Naphthenic Solvent

Definition - What does Naphthenic Solvent mean?

A naphthenic solvent is a chemical substance that is a mixture between cyclopently groups and cyclohexyl carboxylic acid that dissolves or extracts other substances, without causing chemical changes to itself.

Naphthenic solvents are typically associated with naphthenic corrosion in the petroleum industry, which occurs due to the oxygenation of carboxylic acid. It is typically controlled by mixing oils with low naphthenic acid content to reduce their acidity or using resistant materials to construct processing equipment.

Corrosionpedia explains Naphthenic Solvent

Naphthenic acids are noncorrosive at room temperature but become increasingly corrosive at higher industrial temperatures such as those where refining occurs. For carbon steel, naphthenic acid is initially corrosive in the range of 180-220°C (356-428°F), then becomes increasingly corrosive, with a maximum between 290°C and 395°C (554°F and 743°F), before it finally breaks down above 420°C (788°F). Acid decomposition above 400°C (750°F) is due to thermal decarboxylation.

Naphthenic acid is used in refining and other petroleum applications because distillation columns operate primarily in the 250-400°C (480-750°F) region. They also volatilize with hydrocarbons, and then either condense on the distillation column walls or on a narrow range of trays.

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