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SPARK Magazine Second Edition

Text of Spark Second Edition















    04 05

    08 10












  • Kareem El-Maghloub

    AIChE SU SC President

    Beyond the Success


    No man is an island, especially in a business organization. Everyone in the organization needs someone

    elses help some time or another, either as a part of the regular work flow or during emergencies. Every

    person in an organization has to consider themselves as a part of the team in order for a business to

    function smoothly.

    Being a small simulation for business organizations, the student chapters promote the importance of

    teamwork concept. Teamwork is generally understood as the willingness of a group of people to work

    together to achieve a common aim. At your workplace, having a team that works for a common vision is

    the greatest advantage. If you are in charge of a team, there are many ways by which you can promote

    better teamwork. Making each member feel valued and encouraging input are good places to start.

    The most effective teamwork happens when the individuals harmonize their efforts and work toward a

    common goal. Good teams don not typically happen by accident; hard work, commitment and some

    struggle are usually involved in creating successful teams. Spark was an idea and a dream for every

    member of AIChE which reflects the exact meaning of teamwork, Spark will allow us to show the true

    meaning of AIChE Suez spirit and the result of relevant knowledge of groundwork.

    Everyone in the team is the key to success; providing them with career growth opportunities and the

    competitive benefits package are the missions of the team leader. Someone who will step up to their task

    and complete it to the best. A leader does not exactly have to be the same person every time; he has to be

    the most suitable person to the most critical situations.

    Whether you've been tasked with setting up a new team or you are taking over an existing one, start by

    defining the goal of your team. What is its ultimate purpose? What are your expectations? How will your

    team contribute to your organization's goals and mission? Once you define your goals, and identify the

    roles that you need to fill, make a list of the type of people that you want in your team. What strengths

    should each person have? As well as what technical abilities should they also bring?

    AIChE Suez Student Chapter is the castle of fortification. It supports the proper concept of teamwork by

    accommodating the suitable conditions and situations to provide each AIChE Suez member with the most

    effective characteristics.

  • Hossam Magdy

    The Obstacles are the Path


    The obstacles are the path, a proverb that was once said by a Chinese man from the school of Zen.

    Regardless of what his beliefs really are, I believe that he hit the nail right on the head.

    Most of people have always been thinking of any obstacle as a barrier that hinders their progress, but none

    of them has realized the real fact. This fact is; if there are no obstacles, then something is going wrong and

    most probably they are not on the right path!

    Lets think about that in another way. If you are willing to become a better person with much more skills;

    which path do you think that you are supposed to take, the smooth paved one or the lumpy one?

    Exactly, thats the point! You cant learn anything new if you keep staying in your comfort zone. You need

    to step out of it. Take the risk and believe me you will be completely satisfied with the results.

    Why did I say all of that? Actually, I started with this introduction specifically because that is what I have

    done to take the responsibility of Spark team. Taking the decision to apply for that position was not easy at

    all; I kept wondering if I was capable of doing it or not. I had started then thinking about what I might

    gain and what I could give if I could carry this responsibility, and I realized that it was an irreplaceable

    opportunity; so, I finally decided to take the lumpy path.

    Through the next pages, you will see what could be achieved by taking the risk and putting trust in our

    great team. Last but not least, I would like to take this chance to thank all Spark team members especially

    Ibrahim Ragab and Nesma Wagih because if it were not for them, we would not get this far.



    Menna El-Manzalawy

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University

    Nearly five years ago, on April 20, 2010, an explosion aboard BP's the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of

    Mexico sank the oil rig and created a leak that expelled millions of gallons of oil into the water. According

    to the U.S Government, more than 4.9 million barrels were discharged after the explosion, making it the

    worst offshore oil spill in the history of the United States, and one of the worst in history.

    The explosion did not only harm the ecosystem of

    the Gulf of Mexico, but it also killed 11 men. As

    for the environmental consequences, the floating

    oil extended over 68,000 square miles, while

    subsurface plumes spread as far as 300 miles from

    the wellhead. Five years after the spill, dolphins

    and sea turtles in the area are still dying four times

    higher than the average rate.

    BP has already paid more than $42 billion in costs

    for cleanup, fines, compensation for victims and a

    research effort into the spill's consequences. In fact,

    the money helped fund more than 450 scientific


    According to the U.S. government, 17% of the

    total estimated release was directly recovered

    from the wellhead, 5% was burned, 3% was

    skimmed, 16% was chemically dispersed, 13%

    was naturally dispersed, 24% was evaporated or

    dissolved and more than a million barrels 22% of the total estimated release - remain "missing".

    Where did that oil go?

    "It's not exactly missing," said biogeochemist

    David Valentine in an interview with Scientific

    American. "At the same time, we don't know

    exactly where it is, either."

    Much of that oil appears to have sunk to the

    seafloor, and some made it to the shoreline of the

    Gulf, extending to over 1,600 kilometers of coast.

    However, the oil that sank to the bottom of the sea

    will probably stay there forever.

    According to a 2010 report by the Congressional

    Research Service, it is uncertain whether the fate

    of the remaining oil can be predicted precisely.

    The report stated that "Multiple challenges hinder

    this objective, such as the complexity of the Gulf

    system, the resources required to collect data and

    varied interpretations over the results and

    observations. Moreover, as time progresses,

    determining the fate of the oil will likely become

    more difficult,".


    The Lost Treasure of Mexico


    Haitham El-Wardany

    Head of Technical Studies Department in

    Reforming and Gas Treatment

    Suez Oil Processing Company

    Gasoline is a mixture of volatile hydrocarbons with the boiling range of 30 to 200 C, and is considered

    the most important product derived from crude oil. Gasoline is used mainly as a fuel for cars (in the

    internal combustion engine or motor).


