August 2008

Process Developments

Is nitrogen really inert as a blanketing medium?

New investigation finds that this gas is soluble in hydrocracker feed

Luckwal, K., Mandal, K. K., Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.; Ramakumar, K. R., Gujarat Refinery, Indian Oil Corporation Limited

Blanketing a drum or a tank with inert gas such as nitrogen is done for various reasons. Nitrogen is used as the blanketing medium in the feed vacuum gasoil (VGO) surge drum to satisfy the NPSH requirement of the feed pump to the first-stage hydrocracker reactor. However, when there are insufficient nitrogen supplies within the refinery, the blanketing medium is changed to the fuel gas (FG) mode. During this change, the behavior of various processing conditions changes drastically and requires close monitoring. In general, it is believed that the solubility of gases decreases with increasing temperatures. But that is not always true for all gases; nitrogen behaves differently. We will explor

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