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  • Avoid unnecessary costs by understanding process problems before taking action

    When a piece of process equipment starts experiencing problems and producing off-spec product, every engineer’s reaction is to make a change to “fix” the problem and get it back on-spec. yet, many plants lack adequate instrumentation to completely diagnose the cause of the poor performance. Without a more complete understanding of the root cause of the problem, “corrective action” could have little effect or make the problem worse. Gathering supplemental ...

  • Eliminate heat exchanger fouling with Watlow’s HELIMAX technology

    Fluctuations within the heat exchanger to either the operating temperature or the mass flow rate are common causes of coking, which can lead to system failures and expensive downtime. Some heat exchanger design methods, like segmental baffles, have known dead zones where hot spots can occur, accelerating the coking process. Watlow’s HELIMAX ultra-efficient heat exchanger was designed to eliminate temperature-related failures. Leveraging our proven, patent-pending continuous ...

  • ITW Online Cleaning

    Will revolutionize turnaround operations and operational excellence by optimizing: productivity, operability, safety health and environment, reliability, product quality, energy efficiency, CO2 SOX NOX VOC emissions, maintenance and repair and operational requirements. An entire Unit can be ITW Online Cleaned in as low as 24 hours on an oil-to-oil basis, including all the equipment and not only the relevant one, without the need of opening it. ITW Online Cleaning a Unit in ...

  • Making the invisible visible

    In FCC Units (Fluidised Catalyst Cracking Units) the atmospheric residue from the distillation is cracked to LPG, naptha and other components. This sometimes leads to “invisible” deposits inside the Riser. This article features Tracerco’s ThruVision™ scans to illustrate how the technology helped the refinery to identify these deposits at an early stage. Bayernoil operates two FCC Units to convert heavy hydrocarbons. In the FCC Unit the feed is injected ...

  • Maximize reliability in grassroots crude units

    Crude unit operators are far too familiar with a long list of crude unit reliability problems including fouling in heat exchangers and fired heaters, poor desalting, corrosion of piping and equipment, and coking in the vacuum column wash zone. Many millions of dollars have been spent fighting these problems, yet they continue to force unplanned shutdowns with depressing regularity. Revamps must address reliability issues, but project scope is hindered by the limitations of existing ...

  • Moving gamma scanning forward – quantitative analysis of tray capacity

    Improving process operating margins can include maximising production of higher value products and/or minimising production costs. Process plants depend heavily on fractionation towers to produce products meeting customer specifications. Tower gamma scanning is well established in the process industries as a qualitative tool to help troubleshoot fractionation towers. Using new measurement detector technology and innovative analysis of gamma scanning data Tracerco is now able to ...

  • NAPFINING™ Naphthenic acid removal

    NAPFINING™ technologies were first licensed in 1977 and to date Merichem has granted 78 unit operating licenses world-wide. The non-dispersive FIBER FILM® Contactor achieves reduced capital expenditure and less plant space requirements compared to most treating alternatives, making NAPFINING™ and NAPFINING™ HiTAN the technologies-of-choice. In addition, onstream factor between routine turnarounds is 100% whereas electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) are much ...

  • Nasty stuff

    Heavy crudes are here to stay. As longs as oil prices remain high, Canadian, Venezuelan, Deep Water Gulf of Mexico, Mexican and other low API gravity crude oils will play an ever more important role in supplying world refineries. And prices promise to remain high because gainsayers notwithstanding, Hubbert was right. A big question is how to handle best these nasty crudes? Do you revamp existing units or invest in new capacity? With refineries now running flat out, the balance ...

  • Oil sands crude – profits and problems?

    Canadian bitumen production currently runs about 1 MMbpd, with some being sold as Synbit and Dilbit. Over the next 10-12 years output is expected to increase to 3.5 MMbpd and more refiners will begin investing to process it and come to depend on the Synbit and Dilbit for a significant part of their supply. Few today, however, have ever processed these feeds at high blend ratios, and are unaware that conventional process and equipment designs are not up to the job. Canadian oil ...

  • Operating a fouled process unit? What is it costing you?

    ITW Online Cleaning Technology, applied proactively during a run, restores unit performance to near start of run conditions in as low as 24 hours oil-to-oil without the need for opening equipment. By utilizing ITW’s patented asphaltene stabilization and/or polymer modification technologies, even the most severe fouling problems can be effectively handled. ITW Online Cleaning has an immediate return on investment (ROI). All the benefits are immediately monetized in terms ...

  • Opportunity knocks

    A group of interesting articles* deals with opportunity crudes, a mixed breed that includes very heavy, sour and high total acid number types as well as those with unexceptional naphthenic acid content but which do have significant concentrations of aliphatic acids or possess the ability to generate them during processing. They all sell at substantial discounts that give refiners who can process them the opportunity to reap higher profits. Hence their name. Note that phrase ...

  • Opportunity or Annoyance?

