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  • Process-side fouling occurs in most refinery units, causing operating and maintenance problems. Fouling that limits unit throughput or forces downtime for cleaning are the most expensive problems. Excess furnace firing from lost heat transfer increases fuel cost. Other costs include increased maintenance and equipment failure.

    Fouling has become a more frequent and more severe problem for refiners with the proliferation of shale oils across North America and now globally. Mixing them with heavier conventional and opportunity crudes can destabilize asphaltenes and significantly increase fouling of preheat exchangers and furnaces. Even when processed alone, the high paraffin content of shale oils often results in wax deposition in cold preheat trains upstream of the desalter. The increased use of hydrotreaters to comply with new regulations is an additional challenge.

    Our fouling control programs minimize total fouling cost by avoiding unscheduled production slowdowns or shutdowns and limiting emissions. This saves energy, maximizes conversion, maintains throughput, and increases run lengths. Our laboratory analytical capabilities, problem-solving skills, and experience enable understanding of the fouling mechanism in a given system. We work together to develop cost-effective, technically appropriate, fouling control solutions.

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