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Desludging the Desalter, a West Penetone Citrikleen HD Story

Desludging the Desalter, a West Penetone Citrikleen HD Story

Desalters are notoriously dirty, difficult to clean systems within any refinery. With time and money on the line, West Penetone exceeded expectations at a local Midwest refinery, completing the turnaround ahead of schedule and under budget.

Project Overview

  • Client: Midwest Petrochemical Refinery
  • Vessels to Clean: One, Desalter
  • Vessel Size: 30,000 gallons 
  • Last Cleaning: 2005
  • Previous Cleaning: Used competitor product which yielded poor results, with sludge over top of walkway

Application and Treatment Parameters

  • First Phase: Steam Purge to ready vessel
  • Cleaning Agent(s): Citrikleen HD (900 gallons), Clean Add II (1000 gallons)
  • Allotted Turnaround Time: 48 hours


  • Steam purge was not available due to unexpected limitations on site
  • Total Time to Clean: 33 hours
  • Readings after Cleaning: 0 LEL, 0 Benzene, 0 H2S
  • Sludge Levels: Well below walkway

Despite the lack of steam, and adequate hot water required to perform the cleaning to West Penetone's proposed parameters, West Penetone was able to complete the desalter turnaround in less than 70% of the allotted time. Crunched for time and pleased with the progression of the project, at the 33 hour mark the Midwest refinery was pleased with the gas readings (0 LEL, 0 Benzene, 0H2S) as well as the remaining level of sludge (well below the walkway) and requested that West Penetone pack up and clean out so they could bring the desalter back online.

Bottom line, West Penetone's Citrikleen HD exceeded expectations, cleaning more than 10 years of sludge build up in less than 48 hours - hours ahead of schedule and under budget!

If you're interested in a more detailed report of this project, please contact

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