Level Measurement Solutions for Blending Operations

After petroleum has been refined and processed, the finished feedstocks must be blended together in order to insert additives and produce the final product. Mixing finished gasoline requires level monitoring of blending stocks, in-line blending, additive storage, dilution systems and injection systems. Blend stocks are straight-run gasoline, alkylate, reformate, benzene, toluene and xylene. Additives include octane boosters, metal deactivators, anti-oxidant and knock agents, gum and rust inhibitors, and detergents.

Blending operations are the final step in creating the products of petroleum refining. To ensure that the care taken with the rest of the refining process does not go to waste, blending additives with stocks should involve the same level of care and attention to detail. blending operations

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and considerations for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

Level is normally measured only for inventory control and, in some cases, custody transfer. The precision of level indication that is required varies. If level is used only for internal inventory control, a less accurate measurement can be used. If level is used for custody transfer, highly accurate measurements are required. In either case, level instruments must be able to perform efficiently and safely with as little downtime as possible.

Level Measurement Solutions 

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for blending operations:

  • For point level:
    Echotel® Models 910, 961 or 962 ultrasonic level switches
  • For continuous level:
    Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter or Pulsar® Model R86 non-contact radar transmitter
  • For visual indication:
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters 

More Information

For more information on level measurement solutions for blending operations or other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure.

preflash drums

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level Measurement Solutions for Chemical Storage and Feed

The process that transforms crude oil into petroleum and other valuable commodities owes much of its effectiveness to chemicals. At every step of the refining process, chemical treatment and reactions help remove impurities, create feedstocks and improve the quality of byproducts. Chemicals such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, liquid catalysts, blending additives and water treatment chemicals are essential to a refinery’s day-to-day operation.

From acids to water treatment additives, a wide array of chemicals are stored at a refinery in vessels that range in size from plastic totes to large steel tanks. As with all chemical storage, there is significant risk to employees and equipment if chemicals are not secured and stored properly. This is especially true in a petroleum refining plant, which has a variety of hazardous process conditions that could be intensified through improper chemical interaction. chemical storage

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

Liquid solution storage and day tanks require stringent level monitoring to ensure ongoing chemical processing. The nature of the chemical, the geometry of the holding vessel, and the presence of mixers or other hardware will determine the most suitable level technology for the chemical storage or feed application. In addition, level instrumentation must be able to withstand corrosive chemicals and deliver precise, reliable measurement to prevent accidents and spills.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for chemical storage and feed:

  • For point level:
    Echotel® Models 910, 961 or 962 ultrasonic switches; or Tuffy® II float-actuated switch
  • For continuous level:
    Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter or Pulsar® Model R86 radar transmitter
  • For visual indication:
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information

For more information on level measurement solutions for chemical storage and feed or other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure.

preflash drums

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Level Measurement Solutions for Hydrodesulfurization

Catalytic hydrotreating, also known as hydrodesulfurization, treats hydrocarbon liquids in the presence of hydrogen. This process removes 90% of the sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen, and metals from feedstocks. Hydrotreating can also provide hydrodearomatization (HDAr), heavy diesel hydrocracking (HDHDC), dewaxing, and performance enhancements of pyrolysis gasoline and diesel.

Many countries have passed new regulations about the permitted levels of sulfur in oil products in order to cut down on sulfur dioxide emissions. With these new regulations in place, hydrodesulfurization has become an important part of ensuring petroleum refineries are in compliance with the law and increasing their output of environmentally friendly products. hydrodesulfurization

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series describing each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

Hydrotreatment will necessitate level indication of liquid/gas separators and water wash tanks. Level devices suited for high temperatures and pressures are essential in removing contaminants that can have detrimental effects on equipment, catalysts, and the quality of the finished product. Any level instrumentation selected for hydrodesulfurization applications must be able to withstand these challenging process conditions and accurately measure the liquid/gas separation.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for hydrodesulfurization:

  • For point level:
    Series 3 float-actuated external cage level switch or B40 float-actuated level switch
  • For continuous level:
    Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter or E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter
  • For visual indication:
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information

For more information on level measurement solutions for hydrodesulfurization and other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure.

preflash drums

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level Measurement Solutions for Isomerization

Isomerization in a variety of process configurations alters the arrangement of atoms to convert normal butane into isobutane, and normal pentane and hexane into high-octane gasoline components. Isomerization is similar to catalytic reforming in that the hydrocarbon molecules are rearranged, though isomerization only converts normal paraffins to isoparaffins. This process enables petroleum refineries to increase the quality of the gasoline components they produce.

