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Process Compressor Wash System: How Rochem Assess Feasibility

16/12/2019

When customers come to us with fouling problems, we have a tried and tested way of working out how best to help them. Backed by 40 years of specialist experience in gas turbine and process compressor cleaning, we are able to understand the whys, wheres and hows of fouling, then propose successful cleaning options.  
 
We make use of cutting-edge technology to identify exactly what the fouling consists of and how to get rid of it. This helps us determine a) if we can help and b) the most effective cleaning equipment, detergents and methods. 
 
Our turnkey solutions increase efficiency, reduce energy consumption and help customers meet emission targets, all while saving money.
 
Rochem Fyrewash

 

A feasibility case study

The following is a simplified textbook example of how we approach assessing the feasibility of a process compressor wash system. In this instance, we are working with a Production Company at their FPSO, off-shore. 
 

1. What is the problem?

When customers approach us, they are generally aware that they have a fouling problem. 
 
In this case, Yinson Production AS has fouling on their two identical centrifugal compressors. Instead of implementing their own cleaning schedule, they currently shut them down and send them away to be cleaned. This results in long periods of unproductive and costly downtime. 
 
They have come to Rochem for a better solution.
 

2. Understanding fouling 

Through visual inspection, laboratory testing and performance analysis, we can determine what the foulant is and if it is causing issues. 
 
The customer suspects their fouling is predominantly carbonised hydrocarbon. The layers of deposit can be easily peeled away, but this requires a full shutdown and overhaul. 
 
Laboratory tests on deposit samples confirm that the foulant is predominantly organic: C with some Fe, S, O, Mg, Si, Ca and Cl. 
 
The worst affected areas are:
The rotating assembly
The diaphragms
The balancing drum 
The labyrinth seals
 
If foulants in these locations are left to build-up, it causes rotation problems and the machines are eventually unable to run. 

3. What is the best chemical for this type of fouling?

 

Once we have an understanding of what the foulant is, we can recommend the best cleaning detergents to remove it. 
 
As a rule, the key characteristics of an effective cleaner are:
  • Wetting
  • Dissolving
  • Dispersing
  • Emulsifying 
  • Preventing re-precipitation and re-solidifying
 
Armed with information from our diagnostic stage, we determine than Rochem Fyrewash PC cleaner is the most suitable detergent for the Production Company’s fouling problems. 
 

4. How should the chemical be delivered?

Knowing which chemical will be most effective is one thing, but it is essential that it is introduced to the system at the right location, in the right way. 
 
After determining that Rochem’s nozzle injection system will not impact safe, efficient operation, we assess existing connections and run computer simulations. We determine the optimum nozzle location in order to provide an effective clean by delivering the chemical exactly where it is needed.   
 

5. Design

We present the customer with our findings and offer to create a bespoke design solution to suit their system and fouling issues. 
 
The Production Company now has all the information they need to understand their fouling problems and how we can help them. With our solution, they will enjoy less shutdowns and greater efficiency, boosting their bottom line. 

Get in touch

If you are interested in finding out how we can help with your process compressor fouling issues, get in touch. We are on hand to answer all your questions. 
 

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