    How to get gasoline:

    Gasoline produced from distillation towers is called

    natural gasoline. It is in the heavy naphtha-range

    with boiling range 40-200 C and it has about 50 to 65 octane number. On average, we can get 250 ml of

    gasoline per litre of crude oil.

    To obtain gasoline within required octane number

    speciation, gasoline blend is used. This is a mixture

    of distillation naphtha, isomer naphtha, Reformat,

    Alkylate and light naphtha cracker products.

    The chemical composition of gasoline:

    Gasoline contains more than 150 chemical

    compound consists mainly of:

    1- Alkanes from C4 to C13 branched and non-


    2- Aromatic compounds.

    3- Alkenes or olefins and alkynes (This is only

    found in gasoline produced from cracking and

    isomerization processes).

    4- Cyclic compounds or Naphthenic.

    5- Additives: This is used to improve the octane

    number, and the degree of stability against

    oxidation. It could also be used to control the

    composition of the sediment in the internal

    combustion engine.

    Octane number:

    When gasoline is exposed to a high temperature and

    pressure in the presence of air in the internal

    combustion engine (where the thermal energy is

    converted to kinetic energy) a little explosion

    occurs in the form of strange sound, and this

    phenomenon waste energy obtained from the

    fuel and may lead to the destruction of the

    engine with time.

    This happens as some gasoline components

    auto ignite before the start the internal

    combustion engine spark. The gasoline

    resistance to this phenomenon is expressed in

    numerical form and is named the octane

    number; this gives an indication on the

    quality of gasoline.

    In 1927 the octane number was defined by

    two components; Normal heptane

    corresponds to octane zero and isooctane

    (2.2.4 tri-methyl pentane) corresponds to

    octane 100. Gasoline mixtures are compared

    with a mixture of these two components to

    determine the degree of nocking equivalent.

    In general Aromatics have the highest octane

    number. It was observed that the greater the

    length of the straight chain paraffin, the

    greater the nocking. On the other hand, as the

    double bonds approaches the middle of the

    chain, the nocking decreases.

    There are two ways to measure the octane

    number; Laboratory (RON, Research Octane

    Number) and motor (MON, Motor Octane

    Number). The second method is better and

    more accurate.

  • 6

    How to improve the octane number of the


    Octane number can be improved by increasing the

    components of high octane rating in the gasoline,

    and the following processes can do this:

    1. Catalytic reforming process (Platforming): It is used to enhance the octane number of heavy

    naphtha fractions. This is done at high temperature

    with the aid of a suitable catalyst like platinum

    loaded on zeolite or alumina. Gasoline produced in

    this process is called Reformat, and it has octane

    number (98-100) with high proportion of aromatics

    and low olefins content. The catalytic reforming

    reactions are shown in the figure above.

    Platforming process variables:

    a. Catalyst Type: Catalyst is chosen to meet the refiners yield, activity, and the required stability. Catalyst type will affect the temperature required to

    meet a particular product quality.

    b. Reactor Temperature: Higher temperature is better. But very high temperatures, above 543C,

    may cause thermal reactions which will decrease

    reformate yield and catalyst stability.

    c. Space Velocity: Space velocity is a measure of

    the amount of naphtha that is processed over a

    given amount of catalyst over a set length of

    time. The higher the space velocity, the lower

    the product RON.

    d. Reactor Pressure: Reactor pressure as high as

    49 kg/cm2 and as low as 5.6 kg/cm2 is

    applicable commercially. Decreasing the reactor

    pressure will increase the amount of hydrogen

    produced and the reformate yield. In addition it

    will decrease the temperature requirement to

    achieve the same product quality, but on the

    other hand will increase catalyst coke formation


    e. H2/HC Ratio: Increasing the moles of recycle

    hydrogen per moles of naphtha charged to the

    unit, will allow the naphtha to flow through the

    reactor at a faster rate and will allow a greater

    Figure: Shows the catalytic reforming reactions to enhance the octane

    number of gasoline

  • 7

    heat sink for the endothermic heat of reaction. The

    end result is increasing stability with little effect on

    the product quality or yield.

    f. Charge Stock Properties: Charge stocks with low IBPs 77C will generally contain a significant amount of C5+ material. Which cannot be

    converted to aromatics and, therefore, these

    pentanes will pass through unconverted, isomerized

    and/or cracked to light ends. Because of their low

    octane, they will dilute the overall reformate

    octane. On the other hand, charge stocks with high

    EPs cause higher catalyst coking rates. g. Feed Additives: Both chloride and water are added to the feed in a sufficient quantity. This is

    required to maintain the chloride balance on the

    dual-function UOP Platforming catalyst, this will

    ensure a dual function performance of the catalyst.

    2. Cracker: It means cracking high molecular weight fractions

    from atmospheric and vacuum distillation and the

    heavy naphtha with a high molecular weight, to

    smaller compounds with low molecular weight

    without losing any hydrogen from the hydrocarbon

    chain (not like reforming), and there are two types

    of it:

    a. Thermal cracking; where the feedstock is exposed to high temperature and high pressure.

    b. Catalytic cracking; where the feedstock is exposed to high temperature with a suitable

    catalyst like zeolite (required to have an acidic

    property) at atmospheric pressure. Through this

    process 50% of the feedstock is converted to

    gasoline. This gasoline has high-octane number

    but not as high as that of reformate gasoline.

    3. Isomerization process: In this process, we convert the long straight chain

    paraffin to branched chains. In this process we

    use high temperature and selected catalyst

    (Aluminum chloride or platinum on aluminum

    oxide layer) to get high octane number isomers.

