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FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE

UEMK 3313 CHEMICAL PROCESS CONTROL AND INSTRUMENTATION


GROUP ASSIGNMENT
LECTURER: IR . ASSOC. PROF. DR. LEE TIN SIN
LECTURE GROUP : L1

Name

ID

COURSE

Year

/ Contribution Signature

Trimester
ARON LEE CHAN YANG

1101078

CL

Y4S1

100%

MARILYN YONG YUEN 0905714

CL

Y4S1

100%

LING
THONG SENG CHOON

0904379

CL

Y4S1

100%

VOON PUI KEI

0907002

CL

Y4S1

100%

YEW CHOON SENG

0903217

CL

Y4S1

100%

Introduction to methanol
Methanol is an organic chemical compound, constituted of carbon, hydrogen, and
oxygen with a chemical formula of CH3OH. It is an alcohol. A colourless, odourless
but volatile liquid produced through a catalytic process using natural gas and steam as
raw materials. Methanol is considered as a prime chemical reagent for advanced
application in energy production. For example, a fuel in power gas turbine as well as
fuel cells which provides greater efficiency in conversion to electricity and lower
emissions than an internal combustion engine. Most importantly is that methanol is
used as alternative petroleum-based transportation fuel in gasoline and diesel engines
contributing to reduction in exhaust emissions.
Description of methanol production technology:

Figure 1: Process flow diagram for methanol production

Figure 1 shows the process flow diagram of methanol production with the built-in of
basic unit operations components in the production plant. The following components
are:
1. Gas compressor
2. Feed-effluent heat exchanger (FEHE)
3. Vapour / liquid separator
4. Exothermic reactor
5. Distillation column
The process uses syngas as a feed source for the production of methanol. Syngas
comprises of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and water. Production of
syngas starts with the use of natural gas known as methane (CH4) undergoes preheat
to 150-200oC and desulphurization process occurs where the gas goes through a bed
of zinc oxide (ZnO) pellets to remove sulphur. The feed gas and water is then heated
in a reformer to 900 oC undergoes the endothermic reaction with the presence of nickel
oxide catalyst.
2CH4 + 4H2O CO + 7H2 + CO2 + H2O
The feed gas then goes through heat exchangers that consist of shell and tube
arrangement to cool it down. Finally, the feed gas goes through a process gas separator
where the excess water condense from the syngas mixture is removed after going
through the heat exchanger, leaving the dry gas prepare to be used in the methanol
production process. The methanol production process starts with compression of
syngas to a higher pressure state to help in the conversion process. For a maximum
conversion of methanol synthesis, the reaction occurs at low temperature and high
pressure under. Therefore, the pressurized syngas undergoes heating in the feedeffluent heat exchanger (FEHE) to obtain a optimum temperature for the syngas to
react in the exothermic reactor. At the FEHE, consist of multiple inlet of syngas
comprises of unreacted syngas obtained from each separation reactor and distillation
reactor as well as main inlet of syngas from the gas compressor.

In the exothermic reactor, the syngas undergoes the conversion process where it passes
through a series of permeable beds consist of copper catalyst which promotes the
chemical formation of crude methanol and water. Besides that, other by-product
chemical reaction may occur in the exothermic reactor which is dependent on the ratio
of CO2 to CO in the feed gas, the feed gas purity and the catalyst age. The following
exothermic reactions in the reactor proceed as follows:
CO + 2H2 CH3OH (-90.8 kJ/mol)
CO2 + 3H2 CH3OH + H2O (-49.2 kJ/mol)
The products and heat generated from the exothermic reactions then goes through
FEHE once more to allow the unreacted gas as well as methanol mixture cool down to
a lower temperature and condensation of methanol into liquid state. Besides that, the
heat generated from the reaction is removed through FEHE when heat exchange
between heated product stream cross exchange with the cooler syngas stream to heat
it to the optimum temperature before going through the exothermic reactor. Crude
methanol and unreacted gas goes through vapour / liquid separator where the unreacted
gas rise and exit through the top of the separator. The gas goes back to the FEHE to
undergo exothermic reaction while crude methanol is separated from the gas is drawn
from the bottom of the separator. Bottom product obtained from the first vapour/liquid
separator goes through a secondary separation process where the product goes through
the same process as the first vapour/liquid separator to obtain a higher purity methanol
bottom product as excess unreacted goes back to the FEHE.
The bottom product from the second separation process will undergo distillation
process. The distillation column consists of a topping and a refining column. In the
topping column, all compounds that have a lower boiling point than methanol are
removed by distillation which includes dissolved gases such as CO, CO2, H2, N2 and
others used as fuel goes back into the methanol production process. Other heavier
product and methanol moves to the refining column. In the refining column, methanol
is drawn off in vapour form as top product in the distillation column. By-products
which have higher boiling point than methanol such as higher alcohol is then
fractionated and removed in a side-draw from the middle of the distillation column.
Water which has the highest boiling point is removed from the bottom of the
distillation plant and returns to the manufacturing process.

