Optimization of steam reformers through fuel gas system modification


Mohamed ahmed gabr *, 
Egyptian propylene and polypropylene company, propylene production department, production department, Egypt.

Fatma Khalifa Gad
Suez University, Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering, Department of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemical Engineering, Egypt.


Energy saving considered very important concern in every Process of refinery industry and could be accomplished through fuel gas system optimization. Fuel consumption is the main core that control the operating cost of any gas, refinery, or petrochemical industry. Therefore, any optimization applied to fuel gas system will lead to lower operational costs and thus significant energy saving, also will allow the steam reformer’s thermal efficiency to be increased without shortening the unit’s service life. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of changing [(air, fuel) characteristics (pressure, temperature, flow rates, composition)] on the combustion efficiency using ASPEN HYSYS® simulation. In this study the goal of fuel optimization has been achieved by improving the efficiency of the fuel gas system parameters. The use of preheated air-fuel mixture at this temperature the reaction section efficiency improved by 5%. The use of waste steam to preheat air or fuel reduce the wasted steam and thus economical saving. The modifications have been shown to provide significant reduction in energy consumption (up to 30%), downsizing of the equipment (about 10%) and lower emissions (about 10%) while maintaining high thermal performance of the system. Energy savings converted to reduction of CO 2 and other greenhouse gases to the environment. The flames with highly preheated combustion air were much more stable and homogeneous (both temporally and spatially) as compared to the room-temperature combustion air. Simulation on ASPEN HYSYS® was performed to validate all the results and it also showed 4.92% reduction in fuel demand, thus making the process more economical.