Measuring the Difficult to Measure Symposium

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Dec 3, 2018 8:26:44 PM

Save the date...
Register to attend Tracerco's 2019 Innovative Process Diagnostics Symposium 
February 5, 2019 in Deer Park, Texas, USA - 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
February 20 in Gonzales, Louisiana, USA - 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

 

Learn from our team of experts how Tracerco's Process Diagnostic technologies can be applied to help improve plant operations in yourNew call-to-action facility. This symposium is designed to give refinery and chemical process personnel an understanding of how our products and services can be used to diagnose critical process issues. The symposium contains in-depth case studies illustrating how data obtained from our gamma scanning, nucleonic instruments and tracer technologies can be applied to help troubleshoot and resolve process plant problems. 

At the end of the symposium, Tracerco's panel of experts will host a Q&A session discussing the latest industry challenges and how to measure the difficult to measure process issues. 

Read more to learn about the session topics and download a copy of the invitation.

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Topics: Damage to vessel internals, trayed tower, PackView Analysis, mass transfer diagnostics, packed bed performance analytics, Tracer Study, exchanger bundle leak testing, chemical leak test, online leak detection, feed/effluent heat exchangers, off spec product, tomography scan, monitor wash bed coking, packed bed towers, packed bed scan, liquid distribution, quantitative analysis pack beds, packing mal-distribution, level detection devices, gamma scan, fcc services, verify flow meters, flow rate calculations, fugitive flare flow, Flow Study, flare flowrate data, flare gas meter, flare flow measurement, tray fouling, fccu studies, Process Diagnostics Technology, pipeline blockage, gamma scanning distillation columns, exchangers, solids buildup

Advantages of PreTurnaround and Baseline Scans

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jul 12, 2018 10:25:22 PM

Are you planning a scheduled turnaround and want to know the advantages of scanning before  and after your planned turnaround?

A Tru-Scan™ or Tru-Grid™ Scan will assist in defining and developing a turnaround critical path project scope at an early stage ensuring that your turnaround meets your goals. The most common use of gamma scans is to give process engineers and operations an online tool that results in understanding how a column is performing.  This data can be used in advance of a turnaround to identify tray or packing damage and other process problems without having to shut down the column for internal inspections. These results will fully prepare turnaround planners with the knowledge they need for critical path decisions that must be made prior to a shutdown. At other times the results from a Tru-Scan™ or Tru-Grid™ Scan can either justify an unscheduled shutdown or identify options that will enable a plant to continue operating until the next scheduled shutdown.   

Read more on how Tracerco scanning technologies can help to develop a plan for your turnaround planning.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, gamma scan, quantitative analysis pack beds, liquid distribution, Tru-Grid Scan, PackView Analysis, density of liquid, packed bed performance analytics, Packed Beds, packed column, packed bed scan, packed bed towers, Suspected maldistribution in packed beds, Liquid maldistribution, tray fouling, fouling, turnaround schedules, turnarounds, turnaround planning, critical path

Remove any doubt about fouling issues found in trayed and packed towers.

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jun 4, 2018 5:37:55 PM

Diagnose and take control of fouling issues.Fouling_towers_web

In some processes a common problem that towers experience over a period of time is fouling of trays and packing with solid deposits. Fouling can cause conditions such as liquid maldistribution in packed columns or premature entrainment/flooding in trayed columns resulting in a loss of efficiency and an increase in operating pressure drop. Fouling may result from foreign material entering a column or from polymerization or decomposition occurring inside the column. The fouling may start under normal conditions or begin to build due to abnormal operating conditions.

