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Engineering Procedure

SAEP-1662
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

24 July 2015

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards


Table of Contents
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13

Scope.................................................................... 2
References............................................................ 2
Purpose................................................................. 2
Responsibilities...................................................... 3
Introduction to Cleaning......................................... 5
Preparations for Chemical Cleaning...................... 5
Criteria For Cleaning............................................. 9
Chemical Cleaning Treatment Selection............... 9
Alkaline Treatments............................................. 13
Acid Cleaning and Neutralization........................ 19
Passivation.......................................................... 30
Evaluating Cleaning Performance by Inspection.... 31
Equipment Lay-Up............................................... 31

Appendix A - Definition of Terms...................................... 31


Appendix B - Contractor Submittals.................................. 32
Appendix C - List of Approved Inhibitors
and Manufacturers................................... 34
Appendix D - Chemical Cleaning Log Sheet..................... 35
Appendix E - High Pressure Water Jetting (HPJ)...... 36
Appendix F - On-stream Cleaning of Heat Exchangers 38
Appendix G - Cleaning of Twisted
Tube Heat Exchangers............................... 43
Appendix H - Heat Transfer Coefficients
and Fouling Factor................................... 45
Appendix I - Economic Evaluation TFRE Concept............... 47
Appendix J - Safety Hazards with Chemical Cleaning...... 50
Appendix K - Cleaning Chemical Compatibility
Chart for Materials................................. 54

Previous Issue: 28 October 2013


Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Revised paragraphs are indicated in the right margin
Primary contact: Al-Abdulmohsin, Nader Mohammed (abdulmnm) on +966-13-8809551
CopyrightSaudi Aramco 2015. All rights reserved.

Page 1 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Scope
This procedure defines the responsibilities of the various departments involved in the
pre commission and operational cleaning. It outlines methods to determine the need for
cleaning, the criteria for selecting specific cleaning procedures, and steps involved in
various cleaning procedure alternatives.
The use of high pressure water jetting is covered in Appendix E and on-stream cleaning
in Appendix F. Advice is available from Materials Engineering & Corrosion
Operations Division /Consulting Services Department (ME&COD/CSD) to draft
detailed procedures for cleaning specific equipment.
The procedures listed herein are applicable to clean undesirable deposits in heat
exchangers and other unfired plant equipment such as piping, columns, vessels,
Multiple Effect Distillation (MED) units, etc.
For twisted tube heat exchangers, see Appendix G.
For evaluation and recommendation of alternative cleaning procedures not listed herein
contact ME&COD/CSD.

References
The following documents apply as referenced in this procedure.
Saudi Aramco Engineering Procedure
SAEP-327

Disposal of Wastewater from Cleaning, Flushing,


and Dewatering Pipelines and Vessels

Saudi Aramco Engineering Standard


SAES-B-069

Emergency Eyewashes and Showers

Saudi Aramco Manual


SAER-2365
3

Saudi Aramco Mothball Manual

Purpose
It is necessary to clean a new equipment initially and periodically thereafter for its
efficient operation, corrosion control and prevention of fouling related failures.
This scope includes, but not limited to, coolers and condensers, DEA, MEA, MDEA,
DGA and any other amine systems, TEG, refrigerant systems, vessels, columns, towers,
storage tanks, and piping. Cleaning is accomplished by a combination of (not
necessarily in the sequence listed):

Page 2 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Mechanical cleaning

High pressure water jetting (HPJ)

Hot alkaline treatment

Acid cleaning and Neutralization

Passivation

Cleaning with Solvents

For some equipment it may not be necessary to use all of the above steps since the degree
of contamination will vary from unit to unit. Scale severity, and its analysis, tube failures,
inspection and consultation with the various departments outlined in Section 4 will
determine the exact procedure to be used. This procedure does not override an equipment
manufacturer's cleaning recommendations, especially where warranty rights are involved.
Differences shall be questioned and resolved by the proponent.
4

Responsibilities
4.1

The Project Construction Agency is responsible for cleaning new equipment.

4.2

The Facility Operating Department is responsible for cleaning commissioned


equipment.
4.2.1

Maintenance

Prepares the equipment mechanically.

Provides maintenance support during the cleaning operation.

Coordinates cleaning and obtains approved contractor services.


Commentary:
Contact ME&COD/CSD for Saudi Aramcos approved list of chemical
cleaning contractors.

4.2.2

Operations Engineering

Prepares necessary operation procedures, advises the foreman of the


plant during the chemical cleaning of the equipment.

Acts as a technical representative to facility operator during the


chemical cleaning.

Ensures adequate safety procedures and precautions are taken.


Notifies Loss Prevention Department to review safety during
cleaning.
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Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

4.2.3

4.3

4.4

4.5

4.6

Coordinates and obtains the approval of chemical cleaning


procedures and formulations from the ME&COD/CSD and the
Research and Development Center (R&DC).

Requests the presence of specialist personnel from ME&COD/CSD


if this service is desired.

Operations Inspection

Has the responsibility for inspection before and after cleaning.

Is responsible to get and keep the corrosion monitoring records from


the contractor.

Maintains history of equipment chemical cleaning. Incorporates


relevant reports and data into permanent plant records.

Loss Prevention Department

Audits cleaning operations and permits

Advises on field safety precautions on request.

Research and Development Center (R&DC)

Evaluates new chemical cleaning products and new corrosion inhibitors.

Provides specialist/consultant advice on request.

Regional Laboratories

Perform scale density, solubility, and chemical analysis, inhibitor


effectiveness testing and analyses during actual cleaning operations on
request.

Verify the purity of acids and chemicals used for chemical cleaning on
request.

Chemical Cleaning Contractor


The chemical cleaning contractor is selected from the Consulting Service
Department's approved list of chemical cleaning contractors. Contractor
responsibilities are stated in the contract. Usually this includes: submittal of
procedures and documents per Appendix B; supply of all chemicals, inhibitors
per Appendix C, auxiliary pumping and heating equipment as required, and the
necessary personnel for chemical cleaning, including a qualified chemist for
chemical analysis during the chemical cleaning; on line monitoring and control
of corrosion rates; disposal of all waste water and chemical solutions as

Page 4 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

provided in SAEP-327; and cleaning the equipment to meet or exceed the


acceptance criteria outlined in Section 12.
4.7

ME&COD/CSD

Reviews and approves the cleaning procedures and subsequent changes


necessitated by the field conditions.

Provides specialist/consultant advice on request.

Witnesses the cleaning operation on request.

Introduction to Cleaning
The cleaning process may involve a combination of several stages. Plan the stages of
cleaning in advance.

5.1

Mechanically remove, using power brushes or reamers as much of the deposits


as possible from the equipment.

5.2

Remove deposits if access is available with high-pressure water jetting.


See Appendix E for details.

5.3

Clean on-stream with acid slugging. See Appendix F.

5.4

Remove oil, grease, and organic deposits and to neutralize pyrophoric material
with hot permanganate, alkaline treatment, or surfactants.

5.5

Removal of tarry and polymerized deposits by cleaning with organic solvents


such as heavy aromatic naphtha (HAN), kerosene, diesel, gas oil, or proprietary
solvents.

5.6

Acid clean to chemically remove, mill scale, mineral deposits from water,
process side deposits and corrosion products.

5.7

Neutralize acids and passivate to form a strongly adherent protective oxide layer
on the wetted metal surface.

Preparations for Chemical Cleaning


6.1

General
1.

Install all necessary temporary piping, sacrificial valves and pressure,


temperature and level instruments. Do not connect equipment with
dissimilar metals into one system for circulation of acids.

2.

Isolate the equipment from the process side by blinds. Install vents and
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Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

adequately sized temporary valves to permit draining acids within


30 minutes. Use temporary plugs or slip blinds to isolate sections that do
not require cleaning.
3.

Store all chemicals needed for the procedure on-site prior to commencing
cleaning, including emergency neutralizing agents and nitrogen as well as
wet lay-up chemicals.

4.

Ensure that an adequate supply of water is available for flushing and


cleaning.

5.

Ensure that instrument connections (except those temporarily installed) are


disconnected before acid cleaning stage.

6.

Install fittings for liquid sampling, flow elements, temperature probes, pipe
spools with on-line access fittings for corrosion monitoring probes.

7.

Provide adequate lighting at all operating points.

8.

Plan for the disposal of wastewater and spent chemical solutions per
SAEP-327.

9.

Perform checks on valve lineups as required for flushing and reversing


circulation.

10.

Notify ME&COD/CSD and the Regional Laboratories of intention to


chemically clean. Request the presence of ME&COD/CSD personnel
during any stage of chemical cleaning for consultations as necessary.

11.

Ensure utility water is available, or provide a temporary supply


connection.

12.

Ensure sufficient supply of nitrogen at 80 psig to quickly drain using


nitrogen pressure any acid in the equipment.

13.

Check and ensure that the flow design includes: flow reversal manifold
and valves, control valves and bypass to control circulation within
specified limits, blend filling of corrosive chemicals (acids and chelants)
without exposure to the atmosphere.

14.

Test the cleaning circuit hydrostatically at 1.25 times the dead head
discharge pressure of the circulating pump, after installation of all
temporary piping and connections, prior to chemical cleaning.

15.

Ensure that an external heat source is available to maintain the cleaning


fluid temperature, within the limits specified.

16.

Ensure spare pumps are available in case of a pump failure to maintain

Page 6 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

circulation, and nitrogen pressure connection to drain the acid within


fifteen minutes in case of an emergency. Ensure sufficient holding tank
capacity is available for draining and neutralizing cleaning solutions if
necessary.

6.2

17.

Ensure, using standard samples, that on-site chemical analytical


procedures and laboratory analytical procedures yield results within 10%.

18.

Ensure inhibitor is selected from Appendix C.

19.

Determine the volume of the equipment by filling with water and draining
it through a flow meter.

20.

Be aware of the safety hazards (see Appendix J) associated with chemical


cleaning and take adequate safety measures.

21.

Ensure chemical feed lines are a minimum of 1/12th the diameter of the
vessel or exchanger; drains and vents are clear.

22.

Ensure that the chemical cleaning contractor is on-site with mixing tanks,
chemicals, flow meter, corrosion monitoring equipment, pH and
temperature probes, and pumping equipment to blend fill and circulate
chemicals.

23.

Flush the equipment with water until it runs clear to remove all loose and
soluble deposits.

24.

Use commercial grade quality for all chemicals except where austenitic
materials are present in the equipment to be cleaned. In this case, the total
chlorides of all the chemicals in the mixture must not yield a final solution
containing greater than 50 mg/L as chloride.

