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Chemical Engineering World

Sharing Chemical Engineer's Challenging, Exciting, Interesting and Stimulating Life...



How Crude Oil Refined?

Do you know how crude oil is processed ore refined? If no, then I recommend you to check out this video. Even if you know, it's good to see it to learn other plants. It shows us how crude oil is refined. The video shows an American Refining Group, Bradford, Pa., which is the world's oldest and continuously operating refiner of Pennsylvania crude oil. Take a tour of the "Barrell House". It's like a 9 minutes technical plant visit. You don't see the oil but at least you learn something about the basic process. Perhaps, later we can have more of this type video technical plant visit to enrich our technical skills :) .




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posted by zaki yamani @ 6:49 PM, , links to this post

3 of My Best Moments As An Engineer in the Oil and Gas Field

As an engineer, I experienced a lot of sweet and enjoyable moment. I also did tasted some sad and bitter moments as well. I'm no longer experiencing them because now I'm no longer a practicing engineer. However, once in a while I still contact my fellow counterparts (engineers) and also visited few plants / projects under official duties as an academician / researcher / consultant, or as a member of the Institution of Engineers (IEM). This is to ensure my continuous engineering education and training relevant to the industry needs.

Reflecting to my passed experiences, I would like to share 3 of my sweet/best moments as a project engineer in the oil and gas field...

1. Visiting and working at offshore platforms

This is certainly one of the most valuable experience I ever have. I have visited and worked in a number of offshore plants which consists of Bekok C, Bekok A, Tiong A, Dulang B (mother platform), Dulang A, C and D (Satellite platforms), Angsi and a few more that I have forgotten. All of those platforms are located at offshore Kerteh, Trengganu. The fastest transportation is by helicopter. It took between 1 to 2 hours to reach the offshore platforms, depending on their distance. Taking a small ship/boat will took longer hours, more than 8 hours depending on the distance. Well, you can also swim if you want... but it may take you 2 -3 days...if you are not tired... ;) just kidding...

Besides performing my duties to test some of our chemicals performance with the crude oil, we experience the best of offshore life. It will be too long to jot down all the offshore excitements... However, I'll reveal a few of them...

Besides the good money, we also get very excellent 5 Star meals. I can consume basically whatever I want to eat or drink!!! For breakfast, I can have Nasi Lemak (Coconut rice), fried noodles, cereals like Coco Crunch, Corn Flakes, etc, pan cakes, toasted bread etc... I can have various options for beverages such as tea, coffee, milo, fresh milk, soya bean, fresh orange, apple juice, various kind of other juices, carbonated drinks, basically anything...accept alcohol...
for lunch or dinner, we are served with both traditional dishes and western dishes... for dessert, we can have various types of them which include: apple pie, ice cream, ABC, various cakes.... What more can I asked?!!! I'm enjoying my appetite and I put on my weight.

At night, after having dinner, we relaxed and watch TV/astro or movie... We also played snooker or ping pong or sometimes exercised at the gym. When we're exhausted, we just relaxed, read newspapers, or sat at the OSIM massage chair...

Do you think we washed our own coveralls / clothes / socks / underwear there? Hmm.... nope... We just put them all in a basket outside of our room in the morning or afternoon. At the end of the day, those things are well folded nicely on the basket :) . Cool stuff...isn't it?!!

However, one of the best moments being offshore is >>> enjoying the sunset on the boat while traveling from satellite platform to mother platform... the scenery is sooooo beautiful that I won't ever forget... What an experience...


2. Visiting and working at onshore oilfield

I have zero petroleum engineering knowledge and that's why I cannot really imagine how an onshore oilfield looks like (I know how the offshore platforms shape). My previous boss asked me to go to Banjarmasin, Kalimantan, Indonesia for a week to learn and assist our principal to conduct bottle test at Pertamina-Talisman onshore oilfield. The funny part is I acted as an Indonesian citizen to avoid bureaucracy complication. I have to adjust my slang to converse in standard Indonesian language and in meetings, I kept quite to avoid the managers and officers detect my true nationality.

It took me almost 2 days to travel to the oilfield. The route was: Johor Bahru - Batam - Jakarta - Surabaya - Banjarmasin - Tanjung (this is the location of the onshore oilfield). There, I noticed that the overall set up to pump oil from the earth is very simple compared to the offshore platform. What is required is only a "donkey" - that's what they call that type of pumping facility to pump out the petroleum. We took samples from it and tested the samples with our demulsifier and descaler chemical resins.

