November 2015

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HP Refining: Maintain plant production with temporary heat exchangers

Of all the process operations in a refinery or petrochemical plant, heating and cooling streams are perhaps the most pervasive.

Paes, A., Aggreko

Of all the process operations in a refinery or petrochemical plant, heating and cooling streams are perhaps the most pervasive. A typical refinery has anywhere from 200 exchangers, on the low end, to almost 350 for a large, complex refinery. Many of these heat exchangers are in relatively clean services, with only a small probability of failure. However, other exchangers are in “dirtier” services—i.e., process streams where corrosive materials could be present. These exchangers are much more prone to fouling, leaking or corrosion problems. For the most part, refiners have learned to live with these problems, “limping” through to the next turnaround. The real question is, “Are there any alt

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