August 2001

Special Report: Fluid Flow

Consider online monitoring of HF acid when optimizing alkylation operations

In an innovative effort, this refiner improved operations and reduced acid losses by installing an online analyzer to measure HF compositions

Monitoring the acid fluid inside hydrofluoric (HF)-alkylation reactors has always presented problems. Analyzing more samples offered the possibility of improving alkylation performance, but nobody was very excited about either taking or analyzing those samples. However, a team comprised of R&D analytical chemists, unit engineers, and analyzer-company personnel tackled and solved this complex problem. In this case history, the R&D team explored using an online near-infrared (NIR) analyzer to monitor the HF acid concentration on an alkylation unit. This analyzer could determine HF, water and acid-soluble oil (ASO) concentrations as often as every minute, with better accuracy and precision than

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