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How to Handle Hydrogen In Process Plants

By Richard C.Hachoose CH2M HILL Lockwood Greene |

    Hydrogen is widely employed for hydrogenation and other purposes in chemicals manufacture, petroleum refining and other chemical process industries (Hydrogen: The Real Action Is Today, CE, February, pp. 28ff), and it holds promise as a fuel. However, this gas is highly explosive, prone to leakage and permeation, and difficult to detect, so special care must be taken during process engineering design of equipment and systems that handle or contain hydrogen. This knowledge and attention to detail is all the more important inasmuch as the reactions involving hydrogen tend to be exothermic and in many cases are conducted under high pressures and temperatures. Hydrogenation and other hydrogen-handling processes involve a considerable amount of process equipment, instrumentation and piping components, such as reactors, catalyst feed vessels, spent catalyst filters, pumps, valves, pressure relief devices, pressure regulators and check valves. Many such systems, particularly those for hydrogenation of organic chemicals, are located inside a building. Such facilities must be designed with four levels of safeguards, namely: •A high degree of automation, with remote operations, interlocks and alarms to monitor process and environment…
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