Project Synopsis

Develop a tuned process simulation model of a new fired preheater used for the production of carbon black.

Project Summary


The client, primarily a specialty metals manufacturing concern, is pilot testing a new Carbon Black Feed Stock Preheat System (fired heater) at their U.S. based research and development (R&D) facility.  As a part of that effort, the client asked Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to develop a fired-heater process simulation model which included both the radiation and convection zones so that they could:

  • Use the model to generate an understanding of the basic thermodynamic and hydraulic parameters (pipe velocity, pressure drop, heat transfer, etc.) of the heater and to evaluate the effect of the high viscosity feedstock’s moisture levels on these parameters.  Model results would also be compared to historical measured data from commercial-sized units as well as the current pilot-scale unit.
  • Determine if additional data would be useful in developing vendor quotations or for increasing the client’s understanding of the heater’s basic operation.

To this end, PROCESS developed a computer simulation using the commercially available flowsheet simulator CHEMCAD.  The model was calibrated against available pilot data and was then used to simulate fired heater performance for alternative conditions not yet investigated/evaluated at the pilot scale. The client used the results to refine their pilot scale testing and to develop knowledge for scaling to a commercial-sized unit.

Industry Type

  • Carbon Black Production

Utilized Skills

  • Process simulation
  • Tuned process model development.