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Advanced Process Control for the Refining and Petrochemical Industry
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IPCOSWhitehouse Consulting
  CDU operation and economics
  • Overview
  • Boiling curves: TBP, EFV, ASTM
  • Product destinations, specifications and unit economics
  • Equipment configuration: sidestreams, pumparounds, condenser, compressor, total draw and part draw trays, etc.
  • Internal reflux profile
  • Key control handles: Top temperature, sidestreams, pumparounds and stripping steam
  • Major disturbances: feedstock switch, throughput changes, others.
  • APC requirements


  CDU inference methodology  
  • Empirical inference methods
  • First principles methods for predicting product properties
    • cut-point or 90% point,
    • flashpoint,
    • cold properties
  • First principles methods for predicting internal reflux profile
    • internal reflux at key trays
    • overflash – the single most important operating variable
  • Flooding detection methods
  • Handling steady state inference models with dynamic inputs
  • Analyzers and inference models working together
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Crude unit APC
  • Crude switches and other major disturbances
  • Typical constraints: Furnace capacity, column flooding, weeping or tray dry-outs, condenser capacity, desalter temperature, others
  • APC structure: CV's, DV's and MV's
  • Product properties, internal reflux and overflash control during crude switches
  • First level throughput maximization – constraint control
  • Second level throughput maximization – yield trade-off, quality giveaway
  • Real time optimization
Other wide cut fractionators
  • Configuration and economics of vacuum columns
  • Inferential modeling considerations for vacuum columns
  • Configuration and economics of high gas producing columns: FCC, coker and visbreaker fractionators
  • Inferential modeling considerations for high gas producing columns columns
  • Configuration and economics of hydrocracker fractionators
  • Inferential modeling considerations for hydrocracker fractionators



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