GE introduces new desalter emulsion breaker chemistry

GE today announced it has introduced the next generation of its Embreak emulsion breakers. Coupling the new chemistry for light and medium density crude oils with the first generation heavy crude oil emulsion breakers, GE now offers a full suite of products that span the entire range of crudes, delivering optimal desalter performance, potentially reducing total costs of operation and increasing environmental benefits.

Building on the success of the first generation, GE’s new emulsion breakers continue the trend of improved chemistry with a lower environmental footprint that delivers better performance. The new suite of Embreak products is designed to help light-to-medium crude oil refineries reduce nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE), a chemical byproduct of emulsion breaker intermediate products.
“With this next generation of emulsion breakers, refineries can optimize desalter performance at reduced chemical costs, while also reducing potential environmental impact,” said Buzz Barlow, general manager, hydrocarbon process—water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.

“This expanded spectrum of Embreak chemistries will allow us to serve a larger number of refineries around the globe that can benefit from our technology,” added Barlow.

In a recent application, a North American refinery was experiencing frequent brine quality issues in one of its crude units, resulting in increased solids in the feed to the desalter. Also, the refinery had to reprocess a reduced crude stream as a result of an extended shut down. This situation required the refinery to seek an alternative approach to the desalter operation to restore performance.

With GE’s new Embreak demulsifier chemistry, the chemical injection was optimized to maintain desalter performance at reduced chemical costs while eliminating oil recycling, resulting in $350,000 in operational savings per year. As a result of this change, the refinery saw a reduction of 33% in salts and 24 percent improvement in solids removal. In addition, the demulsifier product used in this case contains no NPE, lowering the environmental footprint of this application.

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