Economic growth, industrialization and population growth are driving the increasing demand for water, while factors such as climate change, pollution and regulation are affecting the supply and costs related to water.” The chemical industry, being highly water intensive, certainly is exposed to water-related risks. Any efforts to manage these risks and capitalize on opportunities begin with the measurement and appreciation of how water may impact business, followed by the development of strategies to protect the business both now and in the future. In this Chemical Processing Special Report we take a look at water challenges and potential solutions for chemical processors including:
Water-related risks and opportunities
How chemical makers strive to cut water consumption and improve treatment
Reliability programs are now standard business practice in companies that rely heavily on machines, equipment and other physical assets. However, plants are continually challenged in identifying new and cost-effective ways to ensure their assets are performing and that they are managing to minimize operational risks. In this Chemical Processing Reliability eHandbook we take a look at proactive approaches for improving reliability and maintenance in today’s processing plant including:
Rotating equipment - how to take advantage of improved internals and better seals
Meeting process requirements and protecting equipment with strainers
Insights from surface temperature measurements and the critical role IR thermography is to maintenance
Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Reliability eHandbook now.
Process design and process safety are critical considerations in chemical production and processing. With design and safety paramount at the outset of any new development or equipment retrofit, firms can minimize risk exposure, maximize productivity and position themselves to remain compliant and competitive. Whether retrofit or new, chemical processing is continually challenged by combustible dust. Combustible dust can pose a hidden hazard when accumulation occurs in unseen locations such as in mechanical spaces, above false ceiling, ventilation systems and dust collection systems. In this Chemical Processing Powder eHandbook, we take a look at strategies and solutions for mitigating combustible dust hazards including:
Identifying hidden hazards - a case study outlining how a facility finds danger from accumulated dust and effectively addresses it
Powder flowability - how new measurement methods now make it easier to evaluate flow
Process safety - properly designed weigh model can optimize safety and improve efficiency
A multivariate approach to powder processing - an overview of several methods that can help determine which powder properties have the greatest influence on performance
Learn how to preclude powder problems. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Powder eHandbook now.
Increasingly precise process control strategies, often linked to computer control, have accelerated the use of sophisticated on-line chemical composition analyzers in plant applications. Instruments such as gas and liquid chromatographs, ion chromatographs, laser optic instruments, atomic absorption instruments and specific ion analyzers, which were rarities in laboratories ten years ago, are now found routinely in plant settings.
While continuing miniaturization and “rugged-ization” of the electronics are making the instrumentation circuitry more tolerant of the plant environment, the level of contamination in plant samples compared to laboratory samples continues to plague the process. This white paper reviews the factors in plant operation that may affect the deliverability of acceptable samples and provides guidelines for addressing these factors.
In the decade before Stuxnet attacked process control systems in Iran, there were just five known supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) vulnerabilities for all control systems in the world, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). In 2011, the year after Stuxnet, that vulnerability count jumped to more than 215. Last year, it reached 248. No surprise then that Chemical makers are increasingly focusing on protecting their process control systems from intrusion both from the inside and outside. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Protect Process Control Systems, we take a look at:
How to better protect your control system - "Defense in depth" is crucial, and new and maturing technologies may help
Cyber Security Challenges - learn about countermeasures to protect control systems
Case Study: A vulnerability assessment reveals critical gaps in the security of a natural gas pipeline
How to mitigate security risks in legacy process control systems - several steps can help protect against threats and extend the life of legacy equipment
Learn how to secure your process control systems - and your plant. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Protect Process Control Systems now.