Was there any problem? Well, there's one but luckily it wasn't really a problem that we could not handle. It was almost like a threat. Want to guess? One of the officers there clearly asked for money. Without hesitation, he repeatedly asked for money day after day in order to let us have the project. Our team have anticipated that and we have our own people to handle him - not by giving him the cash he wanted, but ....

Overall, it was a very interesting experience for me working at Pertamina-Talisman... and one of my sweetest moment.


3. Traveling - Amazing Race Style

One of my non-engineering assignment was to collect a number of chemicals from our regional principal in Jakarta, Indonesia. As my wife had just delivered our 2nd baby that time, I don't want to spend a night in Jakarta. So, I planned to make a day trip from Johor Bahru - Jakarta - Johor Bahru.

As early as 7 am in the morning, I reached Stulang jetty where I took a boat to Batam Center. Took a cab from Batam Center to the airport. I took a flight to Jakarta, met my principal, relaxed a while. After that, I hunted for the earliest flight back to Batam. I said to the custom that the bottles I'm having contain herbal medicine (in actual it contains specialty chemicals). After landed at Batam, I took another taxi to Batam Center. Then I took a boat to Stulang jetty. Guess what? At 7pm, I was in Mcdonald Taman University, Skudai, Johor taking my first official meal of the day. It was quite an amazing experience, traveling such a distance below 12 hours - via land, sea and air!!!

Well, those are basically 3 of my best moments as an engineer in the oil and gas field. I have more wonderful moments but let's just have those above for now first. I liked the job very much and I'm very excited traveling here and there, locally and internationally. What about you? Maybe you can share some of your best moments...?

My very related post on the oil and gas arena, checked them out...:
Photo of the Day - Troll Platform
Photo of the Day - Safe Scandinavia
Photo of the Day - Buzzard Platform
Going Offshore
Going Offshore II
Going Offshore III
Going Offshore IV

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posted by zaki yamani @ 8:50 PM, , links to this post

Heat Exchanger Cleaning Issues

369 days ago, I made entitled "Learning Process From Cleaning Plate Heat Exchanger" which was a follow up entry from "Some Updates". You can refer to the 2 posts for reference. From that post, I received some interesting response and questions from few engineers asking more detail about the cleaning of heat exchangers. The questions are taken from the comment section of that Learning Process From Cleaning Plate Heat Exchanger post without any editing. I answered the questions but I add more of my answers here after thinking about it...

Questions:

I'm a process engineer and your article is very useful and interesting. Could you say (if it possible) how long time did this plate heat exchanger work good without cleaning? And was the concentration of caustic solution high?

Answer:

Thanks for your kind words Olga.

How long time did this plate heat exchanger work good without cleaning?

That depends on how you use the plate heat exchanger and the types and quality of fluid that passes the plate heat exchanger. From my experiences, the plate heat exchanger can operate effectively up to 1.5 years without cleaning, but that is because the feed oil is clean and other combining parameters are good. There are also cases where we have to clean the heat exchanger after 4-5 months... There's no straight answer to this. It depends on a lot of factors. You need to really sit down and monitor the processing parameters and the quality / condition of fluid entering it. I have about 16 plate heat exchangers which I monitored and all of them have different records. Those who belong at the same section in the plant will have almost similar cleaning track record. All of them have different classification of problems too. So, we need to really look at the heat exchanger(s) and make a proper inspection, evaluation and analysis.

The caustic concentration was 3-5%. This also depends on how severe the scale build up is inside the plates. You can have lower concentration if the scale is lesser. You can add up more of the caustic concentration, but it may be not good for your plates (of the plate heat exchanger) or the tubes (of the shell and tube heat exchanger).

Questions:

How heavy and fooling is that oil?

Does it really worth the trouble to use a plate exchanger respect to a shell and tube for such fluids? After all a shell and tube is much easier to clean.

