April 2010

Special Report: Petrochemical Developments

Improve inerting practices at your facility

The petrochemical/chemical industry relies on inerting methods to safeguard facilities and maintain product qualities

Reinhardt, H.-J., Linde AG, Linde Gas Division; Himmen, H.-R., Linde Gas

Many processes and situations within the hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) call for: • Preventing explosions • Interdicting undesired reactions • Keeping moisture away from products • Ensuring safety when maintenance is being performed. These goals cannot always be achieved through technology and equipment design alone; accordingly, inert gases and special equipment are needed. Under these conditions, the key goals include maintaining oxygen (O 2 ) levels and preventing O 2 and/or moisture coming into contact with reactive or adsorptive products. The principal technique for these purposes is inerting (inert-gas blanketing) with nitrogen (N 2

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