Gasoline blending is a major activity in each refinery. Local and international legislations and standards dictate the specification of physical properties that must be fullfilled to bring gasoline on the market. Commonly violation of the regulation is subject to penalties and a loss of reputation of the blender.
Commonly, gasoline is blended on-line. Process streams of different components are blended with a ratio that directly mixes these in gasoline bearing the required physical properties. Time consuming and high cost re-blending is inevitable to upgrade final product that does not comply with its specification. On-line process analytics is a fundamental for direct in-line blending. Real-time analytical data of critical physical parameters must be available at any time to conduct on-line corrections, which prevent producing of off-spec gasoline.
To secure blending of gasoline, a variety of different ASTM based analyzers must be incorporated in the blending system. The majority of these analyzers, are mechanical analyzers, which are subject to wearing of moving parts, such as RON and MON engines.
The outcome is that an enormous investment is not only required for acquisition of these, but also for their maintenance, the investment in a required stock of spare parts and shut-down time for preventive and corrective actions to be taken.
Shut down of the blending process can result annually in enormous financial losses. This can be prevented by replacement of the entire analyser system of expensive analyzers by on single correlative NIR process analyzer. The BEACON 3000 NIR process analyzer has the features of an “all included and overall process analyzer”. One instrument, placed in the control room performs multiple property analyses almost instantaneously all process streams, prior and after blending. The analyzer, placed in the central control room, while being connected with optical fibers to the measuring probes connected to the process stream without any need for electricity or mechanical moving parts. This makes these field units being entirely safe in the flammable and explosion hazardous environment of application. One single analyzer connects to eight different measuring probes, at a distance of up to three kilometers away from the analyzer. Being free of mechanical parts, the cost of maintenance is neglectable as compared to conventional process ASTM based process analyzers.
The performance of multi-property and multi stream analyses by the same instruments enables operators to correlate between physical properties, and the ratio between, feed streams and the final blend. It enables direct gasoline blending without the production of off-spec material. It enables to reduce those components of highest value to its minimum, while still complying with its specification, to prevent unnecessary giveaways.
Installation of the BEACON 3000 process analyzers in the gasoline blending operation, instead of conventional analyzers will reduce drastically the annual investment in maintenance, stock of expensive spare parts, blending shut down hours, reblending and giveaways. It is without any doubt that only a very short term is required for return of its investment.