25.

Install at least one corrosion probe in the circulating loop for on line
monitoring and control of corrosion rates.

Cleaning Record
1.

Cleaning temperatures, time, dates of cleaning process, chemical additions,


and results of chemical cleaning analysis are recorded in a logbook by
Operations Engineering.

2.

Typical log sheets include what is shown in Appendix D, contractor's log


sheets and the on line corrosion monitoring results.

3.

Operations Inspection Unit is to collect and keep as permanent plant


records, these log sheets on completion of the cleaning operation.

Page 7 of 54

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SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

6.3

Safety Precautions
1.

Close all instrument connections and disconnect to protect instruments


from exposure to corrosive solutions.

2.

Keep operational and tested, permanent or temporary eye wash fountains


and safety showers per SAES-B-069, within 15 meters and accessible in
10 to 15 seconds of the work site, prior to initiation of chemical cleaning.

3.

Adhere to the work permit procedures. Vent flammable gases when


corrosive chemicals are used in the cleaning operation. A Release of
Flammable Gas Work Permit will be required. Therefore, do not permit
welding, burning, or running of welding machines or generator sets within
a 5 meter radius from the vents of the systems being cleaned. A hot work
permit will be required to operate pumps. Nitrogen is a non-toxic gas that
will not support life. Entrance by personnel into the equipment will be in
accordance with the requirements in the CONFINED SPACE ENTRY
permit procedures including oxygen tests, combustible gas tests, use of
lifelines if required, etc.

4.

Keep hoses connected to an operable water supply adjacent to the


equipment being cleaned to dilute any chemical spills.

5.

Rope off the area where the blending and heating of chemical solutions is
performed and post DANGER signs. Do not let unauthorized personnel
enter the roped off area.

6.

Keep at cleaning site chemical hazard bulletins on various chemicals or


materials from the Environmental Protection Department. These bulletins
provide information on storage, handling, and protective measures for
these chemicals.

7.

Ensure all nitrogen cylinders if in use, have individual regulators and are
adequately secured. Also, ensure the nitrogen manifold has a safety relief
valve attached.

8.

Ensure all personnel handling chemicals wear protection equipment


required by the chemical hazard bulletins of the materials involved.

9.

Ensure the contractor is equipped with adequate portable fire extinguishers


for its equipment.

10.

Be aware and prepared for safety hazards with equipment deposits, noted
in Appendix J.

Page 8 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Criteria for Cleaning


Use any one of the following criteria to determine when to schedule cleaning.

1.

Inspection: On every T & I, check inside the tubes and shell for corrosion and
scale. Note down the location and amount of scale buildup and check tube ends
for pits, and deposit. Scrape off deposits to determine its composition. Low flow
rate areas, boots, drains are particularly susceptible to heavy deposit buildup.
Visual inspection will indicate the condition of the equipment and will be one of
the primary factors in determining the need for cleaning. Inspect tubes inside and
on shell side for total blockage. Blocked tubes cannot be chemically cleaned until
a flow path is made for chemical circulation.

2.

Clean whenever the actual heat transfer coefficient (Uactual) drops to 60% of the
Udesign at heat exchanger design operating conditions. (See Appendix H).

3.

Clean when the ten-day average Rf reaches twice of Rfdesign value. Rf is


independent of the fluctuations in the flow rates during the service period.
(See Appendix H).

4.

Clean when the total fouling related expenditure (TFRE) is at the minimum.
(See Appendix I).

5.

Clean whenever the drop in heat duty is unacceptable to Plant Operations.

6.

Clean during T&I or unplanned shutdown to take advantage of down time.

7.

Using scale monitoring or based on recorded rate of scale or corrosion products


build up, schedule cleaning before fluid flow is obstructed inside or outside the
tubes.

Chemical Cleaning Treatment Selection


8.1

General Criteria
8.1.1

Primarily select chemicals that: a) are safe to use, b) are compatible with
the materials of construction (see Appendix K), c) will remove > 70% of
the undesired deposits, d) will achieve the desired degree cleaning.

8.1.2

With these criteria satisfied, make the final selection, with due reference
to other constraints including cost, environmental restriction on disposal
of waste solutions, and cleaning time available. Responsibility for the
final procedure of the treatment(s) is defined in Section 4. For on stream
cleaning see Appendix F. Off stream chemical cleaning will involve one
or more of the following steps: Hot alkaline degreasing (see Section 9),
acid cleaning (see Section J), followed by neutralization and passivation

Page 9 of 54

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SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

treatment (see Section 11). Laboratory analyses of deposit samples will


determine the above sequence.
8.1.3

8.2

High pressure water jetting (HPJ) may precede or follow to remove


loosened scale (see Appendix E). HPJ is very effective to remove most
brittle deposits. The use of HPJ is recommended alone, or before
chemical cleaning.

Analysis of Scale
8.2.1

General - Fouling composition, quantity, and distribution, will vary


considerably between one equipment and another, or even within the
same equipment at various time intervals during its life. It is therefore
necessary in each case, to select a specific treatment, or series of
treatments, which will be most effective in achieving thorough and safe
cleaning, to restore its operational efficiency. Determine the
composition of the scale or deposit and the suitable acids or organic
solvents to remove them before any chemical cleaning. Take a sample
or samples carefully representative of the deposit.

8.2.2

Solubility in Dilute HCl - This figure represents the weight percent of the
deposit, which will dissolve in boiling 7.5% wt., inhibited hydrochloric
acid.

8.2.3

Loss on Ignition - This figure represents the weight percentage of the


deposit that can be removed by heating the insoluble residue from 8.2.1
above to 315C in a laboratory furnace. The result is indicative of the
organic content of the deposit in the forms of oil, grease, degraded
polymers and carbon. If the figure is high (greater than 10%) further
definition of the organic content can be determined by refluxing the
sample with a suitable organic solvent, which will indicate the relative
proportions of oil and grease, and carbon. These proportions assist in the
selection of a suitable hot alkaline or permanganate treatment.

8.2.4

Insoluble Residue - This figure represents the insoluble complexes of


other cations and, if the quantity is significant (i.e., greater than 2%)
further treatments with more concentrated hydrochloric acid may be
required to render the material soluble.

8.2.5

Metals - The metal ions present in the deposit, are analyzed for iron (Fe),
copper (Cu), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), nickel (Ni), zinc (Zn),
manganese (Mn) and sodium (Na). These results are useful to determine
the number of cleaning stages that are likely to remove all the deposits
from the system.

Page 10 of 54

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SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

8.2.6

8.3

8.4

Anions - Phosphate, sulfate, carbonate and sulfide are also determined in


the scale. This information is useful to determine the need for
sulfate/sulfide conversion treatment or the need to suppress the evolution
of H2S during acid cleaning.

Hot Alkaline Treatment Selection


8.3.1

Where oil, grease, carbon, or other organic compounds are present, these
must be removed during cleaning. Selection depends on the degree of
contamination. Use hot alkaline treatment only when organic deposits
interfere with acid cleaning. If solubility of deposits is >70% in acid
with or without addition of surfactants then a separate alkaline stage is
not required.

8.3.2

Soda ash (Na2CO3) degreasing is a mild treatment used where


contamination is primarily light oil and grease, with less than 5% organic
contamination. See Section 9.1.

8.3.3

Caustic degreasing (NaOH) is the treatment used for all new equipment,
and where mill scale is present, or organic contamination is 5% to 25%.
See Section 9.2.

8.3.4

Permanganate (KMnO4) degreasing is used where organic contamination


is heavy (> 25%) and carbonized. This treatment should only be
employed where fouling type and quantity render it necessary, since
costs, and complication of subsequent acid cleaning, are greater than in
the case of the alternatives. See Section 9.3.

8.3.5

Decontamination is used to de-oil and degrease process equipment.


Moreover, decontamination can get the LEL and H2S levels to zero and
get the benzene level to less than 0.5 ppm to permit personnel entry and
perform regular maintenance work. See Section 9.4.

Acid Cleaning Selection


8.4.1

Hydrochloric Acid: Inhibited hydrochloric acid is the most widely used


acid since it produces good solubility with a wide variety of scales, is
economic, and easy to handle. It exhibits good corrosion characteristics
when correctly inhibited and the process is controlled within the accepted
limits. The process is flexible and can be modified to enhance silica
removal by the addition of ammonium bifluoride, or to remove organics
by addition of surfactants. It is not compatible with stainless steels.

8.4.2

Citric Acid: Citric acid is compatible with stainless steels, and presents
good handling, safety, and corrosion characteristics. It is less aggressive
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Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

in its attack of some iron oxide scales and therefore usually requires
higher temperatures or longer contact times. It has little effect on
calcium salts present in deposits. In general, it is more expensive than
hydrochloric acid treatment. The normal reasons for its selection are:
a) presence of austenitic materials of construction. b) rust removal,
neutralization and passivation can be carried out using a single solution,
thereby considerably reducing cleaning time by eliminating the need to
drain, flush, and refill the equipment between stages.

8.5

8.4.3

EDTA: Disodium or tetra sodium EDTA salts, are used to remove


calcium sulfate deposits. Corrosion rates are low under controlled
conditions.

8.4.4

Sulfuric acid: Sulfuric acid is an effective acid for iron oxides, iron
sulfides and is lower in cost than hydrochloric acid. It is also compatible
with stainless steels. However, it is dangerous to handle. In its
concentrated form, it is aggressive to organic material, and contact with
the skin or eyes are extremely dangerous. Its use is not recommended
where scales contain significant calcium, due to the formation of
insoluble calcium sulfate.

8.4.5

Sulfamic acid: Sulfamic acid has the advantage of being a crystalline


solid, which is simple, to store, handle, and mix. It is frequently sold
mixed with an inhibitor and a color indicator to show effective acid
strength. It is compatible with stainless steels and is a moderately
aggressive acid for iron oxide and calcium carbonate. Due to its
relatively high cost, it is mainly used on low volume equipment. It is not
recommended to clean copper alloys due to their susceptibility to stress
corrosion cracking.

Neutralization and Passivation


Following acid cleaning it is essential that the equipment be thoroughly
neutralized. This is either achieved by neutralization alone, usually with 0.5%
sodium carbonate, or during the passivation treatment (see Section 11), where
the process requires pH values of 7 or greater.
The selection of passivation treatment is sometimes governed by the selection of
the acid. Where citric acid or EDTA processes have been used, these are
extended to effect neutralization and passivation by a suitable pH adjustment
and the addition of an oxidizing agent. It can also be achieved by the
nitrite/phosphate treatment (see Section 11).

