March 2020

Maintenance and Reliability

Case study: Extend tube life in a waste heat boiler

The sulfur recovery unit (SRU) separates sulfur from sulfur compounds.

Lee, S., Kim, E., SK Energy

The sulfur recovery unit (SRU) separates sulfur from sulfur compounds. Within the SRU, a waste heat boiler (WHB) produces high-pressure steam, using the heat generated in this process. Since it operates in a high-temperature, high-hydrogen sulfide (H2S) environment, the WHB tube is often corroded by high-temperature sulfidation (HTS), and damage to the tube and tube joint frequently occurs. To this end, efforts can be made to extend the tube life in various ways. SK Energy operates six SRUs. The units experienced several tube leaks, which resulted in repairs following an emergency shutdown process. Periodically, WHB tube inspection is performed during turnaround, and plugging and welding re

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