Process Engineering White Papers

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  • Special Report: Consider these Safety Instrumented Best Practices

    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

     

    Emerson
    01/20/2015
  • The Five Myths of Refining Precious Metals

    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

    Sabin Metal Corp.
    01/13/2015
  • Special Report: Pay Attention to Water

    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
    • The Importance of visible TOC levels

    11/18/2014
  • Chemical Processing Special Report: Seize Water Conservation Opportunities

    Chemical makers increasingly are focusing on water-related issues. In particular, concern over availability is spurring leading operating companies to implement a host of novel strategies and technologies to optimize water use. In this Chemical Processing Special Report we take a look at what it takes for chemical companies to identify and implement water conservation strategies and practices including:

    • Operating companies step up conservation and re-use efforts - real world example
    • Tank cleaning  - how a more-effective method can offer significant water conservation benefits

    Gamajet
    11/18/2014
  • CP Reliability eHandbook: Manage Your Assets

    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.

    11/14/2014
  • Powder eHandbook: Preclude Powder Problems

    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.

    11/11/2014
  • Special Report: Protect Process Control Systems

    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.

    10/29/2014
  • eHandbook: Take the Pressure Off Your Process

    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.

    10/29/2014
  • Chemical Processing’s eHandbook: Improve Plant Safety

    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.

    10/22/2014
  • Important facts you should know about drying compressed air in hazardous environments

    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
    • Hazardous substances
    • Specifications for equipment located in hazardous areas
    • Explosion proof dryers designed for compressed air systems

    Parker
    09/30/2014
  • eHandbook: Improve Your Maintenance Practices

    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.

    09/26/2014
  • Unexpected Value Across Three Industries

    Corrosion and premature piping failure are two problems that plague chemical piping applications everywhere. Metallic systems are necessarily limited in their life spans by corrosion concerns, and operations managers must always face the question of when their pipes will eventually need repair or replacement. Polymer piping systems have made great strides across multiple industries in the past few decades, and investigating the benefits that can be realized by making the switch from metallic systems can help to bring unexpected value to many applications.

    This paper will specifically evaluate the benefits of polymer piping systems in three industries: power generation, chemical processing, and mineral processing.

    09/22/2014
  • Tank Blanketing in Hydrocarbon Processing Facilities

    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.

    09/12/2014
  • Research Paper: Investigating the Relationship between Gypsum Purity and Hydrogen Sulfide Production under Anaerobic Conditions

    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.

    09/12/2014
  • Level eHandbook: Tackle Level Management Challenges

    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.

    08/20/2014
  • eHandbook: Make the Right Moves with Powders

    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.

    08/13/2014
  • eHandbook: How To Fight Flow Challenges

    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.

    07/16/2014
  • The Perils of a DIY Distributed Control System

    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.

    Download white paper now.

    Honeywell
    07/15/2014
  • CP eHandbook: Widen Your Perspectives on Wastewater

    Treating and reusing process water is a multidimensional challenge for process plants. Compliance with regulatory requirements to prevent and mitigate industrial pollution can require significant capital investment as well as ongoing maintenance outlays. The increasing scarcity and cost of fresh water for production processes also compounds the problem. In this Chemical Processing Wastewater eHandbook we take a look at how to widen your perspective on wastewater including:

    • Optimizing water cleanup with activated carbon - including a few pointers to make the most of absorption systems
    • Improving plant performance with solids/turbidity monitoring - how continuous monitoring in the liquid processes stages of a wastewater treatment plant offers important benefits
    • How to solve partially filled pipe flow measurement challenges
    • How variable frequency drives can reduce installation and programming costs while providing a host of other benefits

    Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Water Wastewater eHandbook now.

    06/25/2014
  • Steam eHandbook: Best Practices for Steam Systems

    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 utlization and poor condensate recovery. Ensuring adequate supply of steam often results in excessive capacity usage, expensive fuel choices or condensate draining to grade, leading to compromised efficiency levels and higher steam cost. Because steam systems dependency is unavoidalbe, addressing those three issues is crucial to minimizing steam costs.
    This Chemical Processing Steam eHandbook presents an overview, steam technologies and strategies for reducing cost associated with using and generating steam including:

    • Controlling steam system energy costs
    • Real-time monitoring - how wireless devices help cut energy losses by detecting failed steam traps
    • Additional resources

    Learn how to generate savings through steam use and generation. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Steam eHandbook now.

    05/21/2014
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