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TAKREER Ruwais Refinery Expansion


The proposed John Zink Hydrocarbon Vapour Recovery Unit
is based on the technology of
ADsorption-ABsorption (ADAB).

The Vapour Recovery Unit is designed to process an inlet

feedstream consisting of hydrocarbon vapour mixed with air or,
in some cases, the hydrocarbon vapour may be mixed with an
inert gas such as nitrogen or exhaust gas from ship engines. For
purposes of this description, it will be assumed that the
hydrocarbon vapour is mixed with air.

The ADAB process, when compared to other vapour control
technologies, is not only very efficient but is relatively simple. It can
be summarized as a two-step process. The first processing step
(ADsorption) consists of passing the feed stream through a bed of
activated carbon which serves to capture the hydrocarbon vapour
by adsorption onto its surface while allowing the hydrocarbon free
air to pass through and vent to the atmosphere. The adsorbed
hydrocarbon vapour is then desorbed (removed) from the
activated carbon using a vacuum system. This desorbed
hydrocarbon vapour discharging the vacuum system is then
subjected to a second processing step (ABsorption) in which it is
recovered as a liquid product by absorption into a stream of
circulating liquid absorbent.


Factors that favour adsorption include higher hydrocarbon
concentrations in the inlet vapour stream and higher pressures. The
John Zink vapour recovery technology has the ability to regenerate
the carbon for reuse by reversing the factors that are favorable for
adsorption. During the carbon bed regeneration cycle, desorption
(removal) of hydrocarbon vapour from the carbon bed is
accomplished by creating a high vacuum (low absolute pressure) in
the adsorber. This along with the addition of a small amount of
purge (stripping) air into the adsorber at the highest vacuum level
creates a condition favorable for desorption and provides a very
effective means of regenerating the activated carbon for reuse
adsorption cycle after adsorption cycle.

In order to allow continuous and uninterrupted vapour processing
capability, two identical adsorbers, filled with activated carbon, are
provided. While the carbon bed in one adsorber is on- line
adsorbing hydrocarbon vapours, the carbon bed in the other
adsorber is off-line being regenerated. Switching valves are
provided to automatically alternate the two carbon beds from the
adsorption to the regeneration mode of operation. This switching
typically occurs on a timed cycle generally lasting from 10-15
minutes. At the end of the regeneration cycle, the adsorber vessel is
re-pressurized back to atmospheric pressure and then is placed onstream.
The vacuum system provided includes a liquid ring vacuum
pump (LRVP) to regenerate the carbon beds. Some larger systems
may have two or more LRVPs operating in parallel. Each LRVP
requires a sealing fluid to operate. This seal fluid is a specially
blended ethylene glycol based fluid.


This VRU is provided with an enhanced vacuum system used for carbon bed
regeneration. With these designs, in addition to the LRVP, a vacuum
booster blower (VBB) is provided to operate in series with the LRVP. The
combination of the LRVP and VBB allows the carbon beds to be regenerated
under a higher vacuum (lower absolute pressure) and provides significantly
higher pumping capacity at high vacuums than is possible through the use
of only the LRVP. This enhanced vacuum system more thoroughly
regenerates the activated carbon and can, as a result, provide several
potential benefits including use of less carbon, the achievement of lower
emission levels, reduced system power requirement, and less overall capital
cost. In some cases, multiple VBBs and LRVPs combinations may be used.

Eight (8) automatic switching valves are provided for purposes of
determining which adsorber will be on stream and which adsorber
will be in regeneration. Each adsorber has a vent valve, regeneration
valve, inlet valve and vacuum break valve. These valves are
neumatically actuated. When an adsorber is on stream, the
adsorber's vent and inlet valves are open while its regeneration
valve is closed. Conversely, the adsorber that is in regeneration has
its vent and inlet valve closed and its regeneration valve open. The
logic contained in the programmable logic controller (PLC) positions
these valves on a timed sequence.
The motor operated valve sequencing logic is such that when the
regeneration time is completed, the regeneration valve on the
adsorber being regenerated is first closed followed by carefully
staging open of adsorber vacuum break valve to slowly
repressurize the vessel. Once repressurized, the newly regenerated
adsorber is placed on-stream and the other adsorber is taken off-line
for regeneration.

