Modernizing Controls Reduces Steam Consumption at Exxonmobil Chemical Plant

Improving steam system control strategies can increase the performance of almost any steam system. Steam systems are found …

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Modernizing Controls Reduces Steam Consumption at Exxonmobil Chemical Plant
In 1997, the instrumentation and controls on a 40-year-old isoprene recovery unit at the ExxonMobil chemical plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were upgraded from a pneumatic system to an advanced digital distribution control system. By upgrading to a digital control system, this unit\’s functionality was greatly improved and its consumption of steam was reduced by 11% per unit of feedstock. The project reduced annual steam consumption by about 50 million pounds, or 43 billion Btu, and as additional advanced controls are implemented, these energy savings are expected to increase. Energy savings accounted for about 20% of overall annual savings from the project, with other savings coming from improved product yield, reduced maintenance, and lower staffing requirements. The project cost several million dollars and the simple payback was about 4 years. As a result of the project, the plant received a 1997 Chemical Manufacturers Association Energy Efficiency Award.

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