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Page 58
Practical Solutions for Plant
Management and Operations



the Spotlight on India:

Petroleum Refining
✓ CPI Modular Construction
Focus on
✓ ✓
Safety Equipment

ChemInnovations Conference
✓ and Expo Show Preview

✓ Finned Heat Exchangers
T FO ark

Focus on Sensors

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17 Spotlight on India: Petroleum Refining

Market conditions worldwide create both challenges and oppor-
tunities for Indian petroleum refiners
26 Newsfront Thinking Inside the Box
Modular construction offers many benefits. Here’s how to decide
if it’s right for your CPI application

46 Facts at Your Fingertips PVC and CPVC plastics for CPI
Equipment This one-page reference offers some properties, pos-
sible applications and methods of fabrication for heavy-gauge
thermoplastic sheets of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorinated
polyvinyl chloride
51 Technology Profile Polypropylene via Bulk-Phase Process
This one-page profile describes the technology and economic
considerations for the polymerization of propylene in a bulk-slurry
58 Feature Report How to Properly Size a Steam Trap Don’t con-
fuse the size of a steam-trap’s end connection with the internal
discharge orifice for condensate
62 Engineering Practice Understanding Finned Heat Exchang-
ers Fin geometry affects many aspects of boiler, evaporator and
heater selection
66 Solids Processing Fundamentals of Bulk Solids Mixing and
Blending Learn about mixing technology, types of blending
equipment and key sampling practices to meet today’s require-
ments for robust processes 62


02_CHE_090113_TOC.indd 1 8/20/13 10:11:29 PM

31 New Products A compact skid kit for these dust collectors and accesso-
ries; Accurate lubricant administration in hard-to-access locations; Achieve
flexible temperature control in boiler operations; Use this compact heat
exchanger for high-pressure dry-gas seals; This drip-free spray nozzle is
made of food-grade materials; and more
33 Focus on Safety
Avert static electricity buildup with this hose-continuity tester; Emer-
gency safety showers offer response to chemical exposure; Use this
explosion-proof traffic light in hazardous locations; Avoid breathing
hazards with this CO-removing filtration panel; This spill kit provides a
centrally located response center; and more
36 Focus on Sensors
Inductive sensors for operation in hazardous zones; These pressure
transducers operate at high speed; A complete system for fluoride
monitoring; Radar sensors for detecting objects outdoors; Monitor
interface levels with this immersion sensor; Analytical sensors with a
transmitter built in; and more
42 ChemInnovations Conference and Expo (Sept. 25–26 in Galveston)
The exhibit floor will display a host of products, including the follow-
ing: an alternative method for leak repair in aboveground tanks; These
products remove scale deposits from a variety of materials; This software
makes deliverables from laser-scanned 3D plant data; This rectangular ex-
plosion vent has a non-fragmenting opening; and more

5 Editor’s Page Connecting at ChemInnovations The advisory board for
this event has helped craft a practical and informative conference program

73 The Fractionation Column The Science of Droplets

The author describes how a droplet-size-analysis technology
will be applied to study several aspects of spray in distillation

6 Letters 78 Who’s Who 36
8 Bookshelf 79 Economic Indicators
76 Reader Service

74 Product Showcase/Classified
77 Advertiser Index


Look for: Feature Reports on Wastewater treatment and Capital projects; Look for more Equipment Reliability
an Engineering Practice article on Boiler Circulation; a Focus on Packaging; Checklists, Web-exclusive articles;
“Test your Knowledge” Quizzes;
A Facts at Your Fingertips on Fans and Blowers; News articles on Battery
additional New Products;
Technology, and Valves; and more
Latest News; and more
Cover: David Whitcher


02_CHE_090113_TOC.indd 2 8/20/13 10:18:32 PM

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TWIN-CENTERPOST™ filler allows allow positioning of this TWIN- pneumatic (shown) or mechanical features a fill head that lowers
removal of filled bags using a CENTERPOST™ filler model on a (bottom right) feeding/weighing and pivots down for safe, easy bag
pallet jack, eliminating the need plant scale as needed, allowing systems, as well as inlet adapters spout connections at floor level,
for a forklift or roller conveyor. you to fill by weight without to interface with and a swing-arm-mounted chute
Low cost standard models offered investing in load cells and optional overhead for automated filling and
with many performance options. automated controls. storage vessels. indexing of drums.


Fill head lowers, pivots and stops Offered with performance options A lighter-duty version of the Two heavy-gauge, on-center posts
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allowing operator to safely and height adjustment, pneumatically filler, the BASIC FILLER reduces hooks while reducing cost. Standard
quickly connect empty bags at retractable bag hooks, inflatable cost further still, yet has an manual fill head height adjustment,
floor level and resume automated bag spout seal, dust containment inflatable bag spout seal and feed and feed chute vent for displaced dust.
filling and spout-cinching vent, roller conveyor, and vibratory chute dust vent as standard, and a Numerous performance options. First
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of the Thomas® XTSR52 and XTSR71 Disc Couplings, • Simple installation and maintenance — modular
Rexnord elevates the industry’s performance even further, components, tapered bolts, unitized disc pack, integrated
by delivering enhanced features that provide the highest balancing hardware, clear product markings and more
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Winner of Eight Jesse H. Neal
Awards for Editorial Excellence
Editor’s Page

Published since 1902

An Access Intelligence Publication
Connecting at ChemInnovations
PUBLISHER ART & DESIGN here will you be on September 25 and 26? The Chemical Engineering
MICHAEL GROSSMAN DAVID WHITCHER staff will be in Galveston, Texas at the ChemInnovations Conference
Vice President and Group Publisher Art Director/ Editorial Production Manager
and Expo. We hope you will be too. Four years ago, we had the idea to start a conference and tradeshow
EDITORS PRODUCTION dedicated to the chemical process industries (CPI). That idea materialized,
DOROTHY LOZOWSKI JOHN BLAYLOCK-COOKE rather quickly that first year, into the annual event that has been held in
Editor in Chief Ad Production Manager
Houston, New Orleans and now, this month, it will be in Galveston. I’ve
been part of a number of CPI plant startups in my career, but this is the
Senior Editor SERVICES first time I have been involved with the startup of a new conference and
SCOTT JENKINS CHARLES SANDS expo event. It has been both exciting and eye-opening.
Senior Editor
Director of Digital Development
This year I have had the privilege of chairing the ChemInnovations Ad-
MARY PAGE BAILEY visory Board. The Advisory Board is an enthusiastic group of about fifteen
Assistant Editor DEVELOPMENT industry representatives, our CE editors and members of the event staff.
SARAH GARWOOD The list of board members is a who’s who of the CPI, with participation
CONTRIBUTING Audience Marketing Director from Solvay S.A., Axiall Corp., Eastman Chemical Co., Celanese Ltd., Shell
Oil Products, BASF AG, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP, Braskem
SUZANNE A. SHELLEY Fulfillment Manager America, Honeywell Process Solutions, Emerson Process Management,
CHARLES BUTCHER (U.K.) WorleyParsons, KBR, Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas, Inc., Cornerstone
JEN FELLING List Sales, Statlistics (203) 778-8700 Chemical Co. and Apex Measurement and Controls. It has been truly up-
PAUL S. GRAD (Australia) lifting to work with a group whose every member is fully engaged and an
EDITORIAL active contributor. The enthusiasm at those meetings remains contagious.
ADVISORY BOARD In addition to the input from the Advisory Board, outreach meetings were
JOY LEPREE (New Jersey)
Jenike & Johanson, Inc. held at a number of CPI plant locations to ask the managers and operators
DAVID DICKEY about the issues and challenges they are facing, and would like addressed
MixTech, Inc.
(California) in our program. I and other CE editors accompanied the event organizers
MARKETING IIT Madras, India to several of those meetings. Many of the topics discussed through this out-
MICHAEL CONTI HENRY KISTER reach program were incorporated in the programming of the ChemInnova-
Marketing Director Fluor Corp.
TradeFair Group, Inc. TREVOR KLETZ tions conference. Loughborough University, U.K. The resulting conference program addresses timely topics in a practical
JENNIFER BRADY GERHARD KREYSA (retired) way. The eight tracks, consisting of presentations and panel discussions,
Assistant Marketing Manager DECHEMA e.V.
TradeFair Group, Inc. RAM RAMACHANDRAN include topics related to water management, maintenance and reliability, (Retired) The Linde Group safety, automation and controls, workforce issues, energy and practical tools.
HEADQUARTERS The keynote address, to be given by Dr. David Bem, global R&D director
88 Pine Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10005, U.S. for The Dow Chemical Company, will discuss perhaps lesser-known impacts
Tel: 212-621-4900 Fax: 212-621-4694
of the shale-gas boom. A Plant Manager Roundtable will explore the chal-
lenges affecting the CPI from the perspective of the plant managers.
Zeilweg 44, D-60439 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tel: 49-69-9573-8296 Fax: 49-69-5700-2484 In addition to the conference program, the exhibit hall will feature an
CIRCULATION REQUESTS: array of products and services available to the CPI. A sampling of what will
Tel: 847-564-9290 Fax: 847-564-9453 be on display can be found in this issue on p. 42. The exhibit floor will also
Fullfillment Manager; P.O. Box 3588,
Northbrook, IL 60065-3588 email: be host to “TechTalk”, an informal discussion among industry experts that
ADVERTISING REQUESTS: see p. 76 is new to ChemInnovations this year.
For photocopy or reuse requests: 800-772-3350 or ChemInnovations is also the venue where an Awards Banquet will honor
For reprints: Wright’s Media, 1-877-652-5295,
leaders in the CPI. Among the awards to be announced and presented is the
ACCESS INTELLIGENCE, LLC Kirkpatrick Award for Chemical Engineering Achievement. The five final-
Chief Executive Officer
Senior Vice President,
ists for that biennial award, which this magazine has bestowed since the
Chief Information Officer 1930s, were announced in this column in July.
Executive Vice President SYLVIA SIERRA Details about the ChemInnovations Conference and
& Chief Financial Officer Senior Vice President,
Corporate Audience Development Expo can be found at and in this issue.
Exec. Vice President, MICHAEL KRAUS We hope to see you at the Moody Gardens Convention
Human Resources & Administration VP, Production, Digital Media
& Design Center in Galveston on the 25th. If you are there, stop
Divisional President, STEVE BARBER by Chemical Engineering’s booth to say hello. If you ab-
Access Intelligence Vice President,
Financial Planning and Internal Audit solutely cannot make it, we will miss you, but you can
Vice President, GERALD STASKO follow us on Twitter @ChemEngMag for updates, photos
Energy and Engineering Events Vice President/Corporate Controller
and more. ■
Dorothy Lozowski, Editor in Chief

4 Choke Cherry Road, Second Floor


03_CHE_090113_ED.indd 5 8/20/13 6:54:50 PM

Mu?llerGmbh_Chemical Engineering e 86x123_2011.qxd:Mu�ll
Chemical Engineering e UC 86x123 03/2011


Call for abstracts: AIChE Meeting

Professionals working in all areas of chemical engineer-
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stracts for the AIChE Spring Meeting (New Orleans, La.,
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Circle 23 on p. 76 or go to
Postscripts, corrections
June, The second and third paragraphs of the Chementa-
tor, “A new butadiene process is set for commercializa-
tion,” on p. 15, each had a mistake. The correct paragraph
should read as follows (corrections in italics):
In Wison’s oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) process
(flowsheet), butanes and lighter components are first
separated in the C4 pre-separation unit. Butenes are
then mixed with air and steam and dehydrogenated in
the ODH reactor. After recovering the heat, the reaction
gas is further cooled and scrubbed to remove acids and
other impurities, then compressed. Crude 1,3-butadiene
(13BD) is recovered by an absorber/deabsorber unit, and
then purified in a 13BD-extraction unit.
The ODH reaction features a new, patent-pending cata-
lyst developed by Wison, which is based on the traditional
B-02 (iron-based) catalyst technology. Compared to the
traditional catalyst, the new catalyst achieves: a 3–4%
increase in the conversion of butene to butadiene, to reach
a conversion of 77–79% in a single-pass; and a 2–3%
increase in the selectivity for 13BD, to reach a final selec-
tivity of 92–94%, says Li. He also adds that the improved
heat integration leads to a 15% reduction in utility con-
sumption compared to existing technology.
A revised version of the Chementator can be found at

Do you have — • Ideas to air? • Feedback about our articles?

• Comments about today’s engineering practice or education?
• Job-related problems or gripes to share?
If so — Send them, for our Letters column, to
Dorothy Lozowski, Chemical Engineering, Access Intelligence,
88 Pine St., 5th floor, New York, NY 10005;
Circle 2 on p. 76 or go to
6 Chemical Engineering September 2013

04_CHE_090113_LET.indd 6 8/20/13 3:42:01 PM

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Process Intensification,
2nd ed.: Engineering for Ef-
ficiency, Sustainability and
Flexibility. By David Reay, Visit us!
Colin Ramshaw and Adam Har- Fachpack, Nuremberg, Germany
vey. Elsevier Inc., 225 Wyman 24 – 26 September 2013
Street, Waltham, MA 02144. Hall 4, stand 4-325
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MATLAB Numerical Methods At BEUMER we have a reputation for making things a little
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Scott Jenkins (, se-
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Edited by Gerald Ondrey September 2013

Successful implementation of a new extractive-distillation

technology for aromatics recovery Non-aromatics Non-aromatics

raffinate raffinate
MT International Inc. (Plano,
Texas; and

Extractive distillation
Aromatics Aromatics
LG Chem, Ltd. (Seoul, Korea; Extractor
extract extract have success- reflux HC

Sol. recovery
fully converted an existing sul-


Solvent recovery
folane liquid-liquid extraction

(LLE) unit at LG Chem’s Yeosu HC
plant using a new extractive-dis- feed
tillation (ED) process for aromat-
Rich solvent Rich solvent
ics recovery. This technology was
jointly developed by AMT Interna- Lean solvent Lean solvent
tional Inc. and CPC Corp. (Taipei,
Taiwan, R.O.C.;
The conversion reused most of the ex- Recovering aromatic hydrocarbons lenes) aromatics recovery. This work has
isting equipment, added a new ED col- from reformate or pyrolysis-gasoline resolved all of the ED process deficien-
umn, and reused the original sulfolane (pygas) mixtures can be accomplished cies and demonstrated significant ad-
solvent without any modifications. The through LLE (flowsheet, left) or ED pro- vantages over the LLE process.
new ED unit, which started up in late cesses (flowsheet, right). The ED pro- Highlights of this new ED process tech-
April, achieved all revamp objectives, cess typically requires less equipment nology include the following: the effective
including over 35% savings in energy and lower energy consumption than the recovery of BTX aromatics directly from
(compared to the duty of the extractive conventional LLE process, but it suffers full-range (C6–C8) reformate or pygas
stripper in the prior LLE unit), over 12% from feedstock boiling-range restric- feedstocks without pre-cutting C8+ com-
increase in production (only limited by tions, heavy hydrocarbon accumulations ponents; the use of the original sulfolane
inherent existing equipment capacities), in the lean solvent and two-liquid-phase solvent as the ED solvent without modi-
and resulted in on-specification raffi- distillation, explains Wu. AMT Interna- fication; the application of proprietary
nate, benzene and toluene purities and tional, in collaboration with CPC, has process and mass-transfer equipment
recoveries, says Kuang Wu, vice-presi- conducted a long-term process-technol- designs and operation in an ED column
dent at AMT International. The return ogy development program by convert- to achieve effective three-phase (L+L+V)
on investment for LG Chem is expected ing a CPC commercial pygas sulfolane fractionation; and the control of heavy
to result in a payback period of less than LLE unit at its Kaohsiung plant to an hydrocarbons in the lean solvent to main-
12 months. ED unit for BTX (benzene, toluene, xy- tain optimum solvent performance.

Ceramic membranes and O3 combine to treat wastewater Solar steam

H igh fluxes and micro-contaminant reduc-
tion have been achieved in a 2.5-m3/h
pilot plant to test the performance of ce-
vanced oxidation. This is costly when treat-
ment of most surface water can be achieved
with membrane filtration alone. The present
The Middle East’s first solar
enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR)
project was recently commis-
ramic membranes and ozonation in treat- project achieves the same treatment in a sioned by Petroleum Develop-
ing wastewater at Melbourne Water’s (www. single step. The key feature of the CeraMac ment Oman (PDO; Muscat, Eastern Treatment technology is that, instead of having ceramic Oman; The
Plant. The project, to be completed in a few membrane modules in individual stainless- project uses Enclosed Trough
months, is testing CeraMac technology from steel casings, up to 192 ceramic elements technology from GlassPoint
(Fremont, Calif.; www.glas-
PWN Technologies (Velserbroek, the Neth- are now housed in a single stainless-steel to produce an
erlands; Although vessel. This makes the ceramic membrane average of 50 ton/d of steam
the technology has already been applied in system cost-competitive with polymeric that feeds directly into exist-
Holland, the U.K., the U.S. and Singapore, membranes, says the company. O3 can be ing thermal EOR operations
the Australian pilot test is unique because it applied directly on the membrane, destroy- at PDO’s Amal West field in
involves secondary effluent. The test results ing micro-contaminants, allowing the sys- Southern Oman. The 7-MW
also showed enhanced removal of Escheri- tem to work at a very high rate (flux) with system is 27 times larger
chia coli bacteria. little water loss. than GlassPoint’s solar EOR
High-level wastewater treatment usually According to PWN Technologies, cost sav- system installed at Berry Pe-
involves three steps: membrane microfiltra- ing compared with polymeric membranes are troleum’s 21Z oilfield in Kern
tion and reverse osmosis followed by ad- (Continues on p. 12) (Continues on p. 12)
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number
on p. 76, or use the website designation. Chemical Engineering September 2013 11

06_CHE_090113_CHM.indd 11 8/20/13 11:38:13 AM

C HEMENTATO R (Continued from p. 11)
County, Calif., which has been
operating for two years.
Using the sun’s energy to
Cement technology increases strength make steam can reduce nat-
ural-gas use for EOR by up to
and lowers emissions footprint 80%, says GlassPoint. In the
Enclosed Trough design, para-

C ement manufacturing is a major source

of greenhouse gas emissions due to two
factors: carbon dioxide is released when
solves and begins leaching calcium from the
monocalcium silicate. This process forms
CaCO3, which precipitates out of solution to
bolic mirrors inside a glass-
house enclosure concentrate
the sunlight onto water-filled
calcium carbonate calcines to lime (CaO) lock particles in place (diagram), effectively tubes to generate emission-
in the cement manufacturing process; and sequestering CO2 within the concrete. free steam.
cement kilns are operated at temperatures Based on the research of Rik Riman at
of 1,500°C, which requires significant fuel Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.; Natural N-fixation
consumption. Cement is the agent that, the Solidia concrete pro- A new nitrogen-fixation tech-
binds sand and crushed rock together to cess has a number of significant advantages nology that promises to sig-
form concrete. over conventional concrete. Aside from its nificantly reduce the need for
Solidia Technologies (Piscataway, N.J.; substantially lower carbon footprint, Solidia nitrogen-based fertilizers has has developed technol- concrete has higher compressive strength been developed by professor
ogy that can reduce CO2 emissions in final and better abrasion resistance than conven- Edward Cocking, director of
concrete products by up to 70%, compared tional concrete. “The carbonate is thermody- the University of Nottingham’s
to conventional concrete, by using CO2 as a namically more stable than the hydrates,” (U.K.;
Center for Crop Nitrogen
reactant in the concrete curing process, and says Solidia chief technology officer Nick
Fixation. Called N-Fix, the
by employing cement chemistry that allows DeCristofaro. Also, curing times are reduced technology involves neither
lower kiln temperatures (~1,200°C). from three weeks to eight hours. Further, genetic engineering nor
Ordinary Portland cement depends on the “Our process uses the same raw materi- bioengineering. Instead, it
binding of calcium oxide (from limestone) to als and capital equipment as conventional makes use of naturally occur-
silica (from clay) to form di- and tricalcium Portland cement, and does not require any ring nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
silicates. These compounds become hydrates changes to the existing concrete supply Plant seeds are coated with
when water is added, and the concrete hard- chain,” adds Tom Schuler, Solidia CEO. these bacteria, which then
ens. In Solidia concrete, a patented process Solidia has signed an exclusive licensing colonize — intracellularly —
called reactive hydrothermal liquid-phase agreement with Rutgers for the technology, as the crop grows. The result
is a symbiotic, mutually ben-
densification (rHLPD) promotes binding and is commercializing the technology ini-
eficial relationship between
between monocalcium silicate (CaSiO3) and tially for pre-cast concrete, which constitutes the plant and the bacteria, en-
CO2 to cure the material, rather than rely- pre-molded shapes including blocks, pavers, abling every cell of the plant
ing on hydrate formation. To harden Solidia railroad ties and building components (as to fix nitrogen directly from
concrete, CO2 is introduced to a water-con- opposed to cast-in-place concrete, which is the atmosphere.
taining concrete slurry, where the gas dis- molded onsite). The university has licensed
the N-Fix technology to Azotic
1. Mix Solidia Cement powder and 2. Fill the open spaces 3. Solidia cement reacts with CO2 Technologies Ltd. (Chorley,
sand to form a loosely packed with H2O and CO2 to make calcium carbonate and U.K.; www.azotictechnolo-
structure silica, which harden the structure,
making Solidia concrete to develop and
commercialize N-Fix globally
for all crop species. The com-
pany anticipates commercial-
ization within the next two to
three years.

Last month, Hosoda Nutritional
(Miyuki Fukui City, Japan; www. intro-
Sand Open Loosely packed H2O and CO2 Calcium carbonate
granule spaces Solidia cement mixture (blue) and silica duced Melinjo Resveratrol to
(dark grey) (white) powder particles the global market. The product
(light grey) CaSiO3 + CO2 CaCO3 + SiO2
— a natural resveratrol (stil-
benoid) source extracted from
the seeds of the melinjo (Gne-
CERAMIC MEMBRANES AND O3 the Singapore plant, the daily capacity grew tum gnemon) tree — is being
(Continued from p. 11) from 1.2 million L/d to 3 million L/d due to produced in a new extraction
plant in Java, Indonesia.
the combination of CeraMac with ozone.
Melinjo seed contains an
about 30%. The company says an 18-month The Melbourne Water project is funded abundance of stilbenoid,
trial of a demonstration plant in Singapore by the Australian Water Recycling Center mainly in the form of dimers,
treating surface water has led to superior of Excellence and supported by PWN Tech- says the company. The prod-
treatment outcomes and savings of up to 40% nologies, Black & Veatch, South East Water
(Continues on p. 14)
in comparison with polymeric systems. At and Water Quality Research Australia.

06_CHE_090113_CHM.indd 12 8/20/13 11:39:23 AM

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Circle 13 on p. 76 or go to

Industrie_AD_200x273,1mm_ChemicalEngineers_EN.indd 1 05.08.13 14:53

ZZ_CHE_090113_Full_pg_ads.indd 13 8/21/13 2:29:59 PM

Hydride atom

A step toward ammonia Ti H

production at ambient conditions H H

M any investigations are ongoing to

achieve ammonia synthesis at energy-
saving mild conditions instead of the high
temperatures and pressures (500°C, 300 H
atm) required by the commonly used Haber- SiMe3
Bosch process, which consumes more than SiMe3
1% of the world’s power production. Now,
Zhamin Hou, Takanori Shima and colleagues tion of a tri-nuclear titanium polyhydride
at Riken (Saitama, Japan; complex (diagram) with N2, whereby the (Continued from p. 12)
www/organometallic), in collaboration with N–N bond is broken and nitrogen atoms are uct has been studied for 10
researchers at Dalian University of Technol- partially hydrogenated at ambient tempera- years, with clinical documen-
ogy, are proposing a new method that uses ture and pressure. The researchers expect tation regarding its anti-oxida-
a titanium hydride system, which is said to they can produce ammonia within several tion and anti-viral properties,
be simpler and less expensive than other hours under these conditions using a simpli- and has been marketed in
proposals, because it does not require an fied and compact reactor. Shima is planning Japan for several years.
electron-donating agent nor a proton source, to improve the catalytic system by optimiz-
or expensive chemicals. ing the auxiliary ligands and metals, and to Bio-based H2
The Riken group has reported the reac- collaborate with industry as a side activity. Researchers at the Ruhr Uni-
versity of Bochum (RUB; Ger-
many; www.rurh-uni-bochem.
A direct, one-step enzymatic hydroxylation de), in collaboration with col-
leagues from the Max-Planck
of benzene to phenol Institute for Chemical Energy
Conservation (Müllhein, Ger-

T he selective, one-step biocatalytic hydrox-

ylation of benzene to phenol — at ambi-
ent pressure and temperature — has been
studied). PFC9 and PFC10 afforded the
highest turnover rate (120 min–1 per P450),
using a linear perfluorinated carboxylic acid
many) and the Chemistry and
Biology of Metals Laboratory
(LCBM; Grenoble, France)
demonstrated by professors Yoshihito Wa- as decoy, with a phenol yield of 8.4%. Al- have discovered an efficient
tanabe and Osamu Shoji at Nagoya Univer- though hydroxylation of phenol is generally process for making semi-syn-
sity (Nagoya, Japan; http://bioinorg.chem. accompanied by further oxidation of phenol, thetic hydrogenases, which The achievement was made the chemists observed exclusive formation of are enzymes that produce
using a wild-type of Cytochrome P450BM3 phenol without any over-oxidation products. hydrogen. The hydrogen-
with the simple addition of perfluorinated They believe this is the first demonstration producing enzyme formed
spontaneously when the
compounds (PFCs) as “decoy” molecules. of the exclusive formation of phenol by the
researchers added the pro-
The chemists believe the achievement will hydroxylation of benzene with P450. tein’s biological precursor to a
enable an alternative route to phenol that is The researchers are working to improve chemically synthesized, inac-
simpler, requires less energy and produces the turnover rate by optimizing the struc- tive iron complex. Only a few
fewer byproducts than conventional indus- ture of the decoy molecules to increase organisms are able to pro-
trial routes to phenol, such as the multiple- their binding constants toward that of duce this so-called iron-iron
stepped, energy-consuming cumene process, P450BM3. They also expect that they can [FeFe] hydrogenase, whose
and even R&D processes based on metallic control the regioselectivity of the hydroxy- catalyst is based on an active
catalyst systems. lation of benzene derivatives by chang- center with a complex struc-
The catalytic turnover rates of phenol ing the structure of the decoy molecules. ture that contains iron, carbon
monoxide and cyanide, and
formation were very much dependent on Watanabe is planning to support P450 on
extracting such hydrolases is
the alkyl chain length of the PFCs (PFC8 to beads for continuous operation in a flow- extremely difficult, says pro-
PFC12, with 8 to 12 carbon numbers were reactor system. fessor Thomas Happe.
Several milligrams of the
hydrogenase’s precursor
Non-toxic flame retardants have already been prepared
using Escherichia coli. And,

R esearchers from EMPA, the Swiss Federal phosphate (TCPP) or polybrominated diphe- because commercial pro-
Laboratories for Materials Science and nyl ethers. Developed in conjunction with cesses for cultivating E. coli
Technology (St. Gallen, Switzerland; www. FoamPartner, Fritz Nauer AG (Wolfhausen, are already established,
large-scale production is have developed organic phospho- Switzerland;, the
within reach, says Happe.
rous-containing compounds, called phospho- new phosphoramidate-based flame retar- The findings are described
ramidates, that show promise as non-toxic dants were shown to have no negative effect in the August issue of Nature
alternatives to conventional halogenated on the foam manufacturing process for poly- Chemical Biology.
flame retardants, such as tri(chloropropyl) urethane foam.