Near the end of the process, reactor effluent is cooled and separated into the liquid-product known as isomerate and a recycle hydrogen-gas stream. Isomerate is caustic-washed and water-washed, acid stripped, and stabilized before going to storage. isomerization

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

During the washing and stabilizing process, stabilizer bottoms and wash tanks require level monitoring. This monitoring ensures that the isomerate is treated properly and that waste products do not re-enter the isomerization system.

In addition, the isomerization process involves a high-pressure environment that can be difficult to measure. Level instrumentation must be able to withstand these high pressures and challenging process conditions.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced reliable, accurate level measurement solutions for isomerization:

  • For point level:
    Model A15 displacer-actuated level switch
  • For continuous level:
    Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter or E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter
  • For visual indication:
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information

 For more information on level measurement solutions for isomerization and other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure.

preflash drums

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level Measurement Solutions for Coker Units

As part of their petroleum conversion operations, many refineries contain coker units. Coking is the final means of converting the heaviest products of atmospheric and vacuum distillation. Feed is heated and cracked into light gases, gasoline blendstocks, distillates, and gas oil.

Coker units contain many complex components that need monitoring. Level applications for delayed and continuous (contact or fluid) coking include the fractionator, light gas oil stripper, steam, condensate, blowdown and settling drums, and vent gas knockout drums. coker units

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

The equipment that makes up coker units presents many measurement challenges. Process conditions that level instrumentation must contend with include high temperatures, high pressures, foaming, and steam. Level instruments must be able to return reliable measurements despite these intense conditions. In addition, an interface level gauge in drums that are susceptible to foaming will help avoid foam-over and increase coke drum output.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for the difficult process conditions found in coker units:

  • For point level:
    Series 3 float-actuated external cage level switch or B40 float-actuated level switch
  • For continuous level:
    E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter or Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter
  • For visual indication:
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information

For more information on level measurement solutions for coker units or other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure. And to learn more about solutions for interface level measurement, download the interface brochure.preflash drums

 

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level Measurement Solutions for Catalytic Reforming

In a petroleum refinery, crude oil is processed and transformed into an overhead liquid distillate, known as naphtha. Catalytic reforming upgrades low-octane naphthas into high-octane gasoline blending components called reformates. Using heat and pressure with platinum catalysts to rearrange hydrocarbon molecules, this process converts low-octane gasoline fractions into petrochemical feedstocks and higher octane stocks suitable for finished gasoline blending. Reformates can also be used as a source of chemicals that are important in plastics production, such as benzene or xylene.

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail. catalytic reforming

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

A hydrogen-rich gas stream is removed from the separator for recycling. Liquid product monitored for level at the bottom of the separator is sent to a stabilizer. Where stabilizer fouling has occurred due to the formation of ammonium chloride and iron salts, a monitored water wash system should also be included.

In addition, any level solutions selected to monitor catalytic reformers must be able to withstand the challenging process conditions in petroleum refineries, including high temperatures and corrosive media. Delivering accurate measurement readings in the face of these conditions will ensure the safety and reliability of the catalytic reforming process.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for catalytic reforming:

  • For point level:
    Series 3 float-actuated external cage level switch
  • For continuous level:
    E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter; Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter; or Pulsar® Model R86 radar transmitter
  • For visual indication:
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information

 For more information on level measurement solutions for catalytic reforming and other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure.

preflash drums

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level Solutions for Alkylation Tanks

Alkylation units are an important part of increasing many petroleum refineries’ capacity for production. During the alkylation process, low-molecular-weight alkenes, like propane and butane, are transformed into alkylate, a high-octane component of gasoline.

alkylation tanks

Alkylation tanks in a refinery.

