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Critical Flare Drum Maintenance Concern Resolved


A Mid-Western refinery experienced multiple cleaning failures on their flare drums while using vendors steeped in using permanganate and terpenes in circulation.  After the cleanings it was commonplace to find the vapor space clear.  As personnel entered and disturbed the sludge high levels of LEL and hydrogen sulfide were found to still exist due to an incomplete cleaning.  After multiple attempts to enter to remove the sludge management decided it needed to be executed in fresh air, which lengthened the timeline, increased expense and the entire process endangered all personnel involved. 


ZymeFlow was contacted to tailor a solution for the flare drum after presentations of ZymeFlow’s boil out technology.  Using Zyme-Flow® UN657 and Rezyd-X® Z67 the flare drum was rumbled over a 12 hour period.  The superior chemistry with the steam motivation of the sludge allowed the complete removal of all LEL and hydrogen sulfide, both in the vapor space and in the sludge layer.  The entire sludge removal process was conducted without fresh air and the remaining material was unbound and it could simply be hosed out rather than having to be mined. An added benefit of our process was a vast decrease in effluent generated, and the small amount that had been produced proved to be much easier to process by their WWTP.