May 2008

Special Report: Maintenance/Reliability

Mechanical seals and energy efficiency

Savings can be realized by using the most suitable API seal flush plan

Booth, C., Smith, R., AESSEAL plc

For decades, process plants have enjoyed both energy and maintenance savings by recirculating seal cooling water instead of using it in the once-through-and-discard mode. It can also be reasoned that a correlation exists between effluent reduction and carbon emissions. In that case, the environment we live in will benefit from contributions made by the sealing industry. However, while applicable American Petroleum Industry (API) standards endorse several of the different recirculation techniques as "best practice," the overall acceptance of these techniques seems to progress at a rather slow pace. This slow acceptance could be linked to sealing devices accounting for only a small fraction

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