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August 01, 2021

The Filtration of Process Water, and Its Importance in the Petroleum Industry

The Petroleum industry is one of Ronningen-Petter's areas of expertise. Therefore, I feel that this paper--written by one of our employees, Craig Annable, and published by Hydrocarbon Engineering--would be of interest to you. Due to its length, this will be posted in five different articles: Introduction, Oilfield Production Site, Cooling and Amine Systems,Selecting the Right Filter, Disposable and Cleanable Filter Media.

(PRWEB) July 31, 2021 -- Upstream, downstream, and throughout the petroleum industry most discussions of filtration focus on the oil itself, and it is extracted from the wellhead and refined into saleable products. Yet throughout this process, a critical and consistent component is the use of water. Although the water quality required depends upon its end use, without filtration, unfiltered water can foul downstream equipment and contaminate catalysts. The result is increased maintenance and repair costs, a potentially downed system and lower conversion rates and process yields.

Filtering process water is very important due to its influence on process flow, its ability to protect downstream equipment/piping, and its significant role in the quality/value of finished goods. Hence, this can play a critical role in optimizing the refining process. The right filtration equipment can affect a company's environmental impact through the reduction of emissions and waste generation. It can also safeguard employees by minimizing their exposure to hazardous materials. These factors, in turn, affect the company's productivity and bottom line.

Despite its significance, many refineries have not realized the benefits of optimized filtration for process water. Installing a system where none has previously existed can be difficult to justify with tight capital budgets. Decision makers face the same challenge when a filtration system is in place and operating. However, a careful look at key cost factors can quickly justify an investment that will generate a significant return. In addition to minimizing overall maintenance costs, other factors include labor costs, the potential costs of lost production, conversion, and recovery of petroleum products during schedule and unscheduled downtime.

When exploring water treatment filtration options, another consideration is water conservancy. With an increased emphasis on reducing environmental impact, there is also an increased emphasis on reducing the amount of water used for industrial processes--especially freshwater. There are two ways to achieve this. One method is to use equipment that requires less fresh water. The second method is water reuse when the amount of water used is mandated by the process requirement. This trend is fuelled by several economic benefits that can be broken down into four separate and specific areas of cost savings:

• Reduced cost for purchase and treatment of fresh water
• Reduced cost for heating process streams or money saved through energy recovery.
• Reduced process losses of expensive and unspent catalyst fines that can be reintroduced and reused.
• Reducing waste treatment costs.
Any decision regarding filtration of water should be weighed against the relative importance of each of these factors.

The next article will examine some specific areas for water treatment within the petroleum industry, and some suggested solutions.

For questions about industrial filtration, please visit the Ask Filter Man forum at http://www.rpaprocess.com/Ask-Filter-Man-Blog.asp.

Linda Stacy
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Posted by Industrial-Manufacturing at August 1, 2021 01:45 AM