Control system for Methanol Production


Requirement 1:
To make sure the Syngas input and recycle Syngas are in the right conditions
before enter the reactor.

Figure 2.1 Control system for the Syngas before entering Feed Effluent Heat
Exchanger
The syngas initially entering the whole process is in the pressure of 51.2 bar. However,
in order to enter the Feed Effluent Heat Exchanger so its fulfil all the condition of the
methanol production, that is the temperature of 400 with the present of Zinc Oxide
as solid catalyst and a pressure condition of 110 bar.
To fulfill 110 bar, the Syngas will first enter the compressor to increase the flows
pressure. However, due to the limitation of each compressor and the outcome
temperature will be very higher which may causes some unwanted consequences such
as the explosion or damage the production component, more than 1 compressor is

needed in order to increase pressure of 58.8 bar. A condenser is needed to cool down
the Syngas which undergoes the first compressing (K1) for about 96 to 36 , and
the compression continues with K2 until 110 bar.
Control systems is set up for both the compressors and the condenser. For compressor
K1, a feed-forward flow-rate control system is set up. When the feed or Syngas enter
the feed, before entering compressor K1, the flow indicator will measure the flow rate,
it then converts the flow rate to the signal and send it to the flow controller. With the
set point set to the flow controller, which is 11450 kmol/h, if the flow rate of Syngas
is 11450 kmol/h, the flow controller will decide and send the decision to the IP
transducer, the IP transducer convert the decision of the flow controller to the
compressor K1 to run its compression. However, when there is different between the
Syngas flow rate and the set point flow rate, the flow controller will decide to not to
run the compressor K1 or not to start the whole methanol production process by
sending the decision to the IP transducer, and the IP transducer convert the signal to
stop the compressor K1 running.
Feedback temperature controller is installed to the condenser to make sure the
temperature of the first compression Syngas must 38 before entering compressor
K2. When the Syngas are being condensed by the condenser, the temperature indicator
will measure the temperature of the condensed Syngas, and convert the temperature
reading to the signal and transmit to the temperature controller. With the set point of
38 that are set to the temperature controller, when there is different between the
temperature of the condensed syngas and the set point, especially when is higher, the
controller will make decision and send the decision to the IP transducer. The IP
transducer convert the decision to the action by open the control valve to release the
hot steam inside the condenser to increase its efficiency of condensation. When the
measured temperature is lower or same as the set point, the temperature controller will
make no decision and therefore the valve will not be open.
The condensed Syngas will undergo the second compression through the compressor
K2. Another feed-forward pressure control system is installed to the compressor K2.
The pressure indicator will measure the pressure of the condensed Syngas before
entering the compressor. It will then convert the reading and transmit the signal to the
pressure control. The pressure control will decide how many power need to apply to

