Case History

A large petroleum refinery decontaminated it’s UDEX Clay Treater with FQE® LEL-Vapor resulting in a 92% reduction in downtime and over 8 weeks additional production time

Results Achieved

92% reduction in down time
Over 8 weeks of additional
production time
Maintenance cost savings
Cleaner equipment

Chemicals Utilized


Rapid absorption and encapsulation of vapor-state hydrocarbons

A large petroleum refinery on the Gulf Coast routinely decontaminates the UDEX Clay Treater to change out the clay.

The refinery runs two clay treaters in parallel; operating one while changing out another set. There are 17 treaters with one set decontaminated every three months. The typical unit is 12’ diameter by 48’ high with approximately 500 ft3 of clay. The Extractor Columns, Solvent Stripper, Benzene Column and Stage Raffinate Wash Columns were decontaminated.

The existing decontamination process involved steaming for 8-10 weeks to purge the clay of LEL and benzene without guarantee of meeting the entry requirements. The total decontamination time is typically 10-12 weeks with the cool down time.

Our decontamination process for Clay Treaters was used to successfully decontaminate the clay in 30 hours by injecting our FQE LEL-Vapor decontamination product with the steam purge. The total outage time, including the initial blinding and cool down time, was reduced from up to 84 days to only 6 days.

The process involved injecting FQE LEL-Vapor at a steam inlet, and after 2 hours opening all low points and dead-legs with the high point vented to the flare. After the decontamination process was completed, the outlets were sampled at 0% LEL and 0 ppm benzene.

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