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REPORT ON PRIMARY

REFORMER
CATALYST
UNLOADING AND
LOADING

ANNUAL TURNAROUND JUNE 2015 Page | 1


PRIMARY REFORMER CATALYST REPLACEMENT PLANNED JOB FOR
ANNUAL TURNAROUND 2015 AT MANGALORE CHEMICALS AND
FERTILIZERS LIMITED, PANAMBUR, MANGALORE, KARNATAKA- 575010.

PROCESS CREW MEMBERS


 K. SELVAN
 DHARMARAJ. D. D
 K. P. DEVADIGA
 PRASHANT. A
 SHARATH. A
 SILAMBARASAN
 PRASHANTH. K
 VINAYA
 ABHAY
 ABDUL
 ROHIT
 BHARATH
 JEEVAN
 YASHWANTH
 SACHIN

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SUMMARY
After the successful operational period for the year 2014-2015, inspection of
primary reformer tubes and replacement of primary reformer catalyst was planned to
provide solution for the high reformer tube skin temperatures.

Sud Chemie (Catalyst Supplying Firm) took the initiative of supplying the two
layered catalyst for the primary reformer. Catalyst was made available as per our
requirement with bottom layer having 42% of Ni Catalyst (Reformax 330 G90 LDP- 10
hole- 19*16mm) and 58% of NiK Catalyst (Reformax 250- 5 hole- 16*16mm).

Bottom layer catalyst:

REFORMAX 330 G90 LDP (10 hole) - 19*16mm


49 drums of new catalyst and 1 drum of old catalyst were available.
Drum info- Net weight- 156 kgs/Gross weight- 176 kgs/Volume- 200 liters.
Density- 780 kg/m3.

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Top layer catalyst:

REFORMAX 250 (5 hole)- 16*16mm


68 drums of new catalyst were available.
Drum info- Net weight- 216 kgs/Gross weight- 236 kgs/Volume- 200 liters.
Density- 1080 kg/m3.

CR- Asia was given the contract for unloading and uniform loading of primary
reformer catalysts. Services included reformer tubes counter weight adjustment, tube
flanges bolt loosening/tightening (without hammer- pneumatic torque allowed), shifting of
spent/new catalyst drums, visual display of individual reformer tube internal surface with
video cam assembly, for spent catalyst sampling, empty/loaded catalyst dip and differential
pressure (DP) checking, catalyst unloading by BIVAC pump and loading by UNIDENSE
method.

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DETAILED REPORT
After planned ammonia plant shutdown, reformer cooling using inert gas (Nitrogen)
was prolonged for LTCO convertor bed cooling (@1000 hours on 10th June, 2015).
Depressurization of front end was done at HT guard inlet vent point after isolating HTCO
convertor inlet isolation valve. After depressurizing, following jobs were done in the
mentioned order (Jobs completed in approximately 8 hours)-

 Reformer feed spaded (FRRC-203 d/s)


 Make gas boiler(H201) outlet spaded
 Reformer furnace man way covers opened
 Reformer outlet T-plug removed
 All reformer burner guns removed
 Demineralized water flushing done for fuel naphtha header towards raw naphtha
storage tank
 Reformer fuel naphtha strainer spaded (SM1 u/s)
 Reformer tube counter weight locked
 Reformer tube and pigtail flanges insulation removed

All 224 tube flanges bolt removal initiated. Long pigtail to short pigtail flange
removed and respective orifices positions were marked and tied to the same flanges (Jobs
completed in approximately 24 hours).

Unloading of primary reformer was started at 1825 hours on 10th June, 2015. CR-
Asia BIVAC with a single hose was used for unloading with vacuum reading of -350 mm
Hg/-0.135 inch Hg. Dust sample was collected from bottom T- plug and handed over to Q/C
& Lab for analyzing. With completion of catalyst unloading for “A” & “B” row, rigs for
measuring differential pressure across tubes were being made ready for MCFL rig. [Note: A
second vacuum hose was made ready and utilized to accelerate the catalyst unloading
process. A metal tip nozzle was being used in case of compacted spent catalyst unloading. A
mark with tape was made on each hose being inserted into tubes to make sure the catalyst
support grid was not being damaged for every tube.]

