What's New

Desalter Service

Gulf Coast Refinery

Payback on Magnetic Filter: Less than 15 days


Black powder contamination in the crude feedstock and desalter process water.

  • The Pentair, 5-micron filter system was plugging off with black powder contamination an average of every 2 days at a cost of $13K, or about $2.3 million/year.
  • To reduce filtration costs, the operator switched to 30-micron filters which lasted 8 days for annual cost of about $600K.  However, the residual ≤ 30 micron contaminants that continued through plugged up the MycelX unit that was previously bringing the water up to municipal quality standards.  Contaminated water then had to be trucked out for deep well disposal at $100K per month, for a total cost of filters plus hauling/disposal of $1.8 million/year.



Install twin BPS magnetic separators on parallel lines upstream of the Pentair filtration.



  • Magnetic separator captured >95% contamination to below 1 micron.
  • MycelX unit back in service and water quality back up to municipal standards. Switched Pentair system to 1-micron polishing filter that lasts 120 days for an annual cost of $39K.
  • Magnetic filters are cleaned periodically and remove about 8 lbs. of black powder per day.
  • Annual net savings = $1,800,000 – $39,000 = $1,761,000.
  • Payback on magnetic filter investment:  <15 days
  • Worker hazard exposure reduced significantly due to 60 fewer filter change outs per year.
  • Environmental benefits of less filter usage, no water hauling and no water disposal.
  • There is an opportunity for the owner/operator to upsize the magnetic separators to increase the contamination holding capacity of the magnetic separator system.

Downstream, Refinery, Water