Concrete like blockages removed to achieve 96% clean of condenser

Summary

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.

Inspection of tube before clean Tube Tech's fully indexed and remotely operated dry drilling system Inspection of tube after clean Morning cleaning information

Challenge

  • 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

Solution

  • 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.”

For more information or to discuss your cleaning challenge call us on +44 1268 786999 or e-mail info@tubetech.com, alternatively click here to fill out our contact form.