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.

Topics in this category cover a wide range of topics that could be of general interest to all.

Potential Operating Strategies & Considerations – An SME Perspective

refinery_optimiztion
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 your business partner, Becht is committed to assisting you with Subject Matter Expert (SME) experienced-based solutions and guidance. We have extensive owner/operator expertise including previous industry downturns.  Below is a punch list of considerations for the current market. If you are considering a crude rate reduction & corresponding turndown or shut down of process and utility units:What are the challenges / limitations / risk to minimum rate capacities?Can we reliably shut down one train on dual train systems?How do we mothball / maintain equipment to prevent future degraded status?Should we use this opportunity to perform needed maintenance? What...
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Hurricane Harvey Recovery - Methodical Steps to Restart Your Plant

hurricane_Harvey_weather_image
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 as you recover from...
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Becht Technology Review – Unusual Business Opportunities

Becht Technology Review – Unusual Business Opportunities
The process team at Becht Engineering brings decades of experience from serving in the R&D of major corporations and also from representing a wide variety of Becht Engineering clients.  We have observed and evaluated new technology from both sides of the fence…as employees or for large corporations who do R&D internally to outpace their competition, and from evaluating new technology developed externally and offered for license.Becht Engineering has been called on to evaluate some rather unusual business opportunities.  One example was to evaluate a new process proposal made to Modern Mushroom Farms of Avondale, PA to dispose of their spent mushroom substrate (SMS) onsite and produce clean energy and/or saleable chemicals.  Mushrooms are grown world-wide and produce a used substrate that poses problems for disposal.  The usual method is to spread it on farmland to age for 1-2 years until suitable for packaging as a soil supplement.  This involves transportation and...
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Natural Gas Fuel – Is It Time To Convert?

Natural Gas Fuel – Is It Time To Convert?
Natural gas costs have decreased substantially relative to fuel oil over the past few years because of the major gas production increase due to fracking. This has led some fuel oil consumers to consider spending capital to allow a switch to natural gas. A Becht Engineering client, Coopers Creek Chemical, Inc., in Conshohocken, PA, requested support in examining the potential for using natural gas rather than fuel oil in their energy intensive operation. This facility had used fuel oil for their energy needs for more than 75 years, so initially there was some inertia against making the investment to switch.The relative British Thermal Unit (BTU) cost basis of natural gas versus fuel oil was very attractive and the local supplier of natural gas offered to bring the fuel into the facility and construct a pressure break down station. Becht Engineering provided a Phase 1 capital cost estimate for the piping addition...
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