Project Synopsis

Assist a detail engineering design firm with a refrigerant (R-23) storage tank and tank truck loading system design.

Project Summary

The client, a regional detail engineering firm was contracted by the ultimate client, a chemical / polymer manufacturing plant in the southeast US, to provide a refrigerant (R-23) tank truck loading system design. The client subcontracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to provide process engineering and design support on the project.  The design was a team effort between the ultimate client, the engineering client, and PROCESS.

A similar refrigerant loading facility has been built and is operating in a separate client plant located in the Far East.  Many of the elements used in the Far East plant were used as starting points for the process design developed by PROCESS.  The process recovers refrigerant from the reflux condenser of a distillation column.  The recovered gas stream is a waste gas stream that was previously incinerated in the U.S. plant.  The gaseous stream, which contains a high level of R-23, is compressed and cooled to the point that it can be condensed.  Non-condensable gases exiting the exchanger along with the condensed liquid are routed to the incinerator.  Condensed refrigerant is temporarily stored in a double-walled vacuum insulated tank prior to being loaded on rail cars for shipment.

A Process Flow Diagram (PFD) of the refrigerant facility was developed.  The PFD developed by PROCESS shares the basic equipment arrangement used in the Far East plant.  A computer model of the process was generated using the commercial flowsheet simulator CHEMCAD.  The results of the model were summarized in a Heat and Material Balance (H&MB) table.  Process streams and utility streams on the PFD were labeled with a unique identifier corresponding to streams tabulated in the H&MB table to allow for easy reference between H&MB data and the PFD.

The PFD was used to size and specify all equipment.  An equipment list was developed along with equipment datasheets.  Equipment datasheets contained a sketch of the equipment along with a nozzle schedule and desired materials of construction.  Vendors were then contacted and solicited to submit equipment proposals.  PROCESS reviewed the vendor submittals and recommended equipment for purchase.

The design was advanced by developing a Piping and Instrumentation (P&ID) drawing.  The P&ID showed all instrumentation, valves, and primary and secondary process and utility piping.  Piping was sized, specified, and tagged as appropriate.  All instruments, controls, and valves were tagged and specified.  An electronic version of the finished P&ID was submitted to the ultimate client.  A Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) was then conducted by PROCESS and used to finalize the process design.

Industry Type

Detail Engineering Design & Construction


Utilized Skills

  • Collaborative process design
  • Process simulation
  • Tank truck loading systems design.