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Overview of Coke Drum

A Coke Drum is a type of pressure vessel that uses heat and pressure to refine complex hydrocarbons into lighter, more useful, products, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Coke drums are an integral part of coker units and serve as the final step in the cracking process.[1] During this process, crude oil is fed into a coker, where it is first heated to cracking temperature in a furnace. It is then sent through a transfer line to the coke drum for final processing.[1]

The coke drum then separates lighter vapors out of the crude, including hydrocarbon gases, naphtha, and light and heavy gas oils. The vapor is then removed for further refinement. The leftover material is called coke and is physically similar to charcoal. This coke will build up in the drum and once full, the drum must be taken offline and the coke is removed using high pressure water cutters for either reclamation or storage.[1,4] Processing facilities often have delayed coker units, which utilize at least two coke drums working in tandem with each other and some have as many as eight drums.[3] This allows a facility to have one coker online continuously, avoiding unnecessary downtime.



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Delayed Coker Unit (DCU) Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU)
Articles about Coke Drum
  • January/February 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Lynne Kaley at Trinity Bridge LLC / Trinity Bridge Digital, Eivind Johnsen at DNV Inc., and Andy Tallin at DNV Inc.

    This is Part II of a series of reliability of coke drums. Part I discussed some of the causes of bulging and cracking in coke drums. Here, the effect of operation on damage will be covered, along with possible solutions for increasing drum life...

  • November/December 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Lynne Kaley at Trinity Bridge LLC / Trinity Bridge Digital, Eivind Johnsen at DNV Inc., and Andy Tallin at DNV Inc.

    Petroleum coke production is an important source of revenue for many refineries. While coking units were initially constructed to deal with a waste product, these units are now of significant economic value.

  • Partner Content

    In today's chemical and refining industries, sustained long term reliability of facilities is critical to profitability and competitiveness. In fact, history shows that differences in operating expenses between best-in-class refineries, and poor...

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