Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring


Detect the difference

March 2016 Analytical Instrumentation & Environmental Monitoring

Every 30-35 days the cracker furnaces have to shut down for a de-coking cycle. The schedule is determined by loss of temperature across the tubes mounted inside the furnace and the resulting yield loss of cracked gas.

When the furnaces are shut down, a steam and air mixture is pumped through the furnace tubes to clean the coke that has built up on the inside of the tube walls. To determine the de-coking cycle time, operations personnel will monitor the CO2 released by the coke as the steam and air mixture gets to work. The initial reading will be around 25-30% CO2. As the cleaning process progresses over 2-3 days, the CO2 will drop down to around 300 ppm. At <300 ppm the tubes are considered clean.

The pressure in the main line is so slight that the sample has to be drawn from the take-off point using a vortex type eductor pump mounted remotely from the unit. Once the gas sample reaches the analysis point, a second pump internal to the analyser is used to draw the sample to the CO2 sensor(s).

By installing on-line monitoring equipment plants can eliminate valuable furnace down-time and improve the overall profit of the plant. The industry standard approach uses infrared CO2 sensing technology for this application.

Detcon’s solution for this problem is a dual range CO2 analyser with a sample draw pump used to overcome the low pressure in the main line. The high range sensor is scaled 0-25% CO2 and the low range sensor is scaled 0-5000 ppm CO2. Key benefits of the solution include:

• Dual range continuous analysis.

• Long sensor life >5 years.

• Easy maintenance via plug-in smart transmitters and optical sensors.

For more information contact Stuart Brown, UIC Instrumentation, +27 (0)31 468 2561, stuartb@uic.co.za, www.uic.co.za


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