Reformer Heaters Capacity Improvement and NOx Reduction Project

Furnace Improvements (FIS) was employed by a refinery in East Illinois to re-rate the CR3 Platformer heaters (H-4 / H-5) using Low NOx Burners and improve their capacity. The heaters were originally built in 1959 and later changed to forced draft mode in 1977. The heaters were fitted with common air pre- heater, Induced Draft fan and Forced Draft fan to pre-heat the combustion air.

The design capacity of H-4/ H-5 heaters was 32 MBPD. Client wanted to revamp the heaters for a higher capacity of 40 MBPD. Further, the flue gas temperature leaving convection was 130-170°F above design and convection section finned coils were in bad shape for both the heaters. The conventional revamp scheme suffered from very high cost and higher pressure drop.

FIS recommended increasing the capacity of the heater using FIS patented Split Flow technology. FIS provided split flow coils in both H-4 and H-5 heaters for process service. The heaters were designed to work on with / without APH. 12 number of floor fired, ultra-low NOx, forced draft burners were also installed in both the heaters. New stack and stack damper were provided to discharge the flue gases from convection in case of natural draft operation.    

Salient features of the revamped design are as follows:

  • Capacity of the heater increased by 25%, as compared to original design

  • The flue gas temperature leaving convection section is alleviated by more than 200°F for both H-4 and H-5 heaters

  • NOx emissions are reduced from 0.14-0.18 lb/MMBtu to 0.04 lb/MMBtu by using ultra-low NOx burners

  • The revamp led the client to save 708,772 $ on fuel per year (based on 4.5$/MMBtu) due to increased efficiency

FIS carried out the entire scope of activities from conceptualization to commissioning of these heaters. H-4 and H-5 heaters were successfully commissioned in 2011.

H-4 Proposed

H-4 Proposed