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STRATCO® alkylation technology - acid settler coalescing media retrofit

Reduce acid carry, acid consumption and avoid downstream equipment failures due to acid corrosion. Following the success of integrating coalescing media throughout the alkylation unit, DuPont has now successfully incorporated coalescing media in the STRATCO® acid settler vessels. Existing acid settler vessels originally designed without coalescing media rely on gravity settling of the acid and hydrocarbon emulsion. When operating near original design conditions, the hydrocarbon product exiting the acid settler typically contains 50ppm free sulfuric acid. As Contactor feed rates and reaction temperatures continue to increase, acid carryover can go well over 50ppm and in some instances as high as 1000 ppm.

Excessive acid carryover is detrimental to downstream equipment
• Free acid that carries over can coat the inside of the Contactor™ reactor tubes causing reduced heat transfer
• Excessive acid carryover can lead to increased plugging/fouling of the tubes of the feed/effluent exchanger
• Depending upon unit configuration, carryover acid can cause plugging in the refrigerant recycle pump and/or the net effluent pump
• Effluent treating operation may also be impacted resulting in increased caustic consumption in caustic wash and alkaline water wash vessels
• Increased levels of corrosion/fouling in the deisobutanizer feed circuit

Modification of the existing acid settler to incorporate coalescing media reduces free acid carryover to less than 15 ppm. As shown in Figure  below, the acid settler coalescing media retrofit involves simple modification of the existing hydrocarbon outlet header. Two stages of coalescing media are employed to virtually eliminate free acid carryover from the acid settler.

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