Each adsorber is provided with three carbon bed temperature
sensors (one in the top, one in the middle and one in the bottom of
each bed). These temperature sensors allow the operator to
monitor the current temperature of each carbon bed via the
SCADA/DCS. Should any of these sensors detect an excessive
carbon bed temperature level, the VRU will shutdown, and isolate
the adsorbers by closing all eight adsorber switching valves.
The combination of high vacuum and purge air stripping causes
hydrocarbon vapour, previously adsorbed onto the carbon during
the adsorption cycle, to be removed from the carbon during the
regeneration cycle. This concentrated hydrocarbon vapour
then flows to the VRU's vacuum system.

Master Absolute Pressure Transmitter (MAPT)

A master absolute pressure transmitter (MAPT) is provided to
sense the pressure at the suction of the vacuum system. It
interfaces with the VRU's PLC and operator interface panel
(SCADA) to serve the following multiple purposes:
Provides a means which, when combined with the operator
interface panel, allows continuous monitoring of the absolute
pressure level of the carbon bed being regenerated.
Allows for the automatic injection of purge air into each adsorber
being regenerated by causing the appropriate purge air block valve
to automatically open after a pre- determined carbon bed
regeneration pressure is obtained.
Provides an improper carbon regeneration alarm if insufficient
vacuum is obtained during the carbon bed during the regeneration

The Three Phase Separator

The separator typically is a carbon steel, horizontal, vessel provided with
vapour inlet/outlet connections, hydrocarbon condensate outlet connection,
seal fluid outlet connection, drain/fill connections, instrument connections,
and a stainless steel de-entrainment mist eliminator element. The deentrainment mist eliminator is located in the vapour outlet connection where it
can be easily removed for cleaning and maintenance without the need to enter
the vessel. The purpose of this vessel is to allow three phases (seal fluid liquid,
hydrocarbon condensate, and hydrocarbon vapour) to separate from each other.
The vacuum seal fluid separates and settles to the bottom of the separator. Any
condensed hydrocarbon liquid separates and floats on top of the seal fluid in the
separator where it eventually builds to a high enough level so that it flows, via
skim piping, to the absorber. Non condensed hydrocarbon vapour with small
residual air content disengages from the liquid phases in the separator and
flows from the separator through a de- entrainment mist eliminator into the base
of a vertical absorption column.

Control Panel
An integrated VRU control panel is provided. The panel
includes the following:

Programmable logic controller (PLC)

Touch screen operator interface panel
Control power circuit breaker
Alarm lights and switches

PLC & Operator Interface Panel (OIP)

Large color graphics process display screens.
Monitoring and graphical trending capabilities of key process variables.
Annunciation of system alarms and shutdowns with chronological recording
of faults.
Operator can view alarm history, alarm counts and specific alarm details.
The ability to change process set points, alarms, and shutdown parameters.
operator to enter data as easily as pushing buttons on a calculator.
Built in clock and calendar, automatically keeps track of system run time.
Greatly assists in the ability to perform system trouble shooting
procedures or
maintenance checks. For example, the operator can position individual valves
and/ or
run individual motors from panel touch-screen.
Password protection for maintenance and control setup screens.


VRU 1 unit can be put in STOP or RUN mode via a general hardware Selector switch
1060-HS-901 mounted on the front door of the PLC cabinet :
STOP :No release for starting the unit
RUN: Release for operating via O.I.P.
Once general selector is switched on RUN position, VRU 1 has 4 modes of operation
which can be selected by the operator via software selector switches 1060-HPB-920 (HMI)
OFF : VRU off
REMOTE : Operation mode REMOTE START
CEM : Operation mode CEM START
If the operator switches the VRU from one mode to another during VRU operation, the
VRU will finish the current regeneration cycle and then operate according to the new
selected mode.
In case of VRU mode switching from MANUAL or REMOTE mode to CEM mode, one
carbon bed is put on stream and the other is automatically regenerated. After this
sequence, the VRU runs according to CEM mode.