Technology

LNG plant design in cold climates: S. MOKHATAB and D. MESSERSMITH

Monetizing natural gas via LNG technology in cold climates (e.g., Kenai, Alaska; Hammerfest, Norway; and Sakhalin, Russia) has proven commercially viable. Although the low temperatures of the feed gas, ambient air and cooling water in arctic climates help improve liquefaction energy efficiency for LNG production, the process design of the liquefaction plants presents unique challenges due to the harsh environment and geographic isolation. For these reasons, gas pretreatment and liquefaction technologies commonly used in baseload LNG facilities... (more about ...)

Propane dehydrogenation technology is transforming the propylene business: Morse, P. M., Zhang, B., Argus

Propylene demand has been increasing rapidly in recent years, and traditional processes are struggling to keep up. Propylene demand has increased at an average rate of nearly 5%/yr in the past 5 yr, with some developing countries growing at two to three times that rate. In China, for example, average annual propylene demand grew by 15.5%/yr between 2012 and 2016. (more about ...)

Battery storage: The next disruptive technology in the power sector: By David Frankel and Amy Wagner (Mckinsey)

Storage prices are dropping much faster than anyone expected, due to the growing market for consumer electronics and demand for electric vehicles (EVs). Major players in Asia, Europe, and the United States are all scaling up lithium-ion manufacturing to serve EV and other power applications. No surprise, then, that battery-pack costs are down to less than $230 per kilowatt-hour in 2016, compared with almost $1,000 per kilowatt-hour in 2010

Bureau Veritas releases new rules for FSRUs 

NEUILLY-SUR-SEINE, France — Bureau Veritas (BV) has published a new Rule (NR645) for the classification of floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in response to industry demand and following close engagement with FSRU stakeholders... (Source: Gas Processing)

Carburization inspection robots for radiant tubes inside ethylene cracking furnaces - Tiyawongsakul, T., Rayong Engineering & Plant Service Co. Ltd. 

In an olefins plant, the reliability of ethylene cracking furnaces is one of the deciding factors used to indicate whether or not the plant can be operated at its design productivity. If a furnace shutdown occurs due to a reliability-related issue, then ethylene productivity will drop and lead to opportunity loss, material and scaffolding costs, etc. ... (more about)

Revamp fired heaters with a common air-preheating system to increase capacity - Ahamad, S., Vallavanatt, R., Bechtel Corp.

In any process plant, fired heaters are generally considered to be one of the most optimally designed pieces of equipment. Any margin provided during the design stage is consumed very quickly during debottlenecking. Plant operators work hard to extract every possible absorbed heat duty from a fired heater. (more about ...)

Design and troubleshoot the orifice chamber in an FCCU - Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.

The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) process remains one of the most important secondary conversion processes due to its inherent capability to upgrade residual streams and its flexibility to maximize the desired product, depending on market dynamics. (more about ...)

Case study: Improve vacuum tower operation with VFD additionAlshaye, A., Saudi Aramco

The bottom pump in crude vacuum units is an area of concern for almost all petroleum oil refineries. The harsh operating parameters in which these pumps operate, including high product temperature and significant vacuum suction pressure, have resulted in frequent vacuum tower upsets and low mean time between failures (MTBF) for vacuum bottom pumps.

These Blobs May Be the Future of Plastic Water Bottles: by McKinley Corbley

Designed by London-based startup Skipping Rocks Labs, the biodegradable container is made out of a thin, flexible membrane composed of sodium alginate – a natural derivative of brown algae – and calcium chloride. It can be either ripped open, allowing the individual to drink the liquid out of the membrane, or simply consumed whole. Each glob contains 250 ml each, costing only about 2 cents to make.

5 Clean Energy Innovations That Could Transform Our World By Zainab Calcuttawala

Innovations in energy storage, smart grid, and electricity generation technologies will affect every part of the source-to-consumer supply chain for powering the planet. Energy storage tech improves the viabilities of wind and solar power – two energy sources that remain cost prohibitive due to expenses related to batteries that would store generated energy. Smart grids will regulate the movement of energy throughout a city or state, insuring the areas from crippling blackouts. Developments in electricity generation make sure we make the most out of fossil fuels and other energy sources to improve efficiency.

Wind powered offshore oil recovery to become a reality

DNV GL is leading a joint industry project which has already determined that wind power could be used to power water injection in offshore oilfields. The project, known as WIN WIN (WINd-powered Water INjection) is now moving into its second phase, after the first phase confirmed that the concept is technically feasible, capable of meeting targets and is cost-effective in comparison to conventional water injection methods.

New from NACE International: Preferential Weld Corrosion of Carbon Steels

NACE International has added a new publication to its collection of corrosion resources. The new book, Preferential Weld Corrosion of Carbon Steels addresses the detection, assessment and control of preferential weld corrosion (PWC) of carbon steels. An essential resource for asset integrity specialists, engineers responsible for risk management, plant operators and facilities engineers in the oil and gas and chemical process industries, this book offers clear guidance on how to manage PWC in both new projects and maturing assets. 

Maintain the simplicity of maintenance work processes: Asquini, M., T.A. Cook Consultants Inc. 

In the processing industries, companies rely on their physical assets to guarantee that they are always producing at the same capacity, or preferably higher, than they began. To achieve these high levels of production, assets must be readily available. The best way to reach this goal is by properly planning, scheduling and executing all preventive and corrective maintenance activities. Successful progression greatly decreases the time and energy spent on reactive activities.

