Superior Plug Valve Design Reduces Costs

A valve design that not only saves refineries money, but also helps reduce safety risks associated with hydrofluoric acid and protects the environment.

Hydrofluoric (HF) catalyzed alkylation is a long-proven process that refineries use to produce clean-burning, high-octane gasoline. However, due to the corrosive nature of the process, HF units often require frequent maintenance that can result in downtime every 2 years and significant costs for refineries.

Valves can experience high corrosion levels, stem leaks that create an environmental hazard, or fouling due to a buildup of iron fluorides that can wash down from an adjacent carbon-steel pipe, inhibiting valve operation.

The improved valve design, a result of 5 years of observing unit maintenance, uses alloys with superior corrosion resistance to manufacture valves used in highly corrosive HF unit areas and an advanced stem design option handles areas where stem leaks are a problem. The plug-valve design is used because refineries prefer the superior sealing capability and longevity compared to the gate valves originally specified for HF units.

Valves designed for HF units make great strides to reduce the incidences of HF acid leaks that can be extremely dangerous to personnel and the environment. By using the superior valve design, refineries are able to significantly lengthen the time between turnarounds to 4 to 5 years, greatly reducing costs.

Using the best equipment possible in HF alkylation units makes sense, not only because it saves money but also because it improves plant operator safety and protects the environment.

To learn more, read the full Valve Design Reduces Costs and Increases Safety for US Refineries article written by two Flowserve experts.