HFP Acoustical Consultants 71 Ross, Charles & Son Company 71
49 2522 30-0 adlinks.che.com/45772-20 1-713-789-9400 adlinks.che.com/45772-244 1-800-243-ROSS adlinks.che.com/45772-246
Indeck Power Equipment Co. 71 Wabash Power Equipment Co. 71
* International Edition 1-847-541-8300 adlinks.che.com/45772-245 1-800-704-2002 adlinks.che.com/45772-247
Plast-O-Matic Valves, Inc. 71 Xchanger, Inc. 71
1-973-256-3000 adlinks.che.com/45772-201 1-952-933-2559 adlinks.che.com/45772-248
See bottom of oposite
page for advertising
sales representatives' Send Advertisements and Box replies to: Diane Burleson
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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 73
People

MAY WHOS WHO

Edwards Rolando Haggblom Chomiak Bodine

Steve Edwards will become chairman, Nuclear and chemical-process safety John M. Brown joins General Elec-
president and CEO of global company Fauske & Associates, LLC trical Co. (GECO; St. Louis, Mo.) as
engineering-and-construction com- (Burr Ridge, Ill.) welcomes the return vice president of industrial and
pany Black & Veatch (Overland of Michael Grolmes, one of its found- instrumentation.
Park, Kan.), when Len Rodman ing principals and current owner of
retires at the end of 2013. Centaurus Technology, as an exclu- ValvTechnologies, Inc. (Houston),
sive consultant. manufacturer of severe-service isola-
John Rolando becomes president of tion valve solutions, names Julie
specialty chemicals company Evonik Richard Grenville joins Philadelphia Bodine global director of marketing.
Corp. (Parsippany, N.J.), succeeding Mixing Solutions, Ltd. (Palmyra,
Tom Bates, who is retiring. Pa.) as director of mixing technology. Bryan Burns becomes president
and COO for DeZurik, Inc. (Sartell,
Henri Haggblom becomes manag- SVF Flow Controls, Inc. (Santa Minn.), a global maker of municipal
ing partner of consultancy Sinclair Fe Springs, Calif.) appoints Russ and industrial valves.
Group (The Woodlands, Tex.). Chomiak director of sales. Suzanne Shelley

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74 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013


