Preventing Condensate System Fouling

Due to product scale and buildup, a midstream Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) plant was changing their filters every three days, as well as conducting heat exchanger cleanings eight times a year. This redundant maintenance was costing the plant approximately $206,000 a year. While conducting a plant survey, U.S. Water representatives recommended a new solution to resolve their perpetual issue.

This unique NGL plant processes off-spec product for operators throughout the country. Dealing with the containments and debris from the off-spec product propelled excessive filter plugging, exchanger fouling and cleanings. If the plant did not change the filters regularly or conduct exchanger cleaning, the debris could foul the condensate stabilizer and result in additional unscheduled plant downtime.

After conducting on-site debris testing, U.S. Water’s Energy team recommended a proprietary chemical additive formulated to dissolve and inhibit iron scales, to be used upstream of process equipment. Integrated automation equipment and engineering testing were implemented to deliver and monitor the treatment program as trucks were being off- loaded by monitoring Differential Pressure (DP) across the filter housings and heat exchanger.

Since the plant introduced U.S. Water’s solution into their system, the existing pipeline build-up began to detach and fluidize. Filter changes have reduced from every three days, to every six weeks, saving the plant $157,000 annually. The heat exchanger cleanings have also been reduced, as the unit has not yet required any cleanings, saving the plant approximately $38,400. The plant’s total ROI to implement the U.S. Water solution is 350%.

  • Engineered services include:
  • deposition monitoring
  • pitting corrosion
  • total suspended solids
  • bacteria testing
  • deposit analysis

System Achievements

  • Plant efficiency increased now that personnel are no longer conducting redundant filter changes.
  • U.S. Water unique chemistry, combined with automation and monitoring, allowed the plant to get, and keep, their system clean.
  • Plant saved approximately $195,400 annually in costly filter changes and heat exchanger cleanings.
  • U.S. Water’s solution ROI is approximately 350%, with a two month payback.

By U.S. Water

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