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Water Technologies & Solutions

chemical cleaning and decontamination

solutions for the refining industry
efficient decontamination types of chemical cleaning
reduce energy consumption, emissions and waste
two types of chemical cleaning are typically
applied in the refining and petrochemical industry.
Energy savings are fundamental to maintaining SUEZ’s program removes pyrophoric
or improving refinery profitability. SUEZ has products and provides effective degreasing
o n-l ine c he m ic al c le aning Steam cleanings are appropriate for:
developed an advanced chemical cleaning and and degassing of refinery equipment. The fractionation columns in CDU, vacuum units,
monitoring program that enables efficient appropriate type of cleaning depends on Performed while the unit is still in operation, FCCU, visbreakers, HDS, LC finer, lube units,
decontamination of refinery equipment. This the unit configuration, fouling mechanism on-line chemical cleaning changes the amine units, heat exchangers, separators
program can help refineries achieve H2S, investigation, and deposit analysis. operational parameters during cleaning drums, etc. Steam “chemical cleaning” offers
aromatics, and LEL targets in various process Preparation, monitoring and safe execution are activities to: significant benefits in equipment where a
units in preparation of unit maintenance. key in an effective decontamination program. steam-out procedure is typically applied
• Increase the thermal efficiency of specific
Key benefits of effective and efficient SUEZ’s expertise helps refineries realize equipment or of the overall unit during the shutdown. These benefits include
decontamination include: significant energy and time savings, safely. reduced cleaning time and cleaner assets than
• Reduce hydraulic limitations in columns, achieved with high-quality steam.
pipe lines, heat exchangers, etc.
• Reduction of:
— Maintenance costs and down time • Avoid premature or unscheduled shutdown The liquid phase chemical cleaning is
— Steam consumption and out time Startup ✔ Reduced Work Time • Achieve energy savings performed when steam cleaning alone is

— Mechanical cleaning time PROFIT ✔ Reduced Cost not sufficient to remove fouling or deposits.
Maintenance TIME
— Waste generation and discharge cost ✔ Reduced Safety Risk Depending on the type of contamination and
On-line chemical cleaning is appropriate for:
— Pre-maintenance work by up to 50% amine units, hydrotreating unit reactors, crude the objective of the cleaning, the liquid phase
Startup • H2S < 1.0 ppm unit OVHs, FCC slurry exchangers, and others. could contain one or more of the following:
• Faster attainment of “gas-free” equipment
• Aromatics ≈ 0 Careful evaluation is needed during this type Degreasing: removes organic substances
• Avoidance of odor problems Maintenance
Mechanical • LEL ≈ 0 of cleaning to prevent the re-deposition of with medium and high molecular weight
when opening the column Cleaning
• In less than 50% of normal
Works fouling/deposit material further downstream. and muds. This is applied as the first step
• The ability to easily process produced decontamination time This could cause a more critical fouling in the chemical cleaning process. The
condensate in the wastewater plant Traditional Mechanical situation of the unit than was previously degreasing step is commonly used in CDU,
Chemical Cleaning
Cleaning &
experienced. vacuum units, visbreakers, FCC slurry,
Steam Out SUEZ storage tanks, etc. In general, degreasing
of f -l ine c he m ic al c le aning is applied in hydrocarbon processing units
APPROACH where the precipitation of asphaltenes,
This type of cleaning is performed during a waxes, and coke particles may have caused
planned unit shutdown. Key objectives of off- fouling during the operation.
line chemical cleaning include:
Degassing: removes light hydrocarbons
• Obtainment of gas-free equipment (to allow such as benzene, toluene, xylene, light
access for inspection and maintenance) gasoline, etc., from the equipment. The
• Reduction of steam-out time, shutdown degassing step is also used for the removal
time, maintenance costs, and time required of hydrogen sulphide and inorganic volatile
to perform the mechanical cleaning salts (i.e., ammonium salts). The objective
of this phase is to obtain the equipment
There are two types of off-line chemical gas-free to allow equipment entering.
cleaning: the steam phase (decontamination) Acid cleaning: removes strong inorganic
and the liquid phase. deposits such as carbonates and sulphates
of calcium and magnesium, as well as for
The steam phase (decontamination) is the total removal of iron sulphide deposits.
a “chemical cleaning” that reduces the This cleaning step should be applied in
steam-out time needed prior to entering the units or equipment where maintenance
equipment during a turnaround. activities will be conducted requiring flame
cutting, welding, etc.
taking the guesswork out of refining partnering with SUEZ
By its very nature, hydrocarbon processing can present significant For decades, SUEZ has been a strategic partner
operating and business challenges. SUEZ provides superior to hydrocarbon processing companies around
technologies and services to the hydrocarbon process and the world, delivering complete water and
petrochemical industries that can reduce overall operating and product process tools and technologies that help meet
costs while optimizing plant performance and reliability. As the leading the industry’s greatest business challenges.
provider of water and process treatment solutions to the global refining Today, we are just as committed to developing
industry, we have the experience to offer you individualized treatment proven solutions that will help you meet your
programs that: business objectives now and in the future. From
growing environmental regulations to future
• Improve refinery throughput
trends, our experience and ability to anticipate
• Protect valuable capital assets industry changes gives us the ability to meet the
• Increase profit and yield unique needs of oil refineries and petrochemical
plants with customized treatment programs
• Reduce energy use that help you stay on top.
• Meet specifications for finished fuels
• Comply with environmental health and safety regulations

In keeping with SUEZ’s customer-focused business practices, our

dedicated specialists work with you to assist in meeting economic,
quality, safety and environmental performance objectives. Through
our unrivaled combination of innovation, technical on-site support,
and field engineering, we can work with you to get the most from
every step in the refining process.

Find a contact near you by visiting
and clicking on “Contact Us.”
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GEA32497 Apr-16