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  Applications  
 

 
"Wap-Flaro is a waste heat powered chilled water production facility"

Wap-Flaro (WF) can be applied to any industrial process where chilled water is needed and waste steam is available.

The main principal of WF is to increase the heat transfer rate whilst simultaneously reducing the volume of water used. This is achieved by increasing the working efficiency of heat exchangers and/or condensers of an existing process. This applies particularly to oil refineries and petrochemical plants as well as rayon fibre production, paper industries, pharmaceutical processes, meat packing, food processing, thermal power plants and so on.


Oil Refinery Application
Oil refineries continuously try to improve and adapt new technologies to enhance the process of refining oil. One area of problematic discussion has been with the use of a flare or torch. It is imperative when dealing with and creating volatile substances to have a flare available for safety reasons. This is a refinery's safety valve.

 

 


Up until now refineries have been unable to provide a cost effective solution to burning volatile gases at the flare.

Currently, compressors have been used to recover some or all of these gases to use as fuel for the boilers to raise steam within the process. In some cases it has been possible to sell the remaining product as low grade LPG for local communities. However, this is usually uneconomical. A far more effective and profitable solution would be to introduce WF to prevent the need to flare in the first place.

It is important to note that the flare stack will still remain on site in operating condition for safety reasons.

In general refinery vapour gases that occur throughout the process are usually collected and re-refined in the gas refinery. The gas refinery process is only approximately 85% efficient. Thus 15% of these gases are either sent to the flare stack or compressed and used as low-grade fuel for the refinery boilers.

(A complete case study explaining refinery vapour gas can be viewed here)

In order to prevent the need to flare WF enhances the process at the source of the problem - the refinery condensers. It is here where inefficient heat exchange leads to volatile gases occurring.

WF chills the refinery process water so that heat exchange in the condensers is increased from 85% - 98%. This increased efficiency means relatively small amounts of gas need to be flared and more gas is processed as butane or propane. Of course the added volume of product has a market value. It is possible to suggest that in most cases this increased efficiency has a payback of 12 months. When considering the plant has a 25-year lifetime this is extremely attractive as an economically viable package.

The remaining flare gas, which is minimal at this point (approximately 80-90% less than the original volume of the flare) can be either burnt at the torch or compressed using an auxiliary WF apparatus. This auxiliary system uses a combination of WF ejectors and hydrocylones to compress the flare gas so that it can be containerized or sent to the next stage of refining. This system is subject to a feasibility study as it may not be economically viable to do this and flaring would be the cheapest option.

Simplified Flow Sketch of a WF Refinery Installation

 

 

Click here to enlarge...

WF allows a constant temperature of very low cooling water to be achieved regardless of local conditions. WF can be utilized for a number reasons on oil refineries:

1. Increased Production of Butane, Propane and others
2. Prevention of a flare under normal operating conditions
3. Reduction in process cooling water
4. Enhanced transfer rate of heat exchange throughout the refinery processes, including Naphtha Crackers
5. Cool water for air-conditioning

 

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Additional Information:

Case Studies in China

Evaluation of flare gas on oil refineries

 
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