Oxygen Enhanced Reforming: A Low Capital Cost Retrofit Solution to Debottleneck H2 Plant Production Capacity

13th Topical on Refinery Processing
2010 AIChE Spring Meeting
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
March 23, 2010 - 8:00pm

Stricter environmental emissions regulations and increased processing of severe crude oil fractions is causing H2 demand to grow across the refining industry. Costs associated with new H2 plant construction have been escalating, so refiners are increasingly looking for low capital cost retrofit solutions that can expand H2 production capacity at their existing facilities. Praxair's patented oxygen enhanced reforming (OER) technology can expand H2 plant production capacity at a low capital investment. In OER, O2 is used to enrich steam methane reformer combustion air and increase the amount of heat made available to drive the endothermic steam reforming reactions. Incremental H2 is produced without exceeding induced draft fan capacity, reformer tube metal temperature, front-end process pressure, and total reformer firing rate limitations. The O2 injection method can be custom designed to minimize the impact of NOx emissions and the simple, reliable OER retrofit equipment can be installed with little to no plant downtime. This paper will present the results of techno-economic assessments performed on OER retrofits that were designed to increase production in existing H2 plants.

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