    Note: Sometimes isomerization occurs during the

    cracking process, which increases the quality of


    4. Alkylation process: In this process, we convert short alkanes to

    branched chains alkanes in the presence of a

    selected catalyst to get alkyls with high octane

    number. This is achieved with the help of strong

    acid catalyst (hydrochloric acid or hydrofluoric


    The disadvantage of this process is that gasoline

    contents may polymerize during operation

    causing a blockage in the vehicle carburetor.

    GS Caltex Catalytic Cracking Unit



    Treatment of wastewater from petrochemical plants can be a challenging and costly matter. Particularly

    when needing to comply with the requirements of the operational permits and the national environmental

    legislation. These legislations of permits govern the discharge of treated wastewater to community

    treatment plants or natural water bodies such as rivers, lakes and oceans.

    The segregation, collection and treatment of

    wastewater play a vital part in the protection of

    public health, water resources and wildlife.

    Refining and petrochemical facilities, as part of

    their permit to operate, must demonstrate that they

    are able to treat all their pollution streams to the

    appropriate standards.

    One of the most widely used strategies to meet the

    rising demand for water and increasingly strict environmental regulations on water is through

    improved water management and the investment in

    technologies to preserve and recycle process


    The refining industry converts crude oil and

    associated petroleum gas (APG) into hundreds of

    refined products, including petroleum, diesel fuel,

    kerosene, aviation fuel, fuel oils, lubricating oils

    and primary feedstock for the petrochemical

    industry. By doing so, it employs a wide variety of

    physical and chemical treatment processes in

    which large volumes of water are utilized, after

    which they become wastewater that need to be

    treated before discharging into the aquatic


    In a refinery wastewater treatment system, two

    steps of oil removal are typically required to free

    oil prior to feeding it to a biological system.

    Oil removal is achieved by using an American

    Petroleum Institute separator or an equivalent oil-

    water separator followed by a dissolved air

    flotation or induced air flotation unit. The

    wastewater is then routed to the primary treatment

    clarifier and to the aeration tank and secondary

    clarifier, which constitutes the biological system.

    The effluent from the clarifier is then sent to

    tertiary treatment, if required, prior to discharge.

    The activated sludge process is the most widely

    used wastewater treatment technology for the

    removal of soluble organic contaminants. Often

    the pH of the raw wastewater needs to be reduced

    before being fed to the bio-treatment stage, as high

    pH could potentially kill the bacteria doing the


    In the early 1900s, one of the worlds leading petrochemical manufacturers, in compliance with legislation at the time, had been discharging

    wastewater from the plant into the local river

    estuary. This was done after adjusting its pH using

    mineral acids, such as sulfuric and hydrochloric.

    Variability in the discharged wastewater pH and

    the corrosive nature of strong mineral acids led to

    concerns over potential harm this may cause to

    aquatic wildlife in estuaries.

    Kareem Salah

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University


  • At this stage, the company needs to find an

    environmentally friendly solution that would give

    it more robust control over the whole process. In

    order to achieve the target pH range through the

    use of mineral acids, the Industrial Gases Technology Company BOC Ltd which is part of The Linde Group in the UK observed periods of pH oscillation from too much acidity dosing,

    requiring adjustment with additional alkalinity.

    This, inevitably, leads to extra cost and operating

    complexity arising from operating two pH

    adjustment processes. The company ultimately

    opted for a single process route involving CO2,

    which preserves the natural alkalinity of the

    wastewater and the process pH control is more

    stable over the desired pH control range. BOC

    was appointed to design the pH control systems

    two Solvocarb tanks for the newly designed wastewater treatment plant.

    Owing to strict environmental permits, waste-

    water may only be discharged into the outlet

    channels if it is within a narrow pH range (usually

    between 9 and 6). The Solvocarb method employs

    gaseous CO2 to neutralize alkaline waters; this

    CO2, after being dissolved in water, forms

    carbonic acid which reacts with the alkaline to

    form a salt. The neutralization reaction controls

    the pH value to the appropriate discharge level. It

    was critical for the wastewater to be neutralized in

    the two tanks within the time available six-hour window between the two tides, which called for

    challenging process hydrodynamics. Large and

    variable volumes of wastewater needed to be brought

    within the correct pH range within a fixed time

    frame. The wrong pH value could result in the

    refinery being unable to discharge the wastewater,

    causing potential bottlenecks and resulting delays in

    the process chain. A significant amount of testing

    was conducted before the team was satisfied that the

    proposed system would operate to the required


    Today, the main driver for treating effluent high in

    alkalinity prior to discharging to the outfall is the

    strict regulation to protect the sensitive, biodiverse

    ecosystem within the estuary. Using CO2 to

    neutralize an alkali effluent avoids large swings in

    the discharge pH, a vital component in creating a

    sustainable and suitable environment for marine life.

    Compared with mineral acids commonly used in

    previous years, CO2 offers many advantages,

    amounting to the best economic and ecological

    alternative. CO2 is not categorized as a substance that

    is harmful to water and does not lead to the addition

    of unwanted anions in the water environment such as

    chlorides and sulfates. Moreover, there is no over-

    acidification of the wastewater, due to the self-

    buffering nature of CO2 in water. This produces a flat

    neutralization curve and prevents the corrosion of the

    system and equipment components. CO2 is also much

    safer than the acids previously used. Simple to

    handle, it is delivered as a liquid cryogen that is

    stored in tanks on site and dosed automatically into

    the process.


    Bowling Green Plant



    Ihab Zaky

    Senior Technical Professional

    CFS/DFG Champ, Halliburton


    As the demand for oil and gas increases, the challenges associated with drilling for these resource becomes

    exaggerated at a larger rate. As we drill deeper to tap the previously unreachable reservoirs, temperatures

    get hotter, pressures get higher and tolerances get smaller. As with any drilling operation, the difference

    (margin) between the fracture and pore pressure dictates limitations on the drilling fluid. With that respect,

    research and development has been keeping up with the ever decreasing drilling margins to help reach

    these reservoirs.

