Recent Experiences on Modelling Fouling of Crude Refinery Preheat Trains Handling Complex and Heavy Crude Slates

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Recent Experiences on Modelling Fouling of Crude Refinery Preheat Trains Handling Complex and Heavy Crude Slates

Ishiyama E.M., Polley, G.T. and Pugh S.J.

IHS ESDU, Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BX, UK

Abstract

Fouling of crude oil streams is the major cause of planned and unplanned downtime in oil refineries. As crude slates become heavier and more varied, the refinery operator must decide how to accommodate fouling, by for example selecting which heat exchangers to clean, against increasingly tight budgeting constraints. Often, it has not been recognized that fouling is often unnecessarily severe in poorly designed heat exchangers. In this paper we present recent experience in the application of dynamic fouling modeling using the novel heat exchanger network simulation tools, SmartPM and EXPRESSplus. These experiences illustrate the performance of dynamic fouling models in refinery pre-heat trains and the identification of opportunities for predictable improvements, for example through simple equipment modifications.

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