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Decrease tube metal temperature in vacuum heaters

01.01.2014  |  Bright, E. ,  Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi ArabiaRoy, S. ,  Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi ArabiaRamaseshan, V. ,  Saudi Aramco, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Various options for reducing the TMT of a vacuum heater, such as changing the transfer line size and adding extra surface area in the radiation and convection sections, are examined here. The best option generally depends on the limitations under which the heater operates with regard to the process requirements and the downstream equipment limitations and flexibility.

Keywords: [heat exchange] [tube metal temperature] [furnace] [refining]

In a Saudi Aramco refinery, a vacuum furnace was found to be operating at a high tube metal temperature (TMT) and was forced to shut down before the normal run length of five years. The coke laydown was also found to be substantial. An evaluation revealed that the furnace outlet temperature and pressure were operating at much higher values, compared to the design values, to maintain the same flash zone conditions at the vacuum tower.

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