Page 12 of 54

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SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Alkaline Treatments
9.1

Alkaline Degreasing with Soda Ash


9.1.1

9.1.2

Control Parameters
Sodium carbonate

0.5 to 1.0% by weight

Sodium metasilicate

0.5 to 1.0% by weight

Trisodium phosphate

0.5 to 1.0% by weight

Surfactant

0.1 to 0.2% by volume

Anti foam (if required)

0.05 to 0.1% by volume

Temperature Limits

75C to 85C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes / hour

Residence Time

6 to 12 hours

Testing
Determine every hour the phosphate and M-alkalinity values. If the
M-alkalinity and phosphate concentrations have dropped to half the
original values, add chemicals to restore the original concentration.

9.1.3

Safety Hazards
The solution can react violently with acids. Heating the solution will
expand its volume. Be prepared to open drain valves to maintain desired
levels.

9.1.4

Procedure
1.

Verify volume of equipment to appropriate level by filling and


draining through a flow meter.

2.

Dissolve the chemicals externally and blend fill through the


chemical feed connection. Open vent and fill the equipment from
the bottom to ensure adequate contact of degreasing solution with
the contaminated metal surfaces.

3.

Provide external heating to control temperature.

4.

Circulate for 6 to 12 hours reversing flow every 30 minutes.


However, the end point of the degreasing process shall be
governed by the analysis results and not by the residence
time set in Section 9.1.1.

5.

Drain the solution quickly with air pressure (5 psig max) into a
holding tank.
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SAEP-1662
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Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

9.2

6.

Fill the equipment with water heated to 77C and drain quickly to
rinse.

7.

Inspect

8.

If no further cleaning is required, then reconnect all instrument lines.

9.

Replace all hand and manhole covers, using new gaskets.

10.

Remove blinds, temporary piping and instruments.

11.

Place the equipment in service.

Caustic Degreasing
9.2.1

9.2.2

Control Parameters
Sodium hydroxide

1.0 to 2.0% by weight

Trisodium phosphate

0.5 to 1.0% by weight

Surfactant

0.1 to 0.3% by volume

Anti foam (if required)

0.05 to 0.1% by volume

Temperature Limits

75C to 85C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes/hour

Residence Time

6 to 12 hours

Testing
Determine every hour the phosphate and M-alkalinity values. If the
M-alkalinity and phosphate concentrations have dropped to half the
original values, add chemicals to restore the original concentration.

9.2.3

Safety Hazards
Sodium hydroxide reacts exothermically with water. Therefore, never
add water to it. Add sodium hydroxide, either liquid or solid, into water
slowly with constant stirring. Heating the solution will expand its
volume. Be prepared to open drain valves to maintain desired levels.

9.2.4

Procedure
The procedure is same as in Section 9.1.4.

9.3

Permanganate Treatment
This procedure is also good to convert pyrophoric iron sulfides to soluble
sulfates and to eliminate H2S liberation if HCl is used subsequently.

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SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

9.3.1

9.3.2

Control Parameters
Sodium hydroxide

1.0 to 3.0% by weight

Potassium permanganate

1.0 to 3.0% by weight

Temperature Limits

75C to 85C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes/hour

Residence Time

6 to 12 hours

Testing
Take samples at one-hour intervals. Monitor M-alkalinity, permanganate
concentration, and temperature. If permanganate strength drops below
1.0%, do not add permanganate to increase its concentration. Drain the
equipment into a holding tank, add fresh degreasing solution and
continue circulation.

9.3.3

Safety Hazards
Handle carefully potassium permanganate as it is a strong oxidizing
agent. Add slowly with constant stirring to dilute sodium hydroxide in
water.

9.3.4

Precautions
Do not use any antifoam or surfactant as they will react with
permanganate and deplete its strength. This treatment frequently results in
the deposition of manganese dioxide. If this treatment is to be followed by
hydrochloric acid stage, chlorine may be liberated with a consequent
increase in corrosion rates and safety hazards (see Section 10.2.6
Commentary Note).

9.3.5

Procedure
1.

Verify volume of equipment to appropriate level by filling and


draining through a flow meter.

2.

Dissolve the chemicals externally and blend through the chemical


feed connection. Fill the equipment from the bottom to ensure the
cleaning solution wets all contaminated surfaces.

3.

Provide heat externally to bring to desired temperature range.

4.

Circulate for 6 to 12 hours reversing flow every 30 minutes.


Monitor until permanganate concentration stabilizes.

5.

Drain the solution quickly under air pressure (5 psig max) into a
holding tank.
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Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

9.4

6.

Fill the equipment with water heated to 77C and drain quickly to
rinse. Inspect.

7.

If no further cleaning is required then reconnect all instrument lines.

8.

Replace all hand and manhole covers, using new gaskets.

9.

Remove blinds, temporary piping and instruments.

10.

Place the equipment in service.

Decontamination Cleaning
Below is a general decontamination procedure. Advice is available from
Materials Engineering & Corrosion Control Division/Consulting Services
Department (ME&COD/CSD) to draft detailed procedures for cleaning specific
equipment.
The decontamination procedure circulates a hot (80-90C) water / chemical
solution through the system connected piping / equipments at the Plant.
This solution is non-corrosive, and it forms water / oil emulsion as it removes
hydrocarbons from the treated equipment.
Before the wash procedure is initiated, plant personnel will have completed the
divinatory of the system. During the decontamination, the system will be vented
to the blow down system or to atmosphere for the duration of the process.
The contractor pumping equipment will be connected to the system to be
cleaned. After complete divinatory, the system will be charged through
contractor with water.
Steam will be used to raise the system temperature to 80-90C. Once the system
is filled to the required level and circulating, the contractors personnel will
check for less than 10% free oil. A water compatibility test will also be
performed. Failure to obtain a successful result in either of these tests will result
in a complete or partial draining of the system to correct the situation.
Levels will then have to be re-filled.
9.4.1

Control Parameters
Decontamination chemical

2 to 5% by volume

Temperature Limits

80C to 90C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes/hour

Residence Time

12 to 24 hours

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9.4.2

Testing
Take samples at one-hour intervals. Monitor hydrocarbon concentration,
decontamination chemical concentration, and temperature.

9.4.3

Safety Hazards
In general, decontamination chemicals are safe to handle, however, a
standard safety practices should he observed. Moreover, most
decontamination chemicals are biodegradable and they can be discharged
to the industrial sewers with water. For every decontamination product,
consult with the MSDS of the product for more information.

9.4.4

Procedure
1.

2.

3.

Charging water into the system


i.

Line up water to the suction of the temporary contractors pump

ii.

Line up the circulating flow loop from discharge of


contractors pump

iii.

Pump water into the system

iv.

Add water to the required level

Hot Water Circulation


i.

Increase temperature of circulating water to 80-90C by using


steam

ii.

Start to circulate the hot water using contractors pump

iii.

Pump out all water to the sewer drain point

Chemical addition
i.

Refill the system with soft water or condensate

ii.

Continue to circulate adding steam to the system to raise the


temperature to 80-90C

iii.

Test circulating water for hydrocarbon content

iv.

Add the decontamination chemicals to the circulating systems.

v.

Maintain temperature between to 80-90C

vi.

Draw samples and test hydrocarbon content.

vii. The contractor will notify operations when the hydrocarbon


content stabilizes.
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viii. The contractor will request the plant Operation to divert the
gas out from blow down to the atmosphere.
4.

5.

10

Draining
i.

Stop pumping

ii.

Pump all the emulsion out using the contractors pump

iii.

Stop pump once the system is empty

Rinsing
i.

Line up raw water to the system through contractors pump

ii.

Start circulation into the system by using contractors pump

iii.

Rinse the system

iv.

Stop contractors pump after 2 hours of circulation

v.

Drain the system and low point drains to the plant drainage
system if it is acceptable with the plant or to contractors
fracture tanks

Acid Cleaning and Neutralization


10.1

General
Following removal of organic material, acid cleaning is carried out to remove
iron oxides, sulfides, water borne scales, and silica. The acids are selected as
noted in Section 8.
Although the acid concentrations listed encompass most cleaning operations,
some times higher acid, inhibitor and ammonium bifluoride concentrations may
be beneficial. Extended contact times may be required than those specified for
removing certain heavy and hard to remove deposits. Changes to the specified
procedures below require prior approval from CSD/ME&COD.
Commercial grade quality for all listed chemicals is adequate. The concentrated
acid must not contain greater than 100 mg/L of iron. Where austenitic materials
are present in the system to be cleaned the total chlorides of all the chemicals in
the mixture must not yield a final solution containing greater than 50 mg/L as
chloride.
Perform a hydrostatic pressure test of the cleaning circuit at 1.25 times the dead
head pressure of the circulating pump before acid addition.

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10.2

Hydrochloric Acid
10.2.1

Do not use this procedure in equipment with mixed metallurgy or with


stainless steel. More than one acid cleaning cycle may be required to
clean.

10.2.2

Control Parameters

10.2.3

Hydrochloric acid

3.5 to 7.5% by weight

Inhibitor

0.2 to 0.3 % by volume or as


recommended by manufacturer

Surfactant

0.0 to 0.2% by volume

Ammonium bifluoride

0.0 to 1.0% by weight

Oxalic acid (See Note)

1.0% by weight

Temperature Limits

60C to 72C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes/hour

Residence Time

6 to 10 hours.

Corrosion Rates

< 600 mpy

Total dissolved Iron

10,000 mg/L max.

Testing
Prior to commencement, test the inhibitor for effectiveness.
During circulation monitor the solution for acid, total iron
concentration, corrosion rate, temperature, and inhibitor effectiveness.
Take samples at 30 minute intervals, or more frequently.
Perform analyses as rapidly as possible and preferably on-site.

10.2.4

Safety Hazards
Hydrochloric acid is a strong mineral acid. Handle with suitable
precautions, particularly in the concentrated state. Oxalic acid is
highly toxic.

10.2.5

Precautions
Review materials of construction to ensure that they are compatible
with high chloride solutions. Austenitic stainless steels are prone to
stress corrosion cracking in such environments and must not be present
in systems to be cleaned by hydrochloric acid. Do not use HCl to clean
equipment with ferrous and non ferrous metals that are not electrically
isolated. Corrosion rates are controlled by a number of variables.
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These include temperature, circulation velocity, residence time, acid


concentration, inhibitor concentration and concentration of dissolved
ions. Control these variables within their limits unless approved by
ME&COD/CSD.
10.2.6

Procedure
1.

Replace all permanent valves, which will come in contact with


acid, with sacrificial valves or protect them with blinds.
If sacrificial valves are not available, keep new valves on hand
for replacing all valves contacted by acid during the cleaning
procedure.

