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Coker Blowdown Freeze Watch

Coker people watch your blowdown finfans!!!

PSA on a cold night here in the Gulf. The coker blowdown has many hours of in-operation and can get cold. Having worked in Fort McMurray in the winter, I’m all too familiar with the procedures to keep these cooler warm and flowing.

Coker blowdown freeze alertHere are some ideas for my friend in Houston regarding freeze protection:

• Close the louvers when not in use

• Add roughneck heater to the deck below the cooler

• Use temporary tarps or some type of sheeting to restrict air flow from below

• Monitor the air coolers with IR cameras to look for cold spots

• Add steam to the bundles if available.

Remember, the banks can he plugged by frozen water but also condensed waxes. So aim to keep them above 65F at a minimum, >100F is even better.

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Posted by: Evan Hyde

Evan Hyde is the director of field services for He previously was president of C2 Nano Technology where they researched surface treatments to combat fouling & corrosion issues in cokers & other petrochemical process units. He was a Senior Engineering Advisor for Becht Engineering Co., Inc. and has consulted on processing improvement and reliability initiatives for coking clients around the world. Prior to joining Becht, Evan worked for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, as a process engineer, with assignments in research, and troubleshooting for heavy oil upgrading equipment. He holds a B.S. of Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.