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Heat Transfer Efficiency Optimization



Case 1: Oxidizer review

Problem: For a chemical industry client, the operation of their process heater was not acceptable. The heater was burning heavy residual tars from one process and a fume stream from another process. The fume stream was uncontrollable. Whatever came from the process had to be processed. To restrict the fume stream would upset the process. The tars were controlled in that they were stored in a tank. Thus the control of the system was dependent on the fume stream.

The composition of the fume stream would vary over time through the vent cycle. At times it would contain mainly nitrogen. The organic component would vary as a function of the operation and even as to the operators. This was a stream with a widely variable composition.

Solution: A control system was developed that would safely and efficiently destroy all of the organic materials in the fume and tar stream. High speed temperature measurement devices were specified. The system was tested and met the high destruction requirements of the Boiler and Industrial Furnace regulations for hazardous waste.

As an additional element, we developed a procedure to utilize the stored operational data to determine the efficiency of the unit and to determine when components needed maintenance.

Case 2: Combustion Enhancement

Problem: A chemical plant burning a highly salty waste was repairing their refractory on a continuous basis. The refractory repairs in addition to costing money were limiting the plant production.

Solution: A new nozzle was designed and supplied to the plant. The new nozzle design significantly improved the combustion of the unit. Refractory repairs were reduced and operational time was increased.

Case 3: Fumes in Boiler

Problem: The chemical plant feed fumes from a process into a boiler. The fume addition was not optimum and caused the boiler to operate erratically.

Solution: After reviewing the system, a different boiler was selected to receive the fumes. The method of fume injection was changed to minimize it impact on the boiler operation. As a result of the modification, the fumes are now be efficiently handled by the different boiler. The plant operational costs (natural gas) have been reduced by the change in operation.

Case 4: Refinery Heater

Problem: A crude oil heater in a refinery was operating below the desired capacity.

Solution: To obtain the actual operational information over an extended range of conditions, stack gas composition was obtained using Therm-A-Cor equipment. The heat transfer and the firing rate of the burners was reviewed in detail. The plant recorded operational data, was found to misrepresent the variations in the chemical composition of the flow streams. The thermal heat transfer model developed allowed for accurate projections of the operational conditions. Modifications in the system were proposed to improve the operational efficiency of the crude oil heater.

Several other fired heaters were reviewed in the plant utilizing the Therm-A-Cor mobile stack gas analyzer and the recorded operational data. System efficiency improvements recommendations were made after the detailed analysis of the operational conditions was performed.

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