Driving Safety Improvements through Flow Measurement Advancements

by , , | Sep 22, 2020 | Downstream Hydrocarbons, Flow

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Hydrocarbon Processing: Leveraging modern flow technologies to improve safety in refineriesIn the oil & gas upstream, midstream and downstream industries, flow measurement is critical for accurate fiscal and custody transfer accounting. But what about their use to make these processes safer?

In a Hydrocarbon Processing article, Leveraging modern flow technologies to improve safety in refineries, Emerson’s Meha Jha and Julie Valentine describe how advancements in these flow measurements, “…enhance safety and improve uptime, flexibility and efficiency, while securing their competitive position in a dynamic market.”

While flow measurement repeatability has always been important, Meha and Julie note that advancements:

…such as accuracy, inline meter health verification and integral design—have proven beneficial to enable refineries to optimize processes, ensure environmental compliance and improve process safety, while ensuring reliable and repeatable measurements for process control.

These technology advancements are included in:

Coriolis meters, vortex meters and density meters [hyperlinks added].

Traditionally, to collect density and concentration measurements:

…personnel are often required to go into the field, open tap points and manually pull samples to send to the lab. In addition to risks due to time in the field and potential exposure to harmful chemicals, it is difficult to get a consistent representative sample.

Meha and Julie share a better way.

Installing an insertion meter or in-line density or concentration meter in the process line or on a slipstream can be a simple, cost-effective way to improve safety while providing continuous online gas or liquid density readings. These meters not only monitor output density but also other variables, such as API gravity, percent concentration and specific gravity.

Flow measurement devices such as Micro Motion Coriolis flow meters:

…provide online readings in a single device for the measurement of mass flow, volumetric flow and liquid density. Process unit mass balance points are a great application area where Coriolis meters can provide safety and optimization benefits with the highly accurate, continuous measurements needed to close balances, assess unit performance and develop optimization models.

Read the article for more as they share specific applications such as measuring hydrogen purity, automating tank dewatering, performing flow meter health verification, ensuring piping wall integrity and leak detection, providing compressor surge detection for antisurge control and more.

Visit the Flow Measurement section on Emerson.com for more on these advancements that help refiners and petrochemical producers drive safer, more reliable and more efficient operations. You can also connect and interact with other flow measurement experts in the Measurement Instrumentation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.