After the separation of the reactor effluent into acid and hydrocarbons in the acid settling tank, the next stage of alkylation is storage and cleaning. Storage and wash vessels in the alkylation unit include those for fresh and depleted acid and water, an acid analyzer settling pot, and a number of wash tanks. Caustic washes neutralize free acid carried over from the reaction zone and neutralize alkyl sulfates in the net effluent. Water washes decompose remaining esters and remove caustic and salt that might have carried over from the caustic wash.

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

Interface level control in caustic and water washes prevents corrosion and fouling of the deisobutanizer and other downstream units. Levels rising above high set points can cause carryover of caustic or water, while too low levels can cause hydrocarbon carryunder. Instrumentation selected to measure alkylation tanks must be able to accurately and reliably detect interface level.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for alkylation tanks:

  • For point level:
    Echotel® Models 910, 961 or 962 ultrasonic level switches; or Model A15 displacer-actuated switch
  • For continuous level:
    E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter; Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter; or Pulsar® Model R86 non-contact radar transmitter
  • For visual indication:
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information

For more information on level measurement solutions for alkylation tanks and other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure. And for more information on interface level measurement, download the interface brochure.

preflash drums

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Level Measurement Solutions for Acid Settling Tanks

Alkylation is a combining process that creates alkylate, a premium, high-octane blending stock. Many refineries have alkylation units in order to increase their capacity for producing valuable end products. The reactor effluent flows to a large tank within the unit, which allows for separation of the acid/hydrocarbon emulsion created in the reactor. These devices are known as acid settling tanks. acid settling tanks

Magnetrol® has produced an applications brochure for the petroleum refining industry detailing level measurement challenges and solutions for each step of the refining process. This blog post is part of an occasional series exploring each application in detail.

Level Measurement Challenges and Considerations

Interface level control of an acid settling tank is required. Product/acid cross-contamination causes overall efficiency problems and can result in hazardous conditions. Inaccurate settler level indication is a frequent cause of physical acid carryover in the reactor effluent. Release of acid can cause extreme hazards to both process and personnel.

Sight glasses have traditionally measured level in acid settling tanks, but these are susceptible to plugging and require diligent flushing at regular intervals. More reliable instrumentation is needed to ensure safety and keep the unit running efficiently.

Level Measurement Solutions

MAGNETROL has produced level measurement solutions for acid settling tanks:

  • For point level
    Model A15 displacer-actuated level switch
  • For continuous level
    Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter or E3 Modulevel® displacer-actuated transmitter
  • For visual indication
    Atlas or Aurora® magnetic level indicators can be supplied with switches or transmitters

More Information

For more information on level measurement solutions for acid settling tanks or other petroleum refining applications, download the petroleum refining brochure. And for more information on interface level measurement, download the interface brochure.

preflash drums

Posted in Petroleum Refining | Leave a comment

Case Study: Accurately Measuring Level in a Molten Sulfur Pit

Not every level measurement application is straightforward. In some instances, the nature of the substance being measured creates a hostile measurement atmosphere requiring creative solutions. Without reliable instruments in these environments, the level measurement readings can be inaccurate and cause significant problems.

Magnetrol® produces a broad portfolio of level instrumentation designed to tackle tough challenges. This blog post shares the story of a company that found a reliable way to measure their most challenging application, a sulfur pit, using MAGNETROL instrumentation.

Application Challenges

A gas production company required an accurate level measurement in a molten sulfur pit. Previously, the company used a bubble system that required regular maintenance and recalibration to keep it operational. Obtaining an accurate level measurement is difficult in this application due to both the low dielectric of the process medium and dry sulfur buildup. In addition, the relatively high temperature (300 °F / 150 °C) and the corrosive properties of the molten sulfur increased the demands for service and maintenance.

