(47b) Mass Balance and Loss Control, a Study in the Process to Identify and Quantify Losses at a Refinery and Best Practices for Managing These Losses

Valentine, J., Emerson
Hydrocarbon loss reduction programs can save $2-10 million per year for an average sized refinery. This can be not only from the value of loss material but also introduction of errors in yield models that affect overall optimization.

Knowing where to start in implementing a loss control program though can seem like an overwhelming task. This presentation will take you through the process of evaluating losses including identifying the financial impact in terms of value and risk of occurrence to justify reducing losses by improvements in measurement certainty.

Losses are calculated through the material and energy balances of the plant. Best practices for both static and dynamic measurement will be covered. We will discuss the most common sources of error in calculating these balances.

Losses can be both controllable and uncontrollable, and are both real and apparent (due to measurement problems). Controllable losses include flares, plant effluent, tank evaporation and solid waste, all of which must be minimized. Before steps can be taken to reduce these losses however, the real and apparent losses need to be well understood.