Voices: Process Puzzler

Take Some Basic Steps With A Caustic System

Recent tube failure should spur addressing several issues

Jan 15, 2019

We circulate 50% caustic through the tubes of a vertical 1-1 shell-and-tube condenser using 50% steam reduced from 400-psig steam. The exchanger contains 60 tubes, each ½-in. diameter with 0.083-in. walls, but 20 have been blocked off. The caustic enters the bottom of the exchanger and, after exiting, dumps into the top of a storage tank. Regular deliveries ensure that tank is seldom below 75% full. A 3-in. globe valve controls the steam flow. The worst-case ambient temperature is -15°F.

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