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Optimize amine units and improve refinery profitability

07.01.2013  |  Zurlo, J.,  GE Water & Process Technologies, The Woodlands, Texas

Keywords: [amine] [treatment] [towers] [gas absorber] [feed quality] [monitoring] [fouling] [heat exchanger] [fluid catalytic cracking]

The alkanolamine system in a refinery, better known as the amine unit, is used to remove hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2) and mercaptans (collectively referred to as acid gases) from process gas and liquid hydrocarbon streams. Amine units are an essential part of the refinery operation to maintain product quality and environmental compliance. Their importance is increasing as refinery feeds become more sour and refinery product sulfur limits are lowered. A poorly operated amine unit can result in high amine losses, poor unit reliability, amine solution contamination, off-specification products, operating headaches and increased operating costs to the refinery.

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