Flow Measurement of Phenol
Phenols are one of the most important intermediaries in the chemical industry and demand increases every year. They are used in many manufacturing processes ranging from electrical connections to carpet fibers. A major US based petrochemical company uses the cumene process for creating phenols by combining benzene and compressed air in the presence of an acid catalyst.
Phenol is, at its manufacturing temperature of 300 °F, a very viscous fluid. When it cools, it further thickens and eventually turns into a solid. Therefore, it can’t be allowed to cool too much or it would severely damage the plant’s equipment. So when the final product is produced it is kept flowing at only a slightly lower temperature until shipped.
Another issue in the production of phenol lies within its high level of toxicity. Phenol itself is very hazardous and exposure to it can be fatal if untreated - leaks must therefore be avoided by any means.
Previously used differential pressure flow meters were often clogged due to the viscose medium and required frequent cleaning - a tedious, time consuming and costly, but especially dangerous task.
Due to these constrictions and risks, the plant engineers were looking for a better flow measuring alternative. FLEXIM's non-invasive ultrasonic technology was the answer!
First test measurements with one of FLEXIM's portable flow meters showed the superior measurement performance of the non-invasive technology. When compared, the differential pressure meters were a lot more noisy and read flase (higher) flow rates that eventually droped over time due to impluse line clogging.
The FLUXUS non-invasive ultrasonic flow meters are not affected by density, which make them ideal for multiple applications from slurries to gas measurements. They automatically compensate for variations in viscosity - making them the ideal choice for such media as phenol.
After three months of testing, the plant operator decided to install permant FLUXUS flow meters, replacing the unreliable differential pressure meters.