V-PurgeTM Case Study

ProDecon® was asked by a refinery in South America to perform full decontamination of the Hydrocracker unit. This was the first turnaround on the unit and ProDecon® integrated with the refinery Operations team to engineer the shutdown and de-inventory of the unit into the decontamination procedure. This offered the most efficient process from oil out to the opening of equipment. The unit was fully decontaminated from battery limit to battery limit, including pipelines, heat exchangers, vessels and columns. To minimise the refineries turnaround schedule ProDecon® decided to perform vapour phase decontamination using V-Purge™.

V-Purge™ incorporates sophisticated chemistry that removes hydrocarbon deposits, eliminates LEL, H2S, Benzene and other hazardous gases and oxidises pyrophoric iron sulphide deposits in a single step. This minimises the time required for the decontamination process. The vapour phase decontamination ensured that the chemical was distributed evenly throughout the system contacting all surfaces. The temporary emulsion formed by V-Purge™ and the hydrocarbons present in the process equipment is stable throughout the process and quickly separates to its oil and water phases without the addition of emulsion breaker. This allows for simple draining of the effluent to the refinery water treatment system, allowing for oil recovery and no off site effluent treatment.

Using its vast fleet of decontamination equipment, ProDecon® was able to undertake the decontamination of the full unit simultaneously. The chemical injection lasted 10-12 hours on average and the complete decontamination including warming up the system, chemical injection, and system venting was completed within 24 hours for each circuit.

ProDecon’s own sampling method which incorporates complex field-testing analysis, was used to track the decontamination process and determine the end point as early as possible based on results not time. The reduction of LEL and H2S over the course of the chemical injection are presented in the graphs below.

Once the equipment was opened for inspection the client was satisfied by the high standards of cleaning that were achieved in such a short period of time. Following are some photos of the equipment that was decontaminated.

Customer Verified results

ProDecon® successfully completed this project within the allowable timeframe. Sampling and testing proved the efficiency of decontamination and pyrophoric neutralisation. There was no odour and no complaints regarding irritation from those working inside the vessel. There were no issues with interference to sampling / monitoring equipment, which could cause vessel entry delays. The cleanliness of the vessels’ internals was reported to be very good and is shown in the pictures attached.