06_CHE_090113_CHM.indd 14 8/20/13 11:40:28 AM

Partner with
the Best
Ice pigging for the CPI
L aunched this month at drinktec (Trade Fair for the Bever-
age and Liquid Food Industry; September 16–20; Munich,
Germany), Eco-IcePush is a new technology for recovering
products during equipment purging, and is being offered by
GEA Process Engineering A/S (Søborg, Denmark), a business
segment of GEA Group AG (Düsseldorf, Germany;
com). The Eco-IcePush service requires no capital expendi-
ture, but instead is offered through a service agreement.
Traditional systems use a “pig” that is forced through
piping systems to remove residual product from the inner
walls and recover product prior to cleaning. But such sys-
tems cannot be used on tight bends, through valves, in
piping systems with changing pipe diameter or where the
product flows through ancillary equipment, such as heat
exchangers. With Eco-IcePush, an engineered, two-phase
ice slurry is forced through process pipework, and the
sharpness of the ice scrapes away product from the inner
surfaces for separation and recovery. Because the slurry re-
mains in a fluid state, it can reach every part of the system
— even small, complex geometries, says the company.
Although ice-pigging is a technique widely used in the
water industry, GEA is now making it available to the
chemical process industries (CPI). Potential applications
include the reduction of “white water” in dairies; improved
product recovery and cleaning in brewery, juice and bever-
age plants; and similar applications in the food, health and
personal-care industries.

A one-pot process to
pretreat and saccharify biomass
R esearchers from the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Joint Bio-
Energy Institute (JBEI; Emeryville, Calif.; www.jbei.
org) have reported the first demonstration of a one-pot,
wash-free process for the ionic-liquid pretreatment and
saccharification of switchgrass — a leading potential bio-
Circle 32 on p. 76 or go to

fuel feedstock. “By combining ionic liquid pretreatment

With over 50 independent subsidiar-
and saccharification into a single vessel, we eliminate the
excessive use of water and waste disposal currently associ- ies and more than 220 engineering
ated with washing biomass that is pretreated with ionic and sales offices spread across the
liquids,” says chemical engineer Blake Simmons, head of world, SAMSON ensures the safety
JBEI’s Deconstruction Div. “We also drastically simplify and environmental compatibility of
the downstream sugar/lignin recovery process and enable your plants on any continent.
the ionic liquid to be recycled,” he says.
The researchers developed a compost-derived group of To offer the full range of high-quality
bacteria adapted to grow on switchgrass. Dubbed Jtherm, control equipment used in industrial
this mixture of thermophillic microbes is able to thrive at processes, SAMSON has brought
high temperatures and alkaline conditions, enabling the together highly specialized compa-
microbes to liberate sugars from biomass in the presence nies to form the SAMSON GROUP.
of up to 20% ionic liquids. The one-pot combination of pre-
treatment with an imidazolium-based ionic liquid and sac-
charification by Jtherm liberates 81% of the glucose and
87% of the xylose after 70 h processing at 70°C. The sugars
could be separated with 90% efficiency. SAMSON AG · MESS- UND REGELTECHNIK
The group plans to have scaleup tests of the one-pot sys- Weismüllerstraße 3
tem at the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit 60314 Frankfurt am Main · Germany
Phone: +49 69 4009-0 · Fax: +49 69 4009-1507
(Emeryville, Calif.;
E-mail: ·
Chemical GROUP ·
Engineering September 2013 15

06_CHE_090113_CHM.indd 15 8/20/13 11:41:12 AM

Researchers from Uppsala
University (Sweden; www. have synthesized a
disordered form of anhy-
Some bacteria are not inactivated by ultrasound; here’s why drous magnesium carbon-
ate, which has been given
the name Upsalite. Making
A lthough the inactivation of bacteria by
high-power ultrasound has been exten-
sively studied, the relationship between
0.3–1.0  1.0–6.0 µm. B. subtilis is a gram-
positive, rod-shaped bacterium with nor-
mal size range of 0.7–0.8  2.0–3.0 µm. S.
this form of MgCO3 had been
thought to be impossible for
the last century.
the effectiveness of ultrasound to inacti- epidermidis is a gram-positive coccus with Upsalite has a surface area
vate bacteria and their physico-chemical sizes of 0.8–1.0 µm in diameter. of 800 m2/g and has a porous
properties is not yet well understood, says These bacteria were sonicated using structure with pore diameters
Muthupandian Ashokkumar, professor at high-power sound (up to 13 W) with a fre- of less than 10 nm. The mate-
the University of Melbourne (Australia; quency of 20 kHz at different phases of rial’s adsorption capacity for Hence, a team from growth. The team found that high-power water is about 50% larger
the University of Auckland (New Zealand; ultrasound is very efficient in reducing than hydroscopic zeolite-Y at
relatively low humidities, and and the University the number of cells in the case of E. aero-
it can be regenerated at tem-
of Melbourne have investigated how ultra- genes and B. subtilis. The rate of inactiva- peratures below 100°C, thus
sound inactivation of bacteria might be af- tion was also found to be dependent on the making it a potential energy-
fected by some physical and biological prop- growth phase of E. aerogenes. The team saving alternative for control-
erties of five microorganisms: Enterobacter attributed this to the bacterium’s change ling environmental moisture
aerogenes, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococ- in morphology from rod-like in the expo- in the electronics and drug-
cus epidermidis, S. epidermidis SK, and S. nential growth phase to a coccus shape in formulation industries.
pseudintermedius. the stationary phase. In contrast, S. epi- The discovery will be
The bacteria for the study were chosen dermidis was found to be very resistant commercialized through the
because of their different sizes and gram- to inactivation. This was attributed to university spin-out company,
Disruptive Materials (www.
status. E. aerogenes is a gram-negative, rod- the presence of a biopolymer capsule sur- ❏
shaped bacterium, which has a size range of rounding the bacteria. ■

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Circle 12 on p. 76 or go to
CAS-210E.indd 1 ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM SEPTEMBER 2013 7/30/13 10:10 AM

06_CHE_090113_CHM.indd 16 8/20/13 11:42:41 AM

83.57 107.97
80 85.09
79.25 69.76
Market conditions

60 62.46
worldwide create both 20

challenges and opportunities 0

2006- 2007-
07 08
2008- 2009- 2010- 2011-
09 10 11 12

he petroleum refining sector in India plays a vital role FIGURE 1. The international prices of the Indian basket of
in the country’s industrial development and provides crude have steadily risen over time
a major source to meet India’s energy requirements. Source: Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC),
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India
Today, the refining sector satisfies about 30% of the
total energy demand of India [1]. As of April 1, 2013, the 130
total installed capacity of Indian refineries was 215 million 125
120 117.97
metric tons per year (million m.t./yr), of which 80 million 115 111.77 112.68
110.07 107.87 109.55
m.t./yr (37% of total) came from the private sector and 135 110 108.05

105 109.79
million m.t/yr (63% of total) came from the public sector [2]. 100
107.28 106.45
Roughly 80% of crude oil requirements of Indian refiner- 100.34
ies is met through imports. Therefore, factors that impact 90 94.51
imports — such as international crude prices, the exchange 80
rate of Indian rupee (INR) with respect to the U.S. dollar Apr- May- Jun- Jul- Aug- Sep- Oct- Nov- Dec- Jan- Feb- Mar-
12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13
($), the type of crude available (sweet or sour) and more —
have a direct bearing on refinery performance. FIGURE 2. The most recent year (2012–2013) has- seen some
India currently has a surplus refining capacity, so some volatility in the international price of the Indian basket of crude
Source: PPAC
of its refined products are exported to other countries. As
such, Indian refiners must compete with refiners in other
countries, and meet the strict regulatory requirements of 9 8.6 9.2
importing countries with regard to quality. And the emer- 8 7.9 7.8
gence of non-crude substitutes is another factor. Growing 7
demand for light and middle distillates, coupled with weak- 6 5.7
5.3 5.2
4.5 5.0

ening demand for fuel oil, requires Indian refiners to maxi- 5

4 3.6
mize the yield of light and middle distillates and minimize 2.4
3 2.3 2.3
fuel oil yield through better refinery complexity. 2
Furthermore, in India, the price of fuels such as diesel, 1
PDS kerosene (that is, kerosene sold through public dis- 0
tribution system) and domestic liquefied petroleum gas
(LPG) is controlled by the state, which has repercussions 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
for both public- and private-sector refiners. Although
the Indian government has partially de-regulated diesel FIGURE 3. There is wide variability in the gross refining margin
of Indian petroleum refineries, particularly private- vs. public-
prices recently by allowing public-sector refiners — com- sector refineries, due to variability in market conditions and
monly known as oil marketing companies (OMCs) — to product mixes Source: Annual Reports/Financial Results of the Companies
raise the retail prices in small amounts periodically until
the entire loss is made up, and by decontrolling bulk die- sector refiners do not get any subsidies or compensation
sel prices, the prices are still not fully deregulated. Ongo- and, therefore, they are at a competitive disadvantage with
ing price controls force OMCs to sell product at below-cost OMCs, because they cannot sell their products into the In-
prices and incur revenue losses. Although the state and dian retail market at below-cost prices.
state-owned upstream oil-and-gas companies compensate However, while the challenges are many, there is no
for the losses of the OMCs, the degree and timing of the shortage of opportunities for Indian refiners. The opportu-
compensation remains uncertain, and this impacts the nities arise from potential demand growth for petroleum
availability of funds and the OMCs’ ability to invest in products due to thecurrent low per-capita oil consumption,
plants and machinery. a need for fiscal consolidation, the availability of export
On the other hand, price control deprives the private- markets, the ability to exploit various competitive advan-
sector refiners of a level playing field. Specifically, private- tages, better capacity utilization and more.

07_CHE_090113_NF1_Spot.indd 17 8/20/13 1:45:38 PM

213 215
200 178 185 193

Spotlight on India 149 149 155

Million m.t.
150 132 138 141 148
129 134
113 121

Challenges for Indian refiners 0
International crude prices. International prices of crude 2005- 2006- 2007- 2008- 2009- 2010- 2011- 2012-
06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
oil (Indian basket) have increased approximately two-fold Year
between 2005–06 and 2012–13 (Figure 1), and have been Installed capacity Demand
above $105/bbl for most of the period 2012–13, with the
peak of above $112/bbl in February 2013 (Figure 2) [2]. FIGURE 4. The current surplus situation in India — a func-
tion of the installed refining capacity in India versus domestic
Because nearly 80% of the crude oil required by Indian demand — is clearly evident here Source: PPAC
refineries is met through imports, and only about 30% of
petroleum products are exported, the rising crude prices, Figure
The 4: Demand
higher GRM of Petroleum
of RILProducts
can beand Installed Refining
attributed Capacity
mainly to intwo
coupled with depreciating local currency (INR) against factors: 1) higher exports of refined products, coupled with
the U.S. dollar, have crippled their gross refining margin depreciating INR, leading to better realization of products
(GRM). Depreciating INR with respect to the U.S. dollar in INR terms; and 2) a higher share of high-margin light
increases the cost of crude in INR terms. At the same time, and middle distillates in the company’s product mix.
exports of petroleum products from India are not enough Refining surplus. Indian petroleum refineries have sur-
to offset increased crude costs, so this weakens the GRM, plus capacity beyond domestic demand (Figure 4). Thus,
particularly for public-sector refiners that mainly sell in they must export products to other countries in order to
the domestic market. utilize their full capacity. But, there is currently a global re-
The performance of India’s major refiners in terms of GRM fining capacity surplus, too [3]. As a result, Indian refiners
can be seen in Figure 3. As shown, the performance of GRM face intense competition from refiners from other countries
of Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd to sell their products in international markets.
(BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) — all India’s major export markets are Asia, Middle East, Af-
public-sector entities — was mostly below the Singapore rica, Europe, U.S. and Latin America. However, export to
benchmark (a regional market for petroleum products). The the Asian market is likely to be restricted by China’s refin-
GRM of RIL (a private-sector entity) was above that of the ing expansion plan as well as competition from refiners in
public-sector refiners, as well as the Singapore benchmark. South Korea, Japan and Singapore. The Middle East has

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Spotlight on India 10 8.5
6 4.6
4 2.6
also refining expansion plans. For U.S. and Latin Ameri- 2 1.0
can markets, excessive freight costs create a competitive India China Russia World OECD
disadvantage for Indian refiners. Meanwhile, in Europe,
strict quality requirements by European governments (in FIGURE 5. While India’s per capita oil consumption is rela-
tively small compared to other countries and the rest of the
the form of Euro V fuel specifications) have the potential world, it is expected to grow, due to India’s expanding economy
to restrict Indian exports there, as only a few of the Indian Source: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), World Bank,
refineries are able to meet those specifications. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
Note: Data are based on oil consumption and population in 2011 except
Non-crude substitutes. As India currently has surplus for OECD for which population in 2010 has been considered.
refining capacity and can utilize its full capacity through
exports only, any substitution of the petroleum products at zil, global ethanol supply is projected to rise from 1.6 million
the global or domestic level by non-crude alternative prod- bbl/d in 2010 to 2.4 million bbl/d by 2020, and then accelerate
ucts has the potential to impact demand for its products. to 5.1 million bbl/d by 2035. Over the same period, worldwide
Non-crude products, mainly ethanol and natural gas liq- gasoline consumption is projected to rise from 21.3 million
uids (NGLs), are emerging as global substitutes for some bbl/d to 26.1 million bbl/d. Thus, ethanol as a share of the
refined products, as are gas-to-liquid (GTL) products, coal- total gasoline pool is expected to grow from 7.5% in 2010
to-liquid (CTL) products and methanol. There is a gap be- to 19.5% by 2035 globally [3]. In India, the government has
tween the supply of refined petroleum products and oil de made it mandatory for the state-owned OMCs to blend 5%
mand, which is filled by these non-refined products. ethanol into gasoline.
In 1980, crude-based products from refineries through- Meanwhile, shale gas development in the U.S. has led to
out the world covered almost 93% of demand. By the 1990s, increased supply of NGLs produced from natural gas. In-
this ratio had declined to below 90%, before reaching 85% creased and cheaper supply of natural gas in the U.S. also
in 2012. Projections indicate that crude runs will lose an- increases the feasibility of GTL projects in that country.
other half of one percent share by 2016 [3]. CTLs are also expected to witness growth, particularly in
Ethanol is projected to play an important role in impacting countries with substantial coal resources, such as the U.S.,
gasoline demand globally. Driven mainly by the U.S. and Bra- Australia and China [3].

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45.0 47.4
45 42.3
40 36.4

Spotlight on India 35

Million m.t.
25 20.4
20 18.3
While currently overshadowed by ethanol, methanol 9.4 10.0
10 6.6
has also been used as a transport fuel for years. In China, 5 3.1 3.1
methanol from coal comprises a significant percentage of 0
2001- 2002- 2003- 2004- 2005- 2006- 2007- 2008- 2009- 2010- 2011- 2012-
the country’s transport fuel pool. And methanol can be pro- 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
duced from many feedstocks, ranging from coal and natural Year
gas to pulp-mill and other byproducts [3].
FIGURE 6. In recent years, net exports of petroleum products
from India have been rising steadily Source: PPAC
Requirement for cleaner transportation fuel
As noted, Indian petroleum refineries have surplus ca- respectively, during 2011–2016 [3]. Furthermore, the FO
pacity today. To export their products, they must produce crack spread in Singapore against Dubai crude has been
cleaner fuels to meet international limits on sulfur content. negative (much below that of diesel, gasoline and jet fuel/
For instance, the Euro V fuel specification requires that the kerosene) in recent times, and averaged minus-$10.00/bbl
sulfur content not exceed 10 ppm by weight in diesel or in July 2013 [5].
gasoline. Currently only a few Indian refineries have the The overall yield of light and middle distillates for all
capability to produce Euro V fuel. Indian refineries is 77.4%. But, low-value FO/LSHS yield
Today, approximately 70% of crude oil imported by India is still at 7.3%, which is higher than the yield of high-value
is of sour grade [2]. This requires capacity addition of hy- LPG (4.5%), aviation turbine fuel (ATF; 4.6%) and super
drodesulfurization or hydrotreating, and hydrogen-recov- kerosene oil (SKO; 3.7%) [2].
ery and sulfur-recovery processes to reduce sulfur levels in Declining demand and poor refining margins of FO re-
petroleum-derived products. quire Indian refineries to maximize their yield of light
Hydrodesulfurization or hydrotreating is required to and middle distillates and minimize FO yield to improve
reduce the sulfur levels in petroleum-derived products to margins. Indian refiners would have to make huge capital
meet desired levels. The process requires the addition of investments to improve their refinery configurations to op-
hydrogen, which reacts with organic sulfur in the presence timize product yields.
of a catalyst to produce H2S, which in turn is absorbed in Lack of a level playing field. The prices of diesel, do-
a solvent. The offgases produced in the process, after re- mestic LPG and PDS kerosene in India are currently
moval of H2S, can be used as fuel in the refinery or can be controlled (partially or fully) by the government of India.
processed for H2 recovery. Recovered H2 can be reused in Consequently, the state-owned OMCs — namely IOCL,
hydrodesulfurization or hydrotreating processes. The H2S- BPCL and HPCL — are selling those products at below-
rich solution is regenerated into lean solution and H2S-con- cost prices. As a result, they suffer revenue losses (under-
taining gases are produced during regeneration. Sulfur re- recoveries) on the sale of those products. But the OMCs are
covery can be employed to capture sulfur from such gases. compensated for their under-recoveries by the government
As these processes are highly capital intensive, Indian in the form of subsidies, and by upstream public-sector oil
refiners need to invest huge capital to meet the Euro V and gas companies — namely, Oil and Natural Gas Corp.
standard fuel specifications. Making a huge investment is Ltd., Oil India Ltd. and GAIL (India) Ltd. — in the form of
a challenge in the face of weak refining margins. discounts on the sale of their products to OMCs. However,
Yield maximization of light and middle distillates. similar benefits are not available to private refiners. They
Given the nature of domestic and international demand cannot sell those products in the Indian retail market and
for various petroleum products, Indian refineries have to are left with only the options of export or sale to OMCs.
maximize the yield of high-value light and middle distil-
lates and minimize the yield of low-value heavy ends, such Opportunities for Indian petroleum refiners
as fuel oil (FO) and low-sulfur heavy stock (LSHS) in order Domestic oil demand. Per-capita oil consumption of India
to maximize refining margins. FO/LSHS demand in India is among the lowest in the world (Figure 5), but economic
has been declining over the years and been less than the expansion is expected to spur demand. Medium-term oil de-
production. In 2012–13, demand declined by 17.5% over mand outlook (Table 1*) suggests India’s oil demand is likely
the previous year and was just 7.7 million m.t. against the to grow from 3.4 million bbld/d in 2011 to 4.2 million bbl/d in
production of 15.8 million m.t. [2]. FO/LSHS demand in 2016, at a compounded average annual rate of 4.3%, which is
India is expected to continue its declining trend in the near much higher than 1.1% for the whole world and 2.8% for the
future [4]. International FO demand is also expected to de- developing world, and even higher than 4.1% for China [3].
cline at a rate of 1.4% per annum between 2011–16 [3]. Long-term oil demand for India (Table 2*) suggests that
On the other hand, domestic demand for light distillates oil demand is likely to grow from 3.3 million bbl/d in 2010
and middle distillates is likely to grow at a compounded to 9.0 million bbl/d in 2035, at a compounded average an-
average annual rate of 5.1% and 5.2%, respectively, during nual rate of 4.1% — much higher than 0.8% for whole
the period 2012–13 to 2016–17. Domestic demand for gaso- world, 2.2% for developing world, and 2.7% for China [3].
line (a key light distillate) and that for diesel (a key middle Thus, India is likely to show strong growth in oil demand
distillate) is expected to grow at a compounded average an- in both the medium and long term. This provides enormous
nual rate of 8.8% and 5.8%, respectively, during the period opportunity for the Indian refining industry.
2012–13 to 2016–17 [4]. Global demand for gasoline and
* Note: Tables 1 and 2 can be found in the online version of this article at
that for diesel is expected to grow at 0.9%/yr and 2.1%/yr,


07_CHE_090113_NF1_Spot.indd 22 8/20/13 1:12:03 PM

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Spotlight on India 100


Need for fiscal consolidation. As the government of 80
India provides subsidy to OMCs to help offset their under-
recoveries, it also widens the government’s fiscal deficit. Of Month
the total OMCs’ under-recoveries of INR1610 billion in fis- 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
cal 2012–13, the government has compensated INR1,000 Year
billion through subsidies. This translates into 19.2% of
India China Japan US World Middle East EU
the estimated fiscal deficit at INR5209 billion in that year.
These fuel subsidies are a major contributor to India’s fis- FIGURE 7. India has sustained a capacity-utilization rate
cal deficit and are not sustainable in the long run. near 100% for the past decade, higher than all other major re-
fining countries/regions
In order to achieve fiscal consolidation, pruning the fuel Source: “BP Statistical Review of World Energy,” June 2012
subsidy will be the most economically rational option, but
this would require decontrol of at least diesel prices. The • Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (8.7)
partial decontrol of diesel prices by the government that • Bharat Petroleum Figure 11: Trend
Corp. of Ltd.
Capacity Utilization Rate
was put into effect recently is a step in that direction. Once • Chennai Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (0.6)
Source: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2012
diesel prices are decontrolled fully, it will provide an oppor- • Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (5.0)
tunity for private refiners also to sell their major products • Manglore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (3.0)
(such as diesel and petrol) in the domestic retail market, • Bharat Oman Refinery Ltd. (3.0)
which will give them incentive to invest in further capacity • Essar Oil Ltd. (18.0)
addition. Two foreign companies have also set up petroleum refiner-
In addition, public-sector refiners will also benefit from ies in India in joint ventures (JV) with Indian companies
decontrolled diesel prices as their finances will be improved, (both onstream during 2011–2012):
thereby strengthening their ability to generate surpluses • Mittal Energy Investment Pte Ltd., Singapore holds 49%
and finance the investments through internal accruals in- stake in HPCL Mittal Energy Limited, a JV with Hindu-
stead of relying heavily on external funding. stan Petroleum Corp. Ltd.
Export potential. Contribution to export comes mainly • Oman Oil Co. SAOC holds 26% equity in Bharat Oman
from private-sector refiners — namely Reliance Industries Refineries Ltd., a JV with Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd.
Ltd. and Essar Oil Ltd. They have a competitive edge be- Capacity-utilization rate. The average capacity-utili-
cause of their capability to produce Euro V-quality fuels, zation rate of Indian refineries has been well above those
plus they enjoy economies of scale and the refinery com- of other major refining countries and regions of the world.
plexity necessary to provide a high-value product slate. In Whereas the utilization rate in other countries and regions
addition, Indian refiners enjoy the geographical advantage has been in the range of 75–90% for most of the study pe-
to export their products to the markets of nearby Asian riod, that in India has been near or above 100% throughout
countries and Middle East. the study period (Figure 7) [6]. ■
Despite the competition from refiners in other countries, Edited by Suzanne Shelley
Indian refiners have still performed well on the export References
front. This is evident from the fact that India’s net export of 1. Central Statistics Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Imple-
mentation, Government of India, Energy Statistics 2013, p. 60; http://
petroleum products has been rising steadily since 2002–03
(Figure 6). This indicates the strong potential that exists 2. Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural
Gas, Government of India; Petroleum-Production, Consumption, Prices;
for the export of Indian refined-petroleum products.
Competitive advantages. To improve profitability, Indian 3. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), “World Oil Out-
look,” 2012, pp. 9–10, pp. 56–57, p. 123, p. 146, p. 164, pp. 189–190,
refiners can leverage low costs associated with capital, con- pp. 209–210, p. 247;
struction and labor to help offset the impact of high import 4. Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural
costs of crude feedstocks. Access to financing and the abun- Gas, Government of India, “Forecast and Analysis-Demand Projection
XII and XIII Plan,”
dance of skilled labor and high-tech machinery and equip- 5. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Monthly Oil
ment provides additional competitive advantages. Market Report, August 2013, p. 52;
According to India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural 6. “BP Statistical Review of World Energy,” June 2012;
Gas, several Indian companies have recently announced assets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/reports_and_publica-
plans to invest in new refining capacity additions totaling cal_review_of_world_energy_full_report_2012.pdf
30 million m.t./yr. All figures are shown in million m.t./yr
and expected onstream dates are noted:
• Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.: 15.0; September 2013) Satyendra Kumar Singh is chief engineer (process) at
• Nagarjuna Oil Corp. Ltd.: 6.0; January–March 2014 Saipem India Projects Ltd. (Elegance Tower, 6th Floor
Jasola District Centre, New Delhi 110025, India; Phone:
• Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd.: 9.0; January– 00919811293605, 00911139147536; Email: sty_singh@
March 2017; He holds
a bachelor of technology degree (honors) in chemical tech-
Similarly, according to India’s Ministry of Petroleum and nology from Harcourt Butler Technological Inst. (Kanpur,
Natural Gas, many companies have planned to expand their India) and an MBA from Indira Gandhi National Open
University (New Delhi, India). Singh is a chartered engi-
existing capacity, totalling 50.6 million m.t./yr, during 2012– neer (India), and a fellow of The Institution of Engineers
2017 (All figures are shown in million m.t./yr): (India). He has more than 20 years of experience in en-
gineering consultancy and engineering procurement con-
• Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (4.8) struction in the field of refinery, petrochemicals, oil and gas, and ammonia.