    Previously, Invert Emulsion Fluids (IEF) has been

    utilized to drill in margins greater than (>) 1ppg.

    With the introduction of high performance (HP)

    clay-free IEF, enabled the industry to drill wells

    with margins between 0.5 and 1.0ppg.

    Now, narrow margin drilling fluids can effectively

    drill through less than 0.5ppg equivalent

    circulating density (ECD) windows. This can be

    done by minimizing the fluctuations in rheological

    properties of the fluid due to temperature and

    pressure. Meaning, the fluid rheology and gel

    strength does not change and more importantly

    increase with an increase in temperature. The fluid

    utilizes state of the art rheology enhancers and

    suspension agents that enables the fluid to have the

    proper carrying capacity without adversely

    affecting the gel structure. Furthermore, the gel

    structure is at a minimum and at the same time

    enough to carry the barite at high angle wells or

    prolonged static conditions. In other words,

    minimal potential for sag with sag factors as low as

    0.53 in 16 lb/gal fluids.

    Additionally, small particle size (SPS) barite may

    be employed as the weighting material instead of

    the regular API standard barite. The difference

    being the particle size distribution (PSD) of the

    SPS barite which is 4 microns (d-50) compared to

    11 microns (d-50) for regular barite. According to

    Stokes Law, particle size has a strong influence over the settling velocity of a particle. By

    reducing the particle size of the inert solids in the

    fluid, the resistance for sag is proportionally


    The ability of this fluid to push the limits of

    narrow margin drilling is not dependent on only

    one factor but rather all the above mentioned

    innovative approaches to the fluid working

    together and enhancing their effects for a fluid

    system able to deliver when absolutely needed. It

    is worth noting that such system has been applied

    with great success in drilling operations

    worldwide. Surprisingly, this system was also

    applied in situations where running and cementing

    liners in very low tolerances would have exceeded

    the fracture pressures. The success of this system

    is evident in the new reservoirs being reached


    Last but not least, the advances in simulation and

    software modeling extend the ability to plan and

    design fluids based on down-hole conditions well

    before actual drilling. Not only so, software

    simulation helps minimize drilling problems

    associated with narrow margin drilling by

    carefully monitoring all aspects of the drilling

    fluid in direct conjunction with the drilling



    Mai Khaled

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University


    Biofuels are fuels produced directly or indirectly from organic material biomass. Kernels of corn, mats of

    algae and stalks of sugar cane are all biomass. Bioethanol (or Bioalcohol) is the most common type of

    biofuels used around the world. It is produced by the fermentation reaction of micro-organisms over sugar.

    It is used as fuel blend for automobiles as well as for heating purposes at home.

    While Biodiesel, another type of biofuel, is

    produced by transesterification of triglycerides.

    The biggest consumer of Biodiesel is Europe.

    Triglyceride, which is a component of fats, is

    found in vegetables, animal fats and oils. While

    manufacturing biofuels this triglyceride is

    transformed into esters and glycerin through a

    process called transesterification. The glycerin settles down at the bottom while the biofuel at

    the top.

    Syngas can also be used in a number of

    equipment as a fuel. Diesel engines, turbines and

    combustible engines can use of syngas. It is

    produced through partial combustion of biomass

    and it contains gases, such as carbon monoxide

    and hydrogen.

    Biofuels are considered as a renewable energy

    source because they are made from crops that can

    be replanted. Fossils fuels, on the other hand, are

    considered as a non-renewable one because they

    are consumable, they cannot be produced.

    Production of biofuels may lead to rising food

    costs. For example, the most common feedstock

    used to produce bioethanol is corn.

    Corn is used in many types of manufactured

    foods and more land will have to be cleared in

    order to grow more crops as feed stock for

    biofuels. This could lead to the destruction of

    important ecosystems and cause soil erosion.

    This is why algae is considered as an alternative

    feedstock for biofuel. Algae can be grown using

    land and water and are not consumed in food

    production. A further benefit of algae is that algal

    oil can be used for the production of a wide range

    of fuels such as diesel, gasoline and jet fuel.

    Biofuels Production



    The world of petroleum refining is ever-changing and always evolving. Refineries will always have to

    adapt to accommodate changes in crude slates, the environment and the law. Operations become more

    sophisticated through constant incremental changes, new technologies and approaches.

    Mostafa Kamal

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University


    An example of this evolution is how the refining

    industry reacted to the decision of the US

    government to ban the use of MTBE (methyl

    tertiary-butyl ether) in producing isooctane due

    to environmental concerns. Since the late 1990s,

    concerns have arisen over the contamination of

    drinking water with MTBE due to leaks from

    underground tanks. This forced the US

    government to take action and ban the use of

    MTBE in California in 2003, and then it

    completely eliminated in the USA in 2010.

    MTBE has provided a cheap and effective way of

    raising the octane number of gasoline since 1979

    due to its ability to replace lead as an octane

    enhancer. This created a gap in the market after

    the MTBE phased out. The US refiners were

    faced with the challenge of replacing the lost

    production volume and also exploiting the

    unrecovered and underutilized capital of the

    MTBE producers.

    Thats when the NExOCTANE technology was

    developed by Fortum oil, Gas Oy and Neste

    Jacobs for the production of isooctane. It

    successfully produces high-octane gasoline

    blending components that are essential to

    increase the compliance of motor gasolines with

    the quality

    quality specifications and projected quantity

    demand. Furthermore it provides a

    straightforward solution for conversion of the

    capital assets left idle after the phase out of

    (MTBE). The first commercial NExOCTANE

    unit started operation in the third quarter of 2002.