2.

Fill the equipment from the bottom with water to the top
eliminating all air in the system. If the water is sufficiently hot,
circulate by chemical cleaning pumps to achieve uniform metal
temperatures throughout the equipment, and adjust to 60-72C.
If the water is not at a high enough temperature, use an external
heat exchanger, or inject steam, to raise and adjust temperature
by circulation.

3.

Strip dissolved oxygen in the inhibited acid by sparging nitrogen


at 1 M/hr using a PVC pipe into the acid containers for at least
1 hour.

4.

Use nitrogen to drain back sufficient volume of water to


accommodate inhibited acid addition. Check inhibitor
effectiveness in the acid on-site. As quickly as possible, blend
fill the equipment with inhibited acid solution. Blend a slightly
higher concentration during the beginning of the fill than at the
end because the initial acid entering the equipment is consumed
to some degree during the fill. Ammonium bifluoride may be
added in concentrations up to 1.0% by weight to assist in the
removal of silica. In the absence of silica, the ammonium
bifluoride concentration shall not exceed 0.5% by weight when it
is added to assist in the removal of iron.

5.

Circulate solution using chemical cleaning pumps. Reverse flow


direction every hour using flow reversal manifold. Take samples
from the various locations and monitor temperature, acid
strength, iron concentration, and inhibitor effectiveness.
During circulation, temperatures will gradually decay from 72C.
This is acceptable to 60C. If, it becomes necessary to raise the
temperature, use an external heat exchanger. Do not inject steam
into the acid solution. If the acid strength falls below 3.0%, or if
the total iron exceeds 10,000 mg/L, drain the equipment
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immediately into a holding tank under nitrogen pressure of 70 to


10 to 50 psig and go to step 2.
6.

Continue circulation, taking test samples every 30 minutes.


Continue cleaning until the acid solution and total iron
concentration approach equilibrium. Note that the end point of
the acid process shall be governed by the analysis results and not
by the residence time set in Section 10.2.2.

7.

Check for acid leaks in the circulation system, and if the leaks
cannot be contained drain as in step 8.

8.

Drain the acid into a holding tank under a positive nitrogen


pressure of 10 psig. Drain as fast as possible, using the
maximum number of drain valves consistent with maintaining a
positive nitrogen pressure. Introduce nitrogen into the equipment
through the vent line.

9.

Fill to the top of the equipment with hot water mixed with 2 to
3% of soda ash. Drain the equipment under nitrogen as before
and refill with water, for a second rinse. Drain the second rinse
under a positive nitrogen pressure. Soda ash may have to be
added to the solution drained directly into the sewer, to ensure
that its pH is above 7. When no repeat acid cleaning is required
about 0.1% by weight of citric acid should be added to the second
rinse to assure more thorough rust removal.

10.

If the acid is drained because of any one of the three reasons cited
in step 6,or 7 above, water flush to clear drains and repeat steps
from 2.

Commentary Note:
Where a permanganate treatment is used, the residual scale will
probably be contaminated with manganese dioxide. This will liberate
chlorine in contact with hydrochloric acid and 1.0% of oxalic acid must
be added to the hydrochloric acid to prevent this. The liberation of
chlorine gas in the low pH HCl environment will result in accelerated
corrosion in the form of severe pitting attack.

10.3

Citric Acid
10.3.1

More than one acid cleaning cycle may be required to remove all the
rust. Citric acid is not effective to remove water scales or iron sulfides.

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10.3.2

Control Parameters
Chemical

Concentration

Iron Removal Phase

Citric acid

2.5 to 5% by weight

Inhibitor

0.2 to 0.3 % by volume or as


recommended by manufacturer

Ammonia

pH 4.0 to 4.5

Passivation Phase

Ammonia

pH 9.0 to 9.5

Sodium nitrite

0.5% by weight

Temperature Limit:
Iron removal phase

65C to 75C

Passivation phase

45C to 50C

Circulation Rate

1200 liters/minute to 4500 liters/minute

Residence Time

10.3.3

Iron removal phase

4 to 8 hours

Passivation Phase

4 to 8 hours

Total dissolved Iron

10,000 mg/L max.

Circulation Rate

1200 liters/minute to 4500 liters/minute

Corrosion Rates

<600 mpy

Testing
Take samples at 30 minute intervals. During rust removal monitor
corrosion rate, temperature, iron concentration, free citric acid
concentration, and pH.

10.3.4

Safety Hazards
Handle carefully sodium nitrite as it is a strong oxidizing agent.

10.3.5

Precautions
Corrosion rates are controlled by a number of variables. These include
temperature, circulation velocity, residence time, acid concentration
and concentration of dissolved ions. Control these variables within
their limits unless approved by ME&COD/CSD.

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10.3.6

Procedure
1.

Fill the equipment from the bottom with water to the top
eliminating all air in the system. If the water is sufficiently hot,
circulate by chemical cleaning pumps to achieve uniform metal
temperatures throughout the equipment, and adjust to 75C.
If the water is not at a high enough temperature, use an external
heat exchanger or inject steam to raise and adjust temperature by
circulation.

2.

Use nitrogen to drain back sufficient volume of water to


accommodate inhibited acid addition. Check inhibitor
effectiveness in the acid on-site. As quickly as possible, blend
fill the equipment with premixed inhibited citric acid with
sufficient sodium hydroxide to adjust pH to 4.0 to 4.5.

3.

Circulate solution using chemical cleaning pumps. Reverse flow


direction every 30 minutes using flow reversal manifold.
Take sample and monitor temperature, free citric acid strength,
iron concentration, inhibitor effectiveness, and pH. If the free
citric acid strength falls below 1.0%, add citric acid to maintain
1.0% level. During circulation, temperatures will gradually
decay from the original levels. The temperature drop to 65C is
acceptable at the completion of this phase. If, however, it
becomes necessary to raise the temperature, use an external heat
exchanger. Do not inject steam into the acid solution.

4.

Continue circulation, taking test samples every 30 minutes, and


until the acid solution and total iron concentration approach
equilibrium. Note that the end point of the acid process shall be
governed by the analysis results and not by the residence time set
in Section 10.3.2.

5.

Check for acid leaks in the circulation system. If the leaks cannot
be contained, or if the total iron exceeds 10,000 mg/L, drain the
equipment immediately into a holding tank under nitrogen
pressure of 10 psig, rinse the equipment with water, water flush
to clear drains and repeat steps from 1.

6.

Ensure free citric acid concentration is 1.0%. If not, add further


citric acid to achieve this level. Add caustic to adjust pH to 9.5.

7.

Add 0.5% sodium nitrite. Continue circulation for 2 hours


minimum.

8.

Drain under air and fill the equipment with hot water to the top.
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Drain the equipment under air as before and refill with water, for
a second rinse. At this point the equipment is both neutralized
and passivated.
10.4

EDTA (Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetic Acid) Salts


Use this procedure to remove sulfate deposits.
10.4.1

10.4.2

Control Parameters
Tetra or disodium EDTA

3 to 10.0% by weight for sulfate removal

Inhibitor

0.2 to 0.3 % by volume or as recommended


by manufacturer

pH

> 9.5

Temperature Limits

80C to 95C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes/hour

Residence Time

6 to 12 hours

Corrosion Rates

< 50 mpy

Testing
Prior to commencement, test the inhibitor for effectiveness.
Take samples every 30 minutes. Monitor pH, EDTA concentration,
corrosion rate, and temperature.

10.4.3

10.5

Procedure
1.

Fill with hot water inject concentrated premixed solution of


EDTA with inhibitor to provide a 10.0% solution in the
equipment.

2.

Do not allow the temperature to decay below 80C. Monitor


EDTA concentration and pH. Maintain pH above 9.5 by adding
caustic if necessary. If free EDTA concentration drops below
1.0%, inject more EDTA to restore concentration to 3.0%.

3.

Drain the solution with air pressure into a holding tank. Fill and
drain, twice with water.

4.

Open equipment and inspect. Use hydrojetting to remove loose


sulfate deposits.

Sulfuric Acid
More than one acid cleaning cycle may be required to remove all the rust.
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Do not use H2SO4 to clean exchangers with ferrous and nonferrous metals that
are not electrically isolated.
10.5.1

10.5.2

Control Parameters
Sulfuric acid

4.0 to 8.0% by weight

Inhibitor

0.2 to 0.3 % by volume or as recommended


by manufacturer

Surfactant

0.0 to 0.2% by volume

Temperature Limits

65C to 75C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes/hour

Total Residence Time

6 to 10 hours

Corrosion Rates

< 600 mpy

Dissolved Iron

10,000 mg/L max.

Testing
Prior to commencement, test the inhibitor for effectiveness.
During circulation monitor the solution for acid, total iron
concentration, corrosion rate, temperature, and inhibitor effectiveness.
Take samples at 30 minute intervals. Perform analyses as rapidly as
possible and preferably on-site.

10.5.3

Safety Hazards
Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid, and must be handled with care,
particularly in the concentrated form. Considerable heat is evolved
during dilution. Never add water to concentrated sulfuric acid.
Add the acid slowly to water mixing thoroughly.

10.5.4

Precautions
Corrosion rates are controlled by a number of variables. These include
inhibitor concentration, temperature, circulation velocity, residence
time, acid concentration and concentration of dissolved ions.
Control these variables within their limits unless approved by
ME&COD/CSD.

10.5.5

Procedure
1.

Replace all permanent valves, which will come in contact with


acid, with sacrificial valves. If sacrificial valves are not

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available, keep new valves on hand for replacing all valves


contacted by acid during the cleaning procedure.
2.

Fill the equipment from the bottom with water to the top
eliminating all air in the system. If the water is sufficiently hot,
circulate by chemical cleaning pumps to achieve uniform metal
temperatures throughout the equipment, and adjust to 75C.
If the water is not at a high enough temperature, use an external
heat exchanger, or inject steam, to raise and adjust temperature
by circulation.

3.

Strip dissolved oxygen in the inhibited acid by sparging nitrogen


at 1 m/hr using a PVC pipe into the acid containers for at least
1 hour.

4.

Use nitrogen to drain back sufficient volume of water to


accommodate inhibited acid addition. Check inhibitor
effectiveness in the acid on-site. As quickly as possible, blend
fill the equipment with inhibited acid solution. Blend a slightly
higher concentration during the beginning of the fill than at the
end because the initial acid entering the equipment is consumed
to some degree during the fill.

5.

