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Diagnosing and Fixing Corrosion in Boilers at a Refinery

Posted on November 7th, 2017 by in Chemical Manufacturing Excellence


The average person probably doesn’t realize this, but steam is expensive. A typical mid-size refinery can spend up to $7 million a year producing steam, which plays a critical part in several processes such as driving process pumps and powering turbine generators. This means that maintaining efficient boilers, which produce the steam, is key to responsibly managing operating costs.

In the case study, “Help Solving a Severe Corrosion Issue in a Refinery Boiler,” a large oil and gas company’s refinery discovered corrosion in three of their boilers. The process engineer responsible for dealing with the problem wanted to avoid retrofitting expenses (which would cost $30,000 per boiler), so he looked to Knovel to see if he could find some answers.

Knovel provided tools and information that helped the engineer better understand the corrosive properties of metals and offered other useful insights. From what he learned, the engineer realized that the corrosion was likely a result of a water solution that was too acidic. Operating the water solution in the boilers at a higher pH instead should solve the problem.

Thanks to Knovel, the process engineer was able to make a recommendation that addressed the corrosion problem, optimized boiler performance, reduced health and safety risks, and saved the company from having to spend $90,000 in retrofitting expenses.

Read the full case study to find out more: Help solving a severe corrosion issue in a refinery boiler


All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.

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