Instrumentation and Environment

If you were watching the presentation of former vice president of the united states released by paramount picture you would be very very shocked about what has been happening on planet earth. The global warming has been started on the same time when the fuel fossil become the most wanted energy source in the world. The CO2 (affect of the burning of fuel fossil) significantly will give impact to climate change.

There was one of the white house staff during first period of Bush’s administration that illegally changed the climate report affected by CO2 emission without scientific capability. He said that the report was just a speculation. These case was brought up by the press and the white house embarrassed and fire him up . One day after he was sucked from white house he was hired as ExxonMobile employee. It is very easy to get a conclusion that oil company like ExxonMobile was his client to tell a lie to the government. It means oil company want to close eyes and see nothing happened in the world that was affected by fossil burning activity.

One question then,

Is it correct that instrumentation and control can do nothing on this issue? I don’t know the answer. It should be the expert to give their idea how to overcome all this world problem on CO2 emission.

Instrumentation is a part of oil & gas industries would be easily seen also as a suspect that give contribution to global warming. Every body here in this business is a rabbit of the global warming. Oil & Gas for last 100 years has been already become the main source of CO2 emission.

But I believe instrumentation expert always consider in searching the best way how to protect environment.

In small case that I have faced in my last project was the application of split range strategy to control hot sea water before it was sent back to overboard (open see). Anyhow the process required sea water as cooling medium to cool down the temperature of oil. That’s why they took sea water. The heat transfer being happened by transfering the heat from the oil to the sea water through the heat exchanger. The controlled variable suppose to be oil, it is not the sea water exactly as I guess and I thought it was easy just to throw the hot sea water to the sea. But I surprised when I evaluated the split range control, the hot sea water after transfered temperature from the oil was also being controlled before it jump to the sea. The temperature should not exceed 42 degreeC to avoid the damage of the sea environment. Fish still can stay a live in 42 degreeC and it is starting to die if more than 50 degreeC.

Split range control will use two transmitter as process variable. In acceptable overboard temperature which is less than around 40 degreeC, the control valve would be controlled by transmitter on oil line. But once the overboard temperature increased to around 40 degreeC, the control valve will be taken over by the transmitter on overboard line as process variable. The control loop try to reduce the temperature on overboard by adjusting the same control valve.  So it will save both, the production and environment.

This is the small thing what instrumentation can do for the environment. The big issue should be though, designed and managed by the professional expert.

Nova Kurniawan

Alumni Teknik Fisika ITB 2004, bekerja di J Ray McDermott

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