Analysis and Steps to Mitigate Heat Exchanger Fouling in an Aromatics Plant

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Isogai , Shinji; Nakamura, Mitsutaka
Engineering; Industrial Engineering
article description
A heat exchanger, upstream a distillation tower for the separation of BTX (benzene, toluene, xylene) from crude benzene in an aromatics plant, experiences heavy fouling. The fouling mechanism and countermeasures to mitigate or eliminate it, were investigated. An Alcor Hot Liquid Process Simulator (HLPS)was used for the fouling rate measurement. The main mechanism is a combination of precipitation fouling and chemical reaction fouling. Effects, such as temperature, vapor ratio (vapor mole fraction of the fluid), heater materials, surface roughness and the addition of some different types of chemicals were studied. From the experiments, some countermeasures for this fouling were proposed. A decrease in the vapor liquid ratio and a continuous supply of the more effective antifoulant chemical (dispersant) successfully reduced fouling in the plant.