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Flow modeling as a tool for WHRU performance optimization

Published in Hydrocarbon Processing (May 2020)

Authors: A. GUPTA, Petro-Chem Development Co. Inc, Houston, Texas ; and M. R. GENTRY, Airflow Sciences Corp., Livonia, Mochigan

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have become a growing concern for many industrialized countries over the past few years. Beyond the specific issues of GHG and general environmental considerations, there is a global tendency for improved energy efficiency. Whether the price of energy is high or low, controlled and reduced energy consumption will naturally improve operators’ margins. As a result, the use of energy is minimized by heat integration, heat recovery and reduction in heat loss to atmosphere.

A Waste Heat Recovery Unit (WHRU) is a type of heat exchanger which recovers waste heat from hot flue gases and integrates heat in to the balance of plant operations. The WHRU can generate steam/superheating steam as well as heat thermal fluid, natural gas, various hydrocarbon fluids, and Regen Gas (cyclic operation).

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