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Title: Distillation Column Flooding Predictor

Abstract

The Flooding Predictor™ is a patented advanced control technology proven in research at the Separations Research Program, University of Texas at Austin, to increase distillation column throughput by over 6%, while also increasing energy efficiency by 10%. The research was conducted under a U. S. Department of Energy Cooperative Agreement awarded to George Dzyacky of 2ndpoint, LLC. The Flooding Predictor™ works by detecting the incipient flood point and controlling the column closer to its actual hydraulic limit than historical practices have allowed. Further, the technology uses existing column instrumentation, meaning no additional refining infrastructure is required. Refiners often push distillation columns to maximize throughput, improve separation, or simply to achieve day-to-day optimization. Attempting to achieve such operating objectives is a tricky undertaking that can result in flooding. Operators and advanced control strategies alike rely on the conventional use of delta-pressure instrumentation to approximate the column’s approach to flood. But column delta-pressure is more an inference of the column’s approach to flood than it is an actual measurement of it. As a consequence, delta pressure limits are established conservatively in order to operate in a regime where the column is never expected to flood. As a result, there is much “leftmore » on the table” when operating in such a regime, i.e. the capacity difference between controlling the column to an upper delta-pressure limit and controlling it to the actual hydraulic limit. The Flooding Predictor™, an innovative pattern recognition technology, controls columns at their actual hydraulic limit, which research shows leads to a throughput increase of over 6%. Controlling closer to the hydraulic limit also permits operation in a sweet spot of increased energy-efficiency. In this region of increased column loading, the Flooding Predictor is able to exploit the benefits of higher liquid/vapor traffic that produce increased contact area and lead to substantial increases in separation efficiency – which translates to a 10% increase in energy efficiency on a BTU/bbl basis. The Flooding Predictor™ operates on the principle that between five to sixty minutes in advance of a flooding event, certain column variables experience an oscillation, a pre-flood pattern. The pattern recognition system of the Flooding Predictor™ utilizes the mathematical first derivative of certain column variables to identify the column’s pre-flood pattern(s). This pattern is a very brief, highly repeatable, simultaneous movement among the derivative values of certain column variables. While all column variables experience negligible random noise generated from the natural frequency of the process, subtle pre-flood patterns are revealed among sub-sets of the derivative values of column variables as the column approaches its hydraulic limit. The sub-set of column variables that comprise the pre-flood pattern is identified empirically through in a two-step process. First, 2ndpoint’s proprietary off-line analysis tool is used to mine historical data for pre-flood patterns. Second, the column is flood-tested to fine-tune the pattern recognition for commissioning. Then the Flooding Predictor™ is implemented as closed-loop advanced control strategy on the plant’s distributed control system (DCS), thus automating control of the column at its hydraulic limit.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
George E. Dzyacky, Principal Investigator; Seprations Research Program, University of Texas at Austin
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Industrial Technology Program (EE-2F)
OSTI Identifier:
993101
Report Number(s):
DOEID14426
TRN: US201101%%376
DOE Contract Number:
FC36-02ID14426
Resource Type:
Other
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; CAPACITY; COMMISSIONING; CONTROL SYSTEMS; DISTILLATION; EFFICIENCY; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; FLOODS; HYDRAULICS; OPTIMIZATION; PATTERN RECOGNITION; REFINING; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; Distillation; separation; flooding; advanced process control; distillation column flooding; liquid flooding; jet flooding

Citation Formats

George E. Dzyacky. Distillation Column Flooding Predictor. United States: N. p., 2010. Web.
George E. Dzyacky. Distillation Column Flooding Predictor. United States.
George E. Dzyacky. Tue . "Distillation Column Flooding Predictor". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/993101.
@article{osti_993101,
title = {Distillation Column Flooding Predictor},
author = {George E. Dzyacky},
abstractNote = {The Flooding Predictor™ is a patented advanced control technology proven in research at the Separations Research Program, University of Texas at Austin, to increase distillation column throughput by over 6%, while also increasing energy efficiency by 10%. The research was conducted under a U. S. Department of Energy Cooperative Agreement awarded to George Dzyacky of 2ndpoint, LLC. The Flooding Predictor™ works by detecting the incipient flood point and controlling the column closer to its actual hydraulic limit than historical practices have allowed. Further, the technology uses existing column instrumentation, meaning no additional refining infrastructure is required. Refiners often push distillation columns to maximize throughput, improve separation, or simply to achieve day-to-day optimization. Attempting to achieve such operating objectives is a tricky undertaking that can result in flooding. Operators and advanced control strategies alike rely on the conventional use of delta-pressure instrumentation to approximate the column’s approach to flood. But column delta-pressure is more an inference of the column’s approach to flood than it is an actual measurement of it. As a consequence, delta pressure limits are established conservatively in order to operate in a regime where the column is never expected to flood. As a result, there is much “left on the table” when operating in such a regime, i.e. the capacity difference between controlling the column to an upper delta-pressure limit and controlling it to the actual hydraulic limit. The Flooding Predictor™, an innovative pattern recognition technology, controls columns at their actual hydraulic limit, which research shows leads to a throughput increase of over 6%. Controlling closer to the hydraulic limit also permits operation in a sweet spot of increased energy-efficiency. In this region of increased column loading, the Flooding Predictor is able to exploit the benefits of higher liquid/vapor traffic that produce increased contact area and lead to substantial increases in separation efficiency – which translates to a 10% increase in energy efficiency on a BTU/bbl basis. The Flooding Predictor™ operates on the principle that between five to sixty minutes in advance of a flooding event, certain column variables experience an oscillation, a pre-flood pattern. The pattern recognition system of the Flooding Predictor™ utilizes the mathematical first derivative of certain column variables to identify the column’s pre-flood pattern(s). This pattern is a very brief, highly repeatable, simultaneous movement among the derivative values of certain column variables. While all column variables experience negligible random noise generated from the natural frequency of the process, subtle pre-flood patterns are revealed among sub-sets of the derivative values of column variables as the column approaches its hydraulic limit. The sub-set of column variables that comprise the pre-flood pattern is identified empirically through in a two-step process. First, 2ndpoint’s proprietary off-line analysis tool is used to mine historical data for pre-flood patterns. Second, the column is flood-tested to fine-tune the pattern recognition for commissioning. Then the Flooding Predictor™ is implemented as closed-loop advanced control strategy on the plant’s distributed control system (DCS), thus automating control of the column at its hydraulic limit.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Nov 23 00:00:00 EST 2010},
month = {Tue Nov 23 00:00:00 EST 2010}
}