Why Doesn’t a Great Maintenance Process Equal Great Results?

Becht made an interesting observation on maintenance processes after consulting in several facilities — Some of the best results come from organizations with poor maintenance work processes and some organizations with a great work process have poor results. Why is this? The reason is that maintenance results or maintenance value is dependent on more than […]

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Improving Burner Design And Operation With CFD Modeling

by Dave Dewees & Zumao Chen Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling can be used as an efficient and low-cost alternative to improve the design and operation of a new burner. There are many factors that affect the performance of burners in a charge heater in a refinery. The burner must maintain a certain heat flux […]

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Improving Fixed Bed Naphtha Reformer Catalyst Regeneration

Background Refiners have been reforming naphtha to improve its octane or to produce aromatic chemicals since the 1930s. Initially the desired chemical reactions were achieved in Thermal Reformers without the use of catalyst by simply heating the naphtha to about 540°C (1000°F) to “crack” non-aromatics out of the naphtha boiling range. This was effective but […]

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Multidisciplinary Approach To Improve Reliability Of A CATOFIN Unit

…with contributions by Chuck Becht V In this difficult era of decreased margins and rapidly changing markets, onstream reliability is critical to the success of operating facilities.  Achieving high onstream reliability can be particularly challenging for complex systems like a CATOFIN® Unit.  The CATOFIN® Unit pairs extremely high operating temperatures with a complex control system […]

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Origins and Fates of Chlorides in Hydroprocessing Units – Part 3: Managing the Chlorides

The first two articles of this series provided a methodical approach to identifying a chloride problem in a hydroprocessing unit, determining the size of the problem, and narrowing it down to a likely source or sources.  This final article addresses approaches to dealing with various sources. Step 4 – Managing the Chlorides Now that you […]

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Origins and Fates of Chlorides in Hydroprocessing Units – Part 2: Magnitude and Source(s) the Problem

The first article of this series introduced the symptoms of a chloride problem in a hydroprocessing unit.  In this article, we will explore how to interpret the symptoms by determining how much chloride-containing material we are looking for and identifying the possible or likely source(s) for this amount of material, embodied in Steps 2 and […]

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Origins and Fates of Chlorides in Hydroprocessing Units – Part 1: Recognizing the Problem

Introduction This series of three articles explores the impacts chlorides may have on hydroprocessing units (hydrotreaters and hydrocrackers).  It provides a methodical approach to identifying the typical effects that point toward chlorides, the sources of chlorides in process feed streams, chloride-induced failure mechanisms, methods for identifying chlorides, strategies for chloride control, and a step-by-step process […]

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A Love Hate Relationship with Turnarounds (FMEA for Critical Path)

I LOVE Turnarounds!  The excitement – The planning – The organizationOne major focus with a million minor tasks that consume you for at least 12 hours a day (or night) As in the movie “Apocalypse Now” with Robert Duval as Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, delivers the classic line “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” […]

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Process Safety Management: Small Errors Lead To Big Consequences

We work in an industry where there is very little tolerance for errors since we deal with highly hazardous, flammable chemicals. Normally our plants operate with exceptional safety records since they are built to exacting standards, inspected frequently to monitor changes in integrity and personnel are highly trained. However, sometimes human error, cutting corners or […]

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Cooling Water Treatment: Benefits of a Cold Eyes Review

The chemical treatment of a plant cooling water system is typically provided through a vendor who supplies both chemicals and service. The most common type of system in industrial plants is an open evaporative, recirculating  cooling water system (with a cooling tower performing the heat rejection) but closed loop systems and once through systems also […]

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