Sour water is produced in refinery process units, as water is used for steam stripping and quenching. Sour water is contaminated mostly with ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which must be removed before the water is recycled back into the process. Refineries typically use trays in their sour water strippers to remove the contaminants, but sometimes random packing can also be used.
Common issues with sour water strippers are severe foaming, severe fouling, and corrosion. Koch-Glitsch has completed numerous revamps and equipped new columns with PROVALVE® trays to improve fouling resistance and, consequently, decrease the number of shutdowns usually required for cleaning the trays. The PROVALVE valve provides the greatest level of fouling protection when compared to other Koch-Glitsch valves because of its unique shape and construction. Koch-Glitsch also has the capability to fabricate the PROVALVE trays in a wide variety of alloys, since corrosion is normally a concern in this application.
For towers equipped with random packing, Koch-Glitsch can provide INTALOX® ULTRA high-performance random packing, which maximizes the effective surface area, providing the utmost capacity and/or efficiency. In addition, different liquid distributor designs are available, depending on the level of fouling resistance required.
For enhanced fouling resistance in sour water strippers, Koch-Glitsch typically recommends the Model 116/117 deck distributor with elevated orifices above random packing beds.
For maximum fouling resistance in sour water strippers, Koch-Glitsch typically recommends using PROVALVE® trays. Alternatively, above random packing beds, the Model 985 trough distributor with V-notches can also be used.