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Hydroprocessing Relief Issues – Chapter 1: Backflow Prevention

Over the next few months I will cover relief issues for Hydrotreaters and Hydrocrackers. This topic will be the subject of an AFPM Safety Bulletin to be released in 2Q, 2023. Relief design and operation for hydroprocessing units has unique requirements compared to other refinery units because of the high-pressure-to-low-pressure interfaces.  The trick is to […]

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Under Pressure II

CLICK HERE to view Part 1 of this series Tenets of Catalyst Selection I have had several suggestions to write about catalyst selection. This is a popular topic in many journals and blogs with some authors taking controversial stands on several issues.  I thought I would approach the subject by describing the important tenets that […]

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Under Pressure

Reactor Runaways – Automatic Depressuring or Manual Depressuring? Recently, I have had several discussions and inquiries regarding reactor runaway events and whether automatic depressuring systems are needed for hydroprocessing units. Short Answer ALL Hydrocrackers should have an Automatic Depressuring System Other units that use catalysts with high activation energy should consider an Automatic Depressuring System […]

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UNDER PRESSURE – What Makes Hydroprocessing Technology Different Than Other Refining Technologies

Most of the people that have worked around refineries for some time, feel that they have mastered the basics of the major refining technologies and feel that they have some knowledge of the main strengths and vulnerabilities of those technologies.  In this blog, I’d hope to go beyond the basics and provide a deeper knowledge […]

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Conversion To A Green Refinery

Article published in Decarbonisation Technology November Issue ( Assessing the options, risks, and viability of the biofuels refinery of the future In order to meet the mandates of the Paris accord, as well as carbon intensity and greenhouse gas emission reductions in traditional refining processes, fossil fuel-based transportation fuels will be substituted by a combination […]

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Banning Hydrofluoric Acid Won’t Eliminate Risk, But It Will Threaten Fuel Supplies

Safety is the top priority for American fuel refineries, in fact it’s the entire point of my job. I travel around the country, and even to other parts of the world, auditing refinery safety systems, specifically those installed in and around units where hydrofluoric acid (HF) is used to produce alkylate—an essential component of the […]

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Becht Experts Participate in PTQ Q&A

Becht experts (Scott Sayles, Mel Larson, Robert Ohmes, Roberto Tomotaki, and Gordon Lawrence) published in the PTQ Q4 2022 issue, ptq&a section PTQ Q4 2022 Issue ( Topics discussed include: refinery closures, coke market, CDU,  increased fouling from UCO’s, waste gasification alternatives, refinery revamps, and staffing challenges. Below are excerpts of our contributions to the […]

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From the Top: Proactively Planning Different Crude Slates to Capture Margin Opportunity

The business need for working with opportunity crudes in refinery unit operations, an essential aspect of crude blending and crude slate planning, has meant that operators face substantial risk of corrosion damage in the crude distillation unit (CDU), vacuum distillation unit (VDU), and side stream piping. Using total acid number (TAN) and sulfur content in […]

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Potential Operating Strategies & Considerations – An SME Opinion

Current market conditions are forcing many refiners into an unfamiliar operating state.  A different approach may be required to rebalance and reduce refinery intake and maximize products that are still in demand.  Unit and equipment specific impacts of this approach will depend on the severity of the rate reduction as well as the duration. As […]

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