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Extending Coker Main Fractionator Cleaning Cycles

The FCC unit, sulfur recovery unit (SRU) and delayed coker unit (DCU) operations training at RefComm® Bahrain 2015 took place the week of November 8 – 12 (see  Great lessons were learned and shared among Middle Eastern refinery personnel assigned to some of the newest high-complexity refineries in the world.  Everyone knows that starting up a new coker, FCC, or sulfur unit can be a challenge.  Learning from others’ experiences is the way to improve.

Coker workshop and training at RefComm Bahrain 2015.

Coker workshop and training at RefComm Bahrain 2015.


A new idea that was shared during the coker training may have widespread use for DCU based refiners… and it is nearly free.  It was noted that a certain refinery has coke carry-over from the drum due to very small outages.  They manage the coke fines in the fractionation; wrapping the standpipe in large mesh screen (about 1″ openings).  With this addition, they were able to extend fractionator cleaning intervals from 6 months to 1 year.  This may not seem like much to plants that run 5 years or more but this could be an easy way to protect the furnace charge pump — a win-win for everyone.

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Posted by: Rene Gonzalez

Rene G Gonzalez is the Director for and contributing editor for As a chemical engineer (Texas A&M University: 1982), Gonzalez has worked in various engineering capacities throughout the energy industry value chain, primarily in refinery processing and operations.

Refinery Operations