We are experiencing severe foaming problem in HP amine absorber in OHCU. Please specify reason and remedy.Oct-2021
syed mumtaz, Freelance Individual, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a common problem that arises due to carry over of hydrocrabon from the reactor that can coondense in cooler amine absorber. In addition, the other actors can be particulate materials, such as coke particles or catalyst Si/Al or FeS scale, salts in the lean amine solution, an ineffective anti foam for the given application, etc.. The remedies can come in several forms: Better coalescer before the Absorber, testing of a better quality corrosion inhibitor, better regeneration of amine and carying the CI rate. The downside can be serious because of carryover of amine that can can lead to increases loses and impact on downstream processing.
Ezzat Fouad, ERC, EFouad@ercegypt.com
We have experienced this issue Many time in our Hydro-cracker, the remedy was injecting antifoam at around 0.5 to 1.0 ppm in a continuous basis instead of intermittent one. Afterwards, no foaming was experienced.
It is worth mentioning that the foaming was observed in Hydro-cracker while not observed in hydro-treater although the amine supply is common.
Nathan Hatcher, Optimized Gas Treating, Inc., email@example.com
Many "foaming" problems are really vapor flooding problems that are misdiagnosed. Proper diagnosis for a root cause solution requires a process simulation to rule out flooding and sampling of the feeds/products and preferably the foam if some can be collected.
Amine foaming is caused when hydrocarbon accumulates to saturation levels within the column leading to a second liquid phase being formed. The lower surface tension in the organic hydrocarbon phase that results requires less energy for bubbles to form and slows drainage of liquid from the foam lattice.