Process Engineering White Papers

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  • Steam eHandbook: Take the Heat Off Your Steam System

    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
  • Loss-On-Drying vs. Thermogravimetric Analysis

    Thermogravimetric analyzers (TGAs) deliver valuable information about a material’s response to temperature. But while the information they deliver is critical, TGAs themselves tend to be bulky and difficult to use, and can cost tens of thousands of dollars. This paper explores how you can gather the same data as a TGA using an instrument which is considerably easier to use, more durable, and less expensive: the Computrac MAX 5000XL. The materials examined in this paper are certain flue gas desulfurization byproducts—gypsum, calcium sulfite hemihydrate, and calcium hydroxide—but the principles in question can apply to all manner of materials, from biofuels to pet food to landfill waste.


    Download the white paper now.

    AZI
    05/12/2015
  • Optical System Sets New Standards in Oxygen Measurements

    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.

    Download the white paper now.

    Hach
    04/27/2015
  • Eastman Deploys ProjectWise to Drive Collaboration, Greater Efficiency, and Cost Savings

    Eastman Chemicals, one of the world’s largest chemical companies, recently decided to strengthen their information security and reliability, as well as develop a path forward to lower software maintenance costs. This Case Study shows how Eastman achieved their goals by globally standardizing on Bentley's ProjectWise software in order to replace an aging, but critical, in-house records management system. The ProjectWise solution has enabled Eastman to significantly reduce their IT costs, and is helping them achieve greater security of their vital plant information while providing a modern data-centric environment to move beyond engineering records into asset performance improvement.

    Download the white paper now.

    Bentley
    04/14/2015
  • 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
  • Filtering Samples to On-Line Process Analyzers

    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.

    Parker
    11/04/2014
  • 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: 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Chemical Processing’s eHandbook: Follow These Best Flow Practices

    Corrosion, leak detection and mitigation, flow pressure and volume are all factors that maintenance managers and other decision makers need to contend with as they manage flow at their chemical processing plants. In this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook, we delve in to solutions and strategies for managing these challenges including:

    • Leak management - treat them as calls for action against the underlying problem
    • VFDs for centrifugal pumps - such drives may provide energy savings and avoid operating problems
    • Dealing with corrosion - piping made of high-performance plastic provides unmatched performance and longevity
    • Ceramic in electromagnetic flow meters - material used for measuring tubes offers high performance, longevity and a host of other benefits

    Learn more about these best flow practices. Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Flow eHandbook now.

    04/16/2014
  • Chemical Processing Special Report: Secure plan(t)

    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 (Figure 1). 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: Secure plan(t), 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: Secure plan(t) now.

    12/17/2013
  • Save Money, Time, and Water With Rotary Impingement Tank Cleaning

    Tank cleaning has always been viewed as a necessary evil for manufacturers. During the cleaning process, a significant amount of resources (time, chemicals, water, electric and labor) is required between batches to ensure a reliable, uncontaminated, quality batch is produced. Although these repeating expenditures have a significant effect on the bottom line, many chemical manufacturers continue to rely on outdated processing for cleaning, not realizing the potential opportunity for substantial cost reductions and revenue recovery through CIP optimization.This whitepaper includes specific case studies on the benefits of rotary impingement and CIP optimization vs. the standard tank cleaning processes. These benefits include drastic savings in time and water usage as well as employee safety.

    Gamajet
    11/19/2013
  • Five Keys to Avoiding Ethylene Valve Failures

    This concise, compelling overview of best practices in purchasing and maintaining ethylene valve packages is an essential read for industry professionals. The white paper will tell you how to: 1) Select the right seats and seals; 2) Select the right coating materials; 3) Know the quality of the valves you're buying; 4) Find a trusted single resource for your valve package purchases; 5) Keep up with required maintenance.

    Metso
    10/15/2013
  • Special Report: Making the Most of Migration

    Perhaps the most critical challenge facing the automation industry is that of aging control systems at or near the end of their product lifecycles. A legacy control system can suffer from technical, functional or supply obsolescence. With a well-planned and executed control system migration, however, plants can improve availability and reliability, while increasing production flexibility. In this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration, we take a look at: Obsolescence planning – addressing concerns and planning for a successful evolution strategy; Restoration Possibilities – how new tools and innovative methods support and breath new life into aging distributed control systems; DCS Migration; More! Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Special Report: Making the Most of Migration now!

    08/27/2013
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Works hard to be a Good Neighbor

    Bristol-Myers Squibb manually monitored dissolved oxygen (DO) periodically and ran aeration blowers more than necessary to guard against variable loading rates. After upgrading the system to use online DO monitoring operators now have continuous DO readings in the aeration tanks, substantially reducing energy and maintenance costs.

    Hach
    08/12/2013
  • Probe-type TDL Oxygen Analyzers in Critical Applications

    Oxygen measurement for safety and control is essential for process optimization in many chemical manufacturing processes. This white paper provides application details of probe-style TDL oxygen analyzers.

    Mettler Toledo
    07/15/2013
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