The Monitor

Production Process Insights

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Kevin Kirst

As industry manager for the refinery market, Kevin employs his 25-plus years of experience in engineering, application support and sales to develop new ways to sample, monitor and measure customers’ processes, with a primary focus on the crude oil refining industry. Like all our company employee-owners, Kevin is committed to developing technologies and equipment that allow customers to operate their processes at optimal efficiency while maintaining high levels of safety and product quality.
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Recent Posts

Cool it Down with Sample Coolers

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 3/25/19 8:00 AM

Plants and facilities of all kinds use sample coolers to cool a sample from a process stream. Cooling samples as part of your steam and water sampling system is essential to maintaining safety and the representativeness of the sample.

For example, if a sample in a power plant is too hot to handle, the operator might throttle the flow to unacceptably low levels, which means the sample is no longer representative or acceptable.

Another example comes from Hydrocarbon processing or Process Analytics. Cooling the process to handle the sample is necessary.   If you take a grab sample of a certain hydrocarbon whether it be of a liquid or a gas, the safest way is to handle the sample at below 140F.  This protects the operator when handling hot samples that need to be physically taken to the lab safely for analysis.   

In order to achieve accurate data, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), ASTM and ASME recommend cooling water samples to 77°F (25°C) to ensure consistent, accurate test results. 

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Topics: Power, Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream, Liquid & Slurry, Steam & Water

What to Know About Drip Pots and Corrosion Monitoring

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 3/22/17 10:30 AM

Internal metal corrosion in hazardous liquid, gas transmission and gas-gathering applications is inevitable and continues to cause leaks and catastrophic failures. Due to the fact that internal corrosion is time dependent, the number of incidents could be increasing due to aging pipeline infrastructure. Such disasters can damage the environment and cause costly downtime and waste in pipeline productivity – in addition to astronomical cleanup costs.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream

How to Safely Sample Hazardous Chemicals During Production

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 9/7/16 11:06 AM

Sampling within a chemical plant can mean operators must obtain samples of a toxic chemical mixture that can include diisobutyl phthalate, ethanol, hexane, mineral oil, toluene and titanium tetrachloride.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing

Time Stamp Your Samples for Effective Process Correlation

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 8/3/16 7:30 AM

Running a safe, efficient operation requires analysis of controlled, real-time data obtained through representative sampling within a process. Nowhere is obtaining that data more critical than within a refinery, chemical or petrochemical plant. 

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream

How a sample transport innovation protects from H2S exposure

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 5/17/16 3:36 PM

Petroleum refining is one of the largest global industries. The products produced in refineries fuel our transportation systems and are the feedstock used to produce a wide variety of petroleum-based products. Refinery operations involve processes and equipment that operate at elevated pressures and temperatures, as well as process feedstock and chemical additives detrimental to human health. Additionally, some byproducts of the processes also are hazardous to humans.

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Topics: Upstream & Midstream

How the right corrosion monitoring solution improves safety, labor costs, efficiency

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 5/12/16 1:20 PM

Natural gas use is seasonal, especially in northern states, which depend on it for heating through the cold and snow of winter. To ensure that adequate supplies of natural gas are available during winter storms, companies that produce and distribute natural gas use large underground storage pools or fields to hold large volumes of natural gas at elevated pressures.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream

Protect your high-cost hydrocarbon analyzers from thermal excursions

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 4/12/16 11:04 AM

Often, solving a problem requires looking at it in a new way. In engineering, that can mean taking a proven solution and customizing it or employing it in a new application.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream

How corrosion coupon holders can save your assets

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 3/31/16 10:17 AM

Metal corrosion is inevitable, and has the potential to cause catastrophic assets failure, which can injure operators, damage the environment, and lead to costly downtime.

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Topics: Upstream & Midstream

Insertion tool saves valuable space on offshore oil platform

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 2/11/16 9:24 AM


Photo courtesy of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico is carried out on huge production platforms. These production platforms are located many miles offshore into the Gulf. Due to the isolated location, all equipment and facilities needed for power, operations, safety, rescue and worker housing and comfort are necessary parts of the platform design. Although the production platforms are among the largest man-made constructions, the amount of equipment needed for self-contained operations means that space is at a premium and needs to be optimized. Further, all replacement equipment needed on the platform must be transported by water or air. Therefore, lighter tools and equipment are preferred so they can more easily be flown onto the platform.

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Topics: Upstream & Midstream

Super sample cooler meets supercritical power application

Posted by Kevin Kirst on 2/4/16 10:23 AM

Many regions of the world are experiencing ever-growing demand for electricity, and at the same time, permitted emissions from power plants have been reduced to meet air quality standards. Fossil fuel power plants are a source of CO2, which is one of the greenhouse gases that is regulated and of global concern due to its impact on climate change. The burning of coal, an abundant fuel resource in many of the worlds’ developing regions, produces CO2 – but coal is likely to remain a dominant fuel source for electricity generation in many countries for years to come.

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Topics: Power