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June Automation



Air Pollutants


Focus on



Dry Gas Seals


Facts at Your
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Circle 16 on p. 56 or go to


JUNE 2013 VOLUME 120, NO. 6

30 Cover Story Solving Vessel Equations: A Better Way
Irregularly shaped vessels and tanks can present challenges for determin-
ing the volume of contained liquids. New tools can help

11 Chementator A solid-acid-catalyst alkylation process to be commercial- 16
ized; Continuous production of cellulose nanofibers; A cleaner, safer
way to obtain tantalum and niobium; A new butadiene process to be
commercialized; A technology for delivering chilled air using less power;
and more

16 Newsfront Controlling Air Pollution

While understanding combustible dust regulations can be difficult,
experts stress the importance of compliance

21 Newsfront Sonochemistry Makes it Mark

Once considered a novelty for niche applications, sonochemistry has
blossomed into many CPI sectors

28a Facts at Your Fingertips Solids Conveying
This one-page reference discusses two common device categories for
conveying solids: angular-pitch vibrating conveyors and horizontal differ-
ential-motion conveyors
29 Technology Profile Ethylene Production via Ethanol Dehydration
This one-page profile describes the technology and
economic considerations for the titled process

36 Feature Report Part 1 Understanding Field-Device Integration

This article provides a concise explanation of field-device integration tech-
nology and how new FDI standards will help make connecting easier

40 Feature Report Part 2 Compliant remote input/output devices

NE 107 compliance for remote I/Os means proactive diagnosis for more
efficient maintenance

43 Engineering Practice Vapor Depressurization:

Concept and Implementation
To perform depressurization calculations, special attention is needed for
critical equipment and systems, such as rotating equipment, columns
and reactors


46 Engineering Practice From Concept to Commercial Production
46 These four steps of process development are typically necessary to effec-
tively scale a concept into full production

50 Engineering Practice Compressors: Nitrogen Expands the Appli-

cability of Dry Gas Seals
When the process gas is dirty or corrosive, nitrogen can be used to en-
sure trouble-free operation of the seal, but requires special steps


24 Focus on Explosion Protection
This flowrate totalizer has an explosion-proof enclosure; A new gener-
ation of relief valves for explosion-pressure venting; Accurate pressure
transmitters for hazardous areas; Cartridge filters proven safe for hy-
brid mixtures; Load reactors safely with this vacuum conveying system;
and more

27 New Products Seal damaged flanges with this compressible gasket;

This emergency exit sign is explosion-proof; Handle up to 5,500 psi with
these hoses; This single-use mixer is cost-effective; These steam mani-
folds minimize installation space; and more

5 Editors Page The pending water shortage Access to water will be an
increasingly important issue for industry in the coming years and decades. To
prepare for the future, CPI operators should begin to develop the ability to
account for water usage and output

53 The Fractionation Column Team building Team building sometimes

24 requires us to move out of our respective comfort zones, as demon-
strated in this example


6 Letters 58 Whos Who

8 Calendar 59 Economic Indicators
56 Reader Service

54 Product Showcase/Classified

57 Advertiser Index

Look for: Feature Reports on Lifecycle Costs applied to Process Equipment De-
27 sign; and Cybersecurity; An Engineering Practice article on datasheet do's
and don'ts; a Solids Processing article on Rotary Valves in Pneumatic Con-
*ONLY ON CHE.COM veying Systems; a Focus on Level Measurement; A Facts at Your Fingertips
column on Piping; A News Article on Cooling Towers; and more
Look for New Products;
Latest News; and more
Cover: David Whitcher


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Circle 8 on p. 56 or go to
Density calibration is just one less thing to worry about
when you choose Echotel Ultrasonic Level Switches.
The more you rely on ECHOTEL, the less youll worry if your current tuning fork is calibrated to the
right density or can measure your low-density liquids at all. Unlike tuning fork technology,
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Circle 12 on p. 56 or go to
Winner of Eight Jesse H. Neal
Awards for Editorial Excellence
Editors Page

Published since 1902

An Access Intelligence Publication
The pending water shortage
here is an emerging crisis brewing for the chemical processing indus-

MICHAEL GROSSMAN DAVID WHITCHER tries (CPI) in many regions of the world. Those regions include China,
Vice President and Group Publisher Art Director/ Editorial Production Manager
the worlds manufacturing powerhouse; swaths of the U.S., including large parts of its South; and chunks of Europe.
PRODUCTION For once, the crisis has nothing to do with energy costs. The emergence
DOROTHY LOZOWSKI of cheap shale gas in the U.S., and the identification of exploitable basins
Executive Editor JOHN BLAYLOCK-COOKE Ad Production Manager in other places (even though adapting hydraulic fracturing technology for
GERALD ONDREY (Frankfurt) these new finds will be difficult), is painting a much brighter picture of fu-
ture energy availability than we have witnessed for decades.
The crisis this time is fresh water availability. Already, in many regions,
Senior Editor Senior Developer there are regular periods of very tight water supply, and current weather Web/business Applications Architect
patterns (whether or not you believe that they are caused by man-made
CONTRIBUTING global warming) are exacerbating the problem. Some technology trends, in-
cluding biotechnology processes that are touted as being environmentally
SUZANNE A. SHELLEY Marketing Director friendly, will also increase the pressure on water availability.
TradeFair Group, Inc.
CHARLES BUTCHER (U.K.) Global chemical company, DSM (Heerlen, the Netherlands; www.dsm. com), estimates that only 0.02% of the worlds total water is available for
PAUL S. GRAD (Australia)
Assistant Marketing Manager industrial and domestic use. Only 3% of the Earths total water is fresh
TradeFair Group, Inc.
TETSUO SATOH (Japan) water, and 2% of that is locked up in the polar ice caps and glaciers. Only 0.2% of the worlds water is available for consumption. The industrial and
JOY LEPREE (New Jersey)
ADVISORY BOARD domestic share is about 0.02%, with the rest going to agriculture.
GERALD PARKINSON JOHN CARSON Now imagine a world with 50% more people in the next 40 years, all need-
Jenike & Johanson, Inc.
(California) ing abundant supplies of fresh water for nourishment and sanitation. How
AUDIENCE MixTech, Inc. will industry continue its growth on a resource-limited planet?
DEVELOPMENT MUKESH DOBLE There are three likely outcomes of this emerging crisis: rising costs for
SARAH GARWOOD IIT Madras, India water; competition for water rights between industry and municipal govern-
Audience Marketing Director HENRY KISTER Fluor Corp.
ments and other claimants; and a drive within the CPI to establish a better
GEORGE SEVERINE TREVOR KLETZ understanding of water consumption and how to manage and reduce it.
Fulfillment Manager Loughborough University, U.K. At this point, most CPI plants do not have a clear view of their water con-
GERHARD KREYSA (retired) sumption. Try to calculate it, and the math is not straightforward.
List Sales, Statlistics (203) 778-8700 RAM RAMACHANDRAN For the CPI to consume water responsibly, and sustainably, there are sev- (Retired) The Linde Group eral steps that need to be taken. Every plant should, and ultimately will
HEADQUARTERS have to, estimate its own water footprint and know how much surface or
88 Pine Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10005, U.S. ground water, in particular, it is consuming. CPI plants need to understand
Tel: 212-621-4900 Fax: 212-621-4694
how their water footprints impact the local community, both in terms of man-
aging water scarcity and in terms of reducing pollution from wastewater.
Zeilweg 44, D-60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tel: 49-69-9573-8296 Fax: 49-69-5700-2484 CPI plants also need to set aggressive targets for reducing their water
CIRCULATION REQUESTS: footprints. This should not be thought of just as doing good, but as risk
Tel: 847-564-9290 Fax: 847-564-9453 management. Pose the question in terms of the right outcome for the planet,
Fullfillment Manager; P.O. Box 3588,
Northbrook, IL 60065-3588 email: and most CPI executives will balk at reducing their water footprint. Pose
ADVERTISING REQUESTS: see p. 56 it in terms of managing the risk of restricted access to water, and you will
For photocopy or reuse requests: 800-772-3350 or get a lively, engaged conversation, and rather quickly a business plan that
For reprints: Wrights Media, 1-877-652-5295,
involves reducing fresh water consumption.
ACCESS INTELLIGENCE, LLC In its water assessments, DSM has gone a lot further than just esti-
DON PAZOUR ROBERT PACIOREK mating a water footprint, but has also calculated its fair share of water
Chief Executive Officer Senior Vice President,
Chief Information Officer availability, and vowed to have no adverse impact on the
Executive Vice President SYLVIA SIERRA availability and quality of groundwater or surface water
& Chief Financial Officer Senior Vice President,
Corporate Audience Development in the areas where we operate.
Exec. Vice President, MICHAEL KRAUS How many in the CPI are ready to make a similar com-
Human Resources & Administration VP, Production, Digital Media
& Design mitment? If this is not done voluntarily, it will probably
Divisional President, STEVE BARBER happen because of public opinion or legislation, as the
Access Intelligence Vice President,
Financial Planning and Internal Audit water crisis deepens. Get ready, water will be a big part
Vice President, GERALD STASKO of your professional life in the years ahead. And, if you
Energy and Engineering Events Vice President/Corporate Controller
do not start to take account of water issues, no amount of
cheap shale gas will make you successful.
John Pearson, CEO, Chemical Industry Roundtables
4 Choke Cherry Road, Second Floor

Seeking input on distillation education

Right now, distillation engineers are extremely busy
globally, and especially in the U.S. The AIChE Dis-
tillation Symposium (May, San Antonio, Tex.) that was
organized by Henry Kister and Mike Pritchett had an
amazing number of presentations and attendees.
FRI is the worlds premier distillation research facility.
FRI engineers who teach a separations course at Okla-
homa State University had an idea: To create a training
module entitled Distillation for university chemical en-
gineering courses. That module would include PowerPoint
presentations, videos from FRIs experimental unit and
an easy-to-use computer program.
The PowerPoint presentations would include the fol-
lowing: boiling points including pressure effects, relative
volatilities, y-versus-x vapor-liquid equilibrium (VLE)
graphs, McCabe-Thiele constructions, VLE thermody-
namic models, process simulation programs, the reflux
concept, equilibrium stages, staging-versus-reflux graphs,
reboilers and more. FRI engineers would continuously
keep the presentations up-to-date.
The videos would show the FRI test columns and would
include descriptions of the following: boiler, cooling tower,
storage tanks, pumps, valves, thermocouples and more.
The videos would also include footage through the FRI
Circle 3 on p. 56 or go to column windows trays and packings in operation, in-
cluding at the flood points.
The computer program, which is presently called DRP
Lite, would allow future engineers to size (roughly)
Get Chemical Engineerings plant trayed and packed (random and structured) columns,
cost index to improve plant cost using popular literature correlations. Capacities, pressure
drops and efficiencies would be calculated.
estimatesand delivered in advance The proposed FRI training module would not be de-
of the print edition! signed to replace textbooks or the presentations that
typically accompany textbooks. Instead, the training
For more than 37 years, chemical process industries module would augment those materials by providing
professionals- engineers, manager and technicians, real-world photographs and videos. The training module
would include hot-off-the-presses data, information and
have used Chemical Engineerings Plant Cost Index
technologies. Homework problems would still come from
to adjust process plant construction costs from one
the textbooks. The training module would assume that a
period to another. total of eight 1.5-h lectures would be devoted in a separa-
This database includes all annual archives (1947 to tions class to distillation. The target audience would be
present) and monthly data archives (1970 to present). college juniors, seniors and graduate students in chemi-
Instead of waiting more than two weeks for the print or
cal engineering programs.
FRI engineers have not yet initiated work on the train-
online version of Chemical Engineering to arrive,
ing module. We await input from Chemical Engineer-
subscribers can access new data as soon as its calculated.
ing readers, including students, recent graduates and
Resources included with Chemical Engineerings Plant instructors. Would you use such a module? Any ideas for
Cost Index: such a module? Please provide a paragraph or two to re-
Electronic notiication of monthly updates as soon as Mike Resetarits
they are available Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI)
All annual data archives (1947 to present)
Monthly data archives (1970 to present) Bringing mobility to the plant
Option to download in Excel format Just started going through the April issue of CE this
weekend. Excellent segment on the use of mobile technol-
Subscribe today at ogy. Very timely and well done.
Bill Huitt
W. M. Huitt Co.
Circle 13 on p. 56 or go to

NORTH AMERICA Advanced Principles of Foundation Fieldbus.

Risk Management of Corrodible Systems. National Fieldbus Foundation (Austin, Tex.). Phone: 512-794-8890;
Assn. of Corrosion Engineers (Houston). Phone: 281-228- Web:
6200; Web: Austin, Tex. Aug. 2123
Orlando, Fla. June 1820
American Chemical Soc. 246th National Meeting
Valve World Americas Expo & Conference. Messe and Exposition. American Chemical Soc. (Washington,
Dsseldorf North America (Chicago, Ill.). Phone: 312-781- D.C.). Phone: 202-872-4600; Web:
5185; Web: Indianapolis, Ind. Sept. 812
Houston June 2526
4th Annual ChemInnovations Conference & Expo.
Elastomer Technology & Seal Design for the Oil TradeFair Group, an Access Intelligence LLC Co.
& Gas Industry. Precision Polymer Engineering (Black- (Houston). Phone: 713-343-1891; Web:
burn, U.K.). Phone: +44-1254-295400 Web: Galveston, Tex. Sept. 2526
Houston June 27
42nd Turbomachinery and 29th International
Air and Waste Management Assn. (AWMA) Annual Pump Users Symposia. Texas A&M University
Conference. AWMA (Pittsburgh, Pa.). Phone: 412-232- (College Station, Tex.). Phone: 979-845-7417; Web:
3450; Web:
Chicago, Ill. June 2528 Houston Sept. 30Oct. 3

Introduction to Foundation Fieldbus. Fieldbus Elastomer Technology & Seal Design for Oil & Gas.
Foundation (Austin, Tex.). Phone: 512-794-8890.; Web: Precision Polymer Engineering (Blackburn, U.K.). Phone: +44-1254-295400; Web:
Austin, Tex. Aug. 20 Houston Oct. 8

Circle 1 on p. 56 or go to
EUROPE Elastomer Technology & Seal Design for Critical
Introduction to Foundation Fieldbus. Industry Sealing Applications. Precision Polymer Engineering
Source (Mesa, Ariz.). Phone: 480-775-6020; (Blackburn, U.K.). Phone: +44-1254-295400; Web: idex-
Frankfurt am Main, Germany June 18 Blackburn, U.K. Nov. 67

Advanced Principles of Foundation Fieldbus. Introduction to Foundation Fieldbus. Fieldbus

Industry Source (Mesa, Ariz.). Phone: 480-775-6020; Foundation (Austin, Tex.). Phone: 512-794-8890;
Web: Web:
Frankfurt am Main, Germany June 1921 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Nov. 12

5th Symposium on Continuous Flow Reactor Tech- Advanced Principles of Foundation Fieldbus.
nology. AIC ASTI Incentives & Congressi s.r.l. (Pisa, Fieldbus Foundation (Austin, Tex.). Phone: 512-794-8890;
Italy). Phone: +050-598808; Web: Web:
Pisa, Italy Sept. 1112 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Nov. 1315

Elastomer Technology & Seal Design for Oil & Gas. ASIA & ELSEWHERE
Precision Polymer Engineering (Blackburn, U.K.). Phone: 26th Interphex Japan. Reed Exhibitions (Tokyo,
+44-1254-295400; Web: Japan). Phone: +81-3-3349-8518; Web:
Duisberg, Germany Oct. 22 Tokyo, Japan July 1012

Elastomer Technology & Seal Design for Semi- In-Cosmetics Asia. Reed Exhibitions (Norwalk, Conn.).
conductors. Precision Polymer Engineering (Blackburn, Phone: +44-20-8271-2122; Web:
U.K.). Phone: +44-1254-295400; Web: Bangkok, Thailand Oct. 2931
Dresden, Germany Oct. 24 Suzanne Shelley

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Edited by Gerald Ondrey June 2013
Generic Alkylation Isobutane

A solid-acid-catalyst alkylation Olefin feed Pretreatment Reactor Product

process will be commercialized . . . (optional) system distillation


W hat is said to be the worlds first com-

mercial alkylation plant to use a solid
acid catalyst is scheduled for startup early Reactor Alkylate
effluent product
next year by Shandong Wonfull Petrochemi-
cal Group Co. (Zibo, China). The plant, which
will produce 100,000 ton/yr of alkylate, will
i-C4 feed Continuously
Ceramic paper
use a process called AlkyClean, developed by A paper-like material made
CB&Is Technology Group (The Woodlands, Olefin from vanadium-pentoxide
Tex.;, Albemarle Corp. (Orange- ceramic that is as hard as
burg, S.C.; and Neste copper and can be folded or
Oil (Espoo, Finland; Occasionally rolled up has been produced
AlkyClean (flowsheet) represents a break- H2 by scientists at Stuttgart Uni-
through in alklylation technology in that it versity (www.uni-stuttgart.
Mild regeneration
avoids the environmental hazards of sulfuric de), the Max-Planck Institute
(MPI) for Intelligent Systems
acid and hydrofluoric acid, the two catalysts
( and the MPI
traditionally used for alkylation. Instead, H2 regeneration at 250 C for Solid State Research (all
the process employs a fixed bed of a zeolite- Stuttgart, Germany; www.fkf.
based catalyst with noble metal function for The ceramic paper
the reaction, in which light olefins (C3C5) disposal. AlkyClean is a very simple, fixed- consists of conductive nanofi-
are reacted with isobutane to obtain motor bed process and uses carbon steel through- bers of V2O5 assembled into a
fuel alkylate (mostly C8 material). The oc- out the plant, he says. Also, he notes that structure resembling mother-
tane rating of the alkylate is 9496 RON, the reaction takes place at 5090C, thereby of-pearl. Besides being hard,
similar to that produced by the liquid-acid avoiding the refrigeration costs of the H2SO4 strong and pliable, the paper
processes, says Jo Portela, CB&Is senior and HF method, which operates at 410C. has a high conductivity along
its plane, and low out-of-plane
vice president for refining. The catalyst was AlkyClean works with at least three re-
conductivity. Such properties
developed by Albemarle. actors in parallel (diagram). Two are online
may find applications in batter-
The capital cost is about 15% below that together, each cycling every 13 h between ies, flat and flexible gas sensors
of an H2SO4 plant and similar to that of an alkylation and mild catalyst regeneration. and actuators in artificial limbs.
HF plant, says Portela. However, he stresses The third, a standby unit, goes online every To make the paper, nanofi-
that the key driver is the elimination of liq- few weeks, when one of the producing reac- bers of V2O5 are suspended
uid acid catalysts and the costs of mainte- tors goes offline for high-temperature regen- in water on a substrate and
nance, the mitigation of hazards, and acid eration at 250C. the water is allowed to slowly
evaporate at room tempera-
ture. The film on p. 12)
is then heated
. . . and an improved H2SO4 alkylation process gains acceptance for a few hours at 40C, and
the humidity is slowly reduced.
M eanwhile, an improved H2SO4 process de-
veloped by CB&I (see previous item) has
now been licensed to three companies, all in
by mechanical mixing with impellers. Portela
explains that the column makes for more ef-
ficient mixing and allows the reaction to take
This slow process allows the
fibers to assemble themselves
into a parallel pattern. Finally,
China. The first licensee was Ningbo Haiyue place at about 4C, which improves the se- the film is annealed at 100 and
New Material Co. Ltd., which is building a lectivity and raises the octane rating. Conven- 150C to make a transpar-
600,000-m.t./yr plant near Ningbo City, Zheji- tional H2SO4 alkylation is limited to 410C ent, orange paper of between
ang Province (CE, December 2011, p. 11). The because the acid becomes very viscous at low 0.5- and 2.5-m thickness
other two plants, each of 200,000 m.t./yr, are temperatures, he says. Another problem, he (depending on the amount of
being built by undisclosed companies in Shan- adds, is that the impellers create an emulsion nanofibers used).
dong and Guangxi provinces, says Jo Portela, of with small acid droplets, so the alkylate has
CB&I. All are scheduled to start up this year. to be given a caustic wash before going to the Detecting asbestos
The main advantages of the low-temper- fractionation section of the plant. The first portable, realtime
ature CDAlky process over conventional Portela says while both the CDAlky and airborne asbestos detector has
H2SO4 alkylation are that it uses 50% less AlkyClean processes are environmentally been developed and tested by
acid and the octane rating of the alkylate is friendly, CDAlkyl is designed for companies researchers from the University
of Hertfordshires Center for At-
9798 RON, versus 9496 RON. Both ben- that want a higher-octane alkylate, while
mospheric and Instrumentation
efits are obtained by contacting the reaction the appeal of AlkyClean is that it completely
components in a packed column, rather than eliminated the need to deal with liquid acid. (Continues on p. 12)
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number
on p. 56, or use the website designation. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM JUNE 2013 11

