Organo-Clay Processing Facility

The facility combines a Hectorite clay with a quaternary amine and other compounds to produce a high temperature drilling mud designed to meet the more demanding specifications required by new horizontal drilling technologies. The project started with the development of the Process Flow Diagrams and continued through the detail design and construction support. This grassroots organo-clay processing plant required retrofitting a new multi-story facility into an existing structure.

Many variables needed to be studied and considered, but the two items which presented the greatest challenge were the explosive nature of the organo-clay (the client’s final product) and the handling of the ethyl alcohol discharge stream. The integration process required understanding, organizing and analyzing many details and their impact on the process equipment, air quality, and the quality and throughput of the organo-clay. PSE had to engineer the integration of the Hammer Mill Dryer and the Thermal Oxidizer both mechanically and from an automation stand point. Balancing the air flows of multiple exhaust streams into the Thermal Oxidizer required PSE to facilitate the collaboration of all of the vendor’s engineers along with our process, mechanical and controls engineers to solve the integration problems.

Services Provided:


  • Air quality permit support


  • Developed the Process Flow
  • Developed the Mass Balance
  • Developed the Process and Calculated the evaporation rate sizing, specifying and selecting
  • Equipment layout
  • Design of surge bins
  • Develop construction bid equipment, instructions
  • Diagrams (PFDs)
  • Facilitated the Process Hazard
  • Instrumentation Diagram (P&IDs) of the quaternary amine solution at different process transitions.
  • Analysis (PHA)


  • As-Built the existing building
  • Design existing building
  • Design new building addition
  • Design all footings, foundations, modifications


  • Design all steel support grade beam modifications and concrete pads structures
  • Develop construction bid instructions


  • Sizing, specifying and selecting
  • Design new power distribution
  • Design lighting, lightning equipment
  • Develop construction bid
  • Protection and grounding systems
  • Instructions


  • Developed a functional
  • Developed an I/O List and Developed interlock matrix
  • Developed the PLC and HMI
  • Integrated the vendors code
  • Designed and built the control
  • Managed scope, schedule and description
  • Drawings, Code, Panel, Budget


  • Handled all document control
  • Managed vendor review
  • Procurement


  • Review contractor and vendor
  • Design changes based on packages and RFI’s submittals
  • Vendor changes