Service support for ammonia dissociators used in endothermic industrial furnaces

Posted by Tom McDevitt on Jun 21, 2016 6:00:00 AM

The Rose Corporation provides technical field support to its Drever industrial furnace customers through a team of highly qualified, skilled technicians and engineers.  One Drever customer recently used our field technical service to support their own maintenance personnel in the removal and reinstallation of the catalyst chambers in one of their three Drever 3000 SCFH Ammonia Dissociators.  “Our customer’s maintenance personnel are incredibly talented and knowledgeable individuals, and easily capable of handling this project on their own” says Rose Corporation’s Tom McDevitt.  “We were there to provide technical support in the event something outside their experience or comfort zone came up that had the potential to delay returning the dissociator back over to their production teams.”


Pete Schirk, the Rose Corporation Technical Advisor assigned to this project, worked closely with the customer’s maintenance team to make sure the project stayed on schedule, and that was a challenging task considering the dissociators are located outside within a fenced-in area that is tightly rimmed by overhead power lines and power transformers, as well as hemmed in by adjacent equipment and buildings.  Spotty rain and unpredictable winds required the local crane contractor and weld contractor to work closely with the rest of the teams to make smart decisions with safety as the primary concern.


“It was something how everyone worked so well together, and how each team clicked and did their jobs at the right moment to get things done between the rain and the winds” said Pete Schirk.  There were many moments when the rain and winds made crane lifts questionable with well placed concerns for safety regarding the overhead power lines constantly on everyone’s minds.  Despite the weather, however, the teams got the job done in one long day, and before heading home that evening the dissociator was powered up to 400 degrees F and left to dry out overnight.


The following morning the Rose team and the customer’s maintenance team met back at the dissociator.  We incrementally ran the temperature up to operating temperature, rechecked for leaks, introduced ammonia into the system, and let the Drever dissociator begin cracking ammonia again.  After verifying the system was operating properly, Pete Schirk confirmed satisfaction with the customer and headed north for home.


It’s interesting to note in this case that this customer keeps their dissociators running 24/7.  That’s a decision that’s made based upon many factors, not the least of which involves energy and production costs, etc.  In this case, however, the catalyst chambers we replaced saw a service life of 9 years.  “That’s remarkable, but not uncommon when left in constant service” according to Rose’s Tom McDevitt.  Tom also is quick to point out that such service has to be weighed against the cost savings of cycling a unit up and down to meet production capacity demands, and that’s a decision that’s very unique and at the customer’s level.


The Rose Corporation’s Industrial Furnace division manufactures for customers world-wide all types and configurations of industrial furnaces such as batch type reheat and forging, tip-up, roller hearth, bell, car-bottom, vacuum, electric arc, and many more for both atmosphere and non-atmosphere, batch and continuous applications.  The Rose Corporation has manufactured industrial furnaces under both our RoseTM  and DreverTM  furnace brands, as well as manufacturing customized furnaces to our customer-supplied design.  We also manufacture dissociative, atmosphere generating equipment. 


In additional to the manufacture of new furnace equipment, The Rose Corporation reconditions and modernizes customer’s existing equipment to maximize production capacity and reduce operating costs.  We offer a full line of furnace spare parts such as rolls, bearings, hi-temperature gaskets, mop curtains, glo-plugs, control systems, muffles, retorts, hearth tiles, refractory, electrode holder assemblies and sub-parts, water-cooled electric cables, roof cooling cables, alloy belts, burner radiation tubes, and much, much more.