Fouling Hydrocarbon

Fouling is the general terms for scaling, corrosion build up, and other sludge or debris formed in pipes or machines.
Depending on the composition of the hydrocarbon / crude and its ingredients, fouling can happen already in the well. It can be as well happen, that two different ingredients of the hydrocarbon are building a form of fouling or scale, which is something entirely new. Like a two component clue which only hardens when both materials are mixed, but kept stand alone, nothing happens.

Downstream more of these problems occurs. In separation plants, where the hydrocarbon is heated by a reboiler to release the gas, in treatment plants, where emulsion is heated in order to break the emulsion, and worst in refineries where the hydrocarbon is heated to temperatures of up to 400°C.
Also on the cooling water side, where heat exchangers are used one the shell side with hydrocarbon and in tube side with water, the delta in the temperature is often so high that these heat exchangers are heavy fouled. The fouling can be cleaned, but this happens in a refinery normally only every 3 to 5 years during the regular shut down, and has to be done manually with using a lot of chemicals. There is a side effect to this fouling, the heat transfer internal in the heat exchangers gets less, and so the cooling or heating capacity is also reduced.


Merus reduce the fouling

The fouling in pipelines and machines is reduced by Merus. To what extend and in what time it is in easy to predict in water applications. Whereas in hydrocarbon applications this is far more difficult, not only because of far more parameters have to be considered. Merus has solved thousands of such applications in water system, where as in the hydrocarbon these are far less and so there are not so much historical cases we can compare with.


Merus is able to save a lot of operating costs and down time.

Fouling in pipe lines are causing costs for cleaning or even replacements of the equipment is required. By using Merus, the cleaning costs are reduced, the down time for cleaning is far less and in a lot of cases the lifetime of the equipment is increased as well.
In heat exchangers the loss in heat transfer is very bad, especially at the end of the cycle, before a shut down and mechanical cleaning is done. Merus has shown it is able to stabilize the heat transfer in the heat exchangers. Whereas before the heat transfer value has declined continuous, after Merus is installed, these values are staying stable or are even increasing again. The efficiency of the energy used in a re-boiler is far better, and having a stable heat transfer giving a stable process.

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oil refinery - gas terminal

Further images (click to enlarge)