Application Solution

The MAGNETROL Eclipse® Model 706 guided wave radar transmitter provides accurate and reliable level measurements in difficult process conditions. When compared to other technologies, the ECLIPSE requires less maintenance and does not need calibration. To ensure the maximum accuracy and reliability, MAGNETROL equipped the Model 706 with a Model 7YF single-rod probe.

sulfur pit

An Eclipse® Model 706 working to measure the molten sulfur pit.

Before the ECLIPSE was accepted as the molten sulfur pit level control device, it was tested and monitored. Plant operators using the manual hand-dipped method checked each measurement made by the ECLIPSE. After two weeks of testing, the performance of the ECLIPSE was verified and its application was endorsed.

The single-rod probe performed well despite the problems that can be caused by sulfur buildup or coating. A strong pulse was still detected from the liquid surface despite the buildup.

Reliable level measurement of molten sulfur in a pit is difficult to obtain. The ECLIPSE proved to be an excellent solution for process level control that was not adversely affected by high temperature, probe build-up, or the corrosive properties of the media measured.

More Information

For more information on ECLIPSE guided wave radar and related applications, visit our radar site.

guided wave radar

Posted in Guided Wave Radar | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

20 Years of Innovation: Guided Wave Radar at Magnetrol®

The popular loop-powered transmitters we know as guided wave radar (GWR) burst onto the scene in the late 1990s. Here are some insights into this breakthrough technology and the effect it has had on the level measurement world.

In GWR transmitters, the principle of time domain reflectometry (TDR) utilizes pulses of high frequency electromagnetic energy to measure distances. When a pulse reaches a dielectric discontinuity created by the surface of the process medium, the pulse is reflected and modern low power circuitry measures the time of flight.

Magnetrol® experts were among the pioneers in the field of guided wave radar. In 1998, MAGNETROL released the first guided wave radar transmitter, the Eclipse® Model 705. Over the years, the ECLIPSE family has expanded to include a variety of probes for a broad range of applications, an enhanced version of the Model 705, and most recently the high-performance, cutting-edge Model 706 with best-in-class performance.

guided wave radar

The Eclipse® 706.

Initially, the ECLIPSE was not considered to be very revolutionary. Why would a customer use a “RF capacitance-looking device” with a probe? Non-contact devices were also available at that time, and appeared to have clear advantages over a contacting device. With ultrasonic and radar transmitters already carving out their own niche in the marketplace, installing a probe seemed almost archaic.

However, what the process industries have discovered over the past 20 years is that a probe contacting the process medium can be the key to accurate level measurement in those difficult low dielectric, high temperature applications. A probe offers a conductive path into the vessel upon which the extremely low energy signal can travel. This allows the maximum amount of energy to reach the surface, where it is reflected and sent back to the transmitter for interpretation. Liquids with very low dielectrics and specific gravities can be measured accurately. In addition, since the probe is a conductive path that maintains control of the signal, energy is not scattered within the tank where it can encounter objects that can create false targets. In other words, the initial perceived weakness of the product requiring a probe is actually the strength of the entire system.

The ECLIPSE family has also solved many nagging measurement problems over the 20 years of its existence. One major issue often found with radar devices is a relatively low signal-to-noise ratio, or SNR. If there is a noise level interfering with detection of the actual signal, level measurement can be affected. MAGNETROL leads the industry in guided wave radar devices with superior SNR. ECLIPSE devices also feature Overfill Safe Operation, a function that allows the probe to measure true level throughout the tank, with no “dead zones” at the top of the probe.

Difficult process conditions, such as high-temperature, high-pressure, or saturated steam applications, do not affect ECLIPSE devices, which are able to measure accurately even in challenging environments. These are just a few of the ways that MAGNETROL guided wave radar transmitters stand head and shoulders above other radar-based products.

MAGNETROL continues to innovate in the field of guided wave radar, as we have for the past 20 years. To learn more about our transmitters, visit radar.magnetrol.com.

guided wave radar

Posted in Guided Wave Radar | Tagged , | 1 Comment