A good desalter treatment provides many benefits in treating the problem of filtering impurities such as inorganic salts of sodium, calcium, magnesium, sand, silt and water, often resulting in improved refinery reliability and profitability. 

Desalters challenges:

  • Heavy Crude processing leading to poor emulsion resolution
  • Higher Amines/Ammonia content in wash water causing emulsion and increasing salting in unit overheads
  • Increased water recycle causing cycling up of amines/ammonia
  • Metal Content in Desalters – Organic Calcium (Calcium Naphthenate), Calcium Carbonate, Iron Naphthenate and Iron Sulfide
  • High Solids (Silica/FeS) causing solids, stabilized emulsion and fouling of heat exchangers downstream of the desalters, especially in synthetic crudes/Canadian tar sands
  • Potential incompatibility in a crude blend causing desalter upsets
  • Water/Solids Slugs causing frequent upsets that shuts the power grids due to maximizing amperes
  • Fouling of the Desalter Brine circuit due to incremental solids
  • High H2S levels in the brine  

 Common benefits to the refiner include:

  • Reduction in corrosion and fouling problems in the downstream processes
  • Reduction in catalyst poisoning in Cat Crackers and other catalytic processes
  • Improved waste water quality resulting in improved plant effluent quality
  • Improvement in energy efficiency due to a reduction of water present in the crude
  • Increase in profit margin due to improved processing of challenged and opportunity crude

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