America’s Chemical Plants are Ticking Time Bombs - HuffPost

Designing a plant is a team project and chemists, plant designers and chemical engineers select suitable materials for the construction of the plant. Although the common image is of chemical plants made from gleaming steel, many other materials are used in their construction including a wide variety of metals, plastics, glass and rubber. As construction materials are themselves chemicals, choosing materials which do not react with the chemicals involved in the process is essential to avoid hazardous interactions, the breakdown of the plant, or the contamination of the product.

Applied Process Design for Chemical & Petrochemical Plants

The products of the chemical industry can be divided into three categories:

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The photograph below (Figure 8) shows an intermediate stage in which a a pilot plant, has been made, to find the most suitable conditions for the new OMEGA process to produce . This is a very important step as often the conditions that are suitable for the process in the laboratory are not necessarily suitable when the process is transferred to larger scale equipment. Thus many experiments under very carefully controlled conditions are carried out to obtain the maximum yield. The chemists and chemical engineers doing this work must also bear in mind the maximum yield may involve additional costs which make the process uneconomic.

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Research carried out in the laboratories of industry and universities is only the first step. These discoveries have to be converted into realistic industrial processes. This is the job of the chemical engineer who is responsible for translating the laboratory chemistry to a larger scale. Scaling up production from grams under laboratory conditions to thousands of tonnes in a full scale industrial plant is very painstaking work for chemists and chemical engineers.

The chemical industry creates an immense variety of products which impinge on virtually every aspect of our lives.

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With this proven track record of successful project completion, POSCO E&C has been expanding its businesses in the refinery and petrochemical sector. Based on reliable experience, cutting-edge technology, and advanced management systems, POSCO E&C is committed to providing customers with value-added services in the chemical plants sector.

America’s Chemical Plants are Ticking Time Bombs - …

In turn, these hydrocarbons are converted into a very wide range of basic chemicals which are immediately useful (petrol, ethanol, ethane-1,2-diol) or are subjected to further reactions to produce a useful end product (for example, phenol to make resins and ammonia to make fertilizers). Many examples are found in the group of units on this web site devoted to .

The online version of Ludwig's Applied Process Design for Chemical and Petrochemical Plants by A

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One thing that changed during the twentieth century was the importance of oil and natural gas feedstocks in supporting the growing petrochemical/polymer industry which developed principally after 1945. This explains why some installations are sited adjacent to oil fields. For example, there is a cluster of companies adjacent to the oil fields in Texas, and the discoveries and development of gas shale (still a controversial process in many countries) in places like Texas, Colorado and Pennsylvania are leading to new investment in chemical plants nearby. Shale gas is extracted by a process called 'fracking' which is still a controversial processes in many countres. Fracking is discussed in detail in the unit .

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All of the sites mentioned above are flourishing today, although the companies expanded during the subsequent 150 years to make many other chemicals ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals. They have also added many new plants all over the world to be near their customers.

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In the UK the locations of much of today’s industry also relate to the nineteenth century’s industrialisation. For example, the concentration of the chemical industry in the Northeast of England was influenced by the location of coal mines, the availability of iron ore (for the steel industry) and the closeness to ports. Similarly, the strong chlor-alkali industry (chlorine, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate) in the Northwest of England developed because of local coal and salt mines and the proximity of a major canal leading to a main port of England. The great cotton mills in Lancashire gave the obvious location for the dyestuff industry around Manchester, the largest city in Lancashire.