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Mobile Vapor Combustion Shortens Length of Turnaround Project

Turnaround Support Services
Chemical Manufacturer- Olefins and Polypropylene – Texas


The customer is one of the largest olefins plants in the country.  As such, plant downtime is very costly.  With plant maintenance a necessary component of facility operations, this customer puts a focus on improving a unit turnaround efficiency and economics.  As such, the olefins plant continuously qualifies innovative technological applications for process improvement. 


GEM was consulted for potential efficiency gains and quickly identified two areas for improvement.  The customer needed to evacuate volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) from the quench area prior to cleaning and the traditional methodology of nitrogen purging to the flare was slow and tedious.  GEM proposed applying a 15MM Btu/hour mobile vapor combustor to the process and draw the VOC’s into our unit for destruction.  Secondly, the customer generated over 650,000 gallons of highly emulsified oily waste water which was typically stored in temporary tanks to be slow-fed to their on-site wastewater treatment facility.  GEM proposed mobilizing two 150 gallon per minute oil water separators for on-line treatment as the material was generated.  


With the use of GEM’s mobile vapor combustor, the customer quickly cleared the quench unit and avoided the slow process of routing the VOC’s to their flare.  This shaved a day off the VOC clearing process and the time saver equated to an estimated $1,000,000 in turnaround cost savings.  The emulsified quench water was treated while it was generated and discharged on-site, avoiding the slow process of sending it to their on-site treatment facility and eliminated the need to rent multiple frac tanks for temporary storage.  Here, the customer avoided the burdensome frac tank storage and saved an estimated $150,000 in rental fees.

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