There has been recent interest in the use of hydrogen flux monitoring at high temperatures to evaluate ‘naphthenic acid’ and sulfidic corrosion in high temperature process streams associated with crude distillation units. In this report, we present flux and corrosion data obtained from samples drawn from a refinery process stream.
In the petroleum industry, much greater attention has been focused on more highly sour and acidic oil resources due to the gradual depletion of conventional sweet oil resources. In addition, reducing crude oil costs have forced to look for opportunity (alternate) crudes, usually low-quality corrosive crude oils with high concentrations of naphthenic acids and sulfur compounds.1 The main constituents in the crude that cause corrosion are sulfur compounds, organic and inorganic chlorides, salt water, organic and inorganic acids. Processing of these highly acidic and sulfur-containing crudes at high temperatures in refineries has promoted significant corrosion problem in hot oil distillation units and associated piping systems.