February 2021

Maintenance and Reliability

Troubleshoot flooding problems in a crude distillation column

Crude oil is separated into more valuable products, such as naphtha, kerosene, light diesel, heavy diesel and atmospheric residue, in crude distillation units (CDUs).

Crude oil is separated into more valuable products, such as naphtha, kerosene, light diesel, heavy diesel and atmospheric residue, in crude distillation units (CDUs). CDUs must be operated under optimized, stable conditions to provide on-spec products and high refinery profits. Unfortunately, for older CDUs, expected operating conditions might not be achieved due to design limitations of the main equipment. Emergency shutdowns might result in other problems that cannot be discerned unless the main fractionation column is inspected. The 59-yr-old CDU at Tüpraş’ İzmit refinery suffered from temperature profile variation of the atmospheric distillation column after the unit restarted following

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