Industrial Experience in Handling Cleaning of Crude Refinery Preheat Trains

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 2, 2012 - 12:00am

Industrial Experience in Handling Cleaning of Crude Refinery Preheat Trains

1,2Ishiyama E.M., 1Pugh S.J. and 2Wilson D.I.

1IHS ESDU, Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BX, UK

2Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, New Museums Site, Cambridge CB2 3RA, UK


Oil refineries are a major part of the national economy: in the UK alone, there are nine major refineries, processing over 1.8 million barrels of crude oil per day (Watson and Vandervell, 2006), consuming energy at the rate of gigawatts (~ 7.9 GW: Marsh-Patrick, 2006). Heat exchangers (HEXs) play a major role on refineries in saving energy. Distillation is the main consumer of energy on a refinery, and networks of HEXs are connected together in a preheat train to reduce the duty on furnaces. These units all suffer from fouling. Based on the world crude oil consumption of ~ 88 MM bbl per day (in 2009 2010), around 36 MM tonnes per year of extra CO2 is estimated to be emitted due to fouling (IHS ESDU, 2011). Handling fouling is a major challenge, and to-date, total elimination of fouling has not been achieved. Hence, cleaning of refinery exchangers is considered a practical solution. Since the original work done by Georgiadia and Papageorgiou (2000) and Smaïli et al. (2001), optimizing scheduling in a practical perspective has taken broader attention (e.g. Ishiyama et al., 2010). In this paper we discuss practical industrial concerns on scheduling cleaning in crude refinery exchangers and demonstrate a novel heat exchanger network simulation tool, smartPM, used to mitigate fouling in a techno-economic perspective.

Georgiadis M.C. and Papageorgiou L.G. (2000). Optimal energy and cleaning management in heat exchanger networks under fouling, Trans IChemE, 78, 168-179.

IHS ESDU Energy, Emissions, and Efficiency: How to address heat exchanger fouling to reduce energy and maintenance costs while improving plant performance, Penn Energy Webcast, 31st March, 2011

Ishiyama E.M., Paterson W.R., Wilson D.I., Heins, A.V. and Spinelli L. (2010). Scheduling cleaning in a crude oil preheat train subject to fouling: incorporating desalter control, Applied Thermal Engineering, 30(13), 1852-1862.

Marsh-Patrick, A. (2006). EU emissions trading scheme phase II: review of new entrants' benchmarks refineries. Entec UK Limited Final report. 3-4.

Smaïli, F and Vassiliadis, VS and Wilson, DI (2001) Mitigation of Fouling in Refinery Heat Exchanger Networks by Optimal Management of Cleaning. Energy & Fuels, 15 (5). pp. 1028-1056. ISSN 0887-0624

Watson, M. and Vandervell, N. (2006). Meeting our energy needs: The future of UK oil refining. UKPIA Final report, 13-24.

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