(220d) Heat Exchanger Tube Inserts - an Update with New Applications in Crude Distillation Units, Vacuum Applications and Reboilers


Heat exchanger tube inserts provided by Petroval S.A. have been used for many years as reliable means for heat transfer enhancement and fouling mitigation in petroleum refineries and chemical plants. These systems have been presented at previous AIChE conferences (Spring 2002), and in this paper, we will present several new application examples for optimization of heat exchangers and related equipment, showing improved heat transfer performance, extended run times and improvement of on-line availability of the plant.

Typical insert applications in are in crude unit pre-heat trains where they continue to give good performances for fouling mitigation and heat transfer enhancement. For the refinery, the optimization of the pre-heat train exchanger network achieves several interesting aspects: - energy savings (at current crude prices in the range of $300K to $1.5M); - stabilization of heat transfer levels (duty) closer to design conditions; - enhancement of throughput levels; - reduced maintenance cost through avoidance of excessive short-term exchanger cleaning.