Concrete like blockages removed to achieve 96% clean of condenser
One of the most complex refineries in the UK needed to unblock and descale a sulphur condenser blocked with concrete like deposits. Using their advanced specialist cleaning techniques Tube Tech were able to offer a dry drilling service bringing the condenser back to production standard.
- Of the 364 tubes on the vertical condenser 50 were believed to be severely blocked with sulphurcrete.
- The blockages were believed to be located 1.2m from the top of the 4.9m long tubes – the actual length of the blockages were unknown.
- The condenser was used to process hydrogen sulphide and sulphur gas. Due to these highly toxic and potentially acidic substances it was essential that a dry cleaning technique was used.
- The refinery has previously tried to use a metal rod to bash the deposit with little or no effect
- Working closely with the client Tube Tech opted to use their bespoke dry drilling techniques including the SafeDrill™ and Rotaflex™ systems.
- The lance of the SafeDrill™ was positioned into the tube mouth manually to prevent ramming the refractory on the tube plate.
- The system then advanced slowly down the tube bore, rotating slowly, to meet the blockage.
- Once the blockage location was identified a bespoke drill head with tip clear technology was used to remove the obstacle without tube damage.
- A number of the tubes were also polished using Tube Tech’s proprietary Rotaflex™ system.
- The client inspected the tubes using an IPLEX camera and were pleased with level of cleanliness achieved.
Tube Tech Comment
Scott Donson, Technical Sales Manager: “Safety is always our first priority and our bespoke dry drilling condenser cleaning system ensures all operators are protected from hazardous/toxic substances. The techniques are proven and able to remove the most severe blockages from sulphur condensers.”
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