Circulate solution using chemical cleaning pumps. Reverse flow


direction every 30 minutes using flow reversal manifold.
Take samples and monitor temperature, acid strength, iron
concentration, and inhibitor effectiveness. During circulation,
temperatures will gradually decay from the original figure of
approximately 75C. This is acceptable to 65C. If, it becomes
necessary to raise the temperature, use an external heat
exchanger. Do not inject steam into the acid solution. If the acid
strength falls below 3.0%, or if the total iron exceeds
10,000 mg/L, drain the equipment immediately into a holding
tank under nitrogen pressure of 10 psig and go to step 2.

6.

Continue circulation, taking test samples every 30 minutes.


Continue cleaning until the acid solution and total iron
concentration approach equilibrium. Note that the end point of
the acid process shall be governed by the analysis results and not
by the residence time set in Section 10.5.1.

7.

Drain the acid into a holding tank under a positive nitrogen


pressure of 10 psig. Drain in as short a time as possible, using
the maximum number of drain valves consistent with maintaining
a positive nitrogen pressure. Introduce nitrogen into the
equipment through the drum vent line.
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8.

10.6

Fill the equipment with hot water mixed with 2 to 3% of soda ash
to the top. Drain the equipment under nitrogen as before and
refill with water, for a second rinse. Drain the second rinse under
a positive nitrogen pressure. Soda ash may have to be added to
the solution drained directly into the sewer, to ensure that its pH
is above 7. When no repeat acid cleaning is required about 0.1%
by weight of citric acid should be added to the second rinse to
assure more thorough rust removal.

Sulfamic Acid (H2NSO3H)


More than one acid cycle may be required to clean. Do not use sulfamic acid to
clean exchangers with copper alloys due to possibility of stress corrosion
cracking. Approximately 1 kg of sulfamic acid will dissolve 0.5 kg of CaCO3.
10.6.1

Control Parameters
Sulfamic acid

5.0 to 10.0% by weight

NaCl*

2.5% by weight

Inhibitor

0.1 to 0.2 % by volume or as recommended by


manufacturer

Surfactant

0.0 to 0.2% by volume

Temperature Limits

55C to 65C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes/hour

pH

< 1.5

Residence Time

6 to 10 hours

Corrosion Rates

< 600 mpy

Total dissolved Iron

10,000 mg/L max.

* add to enhance rust removal only in carbon steel systems

10.6.2

Testing
Prior to commencement, test the acid for inhibitor effectiveness. Take
samples at 30 minute intervals, or more frequently. Perform analyses
as rapidly as possible and preferably on-site. Monitor acid and iron
concentrations, corrosion rate, temperature and inhibitor effectiveness.

10.6.3

Precautions
Corrosion rates are controlled by a number of variables. These include
temperature, circulation velocity, residence time, concentration of acid,
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inhibitor, and dissolved ions. Control these variables within their


limits unless approved by ME&COD/CSD.
10.6.4

Procedure
1.

Fill the equipment from the bottom with water to the top
eliminating all air in the system. If the water is sufficiently hot,
circulate by chemical cleaning pumps to achieve uniform metal
temperatures throughout the equipment, and adjust to 65C.
If the water is not at a high enough temperature, use an external
heat exchanger, or inject steam, to raise and adjust temperature
by circulation. Use nitrogen to drain back sufficient volume of
water to accommodate inhibited acid. Check inhibitor
effectiveness in the acid on-site. As quickly as possible, blend
inhibited acid solution into the equipment. Blend a slightly
higher concentration during the beginning of the fill than at the
end because the initial acid entering the equipment is consumed
to some degree during the fill.

2.

Circulate solution using chemical cleaning pumps. Reverse flow


direction every 30 minutes using flow reversal manifold. This is
essential in order to achieve good cleaning, reduce corrosion, and
maintain uniform temperatures and concentrations.
Take samples, and monitor temperature, acid strength, iron
concentration, and inhibitor effectiveness. During circulation,
temperatures will gradually decay. This is acceptable to 55C.
If, it becomes necessary to raise the temperature, use an external
heat exchanger. Do not inject steam into the acid solution.
Check for leaks in the circulation system. If the leaks cannot be
contained or, if the acid strength falls below 1.0%, or pH raises
above 1.5, or if the total iron exceeds 10,000 mg/L, drain the
equipment immediately into a holding tank under nitrogen
pressure of 10 psig and go to step 1.

3.

Continue circulation, taking test samples every 30 minutes.


Continue cleaning until the acid solution and total iron
concentration approach equilibrium. Note that the end point of
the acid process shall be governed by the analysis results and not
by the residence time set in Section 10.6.1.

4.

Drain the acid under a positive nitrogen pressure of 10 psig into a


holding tank. Drain in as short a time as possible, using the
maximum number of drain valves consistent with maintaining a
positive nitrogen pressure. Introduce nitrogen into the equipment
through the vent line.
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5.

11

Fill the equipment from the bottom with water to the top.
Drain the equipment under nitrogen as before and refill with
water, for a second rinse. Drain the second rinse under a positive
nitrogen pressure. Soda ash may have to be added to the solution
drained directly into the sewer, to ensure that its pH is above 7.
When no repeat acid cleaning is required about 0.1% by weight
of citric acid should be added to the second rinse to assure more
thorough rust removal.

Passivation
11.1

General
Immediately after cleaning with mineral acids and rinsing of the equipment, the
final step is passivation of the freshly cleaned steel surfaces. Passivation is not
required after hydro jetting, or for equipment made of non-ferrous alloys or
stainless steels. Use commercial grade quality for listed chemicals except where
austenitic materials are present in the system to be cleaned, the total chlorides of
all the chemicals in the mixture must not yield a final solution containing greater
than 50 mg/L as chloride.

11.2

Inspection
Following the neutralization step, visually inspect equipment to determine
whether another acid stage or high pressure water jetting is required.
Also, inspect following the high pressure water jetting to determine its
effectiveness in removing the scale and if more jetting is required.

11.3

11.4

Control Parameters
Sodium nitrite

0.5% by weight

Monosodium phosphate

0.25% by weight

Disodium phosphate

0.25% by weight

Sodium hydroxide

Adjust pH to 7

Temperature Limits

50C to 65C

Circulation Rate

1 to 2 volumes / hour

Residence Time

4 to 6 hours

Corrosion Rates

< 2 mpy

Testing
Monitor and maintain pH by adding caustic if necessary

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11.5

Safety hazards
Sodium nitrite is a strong oxidizing agent. It must be handled with care.

11.6

12

Procedure
1.

Blend fill the equipment to the top, and circulate by chemical cleaning
pumps.

2.

At the end of the six hours, drain the equipment under air pressure.

3.

Open vents, drain and inspect internals for completion of work.

Evaluating Cleaning Performance by Inspection


Plant Inspection, Operations, Operations Engineering and the cleaning contractor are to
inspect after the cleaning, to ascertain that the job has been successfully completed.
Visual and video boroscope inspections are carried out to determine the effectiveness of
cleaning. No visible traces of water, loose or adherent deposits inside the equipment are
acceptable.

13

Equipment Lay-Up
If the startup of the equipment after cleaning is likely to be delayed by more than five
days, dry it with nitrogen to a dew point of -1C or less and store it under a positive
pressure of nitrogen of 5 psig for corrosion protection.

23 August 2011
28 October 2013
24 July 2015

Revision Summary
Revised the "Next Planned Update". Reaffirmed the contents of the document, and reissued
with minor changes.
Minor revision.
Editorial revision to change the primary contact.

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Appendix A - Definition of Terms


Austenitic Stainless Steels: Chromium and nickel bearing ferrous alloys noted for their
resistance to corrosion.
Blend (Filling): A method of filling a vessel with chemical acid in which the chemical
concentrate in liquid form is metered into the filling line at such a rate as to maintain the
desired concentration level in the liquid entering the vessel.
Flushing: Cleaning a surface by the application of copious supplies of water under
pressure.
Inhibitor: A compound that retards or stops an undesired chemical reaction such as
corrosion or oxidation.
M-Alkalinity: Methyl orange alkalinity, which exists above the pH range of 4.2 to 4.4.
Mill Scale: A layer of iron oxide consisting of magnetite (Fe3O4) on the surface of hot
rolled steel.
Mils Per Year (mpy): A measurement of corrosion penetration in one thousandths (0.001)
inch per year.
Passivation: A treatment for steel surfaces to give greater resistance to corrosion by
shifting the normal electrochemical potential of the metal with a thin film of oxide.
pH: A value between 0 and 14 taken to represent the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution.
Sacrificial Valve: A substitute valve used in a chemical cleaning operation in place of the
regular valve to prevent corrosion damage to that valve.
Surfactant: A compound, when dissolved in water, reduces interfacial tension between the
liquid and a solid.
Water: Good quality water having a conductivity of less than 1000 microsiemens.
DEA: Diethanolamine
DGA: Diglycolamine
MEA: Monoethanolamine
MDEA: Methyldiethanolamine
TEG: Triethylene glycol

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Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Appendix B - Contractor Submittals


Submittals for review and approval shall include the following:
Equipment details
1.

Location, fill volume, materials of construction of shell and tubes or plates and
gaskets

2.

Components isolated, blinded, plugged, or removed

3.

Scale composition and solubility in the proposed solvent


Selected treatments for cleaning

4.

High pressure water jetting

5.

Hot alkaline treatment

6.

Acid

7.

Passivation
Materials and Quantities

8.

Water volume for each stage of cleaning

9.

Nitrogen volume for each stage of cleaning

10.

Chemicals and quantities

11.

Inhibitor name and quantity


Equipment details

12.

Pumps and capacities

13.

Piping, fittings, and valves

14.

Tanks and capacities

15.

Power source

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Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Control parameters
16.

Circulation rate, temperature limits, chemical concentrations, pH, M-alkalinity,


iron, corrosion

17.

Sketch of circulation path, showing locations of: pumps, control valves, chemical
injection, flow and temperature instruments, vents, drains, blinds, plugs, etc.

18.

Waste disposal plan and approvals, Chemical Hazard Bulletins.

19.

Chemical analysis procedures

20.

Contractor safety manual

21.

Contingency plans to handle piping leaks, pump failures, rescue from confined
spaces

22.

Corrosion control methodology

23.

Quality assurance and control procedures

24.

Personnel assigned and their qualifications

25.

Schedule of activities, start and end dates


Safety

26.

