June 2001

Special Report: Process Optimization

Improve tray operations

How failure occurs from blowing and what can be done to prevent it

Sloley, A. W., CH2M Hill

As refiners push higher loads to the crude unit, liquid rates in the wash trays between the lowest product draw and the flash-zone drop. They may drop so far that the tray fails by "blowing." This is caused by not enough liquid being held on the tray to allow efficient mass-transfer or to effectively de-entrain black oil from the flash zone vapor. In some units, the lowest side cut may go black. If this product is diesel, it will carry catalyst poisons to the diesel hydrotreater. Even if not black, keeping cloud point control may be difficult or even impossible. Lack of liquid on the tray may seem difficult to understand

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