Extension of system run length and maximizing plant throughput will bring substantial profit to olefin producers. The fouling problem in the oil quench tower of the ethylene plant, however, has become a challenge to achieving long run length goals and has even led to unscheduled shutdown or reduced throughput. In addition, viscosity increase in the oil quench tower bottoms can lead to reduced heat transfer efficiency in the bottom heat exchangers and result in additional injection of dilution oil to adjust the viscosity. A solution to fouling has been developed through rigorous analysis of the root causes and lab tests in conjunction with refined applications knowledge to resolve the afore mentioned problems. The article describes the functional mechanism of the antifoulant program with illustrative successful case histories on the effective control of both fouling and viscosity in the oil quench tower.
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