Vacuum Distillation Methods For Lube Oils Increase Turbomachinery Reliability.
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The lube oils in self-contained reservoirs for turbomachinery in hydrocarbon processing plants are subject to contamination and deterioration from airborne dust, component debris, system corrosion, heat, and water. Oil supplies associated with certain gas compression sealing systems are further exposed to potential dilution with lighter hydrocarbons, and gaseous dilutants such as H₂S. Excess water and acquired hydrocarbon constituents which adversely influence the viscosity and other characteristics of turbomachinery lube oils must be removed periodically, if machinery distress is to be avoided. As part of a determined effort to maintain the reliability of critically important turbomachinery, a major petrochemical complex has implemented a lube oil quality assurance program. Vacuum distillation equipment is used for oil purification, and periodic analysis of 36 reservoirs is employed to quantify lube oil condition. A major refinery in the same geographic area is developing a program with similar goals. The relevant experience accrued at both facilities is described. What is required to have consistently good results and to obtain the maximum economic benefits is illustrated. This can be achieved by evaluating and selecting an appropriately designed vacuum oil purifier and following up by implementing a rigorous analysis program.
Adams, Mark A.; Bloch, Heinz P. (1988). Vacuum Distillation Methods For Lube Oils Increase Turbomachinery Reliability.. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from