Insulation of Reformer Furnace

In most heat generation equipment, significant sources of heat loss are the convection and radiation of energy from the system to the environment. This heat loss depends on the outside temperature of the heating equipment and can cause a significant reduction in process heating efficiency. Insulating materials such as brick and refractory materials used on equipment and pipes are essential to minimize the heat loss. Significant improvements in process heating efficiency can be achieved using new refractory fiber materials with low thermal conductivity and heat storage. Typical applications include furnace covers, installing fiber liner between the standard refractory lining and the shell wall, or installing ceramic fiber liner over the present refractory liner. Replacing standard refractory linings with vacuum-formed refractory fiber insulation can also improve the efficiency (EERE, 2008 p.19-20).

As the old insulation deteriorates with time, it is important to perform regular surveys of insulation efficiency and take corrective action. 

Development Status Products

Insulation of Reformer FurnaceCosts & Benefits

Parent Process: Steam Reforming
Energy Savings Potential
CO2 Emission Reduction Potential

An assessment for an Australian ammonia plant estimated that the payback time for improving insulation on reformer furnace will have a payback time of less than one year (Australian Government, 2009). 

Insulation of Reformer Furnace Publications

Improving Process Heating System Performance: A sourcebook for industry.

As an outcome of US Deparment of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program, this sourcebook describes basic process heating applications and equipment, and outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements. It also discusses the merits of using a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities.

Page Number: 


Insulation of Reformer Furnace Case Studies