As a first step, bottlenecks in the existing plant were identified by high-performance test runs and detailed process simulations. More over, the plant’s hydraulic limits were determined by the use of pressure profiles. Based on these analyses, specific suggestions for improvement were made and carried out, including the replacement of the existing safety valves and the installation of an additional low-temperature shift reactor and a pre-reformer.
All work was carried out on schedule. During the test run, a capacity increase of 15 % and a successful operation with natural gas were confirmed. Since then, the plant has been running safely, reliably and with the desired higher capacity.