Answer:

It depends on your process and application. What is the type of flow? what is the pressure and temperature? You have to use a shell and tube heat exchanger if you have a high pressure and high temperature. A shell and tube heat exchanger is more expensive. A plate heat exchanger is cheaper and can be used for lower temperature and lower pressure. The main constraint of the plate heat exchanger is because of the gasket used cannot cope with temperature higher then 200oC. so, it's a matter of the effect of process parameters and not the easiness to clean the heat exchanger. A shell and tube heat exchanger 2 pass (or U tube) is also sometimes very difficult to clear especially at the U bend. You need a special equipment with high pressure of jet water to clear the scale, fouling. In worse cases, you need to introduce a small drill combined with the high jet water, preferably up to 20,000 psi to ensure you eliminate the stubborn scale.

Hmmm...maybe those of you who have other experiences on dealing with heat exchanger cleaning can share it with us here...TQ!

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posted by zaki yamani @ 12:20 PM, , links to this post

A Message From A Future Chemical Engineer

Since I started this blog in July 2006, I have received a lot of interesting comments and emails. Some asked general chemical engineering questions while a few others asked a more detail technical questions. I'm so busy but I try to answer all of the questions if I know the answer. I'm very sorry if I miss out answering some of emails or comments.

I thought of sharing some of the questions with all of you for the benefit of all of us. A few days ago, I received a comment from one of my recent post entitled I Resigned From My Engineering Job. The commenter name is Archana Khode and he is from India. Archana, I hope you don't mind me sharing you comment here... :) . The following is purely the comment without me editing it.

"hi I m an indian and i'll be starting my B.E> che engg, in about a few days time (22nd aug). im really excited and frankly i hav no idea what will be required of me during that time. i really look forward to it.

I wanted to be a chemical engg. since a very long time and getting it makes it sort of dream come true. actually my father kept telling me to do ENTC(electronics and tele comm. engg) but i m really glad i didn't get that.

I was really inspired by your persona the way u told everything about your job and everything. i really wish even i can be as successful as you were with your life. for what u had said i could make out u had done your master's also. (Is it really necessary to do masters to be an established engineer?.) well i love studing and i don't even mind doing even PhD. My mom says try to study as much as you can.

I saw the syllabus ( che engg. Of course) and what i can make out is that its a bit difficult. pls help me . though i m really excited i m also very tense, i have no idea, no idea at all what i really have to do. so pls help me in any way u can.

In India there's a lot of competition, because every one wants to excel in life really badly and the result of that is- really high cut-offs for the top institutions. and not to forget tuffest paper for the entrances. so it really is a headache. now if i have to think of doing my masters( PG), u wont believe i have to start thinking and planning from today itself as we will be required to attend entrance tests (which is called GATE) to get admission in top post graduate colleges which are of course the IITs. This time i could not make it to the IITs ( even at graduate level they are the best , actually they are best in everything , they are like Harvard or Stanford for Indians and at graduate level the entrance tests for IITs are exclusive and are called IIT-JEE and unfortunately forget about making it into their extended merit list ,I just couldn’t even qualify for it . sad. Well I made it through AIEEE though not at national level but at least at state level my rank was 8452. Hey that ranks good O.K. not good enough but at least O.K. imagine 2 lakh students sat for that exam from my state itself and in all about 8 lakh my ranking at all India i.e. national level was 1 lakh something) but i have promised my mom that i will give everything that i have to get to the IITs.

{ IITs- Indian institute of technology AIEEE- All India Engineering Entrance Examination IIT-JEE - Indian institute of technology - Joint entrance Examination (we have 7 IITs) }
I’m doing my BE from university of PUNE (bet u haven’t heard of it, but its very much reputed in India) but below IITs ofcourse.

It was nice talking to you just like pouring my heart out. I really hope u reply to me.
Al l the best for your future endurances. Bye.."

Now I'm going to answer the questions in the long comment.

Question: Is it really necessary to do masters to be an established engineer?

My answer: No. It is not necessary to a masters degree. An undergraduate degree is sufficient for you to be an excellent chemical engineer. However, I would recommend you to associate yourself with professional institution such as Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), or American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChemE) and follow their continuous development program. You will learn a lot of essential knowledge and skills which will equip you to become a professional or corporate engineer. For the sake of my readers located in Malaysia, you can join Institute Engineer Malaysia (IEM) Chemical Engineering Division and follow the training program to be a professional engineer.

However, there's no harm pursuing your masters or pH.D degree. It all depends on your ambition. You or anyone else are welcome to discuss the career options ahead of you in case you need my opinion. I'll try to provide an honest advise based on my experience. The final decision will still be yours... :)

Question: I saw the syllabus (che engg. Of course) and what i can make out is that its a bit difficult. pls help me . though i m really excited i m also very tense, i have no idea, no idea at all what i really have to do. so pls help me in any way u can.