This process delivers chilled air using

a fraction of the power required
he temperature and moisture level of the
T air being drawn into the front end of am-
monia, nitrogen, nitric acid or other plant
air compressors directly impacts the yield
from the process, and chilling is a way to
debottleneck air production in such plants.
Most methods traditionally used to increase
air production in the past involved process
modifications, such as adding a parallel
compressor or installing a larger compres-
sor or compressor driver. Another alterna-
tive is chilling air to the intake of the exist-
ing air compressor. Although this approach
has been implemented previously, the capi-
tal and operating costs have often limited heat exchanger (IEHex), while ambient air (Continued from p. 11)
the benefits. is drawn through the secondary air flowpath
To make this option more economical, a on the wet-side channels of the IEHex. The Research (
patented, two-stage hybrid process for sup- secondary airflow is used for both extracting The instrument is able to distin-
plying chilled air to chemical production pro- heat from the primary air and for condens- guish asbestos from other less
cesses has recently been commercialized by ing of the supplemental refrigeration unit. dangerous fibers (such as min-
eral wool, gypsum and glass)
Everest Sciences Corp. (Tulsa, Okla.; www. Because the IEHex extracts a significant
by exploiting unique magnetic By combining indirect evapo- amount of heat from the ambient air prior properties of asbestos, ex-
rative-heat extraction with a small amount to entering the second stage of the chilling plains team member professor
of supplemental refrigeration, this hybrid process, substantially less heat rejection Paul Kaye.
technology tradenamed ECOChillPro Spec is required by the supplementary chilling The detector uses laser light
can reduce the overall power to operate system compared to that of a conventional scattering to detect the fibers.
by as much as 3070%, compared to conven- chiller, which must do all the heat rejection, By analyzing the scattering
tional refrigeration techniques, says Marcus says Bastianen. The IEHex section requires pattern before and after a mag-
Bastianen, director of Sales and Marketing. virtually no power to operate and less duty netic field is applied, the device
In addition, the capital costs are substan- is placed on the second stage supplementary is able to selectively identify
asbestos fibers, which orient
tially reduced because the hybrid system chilling unit.
themselves along the direction
requires smaller chilling coils, condensing ECOChill was first commercialized in of the magnetic field.
coils, compressors, evaporators and other 2010 for applications in the oil-and-gas sec- Together with colleagues in
ancillary chilling components, he adds. tor. The following year, the technology was the U.K. and Spain, prototype
The ECOChillPro Spec system (diagram) further developed for applications in the units have been developed and
uses two individual flow paths process chemical process industries (CPI), with the are undergoing field testing
air and secondary air and two stages of first commercial unit applied at PCS Nitro- at various asbestos-removal-
heat rejection to achieve the desired chill- gen (Trinidad), which has been operating operation locations. The first
ing goals, explains Bastianen. Process air successfully since it started up in early 2012. commercial production units
is drawn through the dry-side channels of a Since then, several systems have been in- are estimated to be available in
1218 months. The method was
proprietary, indirect-evaporative, cross-flow stalled in the U.S. for N2 and HNO3 plants.
developed as part of the FP7
project, Alert, with funding from
the European Commission.
Acid recovery makes rutile production more economical
demonstration plant in Newcastle, New (as pellets or briquettes) and 18,000 ton/yr Renewable BDO
A South Wales, Australia, will produce hy-
drochloric acid and iron pellets from the
of acid (25 vol.% HCl). Austpac plans to start
commissioning the plant during the third
BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Ger-
many; plans
iron-chloride leach liquor generated by the quarter of 2013 and start production in the to begin production of 1,4-bu-
production of synthetic rutile, the common fourth quarter. tanediol based on renewable
mineral form of titanium dioxide. The plant EARS was developed to improve the eco- feedstock (renewable BDO)
will utilize a process called EARS (enhanced nomics of Austpacs enhanced roasting and using the patented process of
Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.;
acid-regeneration system) developed by magnetic separation (ERMS) process. EMRS The
Austpac Resources NL (Sydney, Australia; is a controlled roasting process that makes one-step fermentation process At full capacity the ilmenite component of the concentrate
the plant will produce 18,000 ton/yr of iron (Continues on p. 14) (Continues on p. 14)


Partner with
the Best
Continuous production of transparent
sheets of cellulose nanofibers . . .
ji Holdings Corp. (OJI; and
O Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; both Tokyo, Japan; have developed a continuous process
for producing transparent sheets made from ultra-thin,
wood-based cellulose nanofibers (CNF). Both OJIs paper-
making technology and MCCs chemical treatment technol-
ogy contributed to this achievement. Purpose-built equip-
ment has been installed at OJIs Shinonome Research
Center (a $100,000 investment), and shipping of test sam-
ples has begun. The two companies anticipate commercial
applications by 2016.
Thin (4-nm dia.) CNFs made from pulp have a low ther-
mal-expansion coefficient (similar to that of glass fiber), but
a higher elastic modulus than that of glass fiber. These prop-
erties could enable future applications in filtration, adsorp-
tion and catalyst supports, as well as materials for electronic,
construction, transportation and medical components.
The companies have developed the technology for the con-
tinuous production of transparent, foldable, lightweight sheets
from the CNFs. Ultrafine porous sheets have been made with
pore sizes of 8 to 46 nm (1/100th to 1/500th that of copy paper);
planar densities of 885 g/m2; and specific surface areas of 39
to 148 m2 (40150 times larger than copy paper).

. . . a pilot plant for making CNFs . . .

eanwhile, Seiko PMC Corp. (Tokyo;
M has installed a pilot plant for the production of CNFs at
its Ryugasaki Factory, and will begin shipping samples next
spring with the aim of commercial activities in 2015. In col-
laboration with professor Hiroyuki Yano, Kyoto University
the leader of an NEDO project Research and Develop-
ment of Nanodevices for Practical Utilization of Nanotech-
nology Seiko PMC has enhanced the compatibility of
CNFs with resins for making homogeneous dispersions. The
collaborators expect applications of the CNFs in automo-
tive and electronic devices that require high-strength and
With over 50 independent subsidiar-
Circle 17 on p. 56 or go to

lightweight materials with dimensional stability at high

temperatures. With support from the Japanese Ministry of ies and more than 220 engineering
Economy, Trade and Industry, a facility for mass production and sales offices spread across the
is being designed. Startup is planned for next spring. world, SAMSON ensures the safety
and environmental compatibility of
. . . and a production plant for CNFs your plants on any continent.
ippon Paper Industries Co. (Nippon Paper; Tokyo; www. To offer the full range of high-quality
N is constructing a verification
plant for the production of CNFs at the Chemical Div. of its
control equipment used in industrial
processes, SAMSON has brought
Iwakuni Mill. Scheduled to start up in October, the facil- together highly specialized compa-
ity will have a production capacity of 300 ton/yr or more. nies to form the SAMSON GROUP.
Working under the NEDO program mentioned above, the
company has developed a chemical pretreatment process
for disintegrating pulp. Last April, Nippon Paper also es-
tablished a CNF Business Promotion Office within its R&D
Div. to develop the CNF business using pulp as materials. SAMSON AG MESS- UND REGELTECHNIK
The new organization aims to commercialize the CNF busi- Weismllerstrae 3
ness at an early stage by establishing CNF mass-produc- 60314 Frankfurt am Main Germany
tion technology and promoting application development. Phone: +49 69 4009-0 Fax: +49 69 4009-1507
Ground Solid-liquid Insoluble residues
concentate separation (rare-earth elements,
Fe, Ti, Zr, U)

A safer, cleaner way to obtain Caustic fusion

Acid leaching
tantalum and niobium Pregnant
leach solution
antalum and niobium, which
T are often found in complex
ores, are essentially chemically
leaching Solid-liquid
Solid wastes
TiO2, ZrO2

inert metals whose recovery

involves some harsh measures: 97% Manganese Rare-earth Rare-earth
typically dissolution of the met- MnO2 or KMnO4 recovery elements oxides
als concentrate in a mixture of
concentrated hydrofluoric and
sulfuric acids, followed by sol- Manganese (Continued from p. 12)
vent extraction with methyl- free pregnant Spent liquor
leach solution is based on sugars as a renew-
iso-butyl-ketone dissolved in
able feedstock. The license
kerosene. A process that is said agreement allows BaSF to build
to be safer and greener has a world-scale production facility
98% Tantalum
been developed and patented and niobium Uranium that will use the genomatica
Ta2O2 + Nb2O5
by Electrochem Technologies & recovery removal process to manufacture BDo
Materials Inc. (Montreal, Can- based on renewable feedstock.
ada; genomatica will continue to
Electrochems process (flowsheet) recov- advance its patented, BDo-
ers tantalum and niobium, plus manganese, production-process technology
Tin recovery Iron based on sugars while BaSF
rare-earth metals, tin and iron ubiquitous
will produce renewable BDo,
elements found in Ta and Nb ores. Ground
which will be available in the
concentrate is digested in a molten potas- the pH is adjusted to 67 (by adding H2SO4 second half of 2013 for sampling
sium hydroxide, between 400 and 800C. or HCl) for selective precipitation of sodium and trials.
The melt resides for less than 1 h in a batch niobate and tantalate. The metals are sub-
furnace or a rotary kiln to dissolve essen- sequently acid-leached to produce tantalum Lignin recovery
tially all the tantalum and niobium, along and niobium oxides. Finally, tin may be pre-
Domtar (montreal, Qubec,
with manganese and tin. The melt is then cipitated as tin oxide.
Canada; has
solidified and leached by an aqueous solu- Francois Cardarelli, president of Electro- successfully started up a com-
tion of KOH to extract Ta, Nb, Mn and Sn chem, says the process has been tested at a mercial-scale lignoBoost lignin
from the now-solidified melt. Undissolved prototype scale and has recovered 9899% separation plant at its Plymouth,
solids, including Fe, Ti, Zr, thorium, uranium of an ores content of Ta and Nb. Prelimi- north Carolina mill. This is the
and rare-earth metals, are filtered out and nary cost and benefits analyses indicate irst commercial installation of
the metals may be recovered by acid leach- that tantalum oxide could be produced for a lignoBoost plant in the world.
ing and precipitation. one-third the operating cost of conventional Domtars production of Bio-
Mn is obtained from the leach solution ei- processing, he says. Cardarelli says the ini- Choice lignin began in February
ther as manganese dioxide or potassium per- tial focus is on tantalum because the daily with a targeted rate of 75 ton/d.
integrated with the pulp mill, the
manganate via a continuous electrochemical tonnage is much smaller (hence scaleup is
lignoBoost plant separates and
process. Next, a saturated aqueous solution easier) and its value is two or three times collects lignin from the pulping
of sodium sulfate or chloride is added, then that of niobium. liquor. lignin is a high-quality
bio-based alternative to fossil-
fuel based materials, such as
ACID RECOVERY (Continued from p. 12) bed reactor. The solid-oxide discharge is in fuels, resins and thermoplastics.
the form of small pellets as opposed to the Separation of a portion of the
magnetically susceptible, and thus readily fine powder of spray systems an advan- mills total lignin production also
separated from gangue minerals. Although tage in subsequent handling. off-loads the recovery boiler,
the roasting process renders the titania frac- Austpac says its process can make syn- and allows an increase in pulp
production capacity.
tion insoluble in sulfuric acid, the magnetic thetic rutile of 97 wt.% TiO2 from most ilme-
The process technology
ilmenite produced in this manner is not a nites. The Fe component of roasted ilmenite was supplied by metso Corp.
suitable feedstock for the sulfate process. is highly reactive and very readily leached (helsinki, Finland; www.metso.
However, this property can be useful if HCl in hot HCl. Any oxides of Ca, Mg, Mn or com). it was originally devel-
leaching is employed to selectively remove Al that occur as impurities within the il- oped by innventia (Stockholm),
the iron and other soluble constituents to menite are similarly dissolved. Most of the in association with Chalmers
make synthetic rutile. But the process is TiO2 precipitates back into the grains of university of Technology (both
only economical if the HCl is regenerated. synthetic rutile by hydrolysis as hydrated Sweden), and subsequently
With EARS, the regeneration of HCl is oxychlorides, and is later converted to TiO2 acquired and further devel-
performed by pyrohydrolysis in a fluidized- by calcination. oped by metso.

14 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2013

Butanes Air Steam

A new butadiene process C4 feed

PreSep ODH Heat
Water and acid
wash tower
is set for commercialization
C hinas largest private chemical EPC
(engineering, procurement, construc-
tion) contractor, Wison Engineering Ltd.
oil absorber
and deabsorber
Tail gas

(Wison; Shanghai; has
recently introduced details about its Solvent recovery Fuel
proprietary butadiene technology, which and waste water
is set for commercialization. The process treatment
Waste water
aims to meet the anticipated growth in
annual butadiene consumption, which
will far exceed global expansion in tor. After recovering the heat, the reac- in the conversion of butane to butene, to
capacity, says Wisons technical direc- tion gas is further cooled and scrubbed reach a conversion of 7779% in a single-
tor and chief technologist, Yansheng Li. to remove acids and other impurities, pass; and a 23% increase in the selec-
China, in particular, is seeing butadiene then compressed. Crude 1,3-butadiene tivity for 13BD, to reach a final selectiv-
demand rising significantly due to the (13BD) is recovered by an absorber/de- ity of 9294%, says Li. He also adds that
increasing number of synthetic rubber absorber unit, and then purified in a the improved heat integration leads to
projects, he says. 13BD-extraction unit. a 15% reduction in utility consumption
In Wisons butane process (flowsheet), The ODH reaction features a new, compared to existing technology.
butanes and lighter components are patent-pending catalyst developed by The company has finished preliminary
first separated in the C4 pre-separation Wison, which is based on the traditional work for several projects in China, and
unit. Butenes are then mixed with air B-02 (iron-based) catalyst technology. is now in the final stages of completing a
and steam and dehydrogenated in the Compared to the traditional catalyst, the process-design package for a 75,000-ton/
oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) reac- new catalyst achieves: a 34% increase yr butadiene plant, says Li.

Predictive solid-liquid, vapor-

solid, and vapor-liquid-solid
equilibrium calculations.

Good thinking.
Feedback from our users is what inspires us to keep making
CHEMCAD better. As a direct response to user need, many
features like this one were added to our integrated suite of
chemical process simulation software. Thats why we consider
every CHEMCAD user part of our development team.
Get the whole story behind this user-inspired feature
and learn more about how CHEMCAD advances
engineering at

Engineering advanced 2013 Chemstations, Inc. All rights reserved. | CMS-2526 6/13

Circle 6 on p. 56 or go to


AIR POLLUTANTS FIGURE 1. Because liquid dis-
charge from wet fluegas desulfu-
While its not always easy to determine whats rization (WFGD) is of increasing
concern for many plants, Advatech
offers a wastewater spray dryer as
required for compliance, new technologies can help an economical means of achieving
zero liquid discharge from wet FGD
achieve air-pollution control processes at coal-fired power plants

electing air-pollution control Washington, D.C.; Mer- dates and locations for meeting with
equipment can be tricky. Its not cury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) states to discuss regulations regard-
only difficult to determine which created updates of emission limits for ing air-pollution transport. What
pollutants must be controlled, mercury, particulate matter, SO2, acid makes compliance with this difficult
but also which type of equipment will gases and certain individual metals is that the ruling is technically in
best control them to required levels for new power plants. Additionally, limbo, says Hilton. And this makes
for any given process or facility be- certain monitoring and testing re- it harder to figure out how to control
cause there is no one-size-fits-all so- quirements that apply to new sources these pollutants, as well as the pollut-
lution. Technologies that successfully were adjusted. Two things to know ants regulated by MATS. A lot of what
control pollutants in one facility may about MATS are that the particulates generators need to do to be in compli-
not work as well in another. Permis- covered are not what many of us con- ance with MATS will cover SO2, which
sible levels in one region sometimes sider particulates, says Robert Hil- will also be covered by the Interstate
differ from those in another. A similar ton, vice president, power technologies Air Pollution Transport rule.
process may result in different types for government affairs with Alstom CAA and National Ambient Air
or levels of pollutants from one plant (Knoxville, Tenn.; Quality Standards. Under the CAA,
to the next. They are actually aerosols that are EPA is required to set National Ambi-
Fortunately, it is possible to solve classified by EPA as particulate. The ent Air Quality Standards for six com-
this puzzle. Experts suggest determin- other important thing to know is that mon air pollutants and then review
ing which regulations apply to your the revised standards affect only new those standards every five to six years
facilitys pollutants and region; learn- coal- and oil-fired power plants that to determine if the technology to fur-
ing about your particular process and will be built in the future. The update ther lower the permissible limits ex-
the resulting types of pollutants; and, does not change the final emission ists and, if so, whether it is actually
finally, looking, in detail, at the avail- limits or other requirements for exist- feasible to achieve these lower levels.
able technologies to figure out which ing power plants. This is expected to happen this year
one or which combination will provide Interstate Air Pollution Trans- and it is presumed that EPA will at-
the best solution for your worst-case port. As part of the Clean Air Act tempt to lower acceptable NOx levels,
pollution scenario. (CAA), this good neighbor provision says Hilton. If this happens, it likely
requires the EPA, states and proces- will be further out, in a sequenced im-
Regulations to watch sors to address interstate transport plementation plan, with a NOx com-
Regulations concerning mercury, ox- of air pollution that affects downwind pliance deadline in the timeframe of
ides of nitrogen (NOx) and sulfur states ability to attain and maintain 2017 to 2019. Until then, processors
(SOx), acid gases and particulate mat- National Ambient Air Quality Stan- in the 23 eastern states must comply
ter emissions are of the biggest con- dards. Emissions of SO2 and NOx can with NOx levels currently set by the
cern to power plants and some chemi- react in the atmosphere to form fine- Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), and
cal and industrial processors. There particle (PM2.5) pollution. Similarly, the remaining western states must
are several new or anticipated regula- NOx emissions can react in the atmo- comply with NOx levels currently set
tions concerning these pollutants that sphere to create ground-level ozone by the CAA and regional haze rules.
affected processors need to keep an pollution. The transport of these pol- So how do processors know which
eye on: lutants across state borders makes it regulations impact their facility? You
MATS. Revised twice and finalized difficult for downwind states to meet have to look at all the rules, look at
on March 28, 2013, the U.S. Environ- health-based air quality standards for your plant, look at the fuel you burn
mental Protection Agencys (EPA; PM2.5 and ozone. Recently EPA set and where you are located, because

Source: Bionomics

Process Combustion
low Combined high
temperature gases temperature
(HCl, NH3)

Acid gas scrubbing Lime injection

(recovery, Claus) Absorb NH3 in acid
Low High FGD
Humidification FGD
temperature temperature and condensation Soluble alkali
<130F +2,130F
Dry scrubbing Lime
Adsorption (spray dryer,
(pebble limestone, baghouse) Limestone
Absorption + Combustion and so on)
reducing agent modification Dual alkali
Lime injection
Absorption Catalytic systems
with caustic reduction Emerging Acid gas recovery
technology (Claus)
Gas phase Ammonia/urea technology
technology enhanced catalytic Possible SO3
formation and contr

Peroxide scrubbing Cooling + gas WESP

(HNO3) phase oxidation
Fiber bed
Ozone +absorption UV enhanced
with reducing agent oxidation + reduction Contaminant Dry scrubbing
Emerging Emerging
technology technology Mercury Emerging
(Hg) technology

FIGURE 2. Decision trees for control-

ling a particular air pollutant can help
identify the best possible solution for a
given plant Salt
(Cl, and Oxide Hg
so on)
some regulations are federal and
some are state, says Hilton. You Wet scrubber Activated-carbon Coalesing
have to work with both state and fed- acidic precoated filter filter (fiberbed)
eral agencies to find out which regula-
tions your facility is subjected to and Activated-carbon Acid pre-scrub + WESP
precoated filter venturi scrubber
which of those are the most applicable
and important for your plant and lo- Condensing Combination
cation to obtain the permits it needs + filter scrubbing
to operate. In most cases you have to
meet the stricter of the guidelines to Condensing + Scrubber +
venturi scrubber WESP
be in compliance.
Emerging Emerging Emerging
One size does not fit all technology technology technology
What makes compliance even more
challenging is that what might work
at one plant, wont necessarily work in important to know the total mercury and acid gases, many facilities are
another, says Scott Miller, director of emissions, but also what percentage is looking at dry sorbent injection up-
engineering technology with Advatech in oxidized form, elemental form and stream of a particulate control device.
LLC (Austin, Tex.; www.advatechllc. particulate form. Its also valuable to It might be possible to achieve regu-
com), a joint venture of URS (San know what the speciation is all the latory compliance for capture through
Francisco, Calif.) & MHIA Co. (New way through the back end of the plant, those technologies, but, as a result,
York, N.Y.). Whoever is proposing air- such as at the outlet of the economizer the amount of reagent they have to
pollution-control technologies needs and downstream of the SCR [selective use could detrimentally impact par-
to be familiar with the plant to maxi- catalytic reduction]. ticulate matter emissions, he explains.
mize total pollution control, from fuel Understanding the balance of the Along these lines, disposal must also
to stack. plant and the impact of each technol- be considered, Miller urges. For in-
Miller suggests first knowing the ogy being evaluated is also helpful, stance, wastewater discharge require-
current emissions. For example, suggests Miller. For example, to com- ments are expected to be tightened in
when looking at mercury, not only is it ply with some regulations for mercury the near future, which may force emit-


T he best way to look at the available air-pollution-control tech-

nologies is to start with the pollutant.
SO2, SO3 and acid gases
These pollutants have the largest fleet of control technologies avail-
able. What is used typically depends on the level of removal re-
Particulate matter quired, but typical equipment includes wet or dry fluegas desulfu-
For particulates, the commonly used technology is dry electrostatic rization (FGD) or, possibly, duct-injection processes.
precipitators. Alternatives to this technology include either low- or Because liquid discharge from wet FGD (WFGD) is of increasing
high-ratio fabric filters, which will capture finer particulate matter concern for many plants, Advatech offers a Wastewater Spray
than electrostatic precipitators, but tend to have higher operating Dryer (WSD; Figure 1) as an economical means of achieving zero
and capital costs. liquid discharge (ZLD) from WFGD processes at coal-fired power
plants. The WSD makes use of waste heat in the fluegas to com-
NOx pletely evaporate the purge stream from the WFGD process. The
Most facilities start with low-NOx burners, which are designed to WSD consists of a spray dryer installed in a small slipstream that
combust coal while starving it of oxygen so that less nitrogen is bypasses the air heater. The differential pressure across the air
converted into NOx. Typically, burners alone are not enough, so heater provides the motive force for the fluegas, so in most cases,
many facilities add selective catalytic reduction or selective non- a fan is not needed. The liquid purge from the WFGD process
catalytic reduction technology. (in the form of filtrate) is added to the spray dryer through either
There have been advances in NOx technology as well. The Bi- dual-fluid nozzles or a rotary atomizer. The chlorides and other
oNOxSolver NOx-scrubbing solution (Figure 4) from Bionomic dissolved substances present in the purge stream form solid par-
Industries simplifies wet-scrubbing system operation and reduces ticulate in the WSD, which are then removed from the fluegas,
scrubber system complexity and cost. Low-toxicity BioNOxSolver along with the fly ash, in the existing particulate-control device.
does not liberate flammable hydrogen sulfide gas at pH use con- By retaining the ability to purge chlorides from the WFGD, the
ditions as is typical in NOx sulfide/caustic control chemistries, yet process can be controlled to chloride levels for which materials
its formulation of nitrogen dioxide reducing agents can achieve of construction are more compatible, and process performance is
over 33% greater removal efficiency with an addition to caustic, maximized.
says the company.
Robert Richardson, president of Know-NOx (Reno, Nev.; www. Mercury, says his company is offering a unique NOx removal Mercury can often be controlled via pre-combustion or combustion
technology for industrial applications, such as: exhaust gas treat- additives, such as bromine injections, which change the mercury
ment in chemical milling; brightening and pickling of metals; chemi- into a form that is more easily captured in a wet scrubber. An
cal and manufacturing processes that use nitric acid; and cooled alternative to this technology is activated carbon, which captures,
stationary-source combustion process fluegas and tail gas from absorbs and holds the mercury until it is collected in a particulate
plants; and other sources of waste gas containing NOx. device (as opposed to a scrubber).
The process uses a single- or double-scrubbing stage (depend- However, circulating dry scrubbers are becoming a popular
ing on client requirements) with less than 1.5 s of residence time technology in this area because they are effective at collecting
(treatment time within the scrubber) to treat more than 99% of the mercury, as well as acid gases and aerosols or very fine par-
NOx (both NO and NO2) in an ambient-temperature gas stream. ticulates, says Hilton. These dry scubbers are often considered
Because of the very fast reaction time, the process removal ef- multi-pollutant devices.
ficiency is tunable to appropriately meet users compliance re- Alstoms solution in this area is the NID system, comprised of a
quirements and also provide an optimized cost of operation. This hydrator/mixer, J-duct reactor and, typically, a fabric filter. The
process, which uses chlorine dioxide gas in a new way, is less ex- NID can be used with electrostatic precipitators, as well. In the J-
pensive to install and operate than currently available industrial duct reactor vessel, SOx, acid gases and mercury react with quick
technologies for NOx treatment, according to Richardson. The or hydrated lime under humid conditions. Once bound to the par-
single- or two-stage process has the ability to produce higher ticulate matter, the gaseous pollutants are removed from the flu-
removal efficiency than can be obtained from conventional two-, egas in a downstream particulate collection device. The collected
three- and six-stage scrubbing systems, using a smaller equip- particulates are recycled to the mixer where fresh lime and water
ment footprint, he says. The reason we can reach greater than are added to the process. The inclusion of the integrated hydra-
99% for both NO and NO2 is because we can cost effectively tor/mixer eliminates the need for slurry handling, simplifying the
increase residence time. The technology removes more NOx in operations, maintenance and power requirements of the process.
1.5 s than conventional wet scrubbing technology can do in 5 to The high rates of sorbent recycling also contribute to the low cost
120 s of residence time. and high efficiency of the NID process.