Even though thermal-fluid heating systems have been widely used for over 80 years, they still provoke a certain amount of fear and trepidation in users. This anxiety is reinforced by any number of horror stories that usually involve systems that suddenly develop a "problem" after years of trouble-free operation. This Chemical Processing Special Report: Make the Most of Heat Transfer Fluids delves in to the issues surrounding heat transfer fluids. Learn about:
Thermal fluids - dispel common myths about hot oil systems
Avert oxidation - how nitrogen can serve as an inert barrier to prevent heat-transfer fluid from contacting atmospheric air through the expansion tank
Steam vs. hot oil - a key tradeoff complicates the choice between steam and a hot oil system to heat water
When thinking of the processing of chemicals, we think of any activity including storing, using, handling, manufacturing, or moving chemicals at a site, and any combination of these activities. A common state in many of these activities is the flow - or rate - at which the chemicals are moving through a process. Accurately measuring flow can be a challenge for many chemical processors since so many factors can influence the chemical properties and subsequently the rate of flow. In this Chemical Processing Pressure eHandbook, we discuss considerations for flow management including:
Pressure transmitters - how noise can pinpoint process problems
The use of orifice plates - how insufficient flow conditioning often undermines measurement accuracy
Robust Inferential Sensors - easier-to-develop-and-maintain sensors offer significant benefits for chemical processes
Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Pressure eHandbook now.
Welded vessels play a key role in most processes. However, few plants now have in-depth expertise in materials selection, fabrication and design of such vessels. As a result, plant staff often make errors that can be costly as well as compromise the suitability and life of the vessel. This three-part special report provides practical pointers that can help you avoid common mistakes and get the most appropriate, durable and cost-effective vessel.
Part 1 looks at a dozen important factors to consider in materials selection, including metal selection and appropriate use of corrosion allowances and coatings. It includes pointers gleaned from first-hand experiences that can help you avoid costly mistakes and delays.
Part 2 provides tips on how to avoid delays and achieve savings in the fabrication process. It also covers techniques that can improve vessel reliability and thus forestall costly repairs down the road.
Part 3 gets into design issues. It condenses the 5,000+ pages of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code into a simple guide when specifying vessels, heat exchangers and tanks. It focuses on 10 key factors.
Download your Chemical Processing special report now.
Systems are becoming more complex. This complexity is changing the nature of the accidents and losses we are experiencing. Process design and process safety are critical considerations in chemical production and processing. With design and safety paramount at the outset of any new development or equipment retrofit, firms can minimize risk exposure, maximize productivity and position themselves to remain compliant and competitive. Advanced automation technologies continue to drive productivity improvements. In this Chemical Processing Improve Plant Safety eHandbook, we provide tips for safer processing including:
The role of senior management including six important steps senior management should take to insure safer processing
Optimizing process safety and efficiency through modern weighing design
The fundamentals of blast-resistant building
Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Improve Plant Safety eHandbook now.
With more demanding applications than most, chemical processing requires systems and infrastructure that can maintain efficiency and safety. Relative to flow, chemical processors need to address challenges such as corrosion, leak detection and mitigation, flow pressure and volume. In this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook, we identify tips to improve flow including:
Distillation columns - how gravity-flow loop can enable measuring internal liquid flow in a column
The importance of the Process Design Basis
Flowmeters - monitor, detect and neutralize phosgene leaks
Polymer Piping - Material offers numerous benefits over metallic systems and spans various applications
Learn more about these best flow practices. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook now.
Increasingly stringent clean air standards and heightened concerns over greenhouse gas emissions are driving technology enhancements in the chemical processing industry. This white paper explains some of the abatement challenges this industry faces and demonstrates how many chemical processors are integrating newer, more efficient emission control technologies for the destruction of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs).
The paper also includes a case study, demonstrating how one Pure Terephthalic Acid (PTA) plant saved nearly one million dollars by upgrading to a newer thermal oxidizer technology.
Hazardous locations have or could potentially have high concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, combustible dusts, etc. A small spark can lead to a horrific explosion dangerous to equipment and workers in the area. Equipment located in hazardous areas must be specifically designed to prevent ignition and explosion.
Read this White Paper to learn:
Types of hazardous areas
Conditions classified as hazardous
Specifications for equipment located in hazardous areas
Explosion proof dryers designed for compressed air systems
More than 25% of maintenance done today is unnecessary and can introduce additional failure risks. Developing and implementing predictive maintenance strategies and practices can lead to improved safety and reduced operating costs. In this Chemical Processing eHandbook, we take a look at strategies and solutions for overcoming predictive maintenance challenges including:
Asset management software - identifying the most relevant and accurate data on which to build maintenance and repair strategies
The importance of maintenance on smaller component - using gauges as early warning devices can improve uptime, safety and profits
Uncovering important insights from your data and the use of statistics such as regression analysis for emulating pump curves or control valves
Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Predictive Maintenance eHandbook now.
