Produce CO-rich synthesis gas. Products: Pure carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2) or synthesis gas for methanol, synthetic fuels, oxosynthesis or ammonia. Very large-scale production of synthesis gas for GTL plants.
The process combines partial oxidation and adiabatic steam reforming using a fixed catalyst bed (nickel catalyst). Soot-free operation is secured by proprietary burner design and application. The unit consists of a feed preheater (1), feed desulfurization (2), pre-reforming (optional) (3), autothermal reformer reactor with burner, combustion chamber and catalyst bed (4), heat-recovery section (5) and, when required, gas purification section, e.g., CO2 removal (not shown).
The autothermal reformer burner features low metal temperatures and high resistance to mechanical wear, thus ensuring long burner lifetime. The burner is manufactured in commercially available high-temperature alloys without cooling circuits. The hydrocarbon feedstock can be natural gas, LPG or naphtha. The oxygen feed can be pure oxygen, air or enriched air. CO2 recycle or CO2 import can be applied to adjust synthesis gas composition.
Operating conditions: Typically, CO-rich synthesis gas is obtained at feed ratios of H2O/CH4 = 0.2 to 1.5 and CO2/CH4 = 0.0 to 2.0, resulting in synthesis gas ratios H2/CO—0.8 to 2.5 at reactor exit temperatures of 950°C to 1,050°C. Reactor pressure ranges between 20 bar and 70 bar.
Installations: Since 1958, 26 complete installations have been licensed. New burner technology with improved lifetime was introduced in 1992 and is in operation in 20 autothermal reforming plants and 8 secondary reforming plants. Six burners are on order for GTL plants with up to 17,000-bpd capacity per line. Recently, LOIs have been obtained for ATR installations for GTL projects in South Africa and Qatar.
Licensor: Haldor Topsøe A/S