February 2016

Process Engineering and Optimization

Troubleshoot operation of a steam ejector vacuum system

A crude vacuum unit operating properly generates high gasoil yield vs. low-value vacuum residue.

Lieberman, N., Vacuum Improvement Consulting Engineering; Cardoso, R., Phillips 66

A crude vacuum unit operating properly generates high gasoil yield vs. low-value vacuum residue. Moreover, gasoil in the residue can adversely affect downstream units. Stable pressure and low pressure are important to achieving good operation, not only for recovering valuable products but also for avoiding swings that impair control systems and the meeting of product specifications. Steam ejectors are in widespread use in overhead vacuum systems. To achieve low vacuum levels, ejectors are arranged in two, three, four or more stages, with each stage comprising a steam ejector and a surface condenser. The condenser condenses steam and hydrocarbon, and cools noncondensable gases and steam to t

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