June 2016

Process Control and Instrumentation

Pyrometer temperature measurement corrections ensure reliable reformer operation

Here, errors in measuring TWTs are analyzed, and examples are presented to illustrate the importance of correcting for these errors to obtain accurate TWT measurements.

Daher, M., Smith IV, O. J., Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

Steam methane reforming (SMR) is the leading industrial process for the production of hydrogen (H2). The heart of this process is the reformer, where steam and natural gas react in catalyst-filled reformer tubes located inside a furnace. An important operating parameter that must be monitored during this process is the tube wall temperatures (TWTs) of the reformer tubes. In general, as the furnace operating temperature increases and the TWTs increase, the process operates more efficiently. However, because tube life is inversely proportional to TWT, optimal operation requires a balance between the efficiency benefits of high-temperature operation and the potential negative aspects on tube l

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