the compressor K2 and send the decision to the IP transducer. The IP transducer will
convert the decision to the Compressor K2 so that no matter what is the pressure
outcome of the condensed Syngas after the condensation, the compression is still will
results in 110 bar. This control system can be said as a very essential control system
as the pressure of the condensed syngas is not always constant and varies at any value.
The compressed 100 bar will then mixed with the recycling Syngas from the reflux
ratio and also compression by the compressor K4, which shows in Figure 2.2.
The control system that set-up on the compressor K4 is almost the same with the
control system for compressor K1, since both are managing the flow rate of the starting
feed (recycled Syngas can be also known as starting feed since they contain the same
gases and liquids and they will undergoes the FEHE process afterwards). However,
the difference is no matter what is the flow rate of the recycling Syngas from reflux
drum, the flow indicator will measure and transmit the converted signal to the flow
controller. The flow controller will decide how many compressor power will be apply
to the compressor K4 in order to achieve a flow-rate of 0.669 kmol/h. This decision
will be send to IP transducer to convert the decision signal into the action. The devices
for this control system is all the same with the control system in compressor K1.

Figure 2.2: Control system of the recycling Syngas from the reflux ratio.

Requirement 2:
The condition such as temperature and level control inside the reactor must
under control to activate the component to form methanol. Reactor inlet
temperature and the hot side exit temperature from the reactor must be adjusted
to avoid condensation of the process fluid. The boiler feed water (BFW) functions
as to maintaining the condition inside the reactor. Therefore the water level in
the BFW also has to be controlled.
In order to produce methanol, the zinc oxide as the catalyst will be added into the
reaction to speed up the reaction. In order to let the zinc oxide to react, before it flow
into the reactor, the temperature must under control to avoid reach peak reactor
temperature, which is 400C. To maintain the temperature before it entering the
reactor, the temperature control system had to be set up before entering the reactor to
ensure the mixture is heated to a temperature for the reaction to take place. Likewise,
in order to maintain exit side temperature from the reactor, a similar temperature
control system should be implemented at the exit side of the reactor.

Figure 2.3 : Control systems of the reactors and condenser.

The temperature of the mixtures after feed-effluent heat exchanger (FEHE) is


measured by the temperature gauge (TG). When the temperature below 150C, the
temperature transmitter will transmit the signal to the temperature controller (TC)
where TC will generate the error signal and transmit to current-to-pressure transducer
(I/P). The I/P is later directed to the actuated valve that control the heat exchanger
located before the mixing stream. When the temperature is too low, then the actuated
valve will open automatically which allow more heat being supplied to the feed stream
to heat the reaction. If the mixtures do not reach the desired temperature, the reaction
may not be complete because the mixtures react inside the reactor as there is
insufficient energy to overcome the activation energy to form methanol.
From Figure 2.3, to control the temperature of the reactor, the temperature gauge (TG)
is installed at the outlet flow rate of the stream. If TG detects the temperature is exceed
400 C, TT will transfer the electric signal to the temperature controller (TC). TC is
then transfer the error signal to the current-to-pressure transducer (I/P) to change the
electrical signal to the signal that is readily release the pressure relief valve (PV) to
allow the steam to flow out.
The BFW is jacketed outside of the reactor to control the temperature of the reactor.
The water flow through the reactor to cool down or maintain the temperature to avoid
the critical peak temperature of 400C, which the temperature will destroy the
properties of the compound. The critical peak temperature may affect the catalyst; zinc
oxide cannot function in the reactor for the production of methanol. The water level of
BFW is detected by installing a continuous-level transmitter (CLT). If the water level
of the below the level point set, LT will transmit the error signal to the level controller
(LC) operates the pneumatic valve to controlling the flow of water in the system. When
the required level is reached, controller operates the pneumatic valve in such a way
that the flow of water in the tank, stops. If the output from the tank is taken, for
example, the water is drained then the float position change from the desired position
and according the controller operates the pneumatic valve to start the flow of water in
the tank. In the boiler will allow the water recirculate around the reactor to maintain
the temperature inside of the reactor.

