Inspectioneering

Chemical Processing Industry

Explore this topic

Chemicals are forms of matter with a constant composition and properties. Virtually everything that physically exists is made up of chemicals, or a mixture of multiple chemicals. For this reason, chemicals are incredibly important in the process industries. Along with virtually every other industry in the world.

Chemical processing describes the process by which one chemical composition is transformed into another. The multi-billion dollar Chemical Processing Industry manufactures, processes, and produces various types of chemicals, chemical substances, and products. These include petrochemical and inorganic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, industrial gases, plastics, rubbers, detergents, paints, coatings, pigments, and many others. The chemical processing industry is essential to the modern global economy and plays a vital role in almost every other industry in existence.

In 1992, OSHA issued the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals standard (29 CFR 1910.119). This regulation contains requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals. Among other things, it requires operators to keep written safety procedures when dealing with dangerous chemicals. It also requires they create and implement an action plan in case of emergencies.

Topic Tools

Share this Topic

Contribute to Definition

We welcome updates to this Integripedia definition from the Inspectioneering community. Click the link below to submit any recommended changes for Inspectioneering's team of editors to review.

Contribute to Definition
Articles about Chemical Processing Industry
Blog

There are still lessons to be learned 48 years after the failure of the cyclohexane plant that led to the explosion that occurred on Saturday, June 1, 1974.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

Who is Inspector Frank? It is a valid question but I don’t want it answered specifically for some obvious reasons. I will share what I can though...

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

Trying too hard to bring attention to the myriad concerns of a robust equipment integrity program can end up backfiring on you. You don’t want to be the “inspector who cried wolf” with no one listening when you actually have a problem.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

COVID-19 is disrupting all industries including asset management. Here are 6 recommendations to help you align your asset management according to new requirements and turn the challenges into opportunities.

Authors: Frank-Uwe Hess
Blog

In a nutshell, Schwerpunkt means focusing your force in the area it will be the most effective. As a strategy, it means overall strategic intent has to be known and understood by everyone. All levels know their part in the plan.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Partner Content

Auto-refrigeration can impose low temperatures onto process vessels and piping causing them to be at risk of brittle fracture, the sudden break-before leak phenomena that can result in catastrophic rupture of the equipment.

Blog

When paired with the right software, the RBWS process can lead to significant reductions in turnaround work scopes. However, some software tools have distinct advantages over others.

Authors: Abby King
Blog

I once worked with a chief inspector who refused to hire anyone who had any National Board inspection certifications. “Why?”, you might ask. I had the same question, and his response was “Because anyone with National Board is gunning for my...

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

This article discusses two common challenges for inspectors taking thickness readings in high temperature environments and ways to overcome those challenges.

Authors: Calvin Jory
Blog

Critical things often get missed in facilities but are these things being owned and fixed? We get good at reactively solving problems as they appear, but are we proactively working towards examining and fixing the potential larger issues?

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

Developing a comprehensive turnaround (TA) work scope for process equipment is a critical step for achieving a facility's business goals. Risk Based Work Selection is a proven process for prioritizing and optimizing planned work for an impending TA.

Partner Content

It’s a scary thought to think that with all the new advancements in technology, some facilities still rely on traditional inspection contractors that perform out of date procedures. You rely on technology to keep your home and identity safe, so...

Blog

Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) is an industry best practice used to help refiners better-manage the safety and reliability of operations for a facility. When properly conducted, RBWS can help refiners optimize major turnaround projects.

Blog

Just because you have a technical expert does not mean they will be an expert at managing people. Like any skill set, it takes training, time, and mentoring to become a good personnel manager.

Authors: Inspector Frank
May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article details an experience assessing the mechanical integrity of a feed pressure vessel, and describes the methodology carried out for detecting CUI and how results were managed for this pressure vessel.

Authors: Andres Salazar
Blog

This is the first article in a new column. In each article, the author will share technical, thought-provoking, and sometimes humorous or emotional experiences garnered in a career that spans over 20 years inside the gates of facilities.

Authors: Inspector Frank
May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

According to API 570, facilities must have a mechanical integrity program in place for critical check valves. But what criteria determines whether or not a check valve is critical in your process? How should check valves be inspected and by whom?

Partner Content

Inspectioneering and API have teamed up to create the Mechanical Integrity Professional Initiative. The goal of this project is to raise the benchmark on industry knowledge and develop the next generation of SMEs. We believe that equipping MI...

March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Hot spots – localized areas of overheating in pressure equipment – can lead to deformation or even loss of process containment. It is important to understand the effects of elevated temperature caused by hot spots on the mechanical integrity of...

