In the September 2021 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering, Steve Houghton, Groome Industrial Service Group, USA, explains how online catalyst cleaning can deliver a higher return on investment than traditional cleaning.
The performance of an SCR catalyst system is more critical than ever. Refineries are under close scrutiny with regulators, who are keeping a close eye on atmospheric pollutants. Tight restrictions on NOX levels make high-performing emission control technologies an essential element of the business model.
From a production standpoint, refinery owners and management aim to achieve maximum NOX reduction while minimising ammonia consumption and backpressure, all in an effort to ensure efficient operations.
And how does a refinery today most efficiently and successfully achieve these goals? The answer is through a properly designed, installed, and maintained SCR catalyst system – with emphasis on skilled and forward-thinking maintenance services that continue once it is ensured the system has a solid foundation.
In a situation where a refinery faces operational issues – such as commonly increased backpressure and NOX conversion issues – a choice must be made. A plant can completely shut down a unit to carry out required maintenance. Or, a facility can look to find another option, preferably one where operations can continue while the work takes place.
This latter method, known as online cleaning, has enormous benefits for a refinery or facility in the oil and gas or petrochemical space looking to efficiently maintain a NOX or CO catalyst.
Perhaps most importantly, a plant manager does not need to worry about emergency shutdowns or be concerned about operating out of compliance, and there is no need to run at limited capacity. These challenges are taken off the table so that the focus can be on continuing production and delivering return on investment (ROI). This is arguably the goal of every refinery operator.