Newsroom - Jun 15, 2023

IGS Revolutionizes Renewable Fuel Production by Enhancing SCR Performance

In the pursuit of clean and sustainable energy solutions, the energy industry is constantly striving to develop more efficient methods to generate renewable fuels. Integrated Global Services (IGS) has played a pivotal role in this endeavor, partnering with a facility that runs a Steam Methane Reformer (SMR) —a prevalent unit in the petrochemical industry—on the United States West Coast. The plant was struggling with inadequate Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) performance, severely hampering its ability to comply with NOx emission regulations, and significantly reducing production rates.

The facility experienced a range of issues, including high system pressure drops, insufficient ammonia mixing, and poor NOx removal. These challenges were primarily attributed to SCR fouling, a widespread problem affecting ageing plants across the nation. SCR fouling occurs when fibrous particles obstruct the SCR catalyst, impeding flow and causing pressure drops. If left unaddressed, the problem worsens over time, impacting production rates, catalyst lifespan, and compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

It is crucial to recognize that SCR fouling is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’, as all refractory materials degrade over time. Failure to mitigate SCR fouling leads to reduced production rates, increased NOx emissions, ammonia slip, and unplanned outages, resulting in significant financial and operational burdens for plants. SCR performance levels can plummet by up to 50% in many cases, coupled with catalyst lifespan reductions and potential violations of EPA emissions standards. Clearly, SCR fouling is a serious concern that demands proactive measures by plants.

IGS tackled the challenges faced by the West Coast methane reformer plant by implementing a comprehensive suite of solutions, including online cleaning systems, fine particle filtration screens, and ammonia mixing systems. Instead of relying on a single solution, IGS employed a multi-faceted approach that effectively resolved the plant’s issues. This approach proved to be a game-changer, as it saved the facility from more than $1 million per day in losses due to unplanned outages and operational derates.

The remarkable results achieved through IGS’ cleaning systems demonstrated a significant reduction in SCR fouling and a noteworthy decrease in NOx emissions. As market demands and environmental restrictions continue to evolve, IGS has solidified its position as an industry leader in optimizing and enhancing SCR performance. By leveraging advanced technologies and innovative strategies, IGS empowers plants to produce renewable fuels efficiently while meeting stringent regulatory requirements.

A selective catalytic reduction reactor (SCR)

Image 1: SCR reactor of West Coast methane reformer before the implementation of

IGS products and services.

Image 2: SCR reactor of West Coast methane reformer after the implementation of

IGS products and services.