Typical process equipment and piping get both organic and inorganic substances deposited on them, coming from the fluid being processed such as water, crude oils, petroleum products, lubricating oils, chemicals etc. etc. These deposits or sometime called fouling need to be removed time to time to prevent damage and maintain efficiency of operation. Chemical cleaning is the use of chemicals to dissolve or loosen deposits from process equipment and piping. Chemical cleaning is a process which primarily uses chemical solutions to remove fouling from inside plant and equipment.
The chemical cleaning is performed in many industries in the commissioning of new plant facilities and during operational turnarounds of existing plants. The use and purpose of chemical cleaning varies in commissioning vs. operational scenarios.
The purpose of this cleaning is to remove manufacturing and construction contaminants that would be detrimental to that equipment’s operation. The cleaning may be undertaken for degreasing of preservatives and organics and the removal of mill scale and rust from the systems.
Operating plants and equipment are chemically cleaned for several reasons:
- Removing deposits that cause reduced productivity of the equipment
- Removing deposits that cause overheating and corrosion of the operating equipment
- Removing vapors and deposits that cause environmental and safety issues when opening equipment for inspection and maintenance.