07_CHE_090113_NF1_Spot.indd 24 8/20/13 1:14:21 PM

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the Box
Figure 1. The modular process-system-design approach was uti-
lized for this evaporator system, shown here being lifted from the
truck and righted for plant installation. Modular construction includes
mounting all process equipment on a structural steel frame, fabricat-
ing all interconnecting process and utility piping and installing all in-
struments on the module and wiring the instruments to a junction box
or control panel. A modular design/build firm provides single-source
responsibility for the modular process system

Modular construction offers many Pfaudler

benefits. Here’s how to decide if it’s

right for your CPI application

odular construction is slowly, modules can be as large
but surely becoming a buzz- as 3,000-gal reactors or
word in the design/build in- large process-system
dustry because it provides modules that have the
many benefits to project owners. But same appearance and
does that mean it is the right approach operation as a stick-
for the chemical process industries build project,” he says.
(CPI), and specifically, for your appli- “However, the modular
cation? Here, experts in the industry approach saves consider-
discuss why and, more importantly, able cost and reduces the
when it makes sense to modularize. project schedule by two
Figure 2. Shop construction is far more efficient
“Modular construction is catching to three months.” than field construction and is not affected by weather
on because of the realized benefits and or other plant-site activities. Thus, the modular process-
has become a best-practices methodol- Modular benefits system-design approach lowers overall project costs
ogy in many sectors,” says Kim Allen, Supporters of modular and shortens project schedules. Modular project ex-
ecution greatly reduces site construction work and its
associate director with the Construc- construction suggest that associated plant-site disruptions. This three-module
tion Industry Institute (CII; Austin, there are many benefits evaporator system was installed at an existing specialty
Tex.; to be had. Fabricius men- chemical plant in less than two days
“The strategy often makes sense and tions single-source re-
should be a front-end planning and sponsibility and fixed prices as worth- ing systems without any of the usual
design premise consideration. This is while benefits, while David Edwards, hassles, says Fabricius.
not to say that all projects fit the bill, vice president, sales and marketing, “No project ever executed has not
but it is a valid question to be asked Zeton, Inc. (Ontario, Canada; www. had a problem, but with the single-
up front in the project planning phase:, sees schedule improve- source responsibility provided by
What can be modularized on this proj- ments, quality improvements, cost modular fabricators, resolving those
ect, and if we did that, what would the improvements and risk minimization issues is taken care of in a way that
benefits be?” as perks. the customer doesn’t have to deal with
So what is all the fuss about? In a Single-source responsibility. One of or solve,” explains Fabricius. “In addi-
nutshell, according to Lewis Fabricius, the main benefits for the client, accord- tion to making life easier, it saves time
global product director, WFE and reac- ing to Fabricius, is that the fabricator because there is no finger pointing or
tor systems, with Pfaudler, Inc. (Roch- has sole responsibility for designing blame placing from one labor group to
ester, N.Y.;, while the units, building them, providing the the next. If something needs to be cor-
some people think only of a little pump equipment and mounting it into the rected, it gets corrected” (Figure 2).
skid or utility skid when they hear assembly, which ensures the processor Firm, fixed price. During the upfront
the word “modular,” current process that they will receive properly laid out engineering design stage, most fabri-
modules are much more extravagant and properly constructed, integrated cators will provide a firm, fixed price
than that (Figure 1). “Today’s installed components and properly function- for the completed project, explains
26 Chemical Engineering September 2013

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Fabricius. “The traditional stick-build | Bubble cap trays | Cartridge trays
approach usually provides only an | Dual flow | Baffle | Valve
estimate because when quoting, they
don’t go to the individual contractors
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that box, who is going to be putting it
there, and how much it will cost, so we
are able to provide a firm price. There
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Schedule improvements. “When
compared to the stick-build approach,
modular construction can also speed
up a project,” says Edwards. “This is
because experienced modular fabrica-
tors have standardized approaches, Visit our new website at
which can be applied easily to differ-
ent situations.” He explains that if
someone needs a distillation column
or a reactor, it is likely that an expe- • 24hr EMERGENCY SERVICE • 281-716-1179
rienced modular fabricator has dealt
with something similar before and will
have a pre-designed module in which
to place the equipment. DISTRIBUTORS & SUPPORTS
Manufactured to customer specifications or engineered to meet
“While there is always a bit of cus-
performance requirements.
tomization, typically each fabricator
uses a standard type and size module,
and they know how to efficiently place
equipment into this standard mod-
ule. There is no standard with stick- COALESCERS
build projects.” In addition, since most • Oil water separations • Haze removal from fuels • Removal of tower wet reflux
• Caustic treater applications
modular fabrication takes place in a
shop environment, schedules are not
affected by weather or labor issues.
“The shop-build approach provides
more efficiency, more flexibility, and STRUCTURED PACKING
more certainty. There is air condition- Woven, sheet metal, and knitted structured packing.
ing in summer, heat in winter, stormy Built to spec or performance requirement.

weather doesn’t impact the schedule,

Circle 4 on p. 76 or go to

08_CHE_090113_NF2.indd 27 8/20/13 2:05:48 PM



and there are no operating issues in that stable workforce is used to work-
the existing plant to slow progress,” ing with the fabricator and knows the
says Edwards. level of quality that is expected.”
Quality improvements. “Again, com- In addition, he says, quality is im-
pared to the stick-build approach, in a proved because of the ability to pretest
modular shop you have a stable work- the module in the shop. “We can do
force, which makes it easier to control leak tests, electrical continuity tests
product quality than it is with an on- and such before shipping the module,
site labor force,” says Edwards. “And, which speeds plant startup and com-

FIGURE 4. Due to the remoteness, off-

shore platforms are almost exclusively
Visit us at built on a modular basis in the shipyard
and then floated out to the site

Booth missioning on site,” he says. “Every

#206 plant gets ‘shaken down’ once it’s built,
but this can happen faster with a mod-
ule because they are pretested before
being shipped to the site” (Figure 3).
Cost improvement. Cost improve-
ments can be found mainly because
the cost of operating in a dedicated
shop is less than the overhead of an
onsite project, where setting up a cus-
tom site often requires building access
roads and such before construction
can begin.
Also, because fabrication can be bro-
ken down into subassembly modules
that are later put into the large mod-
ule versus the stick-build approach,
which places equipment into the fa-
che mi ca l a n d P e t r o c h e m i c a l P l a n t s n canneries n c o mmerc ial l a undries n tanneries cility as it arrives, it is more efficient,
thus lowering costs for the builder and
customer, says Edwards.
Space savings. Another advantage
that modular design offers is space sav-
ings, says James Owen, general man-
Pharmaceutical Plants n Wat e r t r e at m e n t Fa c i l i t i e s n automotive Plants ager with EPIC Systems, Inc. (St. Louis,
Mo.; “When you
Gorman-rupp manufactures a complete line of self-priming, standard centrifugal,
submersible and positive displacement pumps for chemical processing.
use a modular frame to build a system,
you can layer the piping, equipment
Whether your application requires handling abrasive and corrosive and utilities. When designed correctly,
chemicals or liquids containing large solids, Gorman-rupp has it can be easier to service equipment
the right pump for the job. our pumps continue to perform and hook up process connections, while
reliably month after month, year after year, in the most
actually fitting the unit in a smaller
demanding environments.
footprint,” he explains.
and, they are all backed by the best distributor network Risk mitigation. Because modular
and parts inventory in the industry. contact your local fabrication requires completing as
Gorman-rupp distributor today for more information on how much of the work as is feasibly possi-
our pumps will meet all your chemical pumping needs. ble in a controlled shop environment,
it brings the certainty of cost, certainty
GORMAN-RUPP COMPANY, MANSFIELD DIVISION of quality, and certainty of schedule to
P.o. Box 1217 n mansfield, ohio 44901-1217 n usa the table, which mitigates the risk of
PH: 419.755.1011 n FX: 419.755.1251 n a project, says Richard Meserole, vice
507 © copyright, the Gorman-rupp company, 2013 Gorman-rupp – mansfield division is an iso 9001:2008 and an iso 14001:2004 registered company president, construction with Fluor’s
Energy and Chemicals Group (Dallas,
Circle 18 on p. 76 or go to

08_CHE_090113_NF2.indd 28 8/20/13 2:11:16 PM


ties and raw material sup-

Fatty Acid
ply areas,” says EPK’s Owen. Industry
“Often, sets of skids can be
engineered to work together
in a variety of applications.
An example of a complete
system could include a raw-
material supply skid, a utility
skid and a processing unit.”

Other considerations
According to Owen, projects
that can’t use modulariza-
tion have decreased over the
years and there has been a
FIGURE 5. This image shows a modular cellu-
reduction in skepticism on
losic-ethanol demonstration plant the part of processors. “The
need to explain the advan-
Tex.; “Risk mitigation tages is decreasing, and we are see-
is of extreme importance in remote lo- ing a higher volume and wider vari-
cations where skilled labor is in short ety of modular opportunities.”
supply, and modular construction is a However, even though modular op-
big risk mitigator due to the certainty portunities are on the uptick, this is
it provides,” explains Meserole. not to say that every chemical pro-
cessing project is an ideal candidate
Modular applications for modular construction. “The size of
Modular construction can be equally the system is a greater factor than the
efficient and beneficial in applications types of operations being performed,”
ranging from small skids to large-scale says Owen. “It’s not practical to ‘modu-
reactor systems, but there are certain larize’ a raw-material tank farm with
applications in which it is most bene- 30,000-gal tanks, for example.”
ficial. For example, Meserole says due Fluor’s Meserole agrees. “The big-
to m
to the remoteness, offshore platforms gest determiner of the ability to mod-
are almost exclusively done on a mod- ularize is the physical constraints
ular basis. “They are built in the ship- of the plant, as well as the ability to
yard and then floated out to the site” get something of this size to the loca- for example:
(Figure 4). Likewise, small process, tion where it needs to reside,” he says.
pilot and demonstration plants are “There are roadways, bridges, ports Tall oil distillation
almost exclusively built with modular [and so on] and then there’s the abil-
Lecithin drying
construction because the equipment is ity to get the module inside a facility
small enough,” adds Zeton’s Edwards if that is where it needs to be placed. Monoglyceride
(Figure 5). That is the number one determin- Glycerin recovery
However, keep in mind when the ing issue — the size of the modules
application is in an existing structure and the ability to move them around.
or plant process that is operational, There’s a fine line because the larger
there may be challenges, says Chris the module, the larger the benefits,
Lamberson, project manager at Skan- but too large and the project may not
ska USA Civil (New York, N.Y.; www. be feasible.” “Pilot plants dem- Additionally, he explains that trying
onstrate a need to still tie into the ex- to force something too big into mod-
isting process lines that pushes field ules isn’t beneficial either. “Sometimes system solutions
welding/fitting as well as wiring,” he a project would require more than one for evaporation and biopharma

says. “But prefabrication of units in a or two modules, and when there are
Processing Partners:
controlled environment have proven to too many boxes, it may start to di-
be the way to go not only from a time/ minish the returns the customer was
money concern, but in a quality/safety seeking from modularization in the
culture as well.” first place,” says Meserole.
Other popular applications for Additionally, availability of quali-
modular construction include utili- fied local craftsmen, lead time on
Circle 17 on p. 76 or go to


08_CHE_090113_NF2.indd 29 8/20/13 2:14:02 PM

EPIC Systems

Newsfront FIGURE 6. Melding equipment in

a manufacturing environment with
chemical processes can be com-
plex. A balanced understanding of
modular design, manufacturing ob-
equipment deliveries, speci- jectives and chemical engineering
fications on process lines and principals is essential. The project
vessels are also drivers or must be carefully planned from
the concept stage with input from
questions that need to be asked experienced chemical engineers,
when making the decision to mechanical engineers, electrical
modularize, says Skanska’s engineers, mechanical designers
Lamberson. “Cost and time and project managers
are always the sticking points,
but quality and safety should be the ect,” says Owen. “Melding equipment proprietary in nature and that modu-
front runners,” he says. “The criteria in a manufacturing environment with larization may not apply. But stud-
are met when the processor feels right chemical processes can be complex. A ies show that this is not the case,” he
collectively, based on the stability of balanced understanding of modular says. Therefore, according to Allen, the
the pre-design engineering.” design, manufacturing objectives and recommended strategy is to consider
chemical engineering principles is es- modularization during the planning
The right choice? sential. The project must be carefully phase and treat this as a design prem-
The market trend toward modular planned from the concept stage with ise throughout. “This is where gains
systems has increased over the past input from experienced chemical engi- can be made in productivity and qual-
five years, its popularity is grow- neers, mechanical engineers, electrical ity. In addition, selecting an EPC [en-
ing, and a higher percentage of peo- engineers, mechanical designers and gineering, procurement, construction]
ple have a base knowledge of what project managers” (Figure 6). contractor that embraces modulariza-
modular design is and a general un- The business case for modulariza- tion and specializes in this methodol-
derstanding of the benefits. “But de- tion must also be considered before the ogy can deliver significant results for
signing a modular chemical system determination is made, according to chemical plant owners and operators,”
requires special attention during the CII’s Allen. “Some may think in terms he notes. ■
process-engineering phase of the proj- of process plants as being unique and Joy LePree

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Circle 40 on p. 76 or go to

08_CHE_090113_NF2.indd 30 8/20/13 2:23:10 PM


Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik

These transducers can measure

torque and speed at the same time
New T40B and T40FM torque trans-
ducers (photo) include an integrated
speed measurement system that al-
lows them to measure torque and
speed simultaneously. Specifically
West Control Camfil Air Pollution
designed for applications in harsh Solutions Control
environments, these transducers can
operate in locations that contain hu- simplified skid package. The high-ef- tors can resolve issues typically associ-
midity, condensation, dust, oil and ficiency cartridge dust collectors and ated with hard-to-access or potentially
grease, conditions that usually would all associated equipment are incorpo- hazardous lubrication points. The au-
restrict the use of a traditional opti- rated onto a single platform, for ease of tomatic lubricator’s continuous and
cal-speed measurement system. The transport and installation. In addition controlled supply of fresh and clean
T40B and T40FM take measurements to dust collectors, these customizable lubricant minimizes the ingress of po-
based on the contactless sensing of an skids may contain accessories, such tentially damaging contaminants, pre-
anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) as explosion protection devices, filters, vents the overheating, waste, and seal
sensor, making the transducer signal continuous liner discharge, fans, con- damage caused by over-lubrication,
more robust and stable than that of trols and interconnecting ductwork. and eliminates excessive wear from
an optical system. The transducer in- Equipped with removable electric over-lubrication. Featuring user-ad-
tegrates both the magnetic technology and pipe connections, the skids can justable dispense settings, the LAGD
and the speed measurement sensor, be moved via forklift or crane, and series lubricators are supplied in two
saving space and simplifying instal- installed anywhere at the end-user’s sizes, 60 and 125 mL. — SKF USA,
lation. Other features include a high- site. — Camfil Air Pollution Control, Inc., Lansdale, Pa.
resolution 1,024-pulse output and a Jonesboro, Ark.
high tolerance for application-related
vibrations. — Hottinger Baldwin Achieve flexible temperature
Messtechnik GmbH (HBM), Darm- Accurate lubricant administra- control in boiler operations
stadt, Germany tion in hard-to-access locations The PMA KS98-1 process tempera- New SKF System 24 LAGD Series ture controller (photo) is designed to
single-point automatic lubricators improve the operational economy of
A compact skid kit for these dust (photo) deliver a pre-set amount of steam and hot water boiler applica-
collectors and accessories fresh lubricant to machinery bearings tions. Able to manage up to six de-
The Farr Gold Series dust collection used in many industries. Engineered vices, this controller can reduce energy
system (photo) is now available in a with a gas-driven feed, these lubrica- losses and prevent downtime by selec-
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM SEPTEMBER 2013 31
on p. 76, or use the website designation.

09_CHE_090113_NP.indd 31 8/20/13 3:01:38 PM

Watlow Electric Manufacturing

New Products

Hayward Flow Control

E Instruments International
Magnatrol Valve

tive switching of individual devices for from 0.5 – 3 in., the valves feature cast This drip-free spray nozzle is
maintenance and repair. The configu- bronze, globe-pattern valve bodies with made of food-grade materials
rable, multi-functional KS89-1 can be NPT ends, as well as packless construc- The new HydroPulse spray nozzle pro-
used to switch smaller units on and off tion with continuous-duty coils for all vides a controlled, intermittent liquid
in a defined order, according to energy voltages. The valves require no differ- spray using only liquid pressure as the
demand, as determined by a propor- ential pressure to open and are easily force for atomization. Pneumatically
tional-integral-derivative (PID) con- serviced while in the pipeline, decreas- actuated, this low-flow, flat-fan spray
troller. A high-resolution LCD screen ing downtime. Type “A” valves are nor- nozzle promises drip-free performance
displays bar graphs and trend curves, mally closed (energize to open) and Type in applications requiring overlapping
while an extensive function library is “AR” valves are normally open (ener- sprays, including petrochemicals,
available to support complex needs, gize to close). — Magnatrol Valve Corp., paper, glass, lubrication, automotive
such as analog signal conditioning to Hawthorne, N.J. and more. The HydroPulse is con-
digital signal operations, and cascade structed of food-grade materials, mak-
control systems to complex meshed ing it appropriate for sensitive pro-
control loops. — West Control Solu- Use this compact heat exchanger cessing applications, as well as those
tions, East Sussex, U.K. for high-pressure dry-gas seals requiring corrosive environments and The new Hydrosafe indirect electric heat harsh fluids. The flat-fan spray pat-
exchanger (photo) is a complete thermal tern provides spray angles from 0 to
This portable emissions analyzer system designed for use in the harsh en- 110 deg with flow rates of 0.003 to
can house up to five gas sensors vironments found in oil exploration and 24.7 gal/min. — Bete Fog Nozzle, Inc.,
The new E5500 portable combustion extraction, petroleum refining and petro- Greenfield, Mass.
analyzer (photo) monitors emissions chemicals. Minimizing potential leaks, the
for regulatory and maintenance use in Hydrosafe’s one-piece, non-welded design
boiler, burner, engine, turbine, furnace makes this exchanger appropriate for These filter cartridges' low pres-
and other combustion applications. high-pressure situations in dry gas-seal sure drop yields high throughput
The versatile E5500 can measure the applications. The heating element, vessel, These new pleated filter cartridges
temperature of stack gas and ambient insulation, terminal enclosure, mount- (photo) are manufactured in either
air, as well as draft and differential ing plate and inlet and outlet connections polypropylene or cellulosic media and
pressure. The E5500 features electro- are combined into a complete assembly, provide high surface filtration. De-
chemical gas sensors for O2, CO, NO, for ease of installation. The gas is heated signed for use with this company’s
NO2 and SO2, and is low-NOx and inside a small-diameter seamless tube or CFLV and MFLV cartridge adapter
true-NOx capable. The analyzer kit pipe, allowing for high-system-pressure kits, these cartridges are suitable for
also includes an external water-trap capability. The 316L stainless-steel fluid applications with multiple liquid-
assembly, wireless remote printer and path is independent of the heater sheath, purification requirements. The car-
real-time PC software package. — preventing fluid contamination. This also tridges’ larger surface area ensures
E Instruments International, allows sensitive materials to be heated a longer service life than most filter
Langhorne, Pa. effectively, and assures safety because bags, due to higher flow and particu- heater failure will not cause leaks or sig- late holding capacity. Lower pressure
nificant damage. The small diameter and drop, reduced processing time and
These solenoid valves are easily low-volume pressure boundary allow use multiple-layered media construction
serviced while in the pipeline in many countries without the need for are some additional benefits of these
Type A and AR bronze solenoid further pressure-vessel certifications. — pleated filter cartridges. — Hayward
valves (photo) are designed for use Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., St. Flow Control, Clemmons, N.C.
in water or wastewater and fuel-oil Louis, Mo. ■
applications. Available for pipe sizes Mary Page Bailey

09_CHE_090113_NP.indd 32 8/20/13 3:06:08 PM





Newson Gale

Larson Electronics

Emergency safety showers offer and green, the unit provides high vis-
response to chemical exposure ibility in a durable package, with each
This company’s emergency showers lamp enclosed in a rigid cage capable
(photo) provide protection for person- of withstanding 1,490-psi hydrostatic
nel working with hazardous chemicals pressure. The traffic light unit is also
in industrial, laboratory or academic explosion-proof and appropriate for
settings. Compliant with both ANSI use in hazardous locations. The traffic
and OSHA requirements, the fully light’s customizable mounting assem-
assembled showers are constructed bly is constructed from heavy-gauge
of a one-piece fiberglass composite, aluminum. The LED lamps boast a
allowing for simple installation to service life of 50,000 hours. Several
Avert static electricity buildup water supply and drainage systems. voltage configurations are available. —
with this hose-continuity tester This unit is equipped with a pull-rod Larson Electronics, LLC, Dallas, Tex.
The OhmGuard Hose-Continuity Tes- activated shower and push-handle
ter (photo) is designed to continuously eye and face wash for immediately
ensure that a string of assembled drenching of personnel that have been Avoid breathing hazards with
hoses are safely grounded to the trans- exposed to hazardous chemicals. Op- this CO-removing filtration panel
ferring vehicle during operations that tional accessories include grab-bars, The new air-filtration system and
may produce potentially combustible hand-held body wash and curtains. — disposable respirators from this
gas, vapor or dust atmospheres. These Hemco Corp., Independence, Mo. company expand its personal protec-
testers protect against static electric- tive equipment (PPE) portfolio with
ity that can accumulate to dangerous enhanced breathing protection. The
levels in isolated metal components Use this explosion-proof traffic Versaflo AP-600 Series Air Filtra-
of commonly used helix-wire transfer light in hazardous locations tion Panel (photo) is designed for ap-
hoses. In practice, the new instrument The EPL-TL-3X10W-C LED Traf- plications in a variety of industries
operates as a simple “pass or fail” test, fic Light (photo) provides workers in including automotive, petrochemical,
wherein a green LED mounted on the industrial operations with a durable pharmaceutical and construction.
OhmGuard clamp will pulse continu- signaling fixture that can be used in Able to accommodate five to 12 users,
ously if the hoses have been properly a variety of applications, including the Versaflo AP-600 features a short
grounded. If there is a break in the con- routing traffic through refueling sta- filter-change time of approximately
tinuity the pulsing will cease, warning tions and indicating a stop, running or 5 min. Multiple configurations are
the operator of potential danger. — caution status during the operation of available, and the addition of pro-
Newson Gale, Inc., Jackson, N.J. manufacturing machinery. Featuring prietary gold-catalyst technology al- three colored LED lamps in red, yellow lows the filtration panel to remove
Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM SEPTEMBER 2013 33
on p. 76, or use the website designation.

11_CHE_090113_CUS1.indd 33 8/21/13 9:15:53 AM

New Pig


up to 95% of carbon monoxide from a ination, the Aura 1870+ is designed

work environment. New FDA-cleared with many features to enhance user
disposable respirators — the VFlex protection, such as a flat-fold design
1805 and the Aura 1870+ — further to ensure fluid resistance, an em-
expand the PPE offerings. Available bossed top panel to accommodate
in two sizes, the VFlex 1805 features eyewear and reduce fogging and an
a unique pleated design to enhance adjustable chin tab for comfortable
comfort and ease of breathing. Indi- positioning. — 3M, St. Paul, Minn.
Process Maxpackaged 1 4/19/
to prevent contam-
CE Nova 041913_Layout 8:09 PM Page 1

This spill kit provides a centrally

located response center
The Spill Kit in a Cabinet (photo) is a
fully assembled central spill response
center. Painted safety yellow, and con-
structed from heavy-gauge steel, the
lockable cabinet comes with many ac-
cessories, such as absorbent mats and
pillows, wipers, disposal bags and more.
The absorbent materials included with
the spill kit aid in the containment of
fluid spills of oils, coolants, solvents or
water. Featuring tamperproof seals,
adjustable shelves, lockable drawers
1967 Nova Pro Street
and a coat rack, this spill kit can be
customized to fit into a variety of loca-
tions. — New Pig Corp., Tipton, Pa.
Process Maxum

This acoustic gas leak detector

learns to ignore random noise
Do you have flows up to
9,900 GPM (2,000 m3/hr),
The FlexSonic Acoustic Gas Leak De-
heads up to 720 Ft (220 M), speeds up
tector (photo) analyzes 24 discrete
to 3,500 RPM, and temperatures up to 500°F
ultrasonic bands, continuously moni-
(260°C)? Then you need Carver Pump
toring for the distinct ultrasound
Process Maxum Series muscle!
emitted by pressurized gas leaks
while ignoring nuisance ultrasonic
With an extended range of hydraulic coverage and
sources. Designed to withstand harsh
rugged construction, the Process Maxum Series is ideal
for Industrial Process applications. Manufactured in
environments, the FlexSonic features
35 sizes, standard materials include WCB, WCB/316SS, a high-fidelity microphone and can be
316SS and CD4MCu, with others available upon programmed to discern between gas
request. A variety of options include various types of leaks and environmental noises, such
mechanical seals and bearing lubrication/cooling as fans, machinery or vehicles. By di-
arrangements, auxiliary protection devices and certified minishing the occurrence of false posi-
performance testing. Whatever your requirements, tive readings, the FlexSonic adds an
let us build the muscle you need! additional layer of protection in haz-
ardous locations that complements
traditional gas-leak detectors. —
Detector Electronics Corp. (Det-Tron-
ics), Minneapolis, Minn.
Creating Value.
Carver Pump Company A multi-rotation lock that
2415 Park Avenue
withstands high temperatures
Muscatine, IA 52761
563.263.3410 The MRL Multi-Rotation Lock (photo)
Fax: 563.262.0510 is an interlock for multi-rotation hand- wheel-operated valves. Following the
interlocking principle, it only allows the
handwheel to be turned when two keys
Circle 11 on p. 76 or go to
34 Chemical Engineering September 2013

11_CHE_090113_CUS1.indd 34 8/21/13 9:08:17 AM

Netherlocks Safety Systems

ent manufacturers, helping personnel struction; and features such as size,

quickly make informed decisions about weight, cuff type and thumb and finger
which gloves will meet their needs. details. Users can then peruse full-color
Taking advantage of the tool’s dynamic photographs and detailed descriptions
search capabilities, users can conduct a of the items that meet their criteria, as
search based on a single factor or mul- well as contact manufacturers and dis-
tiple requirements. Selection variables tributors.— DuPont, Wilmington, Del.
include ANSI level for abrasion, cut or ■
puncture; types of coatings; glove con- Mary Page Bailey

are inserted into the lock, ensuring that

it can only be operated when it is safe
to do so. The MRL has been thoroughly Rubber production
tested and awarded the Fire Test Cer-
tificate according to ANSI/API and ISO

standards, meaning that the lock will
continue to function safely as intended
in the event of a fire. Testing has shown
that the MRL remains secure and oper- Solutions for
able, even when subjected to tempera-
tures as high as 1,800°F. — Netherlocks
Safety Systems, Houston
Processing of New Generation
Protect personnel from moving
equipment with contact mats
These safety contact mats (photo)
are used for safeguarding personnel
around active machinery in indus-
trial applications including machining
centers, robotic work cells, automated
cells and conveyor transfer stations.
When someone steps on a mat, the
surface triggers a control signal to the
stop circuit of the nearby equipment. A
switch design inside the mat assures
that the equipment-motion stoppage is LIST Dry Processing
immediate, providing a valuable layer
of safety in industrial environments.
These safety contact mats feature a
dotted polyurethane non-slip surface
layer and are impervious to spills from
LIST Dry Processing replaces conventional wet rubber processes
oils, acids or caustic substances. Avail-
able in a large range of standard sizes, with new, trend-setting standards for efficient, economical and
the mats can be connected in series resource-saving processes.
and mounted to the floor with either • Reduction of water usage due to elimination of steam stripping
aluminum ramp rails or integrated
• Low shear (100 s-1) – no Mooney change
rubber ramp trim. The mats consist of
two conductive plates separated by an • Low and high Mooney, sticky grades
isolating layer. — ABB Jokab Safety • Proven for new generation rubbers
North America, Westland, Mich. K 2013
October 16 – 23, 2013
Dusseldorf, Germany
An online selector tool matches Hall 9/C24
gloves with users’ needs
The SafeSpec Glove Selector Tool (www. is an online- | |
searchable database of more than 300
Kevlar gloves and sleeves from 10 differ-
Circle 20 on p. 76 or go to
Chemical Engineering September 2013 35

11_CHE_090113_CUS1.indd 35 8/21/13 9:09:29 AM

Steute Industrial Controls


Inductive sensors for
operation in hazardous zones
The new line of ATEX-IECEx-certified
inductive sensors (photo) is designed
for use in Zone 0 and 20 explosive at-
mospheres and extreme environments.
Units are available in M8, M12, M18
Electro-Chemical Devices
and M30 sizes with a cable or plug-in
connector. Models are also available
with IP68K or IP69K ratings and for
temperatures between –40 and 120°C. Omega Engineering
Applications include conveyors, food
and chemical processing, valve-posi-
tion monitoring, grains storage and
more. — Steute Industrial Controls,
Endress + Hauser
Inc., Ridgefield, Conn.

