Water washing of the crude unit overhead is done by injecting a large amount of water upstream of
the overhead heat exchangers or coolers.
The beneficial effects of water washing:
- Super-saturation of the overhead with water vapor and water droplets, thus preventing acidic condensate to form.
- Dissolution of deposited salts from the surfaces.
- It allows integral application of a water-soluble inhibitor.
- Higher tolerance for overhead HCl
- Less product contamination with amines
- Less onerous desalting.
- Less caustic injection needed.
Water scrubbing is different. It is done by injecting a fine water mist at the top of the overhead line.
It offers the same benefits as water washing, plus the absorption or capture of corrosives from the
vapor before they condense during the short time in the overhead line. Scrubbing is better than
Scrubbing facilities are simple in concept but sensitive in design. The innovation that is now available
consists of retractable injection lances that are placed in the top of the overhead line. These lances
have sufficient spray orifices and capacity to generate a thick low-momentum mist in the overhead
vapor. Since the device is retractable during operation, inspection and maintenance can be carried
out without disruption of the process.
This low-cost innovation has a high-effect potential. The device can be installed in parallel to all
existing corrosion control facilities, making it a no-regrets modification.
- If you operate a crude unit with a history of persistent overhead corrosion problems, this
may well be your solution.
- If you operate a crude unit but suffer high costs for corrosion control, this is an attractive
- If you are restricted in your crude diet because of overhead corrosion concerns, this
innovation can broaden your range.
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