Sour water stripping is used to remove ammonia NH3 and hydrogen sulfide H2S from sour water streams coming from many unit operations to condition it for discharge or reuse within the refinery. In a complex refinery, most of the sour water comes from distillation, fluid catalytic cracking, catalytic reforming, coker and acid gas removal units, with many other operations contributing to the balance. The different streams are collected in a surge tank for centralized processing via a heat exchanger and a single stripper column, or two in series. A combination of pH control and heat, from direct injection steam or reboiler drives off the ammonia and hydrogen sulfide. The impact is loss of SWS capacity that may bottleneck refinery production rates, drive the need for unscheduled SWS shutdowns and cleanouts leading to additional production losses, high maintenance costs and increased worker safety issues from exposure to the highly volatile H2S in the sour water system. Oil contamination of the stripper also leads to a range of problems downstream.
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Sour Water Stripping (SWS) - Oil & Gas | Pall Corporation
Stripping is a physical separation process where one or more components are removed from a liquid stream by a vapor stream. In industrial applications the liquid and vapor streams can have co-current or countercurrent flows. Stripping is usually carried out in either a packed or trayed column. Stripping works on the basis of mass transfer. The idea is to make the conditions favorable for the component, A, in the liquid phase to transfer to the vapor phase. This involves a gas—liquid interface that A must cross. The total amount of A that has moved across this boundary can be defined as the flux of A, N A.
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Sour water strippers: design and operation
Sour Water is the wastewater that is produced from atmospheric and vacuum crude columns at refineries. Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia are typical components in sour water that need to be removed before the water can be reused elsewhere in the plant. Removal of these components is done by sending the sour water from the process to a stripping tower where heat, in the form of steam, is applied. The ammonia and hydrogen sulfide contained in the water is released by the heat and exits the top of the tower. The ideal pH value for stripping H 2 S is below 5, since above 5, sulfide is primarily found in the form of ions HS - or S
Simpler, more cost-effective sour water stripper designs can outperform more generally accepted designs in the refining industry. Download Complete Article. In , while working as a process design engineer with the American Oil Refinery in Whiting, Indiana, I designed a sour water stripper to remove ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and phenols from coker and FCC effluent sour water. Many years later, in , I was working in two refineries in India, where I was troubleshooting sour water strippers in both plants.