    Price differentials between conventional and opportunity crudes compel refiners to process increasing percentages of lower valued opportunity crude. However, as many refiners have learned the hard way, opportunity crudes are tied to unique processing challenges. Furthermore, existing crude unit configurations may limit high profit opportunity crude to a disappointingly small proportion of the total unit blend. Processing a changing slate of opportunity crudes of varying compositions ...

  • Optimise your alkylation process and take control with the Profiler™ TGA

    The Challenge. Alkylation processes present some of the more challenging applications for interface measurement and control in refinery operations. It is important for the operator to have confidence in the process to optimise alkylate production, while ensuring safe operation and environmental compliance. In a settler, not knowing the levels of hydrocarbon, emulsion and alkylate with confidence can cause problems, including increased polymer formation and combined fluorides, ...

  • PackView™ - quantitative analysis of packing mal-distribution

    The last issue of Tracerco Insight (Vol 6 Ed 1) featured our patent pending FrothView™ technology illustrating how using Tracerco’s new measurement detector technology and analysis of gamma scan data provides quantitative information about the useful capacity of trayed towers. In this article you will learn how applying this technology to packed towers can determine the % liquid fraction providing a measure of the maximum useful capacity of the packing. Enhanced ...

  • Processing heavy Canadian crude

    Reducing crude oil cost is the major incentive driving crude and vacuum unit projects to handle heavy Canadian crudes. But such crudes–Albian Heavy, Christina Lake, MacKay River and others derived from oil sands–today present refiners with a unique set of problems not just because of extra-low API gravity, but also because of asphaltenes, vanadium and nickel, high solids content and extremely high viscosity vacuum residues. To process such crudes reliably over a 4-5 ...

  • Profiler™ TGA

    The Profiler™ TGA provides extremely reliable liquid level and interface measurements for alkylation units and other harsh service environments. The Profiler™ TGA is specifically designed to measure the vertical distribution of multiple interfaces in real time and at high resolution. Key features • Extremely reliable • Low maintenance Benefits • Reduces possibility of acid runaway • Increases production throughput • Optimises acid recirculation • Provides ...

  • PURASPEC CLEAR Chloride guards

    Chlorides in a refinery. Where does it come from? Chlorides are introduced into the refinery flowsheet in several ways. Some crude sources can bring both inorganic and organic chloride content. Desalter processes and chemical additives are used to remove chlorides and prevent corrosion and fouling caused by these chlorides. The other major source is from the Catalytic Reforming Unit (CRU). This unit upgrades straight run naphtha value for use in the gasoline pool or as petrochemical ...

  • THIOLEX™ caustic extraction of acid gas

    THIOLEX™ technology was rst licensed in 1980 and to date Merichem has granted 224 unit operating licenses world-wide. The non-dispersive FIBER FILM® Contactor achieves reduced capital expenditure and less plant space requirements compared to most treating alternatives, making THIOLEX™ the technology-of-choice. Each treating system is custom-designed to meet customer requirements, then engineered and fabricated to the customer's specifications. Whether your ...

  • Tracerco Diagnostics™

    Providing real time measurement technologies to assist with critical decision making. Tracerco Scanning Services TRU-SCAN® Application. Do you have problems with the operation of your stripper/absorber or fractionation tower? Is this limiting production? Do you want to reduce your operating costs? Do you want to reduce your shutdown time? Tracerco’s Tru-Scan™ technology, utilizing FrothView™, is used to evaluate the mechanical integrity and hydraulic performance ...

  • Tray designs for extreme fouling applications

    Today refiners experience a lot of problems with processing of opportunity or heavy crudes. Such crudes have very high sulfur content and require the addition of amine scavengers before desalting. These amines decompose in the heater and create ammonium chlorides in the presence of water in the top of the crude tower. Dissolved salts start to precipitate and crystallize when the solution becomes saturated and water is vaporized. Such fouling starts to grow below and above trays ...

  • Why do many crude/vacuum units perform poorly?

    In many cases it’s because the original design was based more on virtual than actual reality. There is no question: computer simulations have a key role to play but it’s equally true that process design needs to be based on what works in the field and not on the ideals of the process simulator. Nor should the designer simply base the equipment selection on vendor-stated performance. The design engineer needs to have actual refinery process engineering experience, not ...

  • Xtend by XRG - A better technology for heat transfer

    Fired Heater Fouling Costs Millions. A typical 100,000 barrel per day refinery loses $3-7 million annually because of fouling in fired heaters. Fouling overheats tubes, increases firing rate, reduces yields, and causes lost onstream days. Shutting down a crude, vacuum, or coker heater is extremely costly both in labor and throughput. To combat these issues, XRG Technologies developed Xtend - a tube-insert to reduce fouling and increase heat transfer. Xtend - A Better Technology ...

  • CDU desalter processing with interface control

    In this webinar, you will find out how Tracerco’s advanced multi-phase nucleonic instrumentation can analyse desalter performance and improve crude blending capacity. Discover opportunities to: • Improve environmental impact, compliance and energy usage • Reduce unplanned trips and downtime • Optimise chemical dosing (demulsifiers/neutralisers) • Reduce overhead corrosion, as well as catalyst deactivation in FCC • Improve process control enabling data driven ...

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