The Monitor

Production Process Insights

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The Unexpected Costs - and Clear Benefits - of Clean Fuels

Posted by Rod Lunceford on 8/12/19 8:00 AM

Globally, there’s a trend for increased policies and regulations around producing low-sulfur and ultra-low-sulfur (ULS) transportation fuels. These are often referred to as “clean fuels”.  Clean” transportation fuels typically focus on removing sulfur oxides (SOx), specifically sulfur dioxide (SO2), and mitigating pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons and particulates, from vehicles’ exhaust. Sulfur oxides can cause respiratory problems and lung damage in humans and environmental issues such as tree, plant and stone damage; acid rain and hazy air. The less sulfur content in fuel, the less polluting SOx emissions that fuel will release.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Liquid & Slurry

5 Critical Steps to Prevent Pipeline Corrosion

Posted by Lance Witt on 8/5/19 8:00 AM

Corrosion monitoring and mitigation is essential for ensuring safe operation and reliable natural gas supplies. In fact, corrosion control practices could save up to $875 billion annually. And this doesn’t include the additional safety, operational and environmental benefits that come from corrosion-free equipment.

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Topics: Upstream & Midstream, Liquid & Slurry, Gas

What You Need to Know About Sampling Oil Sands

Posted by Israel Gamboa on 6/5/19 8:17 AM

Every day, the world uses about 93 million barrels of crude oil, a demand that rose by 1.3% in 2018 and is soon expected to reach 99 barrels per day or more.

Oil sands mining is one method that oil producers are using to meet this demand. Although oil sands mining represents just a small percentage of crude oil production, it’s predicted that it will produce 3.7 million barrels per day by 2021. As this production increases, so will the need for accurate and efficient sampling processes.

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Topics: Mining, Upstream & Midstream, Solids & Powder, Liquid & Slurry

Manual vs. Automatic: Which Sampling is Best for Your Hydrocarbon Plant?

Posted by Rod Lunceford on 5/20/19 8:00 AM

The United States is expected to produce more than 12 million barrels of oil per day by the end of 2019. With Russia pumping approximately 11 million barrels per day, this milestone could turn America into the world's largest crude producer.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream, Solids & Powder, Liquid & Slurry

Improve Hydrocarbon Process Sampling Accuracy without Breaking the Bank

Posted by Randy Cruse on 5/6/19 8:00 AM

Accurate fiscal calculations, allocations and loss control are essential for a healthy hydrocarbon processing operation. It is also why you need to pay close attention to your sampling program. Sampling downstream and hydrocarbon-related liquids and gases such as crude oil, condensates, and oil and water mixtures means that it is critical to ensure quality control by determining product properties and composition that can directly affect your operations.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Solids & Powder, Liquid & Slurry

Don’t Get Caught on the Dark Side of the Grey Market

Posted by John Powalisz on 4/22/19 8:00 AM

All food and beverages undergo some form of processing, and those processes need to follow a variety of local, national and international food safety regulations. Buying certified samplers from authorized sellers is critical to ensuring your plant has the right sampling equipment to meet these standards and keep our food supply safe.

Yet many plants purchase sampling equipment outside manufacturers’ authorized distribution channels – also known as the grey market. According to the Harvard Business Review, an estimated $7 billion to $10 billion worth of products are sold every year in the United States outside these authorized channels. Most consumers and businesses buy items on the grey market because prices are generally lower.

But investing in these unauthorized products doesn’t give you the same peace of mind as those with genuine ones, and it could bring you back to square one both financially and in terms of inspection violations.

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Topics: Food & Beverage, Solids & Powder, Liquid & Slurry

Will You Get the Alarm When it Matters Most?

Posted by John Powalisz on 4/8/19 8:00 AM

 

When chemistry alarms go off in your steam power plant, how do you know if it’s just a nuisance alarm or a real chemical event?

The fact is, most of the time, you don’t. For many plant operators, too many alarms can be worse than none at all. And that confusion can cost you time and money during a real event.

Troubleshooting alarms with manual processes can take hours or even days to find the issue – costing up to $100,000 for every hour your operation is down, or millions if permanent damage occurs. Alarm-related problems cost U.S. industry more than $20 billion a year, driving many plants to reduce alarms and meet the International Society of Automation (ISA) standard of 1 alarm every 10 minutes.

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Topics: Power, Liquid & Slurry, Steam & Water

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

Why Small Things Like Sample Bottle Caps Are Big Things In A Hydrocarbon Processing Plant

Posted by Derek Lindsay on 10/9/18 9:27 AM

 

Sampling in a hydrocarbon processing plant has its hazards. Tapping into a process line to extract a representative sample requires careful planning, specialized equipment and a partnership with the right sampling application experts. Commonly, however, more focus is spent on the best and safest way to extract the sample, than the method to seal the sample collection bottle. That can be just as hazardous.

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Topics: Hydrocarbon Processing, Upstream & Midstream, Liquid & Slurry

Three steps to take to maintain your samplers

Posted by Paul Williams on 4/5/16 9:09 AM

Our cars wouldn’t run very well if we didn’t fill them with gasoline, change the motor oil, or conduct routine maintenance and repairs. In the same way, your facility’s sampling equipment needs regular preventative maintenance.

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Topics: Cement, Food & Beverage, Hydrocarbon Processing, Mining, Upstream & Midstream, Solids & Powder, Pharmaceutical, Liquid & Slurry, Any Application, Gas