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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.

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.

Process Safety Management and YOU

becht_process_safety_management
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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Importance of Codes and Standards for Process Safety

Importance of Codes and Standards for Process Safety
Compliance with the Process Safety Management rule, OSHA 1910.119, is a requirement for plants processing certain highly hazardous materials exceeding threshold quantities. The rule requires the owner to demonstrate all equipment has been purchased and installed in accordance with recognized industry standards. Maintenance practices must also be according to Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practice (RAGAGEP) . The owner must document this information as part of the Process Safety Information and Mechanical Integrity program for the plant. Use of Codes The use of codes and standards can help assure compliance with the rule. For example ASME Section VIII is the recognized code for construction of pressure vessels operating in the United States at pressures over 15 psi. It would be difficult to debate vessels could be designed and built to other requirements and still be acceptable under the PSM rule. Codes such as the ASME code have been developed...
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Expert Witness in Swiss Arbitration Court

Expert Witness in Swiss Arbitration Court
Becht advisors have provided a wide array of experience and background to our clients including serving as technical experts in a legal setting on many financially significant cases. In one example, our team was hired to develop economics impact of a broken five-year term agreement for our client to recover a wide range of petroleum oils and slop for an international oil company.  Our client had provided staff and equipment on site but their client then decided to back out of the contract and did not pay any of the expenses accrued to the date of notice.  Considerable legal effort was exercised to work out a settlement but the buyer of their services refused. Our client, who found us by Internet search, was impressed by our many years of relevant experience in the petroleum refining business, and hired us for the project.  We examined the petroleum processing and pipeline facilities...
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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...
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