Inderscience Publishers

Process design, simulation and integration of a new desalter in the crude distillation unit of a refinery

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This study presents the design and modification of a desalting unit in an existing refinery where crude oil is desalted in a single-stage desalter. The design considers a scheduled increase in the crude feedstock, and change from the current lighter blend to a future heavier blend. A more stringent limit with regard to salt content in the desalted crude is also applied. The simulation studies showed that a second stage electrostatic desalter is required in order to achieve a salt content of one parts per thousand barrel (PTB) compared to the current ten PTB, and starting from a crude oil with 100 PTB. The process was simulated using HYSYS computer software. Calculations related to heat integration of the desalting process to achieve the best operating temperature in the plant are also presented. Mass and heat balances are discussed and several environmental issues are addressed. [Received: October 14, 2009; Accepted: January 13, 2010]

Keywords: crude oil, desalting, desalter design, HYSYS simulation, distillation, process design, heat integration, operating temperature, oil refineries, salt content

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