New technologies to treat water in refineries and petrochemical plants: Giving the right water treatment solution to refineries and petrochemical plants is a big challenge. Nalco has addressed this problem with a holistic cooling water management system.
In the current industrial scenario, refining and petrochemical cooling water systems place most difficult challenges before the water treatment industry. Conditions like high exchanger skin temperatures, variability in heat load, low water velocities due to complex plant and piping layouts, degrading quality of makeup water, risk of hydrocarbon contamination, tightening environmental restrictions and intense pressure on capital and consumable budgets demand that these cooling water systems operate under maximum stress.
In the midst of the above challenges, today’s refineries and petrochemical plants set high expectations from their water treatment solution providers to achieve the following goals:
- Asset integrity and reliability
- Production efficiency
- Process throughput
- Process improvement
- Health, safety and environmental compliance
- Consistent cost optimization
Refineries and petrochemical cooling water system problems Due to their typical operating environment, almost every refinery or petrochemicals cooling water system will face any of the four major problems, viz. potential to form scaling, aggravating conditions for corrosion reactions, transfer of suspended solids leading to fouling and, providing source and substrate for microbiological inoculation and growth. Since, a complex interrelationship exists between all these four water related problems, there is a need to address all of them with equal importance.
Root Causes of Major Water–Related Problems
In all cooling water (CW) systems in the refining and petrochemicals unit, Nalco has consistently adopted Mechanical- Operational-Chemical (MOC) approach to identify and understand all the stress factors, which eventually lead to the four major problems mentioned above. Some common stress factors as observed during Nalco’s MOC studies are depicted on the next page...
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