ters to use zero-liquid discharge tech- cal director with Bionomic Industries be emitted at high temperature (favor-
nologies or install expensive wastewa- Inc. (Mahwah, N.J.; www.bionomicind. ing insoluble NO) or low temperature
ter-treatment processes. com). Instead, he suggests using a de- (favoring soluble NO2, N2O4 and so
Based on all these considerations cision tree to determine the best pos- on), or the gas mixture could contain
and different processes at each facility, sible solution. (Figure 2). a variety of NOx species. We usually
it is just not possible to buy an item The decision tree should start start with a request for an NO-to-NO2
off the shelf and have the problem with the contaminant, he says. In ratio test report. Based on this infor-
go away, says Ken Schifftner techni- the case of NOx, the contaminant may mation, there are a variety of possible
Bionomic Industries

FIGURE 4. The BioNOxSolver NOx scrub- For mercury, it can get compli-
bing solution from Bionomic Industries sim- cated, warns Schifftner. We start by
plifies wet-scrubbing system operation and
reduces scrubber system complexity and cost
determining the state of the mercury
as it leaves the source. If the mer-
cury is elemental and at high concen-
emission source, he says. In the case tration, the mercury could possibly
of a process-emission source, perhaps be condensed and recovered. Perhaps
wet scrubbing with caustic can be used. it could be adsorbed onto carbon or a
If the SO2 must be recovered, humidi- zeolite. If the mercury leaves the pro-
fication (or scrubbing with sulfuric cess as a salt (usually a chloride), it
acid) can be applied. If the SO2 con- is often possible to use wet scrubbing,
centration is low, sometimes humidi- since the salt is soluble. At times, gas
fying then passing the gases through cooling followed by scrubbing is used.
a bed of pebble lime or limestone can If the mercury is emitted as an oxide,
be used. Sometimes lime or limestone to use wet scrubbing, usually con-
is injected into the ductwork (or even version to a soluble salt is required.
into the boiler) to control SO2. If am- This is done by using an acidic first
technologies to apply. (The logic tree monia is also present, the ammonia stage. That stage may be followed
lists just a few.) is removed first. If the source is from by a venturi scrubber and possibly
A similar process should occur combustion, various proven FGD tech- a WESP. If the mercury comes from
for SO2, says Schifftner. The emis- nologies are available. If SO3 (aerosol a combustion source, the mercury is
sion could come from a process or be forms), the problem shifts from gas usually in the form of an oxide and an
combined with other gases or from absorption to aerosol capture, thus a activated-carbon precoated baghouse
combustions. We usually start with fiberbed or wet electrostatic precipita- might be appropriate. If the mercury
a questionnaire that helps define the tor (WESP) is often used. arrives along with SO2 or HCl, the

Circle 2 on p. 56 or go to


hile it may seem like a lot of disparate technologies are a circulating fluidized-bed dry scrubbing system. The overall

W available, most can and do work together to reduce mul-

tiple pollutants and keep facilities in total compliance. Con-
sol Energy Inc. Research & Development (Pittsburgh, Pa.; www.
goal of the 2.5-yr project, which was conducted as part of the
U.S. Department of Energys Power Plant Improvement Initia-
tive, was to demonstrate that this multi-pollutant control system leads teams that work in conjunction with could cost-effectively reduce emissions of NOx, SO2, mercury,
power plants and power companies to install and test pollution acid gases and particulate matter from coal-fired electric gen-
control systems to determine whether it is possible and feasible to erating units.
be in compliance using a variety of technologies. Performance testing data collected during the project showed av-
One example includes the Greenidge Multi-Pollutant Control Proj- erage removal efficiencies of 96% for SO2, 95% for SO3, 97% for
ect. Consol worked with AES Greenidge LLC (Dresden, N.Y.; www. HCl and 98% for mercury. NOx emissions were reduced by more and Babcock Power Environmental (Worcester, Mass.; than 50% and particulate-matter emissions were reduced by more to install and test an integrated multi- than 98% relative to the emission rates achieved prior to installa-
pollutant control system on one of the nations smaller existing coal- tion of the technology.
fired power plants the 107-MWe AES Greenidge Unit 4. Other examples of control technologies at work can be seen on
The multi-pollutant control system included a hybrid selective Consol Energy Inc. Research & Developments website at www.
non-catalytic reduction/selective-catalytic reduction system and

baghouse precoat may include lime or sorber to meet codes. Now, it may need because they wanted to, says Hilton.
limestone. a WESP on the end to control that very Its a get-out-of-jail-free card and
The codes basically dictate not only small amount of residual particles. If a difficult one to obtain at that. But
the technology, but also how many mercury is present, the quencher may at the end of the day, it is possible to
stages are used, says Bionomics Schifft- be run highly acidic (to convert the Hg meet the regulatory requirements for
ner. For example, years ago, a hazard- to chloride), then the venturi, the ab- air-pollution control if you employ the
ous-waste incinerator may have used sorber and the WESP are used. right equipment.
a quencher, venturi scrubber and ab- No one ever bought these products Joy LePree

Dust and gas explosions are deadly and commercially

devastating. Many facilities are at risk, but just dont know it.
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Circle 7 on p. 56 or go to

MAKES ITS MARK Hielscher Ultrasonics

Once considered a novelty

for niche applications,
sonochemistry has blossomed FIGURE 1. The UIP1000 processor
from Hielscher Ultrasonics has a
power of 1,000 W and
into many CPI sectors operates at 20 kHz

ndustrial uses of high-intensity ul- Biodiesel production Weve had good experiences with
trasound have grown tremendously Making biodiesel fuel from vegetable ultrasound for continuous-flow biod-
over the past 25 years, says Kenneth oils such as soy, canola, Jatropha or iesel production, says Weis. The best
Suslick, professor of chemistry at sunflower seed or animal fats, in- advantages are that it is a faster reac-
the University of Illinois at Urbana- volves the base-catalyzed transesteri- tion, less energy is used, it requires a
Champaign and one of the pioneers in fication of fatty acids with methanol smaller process area, and requires less
the field. Ultrasonic welding of plas- or ethanol to obtain either methyl or material with a flammable mixture of
tics is universal, ultrasonic cleaning of ethyl esters. Glycerin is a byproduct of methanol, he says.
equipment has replaced most solvent those reactions. The heavier glycerin The setup process was purely trial
and vapor degreasing, and it is even will sink to the bottom and the biodie- and error [with batch reactors]. With
routine for homes to have ultrasonic sel fuel floats on top and can be sepa- a continuous flow system it is fast and
humidifiers, either built-in or portable. rated by decanters or centrifuges. easy to make adjustments.
The use of ultrasound for chemical pro- The traditional esterification reac- The throughput for most of the com-
cessing, too, has found a permanent tion in batch processing tends to be panys systems is 450 to 600 L/h. The
niche in industrial applications, includ- slow, and separation of the glycerin frequency and flowrate vary, depend-
ing sonocrystallization of pharmaceuti- can take several hours. The batch ing on the feedstock.
cals, enhancement of high-value-added process mixes various chemicals to- Genuine Bio-Fuel Inc. (Indiantown,
chemical reactions, well-water purifica- gether mechanically. Fla; has had
tion, and preparation of ultrafine emul- When ultrasound is used, however, a similar experience. Batch reactors
sions for cosmetics. Many other large- the ensuing cavitation provides the are too cumbersome and limiting,
scale applications are developing as kinetic energy needed for faster and says the companys executive vice-
well in the food industry, says Suslick. more complete esterification. Cavita- president Jeff Longo. The batch pro-
Thirty years ago, sonochemistry tional shear also reduces the size of cess is time-consuming, taking any-
was a black art, unknown to nearly methanol or ethanol droplets, result- where from a couple of hours to days
all chemists, and understood by no ing in improved methanol and cata- to complete. Plus, it is not conducive
one. Today we understand in detail lyst utilization. Thus, less methanol to using a variety of alternative feed-
the nature of acoustic cavitation and and catalyst are required. stocks of variable quality, he says.
most of the mechanisms responsible As opposed to batch operations, ul- Using ultrasonics allows the company
for sonochemical reactions, Suslick trasonic biodiesel processing allows to produce greater quantities of finer-
continues. Our understanding of the for continuous inline processing and quality biodiesel fuel, while reducing
extraordinary conditions produced ultrasonic reactors reduce the process- costs and enabling the company to use
during cavitation, created by the im- ing time from the conventional 14 h a wide variety of feedstocks.
plosive collapse of microscopic gas to less than 30 s. Ultrasonication also Genuine Bio-Fuel spent 18 months
bubbles in liquids, is thorough. We can reduces the separation time from the procuring proprietary data, which gives
measure and control the temperatures 510 h required for conventional agi- the proper flowrates, catalyst percent-
and pressures of cavitation that drive tation, to less than 60 min, says Scott age, and injection rates along with the
sonochemical reactions. Weis, owner of Wisconsin Fluid Sys- proper frequencies to be applied.
In fact, biodiesel production, water tems LLC (Union Grove, Wisconsin Genuine Bio-Fuel has used the
and wastewater purification, and UIP1000hd 1 kW, 20 kHz industrial
sonocrystallization of pharmaceuti- Ultrasound also allows a reduction in ultrasonic processor (Figure 1) from
cals, are among the most successful the use of heat and pressure, two of the Hielscher Ultrasonics GmbH (Teltow,
applications of sonochemistry. largest energy costs of batch plants. Germany;, de-
The following companies offer equipment and services related to the use of ultrasound:
1. Ultrawaves GmbH (Hamburg, Ger- 7. Industrial Sonomechanics, LLC
many;; reactors (New York, N.Y.; www.sonomechan-
systems and consulting for treatment of; nanocrystallization of
signed for continuous processing at water, wastewater and biomass pharmaceuticals
high flowrates. 2. Hielscher Ultrasonics GmbH (Teltow, 8. Stoelting Ultrasonics (Kiel, Wiscon-
Germany;; ultra- sin;;
Wastewater treatment sonic reactors for applications such as custom cleaning
While ultrasound in biodiesel fuel pro- biodiesel production, and wastewater 9. Telsonic AG (Bronschhofen, Switzer-
cessing works mainly by providing the and biomass treatment. land;; generators,
shearing forces that greatly speed up 3. Meinhardt Ultraschalltechnik (Leipzig, tube resonators, transducers, cleaning
the chemical reactions, additional ef- Germany; www.meinhardt-ultraschall. 10. Ultrasonics Australasia Pty Ltd.
fects are involved in ultrasonic waste- de); ultrasonic transducer/generator (Sydney, Australia; www.ultrason-
water treatment. Here the aim is to systems; ultrasonic
reduce the amounts of pollutants, 4. Ultrawave Ltd. (Cardiff, U.K. www. cleaning
including nutrients and potentially; precision ultrasonic 11. Unisonics Australia Pty Ltd. (Sydney,
pathogenic micro-organisms. Low fre- cleaning equipment Australia;;
quency, high-intensity ultrasound can 5. Branson Ultrasonics (Danbury, Conn.; ultrasonic cleaning
break up various pollutants, and even; precision 12. U&Star Ultrasonic Technology
break up bacteria. The ultrasound de- cleaners (Hangzhou, China; www.
stroys bacterial cells, causing them 6. Honda Electronics Co. (Tokyo, Japan;; ultrasonic ac-
to spill out their contents and endo-; ultrasonic reactors cessories and reactors, consulting
enzymes, which are then consumed by
other bacteria that become more effec- capacity of 75,000 PE (persons Industrial Sonomechanics

tive at degrading the organic pollut- equivalent). The system has a

ants. The pollutants, having been bro- power of 5 kW. About 30% of total
ken down by the ultrasound, become thickened, waste-activated sludge
easier to degrade. flow is treated with ultrasound.
The ultrasonic treatment allows the Compared with the start-up
disintegrated sludge to be used as an phase of the ultrasound applica-
internal electron donor to fuel the den- tion, the volatile solids degrada-
itrification stage. A sufficient carbon tion was increased from 57% to
concentration is needed to remove nu- 66%. From May 2011 to March
trients from wastewater through the 2012, the specific biogas yield has
biological nutrient-removal process. also been improved by 32%.
Several wastewater treatment A more recent wastewater-
plants have installed ultrasonic treat- treatment plant is in the town of
ment. One of the latest is the waste- Maroochydore, in the Sunshine FIGURE 2. The BSP-1200 ultrasonic proces-
water treatment plant at Schleswig, Coast of Queensland, Australia. sor from Industrial Sonomechanics is de-
signed for batch and low-through processes
Germany, which had an ultrasound There, the ultrasonic units were and pilot-scale production. The processor
system installed in March 2011 by installed by Royce Water Tech- outputs up to 1,200 W of acoustic power and
Ultrawaves GmbH (www.ultrawaves. nologies Pty Ltd. (Albion, Queen- operates at 20kHz
de). The company has its roots in the sland;,
R&D work pursued in Germany at the the Australian representative of Ul- throughs was achieved by a team
Northern Institute of Technology, situ- trawaves. from Dairy Innovation Australia Ltd.
ated on the campus of the Hamburg- The plant has A and B bioreac- (Werribee, Victoria; www.dairyin-
Harburg University of Technology. It tors. The methanol dosing to A plant, and the School of
was founded by professor Uwe Neis was turned off in February while plant Chemistry, University of Melbourne
and Klaus Nickel. B continued dosing. The sonicated, (, led by profes-
The companys reactor for sludge thickened sludge has been successful sor Muthupandian Ashokkumar. The
disintegration is a compact machine in maintaining low nitrate levels in team has used a continuous sonica-
with a volume of 28 L. The standard plant A effluent without the addition tion process at 20 kHz that is capable
model is normally fitted with five os- of methanol as a carbon source. of delivering up to 4 kW of power with
cillating units that can be supplied The trial will continue for another a flow-through reactor design to treat
with up to 2 kW each. This reactor is two months to assess what effects dairy ingredients at flowrates from
capable of treating a sludge flow of up sonication has on sludge drying and 200 to 6,000 mL/min. Dairy ingredi-
to 30 m3/d. disposal volume. ents that have been treated include
The company says the reactor de- reconstituted whey protein concen-
creases digestion time by up to 60%, Food processing trate, whey protein and milk protein
reduces the digested sludge mass by Another effect of acoustic cavitation retentates and calcium caseinate.
up to 30% and produces up to 50% that has been successfully exploited Sonication of solutions with a con-
more biogas. is particle size reduction in food pro- tact time between 1 and 2.4 min led
The plant at Schleswig has a design cessing. One of the most recent break- to a significant reduction in the vis-
Professor Kenneth Suslick

FIGURE 3. This scanning electron mi- he 1st meeting of the Asia-Ocea-
crograph shows the effect of ultrasonic
irradiation on the surface morphology
and particle size of nickel powder. Upper
image is before ultrasound and lower
T nia Sonochemical Society will take
place at the University of Melbourne
on July 1012. The meeting will be be
is after irradition of a slurry in decane. chaired by Ashokkumar, with partici-
High-velocity interparticle collisions pants from China and Japan, as well as
caused by ultrasound are responsible from Australia, the U.S. (Suslick), and
for the smoothing and removal of a pas- the U.K. (Mason).
sivating oxide coating

process by influencing the initiation microns, irrespective of the specified

of crystal nucleation, controlling the system power.
rate of crystal growth, ensuring small Barbell horns are able to amplify
and even-sized crystals are formed, ultrasonic amplitudes while retaining
and preventing fouling of surfaces by large output tip diameters.
newly formed crystals.
A large number of currently avail- Other applications
able drugs exhibit poor water solubil- In addition to these successful ap-
ity, leading to reduced bioavailability plications of ultrasound, many more
and increased potential of side effects. are predicted to become important in
Particle-size reduction has been shown industry. Another pioneer in the field
to increase the bioavailability and re- of sonochemistry, Timothy Mason,
cosity of materials containing 18 to duce the required dose frequency, de- professor of chemistry and director of
54% (w/w) of solids. The viscosity of creasing drug side-effects. the Sonochemistry Applied Research
aqueous dairy ingredients was re- The process of nanocrystallization Center at Coventry University (U.K.;
duced by between 6 and 50% depend- requires the application of very high sums up what
ing on the composition, processing ultrasonic amplitudes to particle sus- he believes will be the main areas of
history, acoustic power and contact pensions, which produces extreme influence of sonochemistry in indus-
time, says Ashokkumar. shear forces. try, as follows:
The team also noticed an improve- Industrial Sonomechanics, LLC Benefits in synthesis. Use of less
ment in the gel strength of sonicated (New York, NY; www.sonomechanics. hazardous chemicals and environ-
and heat-coagulated dairy systems. com), offers bench and industrial- mentally friendly solvents; mini-
When sonication was combined with scale, high-power ultrasonic proces- mizing the energy consumption for
a heat treatment, the heat stability sors for the production of nanosized chemical transformations; using al-
of dairy ingredients containing whey drug crystals (Figure 2). The proces- ternative or renewable feedstocks
proteins was improved. The gelling sors are based on its Barbell Horn Ul- Benefits in electrochemistry.
properties and heat stability were trasonic Technology. Continuous cleaning and activation
maintained during spray drying and The company says the process of ul- of the electrode surfaces; degassing,
upon reconstitution. trasonic nanocrystallization requires which limits gas bubble accumula-
Ashokkumar says: The financial vi- extremely high ultrasonic amplitudes tion on the electrode surface; agita-
ability of the Australian dairy indus- to be applied to particle suspensions in tion (via cavitation), which disturbs
try relies heavily on the manufacture order to produce extreme shear forces. and reduces the thickness of the dif-
and export of milk powders and dairy Conventional high-power ultrasonic fusion layer; agitation, which also
protein concentrates. The acoustically technology forces all processes to run stops the depletion of electroactive
generated chemical and physical ef- either at a small scale and high ampli- species in the immediate vicinity of
fects were used to modify the func- tude or a large scale and low amplitude, the electrode
tional properties of dairy proteins. according to Industrial Sonomechan- Benefits in materials science.
Transformation of the sulfur-contain- ics, which limits the commercial imple- Improvement in the preparation,
ing proteins by this means may over- mentation of high-power ultrasound to modification and coating of nano-
come many of the difficulties currently processes for which low amplitudes particles; surface modification of
encountered in thermal processing of are sufficient, such as cleaning, simple materials (Figure 3); improvements
whole milk and whey proteins. Further, deagglomeration, mixing and macro- to crystallization processes
the resulting dairy products can be emulsification. The company says it Environmental protection. Cavi-
marketed as specialty hydrogel-based has overcome this limitation by devel- tation weakens bacterial cell mem-
dietary products, microcapsules, and oping the Barbell technology. branes, rendering them more sus-
medical ultrasound contrast agents. For example, the company said, ul- ceptible to biocides; the production of
trasonic amplitudes of the order of 100 radical species such as hydroxyl rad-
Sonocrystallization microns can only be reached by con- icals provides the essential elements
Apart from food processing, ultrason- ventional horns when their output tip for both the chemical and biological
ics has become a major tool in particle- diameters do not exceed about 20 mm decontamination of water; enhanced
size reduction down to the nano-scale (laboratory scale). Conventional horns advanced oxidation processes, for in-
(nanocrystallization) in the pharma- with output tip diameters of 40 mm stance ultraviolet radiation, ozone or
ceutical industry. High-powered ul- and above (industrial scale) operate at chemical oxidants
trasound can assist the crystallization the maximum amplitude of about 25 Paul Grad

Explosion Hoerbiger

This flowrate totalizer has
an explosion-proof enclosure
The PD6830 ProtEX-RTP Pulse Input
Rate/Totalizer (photo) has a rugged,
explosion-proof, NEMA 4X enclosure
and is designed for the quick and easy
display of local or remote flow infor-
mation in hazardous areas. The Safe-
Touch through-glass buttons allow
operation without removing the cover.
Flowmeter k-factor units are automat-
ically converted to the desired display
units. The meter has FM, ATEX, CSA,
IECEx and CE approvals. Precision
Digital Corp., Holliston, Mass.
A new generation of relief valves
for explosion-pressure venting
EVN 2.0 (photo) is this companys lat-
est generation of relief valves. It com-
bines a number of technical innova-
tions, offering maximum reliability
in flameless explosion-pressure
venting. The EVN 2.0 combines
the latest standard, according to
EN 16009, with the proven benefits
of vacuum-proof, nearly mainte-
nance-free construction. The EVN
2.0 is available in different mate-
rials, ranging from standard car- tests (photo) have now dem-
bon steel to a stainless-steel vari- onstrated that the MPR also
ant for the food industry. A variety copes with extreme explosion
of O-ring materials is also avail- conditions under which it can
able to match a wide range of ap- be safely operated. The filter is
plications. Hoerbiger Ventilwerke equipped with constructive mea-
GmbH & Co. KG, Vienna, Austria sures for explosion protection. There- fore, explosion overpressure of only 1
barg (maximum) can be measured in-
Accurate pressure transmitters Precision Digital
side the filter, in spite of missing explo-
for hazardous areas sion pressure relief. A special flame fil-
The A2, A2X and A4 pressure trans- Cartridge filters proven safe ter is mounted inside to prevent flame
mitters (photo) are heavy-duty sensors for hybrid mixtures spread on the clean gas side. Infas-
with accuracies up to 0.25% full scale. The pressure-shock-resistant cartridge taub GmbH, Bad Homburg, Germany
The A2 is available with a wide vari- filter MPR was designed for the filtra-
ety of electrical connections, analog tion of sticky and lung-current, harm-
output signals and pressure ports for ful or toxic dusts as well as suspended FB dryers with automated
most industrial applications. The A2X matter or powders with active phar- explosion-suppression systems
(explosion- and flame-proof) and A4 maceutical ingredients (APIs). An ad- Vibrating fluidized-bed (FB) dryers
(intrinsically safe) configurations are ditional risk potential is caused by hy- (photo, p. 25) and coolers from this
designed for hazardous environments. brid mixtures that might result from manufacturer are available with an
Ashcroft Inc., Stratford, Conn. solvent-containing substances in the optional, high-pressure design to ac- pharmaceutical industry. Explosion commodate the addition of third-party,
24 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM JUNE 2013 Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number
on p. 56, or use the website designation.

torque gun



PUSH the shifter handle forward, engage the 4,000 rpm
high speed impact at low noise and vibration for a quick,
corrosion-overcoming pre-torque or run-up.
PULL the shifter handle back, engage the continuous UCT YE

rotation precision (+5%) torque mode for make-up and
break-out, free of reaction arm, inger pinching and
destructible side load. PATENTS RECEIVED & PENDING

Circle 10 on p. 56 or go to

Witte Pepperl+Fuchs
cessing operations. The CV-S vent is
designed to support robust cycling and
applications where the operating pres-
sure approaches the burst pressure, or
where moderate vacuum pressure ex-
ists. The rectangular shape is available
in sizes ranging from 9 12 in. up to
44 69 in., as well as metric and cus-
tom sizes. Fike, Blue Springs, Mo.

