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Title: Experiments, modelling and validation of crude oil fouling on large scale rig
Author: Tajudin, Zulhafiz Bin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5699
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2016
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Fouling is a complex phenomenon which commonly occurs in crude oil heat transfer equipment, reducing heat transfer, increasing pressure drops and in general resulting in reduced energy recovery efficiency and increased capital and operating costs of refineries. Measuring with accuracy the fouling behaviour of an oil at or close to industrial conditions is not easy. A High Pressure Oil Rig (HIPOR), designed to overcome current limitations and operate in a regime close to refinery heat and tube exchangers, has been developed at Imperial College under the direction of Prof. G.F. Hewitt and Prof. Macchietto. In this thesis, an extensive and comprehensive commissioning procedure and automated system for HiPOR was presented. All instruments had been calibrated and tested in order to have an excellent precision and reliable measurements (sensors and controllers, as well as thermo-hydraulic behaviour) for baseline validation and crude oil fouling analysis. A predictive model of the HIPOR apparatus is briefly presented. The model is intended to assist in the analysis and interpretation of the experimental fouling data collected. A dynamic, distributed thermo-hydraulic model of the tubular flow sections of HIPOR is presented. The model, an extension of Coletti and Macchietto (2011), considers the two dimensional (axial and radial) heat transfer in different domains with variable thermal conductivity (heat generation), boundary conditions and other aspects (for example, heat losses) which are carefully determined. The calibration and validation of various model components through a variety of tests is described. The model predicts temperature profile and pressure drop of fluid in the test section as well as local conditions of the physical plant and fluid properties. Primary measurements were calibrated and showed excellent precision and reproducibility. The simulation results (temperature profile, wall temperature, differential pressure and temperature difference, outlet and inlet temperature) show a consistent agreement with primary measurements from the rig at different process conditions. A selection of friction factor correlations in the model depend on types of oil is used for the experiments. It is concluded that the model of the HIPOR rig at ‘clean’ oil conditions and crude oil was successfully validated. Crude oil with no fouling model shows an excellent agreement against experimental data.
Supervisor: Macchietto, Sandro Sponsor: Universiti Teknologi MARA
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral