The cracking furnace is the heart of the ethylene plant, consuming the most energy, adding the most value and with the potential to cause the most damage. Every aspect of the furnace is critical from the specifications through design, construction and including commissioning, start-up, operations, maintenance and shutdown.
Unless the process side and the fire side of the furnace are kept in balance, problems can occur. Three furnace incidents are examined describing situations, causes and follow-ups. The importance of good maintenance, useful checklists and strong operating routines are stressed.
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