August 29, 2018 - 8:35 AM EDT
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Optimize Accuracy of Crude Oil/Refining

An in-line static mixer has increased salt removal from crude oil at a large West Coast refinery, says the mixer supplier, Komax Systems Inc.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Aug. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- DESALINATION MINING - In the past, the refiner used a typical globe-type mix valve to mix fresh water with crude at the desalters. The crude is heated to 300 degrees F., mixed with 5% fresh water, and then fed to desalters.

Pressure drop in the mix valve was typically set at 10 psi. However, when the processing of heavy (14-degree API) naphthenic crudes was attempted, the oil/water mixture formed a stable emulsion in the desalter. This prevented economic processing of this low cost, domestic crude. Several problem areas were identified which could contribute to stabilizing emulsions. One was the high shear-rate mixing found in the mix valve.

In comes the Komax desalter Static Mixer, "The crude oil and water are simultaneously mixed through two-by-two division, cross-current mixing, and back-mixing, which improves turbulence and increases mixing efficiency without requiring high fluid shear velocities," said Nolan Smith/Sr. Applications Specialist.  

Efficiency + Accuracy = Savings

As an unexpected bonus, salt removal also increased as a result of using the static mixer.  Depending on the type of crude oil, the refiner has been able to remove between 5% and 10% more salt than by the mix valve method.

At the same time, the mixer has helped reduce emulsions formed by too much pressure drop created by the mix valve. With less oil carry under, less fuel is consumed from having to reheat recycled oil up to 300-degree F before it re-enters the crude unit.

In addition, the new mixer has a better turndown ratio than the mix valve. The Komax unit has performed satisfactorily at rates as low as 35% of its design capacity. Pressure drop due to the mixing device was decreased for 10 psi to 1.5 psi. Depending on the particular situation this could have energy conservation or through put incentives.

The refiner calculates that the mixer will pay for itself in its first year of operation with combined savings of $4,000/year in lower power consumption and chemical costs and $1,000/year in lower fuel costs. Contact Us today for more information.

Robert S. Smith, President [email protected]
Komax, 15301 Graham Street, Huntington Beach, CA,  92649, 1-800-826-0760

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SOURCE Komax Systems Inc.

Source: PR Newswire (August 29, 2018 - 8:35 AM EDT)

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