Process Improvement and Optimisation

Teesside University
School of Science, Engineering and Design
MEng/BEng Chemical Engineering
Academic Year 2019 – 20 Semester 1
CBE4016-N (Process Improvement and Optimisation)
In-Course Assessment (ICA) scores 30% of the total module grade.
Submission date Feedback date
05/11/2019 02/12/2019
Tasks: A and B
This Assignment is split into two tasks as follows: Task A (40%) • With your knowledge of the steam methane reforming process compare performance of conventional catalyst against that of a ‘NEW TYPE’ as shown in the two Tables (following slides/pages) for the production of hydrogen. • Analyse the data. Identify and explain clearly any beneficial operational improvements evident from the comparative data in moving from a conventional catalyst to the ‘NEW TYPE’ type, explain your reasoning. Marking criteria is based on correct identification of operational improvements as a result of changing from the conventional catalyst to the ‘NEW TYPE’ and explaining the the tangible benefits in each case. < 2000 words. Penalties through reduction of marks for any words > 2000 and late submission on to Blackboard submitted after 05/11/2019.. Task B (60%) • As an operational engineer on plant you have been asked to consider any potential improvement in performance to the operation of a fixed bed solid absorbent.
• The single vertical cylindrical vessel is used to purify an ‘impure’ natural gas feed (operating between 350oC and 450oC, at 25 bara) removing H2S by reaction with a solid chemical absorbent. The gas will enter at the top of the vessel and leave at the bottom. • Discuss what you would consider to be operational improvements in performance and how might you achieve these improvements. Your starting point should be to consider an empty vessel, no instrumentation, only inlet and exit piping. You should also consider this as a new design, what would you include in your design, what would you take into consideration in sizing the system? Safety considerations? Maintenance? < 2000 words. Penalties through reduction of marks for any words > 2000 and late submission on to Blackboard submitted after 05/11/2019.
Pertinent and additional information concerning TASK A.  The plant’s nominal hydrogen capacity was reached with the conventional reforming catalyst and could not be increased further due to the limitation of the reformer flue gas exit temperature which was close to its maximum value of 1000oC. This high fluegas temperature prevented increasing the process gas exit temperature.  Investigation took place to see how the plant production rate could be ‘debottlenecked ‘.
 The ‘NEW TYPE’ catalyst was a successful option.
Increasing hydrogen throughput by increasing reforming temperature (TABLE 1 – Task A)
Conventional catalyst
‘NEW TYPE’ Catalyst
Flue gas temperature, oC
1000.1
997.5
Reformer exit temperature. oC
816
828.5
S/C
3.24
3.1
Pressure drop, bar
0.68
0.51
Dry syngas flow rate, Nm3/h
4043
4178
Methane slip, mol%
6.7
6.2
Hydrogen production before PSA, Nm3/h
2965
3078
Hydrogen throughput, Nm3/h
2450
2490
Tflue gas – Tsyngas, oC
184
169
Increasing hydrogen throughput by increasing plant load (TABLE 2 – Task A)
Conventional catalyst
‘NEW TYPE’ Catalyst
Flue gas temperature, oC
1000
1000
Reformer exit temperature. oC
816
819
S/C
3.2
3.1
Pressure drop, bar
0.68
0.57
Dry syngas flow rate, Nm3/h
4043
4299
Methane slip, mol%
6.7
7.0
Hydrogen production before PSA, Nm3/h
2965
3135
Hydrogen throughput, Nm3/h
2450
2553
Tflue gas – Tsyngas, oC
184
181
TASK B Consider such thinks as optimum size, dimensions, etc…

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