Case Study: Refinery Site-Wide Safety Enhancement

Case Study: Refinery Site-Wide Safety Enhancement

The Problem:

Practical answers needed to replace a limited and failing deployment of past safety engineering

Activated Carbon is designated a BACT (Best Available Control Technology) by the EPA for the removal of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and our client had installed a significant number of carbon canisters throughout their facility. Over the years, the cost of maintenance and the potential risk of exposure with the original design was a problem. Plus, certain conditions could lead to a possible exothermic reaction resulting in fire and/or explosion in upstream equipment. Due to the nature of the facility, access, space, maintainability, and constructability, the implementation of a better installation was extremely difficult. In addition, timing the delivery of equipment and materials to dedicated construction resources is a prime consideration in any mega operating facility, and the challenges presented here were no exception.

The Solution:

Smart communication, opportunity for a new modular design, and just-in-time delivery

Beginning with the end in mind, packaged, shop-built skids were conceived by our design team, then built and delivered to the site and timed to keep the client’s onsite crews engaged. The skids were designed to have a small footprint and allow for easy operability. In addition, Chemic initiated and implemented a very high level, detailed, communication plan throughout the project, as effective and immediate coordination between all the stakeholders was essential to the project’s success. Further, in order to minimize downtime and extra work, construction kits were created that included relief devices, flame arrestors, off-skid piping, and supports that were not already attached to the skids.


Cost-effective safety, implemented with ingenuity

An unsafe situation is made safe and a project that might have been executed at a much higher cost was implemented with ingenuity. It takes a team of dedicated professionals to deliver this level of long-term value. The client now has a system with multiple layers of protection, that is simple and safe to maintain, and is reliable for controlling VOCs.

By implementing our vision, the customer is positioned for long-term success and has a template for future similar projects.


Matching up the right people and processes to help solve a client problem has always been Chemic’s strength. Now, Chemic has carried on its heritage with a commitment to solving its customer’s pressing engineering and safety issues, while tailoring a solution unique to them.