Requirement 3:
The temperature must be below 38 before the first separation to ease the
further separation process.
The production process of methanol involves separation, therefore an optimum
temperature is important in this process. The temperature must be high enough to allow
the high volatile liquid to be recycled back to the system and low enough to allow low
volatile liquid to flow to a flash separator to undergo another separation. The rapidest
solution to this problem is by measuring the temperature of the exit stream from the
heat exchanger and compare it to the set point value which is 38 in this case. The
temperature control system is shown in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4: Temperature control system for the heat exchanger section
Installation of the temperature control system at the reactor section is essential in this
stage to prevent any overheating, explosion and the disinterring of the reactant in the
reactor. The temperature indicator (TI) will constantly transmit signal of the measured
value of the temperature of the exit stream from the heat exchanger at a certain time
interval and compare it with the set point value. The signal is then received by the
temperature controller (TC). If the temperature exceeds 38 , then an error signal will
be generated. The generated error signal will be transmitted to the current-to-pressure

transducer (I/P) to allow conversion of signal to take place. The responsive reaction
when the temperature exceeds 38 is the valve along the stream will be opened to
allow steam to be released to the surrounding.

Requirement 4:
The synthesis gas should be maintain at a desired composition to prevent the
system failure.
If the synthesis gas composition changes such that this delicate stoichiometric balance
no longer holds, the component(s) in excess will build up and pressure will increase
the system. Remember that the feed into the system is flow-controlled. Therefore, a
strategy to handle this problem is required. An override controller is a simple way to
achieve this objective. The vent valve is air-to-open (fails shut). A high selector
chooses between the higher of two signals. The first signal comes from the
composition controller. This signal normally sets the vent valve position. The second
signal comes from the high-pressure override controller, which has an output signal
that only increases and takes over the vent valve when the separator pressure get above
120 bar. The override controller is proportional only, with a gain of 5 and a normal
output signal of 0%. As pressure changes from 120 to 140 bar, its output signal changes
from 0 to 100%. At some pressure, this signal coming from the composition controller
and begin opening the vent valve. The composition control system is shown in Figure
2.5.

Figure 2.5: Composition controller for high volatile reactant


A composition analyzer (AT) will be installed the composition of synthesis gas. A
signal will be sent to composition controller (CC). The signal will then be sent to high
selector (HS). At the same time, there is a pressure gauge (PG) measures the pressure
of the synthesis. The signal measure by the pressure gauge will be pressure controller
(PC). After that, the signal will be the higher selector. The high sensor will choose the
signal with highest value. If the pressure signal is too high, the signal will be sent to
the air-to-open valve. Then, the system will be shut down.

Requirement 5:
The level of mixture in separation column have be maintained at a desired level
to avoid overflow.
The control of liquid levels is an important function since the flow rate of the reactant
is very high in this system. If a level control system, there will be overflow during the
process. The level control system is shown in Figure 2.6.

Figure 2.6: Level control system for separation column section


A level sensor (LS) is installed to measure the level of the mixture in the separator.
The mixture in the separator must be maintained at a certain level so that overflow of
mixture will not occur. After the level sensor (LS) senses the level in the separator, it
will send signals to the level controller (LC). The signal will then be sent to currentto-pressure transducer (I/P). The current-to-pressure transducer (I/P) will adjusts the
opening and closing of the valve whenever it is necessary. If the measured level value
is higher than the set point value, the valve will be opened, allowing more mixture to
flow to the distillation column. If the measured level value is less than the set point
value, the valve will be closed, and it will wait until the mixture is filled to the desired
level, before letting it to flow to the distillation column.

Requirement 6:
The condition of the separator, F1 must be maintained due to mechanical
construction limit and pressure in F1. The pressure of the F1 must not exceed
2bar. The level control also have to be maintain to prevent dry up or overflow.
The safety constraint in the F1 separator is the pressure inside the reactor must be
maintained below 2bar. There are two possible ways to control the pressure in the
system which are the pressure control in the outlet stream and the level control in the
separator. So the system can choose either alternative to maintain the pressure in the
separator.

Figure 2.7: Control system of the Seperator before distillation


The pressure is maintained by installing a pressure transmitter (PT) at the separator,
F1. If the pressure of the inlet stream is higher, then the PT will send the current signal
to the pressure controller (PC). The pressure controller will generate an error signal
since the measured value is higher than the set point value. The error signal will be
transmitted to the current-to-pressure transducer (I/P) at the Kflash to change the
electrical signal to the signal that is readily transmitted to minimize the feed flow rate.
This action is to prevent further pressure build up in the separator. When the pressure
in the inlet stream is below the set point value, the valve will be opened back to allow
more feed to flow into the system.

