MRT oil analysis helped save a fluid catalytic cracking main air blower at Texas Gulf Coast refinery. Routine spectroscopy elemental analysis detected Watch Level then Warning Level concentrations of aluminum in monthly oil samples from the lube system of its main air blower. After reaching a Warning level the refiner increased volume to weekly sampling as the aluminum concentration spiked. At first it wasn’t apparent from where the aluminum was sourced, potentially part of the chemistry in a catalyst contaminant somehow infiltrating the system. After completing a material review of the rotating equipment, MRT’s client determined the contaminant metal resulted from excessive wear of the thrust bearing collar. Once the reliability team was onboard with this likely cause, they rented air blowers and continued to monitor the main blower’s health while preparing for an orderly shutdown. Their assessment was correct and downtime was minimized by having parts and people on hand to complete the work.