June 2004

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

New challenges confront ethylene furnace designers

New advancements in coil and furnace design now overcome size and environmental obstacles for mega-sized ethylene furnaces

T he olefins market is a very competitive business. Thus, ethylene producers constantly seek the best and most flexible process/ furnace design to maximize profits, especially during market downturns. Great emphasis by ethylene furnace designers is focused on improving olefin selectivity and furnace availability. In addition, ethylene units must control air emissions from new and existing crackers to low stringent limits. In this example, ethylene furnace designers endeavor to apply advancements in furnace technology for a world-scale ethylene unit. The technology applied increases feedrates above 200,000 tpy (200 Mtpy) with a single-firebox design. Also, this technology can be used wi

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