The method of setting of level control system on this separator K1 is different from
the reactor method as this level control system is a feed forward controller. The high
level transmitter (HLT) such as a float is installed in the reactor to detect the water
level in the system. According to the float position, with the respect to desired level of
the water, the level controller (LC) operates the pneumatic valve controlling the flow
of water at the outlet of the system. When the required level is reached, controller
operates the pneumatic valve in such a way that the flow of water in the tank, allow
the mixtures to flow out from F1. If the output from the tank is taken, for example, the
water is drained then the float position change from the desired position and according
the controller operates the pneumatic valve to stop the flow out from F1.

Requirement 7:
To maintain the feed flow rate and reflux flow rate into the distillate column
After separation from second separator, the feed stream into the distillate column
needed to be control the feed flow rate along with the reflux flow rate back to the
distillate column. This is in order to maintain the distillation of the system in desired
condition. The control system is shown in Figure 2.8.

Figure 2.8 : Control systems of the Disllation column for reflux ratio

When the incoming feed flow from the system into the distillate column, a flow
indicator ( FI ) which detects the properties of the feed flow. Then, the flow indicator
( FI ) will send an electrical signal to the flow controller ( FC ). The flow controller
will send an electrical signal to the OR Gate after determined the properties of the feed
flow. At the reflux stream into the distillate column, a flow indicator ( FI ) also installed
to detect the reflux flow. The flow indicator will send s an electrical signal to the ratio
controller ( RC ) in order to determine the ratio rate of the reflux stream. The ratio
controller ( RC ) will then sends out an electrical signal to the OR Gate after it
determined the ratio rate of the reflux stream.
The purpose of the instalment of the OR Gate is to control the controllers in any
situations which undesired outcomes happened. If the feed flow into the distillate
column is in undesired condition such as the flow properties do not match with the
desired set point values which detected by the flow controller ( FC ) while the desired
condition of the reflux stream detected by the ratio controller ( RC ), the OR Gate will
receives two signals from each controllers. An error signal from the flow controller (
FC ) and a valid signal from the ratio controller ( RC ) sent to the OR Gate. The OR
Gate will allows the signal from the ratio controller ( RC ) to proceed further and
indicates there is an error form the flow indicator ( FC ) which then blocked the signal
from the flow controller ( FC ). The function of the OR Gate works for the vice versa
situation or both controllers send out valid signals. The signals from the OR Gate will
then transmitted to the current-to-pressure transducer ( I/P ) to convert the electrical
signal into pressure from the valve to adjust the reflux flow until matches with the set
point values of the distillate column.

Requirement 8:
To maintain the down flow of distillate column with adjustment of reboiler and
control the level of down flow of distillate column to obtain desired product flow
rate.
After the reflux from the reflux drum into the distillate column, the distillate liquid or
down flow will then become the side product of the system. If any desired compounds
still exist in the distillate liquid, the reboiler below the distillate column will then heat

up the distillate liquid into vapour to be reflux again until most of the desired
compounds are not in the distillate liquid. This control system is shown in Figure 2.9.

Figure 2.9: Control system of the distillation column for Boilup


To maintain the temperature of the distillate column at the desired set point that does
not affect the properties of the distillate liquid, a series of temperature control units are
installed. The temperature gauge ( TG ) is installed to measure the temperature of the
distillate column and detected by the temperature indicator ( TI ). The temperature
indicator ( TI ) will then transmit the measured temperature value to the temperature
controller ( TC ) in form of electrical signal. The temperature controller ( TC ) will
then transmits the electrical signal to the current-to-pressure transducer ( I/P ) to adjust
the valve. If the temperature detected is too high from the desired set point temperature,
the temperature controller ( TC ) will transmits an electrical signal to the current-to-

