January 1999

Heat Transfer

Mitigate fouling to improve heat exchanger reliability

Different techniques and technologies help increase efficiency

Joshi, H. M., ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co.

One of the major causes of unreliable heat exchanger operations is fouling. It leads to exchanger shutdowns, which create throughput losses and maintenance expenses. Fouling also reduces the effectiveness of crude and other preheat exchangers, thus increasing energy consumption. Therefore, reliable operation of heat exchangers is necessary to minimize downtimes and increase refinery profitability. Covered here are a few of the many fouling situations that occur in refinery shell-and-tube heat exchangers, their implications and ways to increase heat exchanger reliability by reducing or eliminating fouling. Background. Processing crude oils that contain a wide range of hyd

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