Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries
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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 1

I N D U S T R Y A P P L I C A T I O N S S E R I E S A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Petroleum Refineries

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 2

APPLICATION PAGE Separation 1. Crude Storage 4 2. Crude Dewatering 4 3. Crude Desalting 5 4. Preflash Drum 5 5. Distillation Column 6 6. Reflux Accumulator 6 7. Column Reboiler 7 8. Solvent Extraction 7 Conversion 9. Catalytic Cracker 8 10. Catalytic Stripper 8 11. Hydrocracking 9 12. Acid Settling Tanks 9 13. Alkylation Tanks 10 14. Catalytic Reformer 10 15. Coking Operations 11 16. Isomerization 11 Treatment 17. Hydrodesulfurization 12 18. Chemical Storage 12 Blending 19. Blending Unit 13 20. Finished Products 13 See page 14 for information on refinery flow controls and level and flow...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 3

An Industry Guide To Level Measurement and Control from Magnetrol CONVERSION 3

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 4

Application: All unrefined crude oil stored in tanks has a percentage of water entrained within it, and while stored in tanks, separation naturally occurs with water collecting at the bottom of the tank beneath the oil. The two fluids are very distinct except for a "black water" or "rag" interface layer which is an emulsion of mixed oil and water. To dewater the tank, water is drawn off of the bottom of the tank and is then sent off to water treatment. Challenges: Level controls designed for interface detection will sense the beginning of the oil/water interface during dewatering procedures...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 5

PREFLASH DRUM CRUDE DESALTING Application: Located in the preheat train of the distillation column, a preflash drum system separates the vapors generated by preheating before entering the heater or main column. This prevents higher heater firing or pressure drops and reduces vapor loading of the column to avoid flooding. Challenges: Preflash drums create moderate foam that can affect measurement accuracy of liquid levels and decrease distillate production in the atmospheric column. Too low of a preflash drum level will cause pump cavitation of the flashed crude. Too high of a level will...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 6

Application: A heat exchanger removes vapor from the upper parts of the fractionator, cools it to a liquid, and pumps it into an accumulator (reflux drum). Reflux pumps then draw liquid from the bottom of the accumulator and pump part of it back (reflux) where it is reintroduced at a lower point in the column. This refluxing process improves separation in the column by assuring sufficient downward liquid flow meeting the rising vapor. Challenges: Accurate and reliable level monitoring and control is necessary for the reflux accumulator to serve as a distribution point for reflux and...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 7

SOLVENT EXTRACTION COLUMN REBOILER Application: The heavy fraction remaining following the distillation of crudes is called petroleum resids. A variety of solvent-extraction processes yield deasphalted oil (DAO) from these resids. These oils serve as downstream feedstocks for catalytic crackers and hydrocrackers. Depending upon the system configuration, level monitoring of the separator, preflash, stripper and hot oil phases may include surge and flash drums, separators and strippers. Challenges: Level control is critical because interface level control of the separator feeds the flash...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 8

Application: Variations in cat cracking include Selective Component Cracking (SCC) for polypropylene production, a two-vessel and external-reactor design for processing heavy residue feeds, and a UOP process for converting gas oils and resid feedstocks. All crackers employ a steam stripper to remove hydrocarbons entrained in the spent catalyst. Challenges: Stripper level control allows sufficient residence time for stripping steam to displace hydrocarbons for recovery. It also maintains sufficient pressure to keep air in the regenerator from reverse flow into the reaction system, thereby...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 9

HYDROCRACKING ACID SETTLING TANKS Application: Heavier feedstock difficult to process by cat cracking or reforming can be converted by hydrocracking. By combining catalytic cracking and hydrogenation to crack feedstock in the presence of hydrogen, hydrocracking produces gasoline and distillate blending streams. About a dozen different hydro-cracking process schemes are in current use. Challenges: Level controls for the catalyst stripper, separator liquid and flash drum liquid must contend with severe process conditions to maintain optimum operation of the hydrocracker. These conditions...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 10

Application: Catalytic reforming upgrades low-octane naphthas into high-octane gasoline blending components called reformates. Using heat and pressure with platinum catalysts to rearrange hydrocarbon molecules, this process converts low-octane gasoline fractions into petrochemical feedstocks and higher octane stocks suitable for finished gasoline blending. Challenges: A hydrogen-rich gas stream is removed from the separator for recycling. Liquid product monitored for level at the bottom of the separator is sent to a stabilizer. Where stabilizer fouling has occurred due to the formation of...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 11

ISOMERIZATION Application: Isomerization in a variety of process configurations alters the arrangement of atoms to convert normal butane into isobutane, and normal pentane and hexane into highoctane gasoline components. Isomerization is similar to catalytic reforming in that the hydrocarbon molecules are rearranged, though isomerization only converts normal paraffins to isoparaffins. Challenges: Near the end of the process, reactor effluent is cooled and separated into the liquid product isomerate and a recycle hydrogen-gas stream. Isomerate is caustic-washed and waterwashed, acid stripped,...

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Gasoline Refining - A Guide to Level Instrumentation for Gasoline Refineries - 12

Application: From acids to water treatment additives, a wide array of chemicals are stored at a refinery in vessels that range in size from plastic totes to large steel tanks. Chemicals such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, liquid catalysts, blending additives and water treatment chemicals are essential to a refinery’s day-to-day operation. Challenges: Liquid solution storage and day tanks require stringent level monitoring to ensure ongoing chemical processing. The nature of the chemical, the geometry of the holding vessel, and the presence of mixers or other hardware...

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