Overview


Challenges
  • Incumbent antifoam product was causing silicon poisoning, forcing the refiner to spend millions of dollars to change out the catalyst in the naphtha hydrotreater
Results
  • Reduced silicon content in coker naphtha by 64% and NHT naphtha by 73%
  • Doubled the reactor bed catalyst life, delivering annual savings of $400,000 USD
  • Controlled foaming while reducing antifoam usage rate over incumbent product
Case study details

To resolve the persistent problem of foaming in their processing units, refiners commonly implement one or more antifoam chemistries. In delayed coker processes, traditional silicone-based antifoams have been used for many years due to their relative thermal stability. However, the fractions of these products that thermally decompose ultimately contribute silicon to the coker product streams. When these streams reach the hydrotreater, the silicon shortens the operating life of the catalyst, resulting in increased operating costs and more frequent catalyst replacements.

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