Job safety analysis document

27.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the cleaning chemicals

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Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Appendix C - List of Approved Inhibitors and Manufacturers


Saudi Aramco Approved Commercial Corrosion Inhibitors for Chemical Cleaning
MANUFACTURER OR DISTRIBUTOR
Acid &
Max. Conc.
HCl,
6 % v/v
H2SO4,
8% v/v
Citric,
5% v/v
Sulfamic
10% v/v
Na-EDTA
10% w/w

Max. Corr.
Rate (2) at
Max. Temp.
300 mpy
at 82C
200 mpy
at 82C
200 mpy
at 93C
200 mpy
at 65C
50 mpy
at 95C

HENKEL
suggested
conc. % (1)
Rodine213 or
426, 0.2% v/v
Rodine 95 or
31A, 0.2% v/v
Rodine 31A,
0.2% w/w
Rodine 95,
0.2% w/w
Rodine 241,
0.2% w/w

AKZO
suggested
conc. % (1)
Armohib 28,
0.2% v/v
Armohib 31,
0.2% v/v
Armohib 31,
0.2% w/w
Armohib 31,
0.2% w/w
None

HALLIBURTON
suggested conc.
% (1)
HAI 50**, 0.2% v/v
OSI-1A , 0.2% v/v

NAVDEEP
suggested conc.
% (1)
Nevamine CP 20,
0.2% v/v
Nevamine CP 20,
0.2% v/v

OSI-1A , 0.2% w/w

None

OSI-1A , 0.2% w/w

None

OSI-1A , 0.2% w/w

None

MANUFACTURER
Application
HPJ

Concentration
0.001% to 0.003 %

Maximum
Protection
3 days

Henkel (1)
Flash Rust inhibitor

Sharp (1)
Flash Shield 2000 A/B

Notes:
**
(1)
(2)

Surfactant must also be added.


Suggested concentrations are shown. Adjust the actual concentration such that the maximum corrosion rate
is not exceeded. Also, refer to manufacturer's recommendations for flash rust inhibitor concentrations.
Use the corrosion rates shown here to check inhibitor effectiveness in static solution. While cleaning the
circulation rate, temperature and the inhibitor concentration are adjusted such that the maximum corrosion
rate does not exceed 600 mpy in acids and 50 mpy in Na-EDTA.

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Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Appendix D - Chemical Cleaning Log Sheet


Plant Location

Chemicals Used

Equipment No.

Date / Time Started

Equipment Type

Date / Time Finished

Date

Time

Temp
C

Acid
%

Total Iron
mg/L

pH

PO43- /
CO32mg/L

Corrosion
Rate
mpy

Remarks

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Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Appendix E - High Pressure Water Jetting (HPJ)


HPJ Application for Equipment Cleaning
Use HPJ either alone or to supplement chemical cleaning if inspection reveals deposits are
present in the equipment after acid cleaning and neutralization.
Introduction
High Pressure Jetting (HPJ) is a highly effective and adaptable cleaning technique, using
specialized equipment capable of developing 8,000 psig or more. During high pressure
jetting the fouling is stripped from the equipment being cleaned by a combination of
mechanisms. The direct impact of the jet provides a shattering effect, and hydraulic
pressure produces a disruptive shearing force. The shearing force may be applied in two
ways; firstly, by the penetration of water between the fouling and metal surface to break the
bond between them, and secondly, by penetration of the water into a porous foulant to
cause the breakup of the foulant mass.
In high pressure jetting the total cleaning action is a function of the available energy and the
efficiency with which it is applied. The cleaning energy is related to the pressure and
volume of the water, whereas the efficiency is determined by the nozzle design and angle of
impingement of the water jet to the fouling.
When attempting to remove thin oils from metal surfaces, the water jet may drive these
films across the surface without detaching them; or if the oil is removed, it may well spread
to an adjacent surface. An emulsifier or detergent will assist in removing and sequestering
the fouling.
Advantages and Limitations
HPJ is usually successful if chipping, scraping or wire brushing can remove the deposit.
Some tarry or gummy deposits smear when impacted by a water jet and are not removed.
HPJ is not effective with certain types of firmly bonded nonporous scales that usually occur
in equipment, and scales deep inside the heat exchanger tubes that cannot be reached by the
high pressure water jet. Then chemical or solvent cleaning is essential.
Though HPJ leaves a clean surface, flash rusting of carbon steel equipment will occur due
to the moisture and oxygen present. Chemical additives are available to minimize flash
rusting. (See Appendix C).
Line friction is another factor to consider when jet cleaning and much of the effective pump
pressure is lost when pumping through a long hose and lance. Special organic polymers to
reduce the friction losses by as much as 90% are added to the water. In addition, some
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Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

polymers make the water more cohesive; that is, they maintain the water in tight cylindrical
jet that strikes the target with much more force than untreated water at the same pressure.
By reducing the tendency of the water to fan out or spray, the effective cleaning distance
between the nozzle and the target is increased. Thus, impact stress and cleaning power are
increased.
Polymers are typically added at a concentration of 0.3 % by volume based on water flow.
The polymers should be injected into the water flow directly before the high pressure pump.
Recirculation is not practical because the shear stress at the nozzle destroys the polymer.
Do not attempt HPJ unless a fail-safe system is used, since controlling the pressure by
shutting down the pump takes too much time in case of an accident. High pressure jetting
is a skilled operation. Use only a trained crew and supervise the work to carry out HPJ
safely and effectively.
Equipment Specification
Pump Capacities

750 kW, 10,000 psig; 1500 kW, 20,000 psig

Water Volume

30 L/minute to 50 L/minute

Nozzle orifice diameter

0.8 to 2.4 mm
4 each, facing 45 rearwards, and 90 to the
direction of lance advancement

Number of Nozzles & Orientation


Maximum distance between nozzle tip and surface to
be cleaned
Flexible Hose diameter
Water for jetting

25 mm
19 mm minimum
Cold steam condensate

Additives

Concentration

Polymer

0.3% by volume

Surfactant

0.1 to 0.2 % by volume

Flash rust inhibitor

0.001 to 0.005 % by volume

Recommended Pressure Range to Remove Deposits


DEPOSITS
Phosphates, Resins, Calcium Carbonate, Coke, Fly Ash,
Drilling Mud, Silicates, Water Scale, Lime, Polymers
Mastics, Cement, Barnacles, Rust, PVC
Sediments, Paraffin, Wax, Grease, Hard Clay, Soft Carbon,
Crude Residues
Dirt, Mud, Grease, Algae, Vegetation, Scum, Bird droppings,
and other soft deposits
*

WATER PRESSURE*
20,000 psi10,000 psi
7,000 psi
3,000 psi
2,000 psi1,000 psi

While cleaning aluminum fins in fin-fan coolers keep the HPJ pressure below 700 psig and use the lowest
effective pressure necessary to clean without damaging the fins.

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Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Appendix F - On-stream Cleaning of Heat Exchangers


Offstream cleaning requires that at least a part of the plant be shutdown during the operation.
Since downtime costs money, there is a lot of incentive to perform as much cleaning as is
possible without shutdowns. Several onstream techniques have been developed as follows:
Acid Slugging with HCl
This method is effective to remove scales soluble in HCl. The treatment consists of injecting
inhibited acid into the cooling water at relatively low concentration for a short time period
while the cooler remains in service.
If the fouling is predominantly scale the cooling water flow is reduced and the acid
concentration is kept about 0.5% acid in the effluent for hardness deposits or about 3% for iron
oxides. If the fouling contains appreciable quantities of mud and weed, the cooling flow is
maximized and acid concentration reduced. Acid slugging is a rapid method of cleaning, and
most bundles can be cleaned in 20 minutes to 1 hour. Preparation work is minimum and often
consists of providing only 1" valve connection at a cooler inlet. Sampling connections and
temperature monitors are required for good control of the cleaning.
In general, acid slugging cleans once-through cooling systems, particularly where salt water is
used as the cooling medium. Onstream cleaning has been extended to include recirculated
systems, but the effluent acid must be diverted to the sewer or neutralized to avoid upsetting the
cooling tower operation.
In all cases where chemical injection is used, precautions must be taken to ensure that the
injected cleaning agent and dissolved fouling are not allowed to remain in the system in any
form which will be incompatible with the water treating chemicals, etc. The pH for instance,
must be readjusted to a normal level as soon as possible after acid injection. Inhibitor dosage
should be increased to passivate metal surfaces. The materials of construction must be checked
before adding any cleaning agent. Inhibited hydrochloric acid has little or no action on carbon
steel or the majority of copper alloys at temperatures up to 80C but can lead to stress cracking
on 300 series stainless steels. The metal surface temperatures may be considerably higher than
the temperature of the circulating water and that materials such as the cast iron in compressor
jackets are liable to be attacked more readily than carbon steel.
An alternative to acid slugging for the onstream cleaning of coolers is a modification of the
circulation procedure used offstream. This procedure requires care to ensure that temperature
guidelines are not exceeded but has the advantage that the effluent cleaning solvents are
discharged to the sewer and, therefore, will not interfere with closed circuit cooling water
corrosion control. Procedure requires the installation of tees in the cooling water inlet and
return lines that can be connected via hoses to conventional pump and chemical cleaning tank
facilities. In addition, connections from the firewater system must be made with sewer
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connections on both the inlet and outlet. Cleaning volumes should be as large as practical in
order to provide as large a heat sink as possible because the idea is to circulate the cleaning
solution during normal cooler operation.
Firewater is used to backflush the system to the sewer and to make up the solutions because it
is higher pressure and cold. Unit is circulated from bottom to top until unit is clean or solution
temperature rises to 80C. If temperature reaches 80C, stop the chemical pump and use
cooling water to displace the acid back to the tank with additional flushing to the sewer.
Ensure that process side temperatures and pressures will not exceed allowable. Units with high
process temperatures will permit short contact times before solution temperatures reach the
allowable maximum and should be cleaned only with extreme caution.
Sulfuric Acid for Scale Removal
Sulfuric acid, is much cheaper and more readily available, to periodically reduce the pH of the
system or segment of a system to about 1.5 to 2.0 for a period of 6 to 8 hours or until the acid is
no longer being consumed. At this pH the calcium carbonate hardness deposits, which are the
primary foulants in the salt water system, are readily dissolved. If substantial iron oxide were
present, a lower pH would be required for adequate removal.
Chemical cleaners for the offstream removal of calcium hardness deposits have not used
sulfuric acid because the resultant calcium sulfate is not soluble in the acid solution and the
reaction quickly stifles itself. However, calcium sulfate is soluble up to about 1500 mg/L in
fresh water at 60C. In the onstream once through treatment with dilute acid the concentration
of calcium sulfate is so low that the solubility is not exceeded. However, it has been
established that calcium sulfate is more soluble in high ionic strength seawater than it is in fresh
water. Therefore, the scheme is more applicable to salt water systems than to fresh water
systems.
Onstream Removal of Mud, Silt and Microbiological Fouling
Onstream cleaning of an entire recirculating system has been attempted in areas where a
shutdown was intolerable by reducing the pH with acid while adding polyelectrolytes.
The technique can be successful if carefully executed but is employed as a last resort. It
probably will not be very effective on deposits high in iron oxide, but can be effective if iron
oxide is bound by mud, silt, etc. For best results, the cleaning encompasses several days as is
illustrated in the following typical procedure:
1st day Chlorinate and /or use nonoxidizing biocide.
2nd day
1.

