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September 24, 2013

New steam reforming catalyst from Haldor Topsoe

Haldor Topsoe now offers a new alkali-promoted steam reforming catalyst, RK-400. RK-400 is engineered to provide consistently strong protection against unwanted carbon formation while achieving a level of catalytic activity higher than those previously seen from this class of catalysts.

The first charge of RK-400 was installed in 2012 in an ammonia plant in North America. Regular evaluations of operating data confirm the expectations and superior performance of the RK-400 reforming catalyst thus far.

The ingenuity of RK-400
The ingenuity of the RK-400 catalyst lies in the method by which the alkali promoters are incorporated into the catalyst carrier material. Normally, the promoter is spattered onto the surface of the carrier material and the nickel particles. The RK-400 catalyst, on the other hand, has been engineered to have a reservoir of potassium promoter integrated within the carrier material.

The ability to replenish the potassium as it is depleted not only eliminates the obvious challenge of maintaining sufficient alkali at the surface but also allows for an initial surface coverage of only the essential amount of promoter material. In this way, more nickel surface is available for steam reforming catalysis, leading to a considerable increase in catalyst activity over those previously achieved.

Suitable for all types of reformers
Similar to all other Topsoe reforming catalysts, RK-400 is suitable for all types of reformers, including top-, bottom-, terrace wall-, and side-fired configurations. Operating with RK-400 is especially recommended in top-fired reformers due to the high heat flux at the upper part of the tubes.

Advantages with the new RK-400

  • Superior resistance to carbon formation
  • Exceptional catalyst stability and activity
  • Longer catalyst and tube lifetimes
  • Longer periods between turnarounds
  • Higher profit margins

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