July 2011


Prevent fouling in 1-butene storage vessels

Investigation finds root cause for polymer formation in Horton spheres

Sivalingam, G., Divey, J. D., Vakil, S. M., Reliance Technology Group, Reliance Industries Ltd.; Bokde, N., Central Technical Service, Reliance Industries Ltd.

For over two decades, Horton spheres, constructed of carbon steel (CS), have been used to store 1-butene. When one of these vessels was cleaned, significant amounts of polymeric material was found on the inside wall of sphere and on one of the level transmitters (LTs). In this case history, a detailed material analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetry (TGA) and inductively coupled plasma—atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) techniques revealed that the polymer contained 85% combustible polybutadiene rubber, 6.7% a-ferric oxide (a-Fe2O3) and 2.5% titanium oxide (TiO2.) This study also revealed that unmodif

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