Case History

US plastics plant reduces downtime in decontaminating two processing columns of ethylene dichloride from between 7 – 10 days to 24-hours utilizing FQE® LEL-Vapor

Results Achieved

Reduction in downtime from 7-10 days to 24 hours
No personnel exposure to
hazardous materials
Extremely clean equipment

Chemicals Utilized


Rapid absorption and encapsulation of vapor-state hydrocarbons

A large plastics plant in Texas used FQE LEL-Vapor to decontaminate and clean two processing columns of ethylene dichloride.

The client would typically steam the columns for 7-10 days to purge the equipment of the hazardous materials prior to vessel maintenance. Previous attempts to chemically clean the towers had been unsuccessful.

FQE Chemicals designed a cleaning process to partially fill and circulate low concentrations of FQE LEL-Vapor at temperatures of 82°C (180°F) for short periods of time (1-4 hours). The circulation process was performed three times. After each circulation the cleaning solution temperature was raised to boiling to flush over liquids to the accumulator. Each circulation liquid was drained to a frac tank with the towers refilled to 60% of capacity. After the final wash, the columns were flushed with fire water over the top tray to remove any loose materials (coke, scale etc).

Each column was sampled for EDC contaminant and was found to be clear. Upon opening the columns, each was clean from top to bottom. The plant staff was extremely please with the results of the cleaning process.

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