Project Synopsis

Evaluate proper sizing, document, and prepare datasheets for relief devices at an ethanol production facility.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was contracted by the client, a major ethanol production facility, to perform a review of all pressure relief devices (PRDs) located in their ethanol plant which is covered by OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations.  The review was conducted at the name plate production rates and was repeated at higher rates for planned increased throughput. As a part of this project, the following tasks were accomplished:

  • Visited the operating site and gathered relevant information from field devices, equipment files, and operator interviews
  • Performed sizing calculations and provided documentation for over 100 pressure safety valves (PSVs)
  • Performed hydraulic calculations to verify sizing of inlet and outlet piping for the PSVs that were determined to need replacement
  • Developed relief device documentation for the safety relief devices.

PROCESS utilized its licensed commercial simulation software’s hydraulics package and chemical/physical component database, along with its proprietary in-house relief device capacity design program with calculations based on the guidelines in American Petroleum Institute (API) Standards 520 and 521, to determine the pressure relief requirements for this application.

PROCESS supplied the client with pressure relief device (PRD) sizing documentation packages that included safety device calculations and relief valve equipment datasheets for those valves needing replacement so that quotes could be obtained from vendors.  PROCESS also suggested specific relief devices represented in vendor literature for valves requiring replacement.

Industry Type

  • Grain Based Alternative Fuels Production

Utilized Skills

  • Relief device sizing

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