The Automated Flocculation Titrimeter (AFT) automates the collection of Heithaus values, allowing users to easily and reliably predict which heavy oils and petroleum residua (including asphalts) can be mixed without causing phase separation.
Typically, refiners have stopped processing too soon because they couldn’t predict when coking would occur. They’ve stopped well short of coke formation to avoid fouling in heavy oil processing equipment, tanks and transfer lines but have reduced the distillate yield. Used with WRI’s patented Coking Indexes, the expanded AFT methodology allows you to recover additional distillate without fear of fouling. The AFT lets you quickly and easily collect the data needed by the Coking Indexes to predict the refinery conditions for coking, so you can stop processing before fouling occurs but not sooner than necessary.
The Automated Flocculation Titrimeter is a computer-controlled instrument designed to acquire Heithaus compatibility values directly. The instrument operates as an oxygen-free (closed) system at controlled temperatures (20-100 °C), and the flocculation point is determined spectroscopically. The automated method is fast, accurate and highly reproducible. Operator error is virtually eliminated in the interpretation of endpoints that identify the onset of flocculation.
WRI has expanded the utility of the original Heithaus method by developing multiple titration schemes. The data from the expanded method can be used with the Heithaus compatibility index to determine which heavy oils and resids (asphalts) can be blended without causing phase separation, or it can be used with WRI’s patented Coking Indexes to predict the proximity to coke formation during heavy oil distillation.