Shot feed polyelectrolyte to obtain desired concentration in system


(usually about 25 mg/L)

2.

Add dispersant continuously to compensate for that lost in blowdown


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3.

Decrease pH to range of 5.0 to 5.5

4.

Increase blowdown to lower cycles of concentration to 2.0

5.

Air bump or backflush critical heat exchangers every 2 hours

3rd day Continue


4th day
1.

Maintain dispersant concentration at recommended level

2.

Decrease pH to 4.0 for eight consecutive hours; otherwise maintain range


of 5.0 to 5.5.

3.

Maintain cycles of concentration to 2.0

4.

Air bump or backflush, as above

1.

Discontinue feed of dispersant and raise pH to normal range

2.

Decrease blowdown to normal level

5th day

6th day Triple the feed rate of corrosion inhibitor to passivate system metals
Onstream Removal of Oil from a Cooling Water Circuit
The procedure below has been found to work well in several locations in minimizing the
adverse effects of process contaminants that have just leaked into the cooling water system.
The procedure is not effective for removing deposits from old or persistent leaks.
1.

Locate and shut off leaking equipment immediately after leak are observed. This is
a crucial step. The following techniques may be useful to locate leaks:
-

Sample water from outlet of equipment, headers, gas traps, etc.

Check loss of chlorine residual across suspect exchanger or other areas

Measure oil-in-water content daily

Use GC analysis to identify possible sources of oil

2.

If visible fouling exists clean wooden members at top distribution deck of tower
with steam lances. Clean structural and demister chevrons from basin level using
water hoses.

3.

Skim oil at top distribution deck and at cooling tower basin. During this time:
-

Change to non-chromate treatment.

Maintain normal dosage of phosphate or other non-reducible inhibitor.


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4.

5.

6.

Ensure 2 mg/L free tolyltriazole copper inhibitor if brass bundles are present.

Add an initial 100 mg/L (as product) shock dosage of non-ionic surfactant
(polysiloxane and polyoxyalkylene, fatty acid alkylamines, or polyoxylated
ethylene and alkoxylated phenol).

Maintain normal blow down rate.

Chlorinate continuously to 0.2-0.5 mg/L free residual (if attainable). Evaluate


impact of the quantity chlorine fed on carbon steel and brass corrosion
monitoring devices and on recirculating water pH depression.

Add biocide (chloromethylsulphone or equivalent) for sulfate reducing bacteria


twice per week.

Perform oil-in-water and chlorine residual daily.

Blowdown system for 3 - 4 days at highest rate possible and at as many different
points as possible (cooling tower hot return, basin, and at pump cooling jackets,
etc.):
-

Operate spare pump at cooling tower to increase velocity.

Operate oil skimmer at cooling tower pump suction bay (if available)

Do not add surfactant during this period.

Increase dosage rate of corrosion inhibitor to compensate for higher blowdown


rate (maintain same concentration).

Perform oil-in-water and chlorine residual daily.

Reduce blowdown to normal level and add surfactant:


-

Maintain 100 mg/L of surfactant product for 4 days.

Operate spare pump at cooling tower for 4 days.

Chlorinate continuously to 0.2 to 0.5 mg/L free chlorine residual if attainable.

Examine corrosion coupons (preferably located in an equipment bypass) and test


equipment twice per day for oil, and continue to add dispersant until coupons
clear up.

Perform oil-in-water analysis daily.

Reduce blowdown to minimum possible and passivate exchanger surfaces by


increasing corrosion inhibitor concentration 2.5 - 3X for 5 days.
-

Maintain necessary pH to avoid any precipitation of inhibitor or waterborne


salts.

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7.

Maintain 100 mg/L surfactant product for one week.

Continue to add biocide twice a week.

Return to normal operation:


-

Shutdown spare pump.

For two days per cell, shut off one cooling tower cell in sequence so that flow is
maximized through other cells (to flush oil off structures).

Maintain normal concentration of corrosion inhibitor.

Chlorinate continuously (0.1 - 0.3 mg/L residual) or once per day to 0.5 to 1.0
mg/L free chlorine residual.

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Appendix G - Cleaning of Twisted Tube Heat Exchangers


Due to the congested configuration of the twisted tube heat exchanger bundles, normal
hydrojetting does not have the capability to reaching the external surface of the inner tubes.
Therefore, a special cleaning technique shall be used that will remove scales from the tube
bundles safely and effectively. The new technique utilizes a combination of chemical and
mechanical cleaning procedures.
Scope:
This procedure outlines the cleaning method used to clean bundles of twisted tube heat
exchangers. The technique utilizes a combination of chemical (vessel) bath and high pressure
jetting. The use of high pressure water jetting is covered in Appendix 5.
Advice is available from Materials Engineering & Corrosion Operations Division/Consulting
Services Department (ME&COD/CSD) to review cleaning procedures and evaluate alternative
cleaning procedures.
Preparations for Chemical Cleaning:
The general preparations for cleaning is covered and controlled by Section 6.
1. Pull the bundle out from the heat exchanger housing.
2. Use high pressure water jetting to clean as much of the loose scale as possible, see
Appendix E.
3. Prepare a chemical cleaning bath. The cleaning bath should be big enough for the heat
exchanger bundle to be submerged completely into the chemical cleaning solution.
Chemicals used should be chosen based on the metallurgy of the heat exchanger tubes
and the type of scale that needs to be removed. For chemical selection, see Section 8.
4. Section 9 controls the cleaning parameters of the selected cleaning chemical.
5. Heat the solution to the desired temperature, and maintain this temperature throughout
the cleaning operation using an external heating source.
6. Start circulating the solution, from one end of the vessel to the other end, using external
pumps. Note: use as much return nuzzles as possible and locate them at different
location in the cleaning bath to enhance the cleaning action.
7. Using a crane, lift the bundle in a slight slop, and lower it into the cleaning vessel that
contains the cleaning solution.

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8. Monitor corrosion rate, if required, and make sure to comply with conditions mentioned
in Section 10.
9. Continue submerging the bundle into the solution and circulating the cleaning solution
for two (2) hours.
10. Lift the bundle with the crane and place it outside the cleaning bath and let it cool down.
11. Repeat steps 2 to 9 until satisfactory cleaning level is attained.
Note:

During circulation and after lifting the bundle from the bath, gently hummer the tube bundle
at different location using a small plastic or copper hammer, to help dropping any loose
scale. Also, shock the system occasionally, by interrupting the flow, by shut down the pump
completely and wait for five minutes then restart the pump and restore full flushing velocity
of about 3 m/s

Evaluating Cleaning Performance by Inspection:


Plant Inspection, Operations, Operations Engineering and the cleaning contractor are to inspect
tube bundles after the cleaning to determine that the job has been successfully completed.
Visual and video boroscope inspections are carried out to determine the effectiveness of
cleaning. No visible traces of water, loose or adherent deposits inside the equipment are
acceptable.
Equipment Lay-Up:
Saudi Aramco Mothball Manual, SAER-2365, should be used to protect tube bundle from
corrosion right after cleaning. In general, the protection should include:
-

Removal of free water

Draying with air

Treating with corrosion inhibitor

Safety Hazards:
Be aware of the safety hazards (see Appendix J) associated with chemical cleaning and take
adequate safety measures.

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Appendix H - Heat Transfer Coefficients and Fouling Factor


Uactual = Q/(Ao.TLMTD.F)
Where,
Uactual

= the actual heat transfer coefficient of the exchanger at operating


conditions, based on the outside heat transfer surface area

= the quantity of heat transferred

Ao

= the total outside area of tubes for heat transfer

TLMTD = the log mean temperature difference = [(T1-t2)-(T2-t1)] / ln[(T1-t2)/(T2-t1)]


T1

= the hot stream inlet temperature, T2 = the hot stream outlet temperature

t1

= the cold stream inlet temperature, t2 = the cold stream outlet temperature

= the temperature correction factor based on the geometry of the exchanger


(number of shell and tube passes) and obtained from TEMA charts
Uclean = 1/ {[1/(hi.Ai/ Ao)] + Ao [ln(D0/Di) / (2..Kw.L)] + [1/(ho)]}

Where,
hi

= the film heat transfer coefficient of tube side

Ai

= N. . Di.L = heat transfer area of inside of the tubes, and Ao = N. . D0.L,


the tube outside heat transfer area, D0 = the tube outer diameter, Di = the
tube inside diameter

Kw

= the thermal conductivity of the tube material

ho

= the film heat transfer coefficient of the shell side

= the number of tubes, L = the tube length, = 3.14159

ho & hi are obtained from heat transfer reference books


Definition of Udesign:
Udesign = 1/{(1/Uclean) + Rfdesign}

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Fouling factor definitions:


Rfdesign = a value specified by the manufacture in the Heat Exchanger TEMA
Specification Sheet
Rf

= actual fouling factor realized during service period.

Ideally, after each clean up of the heat exchanger Rf should be Rfdesign


The fouling factor actually realized in the heat exchanger is given by:
Rf = (1/Uactual) (1/Uclean)
Note:

The Rf is independent of the fluctuations in the flow rates during the service period.
Use at least a ten day average value of Rf for decision criteria.

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Appendix I - Economic Evaluation TFRE Concept


Calculate the total fouling related expenses (TFRE) and clean when TFRE is at a minimum.
TFRE = (Qloss x Meq + Ed + Ei) x (n)
where:
TFRE

= Total Fouling-Related Expense, SR/yr.

Qloss

= Energy loss per cycle due to fouling.

Meq

= Monetary equivalent per unit of energy loss.

Ed

= Direct expenses of cleaning.

Ei

= Indirect expense, such as lost production per cycle.

= Number of months since last cleaning.

