Alkylation HF Measurement Solution from Invensys

Invensys Operations Management (IOM) has announced the availability of its ACA.HF Advanced Alkylation measurement solution, a non-spectroscopic acid catalyst measurement solution that simplifies and dramatically lowers the cost of online monitoring of hydrofluoric acid (HF). The new solution replaces conventional manual sampling and Fourier Transform Near Infrared (FTNIR) analysis, with a measurement system that monitors HF levels in real time by analyzing differential responses from online sensors.

Hydrofluoric acid is a common catalyst used in petroleum processing, and accurate analysis of how much HF is re-circulating within the process contributes significantly to maximizing the yield rate of crude stock. Early approaches to HF monitoring involved taking manual samples and analyzing them in a laboratory, however that sample approach offers limited accuracy and exposes lab workers to toxins. More recent FTNIR techniques are very accurate, but adaptation for real-time online monitoring is complex and costly. A global refining company and IOM teamed up to validate new online HF monitoring models that deliver highly reliable results at significantly lower acquisition and operating costs.

Implementing the new ACA.HF Advanced Measurement solution costs about half that of an FTNIR system and requires minimal maintenance because its core components are built from rugged materials long proven in industrial HF applications. The monitoring models run inside of the new Foxboro PAC System controller, making for a cost-effective and easy-to-setup application environment. Contributing to precise control excellence is advanced analytical software that reads the response “spectrum” that is directly analogous to that produced by a traditional FTNIR. Based on established industry methods, estimated mean time between failures (MBTF) of the solution exceeds 29 years. There were, in fact, no maintenance costs in the first year of implementation at the test refinery.

This unique measurement and control solution also contributes to asset excellence by minimizing the potential for corrosion, and supports environment and safety excellence by eliminating any potential sample exposure for plant and laboratory personnel. The ACA.HF solution is an integral component of the company’s InFusion Enterprise Control System, as it shares a common communications and applications development environment that enables the solution to be part of a larger plant and enterprise control, information and decision support system.

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