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Oil Refining Filtration

Equipment for Crude oil Processing

3M Purification products help refineries around the world to increase crude oil processing efficiency...protect equipment from fouling...and provide the highest quality, contaminant-free final product. Their high performance and low cost-in-use makes 3M filters the media of choice for a variety of refining operations, from amine sweetening and burner nozzle protection to final product purification.

Refining Applications for 3M Purification

Catalyst Protection

Naphtha, recycled hydrogen and other feed streams used in petroleum refining catalytic processes can become contaminated with iron oxide, pipe scale, and agglomerated semi-solids. These particulates can cause catalyst fouling and deactivation; plugged stream nozzles; degraded reactor efficiency; and failure to meet product specification.

3M Purification products protect the catalyst in order to provide the greatest process efficiency and downstream equipment protection. Applications include:

  • Hydrotreating
  • Hydrocracking
  • Catalytic reforming
  • MTBE production


Amine Sweetening

Amine treating systems, in addition to forming a critical part of crude oil and gas processing, have a significant impact on overall operating costs. Contaminants in the amine system can cause process disruption with problems such as contactor plugging, foaming, and heat exchanger, reboiler and carbon bed fouling. To reduce such incidents – and the accompanying maintenance costs and downtime – high efficiency filtration systems are used to purify:

  • Recirculating amine stream
  • Inlet gas
  • Tail gas cleanup

3M Purification products are used throughout amine sweetening processes to improve efficiency and provide enhanced process protection.


Sour Water Stripping

Water and water vapor containing hydrogen sulfide and other “sour” components are produced by many refining processes, including crude distillation, hydrotreating and catalytic cracking. This water must be treated prior to further use or disposal. During this stripping process, contaminants can cause fouling of the stripper column, reboiler and heat exchanger. Carried-over solids can even foul further downstream processes.

3M Purification products are used to remove iron sulfide, pipe scale and other contaminants from the sour water feed, stripped water, and acid gas streams.


Utilities Systems

Lubricating oil filtration is a key element in the efficient operation and protection of large engines used to power compressors and other refinery equipment. 3M Purification products eliminate contamination from rust, crankcase scale, and debris to help prevent engine failure and the resulting downtime.

Boiler feed water must be properly pre-filtered to prevent fouling of reverse osmosis (RO) system membranes. 3M Purification products are used in water treatment/RO filtration systems to efficiently remove contaminants and prevent fouling of steam generators.

Fuel oil delivered to boilers, furnaces and other fuel burning equipment must be efficiently and cost-effectively filtered. 3M Purification products provide virtually maintenance-free filtration, preventing contaminants from plugging and eroding burner nozzles.


Final Product Filtration

In order to ensure product quality and meet specifications, final products must be filtered prior to delivery to customers. If particulates go unfiltered and undetected, they can foul distribution equipment, cause solid deposits in transmission lines, and result in unscheduled maintenance, costly repairs – and lost business.

3M Purification products effectively remove contaminants from final product streams to meet specifications...protect distribution equipment...eliminate reprocessing costs...and deliver the highest quality for your customers.

  • Fuel gas
  • Blended gasoline
  • Diesel fuel
  • Kerosene/jet fuel
  • Solvent BTX
  • Grease
  • Fuel oil


Consistent, cost-effective filtration solutions from 3M

Long service life, consistent quality and total filtration cost reduction are hallmarks of 3M Purification products. They are engineered to be compatible with a wide range of brine fluids, chemicals and temperatures. Certain filters are absolute rated, with distinct particle size cutoffs to provide better consistency and reproducible effluent quality. Other 3M Purification filter advantages include:

  • Fast, easy installation
  • Reduced disposal costs
  • High contaminant loading capacity
  • Low initial pressure drop
  • Enhanced flow (up to 10x, compared to competitive filters)

3M Purification Technologies

Radial Pleat Design

3M Radial Pleat purification filter

This proprietary 3M technology provides exceptional filter efficiency. The “radial pleats” give these filters more surface area to a given volume than many other types of conventional filters. This feature not only provides extremely high holding capacity to trap more impurities, but it also allows for fewer change-outs – reducing material and disposal costs.

3M Purification products incorporating the radial pleat design:


Grooved Design

3M Grooved Filter cartridges

These filter cartridges feature a rigid, graded porosity grooved structure that increases the surface area by over 65% when compared to ungrooved cylindrical cartridges. The grooved surface prevents premature blinding of the outer surface by large particles, and allows full use of the graded depth structure. This design also significantly extends filter life, and withstands machining into the upstream surface without tearing or melting.

3M Purification products incorporating the grooved construction:


Flow-Enhancing Construction

Purification flow enhancement diagram

3M Purification’s latest advance in depth filtration technology is a flow-enhancing design that allows uniform distribution of fluid flow and contaminant throughout the entire depth of the cartridge. The filter is constructed of a polypropylene media with fluid distribution netting, forming multiple layers in a total of three distinct media sections. Critically positioned media flow channels allow greater movement of fluid from layer to layer. This design also offers extended filter life – up to 3x greater than competitive filters.

3M Purification products incorporating the flow-enhancing construction:


Alternative Bag Design

3M DF Filter System

Developed using 3M Purification’s extensive depth filtration experience, the 3M™ DF Filter System features a true graded-porosity media structure, a 62% increase in filter surface area, 67% fluid volume retention, and up to 4 times the service life compared to standard bag filters. The innovative DF filter element and restrainer basket design provides 100% three-dimensional support for the filter media – vastly reducing the potential for filter element rupture and the resulting downstream contamination. 3M DF series filters will easily retrofit most existing bag filter housings; for new construction, 3M offers a full line of stainless steel housings.


3M™ High Flow Filters vs. String-Wound

High flow filter vs. string-wound comparison graphic

3M™ High Flow Filters feature improved loading capacity compared to many other types of conventional filters – reducing your cost of materials, labor and disposal.

Flexible structures, such as those found in typical meltblown and string-wound filters, tend to compress and change porosity with increased pressure. The pores collapse and ultimately close, reducing filter life. 3M High Flow Filters have rigid structures to better tolerate fluctuating differential pressures and varying levels of contaminant loading.



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