February 2012

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Debottleneck crude-unit preheat exchanger network inefficiencies

Simulation models can be effectively used to optimize heat transfer and boost operational performance

In this case history, a crude distillation unit (CDU) preheat train network in a Saudi Aramco refinery was simulated and analyzed for anticipated modifications to the network. This analysis helped eliminate inefficiencies in the network, and, based on the insights from the analysis, various options were generated and the existing network was reconfigured. The reconfiguration allowed the temperature of the crude preheat network, which processes Arab Light crude oil, to be increased to the maximum of 277°C from a previous temperature of 261°C. Existing configuration. Desalted crude from the tank is heated by the crude column top pumparound, light gasoil (LGO) product, heavy gasoi

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