Caldera Bitumen Letdown Valve

Bitumen Letdown Valve

The Caldera Bitumen Letdown Valve is specifically designed and built to withstand the demanding erosive and corrosive process conditions of the diluent recovery discharge unit in oil sands processing plants.

Application: Bitumen letdown in oil sands diluted bitumen upgrader unit (diluent recovery)

Service / Process: Diluted bitumen fluid is made up of solids, oil, diluent and residuals. This erosive bitumen fluid comes from the oil sands washing and separation plant where the water, sand, clay and other non-bitumen components are separated and diluent is mixed in. It then enters the diluent recovery unit where it is heated to 98 °C (208 °F) and pressurized to 800 kpa (116 psi). As part of the upgrader unit process the fluid is controlled by the bitumen letdown valves. After the bitumen fluid leaves the valves it is separated into various hydrocarbon streams [naphtha, light gas oil (LGO), and heavy gas oil (HGO)]. These are blended to create a high quality, low sulphur, crude oil that is then sent to traditional refinery units such as the cat-cracker (FCC), hydrotreater, hydrocracker, and coker.

Industry Challenges: The bitumen letdown valve experiences erosion of the valve internals due to solids entrained in the process. The erosion and subsequent valve failure result in lost production and valve rebuild/replacement costs.

Caldera Product Solutions:

  1. Caldera uses its experience with ceramic and advanced alloys to select materials that successfully resist damage caused by erosive and corrosive bitumen fluid.
  2. Caldera’s in-house modeling capabilities (CFD, FEA, thermodynamic, and three-phase flow) allow us to engineer solutions to maximize valve performance.
  3. Caldera provides technical support directly to customers, including on-site assistance with design, installation, operation, and maintenance.

The Caldera Bitumen Letdown Valve typically includes stainless steel trim with tungsten carbide wear components. It can be supplied with a pneumatic or hydraulic actuator and a digital positioner.

If you have any questions about how Caldera can help with your bitumen letdown valve challenges, please contact us at +1 801-356-2862 or email us.

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