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Spent catalyst sampling was done for the following tubes A24, A44, A48, B16 and
D16. As decided, samples were collected at heights of 3m, 6m and 9m for all the 5 tubes.
Reformer catalyst unloading for all 224 tubes was completed on 12th June, 2015 (Job
completed in approximately 48 hours). The spent catalyst was being collected in the
provided Mangala Urea bags and shifted to the reformer bottom shed. All 224 tubes empty
dip readings were noted down. Later that night at 2230 hours, all reformer tubes inner
surface cleaning by stainless steel wire mesh was initiated. To extract the excess scale
formation inside the reformer tubes, arrangement was made with a buffing plate (Diameter
100mm) having connected rods (threaded with nut and bolt) for extension as the plate
moves inside the tube. As the assembly was not much efficient and the potential risk of it
getting clogged was more, the arrangement was rejected.

Simultaneously bottom layer Ni catalyst drums were being shifted from the storage
area to shed (reformer bottom area) and top layer NiK catalyst to shed (stores area). [Note:
Catalyst drums were being shifted in absence of rain. Drum rolling to be avoided. Keep the
drums on wooden pallets, avoid stacking them up. Protect from rain and stagnant water by
providing tarpaulin cover. Keep the lids on, avoid catalyst exposure and do not damage the
drums.]

DP measurement details:
CR-ASIA DP apparatus orifice diameter: 8mm.
MCF DP rig orifice downstream hose length/diameter: 6.00mts/ 0.75”.
Orifice u/s instrument air maintained pressure: 4.00 kg/cm2. (Transmitter range: 0-10
kg/cm2.g).
Orifice d/s pressure indicates DP. (Transmitter range: 0-4 kg/cm2.g).

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Inner deposits collected from some of
the reformer tubes.

Composition:

Nickel 33.91%
Iron 18.65%
Chromium 05.16%
Aluminum 0.42%
Calcium 0.12%
Magnesium 0.062%
Copper 0.08%
Potash 0.062%
Vanadium 0.035%
Lead ND
Sulfides as S <10ppm
Chloride <1ppm
Sulfate <1ppm
Phosphate <1ppm

After the cleaning of tubes, visual inspection was done using the video cam and
remote display. D31 reformer tube catalyst grid support was found damaged (On 16th
June, 2015). At the same time dip readings and DP checking across empty tube (with MCFL
rig) was initiated and completed. It was replaced with a new grid support and was cross
checked with the old dip and DP readings. CR-Asia rig connections were made ready and
DP checking for each reformer tube was initiated.

At reformer top; arrangement were being made for catalyst weighing, catalyst dust
blowing, protection from rain and provision of breeze free surroundings. Some reformer
tubes (49 in nos.) having DP values (with CR-Asia rig) more than 0.04kg/cm2.g were
decided to be cleaned again by removal of catalyst grid support. After tube cleaning and
checking the improved DP readings for the respective tubes, catalyst grid supports were
boxed up and clearance was given for catalyst loading (On 1600 hrs on 19th June, 2015).

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Test loading of first layer (Ni) catalyst was done for the first tube of each row i.e. A1,
B1, C1 and D1 in presence of Sud Chemie representative. Dip and DP readings were noted
down as a reference value for rest of the tubes. It was decided to go ahead with 5 buckets of
catalyst for each tube weighing 7kgs. Supervision was deputed to employees to follow up
the catalyst weighing, catalyst drum being utilized and correctional weight for each tube.
[Note- Weighing machine was deployed from ABC plant to weigh catalyst for loading.
Instrument air connection was provided from PICV-2211 tapping for checking reformer tube
DP and catalyst dust blowing. A separate instrument air connection was provided from F-
4210 area for air wench to lift catalyst drums.]

