Featured FREE Resource:

Chemical Engineering World

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



Industrial Tools at their Best


 What exactly are industrial tools? Let me provide my understanding on what industrial tools actually are. Briefly, industrial tools are equipment that can help making certain work in plant, refinery, workshop etc faster, smooth, easier and more accurate. Industrial tools are, crucially, an inevitable part of the industrial work. I witnessed and was directly involved using few industrial tools when I was involved in some projects such as internal pipeline chemical cleaning or the physical refinery plant annual shutdown. Let's learn more about these industrial tools.

There are various types of industrial tools. However, from what I have observed, the most important one is power industrial tools, which I would like to cover in this article. A power tool is a tool that is actuated by an additional power source and mechanism other than the solely manual labour used with hand tools. Without the help of the power industrial tools, some work is impossible. Some examples of power industrial  tools are the impact driver,  air compressor, chainsaw, concrete saw, crusher, pneumatic torque wrench, vacuum cleaner,power wrench and plenty of others.

A portable compressor like this is an example of a useful portable industrial tool.

Basically, there are two groups of power industrial tools. The first one is the portable ones, which can be transferred and moved from one place to another while the second one is the stationery one that are kept permanently at one dedicated place. For example, several small compressors, like the above photo from Nixon Hire, can be portable whist a bigger compressor is in stationary position. Another example of a portable one is an electrical hammer drill and a battery powered drill, which I just personally own. I just keep them to make my household work easier and faster when I need to drill or fix/remove screws etc. I have always wanted a powerful electrical hammer drill and hand drill, and I got both went I was doing my research attachment in Newcastle in the previous May-June.

This is my own power tool. It is a portable electrical motor power hammer drill. I purchased this for Hexham Carboot Sale, near Newcastle. It has been one of my best buy so far as I got it really cheap.

In general, there are three mechanisms to drive power industrial tools which are usingelectric motor system, gas online engine and compressed air. Each has its own pros and cons. However, from my experience, the most popular depending on common situation and work is the electric motor power industrial tool. It is easier to handle compared to the bulky gas online engine and the compressed air powered tool. It is also easier to be used on higher levels/floor, for instance, in a multiple storey refinery. Just plug the electric motor power tool into a power point socket available on that level and the tool is ready to go.

As a concluding remark, it is imperative to understand the fact that the power industrial tools play in the industry, from just as simply making a hole to a major construction works involving heavy machinery. The power industrial tools are the source of efficient, accurate work in the industry. Doing the same work manually with take double or even triple amount of time and normally produced poor quality work. In case you want to learn or need specific industrial tool, Nixon Hire, a company based in UK can be very helpful indeed.

posted by zaki yamani @ 10:14 PM, , links to this post

Propylene Present and Future

Polypropylene, acrylonitrile, propylene oxide, 2-propanol, cumene/phenol, oxo-alcohols, isopropanol, acrylic acids, and so many other derivatives are all obtained from propylene; a main building block in petrochemicals industry. 

The increasing propylene-derivatives demand in the last few years has largely absorbed conventional available supplies of propylene as that from steam cracking of naphtha, and FCC off gas. On-purpose propane dehydrogenation is becoming a more economic favorable way to produce large amounts of propylene. Serious search for other routes for propylene production as metathesis and methanol to olefins is being carried out by different R and D hubs all over the world. At the mean time, the emerging gas discoveries in the United States and other parts of the world promotes propane dehydrogenation route over the other alternatives to provide the growing market need for this essential chemical. 

A number of proven propane dehydrogenation technologies are available in market including Oleflex™ by UOP, STAR® by Uhde and Catofin® by Lummus. UOP is dominating the market by more than 10 plants in operation and the number is expected to significantly increase in the near future. 

Let’s have a look at one of Oleflex™ plants to know how you make propylene out of propane. Fresh propane goes through driers and treaters to remove water and contamination first, and then it goes to a depropanizer column to get rid of the heavier materials “C4+” before being routed to reactor section. 

Oleflex™ reactor section consists of a number of reactors in series with interstage fired heaters in between to provide required heat of reaction. A highly selective, platinum based catalyst system is used to dehydrogenate propane. Coke as by-product is formed on catalyst which suppresses catalyst activity and selectivity. To overcome this problem, UOP applies its intelligent technology of CCR “Continous Catalyst Regeneration” through which coke is removed from catalyst by high temperature oxidation, thereby, restoring catalyst activity and selectivity. The regenerated catalyst is then circulated back to the reaction section allowing smooth and stable operation. 