pressure transducer ( I/P ) to adjust the valve reducing the power of the reboiler. Thus,
avoid damages to the distillate liquid. For detected temperature of the distillate liquid
is too low from the set point temperature, the valve will adjusted to increase the power
of the reboiler and increase the temperature of distillate liquid to set point temperature.
Beside, the water level of the distillate liquid is also crucial for the discharge of side
products from the distillate column. A constant-level-transmitter ( CLT ) will
constantly monitors and transmits measured water level of the distillate liquid in the
distillate column to the level controller ( LC ) by electrical signal. The level controller
( LC ) will then transmits an electrical signal to the current-to-pressure transducer ( I/P
) to adjust the valve. When the water level of the distillate liquid in the distillate column
is detected by the constant-level-transmitter ( CLT ) to be insufficient compared to
desired set point, the level controller ( LC ) will then received an error signal and
transmits a signal to the current-to-pressure transducer ( I/P ) to close the valve. Thus,
the discharge flow of the distillate column is stopped until the desired set point water
level of the distillate liquid is reached. If the water level of the distillate liquid is too
high from the set point water level, the level controller ( LC ) will then adjust the valve
to allow the side product flow to be discharges until desired set point water level is
reached. This is to prevent any overflow or underflow of the distillate column and also
any sedimentation in the distillate column.

Requirement 9:
At the distillation column, products formed known as top and bottom product.
Top product is formed at the top of the distillation column in the form of vapour.
It is then moves to the condenser to be condensed into liquid form. However,
vapours of the top product flow into the condenser are in the state of high
pressure. Accumulation of high pressure vapour in the condenser might damage
the condenser if it could not condense in time. Therefore a pressure control
system is set to control the vapour pressure in the condenser. The pressure
control system is set according to the Figure 2.10.

Figure 2.10: Control System for the Condenser of distillate product


A pressure sensor/transmitter (PT) is use to measure the vapour pressure of the top
product leaving the distillation product. After the vapour pressure is measured from
the sensor, signals from the sensor would be transmitted to the pressure controller
(PC). Pressure controller function as controller of the vapour pressure where it will set
the vapour pressure to a set-point value if there is any change from the pressure value
transmitted from the sensor. Signals for the action of alteration required to set the
measured pressure back to the set-point value is sent from the pressure controller (PC)
to the current-to-pressure transducer (I/P). The current-to-pressure transducer (I/P)
will adjust the opening and closing of the valve of the steam flow. If the measured
pressure is higher than the set-point value, the valve will be open to allow more steam
to flow out, allowing more cooling water to be used in the condenser to convert more
vapour into liquid. If the measured pressure is lower than the set-pont value, the valve
will be close to prevent more steam from flowing out, reducing the flow of cooling
water into the condenser. This will reduce the rate of condensation of vapour to liquid
and will cause the accumulation of vapour pressure.

Requirement 10:
The condensed liquid flow from the condenser and stored into a reflux drum.
Reflux drum is a container to hold the condensed liquid from the condenser and
act as a distribution point for reflux and distillate. Reflux is part of the condensed
liquid to be recycled back to the top of distillation column where it flows
downward to provide cooling and condensation of the upflowing vapour.
Distillate is the condensed liquid that is removed from the system as top product.
Therefore, the fluid level control is important in the reflux drum. Accumulation
of condensed liquid in the reflux drum will cause damage to the machine which
will lead to inadequate distribution of reflux may cause expensive operating
problems as well as product degradation. The fluid level control system is set
according to the Figure 2.11.

Figure 2.11: Level control system for the Reflux drum


A continuous level sensor/transmitter (CLT) is used in the control system where it is
able to sense the liquid level at all locations. Signals from the continuous level
sensor/transmitter (CLT) would be transmitted to the level controller (LC). The
controller helps to control the liquid level in the reflux drum according to a set-point
value. Signals for the action of alteration required to set the measured liquid level back
to the set-point value is sent from the level controller (LC) to the current-to-pressure

transducer (I/P). The current-to-pressure transducer (I/P) will adjust the opening and
closing of the valve of the distillate flow. When the liquid level is higher than the setpoint value, the valve will be open to allow more distillate to flow out. When the liquid
level is lower than the set-point value, the valve will be closed to prevent more
distillate to flow out and allow accumulation of condensed liquid back to the set-point
value.