As catalyst available was close to the amount needed after loading “A” and “B” row
tubes, it was decided to load remaining tubes with maximum of 36kgs till all tubes are
covered. Dip readings were noted of all reformer tubes filled with Ni catalyst. Later dip
corrections were done by additional top up for selective tubes to get the dip reading closer
to 7.2m (Completed by 0700hrs on 21st June, 2015). DP readings for all tubes with Ni
catalyst were noted down with CR-Asia rig and later with MCFL rig. As for the Ni catalyst
loading, all new catalyst was utilized and 1 drum old catalyst weighing 112.8kg/141liters
was unutilized which was shifted to DAP plant storage.

After getting approval of DP and dip readings, clearance was given for loading of
second layer (NiK) catalyst. Test loading was done for first tube of each row i.e. A1, B1, C1
and D1. Dip and DP readings were noted down as a reference value for the rest of the tubes.
It was decided to go ahead with 7 buckets for each tube weighing 10kgs. After loading of
NiK catalyst for all tubes, dip readings were noted down and correction were done by
additional top up for selective tubes to get the dip reading closer to 0.8m (Completed by
0600hrs on 23rd June, 2015). DP readings for NiK catalyst were noted down using CR-Asia
and later with MCFL rig. DP correction was done for B1 and B49 tubes as the respective DP
readings were on the lower side. For NiK catalyst, 3 full drums of catalyst and a partly filled
drum was shifted to catalyst storage (725 liters in total).

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After getting of approval of DP and dip readings, it was decided to box up all
reformer tube flanges. Later orifices and long pigtail to short pigtail flanges were boxed up.
Reformer tubes counter weights were released properly. Housekeeping was done at
reformer top and insulation job was kept pending as high pressure leak test and flange
bolts hot tightening had to be done. Instrument air connections were normalized for TICV-
211 and TI-231. Empty drums were filled with spent catalyst and content displaying
hazardous sticker was pasted on each drum.

DIP HEIGHTS FIXED FOR LOADING

 Empty dip height from tube top flange to the catalyst support grid- 11.83 meters.
 Empty dip height from tube top flange to the top surface of Reformax330 (G90 LDP-
10 holed) catalyst- 7.20 meters.
 Empty dip height from tube top flange to the top surface of Reformax250 (5 holed)
catalyst- 0.80 meters.
 Allowable DP variation from average DP of 224 tubes- +3% to -3%.

AVERAGE TUBE DP AFTER EACH LAYER OF CATALYST LOADING WITH CR-ASIA RIG

Average tube DP after loading Reformax 330-G90 LDP catalyst- 0.1837 bar.g
Average tube DP after loading Reformax 250 catalyst- 0.5462 bar.g

CATALYST CONSUMPTION FOR ALL 224 TUBES

Total Reformax 330-G90 LDP catalyst utilized- 8138.156 kilograms.


Total Reformax 250 catalyst utilized- 15160.843 kilograms.
Hence, total catalyst utilized- 23298.999 kilograms.

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APPROXIMATE TIME REQUIREMENT:

 Time required for T plug dropping. : 05 hrs


 Time required for reformer tube to : 25.50 hrs
short pigtail flange & short pigtail.
to long pigtail flange disconnection.
 Time required for catalyst unloading. : 52.50 hrs
 Time require for tube inner surface cleaning
and tube visual inspection. : 88 hrs.
 Dead time due to reformer tube inspection : 06 hrs.
 Time required for catalyst support grid
removal, cleaning and box up. Empty tube
DP measurement was done simultaneously. : 56 hrs.
 Time required for Reformax-330-G90 LDP
catalyst loading. : 30 hrs
 Dead time due to power failure. : 01 hrs.
 Time required for 1st layer catalyst
dip and DP measurement/adjustment. : 08 hrs.
 Time required for Reformax-250 catalyst
loading. : 48.50hrs
 Time required for 2nd layer catalyst
dip and DP measurement/adjustment. : 12 hrs.
 Time required for tubes boxing up. : 36 hrs
 Time required for t plug boxing up. : 05hrs
 Dead time due to radiography. : 08 hrs
 Total time required. : 381.50 hrs

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