Comprehensive Machine Monitoring Strategy At Green Ethylene Plant

Fuels and Petrochemicals Division
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 29, 2013 - 3:45pm-4:15pm


This paper presents an overview of the overall monitoring strategy of a green ethylene plant (ethylene produced by catalytic dehydration of ethanol), and gives an insight into some of the challenges of monitoring the machines, as opposed to that which is required for a traditional steam cracking plant. The strategy presented in this paper is based on two years monitoring experience achieved at Braskem’s green ethylene plant in Triumfo, Brazil, since the plant was commissioned.

The machine trains monitored at the green ethylene plant are very similar to those used in a naphtha steam cracking plant; charge gas compressor, propylene refrigerant compressor and a number of process pumps (the ethylene compressor is not needed in Braskem’s green ethylene plant). The process of the two plants for producing ethylene, however, is different (especially the cracking and the furnace/reactor phases) and therefore the subsequent effect on the machines can be different.  The risk of polymer fouling or corrosive effects of additives on the charge gas compressor, for example, will be different for the two processes. Although the machine loading and any consequential potential failure modes will vary for the different processes, and not enough experience has been gained yet to identify these, the overall monitoring strategy is very much the same.

A number of items that constitute the overall monitoring strategy are described in the paper. Firstly, an integrated monitoring strategy is employed in the green ethylene plant that correlates vibration

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