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Honeywell refinery initiatives target corrosion

Posted: 9 June 2006

Honeywell announced two new corrosion research programs (known as Joint Industry Programs) that will help refineries increase the production of alkylates for high-octane gasoline and maximize production per barrel of crude oil, particularly cheaper but highly corrosive “opportunity” crudes.

Joint Industry Programs are target research programs sponsored by companies in the refining industry to address common industry corrosion issues.

Previous Joint Industry Programs have been extremely successful, producing new levels of understanding and knowledge on corrosion issues.

Participation and sponsorship of the two new Joint Industry Programs (JIPs) – Predicting Corrosion in Sulfuric Acid Alkylation and Assessing Refinery Crude Oil Corrosivity – are being offered to refining customers today.

These programs were identified and developed based on input from Honeywell refining customers worldwide. Refining companies that participate in these programs will partner with Honeywell to develop new approaches to corrosion management and will have access to the latest software tools for corrosion prediction, risk assessment and process optimization.

“It’s a paradox for refiners: They can improve their profitability by increasing per-unit throughput of alkylates or processing lower-grade crude oils,” said Dr. Russell Kane, director of corrosion services, Honeywell Process Solutions.

“However, both processes are highly corrosive and, if not managed carefully, can actually reduce throughput, increase downtime, damage equipment and endanger workers.”

Participants (e.g. sponsors) in previous Honeywell Joint Industry Programs attained sizeable savings by implementing the program results.

For example, companies that participated in a recently completed program on refinery ammonium bisulfide corrosion (commonly found in reactor effluent air coolers), saved up to $10 million per application when they implemented the program results and software.

Initial participants in the Joint Industry Programs are afforded substantial savings on program fees and proprietary access to program findings.

“Corrosion is the biggest threat to the productivity of the alkylate process,” Kane said.

“Yet despite the demand for increased unit productivity, there are few corrosion prediction tools and little quantitative data to accurately assess acid corrosion rates for the alkylation process.”

Addressing this issue the Honeywell-managed program for Predicting Corrosion in Sulfuric Acid Alkylation will provide the underlying data needed to create better and more accurate guidelines to reduce corrosion.

These include recommended materials for revamps, suggested upgrades for improved performance, and better definition of operating limits for alkylation units.

A Predict software tool will be developed to enable participants to predict corrosion for alloys typically used in the construction of these units.

The Honeywell-managed program for Assessing Refinery Crude Oil Corrosivity will integrate a corrosion test program with supporting analytical data on naphthenic acid and sulfur species.

This information will be used to define key process parameters, develop quicker screening methods and more accurate modeling techniques to define safe operating envelopes and identify conditions that pose a risk of accelerated corrosion to commonly used alloys.

The results will be integrated with a new Predict software tool to aid in the assessment of refinery hot oil corrosivity within the refining circuit.



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