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Hydrocarbon Leak Detection in Cooling Water Systems

Hydrocarbon leaks in refineries and chemical plants can quickly cause fouling and outbreaks of microbial growth. This, in turn, results in rapid loss of heat transfer and system efficiency. Detecting, locating, and stopping these leaks as soon as possible is critical.

A hydrocarbon leak detection procedure is used to pinpoint process equipment that is leaking a gas, gasoline, or oil into a cooling water system. In the past, this testing has been a laboratory procedure and could require considerable time to obtain results. Newer test procedures can be performed in the field and provide immediate on-site results.

Samples of water from the inlet and outlet of a suspected leaking unit are collected. When an increase in hydrocarbon level is found in the outlet sample, the leaking unit has been identified.

Hydrocarbon leak detection analysis is used to pinpoint a process leak in its early stages. The longer a leak continues, the greater the possibility of equipment damage or plant shutdown.

There are two distinct issues with regard to process leaks into cooling water systems:

1. Leak Detection - determining that there is a process leak early, before gross contamination occurs


2. Leak Identification - identifying the specific heat exchanger that is leaking, preferably with a rapid, on-site or on-line test method

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posted by zaki yamani @ 4:39 PM,

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The Author

zyz

I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!


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