Economic Indicators
BUSINESS NEWS
(EVOH) plant in La Porte, Houston, for Nip- of the mill. Startup of the new 1.3-million
PLANT WATCH
pon Synthetic Chemical Industry Co. Con- m.t./yr mill is planned for early 2015.
Neste Jacobs to expand enzyme struction is scheduled to begin this summer
production plant in Finland and to be completed at the end of 2014.The
April 5, 2013 Neste Jacobs Oy (Porvoo,
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
project will add a third production line to
Finland; www.nestejacobs.com) has signed CB&I acquire Phillips gasification
Nippon Synthetics two existing lines.
a contract to expand an enzyme plant op- technology and signs Korean PDH deal
The previous week,Toyo Engineering
erated by Roal Oy (Rajamki, Finland; www. March 21, 2013 CB&I (The Woodlands,
Corp. was awarded a contract with TAIF-
roal.fi). Enzymes produced at the Rajamki Tex.; www.cbi.com) has agreed to acquire
NK (Nizhnekamsk, Republic of Tatarstan,
plant are used to make foodstuffs, clothing, the E-Gas gasification business from Phil-
Russian Federation) to provide detailed
animal feed, pulp and paper.The contract, lips 66. E-Gas technology is a commercially
engineering and procurement for the mod-
which is worth several million euros, started proven way to convert coal or petroleum
ernization of an oil refinery in Nizhnekamsk.
in April and will be executed in phases, fin- coke into synthesis gas.The previous week,
TAIF-NK belongs to TAIF PSC Group (Republic
ishing in June 2016. CB&I announced a contract from SK Gas
of Tatarstan, Russian Federation), and is one
for the license and engineering design of a
of the largest petroleum refineries in Russia.
ThyssenKrupp to build a second propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit to be
The project, which is due to be completed in
cement plant in Indonesia built in Ulsan, Korea, for startup in 2016.The
2016, will see the worlds first use of the VCC
March 27, 2013 ThyssenKrupp Polysius 600,000-m.t. /yr plant will use Catofin tech-
(Veba Combi Cracker) process from KBR
(Beckum, Germany; www.thyssenkrupp- nology from Lummus.
(Houston; www.kbr.com) on a Heavy Resi-
resource-technologies.com) has won a due Conversion Complex (HRCC).
contract from PT Holcim Indonesia Tbk., BASF to start up new FCC catalysts testing
Jakarta, to build a second 1.7-million ton/yr and research laboratory in Heidelberg
Jacobs awarded contract for sulfuric
cement plant near the town of Tuban on the March 13, 2013 BASF Corp. (Iselin, N.J.;
acid regeneration plant
northern coast of Java.The contract is worth www.basf.com) says it will open a new multi-
March 12, 2013 Jacobs Engineering
around $250 million and the plant is sched- million euro fluid catalytic cracking (FCC)
Group Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.; www.jacobs.
uled to start production in 2015.The Tuban 1 catalysts testing and research laboratory at
com) was awarded a contract by Jiangsu
plant, also being built by Thyssen- the hte AG (www.hte-company.com) facil-
Sailboat Petrochemical Co. for the design
Krupp Polysius, is due to start up in June. ity in Heidelberg, Germany. hte is a wholly
of a sulfuric acid regeneration plant in Li-
owned subsidiary of BASF SE (Ludwigshafen,
anyungang, Jiangsu, Peoples Republic of
UOP propylene technology chosen Germany) and provider of services to en-
China.The plant will treat spent acid from a
for plants in Canada and China hance productivity in research and devel-
new methyl methacrylate (MMA) and acry-
March 26, 2013 UOP LLC (Des Plaines, opment.The new BASF laboratory will begin
lonitrile (AN) production facility.
Ill.; www.uop.com), a Honeywell company, operating in the first half of 2014.
says that its UOP C3 Oleflex propane dehy- Ineos and Sinopec form JV agreement
drogenation (PDH) technology has been Davy Process Technology and SEKAB
for chemical complex in Nanjing
selected by Williams (Tulsa, Okla.) for a plant E-Technology form strategic partnership
March 11, 2013 Ineos Phenol (Rolle,
in Alberta, Canada.The 1-billion lb/yr facil- March 13, 2013 Davy Process Technology
Switzerland; www.ineosphenol.com) and
ity will convert propane recovered from oil Ltd. (Davy; London, U.K.; www.davyprotech.
Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co. (Sino-
sands offgas into polymer-grade propylene. com), a Johnson Matthey company, and
pec YPC) have formed a joint venture (JV)
This is Canadas first PDH facility and the sixth SEKAB (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; www.
to build and operate a 1.2-million m.t./yr
successive win for Honeywells UOP Oleflex sekab.com), a leader in ethanol-based
cumene, phenol and acetone complex at
technology in North America. chemicals and biofuels, announced that
Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park in Jiangsu
they will collaborate to develop and market
Province, China. Capacity will be at least
Uhde Inventa-Fischer commissions CelluTech, SEKABs lignocellulosic-based
400,000 m.t./yr of phenol, 250,000 m.t./yr
polyamide 6 plant in Belarus biorefinery technology.
of acetone and 550,000 m.t./yr of cumene,
March 25, 2013 Uhde Inventa-Fischer (Do- making it the largest plant of its kind in Chi-
mat/Ems, Switzerland; www.uhde-inventa- AkzoNobel and Solvay establish a
na. Startup is planned for the end of 2015.
fischer.com) and JSC Grodno Azot PTC partnership on renewable solvents
Khimvolokno (Belarus) have successfully March 12, 2013 Solvay S.A. (Brussels,
Pyry awarded EPCM assignment in a
commissioned a 91,000-metric tons (m.t.)/ Belgium; www.solvay.com) has agreed
pulp mill project in Brazil
yr polyamide 6 plant in Grodno, Western to supply bio-based chemicals for use in
March 11, 2013 Pyry Oyj. (Helsinki,
Belarus. paints and coatings made by AkzoNobel
Finland; www.poyry.com) has won an en-
(Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.akzono-
gineering, procurement and construction
Toyo wins EVOH plant contract in Texas bel.com).The agreement covers the manu-
management (EPCM) contract from CMPC
and refinery modernization in Tatarstan facture of biobutanol and bio-acetone
Celulose Riograndense for the expansion
March 18, 2013 Toyo Engineering Corp. and their derivatives, and the Solvay Coatis
of the companys Guaiba pulp mill in Rio
(Toyo; Chiba, Japan; www.toyo-eng.co.jp) Augeo family of solvents, in volumes of up to
Grande do Sul state, Brazil. Under the Bal-
has won a contract to construct a 15,000- 10,000 ton/yr by 2017.
ance of Plant (BOP) assignment, Pyry will
ton/yr ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer Charles Butcher
work on integrating the different processes

FOR ADDITIONAL NEWS AS IT DEVELOPS, PLEASE VISIT WWW.CHE.COM


May 2013; VOL. 120; NO. 5
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FOR MORE ECONOMIC INDICATORS, SEE NEXT PAGE CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013 75
Economic Indicators 2011 2012 2013

DOWNLOAD THE CEPCI TWO WEEKS SOONER AT WWW.CHE.COM/PCI

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING PLANT COST INDEX (CEPCI) 650

Annual
Feb. 13 Jan. 13 Feb. 12
(195759 = 100) Index:
Prelim. Final Final 600
CE Index 569.9 571.2 596.3 2005 = 468.2
Equipment 690.9 692.8 730.6 2006 = 499.6
Heat exchangers & tanks 627.3 630.1 689.9 550
Process machinery 653.6 657.6 677.7 2007 = 525.4
Pipe, valves & fittings 887.6 890.4 933.5 2008 = 575.4
Process instruments 417.1 416.5 433.8 500
2009 = 521.9
Pumps & compressors 917.4 913.9 919.6
Electrical equipment 513.5 513.3 514.2 2010 = 550.8
Structural supports & misc 739.3 741.6 772.9 450
2011 = 585.7
Construction labor 318.9 319.2 321.7
Buildings 531.0 530.9 524.4 2012 = 584.6
Engineering & supervision 326.6 326.8 328.4 400
J F M A M J J A S O N D

CURRENT BUSINESS INDICATORS LATEST PREVIOUS YEAR AGO

CPI output index (2007 = 100) Mar. '13 = 88.3 Feb. '13 = 88.7 Jan. '13 = 88.2 Mar. '12 = 87.0
CPI value of output, $ billions Feb. '13 = 2,218.0 Jan. '13 = 2,195.4 Dec. '12 = 2,164.3 Feb. '12 = 2,199.3
CPI operating rate, % Mar. '13 = 74.7 Feb. '13 = 75.1 Jan. '13 = 74.9 Mar. '12 = 74.6
Producer prices, industrial chemicals (1982 = 100) Mar. '13 = 313.5 Feb. '13 = 314.2 Dec. '13 = 299.7 Mar. '12 = 327.3
Industrial Production in Manufacturing (2007=100) Mar. '13 = 95.7 Feb. '13 = 95.9 Jan. '13 = 95.0 Mar. '12 = 93.4
Hourly earnings index, chemical & allied products (1992 = 100) Mar. '13 = 155.2 Feb. '13 = 155.2 Jan. '13 = 155.0 Mar. '12 = 157.3
Productivity index, chemicals & allied products (1992 = 100) Mar. '13 = 105.5 Feb. '13 = 105.1 Jan. '13 = 105.6 Mar. '12 = 106.3

CPI OUTPUT INDEX (2007 = 100) CPI OUTPUT VALUE ($ BILLIONS) CPI OPERATING RATE (%)
120 2500 85

110 2200 80

100 1900 75

90 1600 70

80 1300 65

70 1000 60
J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D
Current Business Indicators provided by IHS Global Insight, Inc., Lexington, Mass.

CURRENT TRENDS
Equipment Cost Index Available P reliminary data for the Febru-
ary 2013 CE Plant Cost Index
(CEPCI; top), which is the most re-

Exclusively from Marshall & Swift cent available, indicate that capi-
tal equipment prices declined from
January to February, by 0.2%. The
current February 2013 preliminary
Plant Cost Index stands at 4.4%
lower than the PCI value from a
year ago (February 2012). Within
the equipment subcategories, costs
for pumps & compressors, process
instruments and electrical equip-
ment edged higher, while costs
in other areas, including process
machinery and heat exchangers
& tanks, fell. Meanwhile, the Cur-
rent Business Indicators from IHS
Quarterly updates of our industry-leading Equipment Cost Index Global Insight (middle), show that
the latest CPI output index value
are now available at www.equipment-cost-index.com. (March 2013) increased from the
previous month.

76 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM MAY 2013


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