    The NExOCTANE process is divided into two

    sections; the dimerization section and the

    hydrogenation section. Isobutylene is fed into the

    dimerization section allowing isooctene to be

    produced; the isooctene is then fed into the

    hydrogenation section yielding the isooctane. The

    dimerization and hydrogenation sections are

    independently operated. A simplified flow

    diagram of the process is demonstrated below:




    Isooctene Isooctane

    The NExOCTANE Process Flow Diagram

  • 13

    The isobutylene dimerization takes place in the

    liquid phase in adiabatic reactors over fixed beds

    of acidic ion-exchange resin catalyst. The actual

    process has an extra step after the dimerization

    step called (product recovery) in which alcohol is

    retrieved and recycled into the dimerization

    reactor. Alcohol is formed in the dimerization

    reactors through the reaction of a small amount

    of water with olefin present in the feed.

    Since the amount of alcohol (inhibitor) dictates

    the amount of TMP (Tri-Methyl Phosphate)

    entering the reaction, then the quality of the

    product is controlled by the amount of

    recirculated alcohol from the product recovery

    section to the reactors. The alcohol content in the

    reactor feed is typically kept at a sufficient level

    so that the isooctene produced contains less than

    10 percent oligomers. The hydrogenation unit is sometimes modified to be able to reduce sulfur

    content in the product. The hydrogenation

    section consists of trickle-bed hydrogenation

    reactor and a product stabilizer. The stabilizer

    operates by removing excess hydrogen and other

    light components which would otherwise

    produce an end-product with undesirable vapor

    pressure. The commercial NExOCTANE

    processing units are designed in a way that

    makes them integrate into a refinery in a similar

    way to the MTBE units.

    The advantages of NExOCTANE technology

    are: 1- Long Lasting Dimerization Catalyst: The

    process uses a proprietary acidic ion exchange

    catalyst that has a life expectancy double that of

    a standard resin catalyst.

    2- Low Cost Plant Design: Most of the

    equipment used are standard non-proprietary

    equipment; including the fixed-bed reactors and

    the product recovery equipment are standard

    fractionation equipment. Existing product

    recovery equipment in MTBE units can easily be

    configured and utilized in the process.

    3- High Product Quality: Octane rating and

    specific gravity of NExOCTANE process

    products are better than those of products

    produced with alternative catalyst systems or

    competing technologies.

    4- Greater Blending Flexibility: The isooctane

    produced is easily blended with low grade

    gasoline to maximize profits by increasing

    production of higher grade gasoline.

    5- Process Intensification: NExOCTANE

    process is considered green engineering because

    two or more unit operations are combined into a

    single unit operation. This results in increased

    efficiency reduced operating and capital costs,

    and a reduction of waste streams.

    Phoenix Equipment MTBE Plant


    Mohamed Abdel-Baset

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University

    You do not build a business, you build people and then these people build the business. Every company

    needs to hire great people to be the most leading company in its field. Highly qualified employees with a

    professional management and direction can make progress and lead their companies to the top. For most job

    positions, a baseline technical competency is required; but there are so many other traits that can predict

    whether an applicant will be a good fit for the job or not.

    During my visits to many petroleum companies, I

    deliberated to ask about the system of recruitment

    and the selection criteria. What makes an applicant

    get a job rather than another one if they are equal at

    the technical competency? I have conducted many

    dozens of meetings with many engineers to know

    the answer of this question until I gained some

    decent insight into why candidates fail to get the

    job and it often comes down to some interviewing skills. You may be a promising

    applicant, but you might be getting rejected because

    you do not have one of these skills. So, here are the

    most top three reasons for rejecting applicants

    according to the recruiting officials in many of

    petroleum companies, regardless of the technical

    competency of each applicant.

    1- Failure to show any Passion

    During the interview, you have to show your

    enthusiasm, your passion to be successful in the job

    you are applying for. If you look like you are about

    to fall asleep in the interview, you are not giving

    the interviewer the impression that you are going to

    do your best when you get the job. Passion can be

    demonstrated in your body language, inflection of

    voice and the light in your eyes while you are


    2- Failure to connect your skills with the job

    During any interview, the interviewer is looking for

    the skills required for the job in the applicants personality. Many applicants spend most of the

    interview time talking about skills and experiences

    that have no relevance to the job. Does it really


    matter that so many applicants like reading,

    watching movies and playing tennis? Obviously, it

    does not! So, you do not have to mention your own

    hobbies in your CV or during the interview. When

    you are applying for any job, all you have to do is

    to try to display your skills that are related to the

    job. You can talk about your history in volunteering

    work and social activities, awards you got and skills

    you have gained. You can also market yourself by

    telling a story about how did you save the day in a

    critical situation.

    3- Failure to answer or ask Questions Yes, you may be a promising applicant, your

    experiences are relevant and your leadership, and

    communication, skills appeared strong but, after all

    of that, you find out that you were rejected!

    During the interview, you have to persuade the

    interviewer by the correctness of your answers; they

    must possess a high degree of confidence and


    At the end of any interview, there is a plenty of

    time for questions. If you have none, that means

    you do not show any bit of curiosity regarding how

    the organization was structured, how the team

    worked, what challenges the company has faced

    and what targets they are aiming.

    So, the next time you are preparing for an

    interview, try to demonstrate your passion and

    market yourself; connect your experiences and

    skills with the job and prepare to some questions to

    ask; this will surely increase your chance of

    succeeding in getting the job.




