April 2015

Process Technology

How Cr compounds discolor refractory brick walls of an ethylene cracking furnace

Unusual pink coloration was noticed on the entire refractory brick wall in the radiant section of an ethylene cracking furnace of a petrochemical plant. The problem was investigated by evaluating the ..

Al-Meshari, A., Saudi Basic Industries Corp.; Maity, M., Al-Zahrani, E., SABIC Technology Centre

Unusual pink coloration was noticed on the entire refractory brick wall in the radiant section of an ethylene cracking furnace of a petrochemical plant. The problem was investigated by evaluating the process condition of the furnace and analyzing the deposits. The results of examinations and analyses showed that the deposition of chromium (Cr) species on the refractory wall appeared to originate from the radiant alloy tubes and contributed to the pink coloration of the refractory brick wall. The suspected cause was the spontaneous formation of chromium oxide (Cr2O3) on the tubes at high temperature, followed by oxidative vaporization that was likely due to the increase of the tube metal te

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