August 2016

Water Management

Experience with naphtha in sour water emulsions generated in a fractionator overhead accumulator

A number of conversion processes, both hydrogen-addition-based and carbon-rejection-based, crack heavy oil into lighter hydrocarbon products.

McKnight, C., Rumball, B., Syncrude Canada Ltd.

A number of conversion processes, both hydrogen-addition-based and carbon-rejection-based, crack heavy oil into lighter hydrocarbon products. The lightest products from these processes include incondensable gases, water from steam, and light hydrocarbons or naphtha. These products are generally discharged from the main unit fractionator into a condensing train and an overhead accumulator drum. Syncrude Canada Ltd. recently attempted to modify an overhead accumulator drum to improve naphtha/sour water separation. Unfortunately, performance declined due to the formation of naphtha in sour water emulsion. The rapid response to alleviate the problem through the use of a demulsifier is described

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