    Nada Ibrahim

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University


    If we tried to think of a source of energy that is considered as the cleanest burning fossil fuel, we would

    definitely choose natural gas.

    Regardless of its preferred characteristics, it

    cannot be delivered to many cities and towns

    which are far from its origin because the

    transportation process is uneconomical and

    impractical. This problem can be solved by

    liquefying it and producing liquefied natural gas

    (LNG). Liquefied natural gas is a clear, non-toxic

    liquid that can be transported more easily than

    natural gas because it occupies 600 times less


    LNG was first made, in the 19th century, by

    Michael Faraday while doing an experiment that

    involves liquefying different types of gases and

    mixing them together. The first LNG plant was

    built in 1912 in West Virginia and started

    operation in 1917.

    Liquefied natural gas is produced by cooling

    natural gas to a very low temperature (-160 oC)

    after several processes. Then, it is purified from

    impurities, and water is removed as they may

    cause blockage while cooling. These two processes

    are priorities before liquefying.

    After several processes of filtration, LNG is stored

    in tanks and shipped to its destination, where it is

    converted back to the gaseous state by

    regasification facilities. Now, it can be used at

    homes and in industries.

    Natural Gas Liquefaction


    The inevitable fact that can never be denied that absence of gender equality has led to radical problems and

    continuously dilated gap in our community at five main aspects which are: Health, education, economic

    opportunities, political participation, and human security.

    Females' health omission is a result of the wrong

    belief that females are not in need to the right

    strong body building; whether by healthy diet or

    practicing a sport. There is a prevalent conviction

    that the importance of women is confined in the

    mother role, neglecting the idea that health's

    indifference badly affects every new born in our

    community. Women's communities' education

    about the importance of maternal health gives

    women their social status to make health care

    decisions and seek medical attention.

    Increasing child mortality, fertility and AIDS

    hinder the marital life's improvement;

    consequently, it has been clearly shown that

    mothers' education makes a big difference and that

    the positive effects increase with each additional

    year spent by the girl in the school. We are in a

    great need for accelerating actions and revitalizing

    concepts of importance of girls' education and

    disadvantages of their ignorance. Women's limited

    benefit from communication technologies is also

    likely to reduce the competitiveness of the

    countries in the global market.

    "Girls' education, an investment in the future" is a

    culture we need to spread by responsible

    organizations stressing on the fact that girls have

    the intellectual capacity to improve the

    humanitarian situation substantially.

    Talking about economic opportunities and political

    participation, each woman in our society has to

    multiply her efforts to hold a position compared by a

    man trying to reach the same position; therefore, that

    le-ads to the lack of participation of women in

    decision-making in all areas of life and at all levels

    of society which prevents the eradication of poverty

    and stands against building democratic societies.

    Human security is the most deteriorated issue in

    women's rights. Statistics concerning this issue are

    terrifying; in 2012, fifty percent of murdered women

    were killed by partners or family, one in three

    women has experienced physical or sexual violence

    mostly by an intimate partner-, and only 52 countries criminalize rape within marriage while two

    and half billion women and girls live in countries

    that don't.

    For all mentioned problems, there should be

    responsible organizations and initiatives that

    advocate every individual in the society not to see

    those problems just about women because men need

    to recognize the part they play, too. We have to raise

    and encourage our boys to think differently, respect

    women, and treat them as equal so we can see a

    generational change around the world. In addition,

    raise our girls to speak up when they see or

    experience physical, emotional or sexual harassment.

    The society as whole should emphasize on the full

    implementation of the rules aiming to the elimination

    of all forms of discrimination against women as it's

    not a good indication for a society to have half of its

    population silenced, ignored or treated poorly.

    Nesma Wagih

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University



    Mohamed Tarek

    Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering

    Suez University

    In this article we will discover the mysteries of black holes and theories about the existence of other kinds

    of holes such as; "wormholes", gateways in hyperspace that connect points in space and time and possibly

    lead to other dimensions.

    A black hole is a region of space-time from which

    gravity prevents anything, including light, from

    escaping. Around a black hole, there is a

    mathematically defined surface called an event

    horizon that marks the point of no return. The

    hole is called "black" because it absorbs all the

    light that hits the horizon, reflecting nothing, just

    like a perfect black body in thermodynamics.

    Quantum field theory in curved space-time

    predicts that event horizons emit radiation like a

    black body with a finite temperature. This

    temperature is inversely proportional to the mass

    of the black hole, making it difficult to observe

    this radiation for black holes of stellar mass or


    A wormhole, also known as an Einstein-Rosen

    Bridge is a hypothetical feature of space-time. For

    a simple visual explanation of a wormhole,

    consider space-time visualized as a two-

    dimensional (2D) surface. If this surface is folded

    along a third dimension, it allows one to picture a

    wormhole "bridge". A wormhole is, in theory,

    much like a tunnel with two ends each in separate

    points in space-time.

    The Birth of a Black Hole





    Gas processing covers a broad range of operations to prepare natural gas for market. This includes

    processes for removal of contaminants such as H2S, CO2 and water and processes for recovering light

    hydrocarbon liquids for sale.

    Haitham Dwedar

    Process Engineer

    United Gas Derivatives Company (UGDC)


    The recovery of light hydrocarbon liquids from

    natural gas streams can range from simple dew

    point control to deep ethane extraction. The

    desired degree of liquid recovery has a

    profound effect on process selection,

    complexity, and cost of the processing facility.

    The term NGL (natural gas liquids) is a general

    term which applies to liquids recovered from

    natural gas and as such refers to ethane and

    heavier products (C2+). Typically, modern gas processing facilities produce a single ethane

    plus a product (normally called Y-grade) which

    is often sent offsite for further fractionation and

    processing. Whether accomplished on-site or at

    another facility, the mixed product will be further

    fractionated to make products such as purity

    ethane, ethane-propane (EP), commercial

    propane, Propane-butane mixtures (LPG) , normal

    butane, mixed butanes, butane-gasoline (BG),

    and de-butanized natural gasoline (DNG or

    stabilized condensate).

