Agitators are required throughout the petrochemical industry from crude oil storage tanks through the refining and processing stages.
Crude Oil Storage
In crude oil storage tanks, settling of sludge, which comprises both organic and inorganic products, requires agitation to ensure off-bottom suspension thereby preventing downstream process problems and settling in the tank resulting in the build-up which affects the tank capacity and the agitator’s performance. Further issues resulting from this build-up accumulation could result in errors in the pre-heat transfer, thereby affecting the production process. Side Entry Agitators with propeller or MH3/MF3 - Hydrofoil impeller are used for sludge control. These high-speed side entry agitators create slurry movement at the bottom of the tank thereby preventing settling in the tank. Depending on the volume of the tank, single or multiple entry agitators are recommended in a single tank.
During the emulsion make-up process, the final product is prepared in batches by combining clay with stable water in oil emulsion. The emulsion is prepared by dispersing water in oil in agitated tanks. Since the two liquids are immiscible, an agitator is required for the emulsification process. Generally, high-speed agitators are preferred to create shear for homogenising the two miscible liquids.
Absorption of CO2 in Natural Gas processing
Natural gas has a high concentration of CO2, making it unsuitable for direct use as a fuel. The concentration of CO2 is required to be less than 2%. This process conventionally requires an amine solution that the CO2 absorbs into. Static mixers are used in these applications, not only for the mixing outcome but also because of the physical construction of the mixer that contributes to the successful use of the solution. The required plug flow is achieved with very little axial mixing which ensures great radial mixing.
Static mixers (MIXION – SMIX) are smaller in size and weight when compared to packed bed towers and are easy to install horizontally, vertically as well as inclined, depending on the process. Static mixers handle foaming systems with ease, and they have a high mass transfer coefficient, often 20 times higher than that of packed towers. Static mixers also require a very short resident time in achieving the target CO2 concentration.