Graph 1 illustrates the concept of Total Fouling-Related Expense (TFRE) to optimize the
cleaning cycle for a fictitious unit. Note that TFRE (SR/yr) is plotted as a function of months
since cleaning. The onstream energy loss and the associated process debits both increase
directly as the time between cleaning are extended. The cleaning costs and the offstream
energy loss are reduced as the cleaning interval is extended. Summing all of these costs helps
in selecting an optimum cleaning frequency to minimize cost for this unit.
Graph1: TOTAL FOULING RELATED EXPENSE
( Graph shows least expensive option is around 4.5 months between cleanings)
100000
90000
80000
70000

Qloss x Meq.x n

Costs

60000

(Ed+Ei(offstream))12/n

50000

Ei(onstream) x n

40000

TFRE (total of above)

30000
20000
10000
0
1

10

11

12

Months since cleaning (n)

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To determine the TFRE from operating and maintenance cost data:


Step A For each value of n = 1 to 12 , calculate the TFRE by adding the costs for:

Energy loss due to fouling.

Direct expenses of cleaning

Indirect costs of lost production during cleaning

Indirect costs of lost production due to fouling (process debit)

Plot this on a graph.


Step B

Determine the optimum cleaning interval by picking the minimum in the TFRE curve.

In order to construct a graph of the costs needed to determine TFRE:


Step 1

Step 2

Obtain from plant operations and maintenance personnel the costs associated
with:

Energy loss due to fouling (Qloss).

Monetary equivalent per unit of energy loss (Meq).

Direct expenses of cleaning (Ed).

Indirect costs of lost production during cleaning (Ei offstream).

Indirect costs of lost production due to fouling (Ei onstream).

Number of months since cleaning (n = 1 to 12)

Number of cleanings per year N =12/n (n = 1 to 12)

Establish a graph representing for a one year period Cost on the Y-axis
and Months Since Cleaning on the X-axis. On this graph, plot the
following lines per the instructions given:

Cumulative cost of lost energy at n month intervals:


Cost after n months = Qloss x Meq x n

Cumulative cost of onstream production loss:


Cost after n months = Ei onstream x n

Cost of offstream production loss (i.e., during cleaning):


Cost after N cleanings = Ei offstream x (number of days for cleaning)
x 12/n

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Direct expense of cleaning:

Cost after N cleanings = Ed x 12/n

For example, Graph I is obtained using the above steps given the following
information:

Qloss x Meq = $3,000 per month.

Ed (cost of cleaning) = $4,000 chemical + $1,000 mechanical.

Ei onstream (production loss) = $1,000/month.

Ei offstream (production loss) = $1,000/day.

Cleaning time = 2 days.

Page 49 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Appendix J - Safety Hazards with Chemical Cleaning


Provided for information only. Contact Saudi Aramco Industrial Hygiene Services, Preventive
Medicine Services Division, Dhahran (phone: 877-8222) to determine the need for the
precautions and develop procedures.
Safety
Chemical cleaning is potentially dangerous, and careful control is essential in avoiding
unpleasant accidents.
Plan for safety in the operation at all stages. Material Safety Data Sheets are required for the
transport and handling of chemicals. Review the data sheets before any cleaning jobs using
solvents or additives is undertaken.
Principal Hazards
The principal hazards associated with chemical cleaning include:

Chemical burns - caused by contact with the chemicals, fouling or their products.

Toxicity effects - caused by skin contact, ingestion or inhalation of the chemicals,


fouling or their products.

Flammability and explosion - this may be caused by fouling, chemicals or their


products.

Pressure - caused by gas generation or overheating in a closed system. Additional


hazards exist with high pressure jetting.
Chemical Burns

Chemical burns are associated with acids or caustic and usually occur during
transportation and mixing of the concentrated chemicals. Less frequently, incidents
occur due to a leak developing during the cleaning operation.
Take steps to protect personnel eyes, face and hands with the correct clothing. Insist on
gloves and goggles as a minimum when handling any chemical irrespective of its
corrosive nature.
Control loading and transportation of corrosive chemicals and use suitable containers.
Check these to ensure that they are in good condition, firmly secured, labeled clearly,
leak proof and that there are no loose stoppers. Transfer of concentrated liquids, etc.,
by a small pump rather than by manually pouring from containers, and exercise caution
during mixing and dilution.
Page 50 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Some chemicals, particularly concentrated sulfuric acid and caustic soda, evolve heat
when diluted. Dilute gradually by adding the chemical to water in order to dissipate the
heat and avoid fuming, spitting and boiling. Stir continuously during dilution, as dense
materials may sink to the bottom of the mixing tank. Add acids to water. For
concentrated solution's, (5% or more), monitor temperature while mixing. Use a
metered pump to add the acid and minimize heat evolution by controlling the flow of
acid during mixing.
Toxicity

Toxicity incidents with chemicals are relatively rare providing the toxicity limits are
known and handling is supervised. There is, however, a real risk that during the
cleaning operation new toxic compounds may be formed by reaction between the
cleaning chemicals and the fouling. The most common case is the production of
hydrogen sulfide gas by dissolving sulfide scales in acid. This and other gases can be
deadly and anticipate their formation prior to the cleaning operation. Plans adequately
all operations for the safe disposal of gases formed and the disposal of spent cleaning
chemicals. This is particularly important where cleaning may be carried out in confined
spaces. Keep suitable gas testing equipment and breathing apparatus in the event of an
emergency.
Flammability and Explosion

Flammability and explosion problems usually arise from gas production by overheating
the solvent, gas given off from the fouling or gas evolved by chemical reaction during
the solution of the fouling, e.g., hydrogen evolved by metal dissolving in acid. There
are also certain cases where the fouling itself may be pyrophoric or even explosive.
Pressure Hazards

Pressure hazards are due to the evolution of large volumes of gas or overheating of a
closed system without vents. Provide adequate venting to eliminate this problem.
Remember that vents can become blocked by loose scale, and install a pressure gage in
the system if this could occur.
Procedures for Equipment Safety
Follow safety procedures to safeguard equipment on every chemical cleaning job. Hydrogen is
liberated by the cleaning reaction and, under certain conditions it is possible to confine the
hydrogen and set up an explosive mixture in the vessel. Venting the vessels permits the escape
of most of the hydrogen from the system as fast as it is formed.

Page 51 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

PRECAUTIONS FOR PERSONNEL SAFETY


Take precautionary procedures to avoid toxic hazards, which may occur during chemical
cleaning operations. These hazards sometimes include the cleaning agent itself, for example
when a concentrated sulfuric acid, a strong caustic, etc., is being used. In such cases, adhere to
recommended handling practices and wear proper protective clothing.
Guidelines for the safe handling of chemicals are covered on specific chemical hazard bulletins,
and available from Environmental Protection Department.
Liberation of Dangerous Gases
Hydrogen sulfide. hydrogen cyanide, arsine, phosphine, phosgene, nitrogen dioxide

Many of the deposits encountered in the refinery contain sulfide, cyanide, arsenide, and
fluoride scales that will liberate large quantities of dangerous gases such as H2S when
exposed to acidic solvents. Provision should be made to dispose of these lethal gases.
One way to limit the amount of H2S released by contact with acids is to first circulate
water, then slowly add acid to build up concentration. This prevents rapid gas
evolution.
One way to dispose of H2S gas is to discharge into the flare system to burn the gas in
the flare to form SO2, which is toxic but less dangerous than H2S if no vents are high
enough in the air. If no wind exists and large quantities are liberated, however, there is
the possibility of the heavier-than-air gas settling around the equipment. A preferred
technique is to scrub out the H2S by bubbling the gas through a sparger into a drum
containing caustic. Caustic volume is 80 L of 25% NAOH to every 400 L acid 10%
H2SO4. A typical scrubber for a large job is 1.4 meter diameter by 2.3 meter height.
A minimum height of 1.3 meters is recommended.
Caustic concentrations of 50% have resulted in plugged spargers. Therefore, keep the
sparger off the bottom of the drum, containing relatively large diameter sparger holes.
Maintain a caustic concentration of 25% to prevent serious plugging. The resultant
sodium sulfide reaction product is a precipitate. Dispose it in an approved land farm or
disposal pond where it cannot later react to regenerate the hydrogen sulfide, (i.e., by
contacting acid). At the completion of the job, sparge nitrogen into the spent acid to
strip H2S out of the acid and push it into the scrubber.
Another new technique for suppressing H2S is by adding formaldehyde to sulfuric acid.
The reaction product formed is trithiane, which can form a flocculent, and precipitate on
metal surfaces, especially when heavy sulfide deposits are present.

Page 52 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Spent acid contains dissolved H2S, which can be released upon entry into a vacuum
disposal truck. Since vents on vacuum trucks are at ground level, there is the possibility
of flooding the area with H2S. A caustic scrubber can be installed on the exhaust line
from the vacuum truck, or formaldehyde can be added to the truck (1 L per 1000 L
capacity) prior to the entry of spent sulfuric acid.
Hydrogen cyanide, arsine, phosgene, phosphine, nitrogen dioxide

Other gases may be liberated during the cleaning cycle including hydrogen cyanide in
units containing cyanide deposits such as Vapor Recovery Units. A/C units, FCCU,
Catalytic Light Ends, Coker, and Sour Water Strippers may also have fluoride, cyanidecontaining deposits. A caustic wash can be employed to remove the salt. Arsine and
phosphine are other gases, which have been found in vent gases from acid cleaning
jobs. Generally, precautions for hydrogen sulfide will also take care of the other gases
formed.
Other toxic gases that can be produced during acid cleaning include nitrogen dioxide
and hydrogen cyanide.
Toxicity Limits for Solvents
Occasionally, it may be necessary to use various hydrocarbon or chlorinated solvents to remove
oily or polymeric materials. All are toxic to some extent and some are flammable as well.
Whenever solvents are used for cleaning periodic and sometimes continuous monitoring with
gas testing equipment is required.

Page 53 of 54

Document Responsibility: Corrosion Control Standards Committee


SAEP-1662
Issue Date: 24 July 2015
Next Planned Update: 23 August 2016
Cleaning of Heat Exchangers and Unfired Plant Equipment

Appendix K - Cleaning Chemical Compatibility Chart for Materials


Materials

H2SO4

HCl

Citric
+NH3

Sulfamic

EDTA

Alkalies

Aluminum Alloys

NR

NR

NR

Austenitic
Stainless Steels

NR

NR

Brasses

NR

Carbon steels (cs)

Cast irons

Ferritic
Stainless Steels

Low Alloy Steels

Titanium

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

NR

cs / brass

NR

cs / ferritic ss

cs / austenitic ss

NR

NR

Zinc (including
Galvanized steel)
Galvanic Couples:

Ammonium
Biflouride

A = Acceptable under normal range of concentration and temperature


C = Acceptable only under certain conditions, some corrosion may occur under ideal conditions
NR = Not recommended
If material is not listed above, contact ME&COD/CSD for advice.

Page 54 of 54