Level measurement, which is the detection of the phase split between vapor/liquid, liquid/liquid, vapor/solid and even liquid/solid, is a key parameter in the operation and control of modern industrial processes. A reliable outcome depends on the phase conditions being relatively consistent under all process conditions. Unfortunately, the importance of level control isn’t always understood. In this Chemical Processing Level Instrumentation eHandbook, we discuss best practices for level management including:
- Interpret Level Readings Right – how the type of instrument can make a big difference in deciphering measurements
- Choose the Correct Level Sensor – key considerations and questions for identifying the most appropriate choice
- Customize Your Level Detection – a myriad of options help you achieve optimal level indicator performance
It’s not uncommon for chemical processors to have hundreds of piping and flow instruments to monitor, maintain and repair. When do you slope a process line? What happens when a precision instrument drifts out of calibration? In this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook, we look at what it takes for chemical processors to master flow challenges in several areas including:
- Piping geometry – how draining, venting, fouling and other considerations affect piping geometry
- Various methods for avoiding thermal flow meter validation pitfalls
- Piping symmetry – why designers should consider the impact of unequal flows in branches
Learn more how to avoid common piping pitfalls. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook now.07/29/2015
According to a U.S. Department of Energy survey, steam accounts for one-third of all the energy used in process plants. Monitoring and optimizing the cost of your steam system can yield big rewards. Ignoring inefficient operation easily could drain profits.
Operating and maintaining a reliable steam system is vital to chemical processing plants and can have significant cost impact on a plant's annual budget. Typical profit drainers in operating and maintaining a steam system include excessive fuel cost, inefficient steam generation, less-than-optimal steam utlilization and poor condensate recovery. This Chemical Processing Steam eHandbook presents strategies for reducing cost associated with using and generating steam, a 4 step approach for improving efficiency and insight on heat exchanger selection criteria. Specifically:
- Control Steam System Energy Costs - Steam system losses can silently drain profits
- Optimize Your Steam System - A simple four-step approach can improve steam efficiency
- Head Off Exchanger Errors - Selecting the most-appropriate heads for a shell-and-tube unit is crucial
Learn how to generate savings through steam use and generation. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Steam eHandbook now.06/29/2015
This article discusses process filtration approach developed for each technology stage starting from batch filtration in the lab to continuous filtration for the full-scale commercial operation. Process engineers must not “jump to conclusions”, a reference from Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson who prove time and again is that there is no benefit to jumping to conclusions. Therefore, laboratory / bench top filtration testing is covered for problem analysis, technology selection and pilot and demonstration scale-up. The paper continues with the filtration testing and then scale-up to the commercial size. Finally, the paper concludes with a general review of the problem-solving skills of Holmes and Watson and how these skills can be utilized by process engineers as a framework for “idea-generation” when analyzing a new process scale-up.06/02/2015
A material’s characteristics – adhesiveness, cohesiveness, aeratibility, pressure-sensitivity – often change during processing and can cause both flow and hidden hazard challenges. And while poor flow is one of the most common problems encountered in handling or storing solids, dust control issues also need to be identified and addressed. This includes combustible dust as the repercussions can result in costly downtown and in some instances, explosions, serious injury and possibly even death. In this Chemical Processing Powder eHandbook, we take a look at strategies and solutions for taming pesky powder processing challenges including:
- Defuse Dust Dangers - Carefully consider and then counter risks of fire and explosion
- Clamp Down On Clumping - First understand what’s really causing the problem
- What You Don’t Know About Powder Flow - Shear cells can quickly reveal information about flow behavior
- Know Your Vacuum Pumps - Understand the differences between liquid ring and rotary screw dry pumps for distillation
Learn how to tame your pesky powder challenges. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Powder eHandbook now.05/27/2015
High-pressure water jetting is powerful and versatile, helping contractors and industrial companies do hundreds of challenging jobs.
While many jobs are still done manually, new semi-automated systems can maximize three elements crucial to any company’s success: productivity, safety and environmental responsibility.05/12/2015
For chemical processors industrial safety is a top concern. Industrial accidents can lead to lost production, injury and in some cases even death. This special report examines how organizations can reduce risk, prevent incidents and ensure safety and compliance in hazardous environments with improved processes. Topics covered include:
- How to Achieve Effective Process Safety Management (PSM) -- Senior managers play an important role in improving PSM. Their efforts should be visible and their leadership felt to ensure success.
- Getting To The Root Of Accidents -- Accident investigations usually focus on operator error or technical failures. However, applying systems thinking may provide greater insights on underlying causes and, in the long run, prevent more incidents.
- Optimizing Safety and Efficiency Through Modern Design-- This ignition protection method helps ensure accuracy, safety and compliance in hazardous environments
Optical Dissolved Oxygen Measurement in Power and Boiler Applications
Over the past decade a few trends have started to gain pace within the industry, driving a change in instrumentation requirements for operations managers and plant chemists:
- Maintenance and operations budget cuts have resulted in fewer plant personnel, forcing plant staff to optimize their workload even further
- As the cost of building new power and boiler systems increase, many operators now look to plant life extensions as a solution to bridge gaps in production capacity at a lower investment premium
These trends have changed the requirements in these applications. Starting from these trends, this article analyzes the options for oxygen measurements that are precise, reliable, stable, and above all require low to zero maintenance.04/27/2015
Process Safety Management (PSM), driven by the OSHA 1910.119 standard, aims to prevent the unwanted release of hazardous chemicals. This whitepaper presents an overview of PSM, explains the requirements of a Mechanical Integrity (MI) program, and illustrates how PSM and MI can be established within an asset management framework.04/21/2015
Determining what plastic tubing is best for an application can be a challenge. This report includes topics such as ingredients, temperatures, pressure and vacuum requirements, and flexibility to assist engineers and buyers with tubing and hose selection. Helps avoid costly purchasing errors.04/14/2015
While all manufacturers have standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place for quality operations, how do executives know if individuals across the company’s various business units and geographic regions are following procedure?
Global chemical manufacturers are turning to enterprise quality management systems (EQMS) to take control over quality operations. As a result, manufacturers can quickly identify and address deviations and complaints, uncover potential issues and implement global continuous quality improvements to cut up to 40% in quality management costs.
In this paper, we examine:
- The regulatory, operational and economic challenges facing chemical executives today as they work to deliver safer chemicals products in an increasingly regulated and competitive business environment
- How a disconnected approach to quality management increases risks and costs for global chemical manufacturers
- How an EQMS implemented as part of a company’s overall business strategy delivers operational and cost benefits that transform quality management from a cost center to a revenue driver
Pneumatic conveying is an effective form of moving dry materials. However, the long lengths of conveying pipe present a challenge when it comes to addressing cleanliness and sanitation.
While the closed nature of pneumatic conveying systems protects material from outside contamination, like debris, insects, etc., it is difficult to identify and protect against internal forms of contamination, such as buildup, microbial growth, etc. A plant HACCP or sanitation plan that does not address thousands of feet of pipe and dozens of elbows is incomplete and at risk for a recall.03/24/2015
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), London, has released its Global Water Report 2014. Water challenges, especially in the chemicals industry have not diminished and in fact, are becoming an increasingly larger concern for processors. As stated by Paul Simpson, CEO of the CDP , “Leading companies increasingly recognize that business-as-usual approaches to water management are no longer sufficient.” Download this Chemical Processing eHandbook for:
- Additional findings from the latest CDP report – with a focus on the chemicals industry
- An overview on simple monitoring actions and how adopting best practices may lead to significant savings
- How water conservation efforts can pay off
- How to handle more flow – success often depends upon lowering head losses or raising pump pressure
The phrase “Vacuum Cleaning System” refers not only to cleaning by means of vacuum hose and tools, but also to a multitude of tasks which can be accomplished by the same basic system components: a vacuum producer and separators. In this paper, we cover the vacuum cleaning system as a tool for good housekeeping. Such a system is generally designed to pick up and convey dry and free-flowing material that can enter and pass through the vacuum cleaning tool and hose. Further, the system is designed to allow for a selected number of operators.02/24/2015
The safety performance of industrial piping material cannot be overstated—these environments have hundreds, often thousands, of lives at stake. Among the many piping choices, the superior strength, performance and safety of CPVC make it an ideal system for industrial process water applications.
Download the whitepaper now.02/24/2015
In chemical production and processing, process design and process safety are crucial considerations – especially when powders are part of production and processing. Inherent challenges such as increasing throughput, accurately measuring powders to manage inventory and removing excess solvents are all challenges that chemical processors need to contend with. In this Chemical Processing Powder eHandbook, we take a look at these powder processing challenges and identify solutions and strategies to overcome them. Learn more about:
- Vacuum conveying - customization, automation and safety
- Matching level measurement system to a job - consider materials and work environment when choosing a device
- Removing solvent vapors in diverse applications - dry and liquid ring vacuum pumps are alternatives to oil-sealed pumps
- Meeting combustible dust compliance – how a facility tackles combustible dust with aportable central vacuum system
Since its introduction to the market in 1959 by The Lubrizol Corporation, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (better known as CPVC) has proven to be an attractive alternative to traditional industrial metallic piping systems in a wide variety of chemical process environment by offering a more reliable, long-term performance than many other materials.02/04/2015
Half the battle with flow is choosing the proper equipment. Indeed, flow meter selection and specification is crucial. With the wrong choice you’ll be floundering or worse. In addition, process engineers identify “oversizing” as the number one control valve problem. In this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook, we identify tips to improve flow including:
- How to match the flow meter to the service
- How to handle more flow
- How to properly size control valves
- How to tackle biogas flow measurement challenges
Learn more about these best flow practices. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook now.01/28/2015
For chemical processors, assuring safe operations is always top of mind. In this Chemical Processing Special Report we take a look at three distinct areas of operations and steps to insure best safety practices in each.
- HIPS for Reactive Processes – how this safety-instrumented systems offer advantages over pressure relief valves
- HART DIAGNOSTICS - in safety instrumented system (SIS) field devices have been used for many years by several different SIS vendors. HART diagnostics provide much more information on the health of a field device than can be determined from a standard 4–20 mA signal.
- Proof testing - how this modern method improves efficiency, reduces errors, and meets compliance requirements
Precious metals are often present in hydrocarbon, petrochemical, and chemical catalysts. Techniques for recovering precious metals have been around for many years; yet many catalyst owners have misconceptions about how their refining organizations work. In "The Five Myths of Refining Precious Metals", critical information is shared about the chemical processing industry:
- Crucial aspects of weighing
- Sampling and analysis of catalysts
- Methods of catalyst recovery
- What to look for in a proposal from a precious metals refiner
- Understanding the cost of quality
- How to ensure maximum precious metals return value
- Environmental, ethical, and regulatory compliance issues