Graphitization occurs in carbon steel (CS) reactors in
high-temperature service (> 455°C). As discussed in this
case history, the shell of a methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE)
reactor became susceptible to elevated-temperature oxidation
that initiated corrosion conditions. In addition,
high-temperature fluctuations fostered stresses that promoted
fatigue of the MTBE reactor shell and, ultimately, caused an
emergency shutdown of the unit.