ACF Technology

ACF Technology for ammonium salt removal.

Refineries suffer with hydrogen chloride attack or have severe problems with ammonium salt deposition and corrosion. Often affected are crude distillation units (CDU), hydrotreaters (HT, HDS), hydrocracking units (HC), reforming units or fluid catalytic cracking plants (FCC). Problems can be severe, causing loss of heat transfer, pressure drop buildup or frequent cleaning activities. Production losses and shutdowns will cause high financial penalties.

In general ammonium chloride salts and ammonium bisulphide salts are highly soluble in water. When no free water is present they can directly deposit on the tube walls, fractionator trays, piping and heat-exchanger surfaces as they condense from the vapor phase. Another problem associated with ammonium salt deposition is the pitting corrosion under the deposit.

Kurita has developed a unique treatment program which reacts immediately with hydrogen chloride (HCl) or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and dissolves deposits of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl), ammonium hydrogen sulfide (NH4HS) and ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2SO4). This innovative treatment concept – known as ACF Technology – is able to remove already existing deposits during plant operation, meaning whilst online.

The removal of deposited ammonium salts during normal process operations is particularly very useful in crude oil refinery processes and allows refiners to run the distillation units with a higher productivity and higher reliability.

The additives used in this patented ACF Technology are liquid formulations of a very strong organic base. These formulations modify the corrosive anions in to highly water soluble compounds with a neutral pH-value which do not foul the system.

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