Using the patented and proprietary Vaporganic® technology together with the QuikTurn®chemistry, Refined Technologies has successfully cleaned entire crude units as a part of crude unit turnarounds in multiple refineries.

Problem

crude1

Time is of the essence when it comes to completing turnaround activities and returning the unit to service. Every barrel of oil not processed during the turnaround represents profit that may not be recovered. Thus, great efforts are made to reduce the duration of tasks planned to be on the critical path – or ones that fall on to the critical path as the turnaround progresses. Essentially no work can be performed on the refinery equipment until it is cleared for entry. Consequently, tasks necessary to gain entry permits are commonly on the critical path of the turnaround.

Recently, Refined Technologies was chosen to support crude unit clearing and cleaning efforts in preparation for entry at multiple refineries in the Gulf States. The Vaporganic process can be completed in 12 hours or less, literally removing days from the turnaround schedule.

Solution

Crude Unit Cleaning

Refined Technologies has used its Vaporganic cleaning process and QuikTurn chemistry to clean and degas equipment, including storage tanks, on a variety of units in refineries across North America. The process is effective at removing both light and heavy oil from fractionators, heat exchangers and other process vessels in a very short time with minimal labor, while producing less effluent than other cleaning techniques. QuikTurn eliminates LELs, H2S, benzene and other dangerous gases by removing their hydrocarbon source and scavenging gas from the void space.

Refined Technologies was chosen by these very large refineries because of their attention to detailed planning and their demonstrated ability to stay on schedule and produce exceptional results. For each project, a very detailed planning book was prepared and reviewed with stakeholders months before the turnaround. The planning book serves as a means to coordinate clearing and cleaning plans, identify potential issues (dead legs, plugged bleeders, pressure and vacuum limits, drains, utilities etc.) well before they affect the turnaround and provides documentation for training refinery personnel. Planning books are prepared by Refined Technologies’ operations managers who typically have more than 20 years of refinery process experience.

Detailed planning compliments a process that is predictable and produces exceptional results. The Vaporganic process is short in duration with little statistical variation. As an item on the critical path, refinery managers are confident that the Vaporganic process will start and be completed on schedule. Cleaning an entire unit follows repetitive cycles of the following generalized steps:

  1. Circuits of vessels are pre-heated with steam.
  2. QuikTurn chemistry is injected with the steam into bleeders and other access points.
  3. Hydrocarbon residue and QuikTurn are rinsed from the line using water and condensing steam.

Unlike other cleaning processes, it is not necessary to perform a water rinse before cleaning using QuikTurn and the Vaporganic process. As one can see from these pictures, hydrocarbon residue is completely removed from all interior features of the vessels.

Refineries are using Refined Technologies’ patented products and services to gain a strategic advantage in the marketplace. In your daily operations meetings we encourage you to consider Strategic Chemistry®: the timely use of chemistry and planning, designed to improve operating margins.