Petrochemical pumps are pumps that are used to transport corrosive and more viscous liquids like chemicals and petrochemicals. They are mostly used in the oil and gas industry, and also other industries that work with petroleum based chemicals. Petrochemical pumps pump liquids with high pressure and flow rate. They are made with strong materials and tightly sealed to prevent the chemicals from seeping through or leaking out and causing environmental hazards.
There are different types of pumps used throughout the petrol refining process in refineries. Petrochemical pumps used in the oil and gas industry can be classified into six different categories, based on how they are designed. The different types are; centrifugal pumps, gear pumps, reciprocating plunger pumps, metering pumps, diaphragm pumps and progressive cavity pumps.
Centrifugal pumps have impellers that rotate using centrifugal force. The centrifugal force of the impellers draws in the fluid to be transported into the pump and then lets it out through the discharge outlet. Centrifugal pumps have discharge valves that control the flow of liquid through the pump. Low viscosity petrochemicals with high flow rate are usually transported using the single stage centrifugal pump. This type of petrochemical pump can also be used for shipping crude oil.
Plunger pumps are one of the most common types of petrochemical pumps used in the petroleum industry. When set at a particular speed, the flow rate of plunger pumps is constant, and the plungers and pistons move in a reciprocating manner, moving the fluid in an enclosed cylinder, through the pipe of the pump. The pump has a relief valve which helps to release the pressure on the discharge piping system of the pump. Plunge pumps require frequent maintenance in order to function properly, due to their design. The operation of a plunger pump is very noisy, compared to that of a centrifugal pump.
Progressive cavity pump is an example of a positive displacement pump and it transports fluid through a series of progressive movements of certain cavities, powered by the turning of its rotors. This petrochemical pump is also a constant flow pump because it maintains the same flow rate at constant speed, although if the pressure is too high, there might be a change in the flow rate.The presence of a relief valve in the progressive cavity pump helps to prevent the system from becoming over-pressured.
Diaphragm pumps are another type of positive displacement petrochemical pump. They transport fluid using a valve and diaphragm. Diaphragm pumps are most suitable for transporting high volumes of liquids in oil refineries. They cannot be used for a long period of time because their functionality is affected by high pressure systems.
Gear pumps are also used in the petroleum industry and transfer liquid by displacement, using a series of gears. The gear pumps use either external gear spurs or internal gears. The internal gear set can be used for pumping liquids that are non lubricating. These are also a positive displacement pump and they also contain a relief valve to release pressure on the system.
Metering pumps are used in the petrochemical industry to pump out a specific amount of liquid over a specified period of time. Any type of pump can be used for metered pumping, since metering is all about how the pump is used and not what type of pump it is.
Petrochemical pumps are made with metals and materials that are resistant to the corrosive and abrasive nature of the petrochemicals they are used to transport.