In Part 5 of this series on distillation control and optimization, we find that adding a side-stream component to your process gives an additional degree of freedom, but makes it even more essential to not mismatch the variables.
Many companies decide not to build up certain capabilities in-house mainly because they dont have sufficient regular demand for them. Gamma scanning of distillation columns is a case in point, but on-site scanning specialists may be the wave of the future.
From large petrochemical units to tiny pharmaceutical pilot plants, day-to-day operations depend upon providing compressed gases in a controlled, safe and environmentally conscious manner. Correct gas handling also can improve process efficiency.
With increasing energy prices and public sensitivity to energy consumption, many plants are paying more attention to optimizing distillation. Simple and low-risk operational changes often can provide substantial savings.
Control's Béla Lipták continues his series on control of distillation processes, this time focusing on managing reboiler flow, temperature, feed rate, loading and reflux for economy, stability and safety.
Residue curve mapping is a powerful tool to better understand the design and operation of distillation columns. This article describes how to use residue curve maps to check the feasibility of separation of homogeneous mixtures and for developing the conceptual design of towers.
British Petroleum's tragic March 2005 explosion has been well-documented through the press. Read here to find out how that tragedy spurred the development of a new program addressing management issues at BP.
Author: Foster Finley and Karl Roberts, AlixPartners