High-temperature applications for URACA plunger pumps

at residual oil process

Various procedures can be used to process residual oil, which is accrued after refining heavy oil, bitumen or normal crude oil. It is then compressed to around 150 - 250 bar, mixed with hydrogen and fed into the hydrogenation reactor at up to 450°C. This critical process uses pure hydrogen, so system failure, particularly in the feed pumps is not acceptable. Otherwise, extremely critical operating conditions may arise. As a result, redundant solutions with standby capacity for the pumps are usually used. When in use, each pump is also monitored with adapted instrumentation to detect possible faults early and react to them accordingly, so that it does not become a hazardous situation.

Oil as a pumped medium is usually non-problematic and easy to handle. However, residual oil may contain a number of aggressive and corrosive elements. Hydrogen sulphide and sulphur (particularly at high temperatures) are the worst culprits here. At moderate temperatures, sulphur still possesses positive properties in terms of lubricity between the plunger and mechanical seal. But at high temperatures, it behaves in a negative way and can cause heavy corrosion. Sulphur attacks metallic materials that come into contact with the pumped medium here. The challenge for pump suppliers is in choosing and using high-quality alloys to prevent corrosion.

High operating temperatures also mean that the components expand when exposed to heat. Finding constructive ways to take account of these conditions and ensure that the pumps work flawlessly, even in hot conditions, requires a wealth of experience and specialist knowledge.

On the whole, the use of hot oil tests pump manufacturers’ expertise in every respect. In every project, URACA demonstrates that our pumps do not break a sweat, even at high temperatures. This is how they have managed to attain a dominant position on the market.