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Expert Understanding of Ethylene Systems Pre-Commissioning Cleaning

January 03, 2019 by Chris Oakley0

Expert-level understanding of the many complex systems prevalent in the petrochemical industry plays a crucial role in the work we do at B&W Energy Services. Ethylene systems are just one example of an area in which our teams stand out among the rest.

The production of ethylene and propylene through olefin manufacturing constitutes the third largest portion of the petrochemical industry, closely following ammonia manufacturing and petroleum refining. Annual global production of ethylene totals out at about 120 million tons, with a continuous increase of anywhere between 4-5 percent annually.


Ethylene and other olefins are created by the thermal cracking of gaseous feedstock, occurring in the radiant coils of a pyrolysis furnace where gas flows at a low pressure in high temperatures. The olefins are chemically unstable at these temperatures, so the highly reactive cracked gas is cooled rapidly – all of this happens within a very short interval of milliseconds.

This is where knowledge and understanding become critical for planning the pre-commissioning cleaning of new ethylene furnaces. Typically, there are many sections to an ethylene furnace. It is important to understand and navigate the flow paths for effective cleaning of these unique multi-segmented systems.

Furnaces have unique requirements for any chemical cleaning or commissioning process. Therefore, a full understanding of each furnace design becomes critical in the engineering of effective pre-operational chemical cleaning concepts. Understanding the furnace vendor’s cleaning specifications in addition to the flow characteristics for each furnace (and the corresponding metallurgy) will allow for proper determination and discussions. It is imperative to have a full understanding of the chemistries required to properly design flow paths for critically-timed events.

Considering the complicated workflows involved in chemical cleaning, you need to have full confidence in your cleaning vendor. B&W Energy Services offers years of experience combined with a track record of success, guaranteeing we will get the job done right and on time.


Due to the in-depth knowledge, expertise and rapid mobilization capabilities that B&W Energy Services brings to the table, we are the clear partner for projects spanning across the globe. We set ourselves apart in the industry by offering expansive service offerings and quick response and arrival to your expansion project anywhere in the world. B&W Energy Services welcomes the opportunity to partner with you on your next successful Ethylene project.

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B&W is an ISO9001:2015 company, which highlights our commitment to quality. Through commitment, dedication, and unmatched service quality, B&W Energy Services has positioned itself as an industry leader providing services on the world's most complex projects. Our experience is not simply limited to the power energy sector. At B&W Energy Services our experience is vast, covering all energy sectors including oil and gas, petrochemical, power and renewable. Aqualazing, hydrotesting, inspection services, pulse flushing, steam blowing, chemical cleaning, air blowing, oil flushing, project management and engineering.

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