Read more on how Tracerco scanning technologies can help to develop a plan to implement a routine maintenance programme for assets with fouling issues.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, gamma scan, quantitative analysis pack beds, liquid distribution, Tru-Grid Scan, PackView Analysis, density of liquid, packed bed performance analytics, Packed Beds, packed column, packed bed scan, packed bed towers, Suspected maldistribution in packed beds, Liquid maldistribution, tray fouling, fouling

Packed bed performance analytics

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Apr 25, 2018 8:44:15 PM

 

Advanced analytics introduce a numerical and easily understood approach to tower gamma scanning

Refinery and chemical plant operations depend heavily on distillation and separation towers. Tower gamma scanning is well established in the process industries as a qualitative tool to help troubleshoot towers. Advances in data analysis have lead to a quantitative approach in expressing gamma scan data in numerical terms easily understood by process and operations engineers. 

In a recent Tracerco article published by Petroleum Quarterly Technology (PTQ) magazine you will be able to read three example case studies of packed towers that will answer questions concerning the state of liquid distribution through the packed bed and illustrate how Tracerco's PackView™ analysis was developed to consistently analyse Tru-Grid™ Scan data to reach a conclusive result.

 CLICK HERE To read the full article (Page 69) published in the Q2 2018 Petroleum Quarterly Technology (PTQ) issue.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, gamma scan, quantitative analysis pack beds, liquid distribution, Tru-Grid Scan, PackView Analysis, density of liquid, packed bed performance analytics, Packed Beds, packed column, packed bed scan, packed bed towers, Suspected maldistribution in packed beds, Liquid maldistribution

Document liquid sulphur levels in a Sulphur Recovery Unit (SRU) Reactor during a catalyst wash.

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Feb 27, 2018 9:54:19 PM

Are you planning to “wash” a catalyst bed in a reactor and need to monitor process conditions?

Using Tru-Scan™ technology to detect liquid levels in pressure vessels and catalyst levels in reactors is a fast and extremely reliable measurement performed online. One of the problems operations staff faced when planning a catalyst “wash” was not having an indication of any accumulated liquid level in the bottom of the vessel to monitor the procedure. Read more on how Tracerco was able to assist a customer with monitoring the liquid level throughout their planned wash campaign.

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Topics: gamma scan, Tru-Scan, SRU Unit, coke, Sulphur Recovery Unit, catalyst bed wash, liquid restriction

Tracerco Insight Vol8Ed1

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jan 29, 2018 10:04:11 PM

The first issue of 2018's Tracerco Insight newsletter is now available.

Tracerco would like to wish you a Happy New Year. We are very much looking forward to celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2018. 

To start the new year we have published the first issue of the Tracerco Insight newsletter featuring a few of our latest case studies illustrating how Tracerco was able to provide our customers the necessary data that allowed the operations staff to make informed decisions for troubleshooting and optimising their process.
 
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Topics: gamma scan, Tru-Scan, Tracer Study, tracer technology, feed/effluent heat exchangers, SRU Unit, H2S Absorber, coke drum cycle, delayed coke drum, coke drum optimization, coke, Sulphur Recovery Unit, catalyst bed wash, Ammonia converter, Life cycle management, nucleonic instrumentation

How to determine the best suited demulsifier for your application

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Dec 20, 2017 3:15:04 PM

Scans aid plant personnel in determining which demulsifier is best suited for their application.

Tracerco’s scanning technology is an excellent means of measuring interface levels, whether between vapour and liquids, liquid and solids, or between two different types of liquids. Tru-Scan™ and PhaseFinder™ neutron scanning technologies can be used very effectively in trials of emulsion breaking chemicals to determine the best type and concentration to use in a particular vessel. This can lead to increased efficiency and significant cost savings as well as reduce the environmental impact of excess chemical use.

This blog will present two demulsifier trials that will show the difference in performance base on the presence or absence of an emulsion layer.

