Texas Tower (VCFE) Fouling Removal

Restoring Texas Tower (VCFE) Performance through smart fouling removal and unblocking services

Tube Tech’s Texas Tower (Vertical Combined Feed Exchanger) fouling removal service combines more than 30 years of experience with patented technologies to deliver a reliable turnkey solution.

Common challenges include fouling location, asset accessibility, unknown deposit materials, safety, and costs. When taking equipment offline it is essential to conduct fouling removal quickly, and safely, and use techniques which deliver maximum results. Tube Tech has extensive experience in the removal of fouling from texas towers at processing facilities worldwide.

How can Fouling Removal Restore Performance?

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What is a Texas Tower (VCFE)?

Texas Towers are shell and tube heat exchangers which are used as heat recovery units and placed around reactors in petrochemical plants. As the stream being heated feeds into the reactor from which the hot stream flows, these assets are also known as Vertical Combined Feed/Effluent Exchangers.




Why Should Fouling be Removed from Texas Towers (VCFEs)?

All heat exchangers, including texas towers or VCFEs, need to be have fouling removed as often as necessary to avoid production losses and unplanned outages.

Although texas towers require less frequent fouling removal than other types of heat exchangers, it is imperative that a planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schedule is in place to ensure that performance and capacity remain constant.



How Often Should Fouling be Removed from Texas Towers (VCFEs)?

Texas Towers are designed to be relatively ‘clean’ exchangers. This means that they can often go 7-10 years without the removal of fouling and not experience a drop in performance. However, performance deterioration can be a gradual process which eventually leads to real problems.

We would recommend removing fouling from texas towers/ VCFEs once every 7 years to prevent a drop in performance with its associated economic impact.




Tube Tech Texas Tower (VCFE) Fouling Removal Case Studies

VCFE tubes unblocked with only 2m headroom

The Caribbean refinery was experiencing a significant drop in performance due to an unknown number of tube blockages.

  • Client estimated 12% of over 2,000 tubes were blocked
  • Tube Tech inspection found that nearly 1,000 tubes (50%) were blocked
  • In 5 days Tube Tech successfully unblocked more than 300 tubes to allow the VCFE to be returned to production – with a further 750 tubes to be cleared during the next turnaround

“Tube Tech showed great resourcefulness – our VCFE was unblocked and inspected to production standard without overrunning the shutdown period.”

Click here to read the case study

Exchanger thermal efficiency restored

The large Asian refinery was suffering from a significant performance drop caused by tube bore blockages. Tube Tech worked during a critical path, there was a limited time frame in which to complete the fouling removal.

  • Traditional fouling removal methods including chemicals were attempting by previous contractors without success
  • Time limited fouling removal to only 7 shifts – traditional water jetting required up to 50 shifts
  • Super high-pressure pumps 55,000psi capability
Click here to read the case study

Two Texas Towers (VCFE Platformer) Restored Five Times Faster

Safety, speed, and cleanliness were the most important factors for the French refinery. With a critical shut down schedule, the client was eager to have both the shell side and tube side of both vertical combined feed/effluent exchangers cleaned within a 6-day window.

  • Previous fouling removal had required 24 shifts to restore each of the two combine feed/effluent exchangers
  • Tube Tech required just 5 shifts
Click here to read the case study

What do our customers say?

We have used local and international contractors before, but with mixed results. Since using Tube Tech to remove fouling from the VCFEs, for the first time since the refinery was commissioned, the Texas Towers on the CCR Platformer are giving us near-to-original efficiency and productivity.

Senior Shutdown Manager, Middle Eastern Refinery

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