Hydrogen Steam Reforming Process by Foster Wheeler

Application: Manufacture hydrogen for hydrotreating, hydrocracking or other refinery or chemical use.

Feedstock: Light saturated hydrocarbons: refinery gas or natural gas, LPG or light naphtha.

Products: Typical purity 99.99%; pressure 300 psig, with steam or CO2 as byproducts.

Description: Hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of hydrocarbons with purification by pressure swing adsorption (PSA). Feed is heated (1) and then hydrogenated (2) over a cobalt-molybdenum catalyst bed followed by purification (3) with zinc oxide to remove sulfur. The purified feed is mixed with steam and preheated further, then reformed over nickel catalyst in the tubes of the reforming furnace (1).

Foster Wheeler’s Terrace Wall reformer combines high efficiency with ease of operation and reliability. Depending on size or site requirements, Foster Wheeler can also provide a down-fired furnace. Combustion air preheat can be used to reduce fuel consumption and steam export.

Pre-reforming can be used upstream of the reformer if a mixture of naphtha and light feeds will be used, or if steam export must be minimized. The syngas from the reformer is cooled by generating steam, then reacted in the shift converter (4) where CO reacts with steam to form additional H2 and CO2.

In the PSA section (5), impurities are removed by solid adsorbent, and the adsorbent beds are regenerated by depressurizing. Purge gas from the PSA section, containing CO2, CH4, CO and some H2, is used as fuel in the reforming furnace. Heat recovery from reformer flue gas may be via combustion air preheat or additional steam generation. Variations include a scrubbing system to recover CO2.

Licensor: Foster Wheeler USA Corp.