Category: Potential Operating Problem

Liquid Carryover and Gas Blowby

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Liquid carryover and gas blowby are two common operating problems. Liquid carryover occurs when free liquid escapes with the gas phase and can indicate high liquid level, damage to vessel internals, foam, improper design, plugged liquid outlets, or a flow rate that exceeds the vessel’s design rate. Gas blowby occurs when free gas escapes with …

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Sand

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Sand can be very troublesome in separators by causing cutout of valve trim, plugging of separator internals, and accumulation in the bottom of the separator. Special hard trim can minimize the effects of sand on the valves. Accumulations of sand can be alleviated by the use of sand jets and drains. Plugging of the separator …

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Paraffin

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Separator operation can be adversely affected by an accumulation of paraffin. Coalescing plates in the liquid section and mesh pad mist extractors in the gas section are particularly prone to plugging by accumulations of paraffin. Where it is determined that paraffin is an actual or potential problem, the use of plate-type or centrifugal mist extractors …

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Foamy Crudes

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The major cause of foam in crude oil is the appearance of impurities, other than water, which are impractical to remove before the stream reaches the separator. Foam presents no problem within a separator if the internal design assures adequate time or sufficient coalescing surface for the foam to “break.” Foaming in a separating vessel …

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