Success stories

Controlling fouling on preheat trains

KBC was appointed to perform a fouling mitigation study on a crude unit with frequent crude changes. The unit was suffering severe fouling issues due to 6-year runs between turnarounds, resulting in capacity loss and high energy consumption.

The challenge

Fouling increases furnace duty and leads to pressure drop while reducing exchanger performance and cooling capacity. During the final year before turnaround, the crude unit suffered from capacity loss caused by pressure drop, as well as increased energy consumption in the crude distillation unit furnaces due to fouling. These two effects caused significant economic losses during the year in question.


A fouling mitigation study was carried out to achieve extended run length while reducing the known operational issues of the unit. KBC’s approach to fouling reduction not only involved the analysis of factors that contribute to fouling (Stage 1) but also included an assessment of the preheat train’s performance (Stage 2).

The results

A review of operating procedures and crude compatibilities, along with a rigorous solution to monitor fouling, helped meet run-length targets and a 4.8 Gcal/h furnace duty reduction.

Our experts say

"Controlling the sources of fouling and installing a monitoring solution to track fouling helps control cleaning costs and maximize margins." David Severson, Senior Consultant, KBC

Share this

Get in touch with us

Do you have a project you're interested in
working with us on?

You may also be interested in


European refining 2050: Turning the vision into reality

Aug 15, 2019

Europe’s refiners, through their industry organization Fuels Europe, have set out their long-term ambitions in a new program called Vision 2050. Putting this vision into practice will require Europe’s refiners to rethink and rebuild their long-term strategies, along the way transforming their organizations into modern, flexible knowledge-based enterprises. Read more in this market insight by KBC Chief Economists.

Read full article

KBC establishes Energy and Sustainability Co-Pilot hub in Singapore

Oct 22, 2018

The hub will reduce energy costs and emissions of Singapore-based companies by 10 per cent through delivery of energy management and optimization solutions and next generation analytics via the Cloud.

Read full article

Why the time to Digitalize is now

Nov 6, 2018

Duncan Micklem, Strategy Director

Rising operational costs, a retiring knowledge pool and aging, inflexible infrastructure are just three of a number of threats the process industries currently face. These challenges, however, can be resolved if plants adopt an efficient Digitalization strategy. Here, Duncan Micklem, Director of Business Strategy at KBC, argues why urgent action needs to be taken and the time to Digitalize is now.

Read full article

Get the latest updates from KBC

Sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest innovations, viewpoints and be informed about any upcoming events.