Case History

Decontamination of Ethylene Production Sections reduces down time by 90%, and saves $250,000/tower over conventional cleaning methods for Brazilian company

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

Chemicals Utilized

Award-winning asphaltene dispersant and anti-foulant


Rapid absorption and encapsulation of vapor-state hydrocarbons

Alkaline degreaser for heavy oil and grease deposits

A large petrochemical company in Brazil used FQE® Solvent-H, FQE LEL-Vapor and FQE Oil Degreaser 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 Oil Degreaser 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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