March 2017

Special Focus: Corrosion Control

Improve understanding of corrosion inhibitor technology for processing high-acid crudes

For corrosion risk assessment and control, ample published research exists on the inherent corrosivity of combinations of naphthenic acid and sulfur in refining systems, but not on the chemistry and mechanism of corrosion inhibitors. This work offers refinery engineers insight into the construction of corrosion inhibitor molecules, as well as how differences in molecules impact the performance of the inhibitor and the risk of fouling in crude units and hydroprocessing units.

The use of high-temperature corrosion inhibitors (HTCIs) for processing high-acid crudes began more than 30 yr ago, driven by economics that persist today. The economic justifications for using HTCIs are the difference between crude cost savings from the substitution of lower-cost, high-acid crudes into the blend, and the operating and capital costs of the chemical program and any other incremental costs and risks identified in the management of change (MOC) process. Incremental costs and risks include not only the impact of overall corrosion, but also potentially on crude blending and dehydration, desalter and wastewater treatment, crude units and hydroprocessing units. For corrosion risk

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