Furnace trials heat up

Novel catalyst-coated furnace tubes that promise to cut energy costs in olefins manufacturing are set for a second key test, notes Quantiam Technologies, Edmonton, Alberta, which developed the coating and produces the coated tubes (CP, August 2005, Coatings promise cooler cracking and more).

NOVA Chemicals, which is part of the consortium backing the development, already is running one field trial; installation at NOVA should be completed by the end of this year for the second. Tests will take place at its Joffre, Alta., and Corunna, Ont., sites, to assess the technology with two feedstocks and two furnace designs. Results to date square with project targets and expectations, according to Steve Petrone, president of Quantiam.

Tube-coating capacity will reach 800,000 in.2 of furnace coil surface area in 2007, the equivalent of around 6,000 linear ft. of 4-in.-diameter tubing, he says. Design and construction of a commercial coating facility, with a startup capacity of about 5 million in.2, also is planned for 2007, with launch slated for 2008.

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