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Case Study – Venezuelan Coker Unit Emergency Shutdown: Preparing for Vessel Entry

Presented By

Martha Smith - ZymeFlow Decon Technology


Courtesy of ZymeFlowA major Venezuelan refinery connected with ZymeFlow Decon Technology to decontaminate the main fractionating Coker column as part of an emergency maintenance shutdown. The key objectives were to eliminate H2S and LEL gases while neutralizing pyrophoric materials and eliminating the tarry coke solids that had historically filled the lower bowl. Also of great importance was the minimization of manual and mechanical cleaning required after the decontamination procedures. The refinery was under immense pressure to get the unit back online as soon as possible and needed to examine all available means to reduce the timeline.

This presentation will examine the coker unit emergency project. The procedures utilized by ZymeFlow Decon will be explained in detail including a new chemistry application for the fluidization of heavy ends. A comparison will also be made on previous methods the refinery had incorporated into their shutdowns. Pictures of the tower internals will be presented to demonstrate the final results.

Martha Smith, ZymeFlow - presenter at RefComm Budapest 2017Martha Smith has over 25 years of global experience in the refining and petrochemical industry. She earned a bachelor’s of science in industrial engineering followed by a master’s degree in Oil Refining, Gas and Petrochemicals at the French Petroleum Institute. Smith held various engineering positions at PDVSA-PEQUIVEN before joining ZymeFlow Decon. Smith’s current function as Global Technical Director is to work with the sales team to develop new business and support existing customers on a global scale.

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