KP engineering to perform fluid catalytic cracking waste heat boiler replacement

Source: press release, 6 October 2020

The existing CO boiler will be removed from service and replaced with a Waste Heat Boiler
The existing CO boiler will be removed from service and replaced with a Waste Heat Boiler (photo: KPE)

KP Engineering (KPE), a frontrunner in designing, executing and delivering customised EPC solutions for the refining, specialty chemical and renewable industries, will perform a Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) waste heat boiler replacement at a refinery in Oklahoma, USA.

The refinery’s existing carbon monoxide (CO) boiler was approaching the end of its useful life. Within the scope of the FCC Steam Reliability Project, KPE will design and install a new Waste Heat Boiler (FCC flue gas cooler), orifice chamber and flue gas slide valve with associated refractory lined ductwork, piping, structures and instrumentation. The existing CO boiler will be removed from service and replaced with a Waste Heat Boiler (WHB).

The project offers a unique set of challenges, requiring sound engineering design of the WHB to minimise erosion due to catalyst carryover and sand blast scoring in the duct to minimise tube failures.

Purva Mehta, senior process engineer, KPE, says, “The WHB is a critical piece of equipment for normal, continuous operation of an FCC unit. It will require in-depth engineering design, including hydraulic sizing, thermal ratings and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modelling for optimising the process requirements, while maintaining the mechanical integrity and safety of the system. Successful engineering of key components on the flue gas system will improve the system’s reliability, ensure long uninterrupted runs between shutdowns, maximise profits for the refinery, while maintaining safety as the primary objective.”

Doug Schnittker, vice president of engineering, KPE, says, “This project underscores KPE’s engineering expertise in the technologies behind FCC units, used for waste heat recovery in the refining industry. KPE has already performed several front-end engineering (FEL) 1 & 2 level studies. Completing the detail design on an FCC reliability project such as this further extends KPE’s engineering, procurement and construction capability. Lessons learned from prior FCC flue gas cooler projects will be applied to this project to deliver a highly robust design in this technically challenging project.”

The FEL 3 phase of the project will be completed in November 2020.