April 2023

Process Optimization

Select the right capacity control technique for centrifugal compressors: Refinery case studies

The centrifugal compressor has been the workhorse of the oil and gas industry for decades.

Pongboot, N., Avantium; Boonwong, K., Global R&D; Dyke, S., PetroQuantum

The centrifugal compressor has been the workhorse of the oil and gas industry for decades. Its applications vary from the delivery of natural gas from the wellhead to the distribution network to downstream refining and petrochemical process applications. A centrifugal compressor’s main objective is to compress a certain volume of gas to the desired pressure by imparting kinetic energy into the gas stream, increasing the gas's velocity using a rotating component (e.g., impeller), and then converting this kinetic energy into potential energy in the form of pressure. As a general rule of thumb, centrifugal compressors should be selected for rated discharge flow conditions > 300 m3/hr (175 ft

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