My answer: chemical engineering is one of the most difficult engineering course (and I'm glad I have passed through it!!!). Well, it is not as difficult as you thought. All you have to do is listen to what your lecturers tentatively and make sure you understand what you are being taught. Some of the subjects are inter related and you need to have good basic comprehension on the fundamental subjects. Later, if you have specific questions, feel free to shout (email) and I'll try my best to help you out. At the same time, I'm going to rectify my forum and it will be better to post the questions there. More people can view and perhaps help to answer as well.

Archana, thanks for sharing your stories and what you feel. I really appreciate it very much. I wish you all the best in your studies and future.
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posted by zaki yamani @ 9:54 PM, , links to this post

Pump Guy Seminar - Chicago Area

There will be a seminar related to pump. If you happen to be in Chichago, USA, drop by to this seminar. I bet it might be very useful if you want to learn more technical stuff about pump. Below is the message from an email that I received today. I just want to spread the words around so that more and more engineers know about it... Check it out...

LAST CHANCE: Pump Guy Seminar - Chicago Area
Act now if you want to reserve one of the few remaining seats at this valuable training event.

Registration Deadline: Aug. 11

Complimentary companion text. Discounted hotel rooms. Free shuttle service to and
from the airport. Free parking. Breakfast, hot lunch, and beverage service included.

Larry Bachus (a.k.a. "Pump Guy"), a regular contributor to Flow Control magazine and a widely recognized expert on pumping technology, is offering his highly regarded three-day pump seminar in just a few weeks at the Countryside, IL Holiday Inn just outside of Chicago. This three-day training event will cover all aspects of pump operation and maintenance strategy, providing valuable information to all involved with the design and upkeep of pumping systems.

FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO REGISTER
FOR THE PUMP GUY SEMINAR,
CLICK HERE.

KEY SEMINAR TOPICS INCLUDE:

• Basic Pump Principles
• NPSH
• Cavitation
• The Affinity Laws
• Work & Efficiency
• Pump Classification
• Pump Curves
• System Curves
• Shaft Deflection
• Pump-Motor Alignment
• Bearings
• Pump Packing
• Mechanical Seals
• Pump Piping

For a sampling of Larry's latest "PUMP GUY" columns from magazine, see:
* "Cheat Sheets: Unwritten Pump Rules"
* "Cheat Sheets: The System Governs the Pump"
* "Cheat Sheets: The Affinity Laws"

Register Now for the PUMP GUY SEMINAR.

If you have any questions about the PUMP GUY SEMINAR or need help registering, please contact Matt Migliore at 610.828.1711 or Matt@GrandViewMedia.com.
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posted by zaki yamani @ 10:25 PM, , links to this post

What Is ISO 9000 And Should I Care?

Do you know what is ISO 9000? Are you aware of the importance of ISO 9000 in your working place or your engineering practice? Is it important for us?

Short answer is a big YES!!!

As a former process engineer, I handled a lot of ISO documents related to the plant I was in charged. There were indeed a lot of forms, documentation, files etc. We need to properly and accurately maintain them. I need my supervisors to periodically checked all the ISO documents and double the same activity before internal and external audit. It is a good practice and it make us to be discipline and work in a proper system.

The following ISO description is adopted from Wikipedia:


ISO 9000 is a family of standards for quality management systems. ISO 9000 is maintained by ISO, the International Organization for Standardization and is administered by accreditation and certification bodies. Some of the requirements in ISO 9001 (which is one of the standards in the ISO 9000 family) include

A company or organization that has been independently audited and certified to be in conformance with ISO 9001 may publicly state that it is "ISO 9001 certified" or "ISO 9001 registered." Certification to an ISO 9000 standard does not guarantee the compliance (and therefore the quality) of end products and services; rather, it certifies that consistent business processes are being applied. Indeed, some companies enter the ISO 9001 certification as a marketing tool.

If ISO 9000 is very new to you, then I highly recommend you to download and read this FREE ISO 9000 Brochure.

Here is some brief information about the brochure.

Title: What Is ISO 9000 And Should I Care?

Primary Category:
Industrial & Manufacturing

Short Description: A certified quality management system promotes, facilitates and enables consistency and improvements in a process or product.

