Ammonia Reformer

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Case Study: Refractory Design and Installation

JT Thorpe International (JTTI) performs a number of problem solving refractory design projects to save its customers a tremendous amount of money by increasing operating factors while reducing future reoccurring maintenance.

In 2012, JTTI solved a problem that other designers could not.

Downstream process equipment was being fouled due to silica leeching from the existing refractory lining. JTTI explored several options, including complete replacement of the refractory lining as well as installation of a new 99% Al2O3 brick lining inside the existing lining.


After a complete process review, JTTI determined that the existing vessel volume was over-size and would therefore accommodate the installation of a new lining over the top of the existing. The customer also had a new refractory dome in storage, but was unsure if all the pieces were still there.

They also had no specific assembly instructions. In advance of the outage, JTTI pre-assembled the refractory dome that was in storage, match marking the individual shapes and documenting the assembly with drawings and photos. The various dome shapes were then re-palletized in order of use and staged in advance for the outage. The ammonia plant was taken down for the planned outage, at which time JTTI installed a new 99% Al2O3 brick lining and the new refractory dome. The installation required intricate tie-ins to the existing cross-over duct linings, while also assuring the integrity of the overall refractory system. This brick lining installation reduced start up time and risk, as there was no need to perform a long controlled thermal Dryout in advance of going into operation.