March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is designed to help the reader better communicate their FEMI Mission, Vision, Core Values and Responsibilities to all stakeholders at their site.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Cleaning of heat exchangers and other process equipment is typically done with the use of pressurized water (e.g., hydro-blasting). However, in some situations thermal decomposition, a technique that utilizes heat rather than water to break down...

Authors: Kyle Dunn
January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Given the concern throughout industry regarding the potential for brittle fracture failures, PWHT guidance to address potential issues arising from the recent changes in PWHT code requirements for carbon steel is examined in this article, and...

Blog

Infrared (IR) thermometry has been used for over forty years to monitor tube metal temperatures in refining and chemical furnaces. Recently, IR thermometry has been criticized in the industry for delivering inaccurate readings; however, this is...

Partner Content

Becht’s industry-leading Corrosion and Metallurgical experts are here to help with significant owner-operator experience covering the refining, petrochemical and chemical industries. This expertise is leveraged to help our clients become more...

Blog

Industry SME John Reynolds provides his bi-annual updates from the API Standards Meeting and discusses developments related to the 2019 API Inspection Summit, SCIMI codes, standards, and recommended practices, and the API Individual Certification...

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Effective condition monitoring location selection is a key component of a best-in-class mechanical integrity program. Learn how moving beyond traditional qualitative approaches to optimized CML selection can reduce risk and maximize the value of...

May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Read a firsthand account of how organizing Process, People, Plant, and Performance can reveal breakdowns in your corrosion management practices and drive down corrosion related leaks.

Authors: David E. Moore
Blog

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued two reports on the safe management of hazards by small businesses and storage facilities that use highly hazardous chemicals in business processes.

March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Myths, challenges, and good practices related to process piping integrity management activities that help inspection and maintenance managers make the right decisions to develop cost-effective piping inspection plans without compromising the...

Partner Content

TEAM provides full inline, onsite and, shop valve repair services and maintenance programs for virtually all valve types, brands, sizes, materials, pressures, and operating conditions, including actuators and operators. Our valve repair solution is...

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article presents a perspective on the human factor and emphasizes the value of using risk tools at all levels in the organization to help provide management focus during times of severe economic pressure.

Blog

At the end of every year, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) releases a list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, comprised from approximately 32,000...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely,...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

We at Inspectioneering would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our subscribers, followers, clients, and industry partners for a great 2015, and wish every member of the Inspectioneering community a happy and healthy 2016!

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Rarely is there a new and unknown cause of a major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) failure in the petrochemical and refining industry. This article briefly summarizes five major fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) failures from...

Authors: John Reynolds
Partner Content

Statistical techniques are meant to complement the work of SMEs and can provide deeper insights into the inspection data collected as part of a reliability program. Pinnacle has combined traditional methods, expertise, and Machine Learning to...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Assessing risk is an integral part of working at a refinery. Infrastructure supporting the miles of piping, process vessels, and the platforms and ladders used in daily unit operations are often taken for granted. The Civil Structures Management...

Online Article

Now more than ever, processing plants are in need to ensure their facilities are equipped with the tools and methodologies necessary to ensure safe and efficient operations. The development of regulations and industry standards are prompting plants...

Online Article

Michael Heard, Risk Engineering Advisor, Process Safety / Technical Safety / Environmental at Hess Corporation recently spoke with marcus evans about key topics to be discussed at their upcoming Facility Siting and Risk Mitigation for Processing...

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Today, many managers are finding that they can address the reliability of all types of assets by combining RBI and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) processes together into one comprehensive reliability management process.

Authors: Walt Sanford
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Rope access allows for a wide variety of work to be performed at high elevations or other hard to reach areas without the use of scaffolding or heavy equipment. It has evolved from techniques used in rock climbing and caving to become an extremely...

Authors: Andy Kates
Partner Content

Traditional pressure vessel inspections often require taking assets out of service. However, MISTRAS’ Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) programs provide data as good or better than internal inspections, while assets remain in service. NII is...

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Refractory materials have significantly evolved during the past 15 years, testing technology is much more sophisticated, and the need for test technicians to be properly trained and experienced to use that technology is much more important than it...

Authors: Jeremy Wimberly
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

The tubes of heat exchangers (HX), whether for a shell and tube bundle or an airfin, are typically subject to some form of nondestructive examination (NDE) to try and quantify the remaining wall thicknesses and corrosion rates to help a plant to...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

With the advancements in today’s technology and improvements to Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), if we deploy them properly and in line with best practices, it is possible to reach...