    The degree of fractionation which occurs is

    market and geographically dependent. In Egypt

    NGL plant produce ethane-propane mixtures or

    commercial propane as a feedstock for

    petrochemical industry. In addition, propane-

    butane mixture (LPG) is produced which was

    considered as the only source of energy in

    Egyptians domestic use. Recently the government

    has implemented an ambitious plan for availing

    natural gas as the predominant source of energy

    in domestic uses.

    Early efforts in the 20th century for liquid

    recovery involved compression and cooling of the

    gas stream and stabilization of a gasoline product. The lean oil absorption process was developed in

    the 1920s to increase recovery of gasoline and

    produce products with increasing quantities of

    butane. These gasoline products were, and still

    are, sold on a Reid vapor pressure (RVP)


    Gas Processing

  • 19

    In order to further increase production of liquids,

    refrigerated lean oil absorption was developed in

    the 1950s. By cooling the oil and the gas with

    refrigeration, propane product can be recovered.

    With the production of propane from lean oil

    plants, a market developed for LPG as a portable

    liquid fuel.

    Recently, the use of straight refrigeration

    typically results in a much more economical

    processing facility. The refrigeration of the gas

    can be accomplished with mechanical

    refrigeration, absorption refrigeration, expansion

    through a J-T valve, or a combination.

    Straight refrigeration units that most often use

    propane as refrigerant or low temperature

    separations units have proven to be economical

    and reliable , but their operating temperatures

    limits deep extraction for all NGL in natural gas


    In order to achieve still lower processing

    temperatures, cascade refrigeration, mixed

    refrigerants, and turbo-expander technologies

    have been developed and applied.

    With these technologies, recoveries of liquids

    can be significantly increased to achieve deep

    ethane recoveries. Early ethane recovery

    facilities targeted about 50 % ethane recovery.

    As processes developed, ethane recovery

    efficiencies have increased to well over 90%.

    In some instances, heavy hydrocarbons are

    removed to control the hydrocarbon dew point of

    the gas and prevent liquid from condensing in

    pipeline transmission and fuel systems. In this

    case the liquids are a byproduct of the processing

    and if no market exists for the liquids, they may

    be used as fuel. Alternatively, the liquids may be

    stabilized and marketed as condensate.

    Turboexpander Processing The process which dominates ethane recovery

    facility design is the turbo-expander process. This

    process uses the feed gas pressure to produce

    needed refrigeration by expansion across a turbine

    (turbo-expander). The turbo-expander recovers

    useful work from this gas expansion. Typically

    the expander is linked to a centrifugal compressor

    to recompress the residue gas from the process.

    Because the expansion is near isentropic, the

    turbo-expander lowers the gas temperature

    significantly more than expansion across a J-T


    The process as originally conceived utilized a top

    feed, non-refluxed demethanizer. As higher and

    higher recovery levels have been desired,

    alternative designs have been developed.

    The focus of these designs is to produce reflux

    for the demethanizer to attain lower overhead

    temperatures and higher ethane recovery.

    The turboexpander process has been applied to a

    wide range of process conditions and, in addition

    to ethane recovery projects, is often used as a

    process for high propane recovery. The process

    can be designed to switch from ethane recovery

    to ethane rejection operation with minimal

    operating changes.

    Types of Turbo-expander process 1- Conventional Process It is the original turboexpander process, where

    dry feed gas is first cooled against the residue gas

    and used for side heating of the demethanizer.

    Additionally, with richer gas feeds, mechanical

    refrigeration is often needed to supplement the

    gas chilling. The chilled gas is sent to the cold

    separator where the condensed liquid is

    separated, flashed and fed to the middle part of

    the demethanizer. The vapor flows through the

    turboexpander and feeds the top of the column.

    A J-T valve is installed in parallel with the

    expander. This valve can be used to handle

    excess gas flow beyond the design of the

    expander or can be used for the full flow if the

    expander is out of service.

    Conventional Expander

  • 20

    In this configuration the ethane recovery is

    limited to about 80% or less. Also, the cold

    separator is operated at a low temperature to

    maximize recovery.

    2- Residue Recycle Process (RRP) To increase the ethane recovery beyond the 80%

    achievable with the conventional design, a source

    of reflux must be developed for the demethanizer.

    One of the methods is to recycle a portion of the

    residue gas, after recompression, back to the top

    of the column. As shown in the following figure,

    the process flow is similar to the conventional

    design except that a portion of the residue is

    brought back through the inlet heat exchange. At

    this point the stream is totally condensed and is at

    the residue gas pipeline pressure. The stream is

    then flashed to the top of the demethanizer to

    provide reflux. The expander outlet stream is sent

    a few trays down in the tower rather than to the

    top of the column. The reflux provides more

    refrigeration to the system and allows very high

    ethane recovery to be realized. The recovery level

    is a function of the quantity of recycle in the


    The RR process can be used for very high ethane

    recoveries limited only by the quantity of

    horsepower provided.

    3- Gas Subcooled Process (GSP) The Gas Subcooled Process (GSP) was developed

    to over-come the problems encountered with the

    conventional expander process. This process,

    shown in the following figure, alters the


    conventional process in several ways. A portion

    of the gas from the cold separator is sent to a heat

    exchanger where it is totally condensed with the

    overhead stream. This stream is then flashed to

    top of the demethanizer providing reflux to the


    As with the RR process, the expander feed is sent

    to the tower several stages below the top of the

    column. Because of this modification, the cold

    separator operates at much warmer conditions

    well away from the system critical. Additionally,

    the residue recompression is less than with the

    conventional expander process. The horsepower is

    typically lower than the RR process at recovery

    levels below 92%.

    4- The Cold Residue Recycle (CRR) The Cold Residue Recycle (CRR) process is a

    modification of the GSP process to achieve

    higher ethane recovery levels. The process flow

    is similar to the GSP except that a compressor

    and condenser have been added to the overhead

    system to take a portion of the residue gas and

    provide additional reflux for the demethanizer.

    Residue Recycle

    Gas Subcooled Process

    Cold Residue Recycle Process

  • 21

    This process is attractive for extremely high

    ethane recovery. Recovery levels above 98% are

    achievable with this process. This process is also

    excellent for extremely high propane recovery

    while rejecting essentially all the ethane.

    5- High Propane Recovery Processes The previous processes are processes which can

    recover ethane in the presence of CO2. They can

    also be configured to reject ethane and recover a

    reasonable level of propane. The processes are

    equilibrium limited in the overhead reflux stream

    to achieve high propane recovery.

    Other process configurations have been developed

    which focus on high propane recovery. These are

    especially attractive in locations where ethane

    recovery is not contemplated.

    One such process is the OverHead Recycle

    process (OHR). This process configuration uses

    an absorber column and deethanizer column to

    achieve the desired separation. The overhead from

    the deethanizer is condensed and used to absorb

    propane from the expander outlet stream. This

    configuration provides more efficient recovery of

    propane but is not suitable for ethane recovery.

    This process can be reconfigured to the GSP if

    ethane recovery is desired.

    The OHR process has been improved to make

    better use of the refrigeration available in the feed

    streams. The Improved Overhead Reflux (IOR)

    process shown in the figure above makes a few

    strategic changes from the OHR process. In this

    process the reflux for the deethanizer is produced

    in the absorber over-head system which produces

    reflux for both towers. The absorber bottomsis

    heated against the feed before being sent to the

    deethanizer. The use of the two columns results in

    a propane recovery of over 99% while the ethane

    recovery is set to produce the desired purity

    propane in the deethanizer bot-toms. This basic

    IOR setup has been modified by combining the

    absorber and deethanizer into a single column

    with a side draw to produce reflux.

    IOR process is the latest proven technology for

    turboexpander processing used in Egypt, other

    processes were innovated by the continuous

    development for IOR process, but these

    technologies are used in US, Canada and Arab

    Gulf region.

    OHR Process

    IOR Process

  • 22


    - BP has signed an agreement to invest $12 billion in Egypt that will produce 3

    billion barrels of oil equivalent, a joint statement from the company and the

    government said on Saturday. The agreement will include a West Nile Delta

    project, exploration and resource appraisal activities, East Nile Delta operations

    and operations in the Gulf of Suez.

    - The Ministry of Petroleum has assigned importing the liquefied natural gas (LNG)

    needed for power plants during fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016 to the Egyptian

    General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC). The corporation would pay for the

    imported gas from its own resources. The EGPC budget will include around

    $2.5bn to import LNG shipments, as well as paying for regasification ship,

    according to Tarek El-Mulla, Chairman of EGPC. EGAS, The Egyptian Natural

    Gas Holding Company, has already agreed with Norwegian oil company HOG on

    renting a regasification ship at an exchange rate of 31 cents for each 1m thermal

    units. The agreement stipulated that around 500m cubic feet of gas would be

    converted daily.

    - Last October, Egypt proposed a tender to import LNG, with four international

    companies including British Petroleum (BP) and multinational Vitol winning the

    tender. This would provide around 40 shipments of LNG annually. An initial

    agreement with Russian Gazprom was reached to import 35 shipments of LNG

    over the next five years, in addition to six shipments from Algerian Sonatrach

    during 2015, according to Minister of Petroleum, Sherif Ismail.

  • 23


    BP has announced that Iain Conn, group

    managing director and chief executive for

    Downstream, is leaving the company and is

    to step down from BPs board by the end of the year. Conn has worked for BP for 29

    years, serving on the board for the past 10

    years and in his current downstream role for

    the past seven.

    BP and the China National Offshore Oil

    Corporation (CNOOC) have signed a heads

    of agreement for the supply of up to 1.5

    million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG)

    per year over 20 years, starting in 2019.

    BP and Tokyo Electric Power Company

    (TEPCO) have signed a sales and purchase

    agreement for LNG. Under the agreement,

    TEPCO will purchase from BP up to 1.2

    million tons of LNG per year for 17 years,

    starting in 2017. This is the first long-term

    portfolio contract for TEPCO. It is also BPs first long-term contract with TEPCO where

    BP is the sole supplier.

    Aviation purchase Air BP has announced

    its agreement to purchase the aviation

    fuel business, Statoil Fuel & Retail

    Aviation AS (SFR Aviation), from

    Canadian company Alimentation

    Couche-Tard Inc. The deal will add

    around 73 new airports in the Nordic

    countries and northern Europe to Air

    BPs 600-strong global fuels network.





    Ibrahim Ragab Faculty of Petroleum and

    Mining Engineering

    Suez University

  • Hossam Magdy


    Faculty of Petroleum and

    Mining Engineering

    Nesma Wagih


    Faculty of Petroleum and

    Mining Engineering

    Ibrahim Ragab

    Managing Editor

    Faculty of Petroleum and

    Mining Engineering

    Menna El-Manzalawy

    Associate Editor

    Faculty of Petroleum and

    Mining Engineering

    Ahmed Mokhtar


    Faculty of Petroleum and

    Mining Engineering


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