Propane dehydrogenation is an equilibrium-limited reaction and the maximum conversion per pass is set by reactor effluent temperature. Unreacted propane is separated from propylene by distillation where polymer grade propylene is collected and sent for storage or to the downstream processing unit while propane is circulated back to the reactor section.

Due to high temperature of reaction (above 600 C), thermal cracking takes place and a small amount of C1 and C2’s are formed in addition to traces of diolefins. Cryogenic refrigeration is applied to separate the light ends from the propane/propylene stream and a selective hydrogenation is performed downstream the reactor section to hydrogenate diolefins back to mono-olefins.

By 2020 it is expected that about 20% of the propylene supply will be produced from on-purpose propane technologies and UOP Oleflex™ will be a key player in this field. Whenever you see a carpet, bottle, toy or bag made of a propylene-derivative remember this name “O-l-e-f-l-e-x”

About the author

This brilliant article was contributed by Malek Ibrahim. He is UOP Field Technical Advisor. He has bachelor degree in chemical engineering from Cairo University. He worked as a development engineer in UOP R&D department where he was focused on paraffin dehydrogenation process and catalysis development. Right now he is a field advisor working on performing startup and commissioning of UOP technologies all over the world. He can be contacted at his email: MalekFayed@Gmail.com

UOP LLC: headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA, is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, process plants, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. UOP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc. and is part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group. For more information, go to www.uop.com.

posted by zaki yamani @ 8:48 PM, , links to this post

How to create your own Google Scholar Account?

If you are a researcher whether in the academia or any research institution, it is good to have publicize your research expertise and your publication. This is imperative so that those with similar expertise can easily find you and perhaps perform a join venture research or something like that. One fantastic way to do just that is via Google Scholar, a product of the mighty Google.

What is Google Scholar?

Here is some explanation about Google Scholar from wikipedia:
Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. Released in beta in November 2004, the Google Scholar index includes most peer-reviewed online journals of Europe and America's largest scholarly publishers, plus scholarly books and other non-peer reviewed journals. It is similar in function to the freely available Scirus from Elsevier, CiteSeerX, and getCITED. It is also similar to the subscription-based tools, Elsevier's Scopus and Thomson ISI's Web of Science. Its advertising slogan – "Stand on the shoulders of giants" – is a nod to the scholars who have contributed to their fields over the centuries, providing the foundation for new intellectual achievements.
I have just created my own Google Scholar account. It was very easy and simple. If you are a researcher and have numerous publication, this is one account that you need to have to show your presence in the research world as well as advertise your publication. Check out my Google Scholar account here and below:


Since I just joined the academic force in 2008 and started my PhD in 2009, my publications just recently kicked start the past year. Hence, I have no citation and h-index yet. Thus my Google Scholar page does not look that impressive, for now. Just wait for another 2 or 3 years. I hope by that time, this page will look reasonably impressive.

How to create a Google Scholar account?

Just follow the steps below:

1. Log into your Google account.
2. Then, go to the Google Scholar page (http://scholar.google.com/)
3. Then, click at "My Citations" at the top right hand corner.
4. Then you will see all your journal, conference, book publications etc listed. If everything is fine, click Next button on the top or bottom.
5. Then upload your photo, edit your official email, insert your affiliation and insert your research expertise.
6. Click done and that's it.

Simple isn't it. Honestly, I was surprised on how simple and fast it was.

posted by zaki yamani @ 7:57 PM, , links to this post

It's not about Bolt and Nuts, It's about Torque as well

I thought I’d do a post about some of the tools used in engineering. And, as I never like to generalise or skirt over a detailed topic, I’ve decided to focus in on torque devices and nuts and bolts. Previously, I only knew a little about nuts and bolts. I do have some practical experiences dealing with various types and sizes of nuts and bolts to hold flanges and plate heat exchanger frames. That experience I gained when I was working as a process engineer a few years back.

Now, I realize that nuts and bolts are not just as simple or limited as that. There is more to explore, and more to learn. I just expanded my technical knowledge after reading a tremendous story about HTL (Hire Torque Ltd.), which began from a small 2 man operated family business in 1994. HTL focuses on the bolting business mainly to the oil and gas industry. However ultimately, the main business basically evolved around the art and technology of torque. By definition, torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist to an object.

Upon exploring their business from their website, I must admit that I am very impressed with the range of products associated with bolt. Just imagine, the main big product category are (a) Bolt Torque Equipment (b) Bolt Tensioning Equipment (c) Flange Spreading and Aligning (d) Nut Splitters (e) Hydraulic Maintenance Tools (f) JAG - Hydraulic Cutting Equipment (g) Seasnake and (h) Bespoke Pump Units.

