Tube Tech Robot Restores Stack Temperatures in Holland

Tube Tech was contacted by a fertiliser production plant located in Holland. The convection section of its Primary Reformer Furnace was heavily fouled as it had never been cleaned before and fouling/ deposit build-up was affecting efficiency.

Tube Tech was able to deploy its patented robotic fouling removal system to penetrate and clean deep between each tube row whilst protecting the asset from refractory damage. We were able to access around 95% of the surface area of the asset, restoring stack temperatures and removing more than 90% of fouling.

Efficiency and output of the furnace significantly improved leaving the client very satisfied with the results.

The Challenge

A fertiliser production plant in Holland was suffering from heavy fouling of the convection section of its Primary Reformer Furnace. The outlet stack temperature was running at 170 degrees Celsius, 30 degrees above the design stack temperature figures, due to the level of fouling present.

The asset had never been cleaned before, so the client called upon Tube Tech to help resolve the issue after previous impressive cleaning results on other equipment at the plant. After careful planning and consultation, a date to start the project was agreed.


The Solution

Tube Tech mobilized four teams of cleaning specialists. Two teams worked during the day and two at night to complete the job in just 48 hours. To remove the build-up of fouling and restore the stack temperatures to design efficiency, the teams used Tube Tech’s robotic cleaning system; a semi-autonomous rover and lance that is pre-programmed with the dimensional data of the asset and is able to access 90%+ of the surface area to be cleaned.

The patented system is the only technology able to penetrate deep between each tube row and guarantee to remove more than 90% of fouling. Deposits were successfully removed from the tube surfaces, within the allocated time and within budget.

The Benefit

The robotic system can access areas that traditional cleaning methods simply cannot. Traditional methods typically remove 20-30% of fouling. The level of fouling present was the result of years of debris build-up which had a negative impact on the stack temperature and the ultimate productivity of the furnace. If left to worsen, the fouling would have cost the plant millions of euros in lost revenue over the course of a year.

The stack temperatures were restored to design efficiency and the client was delighted with the results. CO2 emissions were also reduced as less fuel is being burnt to produce the same results.


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