Innovative programmes for the petrochemical industry

Cleaning and decontamination additives.

Oil refineries and petrochemical plants operate with quite a large number of different distillation equipment. That are columns, knock-out vessels, distillation columns, heat exchangers and pipe systems. Fouling is an omnipresent problem. The drawbacks of fouling are throughput reduction, significant losses in energy recovery or generating an increase in pressure drop of distillation columns or heat exchangers. Periodical cleaning and decontamination is mandatory and the equipment needs to be checked for maintenance or repair.

A planned shutdown is a very labour-intensive time, which often requires several weeks of downtime. Heavy fuel oils, greases, tars or tenacious fouling materials must be removed. Contaminated tanks, columns, heat exchangers or pipelines have to be drained for cleaning and degassing. Fouling deposits may contain hazardous components and harmful gases. Toxic hydrogen sulfide, volatile hydrocarbons or carcinogenic benzene can be released. Iron sulfide (FeS) easily accumulates in pipes, trays, structured packings, heat exchangers and vessels. Due to its pyrophoric nature, it can become a serious problem. Iron sulfide has a high potential for spontaneous auto-ignition. It oxidizes exothermally when in contact with air. Most FeS induced fires occur during shutdowns when the equipment is opened for maintenance and inspection.

Healthcare, safety and environmental protection are very important aspects. Personnel in charge is requested to minimise exposure of workers to any situations, where auto-ignition of iron sulfide species or health risks could be initiated. Contact with decontaminated materials should be avoided. The removal of benzene, pyrophoric iron sulfide, toxic hydrogen sulfide and other hazardous gases is absolutely necessary for safe working conditions. The adherence of the lower explosion limit (LEL) has to be achieved.

Kurita provides a wide range of various products such as cleaning chemicals, degassing agents or combinations thereof. The handling of our cleaning and decontamination additives is easy and safe for the operating personnel. High-performing chemical cleaning agents with tailor-made cleaning and degassing methods are used in order to reliably achieve these targets. Cleaning and degassing of distillation columns and vessels can be done with excellent results within one day. Removal of heavy fuel oils, tars, greases and other tenacious materials are key elements of the cleaning. The complete elimination of hazardous gases and fire potential risks have great importance. Cleaning of the metal surface without attacking the distillation equipment is a matter of fact.

Heat recovery is essential in process units which are operated with reactors. Mechanical cleaning of complex heat exchanger networks can take several days and inaccessible areas cannot be reached. By comparison, Kurita´s cleaning and degassing solutions reach inaccessible areas. The cleaning can be done in situ within one day. Less labour intensive work compared to mechanical cleaning will be required. Tailor-made chemical cleaning programmes from the Kurita CD series are used when very efficient cleaning results are needed. Packinox plate heat exchangers or Texas Tower tubular heat exchangers require more cleaning efforts than classical heat exchangers. Kurita´s cleaning concepts are the method of choice when Packinox heat exchangers or Texas Towers need to be cleaned.

A mechanical cleaning and decontamination of storage tanks may require several weeks of downtime. In comparison, the chemical cleaning and degassing will reduce the downtime significantly to a few days providing a great economic advantage.

Kurita provides you with cleaning and degassing programs customised to your needs. Our trained staff will support you in your cleaning and degassing processes. Upon request, we supply the related equipment.

Do you need support? Our qualified experts will be glad to advise you personally and individually.