July 1-6, 2007
Managing crude oil fouling has been a challenge in PETRONAS refineries. Over the past several years, numerous initiatives have been conducted in order to have better control of the situation . The control strategy currently implemented is to periodically clean the heat exchanger based on the heat exchanger monitoring parameter and supported by antifouling chemical injection program. A review was conducted in one of PETRONAS’ refineries in order to come up with a better fouling control strategy. The review is separated into two parts. Firstly, the plant operational data for two selected hot pre-heat exchanger trains was analyzed. From the analysis, deposition build-up is apparent for only one exchanger train despite both trains receiving the same crude blend. It seems that there are several significant parameters which caused one of the exchanger to fall into fouling threshold region. EXPRESS  software was used to evaluate the fouling threshold region for the heat exchanger. Secondly, foulant sample obtained from the heat exchangers were subjected to analytical testing to investigate the constituent of the foulant. The analyses show that it is mainly organic in nature with a minor portion of the inorganic content made up of mostly corrosion products, salt and sand.
M.S. Rafeen, M.F. Mohamed, M.Z. Mamot, N.A. Manan, Dr A. Shafawi, and Dr M. Ramasamy, "CRUDE OIL FOULING: PETRONAS REFINERIES EXPERIENCE" in "Heat Exchanger Fouling and Cleaning VII", Hans Müller-Steinhagen, Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and Institute for Thermodynamics and Thermal Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Germany; M. Reza Malayeri, University of Stuttgart, Germany; A. Paul Watkinson, The University of British Columbia, Canada Eds, ECI Symposium Series, (2007). http://dc.engconfintl.org/heatexchanger2007/4