It is crucial to maintain optimum performance and consistent hydrogen availability.
Catalytic reformers convert low-octane heavy naphtha feedstocks from other refinery areas into the more desirable reformates for use in high octane gasoline blending. The heated naphtha is reacted with hydrogen in the presence of a catalyst to reform naphtha components into a stream that is rich with high octane aromatic and branched hydrocarbons. The incoming naphtha is pretreated in a hydrotreater to protect the catalyst, which can be poisoned by the sulfur and nitrogen.
There are a number of critical service control valve applications in the catalytic reforming process that have an impact on unit efficiency. For example, the flow control valve for the feed coming from the hydrotreater can cause swings in the amount of conversion through the unit. If the swings are wide enough, this will actually limit unit throughput and lead to increased coke laydown on the catalyst, potentially shortening reactor life.
Another challenging application is the compressor bypass valve used to protect the recycle hydrogen compressor from the effects of surge that can occur during startup, shutdown, and process upsets. The performance of this valve is crucial to the operation and efficiency of the compressor and must be able to operate quickly, accurately, and reliably to protect the compressor and the process.