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,...

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, hydrocracking, 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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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...
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Mentoring Young Process Engineers

Mentoring Young Process Engineers
Today’s young process engineers have tools available to them that we “old timers” only dreamed about.  Although smaller and some medium sized companies will not have the items listed below, most large refining and or petrochemical operations have the following: Real-time and historical plant operating data available on his/her desk top computers; Real-time and historical plant laboratory data available on his/her desk top computer; Access to the plant DCS control schematics showing current operating details (though no ability to change set points, etc.); Access to powerful process simulation software; Up-to-date (mostly) P&ID’s and unit piping/structural drawings available with the click of a mouse. The list of available resources to today’s younger process engineer without leaving his or her office goes on and on.  Couple this with the trend to large centralized control rooms for safety and efficiency reasons and you easily end up with one large negative to all this progress....
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Recent comment in this post
Chris Zielewski

Good one

Excellent observations, and I got a chuckle out of this: "So I suggested that we talk to an operator that looked a lot more like ... Read More
Tuesday, 05 July 2016 11:40
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PSM Implementation is a Challenge -- Maintaining Compliance is Even Harder

PSM Implementation is a Challenge -- 
Maintaining Compliance is Even Harder
The Process Safety Management rule (PSM), OSHA 1910.119, was implemented in the early 90’s, more than 20 years ago. Implementation was driven by a number of tragic accidents in the process industry. However, despite the long history of the rule and multiple preventable, catastrophic incidents, many companies still have not fully implemented PSM. Companies that have implemented the PSM rule often find it very challenging to maintain compliance.  Becht Engineering has conducted numerous PSM, due diligence and mechanical integrity audits and discovered deficiencies in PSM compliance. We have even discovered major gaps in some facilities that have done well during OSHA audits. These plants were generally located where there are limited numbers of hydrocarbon and chemical processing facilities. OSHA simply lacked the local resources and skills to perform adequate audits. These plants can be highly vulnerable to both incidents and fines since they may assume everything is in compliance. In the...
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Demister Pads—A simple device until they don’t work

Demister Pads—A simple device until they don’t work
A demister pad is similar to an air filter except instead of removing dust particles from a stream of air for example, it removes micron-size liquid particles from a liquid/vapor stream often found in many industrial processes. An air filter prevents dust particles from entering downstream equipment; similarly a demister prevents liquid droplets from entering downstream equipment where they may affect operation or cause damage. In general, a duty specification is prepared by the process designer and given to demister vendors to recommend a demister that meets the duty requirements. Or today, knowing the required duty you can select a demister from the vendor's online catalog. The demister is installed, performs as intended and is never heard about again. On occasion, problems arise as the case in which Bob Fiocco, a Becht Sr. Advisor, provided technical support to a refining client on demister design and selection. An existing demister installed in...
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