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.
Becht Engineering has senior process specialists covering all refining and many petrochemical and chemical processes. These include alkylation (HF and sulfuric), aromatics recovery and purification, olefins production and polymer feed pretreatment, catalytic cracking, delayed coking, fluid coking, flexicoking, gas treating, hydrotreating, hydrocrac...king, reforming including CCR, lubes, sulfur recovery, sour water treating, product and water treatment.
Becht also has specialists in the chemical engineering technology disciplines such as crude oil characterization, mixing, heat transfer, fractionation and separations.
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Process Safety Management: Small Errors Lead To Big Consequences

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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 putting production before safety can cause serious accidents. This blog focuses on the importance of doing things right every day, every time . It discusses incidents where small errors led to huge consequences. These errors can be due to inadvertent mistakes, normalization of deviance, fatigue, intentionally ignoring safety procedures or failure to recognize hazards. Inadvertent mistakes could include forgetting to properly line up a valve system, installing the wrong gasket or pushing a button before the system is ready to operate. Normalization of deviance ( View my other blog ) is where the unacceptable becomes acceptable....
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Cooling Water Treatment: Benefits of a Cold Eyes Review

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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 require treatment.  The chemicals employed are generally proprietary and are specifically engineered to provide control of : Corrosion Mineral Scaling Debris Fouling Biological forms (algae, fungi, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria) The cost for chemical treatment and service is small compared to the cost of the equipment in a cooling system, on the order of a few percent. However, if plugging of a heat exchanger with mineral scale occurs, or a heat exchanger fails by pitting due to corrosion, the entire annual cost for the chemical treatment and service can be exceeded by a single incident in...
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CFD Modeling of a Mixing Tee – Part 1: Model Validation

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by Dave Dewees, Zumao Chen and L. Magnus Gustafsson This 2-part blog deals with CFD modeling of a mixing tee that is often found in industry. Traditional simulation is validated against experiment, as well as a new commercially available method that offers the possibility of substantial solution time reduction.  In fact, the new method is shown to give accurate results in a much shorter computer time than the traditional analysis, allowing much more rapid turnaround of difficult problems such as the turbulent mixing behavior of industrial mixing tees. When there is a large temperature difference between two fluid streams, large temperature fluctuations can occur, which can lead to thermal fatigue of the piping system, even at “steady-state” bulk flow conditions. Advanced CFD modeling is capable of predicting these fluid temperature fluctuations at the mix point, as well as characterizing the corresponding temperature variations in the pipe wall itself. Specifically, large eddy simulation...
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CFD Modeling of a Mixing Tee – Part 2: Predictions of Temperature Fluctuations

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by Dave Dewees, Zumao Chen and L. Magnus Gustafsson Miss Part 1? Click Here This is the second part of a 2-part blog.  In Part 1, the stress-blended eddy simulation (SBES) and large eddy simulation (LES) approaches for simulating turbulence have been validated against test data obtained from a mixing tee. In this part, the SBES approach is used to predict temperature fluctuations in a mixing tee where light gas oil mixes with a recycled gas.  Depending on the characteristics of the streams being mixed (momentum and temperature), protection from rapid temperature variations occurring even at steady-state bulk flow conditions is a necessity. While a CFD model can predict these temperature variations with good fidelity as shown in Part 1 of this blog, once a problem is found, the same CFD model can also be used to design solutions that protect the piping at the mix point.  Here thermal sleeve length...
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