Ensuring Safe and Reliable Cleaning of Asphaltene Deposits Inside Tanks at Fuel-Oriented Petroleum Refineries
The purpose of this study is to improve the operational reliability of oil storage tanks and storage equipment at petroleum refineries by extending their mean time to repair (MTTR). The principal methods for studying the problem are the simulation experiment and the statistical processing of the quantitative results of the study. Based on the results of the wall thickness test for the first ring of an oil storage tank, the authors made a case for a regular removal of deposits from the tank walls. The suggested system for tackling the asphaltene deposits (ADs) consists in treating the deposits with a petroleum product heated to their melting point. The optimal solution temperature was chosen based on the results of the tests run to observe the impact of heat on the deposits and establish their melting temperature. A series of experiments were undertaken to identify the optimal composition of heating oil for treating ADs. The methods proposed in the study can be used to build a mathematical model of an AD removal unit for cleaning oil storage tanks, to calculate the operational characteristics of the equipment, and to design a process flow diagram that can be used at fuel-oriented petroleum refineries.
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