Project Synopsis

Provided technical assistance in the operation of a diphenyl ethane (DPE) production unit and helped identify process improvement upgrades for three independent solvent recovery units to meet production throughput needs.

Project Summary

BATCH CHEMICAL PRODUCTION FACILITY PROCESS OPERATIONS SUPPORT

Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client to provide onsite process engineering support for a batch specialty chemical production facility.  More specifically, PROCESS provided technical assistance in the operation of a diphenyl ethane (DPE) production unit and helped identify process improvement upgrades for three independent solvent recovery units.  Tasks associated with assisting the DPE unit operation included monitoring key unit process parameters, optimizing operation of the unit equipment, and troubleshooting problems associated with the unit flare.  In addition, as mentioned previously, PROCESS, in conjunction with the client's production personnel, identified major process improvements that would enhance the solvent purity and recovery in the three solvent recovery units.  The proposed improvements to the units included modifying the solvent sampling and analytical procedures, replacing/modifying an improperly sized control valve and pump with appropriately sized equipment, and installing a packed column above one of the solvent recovery units. 

Technical assistance subtasks included the following:

  • Conducting a cycle time variability study to analyze problematic equipment in the process
  • Preparation of management of change documentation to modify unit equipment and thereby improve unit cycle time
  • Revision of unit operating procedures to reflect changes to modified unit equipment
  • Tracking key unit flare operating parameters to prevent undesired flare shutdowns.

Solvent recovery unit process improvement subtasks included the following:

  • Work in conjunction with client's instrument personnel to repair malfunctioning instrumentation
  • Development of a process simulation model in commercial process simulation software to appropriately size a packed column to improve solvent purity in one of the three solvent recovery processes.

PROCESS' assistance with the DPE and solvent recovery units helped the client meet their production goals.

Industry Type

  • Batch Chemical

Utilized Skills

  • Analysis of existing process
  • Process engineering
  • Equipment troubleshooting
  • Process improvements identification
  • Operating procedures documentation
  • Process simulation

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