Desalter Debris Cleaning

Desalting is the first step of the refinery process. The desalter removes most of the impurities from the raw oil. Periodically, the desalter is cleared of debris to operate at a higher efficiency. 

Chemicals Utilized


Desalter Process

The desalter’s purpose is to remove inorganic chlorides along with water-soluble deposits from crude oil. On the way to the desalter, water is added at a mixing valve to dissolve the water-soluble deposits such as salts. Often there are several sets of these desalters in a series.


To start crude oil is heated and emulsion breakers are used to enhance water fall-out.


Then the oil moves through the desalter.


Next the bottom of the desalter collects the brine mixture. The mixture contains salt.


Finally the brine water is removed to the waste water treatment, and the separated crude oil is ready for the refining process.

Common Desalter Problems

Desalter debris, such as heavy organic solids, collect in the bottom of the desalter. For example, production sand and heavy tars mixed with inorganic salts. These deposits collect in the unit and make the desalter less efficient. To remediate this issue, the desalter is chemically cleaned to remove the solids.

Our Chemical Cleaning Solution

Desalter debris is difficult to clean. Not only is the debris material stubborn, but also the internals of the equipment act as obstacles. However, using the proper chemical cleaning method makes the process much easier.


Dissolve Heavy Organics

To begin, circulate LCO and diesel oil through the desalter. Next, add FQE® Solvent-H+ to liquify the organic solids. Truely, this chemistry is effective at dissolving waxes and asphaltenes. Because it is non-emulsifying, it will not upset the desalter performance.


Remove Dissolved Debris

FQE Solvent-H+ ensures debris stays liquid and does not re-solidify. So it is easy to pump out the liquified organic solids and brine water. The resulting solution can generally go to slop tanks to be rerun after unit start-up.


Degrease the Desalter

FQE has developed several specialized chemistries for degreasing. The range of FQE Degreasers are effective at surface cleaning. In addition, they are non-corrosive to metallurgy and are waste water treatment friendly.


Sulfur Recovery Unit


Atmospheric Tower

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