(a) Bolt Torque Equipment 


Numerous range of product under the torque-based products category can be found. This include back up wrenches, manual torque multipliers, tensioners, hand wrenches and nut splitters. The products are dedicated for specific needs and application. By using a dedicated bolt torque equipment, trust me, you will know the perfect time to stop tightening the bolt and nut.

(b) Bolt Tensioning Equipment 


In heavier industry involving bigger machinery such as distillation coloum, air stack, pack column, high pressure boilers etc, you may require stretching bolts under tension. This is troublesome without the proper equipments. Normally such bolt tensioners are operated with compressed air. At HTL, numerous types of bolt tensioners are available such as hydraulic air driven tensioners, hand pump tensioners pump units, topside tensioners and subsea hydraulic bolt tensioners. All of the bolt thensioning equipments are tough and can work in the most diverse and harshest environments.

(c) Flange Spreading and Aligning



Have you tried to separate 2 flanges that have been attached with 12 pairs of 10" long bolt and nuts with diameter 10mm and have not been separated for 24 months? I have experienced that myself and often by mechanically tilting the gap between the flanges with suitable equipment, we can separate the two. However, when it is too tight such as it were glued together, then we need to employ a flange spreading and aligning  equipment. The aligning is necessary during the joining of the two flanges. With this tool, we can effortlessly join and separate the flanges easily. At HTL, related tools such as flange spreaders, flange alignment tools and flange splitters are available. All of these tools are tough, reliable and versatile. It will allow almost every type of flange joint to be aligned or separated. This is very crucial especially during plant shutdown or turn around activities when extreme cleaning is required.

(d) Nut Splitters


The Hydraulic Nut Splitter is the ideal tool for removing rusted nuts or nuts having no more threads (common view at the offshore platforms) which have seized up and corroded. This can avoid the usage of plasma cutter to remove un-removable bolt and nut. The tools are designed to work simply with a single acting spring return only, making it quick, simple and safe. This is a must have tool for mechanical fitters working in plants, refineries, engineering, shipyards etc.

(e) Hydraulic Maintenance Tools 
When it comes to hydraulic maintenance tools, you are actually playing around with really heavy machinery. You cannot rely on your human power, instead you need the leverage of hydraulic strength. Various types of HTL hydraulic maintenance tools are available for sale and rent such as hydraulic parts and accessories, bearing maintenance tools, shop maintenance tools, jacks and others. As usual, all HTL hydraulic maintenance equipment are specifically designed for heavy industrial.

(f) JAG - Hydraulic Cutting Equipment
When it comes to cutting solid steel, pipe or tubes and if ordinary cutter could not do the job better, JAG Hydraulic Cutting Equipment is available from HTL. It is designed to and manufactured to excel in safety, quality, durability and ease of use making all the hard cutting jobs smooth and easy. No more trouble and other complicated cutting tools needed.

(g) Seasnake


Any bolting issue on the land is not a big deal. But what if the bolting duties are required under water? That's when we need the "Snake" takes action. It is HTL's solution to deal with any bolting duties in any subsea environment where the pressure and temperatures are very extreme. The good thing with this is that no divers are required and can be controlled remotely. Snake is occasionally preferred as it avoids any fatalities resulted from the possibility of any subsea gas release and other deadly possibilities.

(h) Bespoke Pump Units


Another important product delivered by HTL is their capability in producing bespoke pump units based on customers requirement. Hence, any bolt and torque related to bespoke pump can be their in house specialty. All pumps are designed to clients needs and application and at the same time follows the international DNV standard. Hence, clients will have no problem applying the custom made pump in their processing facility.
 
The above mentioned are just some of the main products. HTL also have various subsea products and rent equipments. On top of that they provide services such as calibration, testing and training. Such highly technical company like this really inspired me. This proofs that something that start small can grow and become such an establish technical and reliable business. Don't you think so?
?

posted by zaki yamani @ 11:13 PM, , 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!


Learn something about Chem Eng that is not inside your text book.
Enter your email add:
 Subscribe in a reader
follow us in feedly
Join Chem Eng Rocks FB

Get this powerful 80-page ebook on various alternative energy that can save our environment and save your money. On top of that, you'll get a FREE eCourse on alternative energy from me.

First Name:
Email address:

what
job title, keywords
where
city, state, zip