Investigation of Alkaline Hydrolysis in Refractory Linings of Process Plants: A Case Study
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In view of the ever-increasing energy needs in the process industry, efficiency enhancements assume critical importance. Refractory linings play a pivotal role in reducing the energy consumption of the process equipment along with ensuring safe and reliable operation of a plant. Owing to the project complexities and installation schedules, refractory-lined equipments are often stored at project sites for prolonged times, leading to non-performance and premature failures. One of the main reasons for such failure, especially for plants in the vicinity of a seacoast, is alkaline hydrolysis or carbonation of refractory linings. In this paper, we have investigated the advent and nature of alkaline hydrolysis in a refinery plant. Innovative remedial measures were successfully implemented to prevent further refractory degradation and salvage already affected linings. We have also developed guidelines and proactive techniques that can be applied to the design, engineering and installation stages of up-coming process plants to prevent this problem.
Keywordsrefractory lining design engineering alkaline hydrolysis carbonation failure
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