Cabinets, enclosures and

process interfaces for Ex areas
This companys global network of
explosion-protection specialists and
engineers, as well as more than 60
automated explosion-suppression clay, aluminum and fertilizer). Witte years experience form the knowledge
systems. Offered upon request, the Co., Washington, N.J. database that makes it a leading com-
sealed design features reinforced 12- pany when dealing with explosion-
gage steel throughout plus 25% more hazardous areas. A recent example is
clamps than on standard designs to The CV-S explosion vent now the invention of DART (dynamic arc
handle the rapid pressure increase has a rectangular shape recognition and termination), which
that occurs when an explosion sup- This company has released the rect- detects a spark caused by opening or
pression system is triggered. Covers, angular version of its popular CV-S closing an electric circuit, and switches
pans and panels remain safely intact, explosion vent. Specifically designed off the circuit within a few microsec-
says the company. The FB coolers and to provide non-fragmenting opening onds. Thus even at higher power lev-
dryers are specified when drying food, when protecting industrial process els, sparks never become inductive.
chemical, pharmaceutical, mineral equipment, the CV-S explosion vent is Within the FieldConnex product line,
and other products that may generate said to provide superior protection in several DART fieldbus modules are
combustible, fine particles and air- applications such as air-material sepa- already available, but there are also
borne dust (such as sugar, corn starch, ration, drying, conveyance and pro- new developments with remote I/O




systems and intrinsic safety barriers nitrogen purging function, which

(photo, p. 25). Pepperl+Fuchs, Inc., reduces the oxygen content within
Twinsburg, Ohio the unloaded batch to below 7% (or lower when required), thereby main-
taining the materials inert safety
Load reactors safely with this while providing dust-free transport.
vacuum conveying system Used for the vacuum transfer of dry
The INEX vacuum-conveying reactor or wet powder and granules into po-
loader (photo) uses a patent-pending tentially hazardous conditions, the

INEX features a closed station that
Marrying Systems can be flushed from within by sucking
in the washing liquid through WIP/
to Processes CIP. Standard lightweight and pres-
sure rated systems are available with
INEX functionality. Volkmann, Inc.,
Hainesport, N.J.

Explosion protection for

spray dryers
The flat bursting panel Ex-Go-Vent-
Hyp has been developed for hygieni-
cally demanding applications found in
the food-processing and pharmaceuti-
cal industries. The smooth surface, in
connection with the patented, full-sur-
face and tapered sealing concept, en-
able the implementation of these spe-
cial bursting panels in critical plants,
such as spray dryers with (or without)
wet cleaning, fluidized-bed dryers,
filters and mixers. Rembe GmbH,
Brilon, Germany

Flange heaters for use in

To successfully marry your systems to your processes, you need an
Ex d areas
automation provider that not only knows the control system, but also has
a thorough understanding of the processes occurring in your facility.
This companys tubular flange heater
With a team that includes both process and process control engineers,
has received additional IEC Ex d
we can bring a deep expertise to your next project an expertise that
flameproof certification. Some available
results in improved operability, minimum implementation impact and
features include capabilities for Ex d IIC:
predictable project performance.
T1-6 Gb, operation up to 80F and en-
closed anti-condensation heaters. These
heaters are designed for heating liquids
and gases in tanks, pressure vessels, va-
porizers and similar equipment for ap-
plications from 40 to 4,000 kW. They are
People Oriented...Project Driven made with Watrod or Firebar tubular
elements that are brazed or welded to a
flange. Watlow, St. Louis, Mo.
Learn more at
Gerald Ondrey
Circle 21 on p. 56 or go to
Parker Hannifin



Many valve types are featured colored, easily identifiable FRG has
in this new product line a fluoropolymer-coated body that is
The IPT Series of products includes a corrosion-resistant. The unit features
range of valve types for medium- and integral bolt holes for ensuring correct
high-pressure valves, fittings and location and making installation easy, Flexitallic
fluid control devices (photo). Products the company says. Flexitallic Ltd.,
in the IPT Series are constructed from West Yorkshire, U.K.
cold-worked, 316 stainless steel, an- heavy wall of PTFE that has excellent
nealed 316 stainless steel and other compatibility with a variety of media,
corrosion-resistant special alloys. The This emergency exit sign including corrosive chemicals, such as
medium- and high-pressure IPT line is explosion-proof acids and newer hydraulic fluids, the
includes check valves with maximum The EXP-EMG-EXT-12W-1LX Ex- company says. Also, the PTFE tubes
pressures up to 60,000 psig, ball valves plosion-proof Emergency Exit Sign have a static-dissipating liner that
that accommodate applications up to (photo) is designed to provide failsafe provides a pathway for static elec-
20,000 psig, relief valves to handle up operation and a pathway to safety in tricity dissipation to the end fittings
to 20,000 psig and needle valves avail- the event of unexpected power fail- for applications where flow-induced
able in six body types, along with tub- ures. The sign is approved for use in electrostatic charges could build up
ing, coned and threaded fittings and Class 1, Div. 1 and Class 2, Div. 1 and and potentially damage the hose and
associated tools and accessories. 2 areas, and complies with all hazard- surrounding environment. The hoses
Swagelok Co., Solon, Ohio ous location regulations for emergency are braided with 304 stainless steel explosion-proof lighting. It will run for to allow flexibility and a tighter bend
90 min when the main power sources radius while maintaining high work-
Seal damaged flanges with this are shut down unexpectedly. The unit ing pressures. Sizes range from 0.25-
compressible gasket features an LED-powered exit sign to 1-in. inner dia. Parker Hannifin
The Flange Rescue Gasket (FRG; and a high-performance nickel-cad- Corp., Fort Worth, Tex.
photo) can be applied to seal damaged mium battery. Larson Electronics
flanges and avoid the need for replac- LLC, Kemp, Tex.
ing or machining the flange. The FRG Verify the effectiveness of
can reduce the time-consuming and rinsing with this device
costly process of flange maintenance, Handle up to 5,500 psi The FlowCam-ES imaging particle
especially in corrosive offshore envi- with these hoses analysis system is designed to auto-
ronments. The FRG is fabricated from High-pressure hose assemblies (photo) matically detect, image, count and
highly compressible Sigma PTFE are available from this company to measure metal particles in rinse
(polytetrafluoroethylene) to ensure handle working pressures as high as water to verify the effectiveness of the
that the FRG conforms to the dam- 5,500 psi, while maintaining peak rinse step in removing contaminants.
aged flange surface to seal and pre- flowrates. The 944B and 955B high-psi Operating online within the produc-
vent further deterioration. The bright- assemblies are manufactured with a tion line, the FlowCam automatically
New Products
Fluid Imaging Technologies


extracts, dilutes and runs samples of for process-control-based static and

the wash water. The device also takes dynamic weighing applications, and
a high-resolution digital image of each can power up to eight 350-ohm load
particle detected (photo). The inline cells at a time. Model 201 comes with
FlowCam images thousands of metal- a 35-mm DIN rail mounting bracket,
lic particles in seconds to quickly test and features a 0.5-in.-high, six-digit
and document whether surface con- display that is viewable at all lighting
tamination levels after rinsing meet levels. With a wide range of standard
required specifications to advance to communications protocols, it is easy to
the packaging area. The FlowCam connect the device to a
technology is ideal for testing wash PC, PLC or other smart-
water from pumps, silicon wafers, phone. The Model 201
laboratory glassware and other high- weight indicator offers
purity products, says the company. sample rates of up to
Fluid Imaging Technologies Inc., 200 samples per
Yarmouth, Maine second. Cardi-
Cardinal Scale Manufacturing nal Scale Manufac-
These steam manifolds turing Co., Webb City, Mo.
This single-use mixer minimize installation space
is cost-effective MP Series piston manifolds (photo)
The HyPerforma Single-Use Mixer are Class 800 forged manifolds avail- New capabilities for this pipe-
DS300 system gives users the ability able with four, eight or twelve stations. stress software
to mix, store and ship material in the Each connection point has a built-in A recently launched version of the
same container. The unit consists of piston valve, minimizing the amount Caesar II pipe-stress analysis software
a docking station with an adjustable, of space required for installation. MP has been updated with significant new
top-mounted, angled mixing system Series manifolds contain a high-perfor- and extended capabilities, including
for either a single-use bioprocess con- mance, Class 800 (maximum pressure an enhanced interface for SmartPlant
tainer bag or liner in a stainless-steel is 1,098 psig at temperatures up to 3D model import and export. In addi-
or standard plastic drum. The HyPer- 800F) piston valve comprised of upper tion, the updated version has added
forma is designed to be cost-effective and lower valve rings made of alternat- a Japanese-language interface, and
for pilot-scale liquid preparations for ing layers of stainless steel and graph- seismic-code and spring-hanger data-
the manufacture of vaccines and bio- ite that provide exceptionally tight base capabilities. The easier import
logical products. Featuring the same sealing. The MP Series is available at and export of pipe-stress analysis re-
proven mixing system as in related a lower price level than bellows-style sults to other programs allows users
products from this company, the Hy- manifolds, making it an ideal choice for to share information seamlessly in a
Performa DS300 can be used for mix- large-project work, the company says. collaborative work environment, the
ing buffers and media, from liquid-to- TLV Corp., Charlotte, N.C. company says. Information sharing
liquid and powder-to-liquid, as well as between pipe-stress engineers and
re-suspension applications. It uses the piping designers reduces errors and
same docking station for sizes from 50 Power up to eight load the users capital expense, it adds.
to 300 L. Thermo Fisher Scientific cells with this instrument Intergraph Corp., Huntsville, Ala.
Inc., Waltham, Mass. The Model 201 weight transmitter (photo) is a fast, accurate instrument Scott Jenkins
Department Editor: Scott Jenkins

ry, granular solids can be conveyed in a number of ways. FIGURE 2. Horizontal differential-motion

D Two common devices for transporting granular solids are

the angular-pitch vibrating conveyor and the horizontal
differential-motion conveyor. The variability in the design and
Inertia force
conveyors use friction to move the mass
through the trough, and are known for their
gentle handling characteristics

performance between the two types stems from the differences Line of

in the kind of motion required to move the mass in one direction. action
The most significant difference between the two solids-conveying
systems is the presence, or absence, of motion in the plane nor- (Fi)
mal (perpendicular) to the plane of the conveying surface. W

Angular-pitch vibrating conveyor Stroke

In its simplest form, the angular-pitch vibrating conveyor consists
of a trough with a mechanism to oscillate it. This type of conveyor may be parallel to the conveying surface. The mass will slide
can typically be either a brute-force type or the natural-frequen- along the surface in a series of sequences, as shown in Figure 2.
cy type. The majority of angular-pitch vibrating conveyors require The horizontal differential-motion conveyor does not agitate or
vibration isolation to prevent imparting unwanted vibrations to the damage the product being conveyed. The horizontal linear mo-
surrounding support structure. The typical operational frequen- tion of this type of conveyor will not mix or stratify the conveyed
cies of these conveyors are from 5 to 60 Hz, with common pitch materials. Even though it is a friction-dependant type of conveyor,
angles from 10 to 45 deg. Typical pitch displacements can range scuffing or marring of the materials is generally not observed over
from 0.03125 to 1.5 in. long conveying runs. These conveyors are known for their gentle
A brute-force type vibrating conveyor is one that relies strictly handling characteristics.
on imparting a force to a mass to achieve an intended displace- Horizontal differential-motion conveyors do not rely on system
ment. These are the least energy-efficient of the vibrating convey- resonance or frame-mounted reaction forces to operate. Opera-
ors, but generally have a lower initial cost. This type of conveyor tional frequencies generally fall into the 2.5 to 6 Hz operating
allows for speed (flow) adjustment during operation. Brute-force- range with displacements of 0.75 to 3.0 in., depending upon
style conveyors must be isolated from the surrounding structure the application. Frequencies can be adjusted during operation to
and are generally shorter in length than other types. control the conveying velocity.
The natural-frequency type vibrating conveyor utilizes the Horizontal differential-motion conveying systems are generally
resonance frequency characteristics of a spring system to suspended using a pendulum-type support system (either above
reduce power requirements, as well as the forces required to or inverted below the conveyor trough). Supports can be placed
be introduced into the system to operate. These are the most up to 20 ft apart and the conveying troughs can be in excess
energy-efficient of the angular-pitch vibrating conveyors. These of 200 ft long. Inertial force generators (drives) can typically
types of conveyors can be either unbalanced (earth-anchored), be placed at either end, above or below the conveying trough
frame-balanced (requires isolation from surrounding structure) or and can convey either uni-directionally or bi-directionally. These
dynamically balanced (utilizing an equal opposing mass). attributes make this type of conveying method very cost-effective
Natural-frequency vibrating conveyors employ a simple for longer distances.
harmonic motion (that is, sinusoidal) directed along a line that
slopes upward in the direction of travel. This line is called the Determining conveyor type
line of action (Figure 1). This type of conveying action will stratify The following is a set of questions that can help determine the
the particle sizes being conveyed, which makes them a good best conveyor type for a specific product application:
resource for screening out oversized and undersized particles Is your product fragile, coated, dusty or agglomerated?
from the conveyed material. The pitching action of these types of horizontal motion
conveyors, however, can degrade fragile products. Are you moving product at a high travel rate? natural
Horizontal-differential motion conveyors What is the conveying length (over 30-ft long)? horizontal
With horizontal differential-motion conveyors, the differential- motion
velocity motion (having different mean velocities and peak ac- Do you need to convey uphill (0 to 5 deg)? natural fre-
celerations through each half of a cycle) can, through differential quency
friction, cause movement of the mass or object in the direction of Are wide temperature differences expected? horizontal mo-
the lower mean velocity of the conveyor trough. The line of action tion
Is your product wet or sticky? natural frequency
Do you have heavy surges in your product low? horizontal
on motion
ofa Do you need to screen the product? natural frequency
ine 30
L Do you have restricted space for the material pan? horizon-
Particle tal motion
Are sanitation issues important to you? horizontal motion
Do you need frequent start-stops? natural frequency
Fixed-drive Spring Is pan wear and noise a concern? horizontal motion
input force
generator Are wide-ranging variable speed or reversing modes needed?
horizontal motion
Do you need to spread your product to uniformly feed a dryer

FIGURE 1. Angular-pitch vibrating or cooler? natural frequency

conveyors use a tossing motion to

propel the conveyed mass in the


( S) desired direction Editors note: Content for this edition of Facts at your Fingertips was pro-

ke vided by Triple/S Dynamics Inc. (Dallas, Tex.;


The Slipstick
Horizontal Motion Conveyor


from Triple/S Dynamics is based on a simple design.

No damage to fragile pellets or granules

No damage to the conveyor because

rocks dont bounce, gouge or wear
the pan surface

No burned rubber belts or iberglass

springs in high-temperature applications

No bearings, gears, chains,

springs, or shafts exposed
anywhere near the product

Simply put, the Slipstick, the original Horizontal Motion Conveyor, offers rugged
construction, high capacity, impact resistant conveying thats reliable no matter how
severe the duty. How reliable? One customer just purchased new Slipstick conveyors to
replace units that were installed in 1982. Thirty-one years reliable.

Find out whats in it for you

at or

P.O. Box 151027 Dallas, TX 75315-1027 1.800.527.2116

Circle 18 on p. 56 or go to
Ethylene Production
via Ethanol Dehydration
By Intratec Solutions

E thylene is arguably the most important

building block of the petrochemical
industry, frequently produced via steam
cracking of a range of petroleum-based feed-
stocks. Rising oil prices and concerns about
The bottom stream from the ethylene-water
separation column is then sent to a dewatering
column, to separate water. Streams containing
mainly ethanol and DEE are recycled back to
the treatment section.
The estimated capital investment (including
total fixed investment, working capital and
other capital expenses) to build an ethanol
dehydration unit would be between $200
and $280 million, and the operating cost
global warming have motivated research into would be about $1,650/ton. Given that
ethylene manufacture from renewable sources. Key research basis the petroleum-based ethylene sales price is
The green ethylene made from ethanol The key information used as input to develop lower than the green (via ethanol dehydra-
(for example, from corn, sugarcane or lignocel- the synthesis of the process is presented below. tion) ethylene cost of production, the green
lulosic biomass) represents a chemically identi- The final process design was based on reason- ethylene sales price must include a premium
cal alternative to its petrochemical equivalent, able values from the ranges presented here. of more than 50% over petrochemically de-
and can contribute to the overall reduction of Since the technology is in its embryonic stages, rived ethylene to make the venture economi-
greenhouse gas emissions. and no commercial plant has been built using cally feasible.
this concept thus far, the design depicted here
Ethanol dehydration is subject to changes. Research perspective
The polymer-grade (PG) ethylene production via Strategic, financial and technical insights
ethanol dehydration process depicted in the fig- Reactor temperature 200 to 250C about this research into the ethanol dehydra-
ure below was compiled based on a U.S. pat- Reactor pressure 10 to 28 bars abs tion process inlcude the following:
ent published by BP Chemicals (London, U.K.; Ethanol conversion to ethylene Marketing and sales teams must ind niche-; U.S. patent no. 8,426,664). (per pass) 20 to 60% market consumers willing to pay more for an
Since 2008, BP has established more than ten Feed ethanol water content 1 to 5 wt.% environmentally friendly product (for example,
patents on this subject. Diethyl ether in reaction feed 50 to 85 wt.% plastic containers for the cosmetics industry)
Ethanol dehydration has an overall endother- Catalyst-bed temperature profile <10C Since ethanol raw material prices are dictat-
mic equilibrium. The ethylene yield is favored ed by markets such as food and fuel, it may
by higher temperatures, while lower tempera- According to BP, the formation and recycling be an interesting consideration to control the
tures favor production of diethyl ether (DEE). of DEE thermodynamically favor the separa- entire supply chain through the integration of
The major process steps are outlined below. tion of water, and result in higher ethylene the ethanol dehydration unit with an ethanol
Treatment. Fresh ethanol is combined with the selectivity production unit
recycled ethanol and DEE from the ethylene Moderate reaction conversion and mild The published patents describe problems
column and sent to the aldehyde removal col- temperature and pressure conditions are related to the temperature profile of the
umn, which removes the aldehydes that came used in order to improve the selectivity for catalyst bed. Researchers must focus on de-
from the fresh ethanol feed, as well as the the desired products. veloping a catalyst with improved tolerance
aldehydes and C4 hydrocarbons generated in to the temperature decrease inherent in the
the reaction step. Economic performance endothermic nature of the dehydration reac-
Reaction. The bottom stream from the alde- An economic evaluation of the process was tion. Higher conversion and higher selectivity
hyde removal column is sent to the feed vapor- conducted based on data from the second for ethylene would minimize recycling loops
izer and superheater before being sent to the quarter of 2012 with the U.S. Gulf Coast as and, consequently would reduce both capital
reactors. The process uses fixed-bed reactors the location. The following assumptions were and operating costs
with a heteropolyacid catalyst supported by assumed for the analysis: Edited by Scott Jenkins
silica. The product stream from reaction is A 190,000-ton/yr chemical production unit
cooled and sent to the purification section. (all equipment represented in the simplified Editors Note: The content for this column is supplied
Purification. The reactors outlet stream flowsheet below) by Intratec Solutions LLC (Houston;
and edited by Chemical Engineering. The analyses
primarily consists of unreacted ethanol, water, Storage capacity equal to 20 days of opera- and models presented herein are prepared on the ba-
ethylene and DEE. The stream is sent to a tion for ethanol and no storage for ethylene sis of publicly available and non-confidential informa-
first distillation column to separate mainly the O utside battery limits (OSBL) units con- tion. The information and analysis are the opinions of
Intratec and do not represent the point of view of any
ethylene from the water. The ethylene-rich sidered: steam boilers, cooling towers, third parties. More information about the methodol-
overhead stream is then compressed, dried propylene refrigeration system, control ogy for preparing this type of analysis can be found,
and sent to an ethylene purification column. room and administrative buildings along with terms of use, at

Diethyl ether recycle

Ethanol RF 1) Aldehyde removal column
CW 2) Feed vaporizer
PG 3) Feed superheater
By-products ethylene
CW 4) Dehydration reactors
to fuel
4 8 5) Cooler
6) Ethylene-water column
ST 7) Compressor and drying
ST 6 8) Ethylene column
CW 9) Dewatering column
ST 10) Propylene refrigeration unit

2 5 FU Fuel
9 RF 10
CW Cooling water
3 FU
RF Refrigeration fluid
Water ST Steam
Ethanol, water and diethyl ether recycle
Cover Story

Solving Vessel Equations:

A Better Way Sasha Gurke
Knovel Corp.

