Gerrit M. Buchheim Exxon Research & Engineering Co. Florham Park, N.J. Large-scale inspections during the past 5 years of pressure vessels operating in wet H2S service and an American Petroleum Institute (API) survey have revealed that, industry wide, about 25% of all vessels inspected contained cracks. Individual companies and locations have experienced cracking in as many as 45% or more of the vessels inspected. Such vessels are found in fractionators and overhead systems for fluid catalytic cracking, hydroprocessing, gas processing, sour gas and water treatment, and others where high-sulfur feedstocks are upgraded. Many o...

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