These pressure transducers

operate at high speed
The new PX-409-USBH Series
of high-speed pressure trans-
ducers (photo) features long-term
stability, 316L stainless-steel wet-
ted parts and can make 1,000 readings
per second. The sensor is “ruggedized”
with secondary containment, has an
accuracy of ±0.08% and a broad tem-
perature compensation range of –29 to
85°C. The device connects directly to a
PC via USB cable. — Omega Engineer-
ing, Inc., Stamford, Conn.

A complete system for

Banner Engineering
fluoride monitoring
The combination of the S80 fluoride- Radar sensors for Monitor interface levels with
specific ion sensor, the AC10 self- detecting objects outdoors this immersion sensor
cleaning module and the Model T80 Four new models have been added to The Turbimax CUS71D ultrasonic im-
universal transmitter (photo) forms this company’s R-Gage QT50R Radar mersion sensor (photo) is suitable for
a complete fluoride analyzer system, Sensors (photo) for detecting moving interface measurements in processes
which can be used for monitoring F– ion or stationary objects. Designed to meet where suspensions are separated into
levels in water. The Model S80 Intelli- flexible application requirements and their liquid and solid components by
gent Sensors are available in two de- weather conditions, this enhanced line sedimentation. The sensor can con-
signs: insertion/submersion, and valve of radar sensors is suitable for colli- tinuously monitor the separation and
retractable with flared end to prevent sion avoidance on mobile equipment, transition zones of the clarification
blowout. They feature long-life, replace- outdoor crane-to-crane proximity de- and settling phases. The sensor uses
able electrode cartridges to lower op- tection, high-volume parking and ve- a piezoelectric crystal to generate an
erating costs, and are available with hicle detection and flatbed or box truck ultrasonic signal, and measures the
multiple measurement parameters in detection at loading docks. Operating time required for the signal to reflect
the same mechanical configuration: pH, with frequency-modulated continuous- from solid particles in the separation
oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), wave (FMCW) radar, the sensors fea- zone. The sensor is used with the com-
dissolved oxygen, conductivity and re- ture IP67-rated housings to withstand pany’s Liquiline M CM44x Series of
sistivity as well as specific ion. — Elec- harsh environments. — Banner Engi- transmitters, which are able to com-
tro-Chemical Devices, Irvine, Calif. neering Corp., Minneapolis, Minn. pensate and adjust for changing pro- cess conditions, such as temperature
36 CHEMICAL ENGINEERING WWW.CHE.COM SEPTEMBER 2013 Note: For more information, circle the 3-digit number
on p. 76, or use the website designation.

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American Sensor Technologies


New connector options extend

pressure-sensor use
This company now offers its pressure
log output signals and pressure ports. transmitters with high-pressure pro-
The A2X (explosion and flame proof) cess connections using 316L stainless
and A4 (intrinsically safe) models are steel to enable users to integrate prod-
designed for hazardous environments. ucts that require liquid or gas compat-
— Ashcroft Inc., Stratford, Conn. ible with 316L stainless steel, such as hydrogen, natural gas or water. The

We’re Big
and air pressure. — Endress + Hauser,
Inc., Greenwood, Ind.

without the burdens

Fittings for sealing sensors into
process equipment
These compression fittings provide an
efficient, economical means of secur-
ing and sealing a variety of sensors
into tanks, chambers and pipes. The
fittings are available in many differ-
ent types, sizes and materials of con-
struction, and can be custom-designed
to meet the application requirements.
— Electronic Development Labs, Inc.,
Danville, Va.

Tiny pressure transducers that

handle extreme pressures
Featuring 1% accuracy, the Model S
Series of subminiature pressure trans-
ducers fits into tight spaces with little
clearance, and measures pressure
ranges from 100 to 15,000 psi. These
gage-only transducers have a high
natural frequency and utilize a flush As a Top 10-ranked firm in refineries and petrochemical plants by
diaphragm that is manufactured from Engineering News-Record, we have the expertise and international
17-4 PH (precipitation hardening) presence to execute and deliver your project anywhere in the world.
stainless steel. Temperature compen- And with a flexibility and responsiveness that belies our size –
sation is accomplished by using tem- that’s why we’re big without the burdens.
perature-sensitive components located
inside the transducer. — Honeywell
Sensing and Control, Columbus, Ohio

Pressure transducers for People Oriented...Project Driven®

routine and hazardous service
The A2, A2X and A4 pressure trans-
For more information, contact us at
mitters (photo) are rugged heavy-, call 713-215-8000
duty sensors with accuracies of up
to ±0.25% of full scale. The A2 has a or visit
variety of electrical connections, ana-
Circle 39 on p. 76 or go to

12_CHE_090113_CUS2.indd 39 8/21/13 9:32:17 AM

Krohne Messtechnika


two new options — a ¼-in. female NPT Analytical sensors with

and F250C female (photo, p. 39) — are a transmitter built in
available on all the company’s explo- SmartSens is said to be the first
sion-proof transmitters, and can also family of two-wire, loop-pow-
be ordered on the AST20HA precision- ered analytical sensors (photo) with sor signals to the process control sys-
pressure transducer or AST20SW solid- integrated transmitter technology. tem. The company has miniaturized
state pressure switch. — American Sen- Prior to this, analytical sensors have the transmitter and fitted it into
sor Technologies, Inc., Mt. Olive, N.J. required an external proprietary the sensor head, thereby eliminat- transmitter onsite to deliver the sen- ing sources of error caused by false
installation, cabling or configuration
of the transmitter. The first sensors
available are for pH, ORP and con-

Do you have the right expert to ductivity, with other process param-
eters to follow. These sensors can be
connected directly to the process-
repair your fixed equipment? control system, and feature direct
communication via 4–20-mA HART.
— Krohne Messtechnik GmbH,
Duisburg, Germany

This portable pressure calibrator

is very accurate
The new CA700 Portable Pressure
Calibrator is equipped with a silicon
resonant sensor that uses the compa-
ny’s proprietary DPharp technology.
The CA700 can measure pressures
with an accuracy that is within ±0.01
of reading. It can also output and
measure current and voltage within
±0.015% of rdg. This highly accurate
portable calibrator features a variety
of functions, including a wide selec-
tion of measuring ranges, “as found/
as left” data storage, and memory
capacity to store calibration proce-
dures. — Yokogawa Corp. of America,
Newnan, Ga.

A variety of temperature sensors

that can also be customized
This company offers a wide variety
of temperature sensor probes, from
Rely on Chesterton® to seal your thermistors and thermocouples, to
stationary equipment. resistance thermometers. The high-
quality sensor probes are easily in-
Sealing leaks in critical flanges, heat help you achieve these results in many tegrated with other PID temperature
exchangers, valves and manways can static equipment applications. Have your
controller systems, and have a toler-
increase your equipment reliability, local Chesterton representative assist you
reduce asset management costs, improve in determining the optimal solution for
ance of up to ±0.1°C. As a full-service
plant safety and minimize fugitive your fixed equipment sealing. temperature-control-solution pro-
emissions. Chesterton’s knowledge, proven vider, the company also has a com-
solutions and leading technology can plete selection of other temperature
control products. Each sensor avail-
able can also be customized. — Oven
Industries, Inc., Mechanicsburg, Pa.
23148 © A.W. Chesterton Company, 2013. All rights reserved. ■
Gerald Ondrey
Circle 7 on p. 76 or go to
40 Chemical Engineering September 2013

12_CHE_090113_CUS2.indd 40 8/21/13 9:33:27 AM

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Show Preview

he ChemInnovations 2013 Confer-
ence and Expo will be held Septem-
ber 25 and 26 at the Moody Gardens
Convention Center in Galveston,
Tex. With eight conference tracks and a
number of industry experts (See Chem.
Eng., August p. 30–31 for more), the event
will also feature exhibits from many ven-
dors who will showcase their newest
equipment and technologies on the show
floor. The following descriptions are a se-
lection of the exhibitors whose products
and services will be on display at ChemIn-
novations 2013.

This software makes deliverables

from laser-scanned 3D plant data Kubit USA

New PointSense Plant software (photo) Use this ceramic DP sen-

produces crucial deliverables for plant sor with corrosive media
and piping design from point clouds. The new TankLink90 with a
Used for industrial facility design, this ceramic differential pressure
software provides solutions for evalu- (DP) sensor (photo) is a wire-
ation and post-processing of laser- less remote tank monitoring
scanned data in AutoCAD. Capabilities system designed for use with
include three-dimensional piping and highly corrosive chemicals.
structural extraction, recognition of tie- It allows chemical manu-
in points, tank analysis and creation facturers, distributors and
of AutoCAD Plant 3D deliverables. end users to monitor their
Booth 413 — Kubit USA, Houston corrosive chemicals with an easy-to-install monitor and a
ceramic differential pressure
A rectangular explosion vent with sensor that sits near the bottom of the in-place restoration of glass-lined ves-
non-fragmenting opening tank and out of the way of chemical sels. Developed by highly experienced
The CV-S Explosion Vent, now avail- vapors at the top that can cloud mea- enameling experts, the MORS process
able in a rectangular version (photo), surement readings. Unlike ultrasonic has a one-year warranty, and is more
provides a non-fragmenting opening sensors, the ceramic DP sits near the cost-effective than shipping vessels
when protecting industrial processing bottom of the tank so vapors are com- to external locations for re-glass ser-
equipment in applications including pletely avoided, resulting in highly ac- vices. Other on-site service products
air-material separation, drying and con- curate level readings. By accessing the require a three-day curing process,
veyance. The CV-S is specially designed TankDataOnline Web-based data por- but MORS provides a much faster
to support robust cycling, applications tal, users can improve scheduling and turnaround.
where operating pressure approaches delivery. Booth 513 — Telular Corp., Booth 211 — Glasslined Technologies,
burst pressure, or where moderate Chicago, Ill. Inc., Greensboro, Ga.
vacuum pressure exists. Available in a
wide range of standard metric and cus-
tom sizes, the rectangular CV-S also has Restore glass-lined steel vessels This flexible hose is both anti-
optional accessories, such as burst indi- on-site with this system static and fire resistant
cators, weather covers and atmospheric The patent-pending Mobile On-site New Corroline+ smoothbore PTFE
insulation kits. Booth 713 — Fike Corp., Restore System (MORS) from this hoses (photo, p. 45) are designed to be
Blue Springs, Mo. company is a new glass repair-and- extremely kink-proof, and have the restoration system that allows for flexibility, durability and chemical re-

13_CHE_090113_SHO.indd 42 8/21/13 9:55:33 AM

Where Liquids-Rich
Markets Converge
– NGLs, Gas, Crude, Condensates

December 4-6, 2013

Hyatt Hill Country Resort
San Antonio, Texas

To secure a sponsorship or attendance, contact

Christy Coleman, Director, at 713-343-1873

ZZ_CHE_090113_Full_pg_ads.indd 43 8/21/13 2:47:06 PM

42nd Turbomachinery
29th Pump SYMPOSIA


9.30 – 10.3.2013
/TurbolabatTAMU @PumpTurbo

Circle 36 on p. 76 or go to

ZZ_CHE_090113_Full_pg_ads.indd 44 8/21/13 2:50:38 PM

CEJN Industrial

Show Preview

Aflex Hose USA

sistance required for chemical transfer

applications. Featuring a proprietary
tube design and stainless-steel braid
reinforcement, the Corraline+ also in-
corporates a rubber cover that is both
anti-static and fire-resistant. Lined Forge Tech Goodway Technologies

fittings are available for critical ap- an eddy current or iris exam to deter- and safely dissolve mineral deposits,
plications that require all-PTFE wet- mine where the failure is most severe, ei- such as lime, rust and lithium carbonate
ted surfaces. Both non-conductive and ther a thin metallic shield or full-length from water passages in equipment that
conductive (anti-static) PTFE tubes liner is inserted in the partial or entire is cooled or heated by water. While Scale-
are available. Booth 511 — Aflex Hose length of the damaged tubes, forming a break SS is intended for use on stainless-
USA LLC., Pipersville, Pa. sleeve. These sleeves are then expanded steel surfaces, Scalebreak is safe for use with 2,000–10,000 lb water pressure on steel, iron, brass, copper, plastic and
to create a metal-to-metal pressur- rubber. Fortified with low-foaming wet-
An alternative method for leak ized fit of the sleeve to the parent tube. ting and penetrating agents, these des-
repair in aboveground tanks This process can add years of service calers are idea for use in boilers, chillers,
Portable Friction Forge Bonding life, depending on metals of construc- condensers, heat exchangers, oil cool-
(PFFB; photo) technology is designed tion. Booth 605 — CTI Industries, Inc., ers, cooling towers, furnaces and water
for mechanical repairs to in-service Orange, Conn. piping systems. Booth 423 — Goodway
aboveground storage tanks (AST) in Technologies Corp., Stamford, Conn.
order to mitigate leaks, cracks and
other damage. Specifically adapted These couplings are specially de-
for safe use within the AST normal signed for fluid service Use these rubber seals for
work environment, this technology This company’s non-drip couplings natural gas applications
is useful for installation of mechani- (photo) are designed for broad use in This company offers a range of Under-
cally joined, engineered repair plates low-pressure fluid and vacuum appli- writers Laboratories (UL) tested rub-
suitable for most floating-roof leaks. cations. The couplings are constructed ber compounds specifically designed
When compared to traditional joining to eliminate spillage, pollution and air for natural gas and liquid polypro-
and welding methods for tank repair, inclusion during connection and discon- pylene applications, with low extrac-
PFFB features stronger bonds, lower nection for a wide range of fluid lines, tion characteristics, low compression
operating temperatures and the abil- including electronic coolant, saltwater, set and low temperature capabilities.
ity to join dissimilar metals. Booth 204 oil transfer and beverage. All coupling The rubbers have multiple end-uses
— Forge Tech, Inc., Kemah, Tex. components have standardized dimen- and operating temperatures ranging sions with a common interface, enabling from –60 to 105°C. Among the compa-
numerous combinations and configura- ny’s products are innovative compos-
This service offers tube repair tions, making them highly adaptable for ite seals including rubber bonded to
and restoration in-situ many applications. Booth 815 — CEJN metal, plastic or nylon material. Also
This company’s condenser and heat- Industrial Corp., Gurnee, Ill. offered are brass-to-rubber bonded
exchanger restoration services can ex- products to decrease valve assemblies
tend the life of damaged or failed fin- and increase valve reliability. Booth
fan bundles and shell-and-tube heat These products remove scale de- 219 — Apple Rubber Products, Inc.,
exchangers. These repairs are achieved posits from a variety of materials Lancaster, N.Y.
in-situ and have been applied in many Scalebreak and Scalebreak SS biode- ■
refineries and chemical plants. Using gradable scale removers (photo) quickly Mary Page Bailey

13_CHE_090113_SHO.indd 45 8/21/13 10:01:14 AM

Plastics for
Department Editor: Scott Jenkins CPI Equipment
hemical processing equipment made

PVC and CPVC Properties
Figure from thermoplastics can have distinct Type I PVC Type II PVC CPVC
henate advantages for equipment corrosion, Property Test method Typical Typical Typical
the box fluid contamination and flame retar- values values values
sense for dancy. When purchased in the form of Mechanical
the FAC heavy-gauge sheets, these thermoplas- Specific gravity ASTM D-792 1.37 1. 35 1.51
the last line tics can be machined, fabricated and
Tensile strength (psi) ASTM D-638 7,400 5, 600 7,600
formed into a virtually unlimited variety
of process equipment components that
may address chemical processing chal- Ultimate (%) ASTM D-638 132 122 37
lenges that other materials cannot. Yield (%) ASTM D-638 3.5 4 -
ements The following represents a brief look Modulus of Elasticity (psi) ASTM D-638 4.0 × 105 3.2 × 105 4.0 × 105
at properties, possible applications and Flexural strength (psi) ASTM D-790 12,000 8, 000 11,000
available methods of fabrication for Flexural modulus (psi) ASTM D-790 4.2 × 105 3.0 × 105 3.5 × 105
heavy-gauge thermoplastics sheets of Izod impact
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorinated (ft-lb/in. of notch) ASTM D-256 1–3 10–15 1–2
polyvinyl chloride (CPVC). Hardness Rockwell R ASTM D-785 116 116 118
Heavy-gauge thermoplastic sheet Hardness Shore D ASTM D-2240 82 80 82
products are available in an ever-wid- Compression Strength (psi) ASTM D-695 10,830 8, 000 11,400
ening selection of grades, thicknesses, Shear Strength (psi) ASTM D-732 9,240 6, 500 9,220
sizes, opacities and surface finishes,
Water Absorption 24 h (%) ASTM D-570 0.032 0. 056 0.035
with stringent fire ratings and outstand-
ing physical properties. They provide
ready-made alternatives to lesser — and Thermal Expansion
often costlier — materials in contact (in./in.°F) ASTM D-696 2.95 × 10–5 3.20 × 10–5 4.40 × 10–5
with caustic, acidic and contamination- Heat Deflection (°F)
sensitive fluids. 264 psi (annealed) ASTM D-648 165 160 212
Thermal Conductivity
Corrosion and contamination (Btu/(hr × ft2 × oF/in.)) ASTM C-177 0.72 0. 74 0.641
Chemical and manufacturing plants Flammability
that handle acids and caustics face an UL (Underwriters Labora- UL-94 V-0 V-0 V-0
ongoing battle against the corrosion of tories)
valves, pumps, tanks, fixtures, enclo-
sures, clean rooms and other equipment industry sectors in which acidic, caustic wide range of applications, both for new
and surfaces that are either in constant or ultrapure fluids are handled. These and retrofitted equipment.
or incidental contact with corrosive flu- include: chemical and pharmaceutical Flat laminating. All gauges of metal,
ids. Plants handling reagent-grade chem- processing; semiconductor manufactur- wood, composite, masonry and other
icals and ultrapure liquids must prevent ing; biomedical products manufacturing; substrates can be clad with these sheet
the ionization of fluids contacting metal pollution control; power generation; products using commercially available
anywhere in the process stream. industrial and municipal wastewater adhesives
Stainless steel and high-performance treatment; and others.
alloys employed for these applications Within those industries, the applica- Two-dimensional forming. Thin- to me-
cannot fully eliminate corrosion and tions for flat, machined and thermo- dium-gauge sheet can be brake-formed
ionization, but certain thermoplastic formed heavy-gauge thermoplastic sheet to generate seamless corners, as well
materials can, and the price can be include the following: as post-formed onto routed substrates
much lower. • Tanks and baffles used for corrosive to eliminate sharp outside corners and
Thermoplastics are available that are chemicals seams
100% inert to corrosive chemicals across • Metal tank linings Thermoforming (three-dimensional).
the entire pH range, enabling processors • Acid etching equipment Thin- to medium-gauge sheet can be
and equipment manufacturers alike to • Wet benches thermoformed to create three-dimensional
preempt corrosion and contamination, • Fume scrubber hoods, ducts and parts enclosures, housings, guards and parts
while significantly cutting cost, weight of all types of unlimited shapes
and maintenance. • Cleanroom walls, partitions and doors Machining. These sheet products can be
• Window glazing in cleanroom walls saw-cut, drilled, tapped, routed, ground,
PVC and CPVC and doors sanded and otherwise machined using
A variety of sheet grades are available to • Transparent guards and panels of conventional tools
provide the chemical resistance, physical cleanroom equipment
properties, fire ratings, thicknesses and • Enclosures for electrical and mechani- Welding, fastening and bonding.
opacity or clarity required by the applica- cal equipment of all types These thermoplastics can be heat
tion in which it is used. • Machined parts, including pumps, welded, bonded using commercially
Type I PVC. For chemical and corrosion valves and flanges available adhesives, and mechanically
resistance and flame retardancy • Numerous other new and retrofit ap- fastened using screws, bolts and rivets
Type II PVC. For chemical and corrosion plications in which equipment corro- without the cracking associated with
resistance and flame retardancy with sion and fluid contamination must be composite materials and certain other
higher impact strength eliminated thermoplastics, allowing rapid fabri-
CPVC. For chemical and corrosion resis- cation of components that are easily
tance and flame retardancy for use in Production methods connected to one another and to other
higher-temperature environments The heavy-gauge thermoplastic-sheet equipment.
products described above can be ma-
Applications Editor’s note: Content for this edition of “Facts at
nipulated in various ways using a wide your Fingertips” was supplied by Kevin Asti, VP
Applications for heavy-gauge ther- variety of production methods. These of operations for Boltaron (Newcomerstown, Ohio;
moplastic sheet can be found in all methods enable them to suit an equally

14_CHE_090113_FAC.indd 46 8/21/13 10:18:41 AM

Practical Solutions for Plant
Management and Operations




The live event of:

The ChemInnovations conference & exhibition covers the AISLE BANNER &
critical issues in operating and managing a chemical process
industries plant that have been identified specifically by plant
management teams.
The tradeshow features innovative technologies and value-
added products and services. Several new features have
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the TechTalk Theatre, which showcases experts discussing
trending industry topics and innovators introducing brand new
technologies. PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Register today with VIP code CESEPT

before it’s too late!

ZZ_CHE_090113_Full_pg_ads.indd 47 8/21/13 2:55:08 PM

4th Annual
Practical Solutions for Plant
Management and Operations

Session 1C: Occupational
SESSIONS TRACK 1: PROCESS AND Safety in the Chemical Process
KEYNOTE SESSION Session 1A: Process Safety in WEDNESDAY, 3:15 – 4:45 P.M.