Irregularly shaped vessels t Volume of vertical cylindrical shell:

Vc := R2 h c Shell diameter D := 50 in.

present challenges where R :=
D Shell height H := 150 in.
Liquid level h := 150 in.
for determining 2

Volume of
Volume of
liquid volumes. conical bottom:
elliptical top:
New tools can help Vb :=



hb Vt :=


ht 3t 2 ht2

H Bottom height b := 30 in. Top height t := 10 in.

alculating the volume of a liquid h
in a vessel of a complex shape Conditions:
is a common task for chemical hc := if (H+bh) (h>b) h t := if (h>(H+b))

engineers. However, there are hb hHb
several difficulties associated with ac- else else
curately carrying out this calculation. 0 0
V := if (hb)
In my own experience as a chemi- Vb
cal engineer, I have become familiar b else h b := if (h<b)
with the complexities of calculations if h (H + b)
related to determining the volume of Vc + Vb else
a liquid contained in a vessel with an D else b
Vc + Vb + Vt
irregular shape.
Precise volume-determination equa- FIGURE 1. Calculating the volume of a liquid in an irregularly shaped vessel in-
tions are readily available for common volves combining equations for the various portions of the vessel, such as a cylinder
vessel shapes. But what if you are portion, a conical portion and an elliptical portion, in this case
using a vessel that is a vertical cyl-
inder with a hemispherical top and tion, the exact fluid volume must be At this point, two complexities arise.
bottom? Or, what if you are working known. One option is to measure the Engineers are forced to search through
with a horizontal elliptical vessel with volume using a meter pump, but this databases and manuals for the equa-
concave heads? No matter the type of method will not produce an accurate tions that are appropriate for the ir-
vessel you are working with, chemical result. The alternative is to verify the regular parts of the tank, and then cal-
engineers need to account for the liq- exact amount of liquid needed by cal- culate the volume using some kind of
uids within these irregular shapes to culating the volume of this irregularly calculation software. While many en-
calculate the volume properly. shaped vessel based on the liquid level. gineers favor Microsoft Excel as their
In this scenario, suppose that the calculation software of choice, keep in
Vessel-calculation challenges vessel in question is a vertical cylindri- mind that the program was not spe-
Lets begin with an example scenario. cal vessel comprised of a conical bottom cifically designed for entering complex
Suppose a chemical engineer works and elliptical top. The elliptical portion equations. As a result, this process for
at a pharmaceutical facility that pro- of the vessel is partially filled with liq- calculating the volume of a particular
duces cough syrup. In that capacity, uid, while the cylindrical and conical vessel can be a time-consuming and
the engineer may have to prepare a portions are fully filled (Figure 1). What inefficient process. Engineers cannot
solution in a 1,000-gal vessel or tank should be the approach to calculating afford to waste time they need reli-
with an irregular shape. To prepare the portion that is partially filled? able equations and quick calculations.
the proper concentration of cough To calculate the total volume, you In a similar scenario (depicted in
syrup, he or she may need to add 50 need to combine the different equa- Figure 1), the author and colleagues
pounds of an active pharmaceutical tions one for each of these three first either found and verified, or de-
ingredient into sugar syrup. basic shapes of the vessel: the conical rived equations, in some instances
Before adding anything to this liquid bottom, the elliptical top and the verti- using integrals, for each shape in-
base to prepare the proper concentra- cal cylinder. volved. Glancing through a reliable en-
GENERAL Tafel equation


Tafel equation x Tafel Equation x Calc 1 x Calc 2 x Calc 3

The Tafel equation is an equation in electrochemical
kinetics relating the rate of an electrochemical reaction to x Arithmetic
the overpotential. The Tafel equation was first deduced i
experimentally and was later shown to have a theoretical V = A ln
justification. The equation is named after Swiss chemist
Julius Tafel (1862-1918)
V is the overpotential, V Boolean

A is the so-called Tafel slope, V

f Functions
x Tafel diagram n vs log i i is the current denisity, A/m2 and Plot
2 i0 is the so called exchange current density
101 Programming

if while for line



log i 0

0 6 5 4
110 110 110 0.001
log i

contributed by Jane Chemist

references Publication One, Publication Two is Longer
citations Electrochemical Methods, Fundementals and Applications

Equation library Databases Codes and

FIGURE 2. A Web-based equation li- (corporate/Wiki) (materials/components) standards
brary can help in vessel calculations

gineering book, such as Perrys Chem- Life engineering calculation tools (SMath-based)
ical Engineers Handbook, revealed
nothing useful for this problem. Optional PLM integration layer
We had better luck conducting In- via API
ternet-based research, but it was not
Initial design stages: Part/unit replacement
until poring through many search
sizing, conceptualizing, and
results that we came across the fol- process improvements
material selection
lowing article by Dan Jones Cal-
culating Tank Volume (http://www.
pdf). Also see (Chem. Eng., Sept. 2011,
Concept Operation and
pp 5563).
development maintenance
Using the equations provided in
Jones article for practical calcula-
tions proved to be a problem in itself. High-level
First, the equations had to be as-
sembled in a sensible way to account Acceptance
for all the shapes containing liquid in Detailed
the vessel. In addition, depending on requirements
the level of the liquid you are working
with, there are different equations High-level Subystem
that have to be used. design verification
Another common frustration for
chemical engineers is that the data
Detailed Scale-up, inte-
found online must be validated as well. design gration and testing
Often with research conducted online,
the reliability and validity of the the in-
formation found is not clear or defined. Implementation
Checking the validity of the equations
that are found can be complicated. To
be sure that an equation is validated, Time
engineers may need to recalculate ev-
erything from scratch which we did FIGURE 3. Cloud-based calculation tools can improve engineering workflow


C. Elliptical bottom:

Cover Story D

A. Conical top: B. Elliptical head: h

R 2
V :=

h 3 Hh
3 H
D Note: := means
where R :=
2 is defined to be
D. Horizontal elliptical vessel:

h L

h 2 h H
V := R H h+
H 3H
H 2 H
Vb :=
h 3 Rh h
D 6 R
where R :=
2 W
where R :=
a 2 2 2
h b 2

V :=
L (h b) b (h b) + b asin +b
b b
FIGURE 4. (AH) Various standard shapes that can be combined include
cylinders, cones, ellipsis and hemispherical. The diagrams and equations W H
where a := b := Note: := means
show some of the possible situations for volume measurement that engi- 2 2 is defined to be
neers might face

in this case and of course, it ended systems unless additional program- of engineers and engineering students
up costing us even more time. ming is introduced. Third, we planned around the world.
Once we found and validated the to create a browser-based application, This tool consists of a powerful math
equations and vessel dimensions, the but the Internet version of Excel has engine core, user-friendly worksheet-
next step was to use a calculation tool exhibited performance issues and is based graphical user interface (GUI)
that is easy to integrate with the data. not highly rated by many users. and plug-ins some of which are
We first turned to Microsoft Excel, Beyond Excel, there are engineer- open source software that connect
probably the most-often-used tool in ing calculation tools available such the core with GUI. SMath has the fol-
many engineers toolboxes. For most as PTCs (Needham, Mass.; www.ptc. lowing features:
calculations and analyses, an Excel com) Mathcad, which has automatic The ability to handle numeric and
spreadsheet would suffice. Several unit conversion and can check equa- symbolic calculations
generations of engineers now have tions for mathematical errors. How- Capabilities for 2-D and 3-D graphs
grown up using Excel its a common, ever, a browser version of Mathcad is Software versions designed for differ-
inexpensive software that is readily not available, and that limits its use- ent platforms and operating systems
available on most desktops and lap- fulness in cloud-based applications. Partial support of Mathcad files
tops. In addition to its familiarity, its (*.xmcd)
relatively easy to input large amounts SMath The ability to use mathematical units
of data into Excel. To calculate the volume of a liquid in a (either built-in or user defined)
However, in this case of calculating vessel of a complex shape, a task that Multi-language worksheets
volume in an irregularly shaped ves- should take only minutes, we tested Multi-language interface (28 lan-
sel, it was not. It became clear that it a tool that is readily available online guages)
would become an exceedingly time- and that could integrate our data. We The capacity to use programming
consuming process just to enter the found an engineering desktop calcu- functions directly on the worksheet
equations and variables. lation tool that is both powerful and Infrastructure to support third-
Other reasons why Excel was not the distributed free of charge SMath party plug-ins
right calculation tool in this case is that Studio ( An auto-complete feature with de-
programming is required with external yaf_topics12_Download-SMath-Stu- scription of all supported entries
data. Second, all calculations must be dio.aspx). The ability to use the tool in collabo-
performed in a consistent system of SMath has a browser version called ration (via server)
units with conversion factors embed- SMath Live. While it is function- Equation snippets
ded in equations. This is because Excel ally similar to the desktop version, it
does not automatically understand the needs further development. SMath, Improved volume calculations
units of measurement and does not developed specifically for engineering The tools chemical engineers have at
support calculations in different unit calculations, is now used by thousands their disposal are critical for main-
E. Hemispherical head: G. Horizontal cylinder:

h taining high levels of productivity. Ide-
ally, engineers should use tools that
are seamless, can save time, and avoid
h L
costly errors in the workflow. One way
to accomplish this is through cloud
computing, where software programs
2 Rh 2
V := L
R acos
(R h)
2 R h h and data that have traditionally re-
sided on company servers are now lo-
2 D
Vb :=
6 h (
1.5 D h) where R := cated on a third partys remote servers
and are accessed via the Web.
Cloud computing assures todays en-
gineers quick and easy access to data
F. Hemispherical top: H. Horizontal hemicylindtrical top: from anywhere on a variety of devices.
It also allows engineers to easily share
data with their peers across the globe.
Fortunately, as technology continues
R to move into the cloud, engineers will
have more effective and reliable tools
to integrate data, such as equations
with calculation software, into their
design and workflow.
2 2 2 h 2 2 Currently in the early stages of de-
0.5 R R acos
D D V := L
R h
V :=


(D +h) R velopment, there is an engineering
cloud-based productivity tool (Figure
2) comprising of SMath Live inte-



BestSensitivity Only3.25"x6.25"x2"
DigitalDisplay StarterDoor Panel
Raceway Wall
AdjustableDelayTimers WorksonWide-rangeofMotors





No Sensitivity
Power is Linear-Equal Sensitivity For Low Loads
at Both Low and High Loads



Circle 11 on p. 56 or go to
Cover Story

grated with a searchable and brows- reasonable combination to calculate would enable users to find and select
able library of common engineering the volume of liquid in any partially equations for various shapes and then
equations, including those for par- filled vessel. Such a product will be assemble them like Lego blocks onto
tially filled shapes, that could help useful when integrated into engineer- an SMath Live worksheet. If you are
you calculate liquid volume as a func- ing workflow as an early-stage design working with any unusually shaped
tion of liquid level much faster than tool. The stages of a typical engineer- shells, bottoms or heads, you can build
before. A chemical engineer could ing workflow where this tool can be any vessel from them using smaller
use this cloud-based product to find integrated can be seen in Figure 3. pieces (Figure 4). You can continue
shapes and assemble them in any This type of Web-based product to build up to more complex shapes
and calculate the volume of the entire
shape or the volume of liquid in par-
tially filled shape. The same approach
could be used for calculating the vol-
Mark your ume of dry particulates, suspensions
and so on.
calendars for the Initial results are encouraging and
can be seen in Figure 1, which shows

single greatest
an example of a calculation for a verti-
cal cylindrical vessel with conical bot-
tom and elliptical top. This example
opportunity was assembled from calculations for
three basic shapes: cone bottom, el-
to grow your liptical top and vertical cylinder. Each
calculation contains limiting condi-

professional tions and validation routines, as well

as graphic representation of a shape.
These conditions and validation rou-
network and tines are easily adoptable for the ves-
sel shown in the example.

your mind! A prototype of this cloud-based

calculation tool is now underway. We
believe that the future of engineer-
Register April 2 and be entered into the first of many ing will be characterized by tools
drawings to win a complimentary full conference that integrate data and calculation
WEFTEC registration. Subsequent drawings
software and are available in the
will be made each month through

NEW for 13
July. The sooner you register, the cloud. Development and deployment
greater your chances of winning! of these sophisticated tools will be
WEFTDEreCgistration fees
critical for maintaining high levels
WEFTEC is the largest annual water of engineering productivity in the
and wastewater conference and E chemical industry.
exhibition in the world offering the REDUC chnical
to the te E Edited by Scott Jenkins
most comprehensive water-quality Access t NO CHARG
education, training, and technology exhibitio register online
ou d Author
available. when y WEF an
m p lim ents of itors. Sasha Gurke is engineer-
co xhib
FTEC E ing technical fellow at Knovel
the WE Corp. (240 West 37th Street,
New York, NY 10018; Email:; Phone:
Register early to increase your 617-803-8344). A chemist and
chemical engineer, Gurke has
chances of winning a FREE registration. more than 30 years of experi-
ence in the technical infor-
mation field. He co-founded
Visit for details. Knovel in 1999 and as senior
vice president, he was actively
involved in product development and manage-
ment. Knovel was acquired by Elsevier in 2012,
and Gurke continues to play an important role
in new product development and strategy. Prior
to Knovel, he spent 15 years with Chemical Ab-
stracts Service/American Chemical Society in
product development and editorial positions.
86th Annual Water Environment Federation His industrial experience includes working as a
Technical Exhibition and Conference chemist at water treatment and paint manufac-
turing plants. Gurke holds a masters degree in
McCormick Place South, Chicago, Illinois | October 5 9 chemical technology from St. Petersburg State
University of Technology and Design.
Circle 19 on p. 56 or go to
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Feature Report Part 1

Understanding FDI
A concise explanation of
Device parameters
(for example: unit,
range, diagnostic
Consistency rules/
User interface
data, and so on) parameters specific
Field Device Integration Device structure
(for example:
Device functions
(for example: User interface
(GSD (ML),
(descriptive) and so on)
(FDI) Technology, blocks) calibration)

and how new FDI Device package

User User
Device Business interface interface Attach-
standards will help make definition logic description plug in ments

connecting easier Electronic device


language (EDDL) foundation (WPF)

Mandatory Optional
Martin Zielinski
FDI Cooperation, LLC FIGURE 1. The core of FDI Technology is the FDI Device Package

ith the advent of smart or what capabilities they support be- Foundation, Profibus & Profinet Inter-

W intelligent field devices, a

wealth of digital informa-
tion has become available.
However, what does the host system
do with these data? The field device
tween different process-control and
asset-management hosts, or even be-
tween different revisions of a single
manufacturers host.
Due to these differences, manufac-
national, have collectively recognized
the issues that end users face. To-
gether, they are supporting and driving
forward the development of an integra-
tion technology that combines the ad-
transmits a bucket of bits to the host turers are forced to support multiple vantages of FDT technology with those
system. How are these data converted digital-integration technologies for of EDDL in a single, scalable solution.
into information that a human can each device, and frequently multiple FDI takes account of the various tasks
interpret? Where is the information versions of each technology because over the entire lifecycle for both simple
displayed? Should the information be of these host implementation differ- and the most complex devices, includ-
stored as persistent data? ences.The net result is the manufac- ing configuration, commissioning, di-
These questions are answered via a turer may need to develop multiple agnosis and calibration.
digital integration technology. Using EDDL- and FDT-based solutions for
an integration technology, a field device each device revision and protocol. FDI basics
supplier can tell the host the answer to End users need to understand and The core of FDI Technology is the scal-
these questions. Field Device Integra- implement those solutions that are able FDI Device Package (Figure 1). The
tion (FDI) is intended to be a single appropriate for each of their specific FDI Device Package is a collection of
integration technology for the process host environments. These factors in- files: the Device Definition (Electronic
automation industry. It combines the crease costs for both end users and Device Description; EDD), Business
best of what are available with todays device manufacturers. These issues Logic (BL) and User Interface Descrip-
technologies: Electronic Devices De- are not isolated to specialty mea- tion (UID). It is based on Electronic
scription Language (EDDL) and Field surements, but affect common ones Device Description Language (IEC
Device Tool (FDT) technology. like pressure and temperature as 61804-3). The optional User Interface
well. While these issues are not in- Plug-in (UIP) offers the advantages of
The need for FDI surmountable, they are a source of freely programmable user interfaces
Why is FDI being developed when frustration and cost for both end familiar from FDT Technology, based
there are existing digital integration users and suppliers. FDI is intended on Windows Presentation Foundation
technologies? The answer is twofold. to minimize these frustrations. (WPF). The device manufacturers de-
First, with two different integration How will FDI help? Globally leading fine, via the FDI Device Package, which
technologies, users frequently have control system and device manufac- data, functions and user interfaces are
much more work implementing and turers, such as ABB, Emerson Process stored on the FDI Server.
maintaining their automation sys- Management, Endress+Hauser, Honey- EDD. The Electronic Device Defini-
tems and asset management tools. well, Invensys, Siemens and Yokogawa, tion describes the field device data
Second, there are significant differ- along with the major associations FDT and the internal structure (for in-
ences in how the digital integration Group, Fieldbus Foundation, HART stance, blocks).
technologies are implemented and Communication Foundation, OPC BL. The Business Logic primarily en-
FDI host
User interface
renderer hosting
Information model
FDI (IEC 62769) Certification/
Harmonized registration
Business logic (BL)
(IEC 61804-3) Device Package Foundation EDD engine Package development tools (FDI In-
package Fieldbus
Profibus development EDD UIP
tegrated Development Environment),
and uniform host components, such
FDI OPC UA services
Integrated Package Hart
as EDD Engine (interpreter) and the
development server client-side components UID Renderer
environment EDD UIP
(IDE) FDI DTM and UIP Hosting. The result is sus-
Package FDI DTM
tainable strengthening of the key fac-
Fieldbus Hart
Profibus user interface tors of interoperability and quality. At

FDT frame application

EDD UIP UID UIP the same time, complexity is reduced
UIP renderer hosting
for suppliers, communication founda-
FDI DTM tions and end users.
business logic (BL)
Information model
To be clear, the Foundation fieldbus,
FIGURE 2. Shown here is an overview of the imple- HART, Profibus PA and Profibus DP
mentation of FDI Technology EDD engine
protocols are different. By necessity,
Communication there are specific features for each pro-
DTMs tocol in EDDL and consequently in the
UIP FDI Device Package. FDI is a digital
Device integration technology and describes
package the unique device and its protocol fea-
Test engine tures. Lets look at the Integrated De-
Foundation velopment Environment (IDE; Figure


Reference host 2) in a bit more detail.

