Valero upgrades alkylation control at seven refineries

Invensys to deploy its HF alkylation measurement solution to improve cost control, real-time safety, and environmental performance.


Valero Energy has signed a multi-year agreement with Invensys Operations Management to provide its patented ACA.HF advanced alkylation measurement platform. In the first phase, Valero will implement the solution at seven refineries globally. The system monitors and measures hydrofluoric acid levels in real time by analyzing differential responses from online sensors, helping to improve the safety, reliability, and environmental performance of the refinery and creating new opportunities to reduce operating costs.

Commonly used in petroleum processing, hydrofluoric acid is a highly toxic catalyst that must be carefully managed and controlled. Accurately analyzing how much HF is re-circulating within the process contributes significantly to increasing the efficiency of the refinery because it can improve crude stock yield and associated costs. Early approaches to HF monitoring involved taking manual samples and analyzing them in a laboratory. However, this approach, even when carefully executed, potentially exposed lab workers to severe toxins, and its accuracy was limited. While more recent techniques can produce more accurate readings, their adaptation for real-time online monitoring is typically complex and costly.

Invensys Operations Management contends its advanced measurement solution brings new levels of simplicity, cost effectiveness, and employee safety to that task. By using real-time online sensors instead of people, it significantly reduces the possibility of accidental exposure, thereby diminishing the risk to employees and curtailing the potential for environmental hazards.

“An integral component of our InFusion Enterprise Control System, our HF alkylation measurement solution can openly communicate with a larger refinery- and enterprise-wide control, information, and decision-support system to provide real-time data and analysis,” said Maxie Williams, vice president and enterprise client executive, Invensys Operations Management. “And because it is built from rugged materials long proven in industrial HF applications, implementing it costs about half that of other systems and requires little maintenance, with estimated mean time between failures exceeding 29 years. It is a perfect example of how we are combining advanced control and instrumentation to improve and optimize the real-time safety and performance of the operation.”

Edited by Peter Welander,

No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
Variable speed drives: Smooth, efficient, electrically quite motion control; Process control upgrades; Mobile intelligence; Product finalists: Vote now; Product Exclusives
Machine design tips: Pneumatic or electric; Software upgrades; Ethernet advantages; Additive manufacturing; Engineering Leaders; Product exclusives: PLC, HMI, IO
This article collection contains the 5 most referenced articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security