April 2018

Process Engineering

Aqueous chemistry principles applied to refinery processes

In the petroleum refining industry, pH measurement and adjustment are extremely important.

Cardoso, R., Phillips 66

In the petroleum refining industry, pH measurement and adjustment are extremely important. When pH is not properly monitored and controlled, chemical consumption increases, corrosion causes equipment and pipe failures, and products go off-specification—all of which affect company profits and unit utilization. Along with acid-base theory, precipitation equilibrium is another basic chemistry principle that is often overlooked. Salt deposition occurs because aqueous solutions reach the salt solubility limit. Moreover, precipitation of certain salts can take place by merely changing pH. Examples of applications of acid-base theory and precipitation equilibrium in the refining sector include:

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