February 2008


Controlling crude unit overhead corrosion by improved desalting

Here are benchmark values for evaluating the effectiveness of existing units

Gutzeit, J., Process Corrosion Consultants

T?he principal cause of crude unit overhead corrosion is hydrogen chloride vapor evolved from certain inorganic chloride salts when raw crude is heated prior to distillation. By lowering salt content, crude desalting becomes an important tool for controlling overhead corrosion. Compared to other refinery operations, crude desalting is a simple and straightforward process: water is added to the raw crude charge and inorganic salts are extracted into the water. The extract brine is separated and removed while the now desalted crude charge is sent to preheat exchangers and the fired crude heater. Besides reducing overhead corrosion, desalting reduces salt buildup and under-deposit corrosion i

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