IGS improves fired heater efficiency and stops process equipment corrosion

Corrosion Management in Ammonia Process with the IGS HVTS Corrosion Barrier

Amine Corrosion

Amine systems utilized by the Petrochemical industry facilities for the production of ammonia, urea, and biogas are considered ‘Sweet’. These systems process significantly more CO2 than H2S, or only CO2.

Corrosion accounts for almost half of all failures seen in ‘Sweet’ amine service. Around half of these corrosion incidents occur in the hottest locations of the plant: the reboiler and the bottom of the amine regenerator or stripper.  ‘Sweet’ plants typically experience severe corrosion on the lean amine coolers, pumps, piping, and the Absorber or Contactor column.

IGS has a proven track record of more than 20 years in-service experience of stopping internal corrosion in these critical assets. Since 2001, IGS has protected in excess of 100 amine columns for Chemical, Petrochemical plants, and refineries all over the world, internally cladding more than 3000 m² of steel.

In addition to providing a proven solution to stop metal wastage and freeze the internal condition of these key process units, IGS has unparalleled experience in on-site/brownfield HVTS application, during shutdowns or turnarounds on critical path applications.

The installation of an IGS 5000 Series HVTS cladding maintains asset integrity for the long-term, increasing equipment availability, providing life extension of the vessel, reducing ongoing maintenance costs, intervention requirements, shutdown scope/schedules, and amine process downtime.

Heat Exchanger Galvanic Corrosion and Metal Dusting

When galvanic corrosion occurs, the metal alloy of the heat exchanger equipment will be attacked, causing metal wastage and a loss of the metal wall thickness of the unit. If left unaddressed this can lead to leaks and a loss of containment. Once the surface of the heat exchanger shell or tube sheet has started to corrode and pitting develops, metal loss increases due to the turbulent flow in this area, creating an even more aggressive erosion/corrosion cycle. It is therefore critical to mitigate corrosion mechanisms through corrosion management strategies, such as a surface corrosion barrier of high-temperature corrosion resistant alloy applied by IGS HVTS.

IGS HVTS cladding technology allows the process owner to upgrade the internal metal alloy in-situ without the creation of HAZ or the requirement for PWHT. The IGS HVTS noble cladding is non-reactive and inert to the wide-ranging aggressive operating environments in heat exchangers, vessels, and columns. We develop specific alloys, freezing the metal condition and preventing any further internal metal wastage in your equipment’s unique environment. This technology, combined with the unmatched site experience of IGS, provides the asset integrity manager with a turnkey, long-term solution to corrosion and, in consequence, an extension of the service life of the heat exchanger matching with its original design life.

Cetek: How to Increase Efficiency and Cut Emissions in Steam Methane Reformers

Cetek’s high emissivity ceramic coatings applied to the refractory surfaces provide a significant effect, which varies for different types and designs of hydrogen, ammonia and methanol reformers. In order to derive the most benefit, it is essential that a complete technical analysis/evaluation of the effects of the application is completed beforehand. The benefit in the radiant section and the effects on the convection section are studied and reported before any commitment is made by the client or IGS/Cetek.

Typical approved applications in steam methane reformers show productivity benefits (as energy savings or production increase) ranging from 1.0% to 5.0%.

Emission Reduction in Steam Methane Reformers

The reduction in flue gas temperature leads to a significant reduction in thermal NOx emissions. The typical reduction in NOx emissions in steam methane reformers is 20% to 30%, irrespective of burner type. CO2 emissions are reduced proportionately with the productivity benefits – with gas consumption reduction.

Ceramic Fiber Refractory Dusting in SMRs

Cetek’s ceramic coatings (high emissivity or neutral emissivity) provide encapsulation of ceramic fiber (blanket, modules, or panel) insulation. When coated, there is no loss of friable fiber from radiant sections. Therefore, no fouling of radiant section tubes/catalyst tubes, convection section tubes, screens of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) units or loss to the environment through the stack.

Benefits of High Emissivity Coatings for Reformer Efficiency

The expected benefits from coating have been realized in many fired heaters and reformers. The typical 1.0-5.0% capacity increase or energy savings provide a significant benefit.  Combined with more uniform heat flux and heat transfer from re-radiating refractory surfaces, lower bridgewall temperature and emissions, this technology makes a meaningful contribution to the overall reformer performance.

The performance life of the coating system applied to a refractory surface is related to the furnace box temperature and exposure to localized flame impingement. The lifetime benefit is typically 6-8 years, after which we can reapply the coating to regain the maximum performance.


How to Inspect and Repair a Reformer without Shutting it Down

IGS has developed and introduced a wide range of online (while the heater is operating) services over the last four decades, targeted at high temperature production furnaces and equipment. Each project is approached with utmost safety in mind, ensuring that none of our people or equipment are compromised during the execution of the Hot-tek Services. Evaluation and engineering phases of each project determine the best operational approach and parameters will be set to achieve an optimal outcome, typically with no downtime.

Hot-tek services include Hot Convection Cleaning, Hot Refractory Repair, Hot Vacuum Service, and Hot Inspection Service.

Hot Convection Cleaning

Hot Convection Cleaning process removes convection section tube fouling & scale during furnace operation. The tube cleaning process uses consumable abrasive media projected through specially designed application lances to blast away years of accumulation, while the heater is in service.

Hot Refractory Repair

Failure of refractory material can lead to energy wastage, poor performance and even complete fired heater shutdown. We offer several options in online heater refractory maintenance that can be performed while the furnace is at operating temperature. All types of hot refractory repair services offer exceptionally fast payback, compared to the costs associated with conventional repairs which require the heater be shut down.

Hot Vacuum Service

Hot Vacuum Service returns operation to maximum efficiency by restoring the pressure differential across the catalyst to an “as-new” condition. Hot cleaning eliminates wasted energy consumption and strain on the ID fan motor. Furthermore, it ousts potential curtailment of production due to gas flow blockage or excessive NOx production.

Hot Inspection Service

Cetek’s Lancescope™ system provides real-time, close-up or wide-angle views of virtually any area inside a fired heater, or other high temperature equipment while it is still operating.

  • Benefits of the Lancescope™ Hot Furnace Inspection Process
  • Performed while unit is in operation
  • Provides insight for production availability
  • Identifies damage in early stages
  • Reduces maintenance costs
  • Minimizes repair down time
  • Maximizes production

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