Device UID UIP

vendor renderer hosting EDD UIP Hart IDE
EDD engine The creation of an EDD for a device is
straightforward (Figure 3). Using the
EDD UIP Profibus
Integrated development environment (IDE) text-based syntax structure of EDDL,
the device developer defines the device
Development Test Registration and describes how the parameters are
FIGURE 3. Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is the means for creating an to be displayed on the host system.
EDD for a device Using the Business Logic features
the developer describes the dynamic
sures that the device data remain con- CFFs (common file formats), and so dependencies among the parameters.
sistent, for example, the data are re- on, can be added to the FDI Device For example, if he or she is describ-
freshed when the measurement units Package as attachments. FDI has de- ing a pressure transmitter, he or she
are changed. Dynamic dependencies, fined a single, protocol-independent would specify that only pressure units
in particular, play a part here. Only encoded-file format for the EDD part appear in the drop-down menu for the
the options or ranges are displayed of the FDI Device Package. selection of units. With the help of the
that depend on prior selection of other IDE editor, his or her text-based syntax
settings, for example, only tempera- Harmonization is checked and converted into an FDI-
ture units are shown, if a temperature Another important aspect of the FDI encoded file format by means of token-
sensor is chosen. Project is the harmonization of EDDL izing (the binary coding of an EDD).
UID. The User Interface Description across the HART, Foundation fieldbus, The UIP is an optional software ap-
is a text-based means to convey the Profibus and Profinet protocols. For plication. If the developer chooses to
way in which parameters are to be largely historical reasons, different enhance the Device Package by add-
displayed. The look and feel of the language constructs evolved in the ing this App (application), it would
host system is preserved, while the corresponding organizations. Being be developed using Visual Studio. A
display relationship of parameters is independent organizations, there was common attachment in a Device Pack-
maintained, for instance, the zero and no reason or motivation for the dif- age would be the product manual in
span of the range are shown on the ferent organizations to collaborate on the Portable Document Format (PDF).
same display and in close proximity to changes to EDDL. For device suppli- The encoded EDD, the UIP and the at-
each other. ers, this means learning a variant of tachments would then be combined to
UIP. The User Interface Plug-in is EDDL for each communication pro- form an FDI Device Package. Since the
a software module that executes a tocol. This leads to unnecessary com- communication protocols are different,
unique function or diagnostic with plexity in the creating, testing and the Device Package will be created for
its own user interface. Product docu- maintenance of an EDD. a specific communication protocol.
mentation, protocol-specific files, such In the FDI Project these variants The next step is to test the FDI De-
as Profibus GSDs (general station are minimized. This leads to the cre- vice Package. Within the IDE there is
descriptions) or Foundation fieldbus ation of multiprotocol FDI Device a Reference Host and a Test Engine.
Operation Engineering Maintenance management

Feature Report Plant FDI clients


FDT System FDT

Control server server host
The Reference Host is a runtime en- network
vironment that exercises the FDI De- Controller
Profibus HART
vice Packages for debugging purposes. Field DP
FDT multi- Controller
It will run the Device Package against network Profinet plexer FF HSE
all of the test cases contained in the Field Remote HART FDI
I/O stand Linking
Test Engine. These test cases are the devices Gateway Drive
same as those that will be used in the Profibus PA FF H1
registration process of the respective
foundation. In one sense, these are ar-
tificial test cases. They are designed to Field devices HART Field devices
force errors to occur with the intent of Workshop
stand FDI
creating a fault-tolerant FDI Device alone stand
Package. It should be pointed out that Field devices
the UIP will be tested in a manner
that verifies the software services of FIGURE 4. Host Systems are used in various applications
FDT2 supported by FDI. It does not
verify the App operation. It verifies the full functionality of the Host system
that the interface is being used prop- FDI Device Package. FDI client
erly. The developer will continue this This goal is accomplished UID UIP
renderer hosting
iterative process of testing and debug- in two parts. FDI will make Standard FDI host
ging until he or she is satisfied with available to all host suppli- software components
the results. ers common software com- UID renderer
The final step is to register the FDI ponents to interpret, display Interface services

Device Package and the actual device and execute the contents of a UIP hosting FDI server

hardware with one of the communica- Device Package. In addition, Information model
EDD engine
tion protocol foundations. For a given there will be a rigorous host EDD engine
device type with optional communica- registration test to insure
tion interfaces for HART, Foundation uniform implementation of FIGURE 5. Common
Fieldbus (FF), or Profibus PA, such as the common software compo- software components Interface services

a pressure transmitter, there will al- nents. The interpreter com- will interpret, display Communication
and execute the contents
ways be a corresponding HART FDI ponents available today are of a Device Package
Device Package, an FF FDI Device only for specific protocols and
Package, or a Profibus PA FDI Device differ significantly in their
Package. The advantage of the FDI functional capabilities and behavior to- The host under test (Figure 6) imports
technology is in its uniformity. Profi- ward the host system. a Reference FDI Device Package for a
bus DP devices will also be registered FDI will develop uniform, multi- specific communication protocol. This
using this same process. FDI will protocol standard FDI host compo- Reference Package is artificial in the
make the creation, maintenance and nents (Figure 5). EDD Engine (inter- sense that it is designed to exercise all
host integration of a Device Package preter), UID Renderer (display) and FDI Device Package features specified
more straightforward. UIP Hosting components (execution for a specific communication protocol.
What about the host system? This of the optional app) ensure that an The concept is that for a given com-
is where the cooperation with the FDI Device Package behaves in the munication protocol, the host should
FDT Group comes into play. The abso- same way on different systems. In ac- not only support all specified FDI fea-
lute goal of the FDI Project is that an cordance with IEC 61804-3, the EDD tures, but the features should be sup-
FDI Device Package must be read by Engine supports the entire language ported uniformly on different hosts of
any host (Figure 4). It is a suppliers scope of EDDL in a multiprotocol the same type. It is understood that
choice if the host is native EDDL, FDI manner, and is backward compat- the capabilities of a handheld com-
or FDT2 based. The host could be de- ible with existing EDD formats. This municator are different that those of
vice management software as part of a means that future system manufac- a control system.
process-control or asset-management turers no longer need to integrate
system, a device configuration tool on three interpreter components, but The benefits
a laptop or a handheld field commu- only one. This not only saves time and FDI combines the tried-and-tested con-
nicator. The FDI architecture allows effort, but also contributes to improv- cepts of both EDDL and FDT Technol-
for different kinds of host implemen- ing the quality and interoperability. ogy and thus provides benefits for all
tations including an FDT-Technology- parties; suppliers and end-users alike.
based host system that ensures in- Host testing For control-system manufacturers,
teroperability with FDT-based hosts. Of necessity, a large part of the host FDI has specified a client-server ar-
In any case, the host always supports system testing is accomplished manu- chitecture as an option. The commu-
the FDI Device Package and delivers ally, rather than being automated. nication between client and server is
Import FDI Device Package
under test FIGURE 6. A host under FDI is the underlying technology
Reference test imports a Reference FDI
FDI communication that is the means to achieve easy in-
packages/servers Device Package for a specific
communication protocol tegration of digital information into
host systems.
Edited by Gerald Ondrey
based on OPC-UA, an international package. Another advantage for sup- Author
standard for automation solutions. pliers is the scalability of the FDI De- Martin Zielinski is direc-
This client-server architecture simpli- vice Package. Simple devices get along tor of HART and Fieldbus
Technology at Emerson Pro-
fies the use of device data and func- with a simple-device package. By their cess Management (12001
tions in distributed control systems. nature, complex devices require a Technology Dr., Eden Prai-
rie, MN, 55344-8301; Phone:
In addition, transparent access to de- more-comprehensive device package. 952-828-3000; Email: martin.
vice data and functions facilitates the An integrated development envi- Pre-
viously, Zielinski held several
integration of other applications [for ronment and standard host software positions with Rosemount
Inc., including RS3 product
example, connection of manufactur- components ensure interoperability planning manager and man-
ing execution systems (MES)]. Other and cost-efficient development of FDI ager of Digital Field Communications. He was
instrumental in the establishment of not only
benefits are clear: the central manage- Device Packages and host systems. the HART Communication Foundation, but also
ment of data prevents inconsistencies For the end-user, the main benefit Fieldbus Foundation as its former COO. Zielin-
ski is currently a member of the Board of Man-
and the automatic loading of user in- of FDI lies in the standardized in- agers of the FDI Cooperation, LLC and is on the
terfaces by the client means client-side tegration of field devices through a Executive Committee of the FDT Group. He is
also president of the Wireless Industrial Tech-
installation is no longer required. future-proof standard that ensures nology Konsotrium Inc. Earlier in his career,
Honeywell Inc. employed Zielinski as a principal
For device suppliers, FDI reduces ef- unrestricted interoperability of device development engineer on its control systems.
fort and saves costs because only one packages from a wide variety of device Zielinski has authored numerous papers on the
role of digital communications in industrial au-
FDI Device Package has to be created manufacturers with FDI systems (FDI tomation. He holds seven U.S. Patents. He has
for one device type, instead of the cur- hosts) from a wide variety of control a B.S.E.E. degree from Carnegie-Mellon Univer-
sity (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and an M.B.A. from Temple
rent EDDL- and DTM-based device system manufacturers. University (Philadelphia, Pa.).


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Feature Report Part 2

Compliant Remote I/Os

NE 107 compliance for remote
I/Os means proactive diagnostics
for more efficient maintenance
FIGURE 1. The NE 107 recommendation suggests standardized and
easily understandable color and symbol conventions for status displays
Andr Fritsch
R. Stahl Schaltgerte GmbH

rocess sensors and actuators most certain to cause great
provide a wealth of information economic loss. In order to fa-
about their status. The Namur cilitate a particularly efficient
recommendation NE 107 that solution to that end, Namur
proposes standardized, easily under- published its recommenda-
standable status indicators was issued tion NE 107 in 2007. This doc-
by the International User Association ument not only emphasizes
for Automation in Process Industries that all information must be
(Namur; Leverkusen, Germany; www. reliable and available at all, in an effort to enable plant times, but also stipulates that
operators to check the current condi- diagnostics must be reported
tion of their field devices quickly and in a specific shape and form,
easily. NE 107 helps to structure such irrespective of their particular
data in a concise manner by establish- origin and context, in order to
ing distinct symbols and color codes. make it as easy as possible for
Remote I/O (input/output) systems operators to determine and
also generate messages and alarms initiate proper reactions.
that can provide helpful information Moreover, non-essential in-
for operation and maintenance. From formation for the application
a users perspective, an implementa- in question should be screened FIGURE 2. This commercial remote I/O
tion of the Namur recommendation out to ensure that no extra module provide onsite operators with basic
information through NE 107 and NE 044-ori-
for this technology was sorely missing data might detract attention ented channel and device status LEDs
until recently. from where essential data are
However, new remote I/O solutions needed. In effect, this means
now display important data on loca- that displays must be freely configu- (Figure 1). A green display stands for
tion at the module in a differentiated rable: select information must be a valid process signal in regular oper-
and concise manner according to NE shown or withheld depending on the ation. Blue signifies that maintenance
107. In addition, further alarm and task at hand and the level where those is required, though the signal remains
message options also enable efficient data are presented, since information valid. Yellow should alert users that
information display on higher auto- requirements are different for the per- a signal is out of specification. Tem-
mation levels. Finally, thanks to inte- son receiving them. For instance, re- porarily invalid signals during func-
grated wear detection, select remote quirements differ for users in the field, tional checks feature an orange tint.
I/O systems even empower users to operators in process control rooms or Finally, red marks indicate invalid
establish proactive or opportunity- supervisors responsible for asset man- signals in cases of malfunctions.
based maintenance routines that are agement. On the other hand, no mat-
safer, more economic and more effi- ter whether an extensive or minute Remote I/O technology
cient than before. This article looks at subset of data is displayed, a certain The adaptation of this scheme has
these recent developments. standardization should provide clarity been a gradual process. In the years
across the board for all mentioned user since the introduction of the recom-
Background scenarios and more. mendation, NE 107 has been partly
The main purpose of diagnostic data The recommendation suggests color implemented in process control sys-
gathered from field devices in modern and symbol conventions for status sig- tems, and widely in asset manage-
process plants is to avoid production nals to enable operators to quickly and ment systems. Many modern fieldbus
downtimes, since any standstill is al- easily grasp five specified conditions devices for Profibus PA or Foundation
Display/Diagnosis IOM Direct mode active
+ Parameters
I&M Diagnosis
Terminals Icon Name Value
Info Module diagnostics Redundant rail contact to IOM malfuction
Temperature monitoring OK
Slot addressing OK
Module status OK
Output Hardware interuption!!


No. TAG Value (int) Value (phys) Unit 0% 50% 100% Diagnostics
0 DO_0 ? 0 0.0000
1 DO_1 ? 0 0.0000
2 DO_2 ? 0 0.0000
3 DO_3 ? 0 0.0000
4 DO_4 ? 0 0.0000
5 DO_5 ? 0 0.0000
6 DO_6 ? 0 0.0000
7 DO_7 ? 0 0.0000
8 Status_S0 ? 0 0.0000
9 Status_S1 ? 0 0.0000
10 Status_S2 ? 0 0.0000
11 Status_S3 ? 0 0.0000
12 Status_S4 ? 0 0.0000
13 Status_S5 ? 0 0.0000
14 Status_S6 ? 0 0.0000
15 Status_S7 ? 0 0.0000

FIGURE 3. Via Device Type Manager (DTM), diagnostic data from field devices can be integrated, for example, into asset manage-
ment systems in compliance with NE 107

Fieldbus (FF) H1 also already comply the cost of equipment. Until the 1980s, Balancing earlier standards
with Namurs recommendation, or will and at many sites well into the 1990s, Despite the technical advantages and
do so shortly. Implementations are conventional point-to-point lines were great cost-cutting potential, it took
due to follow suit or are already pend- deployed from each and every field de- more than a decade for remote I/O
ing for several other fieldbus systems, vice to a controller at a considerable technology to broadly catch on in the
including ProfiNet, FF HSE / F-ROM, distance. Every one of these individual chemical process industries. At the
and HART. However, until very re- connections carried an analog 420- time of writing, however, these sys-
cently, no remote I/O solutions that mA signal. That inefficient setup was tems are now very well established.
observe the recommended scheme dispensed with, as remote I/O modules They are not only already operating in
had been generally available. picked up signals via short lines from countless process plants, but also still
Remote I/O systems were first in- a few field devices in their vicinity, have an edge over all-digital, full-scale
troduced about 25 years ago. This and then passed on all the information fieldbus installations in many newly
technology was conceived as a cost- gathered via digital data transmission. devised projects throughout the world.
efficient and flexible new solution for In effect, this alternative did away with With regards to Namur NE 107,
data acquisition in process plants (see a huge number of lengthy dedicated however, it is imperative for field de-
The Benefits of Remote I/O and Field- wires. Moreover, state-of-the-art re- vices and remote I/Os that a display
bus, Chem. Eng. September 2000, pp. mote I/O technology now allows users design, which complies with this new
64-I&C-14). This was particularly to universally link both conventional recommendation, remain compat-
crucial for hazardous areas, where and HART-compatible field devices in ible with existing worldwide practices
explosion protection measures for all Zone 1 areas of a plant via digital com- and standards (Figure 2). Especially
systems and components are generally munication to a control system on a yellow and orange (as well as white)
indispensable, but inevitably add to higher automation level. light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are al-
Do you follow Feature Report

best practices ready used to display the switching reduce unscheduled service assign-
for nitrogen status of devices, as suggested by the
earlier NE 044 recommendation. Sig-
ments for operators and maintenance
personnel, including the associated

nal-related yellow LEDs for displaying extra costs.
the switching status should therefore A detailed diagnosis will, of course,
be kept as-is in systems implementing also help users avoid unnecessary
NE 107. exchanges of modules according to a
Remote I/O modules should have fixed cycle. Through NE 107-compli-
per-channel diodes, namely a yel- ant remote I/O, users stand to benefit
low LED for digital I/O signals and a from the advantages of the Namur
red LED for inputs and outputs that recommendations in most automation
flashes as proposed in NE 044 in case environments, and this is much more
of line errors. extensive than previously possible.
Another sensible feature would be a Unfortunately the NE 107 still can-
separate LED block for device-related not be expected to be universally sup-
information fitted with a green over- ported in the future, especially not by
all status LED, a red error LED, and all standard fieldbus systems. Nota-
Nitrogen blanketing is widely a blue maintenance LED. The latter bly, there are no plans to implement
should use a steady light to alert op- the recommendation for the widely
used to prevent ires, explosion, or erators whenever a replacement is used Profibus DP. For this fieldbus,
degradation of products during their necessary as a result of damage or some remote I/O systems now at least
wear. Flashing blue should be used provide a partial solution for cyclical
production, storage, and transport. to indicate that a module is no longer transfer of process values similar to
By implementing best practices in operating within specification, giving Profibus PA or Foundation Fieldbus
maintenance personnel a chance to H1. Just like fieldbus technology,
your blanketing system, you may ind
take preventive or corrective measures these current systems use a status
opportunities to reduce costs and before an actual failure comes to pass. bit in order to report for each channel
improve safety. Besides activating this blue LED, the whether the signal is within specifi-
module should also signal required cations or faulty. This feature for Pro-
maintenance by sending out a diag- fibus DP anticipates the status infor-
Visit our website below to watch nostic telegram. At a higher level, a mation that is to come at a later time
distributed control system (DCS) or in a similar form for ProfiNet, though
a video on best practices featuring asset management software can then with a width of one byte instead of
industry specialists at Air Products, process such information as needed merely one bit.
that is, analyze it and integrate it via Edited by Gerald Ondrey
Cashco, Inc., and Neutronics Inc. Also
Device Type Manager (DTM), in com-
download a technical article with Author
pliance with NE 107 (Figure 3). Andr Fritsch is senior prod-
more detail. uct manager, remote I/O &
fieldbus technology in the Au-
Proactive maintenance tomation division of R. Stahl
tell me more Besides NE 107-oriented LED dis-
plays, state-of-the-art remote I/O
Schaltgerte GmbH (Am Bah-
nhof 30, 74638 Waldenburg, Germany; Phone: +49-7942-
modules should also feature an inte- 943-0; Fax: +49-7942-943-
4333; Email: sales-ex@stahl.
grated wear-detection capability. Dur- de). Fritsch has worked for
ing operation, such a system ought R. Stahl since 1988, starting
with the responsibility for the
to continuously measure all relevant product ranges of safety barriers and intrinsi-
cally safe galvanic isolators. Over the years he
module parameters, such as ambient gathered professional experience in the explo-
temperature, system load, and switch sion protection methods of intrinsic safety and
is responsible now for the product ranges I.S.
on/off cycles. Depending on these Remote I/O and Fieldbus Technology for Field-
conditions, the realistic lifespan in bus Foundation and Profibus. Besides the topic of
intrinsic safety, special knowledge was achieved
the context of the actual application concerning fieldbus technology according to IEC
should then be calculated. 61158, Realtime Ethernet and also functional
safety according to IEC 61508 and IEC 61511.
An NE 107-oriented monitoring Fritsch is member of the Fieldbus Foundation
EMEA Steering Committee, FF German Mar-
function can notify users in time for keting Committee, FF F-ROM Working Group
instance twelve months in advance and the Profibus User Organization. He has
published various articles around Remote I/O,
about the imminent end of life of a functional safety, HART Management, fieldbus
module. In most cases, users will then solutions for hazardous areas with Remote I/O
and Fieldbus products and Industrial Ethernet
be able to exchange that module with- for process automation. He holds a degree (Dipl.
out urgency at the next convenient Ing.) in electrical engineering with a focus on
automation technology from the Berufskadamie
opportunity. This will significantly Mosbach (Germany).

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., 2013 (35582)

Circle 5 on p. 56 or go to
Feature Report
Engineering Practice

Vapor Depressurization:
Concept and Implementation
When carrying out RO
(***) Slope
To flare or
depressurization >=2-in. (*) cold vent
(**) (**) Minimum
calculations, special Low temperature
if required

attention is needed for Specification break

if required for
Specification break
HP/LP or if required,
critical equipment and low temperature HP and low temperature/LP

systems such as rotating LEGEND

RO Restriction orifice (*) Fail open, full bore, tight shut-off valve
HP High pressure (**) 600 mm minimum or speedy BDV in piping class
equipment, columns LP Low pressure
for high pressure and low pressure, if required
Lock open or car seal open
and reactors FIGURE 1. Shown here is a typical arrangement for a blowdown system. It consists
of an on/off valve, a restriction oriice (RO) and a block valve

Hitesh Pandya Figure 1 shows a typical arrange- The trapped system inventory of
Saipem India Projects Ltd. ment for blowdown system. It consists hydrocarbons is above a minimum
of an on/off valve, a restriction orifice value (for instance, 2 tons of butane
uring process operations, elevated (RO) and a block valve. to 15 tons of butane and so on)