“The Shale Gale is Blowing: the Chemical Process Industry- Chair: Stan Zisman, Technical EHS Manager,
Part 1
Plotting a Course That Avoids WEDNESDAY, 8:30 – 10:00 A.M. CSB Updates on Chevron in Richmond,
the Shoals and Rocks” Chair: Philip Hoang, Operations Director, Lloyd’s
California, the Fertilizer Plant in
West, Texas and How Incidents Drive
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, Register Energy Americas, Inc. Recommended Guidelines
10:45 - 11:30 A.M. Beth Rosenberg, ScD, MPH, Board Member, U.S.
Risk Analysis and Optimization for
Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Shale gas has revitalized the Chemical Industry in the U.S. Laboratory Operation in the Chemical
The economic benefits have been widely described, but Industry Methods of Managing Fatigue
there is little discussion if the impacts of the great increase Tianxing Cai, Research Assistant, Lamar Tom Narbit, Plant Manager, Axiall Corporation –
in ethane cracking. The shifting feedstock slate creates University La Porte
both challenges and opportunities for new technologies. Team Situation Awareness and Process
The shoals and rocks caused by the shale gale will be What is an OSHA Challenge? Getting
Safety: Lessons Learned from Process Ready for the Voluntary Protection
detailed and a course described that can provide an even Industry Incidents Program (VPP)
brighter future for the industry will be presented. Peter Bullemer, Senior Partner and Dal Vernon Cindy Lewis, Director, Gulf Coast Safety Institute/
Reising, Senior Partner , Human Centered College of the Mainland
Solutions, LLC
David S. Bem, Ph.D.
Innovation in H2S Removal
Global R&D Director
The Dow Chemical Company
Technologies for the Oil & Gas and TRACK 2: INDUSTRIAL
Chemical Processing Industries
Scott Williams, Engineer and David Engel,
Managing Director & Senior Engineer, Nexo
Solutions Session 2A: Industrial Water
Management in the Gulf Coast
Session 1B: Process Safety in Region
PLANT MANAGER’S the Chemical Process Industry-
WEDNESDAY, 8:30 – 10:00 A.M.
Chair and Moderator: Lori Traweek, Operations
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, WEDNESDAY, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. Manager, Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority
10:45 - 11:30 A.M.
Chair: Anthony Fregosi, Mfg. System Engineer,
Climate Is What We Get: Long-Term
Hear what challenges are being faced due to the Cornerstone Chemical Company
Changes in Water Availability
booming renaissance that is impacting the chemical John Nielsen-Gammon, Regents Professor and
Control of Static Electricity in
process industries from the perspective of a panel of Combustible Dust and Flammable Texas State Climatologist, Texas A&M University,
Plant Managers. Check for updates Liquid Hazards Atmospheric Sciences
Richard Puig, Regional Manager, Newson Gale
Drought Impacts to Fish, Wildlife and
Moderator: Dorothy Lozowski, Recreation along the Texas Coast
Developing and Maintaining Relief
Executive Editor, System Design Documentation as an Cindy Loeffler, P.E., Water Resources Branch
Chemical Engineering Evergreen Process Chief, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Marie Baker, Technical Manager, Lloyd’s Register
Energy Americas, Inc. Water Supply Planning in Texas
Dan Hardin, Ph.D., Interim Deputy Executive
Pressure Safety: Power Failure Scenario Administrator, Texas Water Development Board
for Flare Header Sizing
Steve Kostos, Pressure Safety Consultant, Bayer
Technology Services

For complete session descriptions, visit

ZZ_CHE_090113_Full_pg_ads.indd 48 8/21/13 2:57:09 PM

25 – 26, 2013

Session 2B: Industrial Water Risked Based Inspection Applied

to Instrumentation
Conservation, Use and Reuse Robert Borut, Senior Consultant, Lloyd’s Continuous Monitoring for Gas Strategic Solutions for Hiring
WEDNESDAY, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. Register Energy Americas Leaks using a Gas Cloud Imaging Foreign Nationals
Chair: Dorothy Lozowski, Executive Editor, (GCI) Video Camera Kelly Cobb, Partner, FosterQuan, LLP
Implementing a Corrosion Under
Chemical Engineering Robert Kester, Chief Technology Officer,
Insulation (CUI) Program
Allison Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer, How to Attract and Keep Top
New Decision-Making Tool for Russ Davis, AIMS COE Manager, Mistras Talent
Group and Nathan Hagen, Senior Imaging
Sustainability Keith Wolf, Managing Director, Murray
Scientist, Rebellion Photonics
Brittany Hohman, EIT, Process Engineer, Resources
Supplementing Risk Basked
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies
Inspection Programs with
Community Engagement -
Integrity Operating Windows
Confronting the Water Challenge: TRACK 4: REGULATORY Working wth Schools
Dow Technologies Increase the Vishal Lagad, Sr. Corrosion Engineer
Flow and Vibha Zaman, Pipeline Integrity ISSUES AFFECTING Steven Horton, ED.D., Schools Program
THE CPI Director, Construction & Maintenance
Abhishek Shrivastava, Ph.D., Engineering Management Lead, Lloyd’s Register
Education Foundation
Manager, Clean Filtration Technologies, Energy Americas, Inc.
Dow Water & Process Solutions Session 4D: Current Issues
Session 3B: Managing
Trends in Water Reuse/ Reliability at Chemical Impacting the Chemical TRACK 6: AUTOMATION
Sustainability in the Chemical
Plants Process Industries AND CONTROL
Thomas Schultz, Director of Sales and WEDNESDAY, 1:00 – 2:30 P.M. THURSDAY, 8:30 – 10:00 A.M. SOLUTIONS AND
Marketing, Siemens Energy, Inc.
Chair: Jonathan Tan, Process Engineer, KBR Check for STRATEGIES
the finalized regulatory session
Session 2C: Industrial The Future of Managing Asset- topics and speakers.
Session 6D: Adopting New
Water Treatment and Intensive Businesses
John Keefe, Technical Manager, Lloyd’s Automation and Control
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Polypropylene Bulk-
Phase Process
By Intratec Solutions

P olypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic

polymer formed by the polymeriza-
tion of 10,000–20,000 monomers of
propylene. With a global market of about 60
million metric tons per year, PP is the second
and is then dried. Following that,
the product is combined with ad-
ditives and then flows to the pel-
letizing unit. The polymer pellets
are cooled and sent to a product 400
Total fixed investment
Working capital
Other capital expenses

most-used polymer globally. blending-and-storage system. The

More than 35% of the world’s total PP is pro- monomer stream that is recovered 350
duced using LyondellBasell’s (Houston; www. from the steam-treatment vessel

U.S. dollars, millions Spheripol technology. is sent to a scrubber for water
removal. 250
The process Monomer recovery. The gas from
In Spheripol technology, polymerization is the high-pressure degasser is di- 200
carried out in liquid propylene (a bulk-slurry rectly sent to the propylene scrub-
process) in tubular loop reactors. This type of ber. The propylene-recovered
reactor has a high heat-removal capacity and streams from the steam scrubber 100
avoids polymer deposition on reactor walls. and low-pressure degasser are
A polypropylene homopolymer production washed with an anti-fouling agent 50
process via a bulk-slurry process similar to before being compressed and
LyondellBasell Spheripol is depicted in the sent to the propylene scrubber,
where the monomer is sepa- Integrated Non-integrated
flowsheet (Figure 1). The process shown is
capable of producing both homopolymer and rated from polymer residues and
random copolymer PP. For impact copoly- recycled to the reaction area. A FIGURE 2. An economic comparison of polypropylene
mer production, the addition of a gas-phase fraction of the recycle monomer production can be made between an integrated and non-
reactor is required. In this process, liquid stream is sent to a propylene-propane integrated scenario
propylene contacts a solid catalyst inside a splitter column (inside the purification
responds to a grassroots unit. Thus, 20 days
loop reactor. The process can be separated area of the propylene supplier, if the plant is
of operation was considered for both products
into three main areas: purification and reac- part of an integrated petrochemical complex)
and raw materials. In addition, this scenario
tion; polymer degassing and pelletizing; and for purification.
includes a propane-propylene splitter.
monomer recovery.
The level of integration with nearby facilities
Reaction and purification. In this stage, Economic performance
significantly impacts the capital expenses
fresh polymer grade (PG) propylene is sent An economic evaluation of the bulk-phase
required for the construction of a PP plant. The
to fixed-bed dryers for removal of water polypropylene process was conducted, based
chart (Figure 2) shows the evaluation of capital
and other potential catalyst poisons. The on data from the fourth quarter of 2012. The
expenses for both scenarios. Furthermore, the
catalyst and part of the purified propylene evaluation concerns a plant with a nominal ca-
elevated market prices for propylene makes it
are continuously fed to the prepolymerization pacity of 350,000 ton/yr erected in the U.S.
unprofitable to operate a stand-alone PP unit
reactor. This forms a protective shell around Gulf Coast region (the required process equip-
in the U.S., when compared to the propylene
the catalyst particle, which decreases the oc- ment is represented in the simplified flowsheet).
production cost of integrated plants. ■
currence of fouling. The remaining fresh and Two scenarios were analyzed:
1) Integrated scenario. This case corresponds  Edited by Scott Jenkins
recovered propylene are fed into two loop
reactors in series. In the case of copolymer to a PP plant that is linked to a propylene Editor’s Note: The content for this column is supplied by
production, ethylene comonomer is also supplier. This nearby unit continuously provides Intratec Solutions LLC (Houston; and edited
added to the reactors. PG propylene at prices below the market by Chemical Engineering. The analyses and models presented
Polymer degassing and pelletizing. The slurry average, and receives impure propylene for herein are prepared on the basis of publicly available and
non-confidential information. The information and analysis are
from the reactor is discharged into two pres- purification. Thus, no storage for propylene
the opinions of Intratec and do not represent the point of view
sure vessels to separate the unreacted mono- is required. However, storage of products is of any third parties. More information about the methodology
mer from the polymer. The polymer receives equal to 20 days of operation. for preparing this type of analysis can be found, along with
a steam treatment to deactivate the catalyst, 2) Non-integrated scenario. This case cor- terms of use, at

(1) Fixed bed dryer

(2) Loop reactors
3 CW (3) High pressure degasser
CW (4) Low pressure degasser
2 CW 8 (5) Steam treatment vessel
N2 purge 10 (6) Hot nitrogen dryer
Catalyst and Anti-fouling (7) Extruder and pelletizing
chemicals agent (8) Steam scrubber
11 (9) Drying gas scrubber
5 9
ST To waste oil (10) Low-pressure propylene
1 tank scrubber
PG propylene To water ST (11) Propylene scrubber
treatment (12) Cooling tower
N2 (13) Boiler
6 Additives

Propylene supplier’s CW CW: Cooling water

Polypropylene 12 ST 13
purification area (integrated 7 ST: Steam
petrochemical process)

FIGURE 1. Over 35% of the world's polypropylene is produced using LyondellBasell's Spheripol (similar to the bulk-phase process shown)

15_CHE_090113_TP.indd 51 8/21/13 10:28:32 AM

Cover Story

Improve Rotary Equipment

Reliability with Checklists
Design selection and Consultant/licensor Project End user and associates

commissioning of rotary Technology

equipment can benefit by Team formation

following a structured, Detail engineering Specification

Ground reality

checklist-based method
preparation Integration of Reliability
end users input improvement
1st measures
and by promoting end-
Expert advice
Vendor finalization Technical review
Proactive measures
user involvement Vendor selection Tendering and P.O. management

Preservation Preservation/erection Participation

Sourav Kumar Chatterjee 2nd
during erection
Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Erection Safety audit/compliance Safety audit

otary equipment, such as cen- Commissioning Commissioning task force Commissioning
trifugal pumps, often represent 3rd activities
the heart of plants in the chemi- Performance tracking GTR and documentation GTR
cal process industries (CPI). A
critical factor in the longterm reliabil-
ity of such equipment is a high-qual- Documentation Handover Taking over
ity design and commissioning process,
so that initially, the rotary equip-
ment will have the maximum built-in
strength to survive upset operating Figure 1. Nurturing a culture of cohesive teamwork among consultants, project
conditions, yet not be overdesigned teams and end-users is difficult, but can generate benefits for equipment reliability
in a way that leads to higher overall
lifecycle costs. To sucessfully design End-user interactions The mode of interaction among the
and commission plant assets, two The end-users of the plant asset can end-users and project-management
critical objectives come into play: es- provide a great deal of data to the en- group for the information transfer
tablishing a culture of cohesive team- gineering and construction team, and described above is of immense impor-
work among the consultant, project that information should be captured tance, because the two groups have
and end-user teams; and following a in the right perspective, and then for- different core objectives to achieve.
structured procedure with the help of malized and structured in a way that It is often a difficult task to align the
equipment-specific checklists. promotes understanding. If that is mindset of both groups and to bring
The teamwork component of this achieved, the result is a high degree them under a common umbrella of un-
approach is intended to systematically of practicality and flexibility in the derstanding, so that the exchange of
capture “on-the-ground” realities of way the information is implemented. knowledge becomes collaborative, fo-
the plant and to realize longterm ben- During the data collection process be- cused and effective, resulting in real-
efits by incorporating improvements tween the engineering and end-user ization of an integrated common goal.
into the design, construction and com- groups, there is potential for a great In other words, a mutually agreed-
missioning processes. To do this, the deal of irrelevant and impractical in- upon structured methodology must
active participation of the end-users formation to be exchanged. Hence, the be in place for communication and
is essential throughout the process organization and use of the data must knowledge management that takes
(Figure 1). The second component, be carried out by a team of subject- into account the profile of participat-
following a structured set of detailed matter experts with visionary wis- ing teams, the nature of the informa-
checklists, is intended to optimize the dom, so that the basis of action items tion available, and the areas where
equipment design and setup at the is justified from an economic, as well that information will be applied.
outset, to allow maximum reliability. as a reliability, point of view. When this structured methodology is
52 Chemical Engineering September 2013

16_CHE_090113_SCJ.indd 52 8/21/13 10:42:26 AM

Table 1. General Maintenance-Reduction checkList For achieving
built-in reliability for Centrifugal pumps
Description of check point Adequate Remark
no. Yes No
1 Design provides the suitable materials of construction of major
components, surface sealing materials and hardware to with-
stand the most adverse operating conditions possible in the sys-
established, the project workflow will tem, including all mechanical and hydraulic forces acting upon it
remain on a progressive track. 2 Design provides inherent protection to components from corro-
sive or erosive environments to which it is, or can be, exposed as
This process of value addition by a part of the operating process
effectively merging end-users’ experi- 3 Design provides a correct and realistic input process condition
ence from the design selection stage to for the equipment
commissioning of the asset is unique Design provides a correct and realistic equipment output perfor-
for each project and has to be engi- mance within the limit of specified input condition
neered to allow for modifications to 4 Design provides the most suitable hydraulic balancing for equip-
ment, so as to minimize the forces acting on components
accommodate the systems and proce-
5 Design provides a specified trouble-free operating zone without
dures for different organizations. If affecting the desired performance and component life
the goal of smooth knowledge trans- 6 Design provides correct and robust shaft-sealing system that
fer is achieved, a safe, on-time, cost- can withstand the most adverse operating conditions possible in
effective execution of the design and the system without failure
installation process will translate into 7 Design provides an appropriate bearing-support system to
provide maximum stiffness to the rotating mass at minimum fric-
a sustained reliable and productive tional loss
operation thereafter. 8 Design provides proper lubrication system that is most suitable
to protect the bearings at minimum friction loss
Defining the ‘five Gs’ 9 Design provides the most suitable lubricant for the bearing sys-
While several methodologies can be tem, considering the load and service conditions

derived for the interaction of end-users 10 Design provides for bearings and seals with wear- or failure-
monitoring capability to permit scheduling of maintenance prior
and project management consultants to actual component failure or component damage
(PMCs), it is extremely important to 11 Design provides suitable casing design pertinent to service con-
convert the information into execut- ditions to provide highest built-in reliability
able tasks that keep the inherent val- 12 Design provides that all running clearances are minimized with
applicable tolerances for thermal expansion
ues intact. The most popular and ef-
13 Design provides monitoring facilities for crucial performance
fective roadmap for structuring these and physical dynamic parameters of the equipment, so as to as-
interactions is to develop checklists sess the health of the machine
and procedures for the design selec- 14 Design provides suitable bearing-housing seals to avoid ingress
tion, pre-commissioning and commis- of contamination and leaking of the lubricating oil
sioning activities and to assign respon- 15 Design provides the base frame that enforces adequate rigidity
to dampen the vibration generated in the system and prevent
sibility to the teams in the loop. Such the transmitted vibration from other sources to enter
checklists play vital roles in ensuring 16 Design provides an appropriate piping support system that pre-
that proactive measures are taken for vents piping stress to the equipment and also to eliminate the
all asset-reliability issues, operability potential of generating unsymmetrical dynamic forces in the
system during operation
issues and maintainability issues. To
17 Design provides suction, discharge and auxiliary piping system
the extent that those measures can that will not cause excitation of flow-related problems and sizing
be taken, a more trouble-free commis- shall not be over-designed or under-designed in relation to the
sioning is possible, and an enhanced maximum rated flow, NPSH (net positive suction head) required
effective service life of the equipment 18 Design provides a coupling assembly between the driver and
driven system that should be rated for a minimum of 1.5 times
will follow. The process flow can be ex- the service factor and above the maximum starting torque re-
pressed as the five “Gs”: quired, as per the speed–torque curve of the machine
1) Get. Get end-users’ expertise and 19 For single-stage rotor, the entire assembled rotor, along with cou-
participation pling hub mounted, should be balanced in accordance with API
684 or ISO 1940 grade 2.5
2) Gather. Gather information and
20 For multistage rotors, individual impellers should be balanced be-
data on reliability, operability, fore assembly. The assembled rotor should be balanced thereafter
maintainability and safety issues. 21 Design provides the driver rating for end-of-the-curve operation
Develop procedures and a check- 22 Design provides adequate external protection from weather and
list system to incorporate proac- harmful interference from other equipment and systems
tive mitigating measures in design, 23 Design provides a firm identification tag posted at a suitable
location close to the equipment that mentions rated operating
erection and commissioning of the parameters, allowable physical operating parameters and alarm
new asset or facility, in consulta- limits of critical performance parameters
tion with the PMC, licenser or OEM 24 Design provides applicable interlocks, alarm annunciation and
(original equipment manufacturer) a trip system for crucial parameters to mitigate unplanned cata-
strophic failure of equipment
3) Grow. Grow the new facility by com-
25 Design provides color-coding of equipment and connected pip-
mencing the design, erection and ing to identify its service media
pre-commissioning in line with the 26 Design provides vortex breakers in the suction and discharge
developed system and procedures nozzles to avoid separation
4) Gain. Gain an on-time, safe and 27 Design provides a provision for an oil-mist lubrication system for
smooth commissioning by closely antifriction bearings of pumps

Chemical Engineering September 2013 53

16_CHE_090113_SCJ.indd 53 8/21/13 10:43:25 AM

Table 2. Safety and Environmental System-Design Features
FOr Centrifugal pumps
no. Description of check point Adequate Remark
Cover Story Yes No
1 Design provides non-sparking, non-gulling metallurgy for close-
clearance areas and dynamic components that probably will
impact the static component of the assembly under operating
conditions other than normal. For instance, throat bush, bearing
following the commissioning pro- guard, coupling guard
cedure framed earlier. It should be 2 Design ensures that sealing materials for all components are
enriched with workarounds for all compatible with safety procedures and can function safely as
probable hurdles and hitches required by service conditions
5) Give. Give the end-user a trouble- 3 Design provides a safe shaft-sealing system for the pertinent ser-
vice conditions, including all possible adverse operating condi-
free plant asset or facility tions
4 Design provides service-specific alarms and protection systems
Checklists for pumps for hydrocarbons, toxic media, smoke detection and fire
The series of tables included in this ar- 5 Design provides monitoring, alarm annunciation and protection
ticle (Tables 1–9*) were developed and systems for all parameters that are crucial for human, equipment
and environment safety
have been used as part of a program of
6 Design provides all drain and vent points of the pump casing,
proactive reliability management. The bearing housing and seal-oil system are connected to the des-
checklists shown here are specifically ignated closed drain and vent systems with proper isolation and
designed for installing and commis- anti-reverse-flow devices

sioning centrifugal pumps, but they 7 Design provides an applicable in-built protection system for elec-
trical equipment and instruments in line with hazardous area clas-
can also be applied to other pieces of sification API RP 500, IS 5572, IEC 79-10 :1995, NFPA 69
rotary equipment beyond pumps. 8 Design provides that service-specific emergency handling for
The purpose of the checklists found safety equipment and systems are readily available and stepwise
procedures are displayed close to equipment
in these tables is to provide a sum-
mary of the design review points for 9 Design provides a data historian system for critical process and
environment safety information
assessing the maintainability of new
10 Design provides for automatic actuation of safety-protection sys-
or existing rotary equipment for petro- tems for equipment that handles flammable, toxic, auto-igniting
leum refineries or other CPI facilities. and other hazardous media
The checklists specifically focus on 11 Design provides equipment-specific safe operating and mainte-
nance procedures
the identification of equipment-design
features, tasks, or procedures that
impact equipment downtime, repair Table 3. Design Standardization Features For Centrifugal pumps
Description of check point Adequate Remark
costs, labor hours and the skill level no.
requirements for maintenance staff. Yes No

The specific objectives for each table 1 Design provides interchangeability of equipment that is in similar
or nearly similar service to all new pieces of equipment that are
are as follows: under procurement
• Table 1. General maintenance 2 Design provides for interchangeability of equipment that functions
reduction similarly with equipment that already exist in the operating facility
• Table 2. Safety and environmental 3 Design describes the full scope of standardization and inter-
changeability of components, such as shafts, impellers, wear
system design features parts, mechanical seals, seal spares, bearings, couplings, gaskets,
• Table 3. Design standardization hardware, valves, connectors and others
features 4 Design provides vendor-qualification criteria for maintaining stan-
• Table 4. Design features for routine dardization as a nodal decision-making point
maintenance 5 Design provides for interchangeability of monitoring, control in-
struments, piping support system and so on
• Table 5. Design features for trouble-
• Table 6. Design features for repair Implementing the five Gs the basic specifications and execution
and replacement The remaining portion of this article plans, while the licensor would pro-
• Table 7. Accessibility for visual in- elaborates on the methodology, and vide the most applicable technology
spections and monitoring provides examples of checklists using and operating profiles.
• Table 8. Design for physical centrifugal pumps as the asset. There Under the guidance of a company’s
accessibility are three broad phases for the process. management, one or more teams from
• Table 9*. General precommissioning Phase 1 — Get and gather. Each various disciplines would be formed,
checklist and commissioning proce- participating group should prepare making sure to involve the relevant
dure for centrifugal pumps its own objectives to share, depend- knowledgeable persons and having
The “Description of check point” column ing upon the project type. The project- that particular project department as
in each table covers the essential fea- management department prepares the principal facilitator.
tures for completion of items required the project details, including the back- In the first phase, the end-users’
for the safe and “first-time-right” com- ground, business objectives, location, feedback and participation comes into
missioning of rotary equipment in the mandate and so on. This would be the play in the form of input to the project
given category. primary input and the basis for select- management consultant on the practi-
ing the consultant, technology licenser cal problems of reliability, operability,
*Editor's note: Table 9 can be viewed in the or plant-equipment system or asset in- maintainability and safety, so that the
online version of this article ( volved. The consultant would prepare weak points can be addressed at the
54 Chemical Engineering September 2013

16_CHE_090113_SCJ.indd 54 8/21/13 10:46:39 AM

Table 4. Design Features for ROutine Maintenance
Description of check point Adequate Remarks
no. Yes No
1 The equipment and all mechanical adjustment and check points are located in primary maintenance zones
with permanent identification tags
2 The base frame is provided with jack bolts for moving drivers within the slotted zone for hold-down bolts
3 Coupling guard has a window for condition monitoring while in operation
4 The suction and discharge piping is provided with spectacle blinds for positive isolation without disturbing
the piping and casing orientations during dismantling of the rotor assembly
5 Quick-connect connectors are installed on frequently changed lines, for cooling-water seal flushing lines and
6 Routine service and inspection points are not located behind other components or structural members, in
enclosed spaces or in the secondary maintenance zone
7 All components subject to routine maintenance are immediately accessible; for example, bearing housing,
seal-flushing system, cooling-water system, suction strainer, coupling
8 The drain- and vent-line isolation valves are immediately accessible
9 All block valves, control valves, control instruments, spring hangers, monitoring gages, seal-flush system
valves, strainers and transmitters are in immediately accessible locations
10 Procedures for routine maintenance and checklists for each component and system are displayed close to
the maintenance point
11 Procedural and personal safety precautions applicable for each activity of routine maintenance are dis-
played close to the maintenance point
12 A lubrication cart — consisting of a tagged lubricant, seal-flush media, tools and tackle — is available at the
maintenance point
13 Display of personal protective gear required for routine maintenance and also for unit area entrance is avail-
able at the maintenance point
14 Procedure and facilities for housekeeping and waste disposal by category are available at a designated
place outside maintenance point

Table 5. Design Features for Troubleshooting • Examination of the possibilities for

oF Centrifugal pumps standardizing assets for the new
Description of check point Adequate Remarks equipment that may have operating
no. Yes No conditions that are close to equip-
1 Details of designed and rated operating specifications, includ- ment from the existing operating
ing media density, flow pressure, temperature range, minimum plant — a cost-saving and inven-
flow, load-specific normal power, are available at the site
tory-reduction measure
2 Manufacturer-defined roto-dynamic parameters, such as allow-
able bearing temperature, vibration level and noise level are
• Technical review of specifications to
available at the site ensure the inclusion of measures to
3 Equipment-specific normal startup and shutdown procedures mitigate potential problems faced
and check points as per OEM manual are displayed at the site previously in the plant’s operation
4 Mechanical seal specific allowable operating parameters and • Finalization of the vendor-selection
checklists with procedure are available at the site
criteria to ensure reliable equip-
5 General layout facilitates visual inspection of major compo-
nents, connections, couplers, interfaces and potential damage ment and after-sales service. Prefer-
points ence must be given to vendors with
6 All mechanical interfaces are visible from the sides or end of proven track records for similar
the machine equipment and assets, and those
7 Manual test points are located in the primary maintenance who have local service centers
zone for all critical components of equipment and its auxiliaries
• Examination of interchangeability
8 Test points are designed to eliminate or minimize the need to
remove components for testing of spare parts for the new and ex-
9 Test points are labeled and located close to the control or dis- isting equipment — an inventory-
play with which they are associated reduction measure
10 General design and layout provides for rapid and positive Phase 2 — Grow. This is the execution
identification of component malfunction, such as leakages, phase, which comprises erection and
high vibration, temperature rise, deterioration of performance,
in terms of low pressure, loss of flow, cavitation, high power pre-commissioning activities. Here, the
consumption, abnormal noise and so on execution team will work under the su-
11 A guide chart for equipment-specific problems, as per the pervision and guidance of the primary
manual, is available
team, who will carry out quality con-
12 Shop-test data and baseline data during the performance test
at the site are available
trol activities and ensure adherence to
safety rules during erection.
13 Performance curves, data sheets, cross-sectional and assem-
bly drawings for the pump and mechanical seals are available The following represent key objec-
14 Common potential failure modes with threshold values are tives for the project:
available Preservation. Proper preservation of
the equipment that arrives for erec-
design stage. The goal is to achieve adding activities that help meet the tion, as advised by the respective
trouble-free commissioning and long project mandate. A few follow: manufacturers or as per standard pro-
lifecycle with minimum resource uti- • Interactive sessions to identify idle cedures.
lization and downtime. assets that can be reused in a project Erection. Erection of equipment in
Phase 1 also includes several value- — a cost- and time-saving measure a way that adheres to the applicable
Chemical Engineering September 2013 55

