Chemical Decontamination and Degassing of a Coker Fractionator

Results Achieved

Process saved 12-24 hours of outage time; manpower entry with no delays

Reduced mechanical cleaning costs & timelines by dissolving heavy sludge

LEL and H2S reduced to 0

Chemical profiles

FQE Solvent-H

Created for the dissolution and recovery of asphaltenes in process equipment, pipelines and storage tanks.

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Rapid absorption of vapor-state hydrocarbons in an innovative encapsulant for effective decontamination and degassing of hydrocarbon processing equipment.

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Designed for instantaneous and permanent elimination of Hydrogen Sulfide present in refining and other process equipment.

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FQE Pyrophoric

Prevents hazardous oxidation of iron sulfide and the potential dangers of a flash fire or explosion in hydrocarbon processing equipment.

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Oil Refinery in Wyoming

An oil refinery in Wyoming running heavy Canadian crude utilized FQE® Solvent-H, FQE® LEL-V, FQE® H2S, and FQE® Pyrophoric for their turnaround operations and saved 1 day of outage time.

Scope of equipment cleaned

yellow-bulletCoker Fractionator
yellow-bulletThree Stripper Towers
yellow-bulletPentane Absorber

Previously, the client had utilized terpene-based type chemistries on the towers over a scheduled 12-hour period. Upon completion of the injection period, the client traditionally had issues with LEL and VOC levels that required additional steaming and this would end up delaying manpower entry an additional 12-24 hours. Due to issues with prior applications, a new process was chosen; the FQE Chemicals method.


Prior to chemical application, it was confirmed that there was a lack of fluid communication at the bottom of the coker fractionator. This resulted in relocating the injection point and indicated that the fractionator was completely fouled at the bottom. It was confirmed that fouling was significantly higher than previous turnarounds.


To target the heavily coked-up bottoms, FQE Solvent-H was circulated at the bottom of the coker fractionator during the cool-down to target the heavy asphaltenes and sludges. This was followed by vapor phase injection of FQE LEL-V, FQE H2S, and FQE Pyrophoric products into the fractionator and remaining vessels.


After the allotted 12-hour time frame, all the vessels were successfully decontaminated and devoid of any LEL or H2S. All pyrophoric iron in the system was fully deactivated.


Manpower designated for vessel entry was able to conduct maintenance operations without any time impacts to the schedule. Application of FQE Solvent-H successfully dissolved most of the heavy sludge at the bottom of the fractionator and significantly reduced the cost and time impact of mechanical services for removal of residual solids. All residual coke deposits were found in powered form and completely hydrocarbon free.

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