CIESC Journal ›› 2019, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (3): 1027-1034.doi: 10.11949/j.issn.0438-1157.20180785

• Surface and interface engineering • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Mechanism prediction of flow-induced corrosion and optimization of protection measures in overhead system of atmospheric tower

Changchun HE1(),Lei XU1(),Wei CHEN1,Xiaofeng XU2,Pengwei OUYANG2   

  1. 1. Hangzhou Fluid Technology Co., Ltd., Hangzhou 310008, Zhejiang, China
    2. School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, Hangzhou 310008, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2018-07-12 Revised:2018-12-11 Online:2019-03-05 Published:2018-12-19
  • Contact: Lei XU;


Corrosion failures often occur at the overhead cooling system in the atmospheric tower in a domestic oil refinery. Based on the material balance principle, this study uses the reverse derivation method and process simulation to analyze the flow corrosion failure mechanism of the atmospheric pressure overhead cooling system, including dew point corrosion, ammonium salt crystal deposition scale corrosion, and multiphase flow erosion. Generally, water injection is a convenient and efficient measure to eliminate dew-point corrosion and under-deposit corrosion caused by ammonium salt crystallization. Nevertheless, due to the restricted water injection flow rate and various water injection modes for the heat exchangers, corrosion failure still occurred in the overhead cooling system of the atmospheric tower. By simulating the overhead system, the suitable one of three water injection modes (in the main process pipe, in the heat exchangers and by a programming controller) can be determined to realize the long-term stable operation of the overhead cooling system in the atmospheric tower according to a given injected water flow rate.

Key words: corrosion, crystallization, dew point, equilibrium, water injection, double-drum system

CLC Number: 

  • TE 986


Under-deposit corrosion caused by ammonium chloride crystallization"


Process schematic of double-drum atmospheric tower overhead system"


Corrosion morphology of U-tube heat exchanger"

Table 1

Gas composition and flowrate in atmospheric tower overhead system"


Table 2

Second-stage oil process parameters and composition in atmospheric tower overhead system"


Table 3

First-stage oil (output + reflux) process parameters and composition in atmospheric tower overhead system"


Table 4

Sour water process parameters and composition in atmospheric tower overhead system"











NH4Cl crystallization temperatures versus Cl- concentrations in sour water"


NH4Cl crystallization temperatures versus NH3 concentrations in sour water"


Products of partial pressures of NH3 and H2S versus temperatures"


Dew points of water phase versus H2O concentrations in overhead gas of atmospheric tower"

Table 5

Relationship between percentage of liquid water and injected water flowrate"



Temperature profile of outer wall of heat exchanger tube bundle without water injection"


Temperature profile of outer wall of heat exchanger tube bundle with injected water flowrate of 1000 kg·h-1"

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