(47c) Meeting Additional Plant Capacity Requirements without Adding Additional Vessels

Eberhardt, G., Woven Metal Products
Given todays demanding throughput needs to maximize plant profits, plant de-bottlenecking quickly becomes an area ideal for identification and immediate return on investments. Today’s gas plants require systems optimization to produce and deliver predictable - profitable products, longer predictable drying cycles, increased molecular sieve bed life and bed performance. These are not off-the-shelf solutions and require robust engineered solutions that are performance driven, industry proven and readily available for demanding plant outage requirements.

Molecular sieve bed support is one of, if not the most critical mechanical components within the dehydration vessel. Once the bed support requirements are understood, all options can be evaluated and a competent molecular sieve bed plan can be developed. The following areas can provide the very catalyst for an effective plant de-bottlenecking and unit optimization study.

Woven Metal Products case study from a recent installation of its Patent Pending Outlet Support Grid (OSG) system will fully explore the challenges presented to the plant including:

  • Assessment of the original installed equipment
  • Operational limitations with the original installed equipment
  • Bed configuration limitations with the original installed equipment
  • Safety issues encountered with the original installed equipment
  • Pre and Post installation data examination
  • Timeline for executing the project installation during a critical outage
  • Process improvements realized with the OSG
  • Partner resources utilized during the project

Evaluation areas will include (but are not limited to):

Inside the dehydration vessel:

  • Maximum vessel volume available (inlet to outlet)
  • Mole sieve
  • Complete bed containment - current method and issues of containment
  • Full bed utilization - current and projected
  • rP requirements for proper bed operation
  • Current bed support examination and the available options
  • Outlet basket (elephant stool) - current and projected, purpose and the available options
  • Upper bed media retention - current and projected, purpose, need and the available options
  • Inert media - what is the need and what is the correct sizing for the plant / process application to optimize bed performance
  • Making it all work together

Outside the dehydration vessel (Do not overlook these critical areas)

  • Valves - valve life / rebuild cycle
  • Bed containment - key area for less (or no) downstream contamination issues - filters, cryogenic unit / expander
  • Gas / Dew point control - current, desired and projected
  • Reduced drying gas requirements as drying cycles can be extended




About The Author:

Gene Eberhardt is the Vice President of the Reactor Division for Woven Metal Products in Alvin, Texas. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Purdue University and a Masters Degree in International Business Management from TiasNimbas Business School - The Netherlands. He holds two Patents, one for Catalyst Bed Support systems and one for Enhanced Internal Support devices. He continues to develop industry changing technologies and methods in collaboration with Purdue University.


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