Our Sour water stripper unit is a two stage operation. The first tower operates at 7 KSCg pressure and second tower operates at 0.8 KSCg pressure. Recently we have encountered a strange problem. The color of the stripped water is milky white and also looks hazy. The overhead temperature of the second tower is running high, 100 C (Normal is 90C). Please suggest some solution.
Egbert van Hoorn, Hocon B V, Egbertvh@hotmail.com
Indeed, Hazy or milky white indicates an oil in water solution.
You could start to look if the feed to the stripper and see if it looks the same.
You could also have a look at the appearance of the water between the two phases.
Also you could sample the reflux (of the second stage) and look at the state.
This may indicate where the emulsification is formed.
You can further extend this to the feed and outlet of the flash tank upstream or the buffer tank (if you have one).
Once you know better where it is formed, action to resolve the problem is easier to decide on.
Marcello Ferrara, ITW SrL, email@example.com
An hazy and milk white water normally implies emulsified hydrocarbons. While the grounds of having a stable emulsion in the stripped water are different, a solution can be adding an effective demulsifier. We developed a novel demulsifier which can solve such problem.