Top Ten Ways to Prepare for a Semi Regenerative Catalytic Reformer
By Stu Goldstein
Because semi regenerative catalytic reformers are regenerated so
infrequently, it is critical to thoroughly prepare in advance and train
personnel responsible for implementing the procedure. Preparation and
training increase the probability of optimized unit performance after oil
in, and reduce the probability of delays, additional downtime, and
incidents that can result in equipment reliability issues.
- Review documentation and technical / operation logs from the last
regeneration and incorporate learnings into the procedure for the
- Review the list of any mechanical work planned during shutdown for
catalyst regeneration (e.g., catalyst management, hydrotesting,
chemical cleaning, etc.) and incorporate any required changes in the
regeneration procedure to accommodate mechanical work without
jeopardizing catalyst performance or unit reliability.
- Update the unit blind list for regeneration to reflect the current
- Update the list of low point drains, and include these in
hydrocarbon purge and oxide purge procedures in the overall
- Review the updated procedure in scheduled training activity with
all technical and operations shift personnel who will support the
- Check the condition of all chemical injection facilities that will
be used during regeneration (e.g., chloride, sulfiding, caustic, etc.)
for operability well in advance of regeneration.
- Ensure that any critical analyzers such as O2 are properly
calibrated, and all analytical equipment required to confirm
specifications in procedure such as portable analyzers, chemical
detection tubes, and chemical detection pumps are available. Ensure
that at least one new spare detection pump is available as pumps can
develop leaks as a result of frequent use during the regeneration.
- To avoid delays, coordinate required availability of critical
contractors that might be required during the shutdown, such as
catalyst handling contractor, mechanical contractors for blind
swinging, operators of rented air compressors, hydrogen supply,
refinery lab support, etc.
- Adjust recycle gas flow meter correction factor to reflect the
higher recycle gas molecular weight during regeneration.
- If insufficient local expertise is available, consult with the
catalyst vendor or other available outside expertise for cold eyes
review of procedure / regeneration planning, and if necessary assist
with onsite training well in advance of the regeneration.