Steam Methane Reformer (SMR) Combustion Optimization

ZoloSCAN-SMR System: Benefits of Combustion Monitoring for SMR Applications


Multiple ZoloSCAN-SMR paths can be installed on one or several elevations to provide a combustion profile inside the steam methane reformer

  • Balance in-furnace temperature profiles
    • Improve hydrogen reformer process efficiency
    • Reduce premature tube failures
    • Improve catalyst life
    • Compensate for changing fuel composition
  • Balance in-furnace O2 profile
    • Improve combustion efficiency of reformer
    • Reduce NOx and CO2 emissions
  • Identify poor combustion
    • Improve safety
    • Reduce after-burning in crossover

Better Measurement, Better Results

The steam methane reforming process requires very tight temperature control and uniformity for optimum performance and reliability. A typical hydrogen plant has many sensors installed in many different areas of the steam methane reformer (SMR) for the purpose of monitoring and controlling the combustion and reforming processes. However, the number of sensors available for use directly inside the firebox is very limited. This lack of measurement data directly in the combustion zone makes it very difficult to maintain the optimum temperatures and a uniform combustion profile. The ZoloSCAN-SMR, however, measures the temperature, O2, H2O and CO in real-time, directly inside the furnace using TDLAS technology. The ZoloSCAN-SMR delivers quantitative, actionable information that can be used for combustion monitoring and balancing to improve SMR performance and reliability.

ZoloSCAN Diagram - few sensors available

Side View of Typical Reformer with ZoloSCAN-SMR paths located just above the tunnels
Click on image to enlarge


Actionable Information for SMR

The ZoloSCAN-SMR system interface provides real-time balance information for each group or “cell” of burners. Operators can use the ZoloSCAN-SMR interface to make adjustments to each group of burners to improve the temperature and oxygen balance in the reformer. Arrangement of the paths will depend on the furnace and burner configuration; tube geometry; and furnace wall access. Measurement data can also be transmitted to the control system via OPC protocol.

Plan View of ZoloBOSS Layout ZoloBOSS interface

Typical high resolution ZoloSCAN-SMR path layout to create measurement “cells” corresponding to groups of burners

ZoloBOSS interface showing temperature measurement for each “cell”

ZoloSCAN-SMR  interface showing temperature measurement for each “cell”