16_CHE_090113_SCJ.indd 55 8/21/13 10:47:17 AM

Cover Story
Table 6. Design Features for Repair and Replacement OF Centrifugal pump
Description of check point Adequate Remarks
no. Yes No
1 All pump components are labeled to positively identify part type, mounting location, type of lubricant required,
direction of rotation and other pertinent information
2 The dismantling and assembly procedures for each part and component are provided and available
3 Equipment-specific procedure for isolation and depressurization should be available to ensure safe and swift
repair. Procedure for replacement of parts should also be available
4 A monorail with trolley-mounted pulley block should be available over the pump slab for removing and install-
ing pumps and components without interfering with adjacent equipment, pipelines, cables, cable racks, valves
and so on
5 Sufficient free headroom over the pump and driver is provided for unhindered movement of the pump and
components as they are lifted in the pulley block, out to the dropdown area outside the unit
6 The weightlifting capacity of the pulley block along with the rail for travel should be 1.5 times the weight of the
heaviest single piece of equipment installed within the pulley’s range of travel
7 The pulley-block travel rail shall be extended to the designated dropdown place outside the unit
8 For equipment at higher elevations, the deck floor should allow the equipment or components to access the
dropdown location safely
9 All heavy components should have lifting lugs or eye bolts of the required working-load capacity
10 The equipment assembly should be provided with the best possible self-cleaning and self-draining systems for
leakage of fluids, such as lubricants and service media, without spilling or splashing into the adjacent area
outside the equipment frame
11 All interface assembly components should be permanently marked with the correct manner of installation, in-
cluding direction, placement and geometrical orientation
12 Design should not require special tools or jigs unless they are the same as what is included in the scope of
supply by the OEM
13 Spare consumables for overhaul and repair should be available from a local vendor or OEM office to minimize
lead time
14 Equipment should be provided with jack bolts for shifting movable equipment for alignment

engineering procedure, with-

Table 7. Design features for Visual Inspection and Accessibility Points
out creating operability and
Description of check point Adequate Remarks
maintainability hindrances. no.
Yes No
Here, the team members
1 All maintenance points should be visually accessible from all sides, or the
from operation, maintenance end of the machine, and should provide line-of-sight inspection capability
and technical departments 2 Design provides for clear and rapid visual identification of parts and safe
have major roles to play in access for checking with key monitoring checklist and checking procedure
pointing out issues and pro- during operation and when idle, so as to assess the health of the equip-
ment as a whole
viding advice for practical
3 Any unsafe points should be clearly identified and provided with protective
solutions to the project and guards and covers. The guard covers shall comply with applicable design
execution groups. and safety standards to achieve maximum built-in reliability
Safety. Safety audits by a 4 Access openings should be large enough to permit visual contact with the
component while the work is being performed on it (OISD 118 compliance)
multidisciplinary team to
identify the potential safety 5 Visual access points on the machine should have adequate space for
inspection and monitoring by the operator without introducing ergonomic
gaps and to track the imple- stress. A minimum of 48 in. of free space above equipment is suggested
mentation of corrective mea- 6 Visual access to openings should not be located underneath the equip-
sures that have been recom- ment body or behind other components that restrict visibility
mended. 7 For less frequently performed maintenance tasks, the maintenance point
may be located behind a protective cover. The component, however, should
Tracking. Tracking of prog- be directly visible when the protective cover is removed
ress with respect to sched- 8 Maintenance and service points should be located no further than 91 cm (36
uled timelines to identify any in.) from the maintenance worker’s head at the time of inspection
lagging portion and to deter- 9 Monitoring and check points should enable free access and be protected
mine a practical pathway for by a toe guard, hand railing and slip-proof flooring
expeditious progress.
Pre-commissioning. All pre-commis- tivities; measurement and metrics in- features of commissioning equipment
sioning activities of asset equipment dexes; audit recommendations compli- are the following:
systems and preparation for commis- ances; management review; emergency • Ensure availability of startup and
sioning ensuring completion of the fol- management procedures. shutdown procedures
lowing: procedures and checklists; safe • All protective functions and inter-
work practices; integrity and complete- Phase 3 — Gain locks should be checked for proper
ness checks; contractor management Once pre-commissioning activities are configuration and functionally tested
modalities; training and performance complete, the door is open for step-wise • All systems and subsystems should
assurance; management of change; commissioning of units, as per the pro- be checked for completeness
operational readiness; sequence of ac- cess-flow requirements. The essential • Integrity plan and records should be
56 Chemical Engineering September 2013

16_CHE_090113_SCJ.indd 56 8/21/13 10:47:50 AM

Description of check point Adequate Remarks
no. Yes No
1 All components are accessible from the side or the end of the machine
2 All drain valves for casing, reservoirs and sumps are accessible from the side or end of the machine
3 All valves for equipment operation (for example, suction, discharge, cooling-water system, seal-flush system,
steam-quench system) are freely accessible and operable. Valves above 65 in. from ground or the level of
the base frame of the equipment should have a firm and protected platform
4 All components weighing 23 kg or more should be removed from the side or end of the machine and
should not have to be lifted up and over the machine frame or other components
5 Access openings should be sufficiently large to permit removal and replacement of all components con-
tained within that area
6 For enclosed equipment, hinged or quick-release access opening covers should be used where practical
with the hinges on the side or bottom so that the door will remain open during maintenance
7 The minimum number of bolts or fasteners should be used on access covers, equipment bay doors or other
protective shielding
8 For components weighing more than 45 kg, access openings and workspaces should be sufficient to permit
the attachment of hoisting and lifting devices
9 Screws, nuts and bolts should be located to allow free access and space for the use of hand tools required
to remove or replace them
10 Access openings should be sufficiently large to permit removal and replacement of all components con-
tained in that area
11 Non-hinged access opening covers should be designed with built-in handles or lifting-device attachment
12 Design provisions are made to support components weighing over 23 kg while they are being unbolted or
bolted into place
13 All components can be removed and replaced in a straight line from their place of attachment, so that
components do not have to be maneuvered around or over structural features or components
14 Illumination around the equipment should be sufficient at all access points, so that no accessibility hin-
drance occurs due to invisibility

reviewed. These include construc- • Documenting and record keeping are required. This can save a great
tion and testing records for inter- for commissioning activities and in- deal of time and money.
connected piping, systems, electrical cidents with absolute transparency
circuits and control loops • Managing progress updates Closing comment
• Ensure adequacy of fire protection The process described here has become
systems, for example, fire-water sys- Benefits of ‘giving’ an inherent part of any project man-
tem, gas-leak detection system, fire The benefits for following through on agement because it nurtures a “win-
extinguishers, and so on the “giving” component of the process win” bond between the project group
• Ensure safe movement and ap- are felt by end-users, and also extend and end-users group deriving sub-
proach of equipment to the the organization as a whole. The stantial benefit for the organization.
• Note equipment-specific hazards benefits include the following: Without such a structured approach,
• Determine deployment of trained • Improved reliability projects could draw displeasure from
manpower • Increased safety the end users as well as from manage-
• Ensure use of personal protective • On-time delivery of quality product ment for any design, operability and
equipment (PPE) • Higher customer confidence maintainability issues in the newly
• Ensure that equipment installation • Improvement through learning commissioned plant. Futhermore, end-
procedures are consistent with re- • Fostering long-lasting mutual re- users could struggle to sustain the op-
spective equipment standards spect among teams eration with a problematic system, re-
Apart from technical activities, the • Solidifying ownership concept among sulting in a state of unreliability. With
most important areas that the proj- the post-commissioning team this system in place, projects are likely
ect management team must strive to • Fostering collaborative culture to have reduced post-commissioning
implement are the following: • Increased plant familiarity and problems and more reliable plants. ■
• Preparing a daily activity list and hands-on training of end-user per- Edited by Scott Jenkins
review of progress sonnel (competency development) Author
• Adhering to safety guidelines • Optimize inventory management Sourav Kumar Chatterjee is
chief manager of rotary equip-
throughout the process through standardization and inter- ment at Mumbai Refinery of
• Establishing an effective good- changeability of asset-equipment Hindustan Petroleum Corp.
ltd. India (Petroleum House 17,
housekeeping procedure system spare parts Jamshedji Tata Road, Mumbai
• Maintaining 360-deg communica- In addition, another benefit of end-user 400020; E-mail: skchatterjee@; Phone: +022 228-
tions with all stakeholders participation in precommissioning and 63900). Chatterjee is a char-
tered mechanical engineer
• Holding a toolbox meeting to ap- commissioning is that, because end and qualified boiler proficiency
praise the respective execution per- users hold good rapport with internal engineer with a diploma in
electrical engineering. He has more than 23 years
sonnel on the scope of the job, safety and external local resource providers, experience in thermal power plant operation and
rules, job-specific safety precautions they can guide the executing contrac- maintenance, and design maintenance operation
of refinery rotary equipment. He specializes in root
and PPE tor on the availability of quality fab- cause failure analysis and equipment reliability. He
• Adhering to the work permit system, ricators in cases where urgent site had presented many papers at national and inter-
national conferences, and has published papers in
without exception modifications or hardware changes various journals and magazines.


16_CHE_090113_SCJ.indd 57 8/21/13 10:48:31 AM

Feature Report

How To Properly Size

A Steam Trap
Don’t confuse the size P1 = 15 psig

of a steam-trap’s end 5
pressure = 5 psig
connection with the 4
1,000 lb/h
internal discharge orifice
for condensate

5 psig pressure Back pressure:

drop across P2 = 10 psig 1
Kelly Paffel the heater
1/2 psig for each
foot of rise
Swagelok Energy Advisors

roper steam-trap sizing is critical
to efficient and reliable steam- Steam trap
P3 = 5 psig + 3 psig [6 ft rise x 0.5 psig]
trap operation. Incorrect steam
trap sizing can undermine the Figure 1. Shown here is the setup and data for Process Example No. 1:
design and function of the steam trap, Unit heater
create installation issues, and cause
condensate backup, steam loss, or both. Application. Is your system a process pressure of a steam system is always
Steam-trap sizing refers to the in- or non-process application? Process different from the maximum pressure.
ternal discharge orifice for conden- applications employ a heat exchanger, Your system may be designed for 250
sate. Unfortunately, it is sometimes which means there will be a loss of psig, but it may operate at only 150
confused with the size of the end con- pressure as energy is transferred. psig. Operating pressure can be ob-
nection or piping, which is entirely dif- Pressure in a process application, tained from plant information or an
ferent. It’s true that for low-pressure therefore, will be different at differ- installed pressure gage.
steam heating systems, manufactur- ent points in the system. By contrast, Inlet steam pressure. In a process
ers will produce steam traps with con- non-process applications do not have application, the operating pressure
nection sizes that correlate directly to a heat exchanger. They are simply de- will be different at different points in
capacity or orifice size, but for indus- livering steam to a system. Therefore, the system. Pressure may start at 75
trial applications, there is no such cor- pressure does not modulate (not by de- psig, but at the inlet to the steam trap,
respondence. A steam trap with 2-in. sign at least). the pressure may be only 50 psig. In
end connections can have the same Maximum pressure. The maximum a non-process application, the operat-
condensate capacity as a steam trap steam pressure of your steam system ing pressure will remain the same. In
with ½-in. end connections. is determined either by the design other words, the operating pressure
When sizing a steam trap, the first specifications of the system or by the and the inlet pressure at the steam
order of business is to determine pressure setting of the safety valve, trap will be the same.
the required condensate capacity or which protects the steam system. In Maximum condensate capacity.
size of the internal discharge orifice. all cases, your steam trap must be The maximum condensate capacity of
This is a fairly complex undertaking, rated for this maximum pressure (or the steam system may be documented
which will be explained below. Then, greater), even if the pressure modu- either in the system design specifica-
a relatively simple matter is deter- lates downward before it reaches your tions or on equipment nameplates. If
mining the end connection size or in- steam trap. the condensate capacity is not shown,
stallation requirements. Maximum temperature. In all cases, it will be necessary to calculate the
your steam trap must be rated for the condensate capacity by using a heat-
Information needed for sizing maximum steam temperature of your transfer formula. Keep in mind that
To determine the correct orifice size, steam system. one pound of steam condenses to one
the following information is required: Operating pressure. The operating pound of water (condensate). If the
58 Chemical Engineering September 2013

17_CHE_090113_GSO.indd 58 8/21/13 11:03:52 AM

Condensate return-line
pressure = 25 psig

Condensate line
Table 1. Steam-trap
sizing factors
Types of steam traps Sizing factor
Steam line pressure (P1) = 150 psig
Inverted bucket 3
Float and thermostatic 2
Thermostatic 3
Thermodynamic 3

P2 = 25 psig + 2 psig [4 ft rise x 0.5 psig]

at the condensate capacity required
when selecting your steam trap. This
is one of several figures that is used to
Figure 2. This diagram shows the setup and data for the non-process example: select a properly sized steam trap.
Steam line drip leg or steam lock As shown in Table 1, sizing factors
range between 2 and 3 for different
pounds per hour of steam is known, The back pressure may be intentional types of steam traps. If startup loads
the condensate capacity is the same. or unintentional. It may be caused by are heavy or fast, heat-up is required. A
If heat-transfer equipment is rated pressure in the return system or by a sizing factor of 4 is more appropriate.
in Btu/h, the capacity in lb/h can be vertical rise in the pipe (following the The selection of sizing factors is dif-
approximated as follows: The heat steam trap). Main condensate-return ferent for each operational steam-trap
transfer energy requirement is rated lines are typically installed at eleva- design. Follow manufacturers’ instruc-
in Btu/h; therefore, it is necessary to tions above the steam traps; therefore, tions when selecting the sizing factors.
divide the Btu/h by the latent heat it is necessary to pipe the condensate
energy of the steam at the operating up to the condensate mains. As a rule Steam-trap sizing examples
pressure of the equipment. of thumb, every foot of rise results in Following are three examples of how to
Here is one more option if a control an additional 0.5 psig back pressure size a steam trap. Two are process exam-
valve controls steam flow to the pro- at the steam trap discharge. ples and one is a non-process example.
cess. The rated capacity of the valve Undersized condensate lines can For all three, our goal is to arrive at the
(in terms of x pounds per hour of also cause back pressure on the following three pieces of information:
steam) would generate an equivalent steam trap, and this variable must • Differential pressure across the
amount of condensate. (Again, one also be considered when sizing steam orifice
pound of steam equals one pound of traps. Condensate lines need to be • Condensate capacity
condensate.) sized for two-phase flow (condensate • Maximum steam pressure in the
Condensate flow condition. Is the and flash steam). system
condensate flow modulating? Is it Back pressure may be created in- With these three pieces of informa-
turning on or off? Or is it in continu- tentionally in some cases to increase tion, you can consult with the manufac-
ous operation? thermal cycle efficiency. For more in- turer’s sales representative or product
Minimum differential pressure. formation on high-pressure conden- literature and arrive at a properly sized
The minimum pressure difference, sate systems, see Ref. 1. steam trap (with the proper orifice size)
∆P = P1 – P2, between the inlet to the for your application. In addition, when
steam trap, P1, and the outlet pres- The sizing factor selecting your steam trap, you will also
sure, P2, is a key variable in sizing In the manufacturers’ product lit- need to reference maximum system
your steam trap. An initial system op- erature, steam-trap tables provide temperature (see above section “Infor-
erating pressure can be taken from a the condensate capacity of various mation needed for sizing”).
gage. Then, you will need to subtract discharge orifices at various operat- Process example No. 1: Unit heater.
from that figure for any known pres- ing pressures (maximum differential First, we need to determine the differ-
sure drops in the system leading up to pressure). The condensate capacities ential pressure across the steam trap.
the steam trap inlet, P1. We will pro- in these tables indicate maximum According to Figure 1, the pressure
vide examples of how to do this later continuous discharge. In other words, delivered to the heater unit is 15 psig
in this article. they assume that the discharge orifice (P1). Pressure drop across the unit
Steam-trap outlet pressure, P2, may never closes. Since steam traps are de- heater is 5 psig, so the inlet pressure
have many sources, and these pres- signed either to cycle on and off, or to to the steam trap is 10 psig (P2).
sures may be referred to variously modulate, we must apply a sizing fac-
15 psig (P1) – 5 psig (pressure drop
as steam-trap discharge pressure, tor to these tables to ensure we select a
across the unit heater) = 10 psig (P2
condensate-return-line pressure, or steam trap with sufficient condensate
or inlet pressure to the steam trap)
back pressure. A high percentage of capacity. You must multiply the sys-
steam-trap applications will have tem’s maximum condensate capacity Back pressure in the condensate line
back pressures above atmospheric. by the sizing factor (Table 1) to arrive is 5 psig. However, to arrive at P3 (pres-
Chemical Engineering September 2013 59

17_CHE_090113_GSO.indd 59 8/21/13 11:08:03 AM

Control valve
Feature Report P1 = 75 psig
P2 = 60 psig

sure at the steam-trap outlet or total

back pressure), we must account for ad-
ditional back pressure resulting from
the rise in the piping after the steam Heat exchanger
trap. In this case, the rise is 6 ft. There 10 psig pressure
is a 0.5-psig increase for each foot of rise. drop across the
heat exchanger
So we have an additional 3 psig in back
pressure: 3 psig + 5 psig = 8 psig (P3 or
pressure at the steam trap outlet). P4 = 0 psig P3 = 50 psig
To arrive at the differential pressure
across the steam trap, we subtract P3
from P2.
Finding #1: 10 psig (P2) – 8 psig (P3) Stream trap
= 2 psig minimum differential pres-
sure across the steam trap Figure 3. The setup and data for process example No. 2 (heat exchanger) is shown
Second, we will determine the con-
densate capacity for the steam trap. for each foot of rise, so we must add 2 valve inlet, but we cannot assume that
The condensate capacity of the system psig: 25 psig + 2 psig = 27 psig (P2). the steam-line operating pressure will
is 1,000 lb/h. We will be using a float To arrive at the differential pres- equal the steam pressure at the con-
and thermostatic steam trap for this sure across the steam trap, we must trol valve. We need to consider pres-
application so, based on Table 1, we subtract P2 from P1. sure drops in the steam line. In Figure
must multiply the system condensate 3, P1 (75 psig) is the pressure at the
Finding #1: 150 psig (P1) – 27 psig
capacity by 2. control-valve inlet. The pressure drop
(P2) = 123 psig differential pressure
across the control valve is available
Finding #2: 1,000 lb/h (system con- across the steam trap
from the manufacturer’s valve-perfor-
densate capacity)  2 (size factor
Second, we will determine the con- mance information. In this case, the
from Table 1) = 2,000 lb/h condensate
densate capacity of the steam trap. pressure drop is 15 psig.
The condensate capacity of the steam
75 psig (P1) – 15 psig (pressure drop)
Third, we must identify the maxi- system (or flow) is 120 lb/h. We will be
= 60 psig (P2 or pressure entering the
mum rated pressure for the system. using a thermostatic steam trap for
heat exchanger)
See the system’s design specifications this application so, based on Table 1,
or the pressure setting on the system’s we must multiply the condensate ca- All heat transfer components have
safety valve. pacity of the system by 3. a pressure drop, and this can be ob-
tained from the transfer performance
Finding #3: 20 psig maximum rated Finding #2: 120 lb/h (condensate
sheets. In this case, the pressure drop
pressure capacity of system)  3 (sizing factor
is 10 psig.
from Table 1) = 360 lb/h condensate
The safety valve on the steam system
capacity of steam trap 60 psig (P2 or pressure entering the
is set for 20 psig; therefore, the steam
heat exchanger) – 10 psig (pressure
trap orifice must be rated for a maxi- Third, we need to identify the maxi-
drop) = 50 psig (P3 or pressure outlet
mum steam pressure rating of 20 psig. mum rated pressure for the system.
from the heat transfer unit)
See the system design specifications
Non-process example: Steam line or the pressure setting on the system’s P3 (50 psig) is the outlet pressure
drip leg or steam lock. For this safety valve. from the heat transfer unit or the inlet
example, we will use Figure 2. First, pressure for the steam trap. There is
Finding #3: 200 psig maximum rated
we need to determine the differential no back pressure (0 psig), so the dif-
pressure across the steam trap. Ac- ferential pressure is 50 psig.
cording to Figure 2, pressure in the The safety valve on the steam sys-
Finding #1: 50 psig (P3) – 0 psig (P4)
system is 150 psig. This is a non-pro- tem is set for 200 psig; therefore, the
= 50 psig pressure drop across the
cess application, so there is no modu- steam trap orifice must be rated for
steam trap
lation in system pressure. Therefore, a maximum steam pressure rating of
the inlet pressure at the steam trap is 200 psig. Second, we will determine the con-
the same as the system pressure (P1), densate capacity for the steam trap.
which is 150 psig. Process example No. 2: Heat ex- The condensate capacity of the system
Back pressure in the condensate re- changer. In this example, we will use (or flow) is 3,624 lb/h. We will be using
turn line is 25 psig. However, to arrive Figure 3. First, we need to determine a float and thermostatic steam trap
at P2, we must account for additional the differential pressure across the for this application, so, based on Table
back pressure due to the rise in the line, steam trap. Some plants document 1, we must multiple the system con-
which is 4 ft. There is a 0.5-psig increase steam pressure at the steam control- densate capacity by 2.
60 Chemical Engineering September 2013

17_CHE_090113_GSO.indd 60 8/21/13 11:11:53 AM

Finding #2: 3,624 lb/h (condensate Note that many industries use ¾-in. stallation. Further, standardize wher-
capacity or flow)  2 (sizing factor steam trap piping as a minimum size ever possible within your plant. For
from Table 1) = 7,248 lb/h condensate to provide piping rigidity. Three-quar- example, limit the number of manu-
capacity ter-inch piping is also used when stan- facturers of steam traps in your plant
dardizing components. to no more than two. ■
Finally, we need to identify the max-
Edited by Gerald Ondrey
imum rated pressure for the system.
See the system’s design specifications
or the pressure setting on the system’s
Steam-trap sizing refers to the internal Reference
discharge orifice for condensate, not to 1. Follow the link to Best Practice #8 at www.
safety valve.
be confused with the size of the steam
Finding #3: 100 psig maximum rated trap’s end connections. Three pieces of Author
pressure information will assist you in finding a Kelly Paffel, technical man-
steam trap with a properly sized orifice: ager for Swagelok Energy
Advisors, Inc. (31500 Aurora
Sizing end connections differential pressure across the orifice, Rd., Solon, OH 44139; Phone:
Once you have determined the steam- condensate capacity, and maximum 1-888-615-3559; Email: seacus-
trap orifice size, you can move on to steam pressure in the system. When , is a recognized authority in
the end connections. Always select consulting tables or approaching the steam and condensate sys-
tems. He is a frequent lecturer
steam-trap end connections that are manufacturer’s sales representative, and instructor on the techni-
cal aspects of steam systems.
equal to or larger than the heat-trans- you will need this information. Also, In addition, Kelly has pub-
fer outlet connection. For example, you should have on hand your maxi- lished many papers on the topics of steam system
design and operation. Over the past 30 years, he
if the heat transfer equipment has a mum system temperature. Finally, you has conducted thousands of steam system audits
2-in. piping outlet, don’t select a ½-in. will specify the end connection or pip- and training sessions in the U.S. and overseas,
which has made Kelly an expert in troubleshoot-
steam trap, as condensate flow will be ing size (for instance, ¾-inch). ing actual and potential problems in the utilities
restricted. In this case, select a 2-in. To increase your chances of succeed- of steam. Kelly is a member of the U.S. Dept.of
Energy’s (DOE) Steam Best Practices and Steam
end connection. ing, consider training in sizing and in- Training Committees.


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17_CHE_090113_GSO.indd 61 8/21/13 11:12:59 AM

Feature Report
Engineering Practice

Understanding Finned
Heat Exchangers
Fin geometry affects
many aspects of boiler,
evaporator and heater
Viswanathan Ganapathy
Boiler Consultant

olid and serrated fins (Figure 1)
are widely used as heat transfer
FIGURE 1. Serrated (left) and solid (right) fins are used in boiler and heater
surfaces in boilers and heaters. applications
The use of finned tubes makes
heat exchanger equipment compact. Why finned tubes? tubes results in a compact unit with
The fluegas pressure drop is also Finned tubes are widely used in clean low gas-side pressure drop. Fabricat-
decreased relative to a comparable fluegas heat exchangers and heat re- ing smaller units results in lower labor
plain-tube design, resulting in lower covery systems in petroleum refiner- costs. In gas turbine HRSGs, multiple
operating costs. Fin geometry, such ies, chemical plants and power plants. pressure modules are used, such as su-
as fin density (fins/in.), fin height and In boilers or heaters, fin density perheaters, evaporators, economizers
fin thickness, should be selected with ranges from 1 to 6 fins/in., height from and condensate heaters. With finned-
care as it impacts the thermal design 0.5 to 1 in. and thickness from 0.05 to tube design (Figure 2, left), these mod-
and performance of the exchanger. 0.12 in. Fin or tube material can be ules are more compact, and can be eas-
However, engineers often select fin made of carbon or alloy steel. Typi- ily assembled in a small space. With a
geometry without understanding the cal applications of finned tubes are in traditional plain-tube design (Figure
implications on tubewall tempera- turbine exhaust heat-recovery steam 2, right), the boilers or heat recovery
tures, heat flux, pressure drop or fin generators (HRSG), incineration plant equipment will be larger and may not
temperatures. heat-recovery boilers, thermal fluid fit into more confined spaces.
This article highlights the impor- heaters or fired heaters that process
tance of selecting proper fin geom- natural gas or recover energy from Example 1: Waste-heat boiler
etry for heat transfer equipment and clean fluegas. Table 1 presents the performance of
the implications of poor fin selection. Fin geometry should be carefully se- a waste-heat boiler with 150,000 lb/h
There are common misconceptions lected in fuel-fired applications, as the of 1,000°F fluegas that must be cooled
among engineers when evaluating ash in fuel-oil can cause fouling or de- to 535°F in a waste-heat boiler gen-
fins regarding surface area. Many en- position of dust on finned tubes. Fins erating saturated steam at 600 psig,
gineers assume that more fin surface are generally avoided in solid fuel- with water entering near its satura-
area will always equate to a better fired applications, or tubes with very tion temperature. Table 1 shows six
design and that designs with smaller low fin density may be used based on different exchanger design cases for
surface area will not be sufficient. Se- experience. This article discusses heat this scenario. Some important ob-
lecting a finned heat exchanger de- recovery from clean fluegas applica- servations can be made based on
sign based on surface area alone can tions where restrictions on fin geom- these results.
lead to long-term problems including etry selection are minimal. An under- Fin geometry and the ratio of exter-
higher heat flux, increased tubewall standing of the thermal performance nal surface area to tube internal area
temperatures and even tube failure. of finned tubes is helpful in optimiz- affects the overall heat-transfer coef-
This article uses examples of boiler ing the design and performance of the ficient. Figure 3 shows the behavior of
and steam superheater designs to il- heat exchanger. gas-side heat transfer coefficients (hg)
lustrate the proper considerations Users of finned heat exchangers ex- at varying fin height (h) and fin den-
when selecting fin geometry. perience many benefits. Using finned sity (n), as mass velocity (G) increases.

