Archives :: Processing & Handling :: Thermal & Energy Management

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December 1, 2009
Faced with increased workloads and time and budget constraints that often restrict external training support, many chemical process operators are forced to get the most out of their heat transfer system with less help. This article offers recommendations for how to carry out proactive maintenance on heat-transfer fluids, to maximize their useful life and minimize problems associated with fluid degradation...
November 18, 2009
Among the most pressing concerns for the chemical process industries (CPI) are weathering the global economic recession and dealing with anticipated carbon emissions regulations. Switching from oil and gas to biomass for fuel in a CPI plant is a relatively simple way to ratchet down greenhouse gas emissions and cut costs simultaneously. Biomass fuels can help cut operating costs, improve fuel flexibility...
November 13, 2009
International Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT; in St. Rose, Louisiana has selected Therminol 55 synthetic heat transfer fluid from Solutia Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.; for use in a major expansion project where indirect heat will be applied to 58 very large storage tanks containing materials such as asphalt, diesel fuel and other high-melting-point compounds that need to be kept warm...
November 1, 2009
Direct-fired heaters find wide application throughout the chemical process industries (CPI) and are common in petroleum refineries, where they are used to preheat petroleum or petroleum-derived feedstocks in advance of downstream process operations. Since excessive internal tube fouling occurs above certain temperatures, designers often try to keep temperatures down by over-specifying the heat transfer...
September 23, 2009
Saving a kilowatt-hour through energy-efficiency improvements costs one-third or less than the cost of any new source of electricity supply, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE; Washington, D.C.).   Costs for utility-sector energy efficiency programs averaged $0.025 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) — about one-fourth to one-third the cost of new...
September 17, 2009
A worldwide shift to energy-efficient and low-carbon technologies for power generation and transportation offers enormous economic opportunities, but the investment community will not be able to realize economic growth without a credible, global climate-change-framework treaty, says an international group of institutional investors.   At a Sept. 16 press conference in New York, a group of 181...
September 1, 2009
Click here for full pdf version of this article - includes all graphs, charts, tables, and author information EXPANSION TANK A well designed expansion tank: 1. Maintains a static pump-suction head 2. Compensates for temperature-related volume and pressure changes 3. Provides a means of venting moisture and low boilers 4. Prevents fluid oxidation Usually, the expansion tank is installed at the highest point...
August 19, 2009
Solutia Inc. (St. Louis, Mo.) announced today that it will be supplying Therminol VP-1 synthetic heat transfer fluid to a new 470 MW, hybrid solar plant in Ain-Ben-Mathar, Morocco and a 170 MW, hybrid solar plant in Hassi...
August 1, 2009
These new resins are an alternative to metal boiler components In wall-hung condensing boilers for residential use, high-performance Noryl, Ultem and Cycoloy resins can replace traditional metals such as copper and brass used in boiler components, including condenser housings and manifolds. In high-efficiency condensing boilers, Noryl PPX resin offers an advantage over stainless-steel condenser housings...
August 1, 2009
Outotec GmbH (Oberursel, Germany), a 100% daughter company of Outotec Oy (Helsinki, Finland; has received a €109-million contract for the design, delivery, construction and commissioning of a new oil-shale processing plant to be built in Narva, Estonia for Eesti Energia (Tallin, Estonia; Scheduled for commissioning in early 2012, the facility will process over...
August 1, 2009
Cooling water systems that rely on cooling towers are a critical component at chemical process industries (CPI) facilities. However, during operation, these open recirculating systems concentrate the contaminants in the makeup...
August 1, 2009
Stirling Energy Systems (SES; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Tessera Solar (Houston; recently unveiled four, newly designed solar-power collection dishes at Sandia National Laboratories’ National Solar Thermal Test Facility (Albuquerque, N.M.). The refined design of SunCatchers will be used in commercial-scale deployment of the units in 2010 (see also Solar’s...
July 13, 2009
Along with other industrial companies, Siemens Energy (Erlangen, Germany; is participating in the Desertec initiative to provide sustainable power to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. A corresponding Memorandum of Understanding was signed today in Munich. Environmentally friendly power generated at solar thermal power plants in the Sahara and wind farms in North Africa is to...
July 1, 2009
The heat transfer sufaces of coal-fired process heaters and boilers often undergo severe fouling. If left intact, such deposits, consisting of slag from mineral matter contained in the coal, can reduce heat-transfer-surface availability, reduce thermal efficiency and cause corrosion. If the deposits are adherent and cannot be removed by conventional steam soot-blowers, shutdown and more rigorous cleaning...
June 3, 2009
ABB (Zurich, Switzerland; has completed delivery and commissioning of the 1-MW Totana photovoltaic (PV) power plant located in the region of Murcia in Spain. In a year, Totana produces 2.2 GWh of grid-quality electric power and displaces some 1,350 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The turnkey solution was completed in a record time of four months, and is based on ABB’s modular concept...
June 1, 2009
The world’s first commercial plant to produce liquid fuels by direct coal liquefaction is now being started up in Majata, Inner Mongolia, by Shenhua Group (Beijing). Designed to produce 25,000 bbl/d of syncrude from 4,300 metric tons per day (m.t./d) of coal, the plant was operated for a 300-h trial at the beginning of this year, then was shut down for modifications. If the current startup goes well...
June 1, 2009
Algae offer a ubiquitous, renewable source of oil for fuels and various chemical products ( CE, September 2008, pp. 22–25), but the extraction of oil from the algae cells is an energy-intensive process that involves dewatering and drying the biomass, followed by solvent extraction. Now, a one-step method that breaks the algae cells and liberates the oil without the need for dewatering or solvents has...
June 1, 2009
The world’s first demonstration plant combining underground coal gasification and gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies in the same facility was officially opened on April 22 in Chinchilla, 350 km northwest of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The plant is operated by Linc Energy Ltd (Brisbane;, which was formed to research, develop and commercialize the underground...
June 1, 2009
An innovation that improves the steelmaking efficiency of an electric arc furnace (EAF) by adding calcium carbide to the process has been developed by NuFlux, LLC (Warren, Ohio), a producer of steelmaking fluxes, and Carbide Industries LLC (Louisville, Ky.;, which makes calcium carbide for acetylene production. The technology has been tested in commercial furnaces, and the companies...
May 1, 2009
Petroleum refiners throughout the world are faced with increasing uncertainty regarding future refining margins, crude prices and project costs. These factors, along with falling demand for refined products, a global recession, and tighter credit markets, are forcing global refiners to reconsider, postpone, or cancel expansion projects. At the same time, mandated reduction of sulfur levels in refined...
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