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Topics: gamma scan, Tru-Scan, Separator, Demulsifier Chemical, interface levels, neutron backscatter, PhaseFinder

Diagnosing Problems in Liquid Liquid Extractors

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Oct 18, 2017 5:24:41 PM

Tru-Scan results assist with diagnosing problems even in a challenging process such as liquid-liquid extractors.OctoberBlogtowerweb1.jpg
One category of special applications is liquid-liquid extractors. Besides the fact that liquid-liquid extractors are not “typical” distillation or fractionation unit operations, what makes them a special application for Tru-Scans™? The source and detector system that is used in scanning measures density changes of the process materials inside the tower. With a typical fractionation tower there is a large density difference between the vapour and liquid phases. Thus there is a large density range between clear vapour and clear liquid to detect process or operating conditions existing in a typical fractionation tower – entrainment, foaming, flooding, internal damage, etc. But liquid-liquid extractors are liquid full, with no large vapour-liquid density difference. Meaningful scan results from a liquid-liquid tower rely on the density difference between the two liquid phases being significant enough to distinguish as some extraction processes involve two liquids that have comparable densities.
 
So what will a Tracerco Tru-Scan of a liquid-liquid extractor tower show?
Since we do not have the large vapour-liquid density difference to work with, the information learned from a scan of a liquid-liquid extractor is less extensive than for a “typical” fractionation tower but not any less important. As the following examples show, scans of liquid-liquid extractors can detect problems when the two liquid phases are not properly mixing, preventing the tower from doing its proper extraction operation.
 
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Topics: gamma scan, liquid liquid extractor, extraction tower, trayed extraction tower, liquid restriction

Detect leaks in feed/effluent exchangers to the parts-per-billion range with chemical tracers.

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jul 25, 2017 4:22:17 PM

On a regular basis customers see evidence suggesting the presence of a leak; such as a drop in process efficiency or the presence of a contaminant in product. This raises the question of where in the plant the leak is occurring or is the off-spec material do to some other problem.

In this latest blog, Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Plc, discusses how chemical tracers allowed the customer to replace a leaking exchanger bundle and restart the unit with minimal downtime.

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Topics: gamma scan, online leak detection, chemical leak test, feed/effluent heat exchangers, off spec product, exchanger bundle leak testing

Crude Vacuum Tower Wash Bed Optimization

Posted by Margaret Bletsch

Jun 6, 2017 5:58:02 PM

The crude unit of today’s modern refinery is where it all starts.  Good, clean fractionation from the crude atmospheric and crude vacuum towers greatly impacts the operation of downstream units.

The wash bed in the Crude vacuum tower is one of those so-called evil necessities.  When it operates well, it does not seem to garner much attention but, when things go wrong challenges can occur.  The wash bed of the Crude vacuum tower is prone to coking/fouling due to the low liquid rates along with high vapour rates and high temperatures.  Generally, the wetting rate at the top of the wash bed is minimised to prevent high-value product loss, but lower wetting rates lead directly to coke formation in the bed.  The operating condition or the rate and severity of coking in the Crude vacuum tower wash bed is also one of the key variables determining the cycle time or run length between turnarounds.  So, the typical refiner works to balance the economics of product Heavy Vacuum Gas Oil (HVGO) recovery versus unscheduled or premature downtime to replace a coked bed. 

Marathon Petroleum Company LP’s (MPC) approach for operation of the vacuum tower wash bed is based on a novel approach.  MPC regards the packing in the wash bed as a consumable item.  The goal – fully consume the useful life of the packing by the end of the operating cycle to maximise operating profit, by maximising HVGO yield.  MPC uses Tracerco’s ThruVision™ technology to routinely monitor the wash bed density to help manage the wash bed useful life during the operating cycle.  The ThruVision™ technology provides a detailed density map at a specific vertical elevation that can pinpoint specific areas of liquid maldistribution or solids/liquid build-up. 

This case study shows the learning process over short operating cycles and an example of the operating stratagem to manage the operating life of the vacuum column wash bed over a multi-year operating cycle.

 CLICK HERE To download the full article that was published in the April 2017 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering.

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Topics: Gamma Scanning, gamma scan, quantitative analysis pack beds, liquid distribution, Tru-Grid Scan, PackView Analysis, ThruVision scan, monitor wash bed coking, tomography scan

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