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Displaying 221 - 240 of 501 stories.
November 1, 2010
One of the best ways to realize value from your process data is to use those data — both real-time and historical — in a process simulator. The many applications for doing so are generally categorized into offline and online categories. Offline applications, where the simulator is not directly connected to the control system, use process data to validate dynamic simulations of the process, or...
October 1, 2010
Every distillation engineer west of the River Neretva is familiar with the work of Professor Zarko Olujic. His distillation laboratory at the Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands; is one of the largest and best facilities in the history of distillation. His work is typically funded by a consortium of companies that, most recently, included Bayer, BASF, Evonik, DSM, Montz...
October 1, 2010
Improvements to the performance of basic, regulatory control systems have a great return on investment and are some of the least expensive control improvements to make [1]. Control valves have a major impact on control loop performance and, therefore, improvements in valve performance can have significant economic benefits. This article shows how poor control-valve performance can be identified and...
October 1, 2010
Because the global chemical process industries (CPI) encompass so many varied industry segments — including the conversion of raw materials and intermediates into chemicals and petrochemicals, fats and oils, paints and coatings, food and beverages, the refining of petroleum, the production of pharmaceuticals and others — there is considerable overlap in terms of the types of equipment...
October 1, 2010
These days, there seem to be more reasons than ever to change feedstocks throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). Whether environmental, or more directly based on financial and market drivers, big benefits usually require big changes. This is especially true in switching to many renewable feedstocks, which either add or compound challenges related to processing solids. When Columbia Forest...
October 1, 2010
Thermal insulation systems can provide several functions on piping and equipment in industrial facilities. Some of these are: reduction in energy loss, process control, personnel protection, emissions reduction, condensation, freeze protection, and noise reduction. In the chemical process industries (CPI), thermal insulation systems are often subjected to severe environments that might include either very...
September 1, 2010
Starting around 1970, many new contacting devices became available for use in distillation, absorption and stripping columns. Those devices included high-performance random packings, structured packings, high-capacity structured packings, augmented crossflow trays, counterflow trays and cocurrent flow trays. At the request of FRI’s membership, many of those devices were tested in FRI’s 4-ft and...
September 1, 2010
The ever-increasing cost of fuel and relentless push for environmental responsibility are constant factors in the profitability of many chemical process operations, and fluctuations in the prices of natural gas and other fuels can make it hard to predict future energy costs and the impact of such fluctuations on profits. However, the impact of fluctuating fuel costs, and the regulatory uncertainty related...
September 1, 2010
Polymeric piping systems have been used in well-defined segments of the chemical process industries (CPI) for decades. They have proven their sustainability to manage almost any chemical load up to temperatures of 100°C in the moderate pressure region ( p < 10 bar) if the choice of the respective piping-system material has been made correctly. However, their potential of exceptional performance is...
September 1, 2010
If the debate that culminated in passage of national healthcare reform in the U.S. is any indication of what is ahead for pharmaceutical manufacturers, they should ready themselves for battle. Implementation of the sweeping measure puts the onus on drugmakers to minimize waste and boost production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished products, ensuring affordable healthcare for...
September 1, 2010
Temperature is a critical measurement in the chemical process industries (CPI). If a measurement is not accurate or reliable, or the sensor is incorrectly chosen, it can cost a company thousands of dollars in wasted steam, extra feedstock or rejected product. Sometimes even a few degrees of error in a temperature measurement can be very expensive. Therefore, it pays to ensure that temperature measurements...
August 1, 2010
My first distillation dream occurred about 30 years ago, and yet, I recall it as vividly as if it were yesterday. In it, my distillation-column design work started with a vapor-liquid thermodynamic model that was widely regarded as perfect. I had operating data from ten similar columns. The feed composition was precisely known, and there were no alternative feedstocks. The overhead specification was easy...
August 1, 2010
The mechanical design and material science of pH-sensor technology have evolved dramatically over the last century. Current-day uses include a wide range of applications from high-purity pharmaceutical processing to wastewater treatment. Some of these applications pose high challenges to pH measurement, including high-temperature and otherwise harsh measuring environments, stability (particularly in...
August 1, 2010
When it comes to managing regulatory documents such as product labels, bills of lading, and certificates of analysis (COA), virtually all manufacturers in the chemical process industries (CPI) face the same challenge — getting the right information into the right document formats for every shipment. This challenge becomes more complicated when you ship to customers with unique labeling and reporting...
August 1, 2010
To unearth the fundamental causes of vibration-related pump troubles, pump end-users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) typically have relied on a concise array of vibration field-test parameters. Conventional trial-and-error vibration troubleshooting methods often fail to achieve the longterm, trouble-free pump operation sought, yet they can be time-consuming and increasingly costly to apply...
July 1, 2010
In 1952, 37 companies established Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI). Most of those original members are now gone or absorbed by other companies. Nevertheless, their goal was to study distillation in columns having diameters and heights that were similar to industrial columns. The columns of the world were getting larger and more numerous and were too often being designed using bench-top apparatuses and...
July 1, 2010
Pinch analysis emerged as a systematic design tool during the energy crisis of the late 1970s, particularly for the optimization of heat-exchanger networks and other heat-recovery systems [ 1 ]. Since then, ongoing breakthroughs in the use of pinch analysis have helped to establish mass- and property-integration techniques to assist with waste-minimization efforts [ 2, 3 ]. More recently, pinch analysis...
July 1, 2010
Acoustic coupling in industrial furnaces is an issue that appears to have become more prevalent as designs increase the volumetric heat density of furnaces, and burner technology is required to meet more-stringent emission requirements. The problems associated with acoustic coupling appear in the form of either large oscillations in the heater pressure or tonal and high-level emitted noise. Although the...
July 1, 2010
Relief systems are the last line of defense for chemical process facilities. Verifying their capability to safeguard equipment integrity becomes important as process plants age, increase their capacities to adjust to new market requirements, undergo revamps or face new environmental regulations. In the past, approximately 30% of the chemical process industries’ (CPI) losses could be attributed, at...
July 1, 2010
Storage of bulk materials in hoppers, bins and silos is ubiquitous in the chemical process industries (CPI), and so are the challenges that go along with it. Flow stoppage (bridging or arching), variability in mixture composition (de-mixing or segregation), erratic flow, uncontrolled flow (flooding), discharge-rate limitations and structural failures are not uncommon. While the impact of vessel geometry is...
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