Chemical Decontamination of Hot & Cold Sections of Ethylene Production

Results Achieved

90% reduction in down time

Over $500,000 gained in additional production

$250,000 per tower was saved over the conventional method of cleaning

Cleaner equipment, ready for hot work and manned entry

Chemical profiles


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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Alkaline degreaser for heavy oils/greases, compatible with stainless steel, rapid oil separation, caustic.

A large petrochemical company in Brazil used FQE™ Solvent-H, FQE™ LEL-V and FQE™ Degreaser ACMO products to decontaminate and clean the quench oil, quench water, caustic wash and separation towers (de-ethanizer/de-butanizer) simultaneously.


All of the associated heat exchangers and piping were included in the cleaning path. Typically, it took several days to evacuate the system of hazardous vapors such as benzene. The furnaces were cleaned with FQE Solvent-H to remove heavy deposits of tars prior to degassing operations. Chemical cleaning had been attempted on several previous occasions without success.


After 16 hours of steam phase injection, with FQE product, the towers were at zero LEL and zero benzene. The quench towers were circulated for 12 hours with FQE Degreaser-ACMO to remove heavy oils. In prior cleaning trials, this method of cleaning required five days from shut down to return to maintenance.


The plant estimated that over $250,000 was saved per tower compared to conventional cleaning methods. Plant management estimated over $500,000 was gained in additional production as a result of the expedited cleaning process.

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