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Petroleum Refinery Troubleshooting Part 2

Prepared by:
Barhm Abdullah Mohamad
PhD Researcher in Mechanical Engineering
University of Miskolc, Hungarya
Petroleum Distillation unit: The purpose of distillation is to separate the different
boiling fractions, obtain final or 95 % boiling point purity of the product streams at
minimum required energy and maximum product yield.
The common technical problems occur due to quality and impurities of crude oil.

Petroleum Refinery Rotational equipment [pumps] : a mechanical device using
suction or pressure to raise or move liquids and compress gases. Pumps
operate by some mechanism (typically reciprocating or centrifugal).
The common technical problem usually occur due to stalling phenomena and
slip losses due to the speed of impeller (2000-3000) rpm.

Heat transfer equipment [Heat Exchanger]: A heat exchanger is
process equipment used for transferring (heat) from one fluid to
another fluid through a separating wall.
The most technical problems are corrosion and leakage, to repair
this damages apply regular hydrostatic test to heat exchangers and
controlling corrosive material in crude oil.

Furnace [Heater]:One of heat transfer equipment where the fluids are heated by the
gases produced by combustion of liquid or gaseous fuel. The main technical problem
occur from the furnace burner and furnace tube structure during start up and
overheating. Energy-efficient heater operations involve proper control, maintenance
and monitoring of process fluid outlet temperature, draft, excess air and fuelfiring rate.
In multipass heaters it is important to control the flow rates for optimum residence
time. Leaking valves will result in valve sticking and
poor control behaviour.

Steam Boiler: Steam can be used for heating, drying, moistening
and sterilization of products in industry and other fieldsThe main
technical problem occur from the furnace burner and furnace tube
structure during start up, water feed properties, overheating and
fuel quality.

Control valves: used to control conditions such as flow, pressure, temperature,
and liquid level by fully or partially opening or closing in response to signals
received from controllers that compare a "set point" to a "process variable"
whose value is provided by sensors that monitor changes in such conditions.
The main technical problem of that equipment is continuity of air supply and
power supply.

Storage facility: The purpose of storage tanks to keep the
petroleum products, there is many type of storage tanks, its

Healthy and Safety Environment [HSE]:All workers in the refinery are sensitized about
HSE issues and the results have been very rewarding. HSE issues have been made a
culture at the refinery. All new persons to the refinery must receive a safety induction
before commencing work, The safety message is disseminated through, for example, tool
box talks and weekly safety standstills. Job safety analyses are done to assess the
hazards and put in place control or mitigation measures before commencing work.

Facilities & Refinery Maintenance

The maintenance of petroleum refineries and chemical

processing facilities poses unique challenges in health,
safety, and environment monitoring. Plant shutdowns and
turnarounds present inherent safety risks to employees
and consultants. The strategic planning, organization and
execution of a shutdown or turnaround project must
include a variety of disciplines such as standby rescue and
medical teams. HSE has experienced professionals and
leading-edge equipment to ensure that all plant personnel,
project consultants, and company assets are protected
throughout such operations.
HSE has the services, equipment, and expertise to ensure
clients meet or exceed government, industry, and
corporate safety regulations for petrochemical facilities.
1) Nelson, W. L. Petroleum Refinery Engineering, Tata
McGraw Hill Publishing Company Limited, 1985.

2) B.K. Bhaskara Rao, Modern Petroleum Refining

Processes Edn. 5, Oxford & IBH Publishing Company Pvt.
Ltd. New Delhi.

Online References