Safety Control Requirement for methanol production plant.


Both the first and second reactions for the methanol production are exorthermic
reactions. Which is a reaction that releases heats when the product formation is occurs.
The production of Methanol by using Carbon Monoxide (CO) release heat of 90.8
kJ/mol whereas the production of Methanol using Carbon Dioxide (CO2) release
49.2kJ/mol of heat. Both of the reactions that release a large amount of heat will cause
the rise of the temperature in the reactor.
If the temperature is too high (higher than 400 ) it might damage the solid catalyst

activity, and also will damage the reactor if the reactor material cant handle too much
heat. Thus temperature control system is needed for the reactor itself.

Figure 3.1: Temperature control system for the Reactor.

It is suggested that the thermocouple wires should be the transmitter (TT) due to it has
high range and its maximum temperature that can measure is higher than 400. When
the temperature is higher than 400 it will convert the current temperature of the
reactor and transmit it to the temperature controller, the temperature controller then
decide and transmit the decision to the transducer. The signal is converted by the IP
transducer to the Control Valve in order to maintain the temperature back to 400
exactly. The hydrogen gas (H2) and the methane (CH4), which is part of the feed or
syngas for the methanol production, have a chemical hazardous properties of
flammable and explosive. The hydrogen gas will poses an immediate fire and explode
when its concentration exceed 4% and the methane will poses an immediate fire and
explode when its concentration exceed 5% and it is mixed with the air. The control
system of composition should be applied to the feed streams to avoid any unwanted
consequences for the process.

Figure 3.2: Composition / Concentration control for the feed


The composition analyzer / transmitter (AT) will measure the composition of the
syngas or the feed. When the compositions of the Syngas (especially Hydrogen and
Methane) are different from the set point or sudden changes in the compositions the
composition analyzer will then convert and transmit the signal to the composition
analyzer controller. The composition analyzer controller will send the decision signal
to the IP transducer so that the IP transducer can control the Control valve to maintain
or adjust back to the actual composition of the feed.

Figure 3.3: Composition / Concentration detector with alarm


Besides the control system shown in Figure 3.2, the control system for the composition
to avoid any explosion can also be set-up as shown in Figure 3.3.When there is error
or changes in the composition, the composition analyzer transmitter will convert and
transmit the signal to the composition analyzer controller. The composition analyzer
controller will transmit the decision to the IP inducer so that IP inducer can make the

alarm rings. The ringing alarm will get the attention of the worker so that the worker
can check the condition of the Syngas along with the whole production.
From the process flow diagram of methanol production, we can say that many parts of
the production process involves and also results in high pressure along with many heat
exchanger, pump, and also compressor that will increase the pressure. The highest
pressure involve in the production is 110 bar. The high pressure in the process may
cause the leakage of the pipe streams, and more serious explosion may occur. A
number of pressure indicator or pressure gauge is recommended to set-up in some pipe
streams (high pressure) along with pressure switch that the final control element is
pressure relief valve or alarm in order to maintain and not to let the pressure to have
further increase in the productions.

Conclusion
In conclusion, all the control system requirements needed for the whole methanol
production plant is designed, include the safety aspects. Except the suggestion from
the safety control (Figure 3.3), we have successfully design the control system by using
only the available component given. In these requirements, we have set up and propose
almost all type of the process controls which include temperature control, flow rate
control, pressure control, composition control, and reflux ratio control. All these
control has not only achieved the efficiency of the plant, but also the efficiency of the
controller chosen and the safety controls. Some of the control system used the
components itself, such as heat exchanger instead of the valve that is available is
because to direct control the components power and work.

References
Cheng, W. and Kung, H. H. 1994. Methanol production and use. New York: M.
Dekker.

Friedland, B. 2005. Control system design. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.


Gopal, M. 1984. Modern control system theory. New York: Wiley.
Lee, S. 1990. Methanol synthesis technology. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press.
Lee, S. 1997. Methane and its derivatives. New York: M. Dekker.