Unexpected Value Across Three Industries
Expensive repair and replacement of processing infrastructures pose major headaches for operations across the chemical processing, mineral processing and power generation industries—and polymer piping solutions can help.
During industrial manufacturing, many companies use a wide variety of chemicals from methanol, acetone and benzene to foodstuffs like wine and edible oils stored in large tanks at different points in the manufacturing process. In a technique called “chemical tank blanketing,” or “padding” nitrogen is commonly applied to protect chemicals stored in tanks against contamination, degradation or chemical change as well as to prevent fire or explosions. This white paper first discusses blanketing basics and benefits. It reviews considerations for tank blanketing systems and discusses a newer approach, which is typically more cost effective for most applications, is that of generating nitrogen on-demand in the plant itself.
Calcium Sulfate (CaSO4) more commonly known as gypsum is a naturally occurring white crystalline mineral that has many different uses and applications. Gypsum in its hydrated form (CaSO4•2H2O) is used in the construction industry for fire resistance in buildings. Outside of the construction industry, gypsum is used in the food and fertilizer industry for calcium and sulfate fortification respectively. When gypsum is no longer usable, it is deposited in construction and demolition(C&D) landfills where anaerobic (low oxygen) conditions and the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria promote the decomposition of wallboard/gypsum into hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S). Due to local and state regulations on odor control, these C&D sites monitor their fill for hydrogen sulfide gas. This paper will couple two methods of analysis to observe the relationship between the purity of gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate) and hydrogen sulfide concentration as a sample is fermented by sulfate-reducing agents (e.g. bacteria). The scope of this research may be beneficial for industrial hygienists concerned with C&D landfill H2S levels or for incoming gypsum processing plants who suspect poor quality gypsum.
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. Failure to measure level reliably has resulted in some of the most serious industrial accidents, including those at the Buncefield, U.K., fuel storage depot and BP’s Texas City refinery. In this Chemical Processing Level Management eHandbook, we discuss best practices for level management including:
How to Select the Right Liquid Level Sensor - It’s important to consider a variety of factors when choosing the type of technology
Multivariable devices - gain operating and maintenance benefits
Achieving level control with dP transmitters - it appears simple but really is not
Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Process Level Management eHandbook now.
When designing a system to transport powders and granules there is a wide variety of considerations. Different applications, installation environments, equipment, material characteristics and how they may change during the process are all part of the equation. While many plants aim to keep costs low and often times use old equipment for a new project this can also further compound a complex challenge. And that's not even taking in to consideration our increased awareness of the risks of an explosion and the need to avoid hazardous emissions. In this Chemical Processing Powder eHandbook, we take a look at key considerations affecting today’s best practices for transporting and processing powders and granules including:
Installing pneumatic conveyors correctly - 10 steps to prevent a variety of common problems
How to understand accuracy in a bin level monitoring system
Tubular drag conveying - an alternative to pneumatic conveying
Vacuum Conveying equipment and the issues of safety, security and sanitation
Learn how to process powders efficiently. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Powder eHandbook now.
In addition to flow pressure, volume and material state, achieving and maintaining desired flow performance depends upon properly addressing some complicated design and operational issues. In this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook, we identify strategies and solutions for aerodynamic, technical, mechanical and economic constraints including:
Hydrogen systems – Inspections and tests for ensuring safety and flow Axial compressors – achieving and maintaining desired performance Fight flow recirculation – why the phenomenon occurs in centrifugal pumps and how to correct it
Learn more about these best flow practices. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook now.
The debate over the virtues of DCS vs. PLC has been ongoing since these two architectures came into existence 40 years ago. For certain industries, a distributed control system (DCS) provides substantially more value as the basis for automating the plant than a programmable logic controller (PLC)-based system. As functionality differences narrow and price points align, the debate over these virtues is getting more intense and the arguments for and against each system are getting more and more murky. This white paper discusses the “Top Ten” issues to consider when evaluating a DCS vs. building your own “DIY” distributed control system using a PLC-based architecture.