June 2010

Heat Transfer/Reliability

Troubleshooting waste-heat boiler poor heat transfer

Analytical results showed that potash leached from the catalyst, refractory powder, corrosion products and, to a lesser extent, catalyst fines resulted in tube fouling

One of Saudi Aramco's plants encountered a steady process temperature rise at the waste-heat boiler (E4) outlet of the hydrogen-producing unit (HPU) after an upset that occurred in February 2008. The upset initially resulted in unsteady firing in the steam-reformer furnace and lower reformer outlet temperature. The feed rate was cut with the intent of bringing up the reformer outlet temperature. During the upset, the reformer outlet temperature temporarily increased to 850°C and the reformer inlet temperature dropped to 320°C. These temperature upsets did not impose any ill effect on the reformer performance. The steam-drum level, steam-reformer inlet and outlet pressures, the l

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