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Alfa Laval launches new software tool

Published by , Deputy Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Alfa Laval recently launched a software tool for its Packinox combined feed/effluent heat exchangers that makes it easy to continuously optimise the flow of recycle gas in catalytic reformers and paraxylene plants. The result is maximum operating reliability and high yield, without risk for problems caused by insufficient lifting.

Effective lifting – the key to high yield

Finding the right balance between the flow rates of liquid feed and recycle gas is essential in catalytic reforming and paraxylene production. If the gas flow is too high, the overall pressure in the process increases, which leads to lower yield and higher costs for compression. If the gas flow is too low, the gas cannot lift all of the liquid through the heat exchanger. This causes poor performance and, in worst case, serious damage to the heat exchanger.

Alfa Laval has developed a unique software tool called Lifting Controller that helps plant operators set the optimum flow rate of the recycle gas. The Lifting Controller software is implemented in the plant’s control system and continuously analyses operating data. Based on the analysis, the system indicates if the gas flow should be adjusted. This gives plant operators high flexibility in how they wish to operate their plant and ensures sufficient lifting.

The Lifting Controller software is customised to each specific heat exchanger and its operating conditions in order to offer maximum accuracy and operating reliability.

A unique solution

“We have been developing ways to improve lifting for many decades,” says Thierry Sourp, Managing Director at Alfa Laval Packinox. “When we introduced our Spray Bar technology in 1985, we took a quantum leap forward and now it is time for the next revolution in lifting. We are glad to be able to offer our customers a truly unique solution that will bring them great value in terms of operating reliability and flexibility,” he concludes.

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