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

Presented By

Steve Matza PhD - ZymeFlow Decon Technology


courtesy of ZymeFlow Decon TechnologyA 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.

Dr. Steve Matza, ZymeFlow Decon TechnologyDr. Steve Matza has over 35 years of experience in industrial chemistry. He earned his bachelor of science from SMU and his doctorate from Purdue’s prestigious Analytical Chemistry program. Matza interned at NASA and spent many years at Shell as a Research Chemist, Senior Process Chemist, and Corrosion Specialist before he joined ZymeFlow Decon. He holds 8 patents and has several published papers. In his current role, Matza is responsible for research and development, product recommendations, technical support, and exploring new application areas.


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