The majority of water used in the refinery industry is for cooling. In the distillation process, coolers condense the vapors into liquid products, which allow them to be easily handled. This water is typically reused. The second highest use for water is the makeup water for boiler and feed. Steam used for stripping, steam distillation, and vacuum distillation becomes heavily contaminated when it contacts products. This water cannot be reused as boiler feed, so new water is required to make up water loss. On the other hand, condensate from the condensers is generally reused as boiler feed or as makeup water for other needs. A small portion of water is used for the plant operational processes, sanitary purposes, and other services.
In general, different refinery processes require different qualities of water:
As in other power plants, refinery power plants need to monitor the ionic impurities in various water streams, such as boiler water, cooling water, feed water, and condensate water. By understanding the level of contamination, facility operators can take actions to reduce the damage from corrosion, deposition, and scaling. Industrial water testing is, therefore, essential for quality control and process optimization in the refinery.
Monitoring ionic impurity in various water streams can include:
These anions and cations can be analyzed by modern ion chromatography (IC) techniques, with solutions to several challenges including:
Reliable water analysis is critical to eliminating corrosion and scaling that can damage valuable industrial components and to ensure regulatory compliance. Download the infographic to learn about our solutions to the top three analytical challenges in industrial water and waste water processing.
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