Project Synopsis

Prepare a detailed process design package for a new propionic acid railcar unloading system.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contacted by the client, a U.S. chemical manufacturer, to execute a detailed process design for a new system to unload, store, and transfer propionic acid from railcars to their existing facility storage tanks.  The client currently receives propionic acid in truckload quantities, but the annual consumption has grown large enough to justify installation of facilities designed to handle railcar quantities.  PROCESS’ role for this design was to develop process deliverables to facilitate the client generating a detailed cost estimate for the whole project to submit to their management for capital appropriations.  Conceptual design deliverables for this system were generated by PROCESS during a previous project.

Specific tasks for the detailed process design project included:

  • Piping and Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) preparation, which involved utilizing conceptual design information as well as performance requirements generated by the client during this effort to generate issued for design (IFD) level drawings as well as a Process Controls Description.  A trip to the client’s site was taken to generate as-built P&IDs for the portions of the system that would require tie-in points.
  • Major Equipment and Instrument Conditions of Service Summary Tables development, which listed all process equipment and instrumentation shown in the P&IDs, as well as high level design requirements (item type, size, capacity, design temperature/pressure, and materials of construction).
  • Estimated Emissions Summary Table preparation, which involved use of the EPA software program known as TANKS to estimate annual emissions from the storage tank design selected for the project.
  • PHA process engineering participation, which involved PROCESS’ Lead Engineer taking part in the client’s PHA by teleconference.
  • Equipment, Instrument, Automated Valve, and Relief Device Duty Specifications preparation, which involved the generation of datasheets with enough information to obtain budgetary pricing from vendors.
  • Preliminary Operating Protocol preparation, which involved the generation of a preliminary operating procedure for the equipment and controls shown in the new P&IDs.
  • Control System Functional Specification preparation, which involved generating a detailed description of the control system logic, sequencing of automatic valves, a table of controller setpoints and alarm values, and a list of process interlocks.
  • Capital Equipment Purchase Cost Estimate generation, which involved the preparation of tables of the purchase costs for all process equipment, controls, and instrumentation based on vendor quotes for all the datasheets generated.

Industry Type

  • Chemicals Manufacturing

Utilized Skills

  • Chemical unloading system design
  • Tank emissions estimating.

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