TechnipFMC announced that Videolar-INNOVA S.A. (INNOVA) recently started up the first Direct Heating Unit (DHU) in Brazil. This ground-breaking technology for adding heat to high temperature processes employs flameless combustion for the dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene to styrene.
INNOVA’s 420,000 metric tonnes styrene plant, located in Triunfo, Brazil, is the first commercialisation of TechnipFMC’s DHU technology in the world. Unlike conventional furnace burners, where fuel and air are combined at a single point, in a DHU unit, fuel is added incrementally to a high-velocity air stream over an extended reaction zone.
This allows the fuel to react in a controlled manner at significantly lower temperatures than flame combustion. TechnipFMC supplied the project development process field services, and the DHU equipment, as well as the technology licence for the unit.
Stan Knez, president of TechnipFMC Process Technology, remarked: “We are very pleased with this successful start-up of INNOVA’s DHU. This technology represents one of the most significant styrene process advancements in over 60 years. We look forward to realising the possibilities for DHU technology.”
INNOVA industrial director Sergio de Oliveira Machado extolled the success of this project, stating: “The DHU technology has surpassed our expectations and we are very pleased with how the project was completed with full cooperation from TechnipFMC’s Badger Technology.”
The DHU technology was jointly developed with support from Total Petrochemicals and Refining and Shell Catalysts and Technologies, and is licensed through Badger Licensing, a wholly owned subsidiary of TechnipFMC.
DHU technology is now routinely incorporated as part of the Total/Badger styrene technology for grassroots and revamp applications. The second commercial application of DHU is due to start-up later this year.
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