18_CHE_090113_EP_MPB.indd 62 8/21/13 11:24:05 AM

FIGURE 2. A cross-flow boiler with finned tubes (left) is very compact, while a
longitudinal gas boiler with plain tubes (right) has a large footprint

tubewall temperatures reached nearly

∆Pg /10 rows 650ºF, so it is important to choose an
23 5 88
Fin effect
iveness 86 appropriate material of construction.
22 4 n = 5, h = .5 84 Carbon-steel construction is assumed

Fin effectiveness, %
n = 2, h = .5 82
for this example. Higher heat flux
21 3 n=2 80
∆Pg 78 causes the increased tubewall temper-
20 2 h = .75 76 atures in finned tubes, since heat flux
h = 0.75
h = 0.75, n = 74 is a function of surface area.
19 1 5
Fin effect 72
h = 0.75 iveness
n=2 70
18 0 68
2 66 (1)
hg, Btu/ft2 h °F

17 64

15 n=
5& Tube O.D. = 2.0 in.
14 0.7
5 h= Square pitch = 4.0 in.
13 – n=

11 It is also apparent in this example

that the pressure drop changes with
10 G, lb/ft2 h fin geometry. In comparing Case 1’s
9 plain-tube design with Case 4 (6 fins/
5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 10,000 11,000 12,000 in.), the pressure drop is much lower
for the finned design. This is because
FIGURE 3. Geometry affects gas-side heat-transfer coefficients; as fin density (n) the finned exchangers require fewer
increases, the gas-side heat transfer coefficient (hg) will decrease. In this figure, h is
fin height in inches tubes, even though the resistance of
the finned tube to gas flow is much
Most notably, as fin density increases, Case 1 when compared to finned-tube higher on a per-tube basis.
the gas-side heat transfer coefficient designs also means that more tubes Finally, the effects of fouling are
will decrease. Also, as the ratio of ex- are required to achieve the same heat also examined. Cases 5 and 6 show the
ternal to internal area increases, the transfer. Table 1 shows that the plain- effect of tubeside fouling on the tube-
heat-transfer coefficient decreases. tube design will need 72 tubes, while wall temperature and boiler duty. With
This further demonstrates that more the finned-tube designs only require plain tubes, the effect of increasing the
surface area does not necessarily 14 to 24 tubes. Thus, plain-tube de- tubeside fouling proved insignificant.
translate into a better design. The re- signs have a much larger footprint Small changes are seen in exit gas
sults in Table 1 show that the surface than finned designs. This illustrates temperature, duty and tubewall tem-
area of the designs in Case 2 (2 fins/ how crucial it is that purchasing man- perature. However, compared to the
in.) and Case 4 (6 fins/in.) varies by agers and engineers are aware of the finned-tube design, the effect is mini-
about 50%, and yet the exchanger per- effect that fin geometry has on surface mal. With the finned-tube boiler, the
formance is similar. The surface area area and exchanger performance. duty decreases significantly with tube-
of the plain-tube boiler for the same As seen in Table 1, finned tubes side fouling; duty increases by 5.5%
duty (Case 1) is much lower due to the have a higher tubewall temperature with fins, compared to only 1% with
higher overall heat-transfer coefficient compared to plain-tube designs. Tube- plain tubes. The tubewall temperature
compared to the finned-tube boiler. wall temperature also increases as in the plain-tube design increases by
The lower surface area exhibited in fin density increases. In this example, only 24°F while in the finned bundle it

18_CHE_090113_EP_MPB.indd 63 8/21/13 11:28:15 AM

Engineering Practice


Design with plain and finned tubes
Case 1 2 3 4 5 6
Description Units Plain tubes 2 fins/in. 4 fins/in. 6 fins/in. 6 fins/in. Plain tubes
with fouling with fouling
Gas flowrate lb/h 150,000 150,000 150,000 150,000 150,000 150,000
Inlet gas temperature ºF 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000 1,000
Outlet gas temperature ºF 537 536 535 536 564 542
Specific heat Btu/lbºF 0.2791 0.2791 0.2791 0.2791 0.2796 0.2792
Heat loss (assumed) % 1 1 1 1 1 1
Heat duty MM Btu/h 19.21 19.25 19.26 19.21 18.12 18.99
Gas pressure drop inch wc 3.46 2.22 2.20 2.47 2.52 3.47
Steam flowrate lb/h 26,250 26,307 26,307 26,331 24,769 25,959
Steam pressure psia 600 600 600 600 600 600
Heat transfer coefficient Btu/ft2hºF 15.95 9.90 7.82 6.51 5.31 15.27
Tube outer diameter in. 2 2 2 2 2 2
Tube inner diameter in. 1.773 1.773 1.773 1.773 1.773 1.773
Fin density fins/in. n/a 2 4 6 6 n/a
Fin height in. n/a 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.75 n/a
Fin thickness in. n/a 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.05 n/a
Fin serration in. n/a 0.172 0.172 0.172 0.172 n/a
Fin conductivity Btu/fthºF n/a 25 25 25 25 n/a
Pitch in. 4 4 4 4 4 4
Tubes per row 20 20 20 20 20 20
Number of tubes 72 24 17 14 14 72
Effective length ft 8 8 8 8 8 8
Tubewall temperature ºF 500 526 543 554 647 524
Fin tip temperature ºF n/a 726 709 696 760 n/a
Surface area ft2 6,032 9,796 12,453 14,797 14,797 6,032
Heat flux inside tubes Btu/ft2h 16,391 49,608 70,306 84,432 68,909 15,694
Fouling factor ft2hºF/Btu 0.0005 0.0005 0.0005 0.0005 0.003 0.003

increases by 93°F. These results dem- Example 2: HRSG superheater further examination of the results in
onstrate that finned-tube designs are Steam superheaters (Figure 4) present Table 2, it is seen that Case 1 exhib-
much more susceptible to fouling and a unique situation when determining its a much larger heat flux inside the
that care must be taken to ensure that fin geometry, since they exhibit much tubes, resulting in a higher tubewall
tubeside fluids are clean and devoid lower tubeside heat-transfer coeffi- temperature of 1,007°F, compared to
of deposits. Otherwise, high tubewall cients than evaporators and econo- only 952°F for Case 2. Higher tube-
temperatures — and even failures — mizers, whose heat transfer coeffi- wall temperature is detrimental to the
can occur. This is especially important cients can be up to ten times higher superheater’s predicted operating life.
with superheater design, as tubeside than those seen in a superheater. Con- Figure 5 shows the typical Larson-
heat-transfer coefficients are smaller, sider two designs for a superheater Miller parameter (LMP) chart for es-
and a large fin density will contribute that is to heat 100,000 lb/h of satu- timating the life of superheater tubes
to higher heat flux and possible fail- rated steam at 600 psia to 840°F, with based on stress. LMP is defined as
ure. Heat flux does not create as many 150,000 lb/h clean fluegas at 1,300°F follows:
issues for steam-generating evapora- available from an incinerator. Case 1
tors since the tube-side boiling coeffi- features a design with a fin density of  (2)
cient is very high. This further proves 5 fins/in., while Case 2’s design has 2
that careful examination must take fins/in. Table 2 presents all of the data
place when selecting finned exchang- required to evaluate this scenario.
ers — one cannot judge on surface As expected, the most significant dif-
area alone. Heat flux and fouling con- ference between Cases 1 and 2 is sur-
siderations must also be taken into ac- face area. The surface area required LMP is useful for estimates of tube
count when evaluating fin geometry. in Case 1 is 68% higher than that in life or for studying the effect of tube
The next example presents the im- Case 2, due to the higher fin density. temperature on equipment lifetime.
portance of heat flux and fin geometry Once again, the design should not be First, the stress must be calculated.
in an HRSG superheater. judged on surface area alone. Upon As stress is a function of operating
64 Chemical Engineering September 2013

18_CHE_090113_EP_MPB.indd 64 8/21/13 11:29:55 AM

HP evaporator Case 1 Case 2
Gas flowrate lb/h 150,000 150,000
Inlet gas temp. ºF 1,300 1,300
Outlet gas temp. ºF 773 773
Super heater HP economizer Specific heat Btu/lbºF 0.2884 0.2885
Heat duty MM Btu/h 22.59 22.58
Heat transfer coef- Btu/ft2hºF 5.74 9.66
ficient (overall)
Tubeside coef- Btu/ft2hºF 254 254
Gas pressure drop inch wc 2.23 1.76
Tubeside conditions
Tubeside flowrate lb/h 100,000 100,000
Inlet temperature ºF 486 486
Outlet temperature ºF 840 839
Pressure drop psia 16 23
Operating pressure psia 600 600
Inlet wall temp. ºF 590 556
Outlet wall temp. ºF 1,007 952
Inlet fin temp. ºF 655 631
Outlet fin temp. ºF 1,111 1,073
Tubeside velocity ft/s 80.17 80.16
Surface area ft2 10,737 6,374
FIGURE 4. A typical HRSG consists of several elements, including a Tube outer dia. in. 2 2
superheater Tube inner dia. in. 1.738 1.738
Fin density fins/in. 5 2
40 Fin height in. 0.75 0.625
35 Fin thickness in. 0.05 0.05
30 Fin serration in. 0.172 0.172
Stress, 1,000 psi

25 Fin conductivity Btu/fthºF 25 25

20 Pitch in. 4 4
15 Tubes per row 20 20
10 T22 Number of tubes 12 18
5 T11 Effective length ft 8 8
0 Number of streams 20 20
32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
Arrangement inline inline
LMP parameter (T + 460)(20 + log t) /1,000
Configuration counter- counter-
flow flow
FIGURE 5. The Larson-Miller parameter allows for calculation of su-
Heat Flux Btu/ft2h 32,467 21,625
perheater tube life

temperature and pressure, this value operation and lifetime. Obviously, de- ment lifetime are also impacted.
will be the same for Cases 1 and 2. spite its smaller surface area, Case 2’s Hence a better understanding of the
For this example, T11 is the selected fin geometry presents a much more thermal performance aspects of finned
material of construction. Assuming economical option. tubes will help plant engineers to se-
a stress of approximately 5,000 psi lect a better HRSG or boiler and also
(based on operating pressure of 600 Final remarks to ask proper questions of vendors. ■
psig), the resulting LMP for T11 mate- Finned tubes are an excellent option Edited by Mary Page Bailey
rial is 37,500. Using the tubewall tem- to achieve efficient heat transfer in
peratures shown for the two cases in evaporators, boilers and superheaters, Author
Table 2 and applying a 25°F margin, but a clear understanding of finned Viswanathan Ganapathy
is a boiler consultant from
the predicted life can be calculated. exchanger design is important. Fin Chennai, India (v_ganapa-, who special-
For Case 1, the predicted lifetime is geometry affects the surface area of izes in thermal design and
approximately 135,000 h, while for heat-transfer equipment significantly. performance aspects. He has
over 40 years of experience
Case 2, the predicted lifetime is 1.2 The heat flux inside the tubes, the in the thermal design and
million h. The LMP’s logarithmic scale tubewall temperature and the equip- performance aspects of steam
generators and waste-heat
means that even incremental changes boilers. He has authored over
to tubewall temperature can greatly 250 articles on boiler-related
References subjects that have been published in a number
affect tube lifetime. This example fur- 1. Ganapathy, V., “Industrial Boilers and Heat of U.S., Indian and U.K. magazines. He has also
Recovery Steam Generators: Design, Appli- authored several books and conducts courses on
ther illustrates the dramatic differ- cations and Calculations”, CRC Press, FI, boilers. He graduated from I.I.T Madras with a
ence fin geometry can have on heater 2003 degree in mechanical engineering.


18_CHE_090113_EP_MPB.indd 65 8/21/13 11:30:51 AM

Patterson Kelley
Process Equipment

Solids Processing

Fundamentals of
Bulk Solids Mixing
and Blending FIGURE 1. The tumbler blender comes
in a V-shaped configuration

ditional handling steps, and verifying

Learn about mixing technology, types of blending that both the blend and the finished
product are sufficiently homogeneous
equipment and key sampling practices to meet can be difficult to achieve on the first
attempt. The costs for troubleshooting
today’s requirements for robust processes a poorly performing blending system
can far outweigh the initial invest-
ment costs. For example, an inad-
Eric Maynard equate blend or segregation of a phar-
Jenike and Johanson maceutical “blockbuster drug” can

cause the batch to fail, which could
ixing and blending of bulk others may be highly specialized for a lead to costs in the millions of dollars,
solids is a common process- difficult blending application. Knowl- even though the equipment used to
ing step in many indus- edge gains in the area of sampling blend and transfer the powder can be
tries. For example, in phar- and segregation have allowed a more a small percentage of this cost.
maceutical manufacturing of solid holistic approach to the typical blend-
dosage formulations (tablets or cap- ing unit operation, thereby often pre- Batch versus continuous
sules), small amounts of a powdered venting problems with the uniformly Blenders come in all shapes, sizes, ar-
active drug are carefully blended with blended material once it has been dis- rangements and modes of operation,
excipients, such as sugar, starch, cel- charged from the mixer. but they fit into one of two categories:
lulose, lactose and lubricants. With This article provides an overview of batch or continuous.
foods, many powder-form consumer basic powder-blending technology and Batch blending. A batch blending
products result from custom mixed sampling considerations. process typically consists of three se-
batches; consider cake mix, ice tea quential steps: weighing and loading
and dry seasonings. Thousands of pro- Mixing versus blending blend components; mixing; and dis-
cesses in the chemical process indus- The terms “mixing” and “blending” can charge of the blended product.
tries (CPI) involve mixing or blending be synonymous to some, however, they In a batch blender, solids motion is
of specialty chemicals, explosives, fer- technically can be considered slightly confined only by the vessel, and di-
tilizers, glass or ceramics, detergents different. Mixing is defined as the pro- rectional changes are frequent. The
and resin compounds. cess of thoroughly combining different retention time in a batch blender is
Today’s production operations re- materials to achieve a homogenous carefully controlled, while for a con-
quire robust mixing processes that mass. In most cases, the mixture is tinuous blender, this is generally
provide fast blend times, recipe flex- a combination of dissimilar materi- not the case. Blending cycles can
ibility, ease of equipment cleaning for als (such as polyethylene pellets and take from a few seconds with high-
minimizing grade change-over time, black pigment to make trash bags) intensity units to 30 min or more
and assurances that de-mixing (seg- using significant agitation. A mix can where additional processing, such as
regation, for example) does not result also be made with a chemically homog- heating or cooling, may be involved.
with a blended material [1]. enous material that requires uniform Blender discharge may be rapid or
Over the past two decades, mixing distribution of its particles. take substantial time, particularly if
and blending technology has greatly Blending, like mixing, is an act the blender is used as a surge vessel
improved to address needs for larger of combining materials. This opera- to feed a downstream process. Ideally,
batch sizes, faster blend times and tion, however, usually occurs in a a blender should not be used for stor-
segregation minimization. Though gentle fashion with multiple compo- age capacity, because this can create
many blenders are capable of mix- nents (such as blending fertilizer in- a process bottleneck, given that the
ing all kinds of powders, the process gredients without generating fines). blender cannot perform operations
of selecting a blender remains an “art For the scope of this article, we will of storage and blending concurrently.
form” because of the many variables use the terms mixing and blending Batch blenders [2] are often used in
involved. There are many types of sol- interchangeably. the following situations:
ids blenders available, and while one The goals of producing an accept- • When quality control requires strict
blender may have a lot of flexibility, able blend, maintaining it through ad- batch control

19_CHE_090113_SP.indd 66 8/21/13 12:21:55 PM

Table 1. Typical blender features
Blender Typical Typical Power Lump Jacket Ability to
capacity speed required breaking vessel add liquid

Ribbon, 30–28,000 L 15–100 rpm High Good Yes Yes

plow (1–1,000 ft3)
Tumble 15–5,000 L 5–30 rpm Moderate Poor Difficult Difficult
(0.5–175 ft3)
In-bin 750–3,000 L 5–30 rpm Moderate Poor Difficult Difficult
tumbler (25–100 ft3)
Planetary 30–28,000 L 15–100 rpm Moderate Good Yes Yes
(1–1,000 ft3)
Fluidized 2,800–85,000 L 0.03–0.33 m/s Low Poor Yes Yes
(100–3,000 ft3) (0.1–1 ft/s)
High 30–10,000 L Tip > 3 m/s High Excellent Yes Yes
shear (1–350 ft3) (600 ft/min)

Table 2. blender comparisons

Blender Range of Can handle co- Blending Easy to Gentle
materials hesive materials time clean blending
Figure 2. With tumbling in-bin blend-
ers, the storage container itself be-
Ribbon, plow Wide Yes Fast Moderate Moderate
comes a blender
Tumble Moderate With intensifier Long Yes Yes
In-bin tumbler Moderate With intensifier Long Yes Yes
Planetary Moderate Yes Moderate Moderate Yes ferences, which clearly does not meet
Fluidized Narrow No Fast Yes Moderate uniformity requirements.
High shear Moderate Yes Fast Moderate No Think of a tumble blender contain-
ing a side-by-side loading of salt and
• If ingredient properties change over • Ease of equipment integration into pepper. Perhaps after 20 revolutions
time continuous processes of the blender, the salt remains pre-
• When the blender cannot be dedi- • Less opportunity for batch-to-batch dominantly on the left side while the
cated to a specific product line variation caused by loading errors pepper resides on the right side of the
• When production quantities are • Automation can improve quality blender. Though diffusion has allowed
small and reduce labor costs some intermixing, in general, there
• When many formulations are pro- • Higher throughputs are often is a large-scale non-uniformity in
duced on the same production line possible the blender that indicates additional
Major advantages of batch over contin- blend time is required. As sample size
uous blending include the following: Blending mechanisms is reduced, even with a good blend of
• Lower installed and operating costs There are three primary mechanisms salt and pepper, there is a chance that
for small to medium capacities of blending, namely: convection, diffu- random selection will yield some sam-
• Lower cleaning costs when product sion and shear. Convective blending ples mostly composed of salt and oth-
changes are frequent involves gross movement of particles ers of pepper. This example illustrates
• Production flexibility through the mixer either by a force why it is important to collect sample
• Pre-blending of minor ingredients is action from a paddle or by gentle cas- sizes representative of the final prod-
easily accomplished cading or tumbling under rotational uct size when evaluating uniformity.
• Control of blending time motion. Diffusion is a slow blending There are two types of blend struc-
Continuous blending. In a continu- mechanism and will pace a blending tures: random and ordered. A random
ous blending process, the weighing, process in certain tumbling mixers blend occurs when the blend compo-
loading, blending and discharge steps if proper equipment fill order and nents do not adhere or bind with each
occur continuously and simultane- method are not utilized. Lastly, the other during motion through the blend
ously. Blending occurs during trans- shear mechanism of blending involves vessel. In this case, dissimilar par-
port of the material from the in-feed thorough incorporation of material ticles can readily separate from each
point toward the mixer outlet. Unlike passing along high-intensity forced other and collect in zones of similar
batch blenders where product reten- slip planes in a mixer. Often these particles when forces such as gravity,
tion time is carefully controlled, ma- mixers will involve dispersion of a liq- airflow or vibration act on the blend.
terial retention time with continuous uid or powdered binder into the blend An example of a random blend is salt
blenders is not uniform and can be components to achieve granulation. and pepper.
directly affected by blender speed, fee- Achieving a uniform blend is the More commonly, ordered or struc-
drate, blender geometry and design goal of any industrial process involv- tured blends, result in most industrial
of internals. Continuous blending [2] ing mixing, and defining uniformity processes. This occurs when the blend
is typically used under the following strongly depends upon the scale of components interact with one another
conditions: uniformity. For instance, loading two by physical, chemical or molecular
• A continuous, high production rate components into a tumble blender means and some form of agglomera-
process is required does not guarantee blend uniformity tion or coating takes place. The pro-
• Strict batch integrity is not across the range of sample sizes. If cess of granulation involves this ap-
essential the entire quantity in the blender proach, whereby larger particles are
• Combining several process streams were analyzed, then uniformity may created from smaller building-block
• Smoothing out product variations be present. However, taking smaller ingredient particles, and each “super”
Some of the advantages of a continu- samples from either side of the particle has ideally the correct blend
ous blending system are the following: blender will result in substantial dif- uniformity. A blend of perfect super
Chemical Engineering September 2013 67

19_CHE_090113_SP.indd 67 8/21/13 11:54:43 AM

Solids Processing

particles of identical size will not blenders, especially

segregate after discharge from the with symmetric ge-
blender, which is clearly an advantage ometries. A top-to-
over a random blend. However, if these bottom component
Marion Mixers
particles are not mono-sized, then seg- loading is better
regation by size may occur and induce than a side-to-side
problems with bulk density, reactivity loading. In this case, FIGURE 3. Paddle (left) and ribbon (right) blenders are
or solubility in post-blend processing. ingredients are al- convection-type units
A word of caution regarding blend lowed to cascade
structure: There are cases where some into one another with diffusive effects elimination of a transfer step from a
ingredients have a tendency to adhere occurring perpendicular to the main blender into a container, by which seg-
only to themselves, without adhering flow. This approach yields far faster regation by various mechanisms can
to dissimilar ingredients. This often blend times than side-to-side loading. result. Additional benefits include:
happens with fine materials, such as It is also important to prevent in- no cleaning between batches; and the
fumed silica, titanium dioxide and gredient adherence to the walls of the blend is stored in a sealed container
carbon black. At times, a blend can blender. This is common with fine ad- until use. Optimum in-bin tumble
reach “saturation,” where minor fine ditives, such as pigments and fumed blenders incorporate mass-flow tech-
components will no longer coat larger silica. Component loss can occur with nology (all of the material is in mo-
particles, and concentrations of the the blend if the material does not leave tion whenever any is discharged) to
fine component will build (and seg- the wall surface. In some cases, the ensure the blend does not segregate
regate from the blend). Fortunately, sticky ingredient can be pre-blended during container discharge.
some blender manufacturers have rec- into another component (called mas- Ribbon, paddle, plow. Convection
ognized this problem and have devel- ter-batching) to help pre-disperse blenders use a fixed U-shaped or cy-
oped technology, like chopper blades the material and avoid wall adher- lindrical shell with an internal rotat-
placed in dead-zone locations, to miti- ence. It is also important to consider ing element (impeller) like a ribbon,
gate its harmful effects. blend cohesiveness, which directly paddle, or plow (Figure 3). Due to the
correlates to a material’s tendency to action of the impeller, the particles
Types of blenders form a bridge over the blender’s out- move rapidly from one location to an-
There are four main types of blend- let. Highly cohesive blends should other within the bulk of the mixture.
ers: tumbler; convective; hopper; and not be handled in tumble blenders if The blending action can be relatively
fluidization. A general description of bridging or ratholing flow obstruc- gentle to aggressive, depending on the
each blender type, including its typi- tions have been experienced in past agitator design and speed and the use
cal operation and possible concerns processing equipment. Additionally, of intensifiers (choppers).
follows. Tables 1 and 2 also provide cohesive material mixing in a tumble Ribbon and paddle blenders tend to
an at-a-glance feature comparison for blender takes significant time, usually create cross-wise, recirculating cut-
each blender. requires an internal agitator (called ting planes within the vessel to allow
Tumbler. The tumble blender is a an intensifier), may not achieve inti- rapid mixing at an intimate unifor-
mainstay in the pharmaceutical and mate mixing, and thus may not be the mity level. With fine powder mixtures,
food industries because of its posi- most suitable equipment. the action of the ribbons induces a
tive attributes of close quality control In-bin tumbler. To reduce blending near fluidized state with minimal in-
(batch operation only), effective con- process bottlenecks and segregation terparticle friction, thereby allowing
vective and diffusive mechanisms of potential, tumbling in-bin blenders fast blend times.
blending, and gentle mixing for par- (Figure 2) have been developed where Plow blenders operate slightly dif-
ticles prone to breakage. This type of the storage container itself becomes ferently. The main plows divide the
rotating blender comes in double-cone a blender. Blend components can be powder bed and have back-side plows
or V-shaped (Figure 1) configurations, loaded into the container, blended and that fold in the remaining powder
and in some cases, these geometries transferred in the container to point- behind the main plow segments.
are given asymmetric features to re- of-use or to a storage area. This pro- This effectively blends highly cohe-
duce blend times and improve blend cess leads to highly flexible production sive materials without inducing par-
uniformity. Typical tumble blender and has been popular in the pharma- ticle breakage. Additionally, the plow
features, speeds and capacities are ceutical, food and powdered metal blender is renowned for having mini-
given in Table 1. industries. Typical in-bin blender fea- mal dead zones since the clearance be-
Rotational speed is generally not tures, speeds and capacities are given tween the plows and the blender shell
as much of a factor on achieving uni- in Table 1. is very small. Ribbons and paddles, on
formity as loading method and blend In-bin tumble blending is likely the other hand, tend to have larger
time (number of rotations). Though the foremost solids-mixing technol- dead zones due to the requirement for
there is no proven method of calculat- ogy improvement that has occurred the clearances to be bigger.
ing required blender run time, there is in the past 25 years [3]. The great- The convective blenders work well
a preferred loading method for tumble est benefit of this technology is its with cohesive materials, which nor-

19_CHE_090113_SP.indd 68 8/21/13 11:55:30 AM

Young Industries Hosokawa Bepex

ing this process. Typi- pellet or granular material to partially

cal convective blender flow in and out of the tubes over the
features, speeds and height of the bin, or for reintroduction
capacities are given in into a lower portion of the bin (such as
Table 1. in a mixing chamber).
Hopper. Hopper blend- These blenders can handle much
ers are usually cone-in- larger volumes of material than tum-
cone to tube-type units, bling or convective blenders, since no
where particles flow free-board space is required, and their
under the influence of technology can be applied to storage
FIGURE 4. Tube-type FIGURE 5. A conical gravity in a contact-bed bins or silos. Typical gravity-flow hop-
blenders are well-suited for screw, or Nauta-type mixer without moving parts per blender features and capacities
free-flowing, granular solids is commonly used for co- (attractive for highly are given in Table 1.
mixing hesive powder blending
abrasive bulk materials Planetary. Another type of hopper
mally take substantially longer blend given their wear potential). With the blender, called a planetary or conical-
times in tumbling-type mixers. They former unit, the inner cone produces screw mixer (Figure 5), is commonly
also have the advantages of taking a pronounced faster flow through the used for cohesive powder blending.
up less headroom, allowing liquid ad- inner hopper as compared to the outer The planetary screw is composed of a
dition, heating and/or cooling, and annulus section, thereby allowing mod- near-vertical screw conveyor inside a
potential for continuous operation erate blending of material. These hop- conical hopper. The screw is located so
instead of only batch mixing as with pers typically require two to four passes that one end is near the apex of the
tumble blenders. Also, these blend- with a recirculation system to achieve cone and the other end is near the
ers are less likely to experience blend proper uniformity. Tube blenders (Fig- top of the hopper, with the tip of the
segregation during discharge because ure 4) utilize open pipes within a bin; flights near the wall of the hopper. The
the impellers typically operate dur- the pipes have notches in them to allow screw rotates while revolving around

