Case Studies

Ammonia Salt Treatment

ProDecon® was asked by a refinery in United Kingdom to decontaminate the fuel gas header feeding one of their furnaces. The header developed flow restrictions due to the accumulation of ammonia salts deposition.

The deposits had developed to a point where it may have been necessary to instigate a unit shutdown, just to clear this as the furnace was performing well below the desired operating range.

Multi Unit Turnaround

ProDecon® was asked to decontaminate multiple units including the Crude Distillation Unit, Vacuum Distillation Unit and the Hydro treating Unit, all to run in parallel.

These units were known to have asphaltene and coke deposits that block flow pathways reducing the efficiency of the units. On previous shutdowns these have required intensive mechanical work.


ProDecon® was asked by a refinery in United Kingdom to decontaminate a Desalter of 150m3 system volume and return it to service in a strict timely manner, as the unit “Double Desalts” to avoid sending contaminated product to the CAT unit. Furthermore it was requested to minimise the effluent generation from the process for off- site disposal.

The deposits found in these systems are usually salts and silt, hydrocarbons including Benzene and small amounts of Mercury.

Fin Fan Cleaning

A refinery in the United Kingdom reported heavy fouling and loss of efficiency of the overhead Fin Fans at their Sour Water Stripper (SWS) Unit. This was causing deterioration in the level of performance of the fans. The reduction in exchanger duty had led to excess steam being sent to the sulphur units.

Excess steam, especially when excess ammonia is in the system, leads to operational difficulties and corrosion of pipe work.

Flare System

ProDecon® was asked to decontaminate the Flare System of a European Refinery which consists of 4 flare lines and 4 flares. The scope of decontamination included removal of hydrocarbons and neutralisation of finely divided pyrophoric Iron Sulphide prior to hot work.

The client had multiple tie’s and repairs planned during the turnaround involving hot work opening the flare header.


ProDecon® was asked by a refinery in South America to perform full decontamination of the Hydrocracker unit. This was the first turnaround on the unit and ProDecon® integrated with the refinery Operations team to engineer the shutdown and de-inventory of the unit into the decontamination procedure.

This offered the most efficient process from oil out to the opening of equipment.

Pre-Commission Chemical Cleaning

ProDecon® received an urgent enquiry from a UK oil refinery regarding a pre-commission chemical clean on their newly built Hydro-Desulphuriser due to failure of incumbent contractor.

The work scope included…

Pyrophoric DRP

In combination with iron this produces pyrophoric iron sulphide which accumulates in the columns. When it is exposed to atmospheric oxygen a strong exothermic reaction is initiated which releases toxic gases.


When the PetroPlus Coryton Refinery (UK) went in to liquidation the refinery was put through an orderly close-down prior to the departure of almost all of the staff. The new owners had decided to cease refining operations and so appointed a small team of seven professional engineers having expert knowledge of the plant to organise the decommissioning.

The team were left with a huge problem.

Sour Water Stripper Unit

A refinery in South America asked ProDecon® to undertake the full unit decontamination of the refinery’s Sour Water Stripper (SWS) unit. The decontamination scope was undertaken from battery limit to battery limit, covering all vessels, exchangers, coolers, piping and drain drums.

The contamination found in these units can lead to different problems downstream impacting plant efficiency, as well as posing increased fire, health and environmental risks.