Optimize steam usage in refinery flares: Silva, C. F. P. M., Carmona, M. A., Ribeiro, L. S., Gliese, R., Tonel, T. L., 

In this study, methods to optimize the consumption of dispersion steam in flares were examined at a large refinery that burns a considerable quantity of gas. The desired optimization was achieved by monitoring hydrocarbon emissions using an infrared camera (thermography). Utilizing this methodology, it was determined that an excessive quantity of steam was used in the flares under study; plumes of hydrocarbons that had not been converted in the flares could be seen exiting the stacks. The steam flowrate was reduced until the optimal levelwas reached, preventing both the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons and the formation of soot. The results indicated that an infrared camera could be helpful for optimizing steam consumption, which can yield significant savings for refineries.

Engineering approach optimizes process design, reduces costs for NGL facility upgradeM. F. Khan and R. Riaz, Jacobs Zate, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

In the present oil and gas market, companies may think twice before installing new equipment, even for necessary upgrades. Cost-effectiveness has become increasingly necessary. The role of the engineering contractor is critical to studying cost-reduction options during engineering design and budget allocation decisions.

Optimize a CDU using process simulation and statistical modeling methods: by Bird, J., Seillier, D., Piazza, E., Valero Energy Corp.

A methodology was implemented to optimize the operation of a refinery crude distillation unit (CDU) using a combination of process simulation and statistical modeling methods.

Honeywell UOP introduces ionic liquids alkylation technology: Honeywell UOP has introduced a new alkylation technology to the refining industry, developed by Chevron, that employs ionic liquids as a catalyst to produce high-octane motor fuels. Chevron licensed the technology to Honeywell UOP, which will offer the technology under the ISOALKY brand name as an alternative to traditional technologies that use hydrofluoric or sulfuric acids as a liquid alkylation catalyst.

Unlock next-level hydrocracker flexibility in today’s turbulent markets (Baric, J., Shell Global Solutions Intl., BV; Kang, D.-H., Hyundai Oilbank Daesan refinery; Orzeszko, G., Grupa LOTOS Gdańsk refinery)

As a critical catalytic conversion unit, the hydrocracker provides refiners with valuable feedstock and product slate flexibility. In recent years, several businesses have taken this flexibility to the next level. Some have adapted their units to handle extreme feeds, whereas others have transformed their operating strategies to capture new business opportunities in petrochemicals or lubricant base oils. These refiners have unlocked real performance differentiators and transformed the economics of their assets.

Design for ultra-high-pressure H2S removal from natural gas (P. Roberts, formerly with Advisian, WorleyParsons, Twickenham, UK)

What are the pressure design limits for natural gas H2S removal and associated dehydration facilities? This question was asked in the search for facility designs to remove H2S from sour gas at a pressure of 160 bara. The inlet gas to the facility is at 160 bara, and it requires export with minimum pressure loss for reinjection.

New in gas processing technology (B. Andrew, Technical Editor)

Maintenance, repairs and unplanned downtime in manufacturing can be costly, and the corrosive effect of polluted or contaminated air in production facilities is often the culprit. Demand for comprehensive gas-phase filtration is rising, and increasingly sophisticated solutions are required to protect critical systems.

Manage activated carbon effects on MDEA solution foaming (D. Engel, S. Williams and A. Heinen, Nexo Solutions, The Woodlands, Texas)

In the oil and gas industry, activated carbon (AC) is used in many applications, both as an adsorbent and as a support media for chemical reagents. One of the most common uses is in amine units. The occurrence of foaming episodes in amine units is perhaps the single most common problem leading to operational losses. The AC has the function of removing soluble contaminants from the amine solvent, thereby reducing foaming tendency. However, no systematic study exists of the relative effect of AC adsorption with respect to foaming reduction in amine solutions.

Floating LNG's evolution from FPSO (Author: Bob Andrew, technical editor, Gas Processing)

Floating LNG (FLNG) has always been an attractive concept for several reasons: able to be located deep offshore without requiring a jetty or product pipeline, potential to be redeployed to another large gas field, and – compared to LNG plants on land – a lesser impact on flora and fauna, indigenous peoples.  Several decades of reliable track records with LNG onshore plant development and Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) gave gas field developers the confidence to now build FLNG vessels.

Dual-methane expander liquefaction reduces LNG costs and complexity (G. W. Howe, G. F. Skinner and A. D. Maunder, Gasconsult Ltd., London, UK): LNG producers have sought to enhance project returns through higher plant capacities to achieve economies of scale. Many complex multi-refrigerant plants were constructed to realize this objective. However, the unprecedented capital costs and financial risks associated with these mega-scale plants may be unsustainable in an era of distressed energy prices. Some operators are looking for more flexible project development and commercial models that alleviate risk; they are seeking means to monetize smaller gas reserves with lower-cost schemes.

Useful tips for a successful HAZOP study: Kunte, V. A., Sakthivel, S., TATA Consulting Engineers Ltd.

The products we use on a daily basis comprise a variety of chemicals. The products increase the living standards of billions of people across the world. Many technologies have been developed to manufacture these chemicals. In any type of industry, such as petroleum refining, petrochemicals or fertilizer production, specialty chemical manufacturing, or pesticide production, the handling, processing, storing and transferring of huge quantities of volatile and flammable hydrocarbons and chemicals are inevitable. Since hydrocarbons and chemicals are vulnerable to fires, explosions or toxic release, they can lead to various types of accidents. The consequences of an accident could be catastrophic, which affects capital investment, personnel safety, equipment and the environment.