January 1999

Loss Prevention

Control coking for olefins plants

A combination of metallurgy and surface-coating materials mitigate coke formation on furnace tubes

Fisher, G., Wysiekierski, A. G., Westaim Surface Engineered Products; Schillmoller, C. M., Schillmoller Associates

In ethylene furnaces, coke formation reduces product yields, increases energy consumption and shortens coil service life. Ethylene operators have always struggled with balancing production run length against diminishing product yields. Lengthening the time between decoking has always been a goal for olefins manufacturers. Much progress has occurred in improving the furnace design and alloy selection for ethylene facilities. Many innovative options have been used to mitigate coke formation. A promising method is surface engineered products. These metallurgical coatings are diffused into the ID of furnace tubes and create a strong stable oxide layer consisting of an overlayer, an enri

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