May 2021

Special Focus: Maintenance and Reliability

Cleaning distillation column and heat exchangers through cutter stock circulation

The Tüpraş İzmit refinery’s largest crude distillation unit (CDU) is designed with a preflash column prior to the atmospheric distillation column.

The Tüpraş İzmit refinery’s largest crude distillation unit (CDU) is designed with a preflash column prior to the atmospheric distillation column. The preflash column regularly suffers flooding problems, followed by high pressure drop that results in the discoloration of light straight-run naphtha product. The problem occurs due to organic fouling and choking of column trays, which causes a shutdown due to off-specification products. The unit shutdown includes all the required precautions (steam-out phase, blinding, etc.) for the safe entry to the preflash column. These precautions, along with mechanical cleaning of the column, extend shutdown time to nearly 10 d, which significantly impacts

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