January 2019


Special Focus: Process Optimization

Octane upgrading technology to boost value of light paraffinic feeds
Aggus, B., Massa, M., INVISTA Performance Technologies

In November 2017, US crude oil production eclipsed the 10-MMbpd mark, setting the highest production record in history.

Allocate new plant focus to steam system design—Part 1
Risko, J. R., TLV Corporation

New plant construction includes expectations for optimized production performance to achieve targeted profitability. After a capital investment decision is made to build a new plant, it can take years to secure critical items, including property, permits, technology licensors, front-end engineering and design (FEED), staffing, training, engineering and procurement for final design and construction.

Improving resource efficiency of industrial processes with TOP-REF methodology—Part 1
Radatz, H., Schembecker, G., TU Dortmund University; Raffray, G., Sellis, D., The CoSMo Company SAS; Boto, F., Echeverria, Z., Fundación Tecnalia Research and Innovation; Carrion, A., Herce, C., Oto, F., Fundación CIRCE—Centro de Investigación de Recursos y Consumos Energéticos; Gil, A., University of Zaragoza; Arias, A., Borrego, R., DOW Chemical Co.; Romero, J., Fertinagro Nutrientes S.L.; Jacinto, J. T., Petróleos de Portugal

The processing industry consumes significant amounts of resources, such as materials and energy, to produce valuable goods for society.

Analysis of semi-solid “shoe polish” material in a refinery TGTU
Engel, D., Nexo Solutions

Amine units, and to a lesser extent tail gas treating units (TGTUs), experience occasional “shoe polish” sludge contamination.


Maximizing existing xylene loop profitability
Sakaguchi, T., Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd.; Molinier, M., ExxonMobil

Paraxylene (PX) separation is an energy-intensive process, as are most industrial chemical separations.

Project Management

Lessons learned from a refinery revamp project
Khan, M. S., WorleyParsons

Revamp projects are inherently challenging due to the numerous constraints imposed by existing equipment design and space limitations.

LNG Technology

Optimal control of mixed refrigerant composition at Sakhalin LNG plant
Nemov, I., Sakhalin Energy Investment Co. Ltd.

A technique for the optimization of mixed refrigerant (MR) composition was developed and successfully applied at the Sakhalin LNG plant on Sakhalin Island, Russia.

China’s growing natural gas demand—key projects and market insights
EWA Support Team, Energy Web Atlas

Since market reforms first started in 1978, China has shifted from a centrally planned economy to a market-based economy, experiencing rapid economic and social development.

Heat Transfer

Transient analysis of fired heater coils to estimate safety time

During the operation of process fired heaters, the potential exists for sudden interruption of process flow.

Environment and Safety

Extended vapor cloud analysis methodology—Part 2
Myers, P. E., Trotter, B., PEMY Consulting

The Buncefield explosion in the UK was the worst post-World War 2 fire/explosion incident.


Editorial Comment: IRPC EurAsia—A roadmap to advancing ideas
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

According to the editors of Hydrocarbon Processing, the downstream processing industry will witness substantial growth in new refining, petrochemical and gas processing/LNG capacities over the next several years.

Reliability: How to deal with time thieves and knowledge parrots
Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

We recently corresponded with an engineer-manager who divides his time between managing a highly productive group of product developers and a growing number of callers that are interested in the innovative solutions his company offers.

Optimization: Improve LP model accuracy
Mohamed, S., Saudi Aramco

Using quadratic equations rather than a linear relationship in a linear programming (LP) model increases the model’s accuracy and reduces money left on the table.

Fluid Flow: Advanced flow dynamics analysis reduces design time for high-performance processes

For a process facility, guaranteeing maximum profit over its lifecycle while increasing safety and taking care of environmental aspects means continuous improvement toward operational excellence.

Turbomachinery: Increase rotating equipment uptime with laser shaft alignment
Silveira, J. D., Nexxis

The cost of failing to properly align shafts or belts on rotating machinery adds up to more than the need to physically fix damaged machinery.

Workflow: Streamline critical information searches with advanced data techniques
Walker, A., DelfinSia

Hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) companies are under constant pressure to maintain safe and reliable operation of processing equipment.

AI: How AI and machine learning benefit refineries and petrochemical plants
Welsh, T., AX Control

Embedding machines with artificial intelligence (AI) allows them to learn from their past experiences.

Digital: Digitalization is the next step in chemicals excellence
Morse, P., Aspen Technology

Digital transformation is a common theme at many industry gatherings and events, as operating companies are more readily sharing their digital success stories and audiences are becoming more comfortable with the digital themes.

Viewpoint: The NOC-on-effect—Transforming the face of the refining industry
George, S., Routt, M., KBC Advanced Technologies, Inc.

A new era of game-changing competition is about to take over and transform the refining industry as we know it.

Retrospective: Then and now— Looking toward the future
Kennedy, J. P., OSIsoft

In 1982, I wrote an article called “Using process computers as robots for refining operations,” which was published in the May issue of Hydrocarbon Processing.

Industry Perspectives: What challenges will 2019 bring to the global HPI?
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

In the December 2018 issue of Hydrocarbon Processing, we detailed our editorial opinion on the most likely route that shippers will take to adhere to new International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulfur regulations.

Business Trends: The case for teaching competence—Part 2
Brister, D., Shea Capability & Compliance Solutions; Bloch, Heinz P., Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Readers who have had the misfortune of being drawn into debates over the precise definitions of words or terms might agree that much time can be lost in unproductive squabbling.

Industry Metrics
Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

US markets weakened despite positive performance at the middle of the barrel due to considerable gasoil and jet/kero inventory drawdowns.

Global Project Data
Nichols, Lee, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Hydrocarbon Processing’s Construction Boxscore Database is tracking more than 1,300 active projects in the hydrocarbon processing industries worldwide.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Claroty has made several significant enhancements to its Continuous Threat Detection product.


Steve Elliott, Senior Director of Marketing, Schneider Electric, explained how Triconex safety solutions can help to actively manage the profitability of process operations at Triconex’s User Group event.

Rhodes, Mike, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Change is taking place at the top of the Endress+Hauser Group. Dr. Andreas Mayr will become Chief Operating Officer (COO) responsible for sales, production and support, assuming more responsibility on the executive board and serving as deputy CEO to Matthias Altendorf.