Failure Analysis of α-MDEA Air-Cooled Heat Exchanger of CO2 Removal Unit Based on the Semiquantitative Risk-Based Inspection Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Hamid Reza Lashgari, Amir Hanaei

Center of Excellence for High Performance Materials,
School of Metallurgy and Materials,
University of Tehran,
Tehran 17469-3718, Iran;
Technical Inspection and Corrosion Control
Company (TECHINCO),
Tehran, Iran

A. R. Adeli

Technical Inspection and Corrosion Control
Company (TECHINCO),
Tehran, Iran

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received February 16, 2013; final manuscript received September 25, 2013; published online January 7, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Kunio Hasegawa.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 136(2), 025501 (Jan 07, 2014) (11 pages) Paper No: PVT-13-1037; doi: 10.1115/1.4025783 History: Received February 16, 2013; Revised September 25, 2013

Risk-based inspection program (RBI) is a decision making techniques for providing refineries and petrochemical plants with an effective and appropriate inspection planning. The aim of the present study is to analyze failure behavior and risk ranking of α-MDEA fin/fan cooler of CO2 removal unit based on API 581 in order to find out the reason(s) of tubes failure. According to previous experience in similar plant, risk calculation results and conducted inspection activity by using RFT eddy current technique, CO2 corrosion damage mechanism was identified as a main reason of tubes failure. In next step, process key variable, prevention/mitigation methods and inspection planning programs were determined so as to minimize the similar failure behavior in the rest of the lean amine air-cooled heat exchangers of CO2 removal unit.

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API RP581, Risk-Based Inspection (2008).
API RP581, Risk-Based Inspection (2000).
API RP580, Risk-Based Inspection (2002).
API RP571, Damage Mechanisms Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry (2003).
R.Kadnar and J.Rieder, 1996, Determination of Anions in Oilfield Waters by Ion Chromatography, J. Chromatogr., 706, pp. 301–305. [CrossRef]
DNV RP-G101, Risk-Based Inspection of Offshore Topsides Static Mechanical Equipment (2010).
SAEP-343, Risk-Based Inspection for in-Plant Static Equipment (2005).
API RP945, Avoiding Environmental Cracking in Amine Units (2003).
NORSOK STANDARD M-506, CO2 Corrosion Rate Calculation Model (2005).
NORSOK STANDARD P-001, Process Design (2006).
ASME PCC-3, Inspection Planning Using Risk-Based Method (2007).


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Fig. 1

Process flow diagram (PFD) of CO2 removal unit, assigning damage mechanisms to corrosion loop (see color version online)

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Fig. 2

Loss of thickness in tubesheet map of the air-cooled heat exchanger E-2109

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Fig. 3

Severe corrosion of the air-cooled heat exchanger tubes in the entrance of fluid to tubes

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Fig. 4

CO2 corrosion of a carbon steel oil and gas production flow line [4]

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Fig. 5

Localized amine corrosion at the weld found in piping from reboiler to regenerator tower in an MEA unit [4]

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Fig. 6

Alkaline stress corrosion cracks in a pipe weld in an MEA unit [7]

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Fig. 7

Determination of susceptibility to amine cracking [2]

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Fig. 8

Risk matrix, showing the calculated risk of the air-cooled heat exchanger



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