Inline Blending is a controlled method to continuously mix a number of blend components inside a pipeline to get to a defined specification. Inline blending as supposed to Batch blending has many advantages in terms of reduced process time, flexibility to allow for e.g. last-minute changes in shipping schedules, has an improved accuracy performance, and it reduces the storage capacity and capital lock up needed.
The KPS inline blending solutions can be used for many different applications such as the optimization of profitability for crude oils, fuel oils, bunker fuel, ethanol products, etc.
Important design aspects of the inline blender are the design limitations coming from e.g. the existing infrastructure, the discharge performance, as well as the compatibility of the different blend components. Usually such constrains are identified, considered and agreed upon in the feed stage of the project.
With inline blending it’s not just the purchase of the right components; it is the integration of them to form a complete system. Depending upon the compositions of the liquids, the proper materials need to be selected. The valves, meters, analyzers, etc. enables the blend components to be simultaneously measured and controlled while heading towards the blender header to produce a final product. At the end of the blender header adequate mixing takes place that can be analyzed to allow for a quality trim and blender optimization. The KPS blending solutions are custom designs, supplied as a turnkey package, fully skid- mounted and with an overall performance guarantee.
The selection of the proper blender control philosophy is dependent upon the constraints of the existing infrastructure, the quality of feedstock, and the final product specifications. The control system defines the stability and performance of the blender, and often requires a quality trim function that utilizes online analyzers to continuously optimize the performance of the blender. By using a combination of measured parameters (such as viscosity, density, sulfur and octane) and/or calculated flow-weighted quality parameters, quality trim blenders can automatically correct for any variations in the feedstock quality or errors arising from the blending models.
The blender philosophy can be migrated directly into the plant wide DCS control system to allow for a completely integrated solution for the plant that is fully supported by operation’s house contractor. Functionalities like recipe management, alarms, reports and batch information can be used up to its full potential and can customize their user interface to meet the requirement.
A final product blend it’s stability, homogeneity and consistency are key requirements for a successful blending operations. Traditionally, static mixing devices consisting of a series of baffles or metal plates are installed in the main pipeline and are used to create turbulence to get a properly mixed flow. The energy needed for mixing comes from a loss in pressure as fluids flow through the static mixer. With this said, operators find this a less attractive solution because a loss in pressure would mean less throughput. Furthermore, static mixers are designed to operate with a certain turndown and dispersion rate, providing operators with instable results at the start and end of the batch. The patented e-JetmixTM technology provides the perfect solution for such applications. It has nihil pressure drop in the main pipeline and provides a stable performance independent upon the flowrate. The e-JetmixerTM guarantees a stable blend on the long term and a homogenize flow, which is essential for any online analyzers to optimize the blender real time and minimize give-away. The KPS e-JetmixerTM is an efficient design, consisting of an external pump, mixing nozzle, and a take-off point, as drawn in the sketch above. A part of the main stream is extracted and re-injected into the mainstream using the efficient and patented KPS nozzle mixing device. In the created loop, the online analyzers and CS-01 cell sampler can be located, to allow for accurate and representative measurements.
CFD simulation of blender design
Confronted with the complex of variations in densities, viscosities, and flowrate, possible making the blend non-homogeneous and instable; users no longer have to rely on just a rule of thumb or previous experiences. KPS has the capability to verify the installation design using advanced CFD simulation software. This tool can precisely determine the behavior in the pipeline for the entire operating envelope and makes sure the customer is not faced with possible inaccurate or unstable results.
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