D pressure inside of isolated zones

within a process or system can be
rapidly reduced by the release of
gas and vapor to a dedicated blowdown
network. Analysis can be carried out to
In this case, a depressurizing sys-
tem can help to reduce internal stress,
thereby extending the life of the vessel
at a given temperature and reducing
the risk of failure. To be effective, such
The system contains toxic gases
(such as H2S)
The system contains any flam-
mable liquid above its autoignition
determine whether a given pressure- a system must depressurize the vessel The units represent high-pressure
relief device will provide sufficient pro- such that the reduced internal pres- sections of hydroprocessing units,
tection from potential vessel rupture sure is maintained below the critical such as the catalytic reformer, hy-
for an unwetted-wall vessel or a vessel value that will lead to vessel rupture. drotreater or others (these typically
containing a high-boiling-point liquid. The ability to depressurize the leak have depressurization systems)
When a pressure-relief valve alone source can also help reduce the dura- The potential for runaway reactions
is not adequate, additional protective tion and severity of the incident, be- exists
measures must also be considered. cause a vessel rupture can literally The compressor circuit can be iso-
These include, among others, the use add fuel to the fire. In general, the lated by shutdown valves
of water sprays, depressurizing sys- depressurization rates should be max- For the hydrocarbon section, the fol-
tems, fireproofing, earth-covered stor- imized within the total flare system lowing correlation between pressure
age and diversion walls. capacity that is, the sum of all re- and volume is satisfied:
More often, depressurizing systems quired simultaneous depressurization
PV>100, with P > 6.9 barg
are used to reduce the failure potential and relief rates should be close to, or
for scenarios that may involve poten- equal to, the flare system capacity. where P is the maximum operating
tial overheating (that is, a risk of fire). pressure in barg and V is the volume
For instance, when the temperature Requirements inventory in cubic meters. Depressur-
of a metal is increased due to expo- To identify systems that need de- ization facilities may not be required
sure to fire or exothermic or runaway pressurization, the criteria described when the system design pressure is
process reactions, a stress rupture below can be used. However, most of lower than 6.9 barg.
can develop. This can occur even the time it is either the companys past Depressurization to reduce the po-
though the system pressure has not experience, or the project- or client- tential risk of fire scenarios should
necessarily exceeded the maximum specific requirements, that dictate the be considered for large equipment
allowable level. system design. operating at a gage pressure of
Engineering Practice When depressurization of many units is required, it should be done sequentially based
on criticality and safety considerations. Such an approach can prevent the oversizing
of the flare system
Depressurization is normally done manually, either from the field or from a remote
1,700 kPa (approximately 250 psi) location. However, in unattended operation, such systems can be actuated automati-
or higher cally by a signal from the emergency shutdown system, or initiated by a fire- or gas-
detection system
Time, special considerations If there are many different compositions and conditions, the worst conditions are the
As per API 521 [1], equipment pres- ones which, in the case of depressurization, will generate the maximum volumetric
flare load
sure shall be reduced from its initial
For the wetted fire case, generally the lowest liquid-density condition provides the
conditions to a level equivalent to 50% highest peak-capacity load. Meanwhile, in the case of gas expansion, all operating
of the vessels design pressure within cases shall be considered in order to evaluate both the maximum volume (for hydrau-
approximately 15 min. lic calculations) and the mass (designing for flare loads)
This criterion is based on the ves- It should be ensured that common mode failure (such as loss of instrument air or
sel-wall temperature versus the stress electrical failure) cannot cause all the depressurizing valves to open simultaneously;
that is required to rupture, and applies otherwise the flare system must be able to accommodate this possibility. To avoid
generally to carbon-steel vessels with simultaneous opening of depressurization valves and ensure safety, separate air and
a wall thickness of 25.4 mm (1 in.) or power supply systems are usually warranted for each section
Within a fire zone, all depressurizing valves can open simultaneously
more. Vessels with thinner walls gen-
It should be noted that depressuring facilities are not typically provided for bulk stor-
erally require a somewhat faster de-
age of volatile liquids (such as liquefied petroleum gas, LPG), as the large inventories
pressurizing rate. The required rate would lead to excessively large relief systems. Instead, protection is normally provided
depends on the metallurgy of the ves- by water-deluge systems, which cool the metal wall to maintain a temperature below
sel, the thickness and initial tempera- that at which a stress rupture may occur
ture of the vessel wall and the rate of When depressurizing results in temperatures lower than the minimum design tempera-
heat input. ture for full pressure, depressurization shall not be done until the system warms up to
Other criteria for defining depres- the minimum design temperature for full pressure
surizing time (often based on the proj-
ect or company philosophy) are:
2 min per 3 mm of vessel thickness the calculation of flowrate and mini- Where a preliminary determination
with a minimum of 6 min and a mum-design metal temperature, up- of the depressurizing rate is required,
maximum of 15 min stream line sizing and downstream the following equation can be used:
For some equipment, such as molec- line sizing. The calculation of flow-
ular sieves, reactors and more, the rate and minimum-design metal tem-
vendors specify a rate (for instance, perature can be carried out using the (1)
50100 psi/min) to protect equip- method described in API 521 and using where:
ment integrity simulation software (such as HYSYS W1 = the initial depressuring rate,
The depressurization of a system or PRO II). It is quite possible that the kg/min
containing rotating equipment may governing case for the flowrate is the N = the initial moles of vapor in the
also require special consideration. fire case, whereas the governing case system
Depressurizing may be required in for the minimum design metal tem- M = the molecular weight of vapor,
much less than 15 min in the event perature is another operating case. In kg/kmol
of a loss of seal-oil pressure. In such such circumstances, separate calcula- t = time, min
cases, the rotating equipment ven- tions shall be performed to calculate P1 = initial upstream pressure, bara
dor may state the maximum time the flowrate and the minimum-design P2 = final upstream pressure, bara
for depressurizing metal temperature. Note: Any consistent set of units can
Columns may initially have very If both calculations are to be per- be used.
high vapor flowrates when depres- formed, then the governing flowrate This equation provides good results
surization starts. The columns (hence, the restriction orifice size) for vapor-only systems that is, sys-
vapor rate may be limiting based is first calculated with a given time tems where the vapor generated from
on the maximum vapor flowrate al- constraint (for instance, 15 minutes liquid flash or fire accounts for a small
lowed by the vendor. In such cases, with final pressure of 6.9 barg, or 50% proportion of the total vapor; for ex-
controlled depressurization shall be of operating pressure; see the Box on ample, the depressurization of a com-
carried out p. 45 for the initial condition). The pressor system for process reasons.
Note: Vapor depressurizing may be minimum-design metal temperature For other systems, a contingency of
impractical when the vessel operating is then calculated by using the calcu- between 20100% should be applied to
pressure is less than 8 bara, because lated restriction-orifice size, and by the calculated rate, to allow for uncer-
for these circumstances, the associ- reducing the pressure to a minimum tainties (for instance, vapor molecular
ated valves and piping can become un- flare back pressure (without any time weight changes that may result from
reasonably large and costly. constraint). For instance, it can take liquid flash).
more than 15 minutes (even 1 to 2 It should be noted that Equation
Sizing hours), with a given restriction orifice (1) is valid only for systems where the
The sizing of the vapor-depressuriza- size to reach the final pressure as the flowrate from the depressurization
tion equipment for a system requires minimum flare back pressure. calculations is critical for the duration
The initial conditions for the problem
discussed here can be summarized as:
Operating pressure equal to the de-
sign pressure is assumed to be the
starting point, unless the design pres-
sure is much higher (for instance,
greater than 10% above the operating
EXAMPLE Reference
pressure). In this case, the maximum Consider the example of a compressor 1. ANSI/API Standard 521, Pressure-Relieving
system that has the following conditions: and Depressurizing System, 5th ed., Janu-
operating pressure or PSHH (pressure ary 2007.
switch high high) must be selected to
Settleout pressure (P1) = 63.2 bara
avoid unnecessary oversizing of the
Initial temperature = 20C
blowdown valve. For a compressor
Total system volume = 487 m3
system, the initial pressure is the set-
Initial total moles (N) = 1,520
tleout pressure.
Molecular weight (M) = 19.15
Temperature is equal to the maximum
Final pressure (P2) = 7.51 bara
operating temperature (it is assumed
Depressurization time (t) = 15 min
that heat exchangers are stopped). If
Depressurization rate
the intention is to determine the min-
from Equation (1)
imum-design metal temperature, the
W1 = 1,52019.15/15ln(63.2/7.5)
initial temperature is the minimum op-
= 4136 kg/min = 248,163 kg/h
erating temperature or the minimum
Result from HYSYS simulation = 229,114
ambient temperature, whichever is
It can be seen that the results obtained
Liquid level is equal to normal liquid
from both calculations are very close.
level for vessels with auto-level control,
and high liquid level for vessels with
on/off control.
For piping systems only, the liquid level Another option is controlled de-
corresponds to the piping hold up for pressurization. This can be used if
piping. the vapor flowrate from calculation is
very high. In this arrangement, more
of depressurization. It also assumes than one set of blowdown valves and
that temperature, molecular weight restriction orifices is used. Initially,
and compressibility are constant only one set is opened and once the
throughout this period. pressure has been reduced (after 510
Generally, the upstream line (ahead minutes), other valves are opened.
of the restriction orifice) has a mini- This way, the vapor flowrate is re-
mum diameter of 2 in. and is sized for duced initially by opening only one
momentum (density multiplied by the valve when the differential pressure is
square of velocity ) less than 30,000 to high and it is increased by opening all
50,000 kg/m/s2 based on the pressure other valves.
of the system. Where the local laws permit it, it can
The line downstream of the restric- be appropriate to utilize depressuriza-
tion orifice should have a minimum tion as an alternative to relief devices
diameter of 2 in. and be sized for sized for the fire case. This scenario
momentum (density multiplied by typically works best under the follow-
square of velocity) less than 150,000 ing circumstances:
to 200,000 kg/m/s2 and Mach number a) The vessel contains only vapor, or
less than 0.7. has a high-boiling-point liquid;
b) An engineering analysis indicates
Other approaches that the additional protection pro-
Apart from the general arrangement vided by the relief device would serve
discussed here, other arrangements to little value in reducing the likelihood
reduce pressure or inventory to a more of a vessel rupture. n
acceptable level can also be used. For Edited by Suzanne Shelley
instance, in a high-pressure system, Author
there might be two types of depressur- Hitesh Pandya is a princi-
pal engineer at Saipem India
ization: High-rate depressurization Projects Limited (Email:
and low-rate depressurization. High- hitesh_pandya@rediffmail.
com). He has more than nine
rate depressurizing of plant facilities years of experience in the
is typically used to immediately and oil-and-gas industries in the
fields of engineering design
quickly evacuate equipment inven- and operation. Hitesh has
tory in an emergency situation. Low- worked with many engineer-
ing and operating companies
rate depressurizing of plant facilities on petrochemicals, LNG, and
oil-and-gas projects. Hitesh holds a B.Tech. de-
is typically used for process control or gree in chemical engineering from Banaras
other operational reasons. Hindu University.
Circle 9 on p. 56 or go to


Feature Report
Engineering Practice

From Concept to
Commercial Production
These four steps of
process development
are typically necessary
to effectively scale
a concept into full
Steve Donen
Rivertop Renewables

hemical technology is in a state
of constant innovation and evo-
lution that is being spearheaded
by laboratory researchers across FIGURE 1. Utilizing a scaled-up reactor during laboratory testing enables further
the world. Within the past decade, re- in-depth evaluation of process economics, cost-beneit analysis and costs of known
search specific to green or bio-based dependencies
chemicals has gathered funding and
momentum as broad-based opinion of commercial scale challenges can fied at this stage, but often this work
has shifted toward themes such as cost tens of millions of dollars more is limited to proof of performance. It
sustainability, renewables and conser- than it would have taken to develop a is very important to list these critical
vation. This momentum has impelled concept systematically. issues that need to be solved either
advances in green chemistry that are Assuming market demand is de- before proceeding or during the next
resulting in new products and appli- veloped and validated, this article stages of development. At this stage,
cations in bioplastics, resins, clean- discusses the four steps that are gen- a high-level cost analysis is conducted
ing supplies, corrosion inhibition and erally necessary to effectively scale a to identify critical issues concerning
much more as industries look for more concept into full production: 1) proof of the product and its economic viability
economically and environmentally concept; 2) laboratory testing; 3) pilot- along with business value hypotheses.
sustainable solutions for the future. scale or semi-works development; and While this early phase of analysis,
This green boom has led the way for 4) commercial production. discovery and proof of performance
thousands of new patents as innova- can be exciting, it is very important
tions are explored and tested across Proof of concept for researchers to be as objective as
many sectors. Unfortunately, the road Once a concept for a new technology has possible when evaluating the pathway
from concept to commercial-scale pro- been conceived, testing is conducted to forward. During this period, a hypoth-
duction is often long and arduous, demonstrate that the concept works. esis of real commercial value must be
which prevents many from seeing This process generally involves docu- developed. Do not let a seemingly good
their product ever reach consumers. menting the invention for patents or idea blind commercial value analysis.
One of the greatest production chal- publishing by conducting small batch Best practices. Include stakeholders
lenges to overcome is budgeting the testing to prove a reaction, conversion, from across your company including
necessary time and resources to de- or separation actually creates a prod- research, engineering, business and
velop and scale a product properly. uct that meets performance criteria, finance departments throughout this
Early stage concepts are constantly such as yield, concentration and reac- process. There have been too many
under pressure to get up and running tion rate or creates a new chemical instances of companies in the green
as quickly as possible, but a few weeks altogether. Critical issues are identi- chemistry space at this stage who ne-
glected to field views from all aspects Best practices. In the laboratory capable of uninterrupted running for
of the business and the new technol- testing stage, best practices include a minimum of six months. This step
ogy looking for a problem won out, the following: is often shortened and not fully inte-
when further development of the busi- Documentation is key. Ensure that grated with all the recycles, or worse
ness case was required. critical issues and solutions iden- yet, even skipped. Recycle streams,
tified during this stage are docu- impurity buildups and contamination
Laboratory testing mented along the way. This includes can have devastating results on a com-
The laboratory testing stage involves discoveries on the economics of the mercial facility. It is critical to know
early process development, which is process, cost-benefit analysis, and the lifecycle of bio-catalysts or other
aimed at preparing the data necessary costs of known dependencies for catalysts, and to learn what contami-
to scale to a fully integrated pilot or the process. nants to expect, what fouls them under
semi-works facility. During this stage, All these processes usually require perfect conditions, or with varying raw
which is completed in a laboratory, multiple steps, often referred to materials. Not having detailed data on
the critical issues identified in the as unit operations. Do not skip or impurity buildups can eventually cost
proof-of-concept stage are resolved or shorten these development steps a project millions of dollars in produc-
abated enough to continue to the next and be sure to complete each unit tivity from contamination, fouling of
stage. Many times unit operations are operation testing in series, locking catalysts, contaminated solvents and
identified as conjecture or anyone in parameters prior to going to the lowered capacities (Figure 2).
skilled in the art but never tested next unit operation. Each success- The capacity of the pilot facility is
at the proof-of-concept stage. Every ful unit operation is linked to the specifically tailored to minimize the
step in the process is tested and data previous one and many modifica- steps necessary to scale from labo-
are developed on the laboratory bench tions can impact how the next unit ratory operations to a commercial
to prove performance and economics operation performs, many times facility. Many types of operations,
of the overall process, generally using even completely changing the next if the correct size is chosen, can be
standard in-house laboratory equip- unit operation. scaled in a single step from a pilot
ment (Figure 1) or via vendors. This In todays technology-driven world, to a commercial facility. A simple ex-
step is oftentimes skipped completely process modeling can help dramati- ample is distillation.
or not executed fully due to time con- cally, both in process speed and the If you build a distillation column in
straints or impatience. A general es- identification of step completion. It this step that is large enough to mini-
timate of when the laboratory stage is recommended to use first-princi- mize wall effects (8-in. dia.), then it
is complete is when all necessary in- ple-type data in the model, which could be possible to scale hundreds of
formation concerning kinetics, vapor are typically available for exist- times bigger and essentially transition
liquid equilibrium, solubility, physical ing materials and offer significant from semi-works to commercial in one
properties, solids separation, and all time efficiencies. step. If your process includes difficult-
other relevant properties is known To help decide if the bio-based to-scale unit operations, such as solids
with enough detail to develop a pro- chemical or product should be de- separations, then scaling at greater
cess model using modeling programs. veloped, you must further define its than ten to twenty times is very risky
Any gaps in the model are basically commercial value and cost models, and these types of processes will usu-
gaps in the process knowledge. while evaluating if the technology ally require at least two steps from a
The model can then be used to create has a commercial value that sup- pilot and semi-works facility to get to
a mass and energy balance (M&EB), ports moving forward. Again, there a commercial-scale process. In select-
which is used to design and build a fully is a strong need to involve team ing the number of steps required to
integrated pilot facility. Once a material members from research, engineer- scale from pilot- to a commercial-scale
balance can be developed, a relatively ing, finance and business depart- facility, it is best to begin by identify-
accurate cost model can be created, ments in this step to make the deci- ing the most challenging unit opera-
which will be the economic basis for sion to move forward. However, just tion of the process to scale up and then
the decision to continue development as important as internal scrutiny, it establish the steps necessary to scale
or to cancel the project. The length of is vital to involve an outside project- up that part of the process.
laboratory testing varies greatly due analysis company to conduct an as- Upon successfully completing the
to different process complexity and re- sessment of your project and provide pilot/semi-works step, a fully devel-
sourcing levels, but it generally takes feedback on the process readiness oped and integrated process model
a minimum of six months to multiple to move toward commercialization. should be in place, as well as M&EBs
years of experimentation. This step and project equipment specifications
should always include a combination of Pilot/semi-works development that can be scaled to commercial lev-
chemists, chemical engineers, and pro- Once the laboratory development els and be ready to start the front-
cess and economic modelers and should phase is complete, it is time to move to end-loading of the commercial plant.
involve coordination with development a fully integrated pilot or semi-works During this process, partners and
partners to ensure product specifica- facility, which includes recycle streams customers should be provided or sold
tions can be met. and continuous and batch operations samples as further proof that there
Engineering Practice

is a market for the new product. This up very well. However,

will provide the process and engineer- many others, such as sol-
ing development team the information ids separations, do not.
necessary to understand the quality Processes involving solids,
requirements for the product. Due to separations and handling
vast differences in emerging technolo- should only be scaled 10
gies and their complexities, the pilot to 20 times, so it may be
FIGURE 2. Data collection from a continuous-
process can take anywhere from one necessary to do two pilot/ operating pilot facility is critical to understanding
to multiple years. But, by the end of semi-works steps prior to and solving all critical issues with a process before
pilot/semi-works development, the being ready for commer- making the jump to the inal commercialization stage
capital and operating costs will be cial production.
fully understood in order to make the Again, remember the recurring time (starting with completely de-
decision to go forward with a commer- theme of ensuring involvement from veloped FEL) and then increases in
cial facility. all sides of business (engineering, speed as the project moves along,
Best practices. For pilot-scale or research and finance), and poten- as opposed to starting too fast and
semi-works development, the follow- tially outside consultants, to review being sidetracked, leading to a slow,
ing are best practices: and evaluate the project before mov- drawn-out project.
Build a fully integrated facility that ing to the final stage. By this point in the project, there
includes all recycle streams. In any will be many stakeholders across all
process, impurities will build up over Commercial production sectors of the business. Ensure that
time as recycle streams are utilized, This final step is by far the most all of these stakeholders agree with
so understanding what the impu- costly, but if the preceding steps are the final project objectives and goals,
rities are and how they affect the completed, the cost can be minimized and that the full business proposal
process is important. In this step, and quickly recouped with product is understood and agreed upon.
technologies needed to mitigate any sales. The high cost is based on the In this final stage, dependencies
recycle issues should be developed. enormous amount of capital and re- increase and timelines can cross
Waiting until commercial produc- sources required to build, stock, oper- or overlap. To ensure all members
tion to learn and address impurity ate and locate the new facility. Many of your team understand their re-
issues can pay for many pilot plant key components go into site selection, sponsibilities, it is recommended to
operations in only a few months of including: partners, supply chain, lo- establish lines of communication
failed commercial operations. gistics, regulatory permitting, capital and have the time and resources
Complete the process model and funding and taxes. A well-developed needed for success. Create a team
close all mass and energy loops in project can take only months to start that spans all parts of business in-
the process. By this point in green up whereas a poorly developed project cluding; quality-control, laboratory,
chemical development, the mass and can require years and millions of dol- research, engineering, construction,
energy balances should be complete lars in additional capital and operat- business, financial, supply chain,
and can be used to develop precise ing costs. maintenance, safety, industrial hy-
and well-defined operating costs. Best practices. For commercial-scale giene, operations leadership and
Also, an early-phase factored capi- production, the following are best plant operators.
tal estimate should be developed at practices: When moving to this scale of op-
the pilot/semi-works stage in order As you enter final commercial-scale erations, and hence product produc-
to have a 35% capital cost estimate production, the use of complete pro- tion, government regulations and
for your final project. cess models remains critical, partic- permitting play an important and
Given that this is the final step be- ularly to develop accurate mass and unavoidable role in the ability to
fore commercial production, there energy balances. keep the project on schedule. Do not
are several final cross-checks that Conduct thorough front-end loading underestimate permitting issues
must be met. These include under- (FEL) for engineering, including the and dedicate needed personnel re-
standing and solving all criti- hiring of an outside project firm to sources in advance in order to meet
cal issues, as well as testing and complete an analysis of the FEL re- all regulatory requirements and
confirming that products manufac- sults to ensure the process is ready keep the project on schedule.
tured in this stage meet customer for construction. Prior to commencing construction,
requirements. Putting steel in the ground can be ensure all impacts of site selection
While it can be inviting to try to use an exciting and culminating time for have been considered and researched
this phase to make dramatic jumps a company, but despite any outside appropriately. Site selection is critical
in production quantities to prove pressures from investors or other for not only internal plant issues, but
technology readiness, remember to stakeholders, do not rush into con- also for supply chain costs and logis-
use appropriate scaleup steps and struction. Ultimately construction tics for raw materials and products.
avoid scaling too large. Some pro- is the most time- and cost-efficient Often, supply chain costs can be more
cesses, such as distillation, scale when it starts at the appropriate than conversion costs (manufactur-
ing costs without raw materials). may appear cumbersome and a bur- development reach the commercial
Remember it is more important to den to innovation. However, they scale as efficiently as possible in both
have a project that makes quality ultimately minimize the costs of in- costs and timing.
products as quickly as possible than vestment, thus protecting investors Edited by Dorothy Lozowski
it is to start production on a certain, as much as possible and leading to
often arbitrary date. A poorly de- overall success and longterm pro- Author
Steve Donen is the vice pres-
veloped project (incomplete or even duction. These steps are designed to ident of Process Development
skipped development steps) can work as a stage-gate process, proving and Engineering for Rivertop
Renewables (1121 E. Broad-
take months or even years to start the processes and products at each way St., Missoula, MT 59802;
up. A well-defined, thought-out proj- step. By the time a concept reaches Phone: 406-549-6126; Email:, a
ect can be up and running quickly. commercial-scale production, there renewable chemical company
After the long road from laboratory should be little doubt concerning the creating an abundant and
economical supply of sustain-
to commercial-scale production, a innovations success. This system is able, biodegradable chemicals
and bioproducts derived from
ribbon cutting can feel like the fin- successful in minimizing the costs at renewable plant sugars. Donen has more than 30
ish line. However, once a plant is up various stages by preventing millions years of experience in the chemical processing in-
dustries, including executive leadership positions
and running, it is crucial to conduct of dollars in additional costs from cor- in manufacturing, engineering and technology de-
a project debriefing with all stake- recting scaleup errors or not meeting velopment. Prior to joining Rivertop, Donen played
a comparable role at Segetis, a startup company
holders to evaluate and learn for the investor and company expectations. developing bio-based industrial materials in the
next project. Process development is As sustainable innovation and inven- areas of adhesives, additives and polyols. There
he led the scaleup of a unique thermochemical
just that, a process that must always tion continue, we as process develop- process. Previously, Donen spent 13 years with
industry pioneer NatureWorks (originally a joint
continue and improve. ers and engineers will continue to venture known as Cargill Dow LLC) as director
learn and apply improvements to this of manufacturing technology and engineering,
where he led the development and construction of
Final thoughts system. For today, these four steps the first ever global scale polymer plant making
From an outside perspective, these contain simple and cautious lessons plastic from bio-based feedstocks. Before Cargill
Dow, Donen was the global technology manager
four steps of process development learned that can help any process for Dows polystyrene business.

The Chemical Engineering bookstore offers a

variety of industry topics you will come to rely on.

Environmental Management: Air-Pollution Control

Environmental Management: Wastewater and Groundwater Treatment
Fluid Handling
Gas-Solid and Liquid-Solid Separation
Liquid-Liquid and Gas-Liquid Separation
Managing Bulk Solids

For a complete list of products, visit the Chemical

Engineering bookstore now.


