Porvair Filtration Group has developed and develired sintered metal powder Triple Element Filters (TEFs) for PetroSA’s first gas-to-liquid (GTL) refinery in Mossel Bay, South Africa.

Porvair’s scope of supply included innovative 2.4 metre-long TEF assemblies, manufactured in the UK as well as sintered metal mesh fuse assemblies manufactured in tandem at the filtration specialist’s US factory in Ashland, Virginia.

The TEFs and mesh fuses were fitted into tubesheets and installed into five vessels, manufactured and supplied locally by Sagisa.
The complete vessels were then shipped to the PetroSA refinery and are now helping to clean up catalyst fines – very small particles used in the Fluid Catalytic Cracking process (FCC) of most large, modern oil refineries and in the hydrogen process stream at Mossel Bay.
The assemblies were selected by PetroSA for their ability to operate reliably at temperatures in excess of 400°C and at a pressure of around 25bar.

The vessels are located above the Catalyst Reduction Reactor (CRR), enabling the TEF assemblies to be cleanable in situ; therefore operating in a cyclic back flush operation to remove the catalyst cake from the filter surface of the TEFs. The disengaged catalyst then falls into the CRR.

As a consequence, the TEFs are able to operate for a prolonged period in an aggressive environment, only periodically requiring to be removed and chemically cleaned before then being re-installed and operating once more at the same high performance level.

PetroSA engaged Sagisa and Porvair to execute this project based on their previous reliable performance for the TEF quality and service provided. The project was completed exactly on schedule and within cost.

Market Manager, Andrew Fairlie said: "Porvair is proud to be manufacturing components for one of the world’s most environmentally friendly oil companies. We believe that our filtration expertise can help drive further efficiency and cost reductions at the Mossel Bay refinery, in turn providing sustainable growth.

"PetroSA already produces some of the cleanest fuels available, and we are certain that the provision of our TEF and mesh fuse assemblies, with their high performance capabilities, will only enhance that reputation by ensuring security and continuity of supply."