Long Description: ISO 9000 consists of a series of Quality Management System standards that are designed to facilitate and enable consistency of a product or service and thereby ensure that customer requirements are met or exceeded. They can be applied in any manufacturing industry or service sector.

The value of certification to customers is evident, but the quality of the certificate is also important. All certificates are not equal.

As more and more companies become certified, buyers are looking at the reputation of the registrar. DNV's approach is one of a partnership. Our goal is to provide organizations with value-added services that result in a certification which is recognized and accepted by its customers and prospects.

Download this free brochure to learn more about ISO 9000.

Publisher: DNV Industry
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Convert You Car To Burn Water + Petrol = Double Your Mileage!
High Conversion, Few Refunds, Due To Huge Demand: Soaring Gas Prices Compel People To Save Gas!!! Popular D.i.y Watercar: Run Your Car Partially On Water, Reduce Emissions/Global Warming! Practical Free Energy Based On 1000s Of Real Cars Worldwide!!!

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posted by zaki yamani @ 1:05 AM, , links to this post

IChemE Malaysian Member News Issue No: 48

I just received IChemE Malaysian Member News Issue No. 48 and I think it is better to share them with those who are not yet an IChemE member yet. The news issue contained lots of current chemical engineering updates and also various other informations that can very useful to us.

Member Forum 6 September 2008, 09:00-12:00, Innovation in Malaysia
Join this round table discussion on Innovation in Malaysia. Register your interest.

NEW English/Mandarin editions of BP Process Safety Series titles
We are pleased to announce the publication of two of the BP Process Safety Series in dual English and Mandarin. Control of Work, and Safe Ups and Downs for Process Units are now available to buy online.

New safety titles
The BP series sees a new title - Hazards of Oil Refining Distillation Units, 2008 edition and a new edition of Liquid Hydrocarbon Tank Fires which has been updated with 3 new case studies. More.


FREE ICI safety
During his career at ICI, Professor Trevor Kletz instigated an internal safety newsletter which featured incidents from ICI divisions around the world as well as from other companies. These newsletters are free to download from the article area of the shop. More.

Human Factors in Health and Safety, 1-2 October 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A professional development programme for the chemical and process industries. More.

EPSC Learning from Accidents conference, 9-10 October 2008, Antwerp, Belgium
This will discuss contemporary leading edge approaches to near miss and incident management from reporting through investigation to resolution and the subsequent learning processes which reduce the odds of a future event. More.

The 9th European Gasification Conference, 23-25 March 2009, Dusseldorf, Germany
Call for papers now issued.

Frank Morton 2008 Lecture - now available for download
Download the Frank Morton 2008 lecture: Bread, Bubbles and Biofuels MP3 File by clicking here.

Members reunited
Over the next few months we will be publishing the names of members that we have lost touch with and their last known area of residence. It may be because of a change of address, job, or even name, whatever the reason if your name is included in this list or you recognise a friend or colleague, we want to hear from you. Contact us on +60 (0) 3 21660822 or email.

Calling all chemical engineering golfers
IChemE is launching a member's Golf Society. More.


JAN ALTHORP
Executive Director
Australia & Asia Pacific
For feedback contact: jalthorp@icheme.org

To be an IChemE member: please visit www.icheme.org
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Convert You Car To Burn Water + Petrol = Double Your Mileage!
High Conversion, Few Refunds, Due To Huge Demand: Soaring Gas Prices Compel People To Save Gas!!! Popular D.i.y Watercar: Run Your Car Partially On Water, Reduce Emissions/Global Warming! Practical Free Energy Based On 1000s Of Real Cars Worldwide!!!

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posted by zaki yamani @ 10:20 AM, , links to this post

Get FREE Magazine For Your Technical Learning Pleasure

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I am currently utilizing all the available free resources to learn various technical knowledge. Believe it or not, at home I have a lot of free magazines that I have been subscribing since the year 2000. On top of that, I also subscribe to electronic magazines related to chemical engineering industry. All of these are technical and engineering knowledge that are helping me build up my career.

I have recently partnered with a company to further promote FREE Magazines for people who hunger for the knowledge. I am pleased to offer you this exciting, new, and entirely free professional resource. Visit our Free Industry resource center today to browse our selection of 600+ complimentary Industry magazine subscriptions. Get popular titles including:

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posted by zaki yamani @ 9:49 AM, , links to this post

The Author

zyz

I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!


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