Quantifying Implications of Deposit Aging from Crude Refinery Preheat Train Data

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Ishiyama, EM 
Falkeman, E 
Ian Wilson, D 
John Pugh, S 

Heat exchanger fouling has been studied for some time in the petroleum industry. As understanding of fouling dynamics and mitigation methods improves, refinery fouling mitigation strategies are changing. The implications of deposit aging in refinery units have not been addressed in detail: aging refers to where the deposit undergoes physical and chemical conversion over time. In the 2009 Heat Exchanger Fouling and Cleaning conference, Wilson et al. [Ageing: Looking back and looking forward] presented a simple framework illustrating how deposit aging impacts heat exchanger thermal and hydraulic performance. This paper presents insights into deposit aging gained from analysis of refinery monitoring data. Two case studies are presented: (i) one from the Preem refinery in Sweden where stream temperature, flow and gauge pressure measurements indicated a higher deposit thermal conductivity in exchangers located in the hotter section of the preheat train. (ii) US refinery stream temperature, flow and plant cleaning log data, showing an increased resistance to cleaning when deposits are exposed to high temperature for a prolonged period. The use of deposit aging analysis to improve exchanger operation is discussed.

4004 Chemical Engineering, 40 Engineering, Aging
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Heat Transfer Engineering
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Informa UK Limited
I am a co-author on this paper. The work reported was undertaken for a Swedish company by another company, HTRI.I advised on the results.