November 2017

Special Focus: Plant Safety and Environment

Improve removal of phenolic and amine compounds in a sour water stripper

Joint stripping in a refinery sour water stripper (SWS) unit contributes to the concentration of phenols and total nitrogen (N) in the discharged treated water from the wastewater treatment unit.

Joint stripping in a refinery sour water stripper (SWS) unit contributes to the concentration of phenols and total nitrogen (N) in the discharged treated water from the wastewater treatment unit. This often results in above-normal concentrations of total N and volatile phenols, thereby jeopardizing compliance with concentration limits for these chemicals. A commercial test run was carried out at an ebullated-bed residual (EBR) hydrocracking unit to identify the sources of aromatic amines, phenols and bicarbonates in the sour water feeding the non-phenolic SWS unit. The test was carried out by operating only two columns—the hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and ammonia (NH3) strippers. Stripping of sou

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