TRACERCO Diagnostics™ - Leak Study
A client in Germany was experiencing symptoms of leakage across a tubed heat exchanger. The suspected leak was from a Naphtha stream, feeding a reactor system, into the product stream exiting the system (see Figure 1). This was causing the formation of out of specification product and low yields. Tracerco was approached for urgent assistance with identifying and quantifying the leak A TRACERCO Diagnostic™ Leak Study was proposed to the client utilising a stable chemical tracer.
This involved injecting a calculated concentration of tracer material into the Naphtha feed line and undertaking a sample programme from the product stream of the exchanger and the exit stream from the reactor. This sample programme was over a 30 minute period in order to fully identify the “leak peak”. This would aid calculation of the overall leak size.
The samples were immediately returned to the Tracerco laboratories in the UK to be analysed for tracer material.
The analysis confirmed that a leak was occurring within the heat exchanger and also identified that the leak was approximately 5% to the total flow through the system, with a limit of detection of 0.1%. This enabled the customer to make a decision on whether to shut down the exchanger and repair it immediately or wait until the next overhaul. The customer decided to wait until the next shutdown.
The work was completed within 3 days of the initial inquiry and the client was certain that his problem had been identified and his maintenance efforts at the shutdown could be concentrated on the exchanger.