Process Safety Process Automation

Partial oxidation is a process that requires careful control and monitoring so as to ensure that accidental temperature runaways are avoided, especially during transient conditions such as start-up and shutdown. Process licensors have developed sophis­ticated control systems together with integrated automated start-up and shutdown procedures, which play an important role in safe operation.

Butzert described the most important features of such systems in 1976. Each licensor includes details specific to his own process and experience. The fundamentals described by Butzert are still valid today, although the radical change in instrument­ation and control hardware since then has allowed the incorporation of many addi­tional functions. For instance, de Graaf and colleagues (1998; 2000) report on advanced features of the system in Pernis incorporating reactor preheat, panel restart after a spurious trip, and gas transfer to the turbines controlled so that flaring of sulfur-containing gas could be eliminated. Further refinements are reported by Weigner and colleagues (2002). Plants in a predominately power production applica­tion include a load following function to comply with the demands of the grid.

Reactor Shell Monitoring

Another safety aspect typical of all partial oxidation processes is the necessity of controlling and monitoring the reactor shell temperature in case of damage to the refractory lining. Early plants had to rely on a multiplicity of point thermocouples around the reactor, usually chosen to correspond with potential weak points in the refractory brickwork. This was often complemented by the use of thermosensitive paint and regular thermography. Eater, special coaxial cables with a temperature - sensitive resistance between core and sheath became available. With these coils a continuity of coverage became possible far in advance of the discrete point measure­ments previously used. On the other hand, location of the hot spot from these measurements was only possible with a grid of such coils that noted which two were showing the high temperature.

Fiber-optic systems are now available that provide a combination of continuity and localization. With appropriate software this can be converted to a screen visualization identifying hot spots on the control panel screen (see Figure 5-35) (Nicholls 2001). This fiber-optic system has been used on oxygen-fired secondary reformers, and recently two Texaco gasifiers have been equipped in this manner.

Figure 5-35. Screen Shot of Fiber-Optic Reactor Shell Temperature Monitor (Source: N і cholIs 2001)


Liquid Wastes

Organic Chemical Waste. Organic wastes from chemical production vary as widely as the processes from which they originate. One published example is the feedstock to a waste gasification plant at …

Carbon Management

In the Texaco process, soot is extracted from the carbon-water mixture with naphtha and recycled with the feedstock to the reactor where it is gasified to extinction. The black water …

Common Issues

Operating Temperature Any fluid bed depends on having the solid particles of a size that can be lifted by the upward flowing gas. A large portion (over 95%) of the …

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