A California refinery produces xylene for use as commercial product and a precursor for petrochemical manufacturing. A primary component to the production of xylene is the isolation and purification of the chemical from a complex mixture of petroleum hydrocarbons. Steam based heat exchangers are used to process the xylene. Inherent to the design and rough duty heat exchangers face during their operation, leaks can and do develop. When a heat exchanger leaks, xylene contaminates the steam and produces a number of problems ranging from loss of final product, contamination and fouling of steam transfer piping, and ultimately bio-fouling of cooling towers. Consistent and reliable monitoring for xylene or other petroleum hydrocarbons in cooling water or steam condensate can alleviate product loss and process equipment down time.
By Turner Designs Hydrocarbon Instruments, Inc. based in Fresno, CALIFORNIA (USA).
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