Feature Report
Engineering Practice

Compressors: N2 Expands the

Applicability of Dry Gas Seals
Purge gas

When the process gas T: 2.5C

P: 0.7 kg/cm2g
T: 5C
P: 5.1
to flare

is dirty or corrosive, Nitrogen to
Knock out
nitrogen can be used primary seal Chiller

to ensure trouble-free Motor T: 50C

P: 5.2 kg/cm2g
operation of the seal, but Compressor

it requires special steps T: 38C

P: 5.1 kg/cm2g
Samir K. Nayek and
Leena Chaudhari Suction Separator
knock out
Reliance Industries Ltd. India drum

ngoing advances in the design
and use of dry gas seals (DGSs; FIGURE 1. This igure shows a compressor system that uses dry gas seals (DGSs).
[1]) as an alternative to tra- DGSs use nitrogen rather than process gas, for a variety of reasons discussed here
ditional oil-lubricated wet seals
[2] have helped to improve the reli- possibility for wear; thus, there is no The lowest-cost and most-conve-
ability and efficiency of compressors need for lubrication. nient option is to use a slipstream of
throughout the chemical process in- Apart from this inherent reliability, process gas from the compressor dis-
dustries (CPI). One of the major design this approach eliminates the cost and charge. In many applications, the use
considerations in mechanical seals is hassles of processing the circulating of the process gas or some non-con-
how to protect seal faces from wear, as lubrication oil. In general, the replace- densable components of the process
one face rotates close to a static face. ment of wet seals by DGSs is quite com- fluid supported by the use of an
In traditional oil seals, the use of oil mon, and the opportunity for enhanced application-specific, gas-conditioning
lubrication prevents such wear. reliability often justifies such an invest- system with a sophisticated control
As their name suggests, DGSs are ment. However, in some isolated appli- system is quite common.
free from wet oil lubrication. Instead, cations, compatibility issues between Auxiliary systems that include high-
DGSs typically use the process gas to the seal material and the process fluid efficiency filtration and the provision
prevent seal wear. When the process can be a limiting factor, and will re- of superheating capabilities are often
gas is dirty or corrosive, nitrogen may quire additional, process-specific steps. adequate for treating the process gas
be used as an external gas source for One such case is discussed below. to meet the seal-gas specifications.
seal face lubrication. The costs associated with such a sec-
DGSs operate on the principle of Options and constraints ondary treatment system must be fac-
maintaining micro-level separation As noted, the seal gas or gases used in tored into the decisionmaking when it
(due to fluid-dynamic lift) between the DGSs is compressed by the rotating comes to selecting the most appropri-
two seal faces. Grooves in the rotat- seal faces. The reliability of the DGSs ate seal gas. In some cases, such an
ing ring generate the necessary seal- is absolutely dependent on a reliable analysis will reveal that the economics
gas pressure to maintain a gap of the supply of a high-quality seal gas. The of adding a process-gas-conditioning
order of 3 to 10 microns between the presence of particulate matter, liquid system (to meet the stringent seal-gas
seal faces. During operation, this seal droplets or other incompatible chemi- specifications) is unfavorable.
gas becomes compressed and the pres- cals may interfere with and damage In some applications, the presence
surized gas keeps the two seal faces seal faces and cause seal failure, of highly corrosive chemicals in the
apart. However, a small amount of leading to machine stoppages. Ide- process gas may rule out its use as the
this gas will get into system. ally, the seal gas must be clean, non- seal gas in DGSs. However, in these
In DGSs, the seal faces are not in condensing, and compatible with the cases, the use of a clean, external gas,
contact with each other so there is no seal faces. such as nitrogen, may be considered
as an alternative. This is especially condenser (Figure 1). Since nitrogen bated, its application must still be
useful at integrated sites where nitro- is non-condensable, it will accumulate determined by a cost-benefit analysis.
gen is available onsite as a utility. The in the condenser and thus affect the The total cost of nitrogen, the costs
use of an external source of seal gas condensation of the iC4 vapor, thereby of the loss of associated iC4, and the
is a feasible and practical option for increasing the compressor discharge cost of refrigeration (to operate the
eliminating risk of seal damage that pressure. chiller) must be weighed against the
could occur due to the failure of treat- The use of non-condensable vent- operating cost of the wet seal and the
ment systems, or because of a drop in ing from the far end (that is, from the anticipated increase in reliability of
process gas pressure [1]. vapor-entry point) of the condenser is the DGSs.
a standard remedy to the occasional In the replacement case discussed
Impact of an external seal gas non-condensable blanketing problem. here, the refrigerant compressor may
The principle of functioning of DGSs Continuous purging to get rid of the become overloaded with this addi-
requires a very small ingress of seal continuous ingress of nitrogen is not tional chiller load. Since the actual
gas to the process side of the compres- likely to be economical. Although the operating cost and considerations will
sor. In some applications, this could amount of nitrogen that gets into the vary from place to place, no attempt is
lead to process-fluid contamination. process is small, the use of a continu- made here to present a fit-for-all con-
Although good design can restrict this ous purge will lead to a significant loss clusion. Further, the cost of potential
small source of leaked gas to a mini- of associated iC4. seal failure (associated with the use
mum, its impact unless evaluated Being saturated with iC4 vapor, the of oil-lubricated seals) and the conse-
and addressed may lead to opera- composition of the purge gas will vary quent downtime for the process is a
tional problems. as a function of the operating pres- factor of process and its profitability.
In some cases, the process is able to sure and cooling-water temperature. For safety reasons, nitrogen systems
integrate this minor ingress of clean, At the condensation temperature for are normally robust and highly reli-
inert nitrogen without any further iC4, with cooling water (supply tem- able in refineries and petrochemical
concern. But in other cases, an exit perature at 32C), this purge stream complexes. This often helps to justify
strategy such as the use of chemi- will have about 82 vol.% iC4 at the the use of nitrogen as an alternative
cal or physical means, such as reac- pressure (at 5 kg/cm2) used for this to process gas with a gas-treatment
tion, solution or purging must be calculation. A continuous purge mode system to support the use of DGS in
used to remove this leaked gas from will lead to substantial loss of the as- compressor applications. n
the system downstream of the com- sociated iC4 with the nitrogen, making Edited by Suzanne Shelley
pressor. Again, the system complexity this scheme uneconomical.
and costs associated with these op- Ingress of, say, 100 kg/h of nitrogen References
tions will vary from system to system will lead to about 1 m.t./h iC4 loss to 1. Stahley, John S., Dry Gas Seals Handbook,
Pennwell Corp., Tulsa, Okla..
and will influence whether or not the the flare. To reduce this loss, the tem-
2. Bloch, Heinz P., A Practical Guide to Com-
use of a dry gas seal is appropriate for perature of the purge stream can be pressor Technology, 2nd Ed., Wiley Inter-
a given application. reduced through a chiller, as shown in science, p. 357.
the figure. With respect to loss reduc-
Refrigeration compressor loop tion, the lower the temperature, the Authors
The refrigeration compressor dis- better. In the application shown in the Samir Kumar Nayek was,
until his recent retirement,
cussed in this case history is used to figure, we use 5C. senior vice president of Reli-
compress isobutane (iC4) vapor that is Refrigerant vapor from this chiller ance Industries Ltd. India
(Email: samir.nayek@gmail.
generated in the process plant. Com- is led to the compressor suction. The com). He holds a masters de-
pressed vapor gets condensed in a wa- chiller pressure is, by design, kept gree (MTech) in chemical en-
ginering from the University
ter-cooled condenser and the liquid re- to a minimum (the lowest possible of Calcutta, and a degree in
industrial engineering from
frigerant is supplied back to process. value, as limited by the compressor Indian Institution of Indus-
It is considered that the process suction pressure). At low tempera- trial Engineering. Nayek has
more than 35 years of experience in process plant
gas from the compressor discharge tures, the iC4 from the purge stream management, commissioning of major grass-
will not meet the required seal-gas will condense and will be routed to roots projects, and safety and technical service,
and has held leadership positions in large-scale
specification due to the presence of the separator by gravity. The extent petroleum refinery and petrochemical plants at
contaminants. Since the treatment of the recovery of iC4 depends on the a Fortune 500 company. He has authored several
technical articles.
of the process gas to remove the con- chiller temperature, and, in turn, by Leena Chaudhari is a se-
taminants is not economical in this the suction pressure of the compres- nior technologist at Reliance
Industries Ltd. (Email: leena.
case, the use of nitrogen is the pre- sor. At conditions shown in the figure, She
ferred alternative seal gas for this ap- this loss can be reduced to the order holds a chemical engineering
degree from the University
plication. of 100 kg/h. Insitute of Chemical Technol-
As mentioned above, a small amount ogy (Mumbai, India). Over
the past seven years at Reli-
of nitrogen will get into the process Closing thoughts ance, Chaudhari has provided
specialized technical services
system through the seal faces and While in principle the scheme de- for a variety of aromatics and
thus flow with the iC4 vapor to the scribed here is too simple to be de- linear alkyl benzene plants.


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Fractionation Manager

Team building
ave you ever participated in a the entire technician staff to partici-

H team-building exercise, the type

where Human Resources person-
nel teach a group of individuals
how to work better together? Ill bet that
during my career I participated in about
pate but they did. They were all
fully committed and fully focused on
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somewhat-unusual event turned into
the best team-building exercise in the
ten such exercises, but right now I only history of FRI.
remember two. The column entry and the column Mike Resetarits is the technical director
The Men-on-the-Moon exercise was exit went totally smoothly. Terry re- at Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI; Still-
a great one. You were asked to imagine ported that, The last three men that water, Okla.;, a distillation
that you had crash-landed on the Moon entered the column for the first time research consortium. Each month, Mike
shares his first-hand experience with CE
and you were allowed to take only 10 of squealed like little girls when we sus- readers
20 items outside of the space capsule pended them in the swing high above
with you. Would you take a gun, a tent, the empty column; Joella just smiled. their comfort zones or their managers
matches or cell phone? You submitted Most importantly, Joella and Terry assign them to those zones. To build a
your answers as individuals. Then, all made assorted significant changes in team or to improve a team, the team
participants sat together, talked it over the procedure. Column entries will be needs to be shaken up. They need to
and submitted a group answer. Real as- even safer in the future. crash land on the Moon, or hold a rope
tronauts composed the answer sheet. In Teamwork happens every day. Team- in a parking lot, or protect Joella as
our case, the group out-performed all of work is all around us. Unfortunately, she enters a distillation column for
the individuals. Working together, the certain team members perform the the first time.
team had most of the answers. same roles, again and again. They find Mike Resetarits
In another team-building exercise,
30 people were divided into three
groups. Each group stood on a hot as-
phalt parking lot and formed a circle
and held a rope at waist level. I did not
know what that exercise was all about
then, and I sure dont know now.
I have entered many industrial col-
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FREE PRODUCT INFO 14 engineering, Design & Construc- 29 10 to 49 employees 47 Pollution Control equipment
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15 engineering/environmental Ser- 31 100 to 249 employees 48 Pumps
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17 energy incl. Co-generation 34 1,000 or more employees equipment
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09 agricultural Chemicals tion equipment
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10 Petroleum reining, 43 instrumentation & Control Sys-
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11 rubber & misc. Plastics 44 mixing, Blending equipment 57 Chemicals & raw materials
12 Stone, Clay, glass, Ceramics EMPLOYEE SIZE 45 motors, motor Controls 58 materials of Construction
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1 16 31 46 61 76 91 106 121 136 151 166 181 196 211 226 241 256 271 286 301 316 331 346 361 376 391 406 421 436 451 466 481 496 511 526 541 556 571 586
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4 19 34 49 64 79 94 109 124 139 154 169 184 199 214 229 244 259 274 289 304 319 334 349 364 379 394 409 424 439 454 469 484 499 514 529 544 559 574 589
5 20 35 50 65 80 95 110 125 140 155 170 185 200 215 230 245 260 275 290 305 320 335 350 365 380 395 410 425 440 455 470 485 500 515 530 545 560 575 590
6 21 36 51 66 81 96 111 126 141 156 171 186 201 216 231 246 261 276 291 306 321 336 351 366 381 396 411 426 441 456 471 486 501 516 531 546 561 576 591
7 22 37 52 67 82 97 112 127 142 157 172 187 202 217 232 247 262 277 292 307 322 337 352 367 382 397 412 427 442 457 472 487 502 517 532 547 562 577 592
8 23 38 53 68 83 98 113 128 143 158 173 188 203 218 233 248 263 278 293 308 323 338 353 368 383 398 413 428 443 458 473 488 503 518 533 548 563 578 593
9 24 39 54 69 84 99 114 129 144 159 174 189 204 219 234 249 264 279 294 309 324 339 354 369 384 399 414 429 444 459 474 489 504 519 534 549 564 579 594
10 25 40 55 70 85 100 115 130 145 160 175 190 205 220 235 250 265 280 295 310 325 340 355 370 385 400 415 430 445 460 475 490 505 520 535 550 565 580 595
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14 29 44 59 74 89 104 119 134 149 164 179 194 209 224 239 254 269 284 299 314 329 344 359 374 389 404 419 434 449 464 479 494 509 524 539 554 569 584 599
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56 ChemiCal engineering www.Che.Com June 2013

Advertisers Index

Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number Advertiser Page number

Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service # Phone number Reader Service #

A Box 4 U 8, 19 Paharpur Cooling Towers 7 Samson AG 13

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Abbe, Paul O. 6 * Process Control Triple/S Dynamics Inc. 28b

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Chemstations 15 1-800-243-ROSS

Fike Corporation 20
1-866-758-6004 Classiied Index June 2013
Advertiser Page number
Flexicon Corporation 3 Phone number Reader Service # Advertisers
Product Showcase . . . . . . . 54
Applied e-Simulators
Software 55 Computer Software . . . . . . . 55
Fluid Line Products 45
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Arnold Company, The 54
1-800-245-7505 Equipment, New & Used . . 55
Hytorc 25 Eriez Manufacturing Co. 55 Advertiser Page number
1-888-300-3743 Phone number Reader Service #
Load Controls 33
1-888-600-3247 Ross, Charles & HFP Acoustical Son Company 55
Consultants 55 1-800-243-ROSS
Magnetrol International 4 1-713-789-9400
Wabash Power
Indeck Power Equipment Co. 55
Orion Instruments 35 Equipment Co. 55 1-800-704-2002
1-866-55-ORION 1-847-541-8300
Xchanger, Inc. 55
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Kraemer Garber Prejean Schaub Watson

Kenneth Lane becomes president of Mark Yingling joins The Doe Run vices and rentals for drilling, pipeline
BASFs Catalysts Div. (Iselin, N.J.), Co. (St. Louis, Mo.), a natural and process operations, makes the
succeeding Frank Bozich, who has resources company and producer of following announcements: Gene Gar-
decided to leave the company. lead, as vice-president of environmen- ber becomes chief integration officer;
tal health and safety. Blayne Prejean becomes operations
Klber Lubrication North America manager of GEGs Cherokee Services
LP (Londonderry, N.H.) names Ralf Technology provider GEA Process division; and Elroy Schaub becomes
Kraemer CEO. He succeeds Dieter Engineering Ltd. (Dsseldorf, technical sales representative.
Becker, who returns to Klbers global Germany), names David Wilkinson
headquarters in Munich, Germany. automation service manager to Moore Industries International
support automation control systems (North Hills, Calif.), a maker of elec-
Heather Rayle becomes senior busi- throughout the U.K. tronic measurement and interface
ness director at specialty chemicals instruments, hires Tom Watson as its
maker Sartomer USA LLC Greenes Energy Group (GEG; new corporate marketing manager.
(Exton, Pa.). Houston), a provider of testing ser- Suzanne Shelley


2008 Incorp


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Written for engineers, by engineers

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Economic Indicators
polylactic acid (PLA) technology (for more at an industrial park in Genthin, Germany,
process details, see Chem. Eng., March close to Berlin.The unit will develop and
Evonik plans new precipitated- 2012; produce surfactant solutions for Solvays
silica plant in Brazil html).The facility, with a capacity of more home and personal care products, and for
May 10, 2013 Evonik Industries AG (Essen, than 10,000 ton/yr, will produce high-per- industrial customers serving Central and
Germany; has started formance PLA for a broad range of applica- Eastern Europe.The unit is scheduled to be
basic engineering for a precipitated-silica tions. Commercial production is planned to operational by the 1st Q of 2014.
plant in Brazil. Subject to the approval of start in the 2nd half of 2014.
the responsible bodies, Evonik aims to com- Sener and Obrascn Huarte Lain to build
plete the plant in 2015.The planned facility BASF and Petronas to build an integrated a cogeneration plant in Mexico
in Americana, with an investment level in aroma-ingredients complex in Malaysia April 10, 2013 Pemex Refinacin
the middle double-digit million-euro range, April 25, 2013 BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Ger- (Huasteca, Mexico;
would be Evoniks first silica production facil- many; and Petronas Chemi- has awarded to a consortium formed
ity in South America.The company has also cals Group Berhad (PCG; Kuala Lumpur, by Sener (Madrid, Spain;
announced plans to expand its annual ca- Malaysia; in- and the industrial division of the company
pacity for precipitated silica at the U.S. Amer- tend to invest $500 million (MYR 1.5 billion) in Obrascn Huarte Lain a turnkey project
ican Chester site by around 20,000 metric an integrated aroma-ingredients project at for the construction of a 35-MW cogen-
tons (m.t.).The U.S. plant, with an investment their existing joint-venture site BASF Petronas eration plant in its Francisco I Madero
in the lower double-digit million-euro range, Chemicals in Gebeng, Kuantan. At the heart petroleum refinery, located in the state
is planned to come onstream in 2014. of the complex will be a plant for citral, and of Tamaulipas, Mexico.The facility will be
precursor plants.The partners will also invest equipped with a heavy-duty type gas tur-
NPN to build $1.5-billion nitrogen-fertilizer in downstream production for aroma ingre- bine as well as with a heat-recovery steam
plant in North Dakota dients including a new plant for L-menthol generator (HRSG). Supplementary com-
May 9, 2013 Northern Plains Nitrogen and a plant for citronellol. Production will be bustion associated with the gas turbine will
(NPN; Grand Forks, N.D.; www.northernplains developed in phases, with the first plants of generate 115 ton/h of steam at a pressure has announced plans to the project operational in 2016. of 19 kg/cm and 275C.This steam will
build and operate a $1.5-billion nitrogen- be used within the refinery in the produc-
fertilizer production facility near Grand Forks, KBR to provide technology and services tion process of the new gasoline- and
N.D.The facility will include a 2,200-ton/d for grassroots ammonia plant diesel-desulfurization plants.Sener and the
ammonia plant, plus urea and urea-ammo- April 17, 2013 KBR (Houston; www.kbr. industrial division of Obrascn Huarte Lain
nium-nitrate (UAN) production facilities.The com) has been awarded a contract by will manage the project in full coordination
facility will be located on land adjacent to Incitec Pivot Ltd.s U.S. business, Dyno Nobel, in a Full Joint Venture structure, in which
the Grand Forks Wastewater Treatment Plant. to provide engineering, procurement and there is no division of responsibilities for
It is expected that the plant will be complet- construction (EPC) services, as well as tech- each company.
ed in time for the 2017 growing season. nology licensing and equipment, for an
ammonia plant to be built in Waggaman,
Commercial debut of the AlkyClean solid- La.The contract award is valued at approxi- MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
acid alkylation process mately $600 million.The 800,000-m.t./yr am- Solvay and Ineos join forces to create a
April 30, 2013 CB&I (The Woodlands,Tex.; monia facility will be designed using KBRs world-class PVC producer has been awarded a con- Purifier technology. May 7, 2013 Solvay S.A. and Ineos AG
tract by Shandong Wonfull Petrochemical (Rolle, Switzerland; have
Group Co. to provide the license and pro- Solvay plans to build large-scale signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to combine
cess engineering design for a first-of-a-kind alkoxylation facility in Singapore . . . their European chlorvinyls activities in a
solid-acid alkylation unit to be located in April 16, 2013 Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Bel- proposed 50-50 joint venture (JV).The com-
China.The unit will be capable of producing gium; www.solvay) says that it will build a bination would form a polyvinyl chloride
100,000 ton/yr of alkylate and is scheduled large-scale alkoxylation facility in Singapore, (PVC) producer ranking among the top
for startup in early 2014.The unit will use the which is expected to start operations by three worldwide, says Solvay.The combined
AlkyClean process technology (for more 2015.The facility will be connected to Shell's business would pool each companys as-
information, see p. 11), developed by CB&Is new high-purity ethylene oxide (HPEO) unit sets across the entire chlorvinyls chain.This
Technology operating group, Albemarle located in the integrated petrochemical includes PVC, which is the third most-used
Corp. (Orangeburg, S.C.) and Neste Oil (Es- hub of Jurong Island.Through the alkoxyla- plastic in the world, caustic soda and chlo-
poo, Finland). tion process, key monomers are produced rine derivatives. RusVinyl, Solvays Russian
that serve downstream surfactant develop- joint venture in chlorvinyls with Sibur, is ex-
Sulzer awarded contract for biopolymer ment and manufacturing. cluded from the transaction. Until comple-
production plant in Asia tion of the transaction, which is dependent
April 25, 2013 Sulzer Ltd. (Winterthur, . . . and plans to build a specialty on approval and procedures, Solvay and
Switzerland; has been surfactant plant in Germany Ineos will continue to run their PVC busi-
awarded a contract for the delivery of a pro- April 12, 2013 Solvay S.A. has announced nesses separately.
duction plant based on Sulzers proprietary that it will build a specialty surfactant plant Dorothy Lozowski


June 2013; VOL. 120; NO. 6
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Economic Indicators 2011 2012 2013



Mar. 13 Feb. 13 Mar. 12
(195759 = 100) Index:
Prelim. Final Final 600
CE Index 568.3 569.9 596.1 2005 = 468.2
Equipment 688.3 690.9 729.9 2006 = 499.6
Heat exchangers & tanks 624.2 627.4 686.6 550
Process machinery 651.1 653.8 680.7 2007 = 525.4
Pipe, valves & fittings 879.8 887.6 934.8 2008 = 575.4
Process instruments 414.5 417.0 433.9 500
2009 = 521.9
Pumps & compressors 920.4 917.4 922.2
Electrical equipment 514.4 513.5 513.6 2010 = 550.8
Structural supports & misc 741.1 739.3 772.1 450
2011 = 585.7
Construction labor 319.0 318.9 323.0
Buildings 534.2 530.9 526.2 2012 = 584.6
Engineering & supervision 326.9 326.6 327.8 400


CPI output index (2007 = 100) Apr. '13 = 87.9 Mar. '13 = 88.1 Feb. '13 = 88.3 Apr.'12 = 87.4
CPI value of output, $ billions Mar. '13 = 2,123.10 Feb. '13 = 2,192.70 Jan. '13 = 2,195.40 Mar.'12 = 2,167.30
CPI operating rate, % Apr. '13 = 74.3 Mar. '13 = 74.6 Feb. '13 = 74.8 Apr.'12 = 74.9
Producer prices, industrial chemicals (1982 = 100) Apr. '13 = 308.7 Mar. '13 = 313.5 Feb. '13 = 314.2 Apr.'12 = 328.9
Industrial Production in Manufacturing (2007=100) Apr. '13 = 95.2 Mar. '13 = 95.6 Feb. '13 = 95.8 Apr.'12 = 93.9
Hourly earnings index, chemical & allied products (1992 = 100) Apr. '13 = 154.3 Mar. '13 = 154.8 Feb. '13 = 155 Apr.'12 = 159.6
Productivity index, chemicals & allied products (1992 = 100) Apr. '13 = 104.2 Mar. '13 = 104.7 Feb. '13 = 104 Apr.'12 = 106.8

120 2500 85

110 2200 80

100 1900 75

90 1600 70

80 1300 65

70 1000 60
Current Business Indicators provided by IHS Global Insight, Inc., Lexington, Mass.

Equipment Cost Index Available P reliminary data for the March
2013 CE Plant Cost Index
(CEPCI; top; the most recent avail-

Exclusively from Marshall & Swift able) indicate that the composite
index declined by 0.3% from the
February value. The decrease was
driven by a lower overall equip-
ment cost index. The indices for
construction labor, buildings and
engineering & supervision edged
higher. The March decline follows
a similar 0.2% dip the previous
month. The March 2013 prelimi-
nary PCI stands at 4.6% lower than
the corresponding final PCI value
from March 2012. Meanwhile, the
latest Current Business Indicators
from IHS Global Insight (middle)
Quarterly updates of our industry-leading Equipment Cost Index all edged lower compared to the
previous month. For example, the
are now available at CPI output index for April dropped
to 87.9 from 88.1 in March.


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