Hydrocarbon Decontamination in Oil Refinery Applications

Liquid Phase (cascade, partial flood or full flood) OR Vapour Phase (chemical injection during steam-out phase) .


This short note is intended to highlight some important benefits and limitations that should be taken into account when considering which of the two main chemical decontamination methods should be employed during refinery plant outages.

Consideration of the following points should be given as to the suitability of either method:

  • Is the process product a heavy or light hydrocarbon?
  • Is the process equipment able to withstand a full hydraulic load?
  • What temperature limitations are there in the circuit?)
  • Heat-stable salts are usually found in overhead systems and demisters. Are they of concern to you?
  • Will any internal mechanical works be performed after the degassing phase?
  • What are the time constraints for completion of the decon’ phase in relation to the mechanical works package?
  • Vapour Phase cannot remove gross solids. If this is an issue, has a contingency been added for additional internal cleaning after vessel opening?
  • Effluent treatment and disposal. What limitations are there on effluent storage and disposal?
  • Are your expectations of post decontamination cleanliness realistic?

If you would like to discuss any of the above points please let us know. One of our Project Managers will be happy to help. Click here to arrange a free telephone consultation.

  Liquid Phase Decontamination Vapour Phase Decontamination
Can the method achieve Zero HS? YES YES
Can the method achieve Zero LEL? YES YES
Can the method achieve Hydrocarbon Free YES YES
Will solids be removed YES NO
Where solids are present, will internal cleaning required be required NO YES
Will heat stable salts be removed YES NO
Can this method reduce effluent generation NO YES
Can the method be used if I have hydraulic load limitations NO YES
Can the method be effective if I have temperature limitations YES NO