Authors: Matt Midas
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

The ability to gain this unique perspective has recently become easier and safer with today’s technological advancements. This new technology comes in the form of a miniature flying machine, better known as a drone or small Unmanned Aerial System...

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Avoiding cracking under pressure when managing high-energy piping systems is common subject matter in the power industry. Just as high-energy piping can give way to pressure, stress and fatigue, so can the people in charge of operating them when...

Authors: Pamela Hamblin
Partner Content

Antea delivers highly flexible risk-based asset integrity software with 3D Digital Twin integration to optimize maintenance, reduce risk, and improve mechanical integrity for oil and gas, power generation, and chemical plants and facilities. Whether...

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Whether onsite or offsite, the methods for cleaning shell and tube heat exchangers can vary. Refining and petrochemical operators will agree that high standards must be employed with each method. Choosing the right method can make the difference...

Authors: Harold Marburger
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Reliability engineering tools and concepts can be used to avoid or delay failures, thus increasing product service life. Design or maintenance teams use reliability engineering techniques to identify failures and their causes.

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Epoxy products have gone through extensive research and development over the years, and have reached the point that when specified for the correct environment, they should perform exactly as intended.

Authors: Clint Rupert
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Challenges abounded in 2014 for the process industries, and it does not look like they will let up soon. But then again, that’s life, as they say. After 40 years in the industry the old adages still ring true, “there is nothing new under the...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

One of the major challenges inspectors and plant operators face after each turnaround is to ensure that all repair and scope work is and was completed in accordance with the client’s requirements. Sometimes that verification will be to ensure work...

Authors: Scott Corey
Partner Content

The OmniScan™ X3 64 phased array and TFM flaw detector is equipped with enhanced phased capabilities and even faster TFM. The rugged and portable instrument features powerful 64-element probes with a 128-aperture TFM.

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The introduction of PAUT is a challenging effort initially, but can have a very positive impact on your first TAR and become a routine inspection for future TARs. When fully implemented, radiation safety boundaries can be reduced significantly or...

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Steam reformers are critical assets for the successful operation of hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol plants. The steam reformer is also one of the most expensive assets in these facilities. Catalyst tubes inside the reformer are one of the most...

Authors: Kelsey Hevner
July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

One of the more common inspection monitoring programs for pressure vessels is to perform thickness measurement at Corrosion Monitoring Locations (CMLs) to allow monitoring of minimum thicknesses and provide estimates for corrosion rates. These...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
Blog

In many ways, fertilizer plants are no different than most process industry plants including refineries and petrochemical facilities. Information in documents like API 510, 570, 653 and RPs 580, 581, 571, 577, 579, etc. is essential.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Steam reformers are critical assets to many refining and chemical manufacturing plants and facilities, and it is well known that the reformer is one of the most challenging assets to maintain and operate. Common problems in reformer operations...

July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection intervals for equipment have in the past been defined in a prescriptive manner. However, industry is now embracing the Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach which in contrast prioritises inspections based on an assessment of the risk to...

July/August 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

Degradation of materials with time during service is a common phenomenon for all engineering components. Hence periodic inspection is required to ensure structural integrity and availability for service. During in-service inspection (ISI), wall...

September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

In part 1 of this article we covered the importance of quality assurance of UT data, that is, understanding for each particular application, the accuracy required of the UT data, and new ways/graphical program to analyze and show the...

January/February 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

One of the greatest challenges facing many of refining, fossil power, and pulp and paper industries is: How to effectively examine their insulated piping?

September/October 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Quality failure rate data have long been needed by the Chemical Process Industry. Unfortunately, the emphasis too often has been on the collection of data rather than on its uses . One must answer the question of what to do with the data once it has...

Authors: Bernie Weber
September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the fourth in a series of articles on piping inspection that I'm writing for the Journal. One of the previous ones dealt with improving thickness data taking accuracy with digital ultrasonic methods. This article is a "sister article" that...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the second in a series of articles on piping inspection. In the last article, I enumerated four inspection issues that I believe contribute to inadequate piping mechanical integrity in the hydrocarbon process industry.

Authors: John Reynolds
    Videos related to Chemical Processing Industry
      Events related to Chemical Processing Industry
        News related to Chemical Processing Industry

          Inspectioneering Journal

          Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

          Company Directory

          Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

          Talent Solutions

          Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

          Case Studies

          Learn from the experience of others in the industry.

          Integripedia

          Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

          Industry News

          Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.

          Blog

          Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

          Expert Interviews

          Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

          Event Calendar

          Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.

          Downloads

          Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

          Videos

          Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.

          Acronyms

          Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.