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Application of Combustion Chambers in Secondary Reformers Disclosure Number: IPCOM000217264D
Publication Date: 2012-May-04
Document File: 20 page(s) / 1M

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The Prior Art Database

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Kenneth L. Blanchard and
J. R. LeBlanc

The M. W. Kellogg Company Houston,Texas, U.S.A.

Preparedfor Presentationat the AlChE Ammonia Safety Symposium Vancouver, B.C., Canada

October 3-6, 1994


AlChE shall not be responsible for statements or opinions contained in papers or printed in its publications

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Application of Combustion Chambers in Secondary Reformers


Combustion chambers have been applied in ammnniaplantSecondaty Reformer-

demonstratedto be a reliable, rugged designfor providing mixing and combustion in the generationof synthesis gas.

This paper presents a chronology of the design development and commercial application of the combustion chamber in Secondary Reformers at Kellogg. It includes highlights in the development of the design from its inception through early modelling work which established the design sizing parameters. Subsequent commercial installations are featured, and continued refinement of this design utilizing a state-of-the-artcomputationalfluid dynamics program is discussed.


As is evident from Figure 1, the combustion chamber is conceptually a very simple design. The air/steam flow is introduced at high velocity axially at the top end of a long, cylindricalchamber. The partially reformed gas is introduced radially at the top of the cylinder, perpendicular to the air/steam jet. The high velocity of the air/steam induces mixing between the two gas streams, and the combustion reactions take place instantaneously.

To aid in loading and unloading catalyst in the Secondary Reformer, the high velocity air/steam nozzle is housed inside a removable refractory"plug"as shown in Figure2. The entire assembly can be easily removed through the top manhole of the vessel to allow passage of personnel, catalyst, and equipment. The plug is supported by a ledge at the top, and its weight combined with the differential pressure across the nozzle hold it in positionand provide a gas seal.


Historically, ammonia plant Secondary Reformers have utilized a multiple-nozzle burner for injectingoxidant into the reformed gas (the primary reformer effluent). The device employed by Kellogg, shown in Figure 3, is installed at the end of a vertical

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Application of Combustion Chambers in Secondary Reformers

concentric feed pipe which locates it at the top of a conical chamber. The design incorporates multiple openings or ports which discharge the air/steam at high velocity into the surrounding annular flow of reformed gas. Mixing and combustion

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facing to shield it from the high radiationtemperatures which occur directly below.

With the advent of high temperature air preheat (>11OO'F, 593°C)for reduced energy installations, the use of this mixer/burner device was recognized as a potential reliability and safety concern. The mission was to develop a simple design capable of withstanding the severe...