April 2005

Instrumentation/Control

Improve desalter control

Consider 'target-opening nonlinear control' for interface level

Mandal, K. K., Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.

The desalter in a crude distillation unit is a critical section of the plant. Its purpose is to remove salt and water from crude oil by using electrostatic force and allowing more residence time for separation. Good desalter performance will improve plant reliability by reducing salt carry-over to downstream sections and improve profitability by reducing oil carry-over along with brine. Here's a detailed discussion of the important operating parameters for desalter operation. Wash water addition rate. Wash water is added along with the crude oil before entry to the desalter to remove salt from the crude oil (Fig. 1). The recommended water addition rate is 3.0 – 4.5% on crude flow.

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