March 2012

Special Report: Corrosion Control

Closed-loop control can clamp down on crude unit corrosion

Automating the detection process and controlling applications in real time dramatically boosts performance

Hilton, N. P., Nalco Company, Energy Services Division

The refining industry has been dealing with crude unit overhead corrosion since the early days of the industry. Many refiners today understand that 90% of corrosion damage occurs 10% of the time, when persistent and ongoing overhead corrosion is prevalent. These small periods of corrosion are related to unstable operations, the processing of opportunity crudes or other interruptions in normal operations. The industry has historically tried to control the corrosive environment through the application of best practices; by using specialty chemicals including sodium hydroxide (caustic); by improving desalter operations; and by upgraded metallurgy. The gap with this approach is not the tools

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