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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Fatal Distractions: Refinery Chloride Contamination – Are You Looking for the Source of Chlorides in the Right Place?

L1011-aircraft Eastern Airlines L1011 Aircraft
On December 29, 1972 one the Nation’s worst airline accidents occurred as Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades killing 101 of the passengers and crew.   A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation attributed the cause of the crash to crew distraction.  While on approach, the crew noted that a landing gear indicator light was not functioning.  While the entire crew was preoccupied with troubleshooting the burnt-out landing gear indicator light, they failed to notice that the autopilot had inadvertently been disconnected and, as a result, the aircraft gradually lost altitude and ultimately crashed. All too often when attempting to solve a problem we suffer from tunnel vision.    A probable root cause to the problem is suggested and we spend all of energy and resources attempting to fix the suggested root cause while ignoring the indications that the actual root cause is something else or that...
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CalOSHA Update – Damage Mechanism Reviews (DMR)

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On May 18, 2017, the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Occupational Safety and Health Standards (CalOSHA) board approved a new regulation that changes how Process Safety Management (PSM) is handled for oil refineries within the state of California.  This regulation was approved in response to high-profile industry incidents in the state of California in the last 5 to 10 years.  The new regulation introduces a “refinery safety order” that will be enforced by the PSM unit within CalOSHA ( CLICK HERE for the regulation ).  Some key elements introduced in this regulation are: Damage Mechanism Reviews (DMR's) – Reviews that consider where corrosion, mechanical damage, environmental cracking, etc. are identified for process equipment; Hierarchy of Hazard Controls Analysis – A review to identify appropriate the most appropriate means for managing hazards; Human Factors Program – Analysis of personnel related factors such as employee fatigue, staffing levels, shift turnover, and training;...
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Hurricane Harvey Recovery - Methodical Steps to Restart Your Plant

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I personally went through Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike during my career living in the Gulf Coast. Restarting our plants after these storms was challenging, home life was miserable without power for three weeks and traveling over 100 miles north to find gasoline, food and water for family and neighbors was time consuming and hazardous. However, this experience pales in comparison to the challenges faced by families and operating companies from Houston to Corpus Christ and beyond recovering from the unprecedented events cause by Hurricane Harvey. In this posting, I identify the challenges faced with our employees and plants as we restarted after these storms. Becht hopes this blog will help you and your companies through these trying times. Many of the personnel at Becht Engineering have been through hurricane recovery , plant restarts and emergency situations. Please contact us if we can help. These important points must be considered...
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Process Safety Management and YOU

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Walking the Walk…Management Commitment My assumption is if you are reading this, you have some involvement in, or responsibility for, Process Safety Management (PSM) in your facility.  OSHA’s Standard for Hazardous Materials, 29 CFR 1910.119, is a mere 21 pages long including 12 pages of “non-mandatory” appendices -- but should it be your responsibility, what a daunting task to implement!  I remember Otter from the movie Animal House being quoted when everything looked so bleak - “Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that would take years and cost millions of lives.  No, I think we have to go all out.  I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture to be done on somebody’s part!” What to do? You could immediately start looking elsewhere for employment, focus on the daily emergencies that will always be there and hope your boss values crisis management more...
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