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Becht Engineering Blog

In this section of the site contributing authors submit interesting articles relating to the various services, industries and research & development efforts of Becht Engineering.

Changing Your Crude Slate – Short and Long Term Consequences

Changing Your Crude Slate – Short and Long Term Consequences
There are many reasons why a refinery may want to change their crude slates. However, all of them boil down to economics. Whether a cheaper crude is available or there is a desire to manufacture specific products to increase profitability - money is the driver. However, in deciding to change your crude slate, the long term effects of those changes can go overlooked, costing significantly more money in the long run. Whatever the reasons for the crude slate change may be, it is important to keep in mind the processabilty of the crude. For example, perhaps a refinery wants to process more of the shale crudes (Bakken, Marcellus, or Eagle Ford) due to pricing advantages. Or the refinery wants to bring in large shipments of foreign crudes, again because of price advantages. A common, significant aspect of both of these crudes is that they can be very high in hydrogen sulfide...
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Design/Specification of FCC Replacement Parts and Upgrades

Design/Specification of FCC Replacement Parts and Upgrades
Overview Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) units were first developed in the 1930s. Over the years this technology has evolved and it is one of the most important processes used in refineries. The FCC units are used to convert high boiling point, high molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions of crude oils to gasoline, olefinic gases, and other products. There are a number of process technology providers who license proprietary FCC technology; however, the equipment is basically the same ─ a reactor vessel where the hydrocarbon feed and hot catalyst contact and react (~950F) producing hydrocarbon vapors for further processing, and a regenerator vessel where the carbon laid down on the surface of catalyst from the reaction is burned off (regenerated and heated) in a fluidized bed (~1350F). The regenerated catalyst is returned to the reactor. The catalyst circulation between the reactor and regenerator is continuous. Large diameter refractory lined piping (transfer lines) circulate the...
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New Method for Prioritizing Equipment for Inspection and Replacement in HTHA Service

New Method for Prioritizing Equipment for Inspection and Replacement in HTHA Service
Gerrit Buchheim, Manager of the Pono Division of Becht Engineering, has developed a practical and simple-to-use approach to prioritizing the inspection and replacement of equipment in High Temperature Hydrogen Attack ( HTHA ) service.  This approach utilizes the existing and accepted “Nelson Curve”, but adapts it to better fit the realized operating conditions at an individual facility, based on several factors that have not been previously considered. Background Historically, the industry has used experienced-based curves (API 941 Nelson Curves) in the selection of materials as well as evaluating existing in-service equipment.   These curves have served the industry well to now, but in the past 5 years, there have been several notable cases of HTHA that fall below the established curves and there is still a sizeable base of C-0.5 Mo equipment operating above the carbon steel curve.  Therefore, industry needed a more realistic method for evaluating existing equipment in potential HTHA...
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