Process Engineering White Papers

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  • eHandbook: Leverage These Level Best Practices

    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

    Download your copy of this Chemical Processing Level Instrumentation eHandbook now.

    08/12/2015
  • 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
  • Process Filtration Scale-Up from Lab to Commercial Operation

    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.

    Download now.

    BHS
    06/02/2015
  • Powder eHandbook: Tame Your Pesky Powders

    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
  • Semi-Automated Systems Take Water Jetting to a New Level

    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.

    Download the white paper now.

    NLB Corp.
    05/12/2015
  • CP eHandbook: Waylay Wastewater Worries

    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

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

    03/18/2015
  • Not all CPVC Piping Systems Perform the Same

    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
  • Chemical Processing’s eHandbook: Improve Flow Management

    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
  • 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
  • CP eHandbook: Consider These Water Best Practices

    Water is a critical utility at process plants, often serving both as a heating and a cooling medium. Many process plants rely on this water for processing and other applications. Providing the water, usually by heating via steam coils or direct steam injection nozzles, takes significant energy. In this Chemical Processing Water eHandbook we take a look at water best practices including:

    • How to cut energy consumption in water systems in both hot and cold water applications
    • Polymer piping - we identify benefits over metallic systems
    • TOC analysis challenges - techniques that address barriers to standard online TOC measurement methods

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

    12/12/2014
  • 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
  • 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: 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
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