innovative field test allows refiner to manage risks posed by crudes contaminated with tramp amines

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the situation

A Northern European Refiner began to experience increased levels of tramp amines in some of their most frequently processed crudes. The ingress of tramp amine impacted overhead pH control and increased the risk of salt formation in the CDU. The use of an Amine Removal Programme reduced the risk to the CDU overhead, but increased nitrogen loading in the desalter effluent to the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) increased the risk of the refinery, breaching their effluent discharge consent limits.

The PATHFINDER Amine Test (PAT) allowed the refiner to quantify the amines in each cargo and, in a matter of hours, proactively put preventative measures in place.

the solution

Nalco Champion developed a field test for amines that is quick, accurate and operator independent, offering a significant improvement over the currently difficult and time consuming methodology. The PATHFINDERTM Amine Test can determine the concentration of various amines including the most prevalent tramp amines in crude, MMA and MEA.

the results

Previously, the refinery was being reactive to the tramp amine issues. However, with the implementation of the PATHFINDER Amine Test, the quick analytical turnaround time gave the refinery an early warning of potential issues, allowing them to optimise the Amine Removal Programme and / or divert the contaminated desalter effluent stream away from the ETP, minimising risks to the CDU and the potential for breaching discharge consent limits. This innovative technology adds another layer of “insurance” to avoid potential costly impacts.

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