Balance + Flow Meter

for Powder, Granulate,
Grain, Flour
and Dust

incl. Quantity Counting

compact and rugged

fast product change
safe process
All rights reserved - © REMBE - CLD4-4C-E



Gallbergweg 21 · 59929 Brilon/Germany
T + 49 (0) 29 61 - 74 05 - 0 · F + 49 (0) 29 61 - 5 07 14

Circle 29 on p. 76 or go to Circle 28 on p. 76 or go to


19_CHE_090113_SP.indd 69 8/21/13 11:57:08 AM


Dynamic Air

Solids Processing

the walls of the hopper, pulling

material up from the bottom.
Advantages include the ability
to handle a wide range of mate-
rials, from free-flowing to highly
cohesive. Figure 6. Fluidization Figure 7. These high-
mixers rapidly blend com- shear mixers combine
Potential concerns with this ponents using high gas
fluidization and convective
blender include possible segrega- flowrates features Dynamic Air
tion during blend discharge and a
dead region at the bottom of the cone ing highly cohesive powders and for sertion angle, penetration
during blending. These blenders are agglomeration processes, such as the rate, angle and twisting). I
commonly jacketed for heating and/or manufacture of dry laundry deter- am not proposing that thief samplers
cooling of a material during the blend gent. Rapid blend times are common be abandoned. Rather, I suggest that
cycle. Typical convective blender fea- with this type of mixer. the resulting data be carefully scruti-
tures, speeds and capacities are given nized and observations (for example,
in Table 1. The Nauta-type blender Sampling of blends static cling, agglomeration and smear-
can also be fitted with a vertically Effective sampling is essential in de- ing) of the thief cavity and extracted
oriented ribbon blender, though there termining the state of the blend in a powder sample be recorded.
are limitations on its capacity given mixer and in downstream equipment, 3. Use stratified sampling. Improve
the high level of operating torque and such as a bin, hopper or packaging the quality of thief sampling with a
horsepower. system. To achieve a high level of con- stratified (nested) approach and sta-
Fluidization. Fluidization mixers fidence in the quality of the samples tistical analysis to differentiate blend
(Figure 6) use high flowrates of air extracted from a process, consider variability from sampling error (from
or inert gas to fully fluidize powders these five points regarding sampling the thief, laboratory analysis or col-
in order to rapidly blend components. (see Refs. 4 and 5 for good technical lection method). Instead of sampling
The gas can also be used to process articles on sampling). only once from a given location in a
(heat or cool) the blend. Not all pow- 1. A perfect blend does not guaran- blender, multiple (minimum of three)
der blends are well-suited for fluidiza- tee uniform product. Consider that thief samples should be extracted from
tion mixing. Ideal candidates are fine, every time a transfer step occurs in a the same location. This should then be
free-flowing powders that have a nar- powder handling process, the mix or repeated throughout several distinct
row size distribution and are close in blend has the potential to segregate. locations, especially in known “dead-
particle density. Highly cohesive pow- Common segregation mechanisms [6] zones” like at the blender walls. After
der blends may experience channeling occurring during industrial powder analysis of these samples, assess-
and non-uniform blend quality. handling applications include sifting ments can be made to within-location
High shear. These mixers (Figure 7) (Figure 8), fluidization and dusting. versus between-location variability.
combine fluidization and convective Depending upon which mechanism of If the three samples collected at the
features, yielding rapid blend times segregation occurs, the fine and coarse same point have large variability, then
with a high degree of blend uniformity. particles will concentrate in different questions should be raised regarding
This type of blender consists of twin locations in the bin or hopper, thus the thief or analytical testing method.
counter-rotating paddled agitators rendering location-specific sampling If large variability exists between the
that mechanically fluidize the ingredi- results. Sample at each piece of equip- samples collected around the blender,
ents. Rotation is such that the blend ment that the powder has transferred then it is likely that the blend is not
is lifted in the center, between the ro- into to evaluate if segregation has re- yet complete and additional time or
tors. Mixing is intensive, producing in- sulted due to powder transfer. agitation will be required; it is also
timate blends in a short period of time. 2. Beware of thief. A sample thief is possible that segregation may have
Blend cycles are often less than a min- commonly used to collect powder sam- occurred within the blender due to
ute, and “bomb-bay” doors allow rapid ples from a stationary bed of material over-blending. Nested sampling is also
discharge of the entire blend. These in a blender, drum or bin. A thief is a effective for thief sampling of bins,
features combine to give this blender metal rod with recessed cavities ca- hoppers, drums or other vessels con-
a high throughput capacity relative to pable of receiving powder after being taining the bulk-solid mixture.
its batch size, and highly cohesive ma- inserted into a powder bed. Care must 4. Collect full-stream samples.
terials can be readily blended. be made with thief-collected samples, Consider an alternative sampling ap-
In another type of high-shear because this method will disturb the proach, such as full-stream sampling
blender, a rapidly rotating impel- powder sample in-situ and some com- during blender discharge. This tech-
ler with integral choppers creates ponents may or may not flow into or nique provides a true “snapshot” of
high-intensity blending. The impel- stick to the thief cavity. Numerous blend uniformity exiting the blender
ler clearance is very small to avoid studies have shown that thief sam- and overcomes many of the pitfalls
blender dead zones. This type of pling results can be dependent on common to the sample thief. If a full-
blender is routinely used for blend- operator technique (such as thief in- size sample is extracted, it may re-
70 Chemical Engineering September 2013

19_CHE_090113_SP.indd 70 8/21/13 12:06:28 PM

size for the analysis (such as chemi- chute riffling. Additionally, samples
cal assay, pH and particle size). For collected over time and combined into
Figure 8. Sifting is a common segre- example, imagine that a 500-g sample a composite sample can only tell you
gation method is collected from a hopper, and it seg- at-best what is the quality of material
quire reduction in size for analysis. regates in the sample container. If the over that period. Furthermore, if the
In this case, a rotary sample splitter laboratory technician then collects a composite sample is not well-mixed,
­— also called a rotary or spinning rif- small 5-g grab sample for analysis, sampling bias can result. ■
fler — should be used to properly dis- this smaller sample may not repre- Edited by Dorothy Lozowski
tribute fine and coarse particles to the sent the true particle size distribu-
reduced sample quantity. tion of the entire sample, and error Author
5. Handle collected sample care- results. In this case, a sample splitter, Eric Maynard is the director
of education and a senior con-
fully. Ideally, use the entire collected such as a rotary riffler, can be used sultant at Jenike & Johanson,
sample for analysis. However, in to accurately reduce the sub-sample Inc. (J&J; 400 Business Park
Dr., Tyngsboro, MA 01879;
many cases, the gross sample will be size. Avoid using error-prone split- Phone: 978-649-3300; Fax
required to be split down to a smaller ting methods like cone and quarter or 978-649-3399; Email: epmay-; Website: The firm
specializes in the storage,
References Blending Over the Past 25 Years, Powder
Bulk Solids Magazine, June 2007.
flow, conveying, and process-
ing of powders and bulk sol-
1. Carson, J. and Purutyan, H., Predicting, Di- ids. During his 18 years at J&J, Maynard has
agnosing, and Solving Mixture Segregation 4. Trottier, R., Dhodapkar, S., Sampling Partic-
ulate Materials the Right Way, Chem. Eng., worked on nearly 500 projects and has designed
Problems, Powder and Bulk Engineering handling systems for bulk solids including
Magazine, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2007. pp.42–49, April 2012.
chemicals, plastics, foods, pharmaceuticals, coal,
2. Clement, S. and Prescott, J., “Blending, Seg- 5. Brittain, H., The Problem of Sampling Pow- cement, and other materials. He is the principal
regation, and Sampling”, Encapsulated and dered Solids, Pharmaceutical Technology, pp. instructor for the AIChE courses “Flow of solids
Powdered Foods, C. Onwulata, Ed. (Taylor & 67–73, July 2002. in bins, hoppers, chutes, and feeders” and “Pneu-
Francis Group, NY), Food Sciences and Tech- 6. Williams, J., The Segregation of Particulate matic conveying of bulk solids.” He received his
nology Series Vol. 146, 2005. Materials: A Review, Powder Technology, Vol. B.S. in mechanical engineering from Villanova
3. Maynard, E., A Retrospective of Mixing & 15, 1976. University and an M.S. in mechanical engineer-
ing from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.


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ZZ_CHE_090113_Full_pg_ads.indd 72 8/21/13 3:03:45 PM


The science of droplets Mike Resetarits is the technical direc-

tor at Fractionation Research, Inc. (FRI;
Stillwater, Okla.;, a distilla-

any chemical engineers study or The OSU professors (Rob Whiteley and tion research consortium. Each month,
Mike shares his first-hand experience
employ distillation trays, gas-liq- Clint Aichele) and the FRI research- with CE readers
uid separators and spray nozzles. ers were very impressed by the droplet
Most of those engineers have studied or distribution information that was very will cover a very broad range of fluid
employed force balances around liquid quickly gathered. FRI and OSU de- physical properties, from xylenes at 75
droplets suspended in upward-flowing cided to jointly purchase a PDI. mm Hga to C4s at 500 psia. Regarding
vapor streams. Considering a droplet of OSU graduate students are now the latter, surface tensions will some-
size “d,” for the droplet to be suspended studying droplet distributions in an times be closer to zero than to 1.0 dyne/
motionless, the summed forces of drag acid-gas absorption column beneath a cm. The partnership between OSU and
and buoyancy must equal exactly the spray nozzle. They will evaluate drop- FRI will lead to advanced understand-
force of gravity. At higher vapor veloci- let size distributions and velocities for ing of sprays by combining laboratory
ties, the droplet is carried upward; at a variety of solvents and conditions measurements at OSU with pilot-scale
lower velocities, downward. Who was over a range of applications including measurements at FRI.
the first to develop these force bal- absorption, distillation and packing Someday soon, distillation tray en-
ances? Was it Stokes? Souders-Brown? characterization. FRI engineers will gineers will have a fairly good knowl-
Or Archimedes after he stepped, drip- use the PDI for at least three things: edge of droplet distributions above tray
ping, out of the bathtub? 1) to further study droplet sizes above froths. Flood points will be more predict-
Most of the force balance manipula- boiling pools in the FRI kettle (up to able. Surely a complete understanding
tions lead to the same two conclusions: 165 psia); 2) to study entrainment of gravitational forces cannot be too far
1) The suspension vapor velocity is a above tray froths; and 3) to collect dis- behind — assuming that you have not
function of the liquid and vapor densi- tribution data beneath and above de- already adopted the String Theory. ■
ties; and 2) The droplet sizes are almost entrainment devices. The FRI studies Mike Resetarits
totally unknown. Hydraulics engineers
use C-factors, and F-factors, that em-
ploy this density function to design dis-
tillation columns and separators. What
if we knew the droplet size distribu-
tions associated with such equipment,
and the velocity distributions of the
entrained droplets? Air/water informa-
tion would be nice but hydrocarbon/
organic data would be ten times better.
A Phase Doppler Particle Analyzer
(PDPA) is a laser-based diagnostic tool
that can provide such droplet size and
velocity data. It was invented by Will
Bachalo in 1982 and soon became the
worldwide droplet-sizing technique
across spray-related industries as wide
ranging as gas-turbine fuel injection
and medical nebulizers. In September
of last year, Bachalo and Chad Sipper-
ley visited Stillwater to demonstrate
Artium Technologies’ Phase Doppler
Interferometer (PDI) — an updated
version of the PDPA — at Oklahoma
State University (OSU) and at FRI. At
OSU, they focused the two green laser
beams beneath a spray nozzle. At FRI,
using FRI’s new kettle-reboiler win-
dows, they focused the beams on the
spray above the boiling pool. They then
moved the PDI to the operating distil-
lation column and focused the beams
on the rain beneath a packed bed and
on the spray above that packed bed.
Circle 10 on p. 76 or go to
Chemical Engineering September 2013 73

20_CHE_090113_FRAC.indd 73 8/21/13 1:22:29 PM

SEALS/GUARDS 2C AD-07 8/15/07 8:59 AM Page 1


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Chemical Engineering SEPTEMBER 2013 75

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New Product Information September 2013

JustFAXit! or go to
Fill out the form and circle or write in the number(s) Go on the Web and fill out the

below, cut it out, and fax it to 800-571-7730. online reader service card.
Name Title



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FREE PRODUCT INFO 14 Engineering, Design & Construc- 29 10 to 49 Employees 47 Pollution Control Equipment

(please answer all the questions) tion Firms 30 50 to 99 Employees & Systems
15 Engineering/Environmental Ser- 31 100 to 249 Employees 48 Pumps
vices 32 250 to 499 Employees 49 Safety Equipment & Services
01 Food & Beverages
16 Equipment Manufacturer 33 500 to 999 Employees 50 Size Reduction & Agglomeration
02 Wood, Pulp & Paper
17 Energy incl. Co-generation 34 1,000 or more Employees Equipment
03 Inorganic Chemicals
18 Other———————————— YOU RECOMMEND, 51 Solids Handling Equipment
04 Plastics, Synthetic Resins
JOB FUNCTION SPECIFY, PURCHASE 52 Tanks, Vessels, Reactors
05 Drugs & Cosmetics (please circle all that apply)
20 Corporate Management 53 Valves
06 Soaps & Detergents 40 Drying Equipment
21 Plant Operations incl. Mainte- 54 Engineering Computers/Soft-
07 Paints & Allied Products 41 Filtration/Separation Equipment
nance ware/Peripherals
08 Organic Chemicals 42 Heat Transfer/Energy Conserva-
22 Engineering 55 Water Treatment Chemicals
09 Agricultural Chemicals tion Equipment
23 Research & Development & Equipment
10 Petroleum Refining, 43 Instrumentation & Control Sys-
24 Safety & Environmental 56 Hazardous Waste Management
Coal Products tems
26 Other———————————— Systems
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
13 Metallurgical & Metal Products 28 Less than 10 Employees 46 Piping, Tubing, Fittings 59 Compressors

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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76 Chemical Engineering September 2013

22_CHE_090113_AD_IND_RS.indd 76 8/21/13 1:29:34 PM

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 61 Gorman-Rupp Pumps 28 Rexnord Industries 4

1-877-522-6948 1-419-755-1011 1-866-REXNORD
Abbe, Paul O. 6 International Exposition
1-800-524-2188 Co./Chem Show 38 Ross, Charles & Son Company 10
1-203-221-9232 1-800-243-ROSS
Aggreko 20
1-800-348-8370 List AG 35 Samson AG 15
AMACS Process Tower 49-69 4009-0
Load Controls 71
Internals 27 1-888-600-3247 SoundPLAN International LLC 8
Müller GmbH 6
Apollo Valves 41 49 (0) 7623/969-0 Sulzer Chemtech AG SECOND
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Powder Systems Ltd. 8
Brookfield Engineering 73 44 151 448 7700
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Carver Pump 34 Quest Integrity Group 69
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Cashco VCI 16 Rembe GmbH 69
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Corzan HP Piping Systems 21 Classified Index September 2013

Advertiser Page number
Drägerwerk AG & Co. KGaA 13 Advertiser’s
Phone number Reader Service # Product Showcase. . . . . . . . . . . 74
Applied e-Simulators Software 75 Computer Software. . . . . . . . . . . 75
Emerson Process FOURTH
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Engineering Software 75 Equipment, New & Used . . . . . . 75
Endress + Hauser 23 1-301-540-3605
1-888-ENDRESS Advertiser Page number Genck International 75
Phone number Reader Service #
Fike Corporation 18
Ross, Charles & Son Company 75
Indeck Power Equipment Co. 75 1-800-243-ROSS
Flexicon Corporation 3 1-847-541-8300
Wabash Power Equipment Co. 75 Neuhaus Neotec 74 1-800-704-2002
GIG Karasek GmbH 29 Plast-O-Matic Valves, Inc. 74 Xchanger, Inc. 75
1-973-256-3000 1-952-933-2559
* International Edition

See bottom of oposite page Send Advertisements and Box replies to: Diane Burleson
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Chemical Engineering September 2013 77

22_CHE_090113_AD_IND_RS.indd 77 8/21/13 1:30:23 PM


September WHO’S WHO

Schonemann Camasso Miller Riojas Hill

Hans Schonemann becomes president Sector (Erlangen Germany). He Fred Bailey as operations manager
of Phasex Corp. (Lawrence, Mass.), replaces Felix Ferleman who is leav- in its Sealy, Tex., facility.
which specializes in supercritical ing the company.
fluid extraction. He replaces Phasex Karim Hajjar becomes CFO of
founder Val Krukonis, who becomes Devin International (Houston), a Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium),
director, R&D programs James subsidiary of Greene’s Energy Group replacing Bernard de Laguiche,
Camasso becomes plant manager. and equipment supplier for oil-and- who will remain a non-executive
gas operations, names J.H. (Trey) board member.
Netzsch Pumps North America Miller III U.S. sales manager.
LLC (Exton, Pa.) names Robert Kisler Andrew Riojas becomes location Precision Polymer Engineering
national sales and product manager supervisor in the firm’s the Lafayette, (Blackburn, U.K.), a maker of molded
for the Tornado product line. La., location. elastomer seals, names Jamie Hill
regional OEM sales manager for
Markus Tacke is named CEO of the Gulfstream Services Inc. (Houston), the U.K. ■
Wind Power Div. of Siemens Energy an oilfield rental company, names Suzanne Shelley





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23_CHE_090113_WW.indd 78 8/21/13 1:54:21 PM

Economic Indicators
Business News
will also consider expanding the KZSK ca- has acquired the specialty
Plant WatcH
pacity from 42,500 to 56,000 m.t./yr. coatings business of Henkel.The prod-
Chevron Phillips receives key permits for ucts are sold under the brand names
large Gulf Coast project BASF to build a new plant for high- MiraFoil and Miracure and are mainly
August 14, 2013 — Chevron Phillips Chemi- performance polyamide in China supplied to the packaging industry in
cal Company LP (The Woodlands,Tex; www. July 29, 2013 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Ger- North America.The business’ estimated has received key permits many; is building a new po- sales were $15 million in 2012. Within the
from the Texas Commission on Environ- lymerization plant for the high-performance Altana group, the business will be inte-
mental Quality, and the U.S. Environmental polyamide Ultramid. With a capacity of grated into Actega Kelstar Inc. in the U.S.
Protection Agency (EPA) for its planned 100,000 m.t./yr, the new plant is planned and into Actega Terra GmbH in Germany,
ethane cracker and polyethylene units. to start up in 2015.The plant will be built at both belonging to the Actega Coatings
Pending final board approval, the 1.5-mil- China’s Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in & Sealants division.
lion metric tons per year (m.t./yr) ethane Caojing.
cracker would be built at Chevron Phillips Ametek acquires Controls Southeast
Chemical’s Cedar Bayou facility in Baytown, Sasol and Ineos sign agreement for for $160 million
Tex., while the two new polyethylene facili- high-density polyethylene JV August 7, 2013 — Ametek, Inc. (Berwyn, Pa.;
ties, each with a capacity of 500,000 m.t./ July 24, 2013 — Sasol (Johannesburg, has acquired Controls
yr, would be built on a site near the Chevron South Africa; and Ineos Southeast, Inc. (CSI), a manufacturer of
Phillips Chemical Sweeny facility in Old Olefins & Polymers USA (Ineos) have an- custom-engineered thermal solutions, from
Ocean,Tex. Estimated completion for this nounced their intent to form a JV to manu- Industrial Growth Partners for approximately
project is 2017. facture high-density polyethylene (HDPE). $160 million. Based near Charlotte, N.C.,
The plant will produce 470,000 m.t./yr of Controls Southeast has annual sales of ap-
One of the world’s largest ammonia bimodal HDPE.The final investment deci- proximately $50 million.
plants to be built in Saudi Arabia sion is expected in the 1st half of 2014 with
August 8, 2013 — The Saudi Arabian Min- expected startup in late 2015. Nordson to acquire Kreyenborg Group's
ing Company (Ma’aden) will use am- polymer processing businesses
monia technology from ThyssenKrupp July 31, 2013 — Nordson Corp. (Westlake,
Uhde GmbH (Dortmund, Germany; www.
Mergers and acquisitions
Ohio; has entered into in its new ammonia Clariant and Tasnee establish
a definitive agreement to acquire Münster,
plant Ma’aden II, being built near the port of masterbatches JV in Saudi Arabia
Germany-based Kreyenborg Group’s Krey-
Ras al Khair, which is in the Arabian Gulf.The August 9, 2013 — Clariant (Muttenz,
enborg GmbH and BKG Bruckmann & Krey-
3,300-m.t./d plant is scheduled for comple- Switzerland; and
enborg Granuliertechnik GmbH companies.
tion in 2016 and is said to be one of the larg- Tasnee, an industrial conglomerate in Saudi
The transaction is expected to close during
est of its kind worldwide. Arabia, have announced the signing of an
the 3rd quarter of 2013, pending customary
agreement to establish a masterbatches
closing conditions and regulatory reviews.
Dow and Johnson Matthey Davy license JV in Saudi Arabia.Tasnee will acquire a
Revenues for fiscal year 2012 were approxi-
LP Oxo Technology to PetroChina 40% stake in Clariant’s masterbatches
mately €62 million.
August 5, 2013 — Johnson Matthey Davy operations in the country, operating under
Technologies (JM Davy; London, U.K; www. the name Clariant Masterbatches (Saudi Pexco acquires Scandia Plastics, deepens and The Dow Chemical Arabia) Ltd.The JV will be operational specialty plastics machining capability
Company (Midland, Mich; following completion of customary merger- July 30, 2013 — Pexco LLC (Atlanta, Ga.;
announced that PetroChina Guangdong control-clearance procedures. has acquired Scandia
Petrochemical Co. has selected LP Oxo Plastics, Inc. of Plaistow, N.H. Scandia is a
Technology for its petrochemical complex Edwards to acquire ultra-high vacuum custom extrusion business that sells to the
in Jieyang, Guangdong, China.The new LP pump specialist Gamma Vacuum filtration, medical, environmental, defense,
Oxo unit will produce 85,000 m.t./yr of 2-eth- August 9, 2013 — Edwards Group Ltd. and other industrial markets, and process
ylhexanol, 235,000 m.t./yr of n-butanol and (Crawley, U.K.;, a variety of high-end engineering
33,000 m.t./yr of iso-butyraldehyde. a manufacturer of vacuum products and resin materials.
abatement systems has entered into a de-
Sibur and Sinopec establish a JV to finitive agreement to acquire Gamma Vacu- Altana to acquire rheology modifier
produce synthetic rubbers um, which specializes in ultra-high vacuum business from Rockwood
August 5, 2013 — Sibur (Moscow, Russia; pumps.The transaction is expected to be July 28, 2013 — Altana has signed a definite and China Petroleum and completed in the 3rd quarter of 2013 and is agreement to acquire the global rheology
Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) entered into a subject to standard closing conditions. business of Rockwood Holdings Inc. , of
joint venture (JV) developed on the site Princeton, N.J. The purchase price amounts
of the Krasnoyarsk Synthetic Rubber Plant Altana acquires specialty coatings to $635 million.The closing of the transaction
(KZSK). Sinopec purchased 25% + 1 share business from Henkel is expected to take place in the 4th quarter
of KZSK.The deal was approved by Russian August 8, 2013 — The specialty chemicals of 2013. ■
and Chinese regulators.The shareholders group Altana (Wesel, Germany; www. Mary Page Bailey

For additional news as it develops, please visit

September 2013; VOL. 120; NO. 9
Chemical Engineering copyright @ 2013 (ISSN 0009-2460) is published monthly, with an additional issue in October, by Access Intelligence, LLC, 4 Choke Cherry Road, 2nd
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For more Economic Indicators, See Next Page Chemical Engineering September 2013 79

24_CHE_090113_EI.indd 79 8/21/13 2:06:24 PM

Economic Indicators 2011 2012 2013



Jun. ’13 May ’13 Jun. ’12
(1957–59 = 100) Index:
Prelim. Final Final 600
CE Index 564.9 566.5 585.6 2005 = 468.2
Equipment 684.1 685.4 713.9 2006 = 499.6
Heat exchangers & tanks 626.7 624.3 661.4 550
Process machinery 654.4 655.1 666.5 2007 = 525.4
Pipe, valves & fittings 859.3 863.4 917.7 2008 = 575.4
Process instruments 410.2 410.6 425.1 500
2009 = 521.9
Pumps & compressors 919.2 919.3 927.0
Electrical equipment 512.7 513.1 513.7 2010 = 550.8
Structural supports & misc 730.9 741.7 759.9 450
2011 = 585.7
Construction labor 317.6 319.7 322.6
Buildings 530.8 534.0 527.1 2012 = 584.6
Engineering & supervision 324.4 325.5 327.9 400


CPI output index (2007 = 100) Jul. '13 = 88.0 Jun. '13 = 87.7 May. '13 = 88.2 Jul'12 = 86.8
CPI value of output, $ billions Jun. '13 = 2,109.8 May. '13 = 2,124.9 Apr. '13 = 2,098.1 Jun'12 = 2,035.5
CPI operating rate, % Jul. '13 = 74.5 Jun. '13 = 74.4 May. '13 = 74.8 Jul'12 = 74.1
Producer prices, industrial chemicals (1982 = 100) Jul. '13 = 299.6 Jun. '13 = 304.0 May. '13 = 301.7 Jul'12 = 294.8
Industrial Production in Manufacturing (2007 = 100) Jul. '13 = 95.4 Jun. '13 = 95.5 May. '13 = 95.3 Jul'12 = 94.2
Hourly earnings index, chemical & allied products (1992 = 100) Jul. '13 = 156.4 Jun. '13 = 156.0 May. '13 = 156.7 Jul'12 = 157.6
Productivity index, chemicals & allied products (1992 = 100) Jul. '13 = 104.4 Jun. '13 = 104.5 May. '13 = 104.7 Jul'12 = 105.6

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 June
2013 CE Plant Cost Index

Exclusively from Marshall & Swift

(CEPCI; top; the most recent avail-
able) indicate that the composite
index decreased by 0.3% from the
final May value. The value for the
Heat Exchangers & Tanks subin-
dex rose slightly, while the other
subindex values decreased. The
June 2013 preliminary PCI index
value stands at 3.5% lower than
the corresponding final PCI value
from June 2012. Meanwhile, the
latest Current Business Indicators
from IHS Global Insight (middle)
once again moved in both direc-
tions, with the CPI output index
edging slightly upward, while the
Quarterly updates of our industry-leading Equipment Cost Index CPI value of output decreased from
the previous month. The hourly
are now available at earnings index and CPI operating
rate changed little. ■


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