Vahterus PSHE in oil refineries


PSHEs are successfully used in oil refineries in many process units such as:

•    Crude oil preheaters
•    Economizers (Feed/effluent or feed/feed interchangers)
•    Overhead condensers
•    Evaporators / re-boilers
•    Product coolers and heaters
•    Sample coolers
•    Steam generators

теплообменник для очистныхKey benefits of using PSHE in oil refining:

1.    High thermal efficiency in heat recovery
2.    Significantly lower fouling compare to Shell & Tube heat exchangers
3.    Fully welded construction of the plate pack eliminates the possibility of leakage
4.    Cost efficiency due to compact size and low maintenance costs


In a Feed/Effluent heat exchanger, feed to column (fractionator, debutanizer etc.) is heated with hot effluent coming from the same column. Whereas in Feed/Feed interchangers, one feed from one column is heated with other feed from another column of another process unit. Applications for such heat exchangers can be found in and between several process units e.g. in Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Unit, Gas and Gasoline Fractionating Units and Hydrodesulphurization Units.

In efficient Feed/effluent or feed/feed interchangers are often plate type heat exchangers because in this application the true counter current flow, high heat transfer efficiency and close approach temperatures are needed to maximize the heat recovery of the process unit. With Vahterus Plate and Shell heat exchangers those requirements can be optimized with the customized design of PSHE.

Plate and Shell heat exchangers are very compact heat exchangers with small footprint. Customized and optimized design of PSHE will not only maximize the effectiveness of operation but they are easily fitted to existing space; it will also make Retro-fitting easier.

In PSHE construction with the fully welded plate pack even up to 1.5 mm plate thickness with standard AISI316L plates or some high-alloyed material inside the robust fully welded shell increases operational safety.
As all refiners are looking for higher yields which in turn lead to more severe operational conditions with higher pressures and/or temperatures in refineries, it is important to find solutions where we can recover the most of the heat created in process units and avoid CO2 emissions. Vahterus PSHE heat exchangers can withstand high pressures; our standard pressure classes are 25, 40 and 60 bars but with new thicker plates, even 150 bars can be achieved.

The maintenance depends on the process conditions but also very much on the design of the heat exchanger. In the PSHE units, all units are individually designed to be optimized for that particular application. With the turbulent flow with high shear stress, fouling is reduced compared to other types of heat exchangers. From Openable PSHE unit, the plate pack can be pulled out for inspection and maintenance. In really heavy fouling applications, where the dirt is burned on the surface of the plate, it is possible to make the Stretchable Plate Pack where the mechanical cleaning can be done with good access between plates.

As economic and environmental requirements get more stringent, optimizing the refinery is more and more important. With PSHE heat exchangers you can improve the thermal balance of a refinery.

Please contact Vahterus or your local representative for further information.