TechnipFMC Announces First Commercialization of Direct Heating Unit Technology in Brazil

Sept 11, 2019

TechnipFMC has announced that Videolar-INNOVA S.A. (INNOVA) has recently started the activities of the first Direct Heating Unit (DHU) in Brazil. This innovative technology for adding heat to high temperature processes employs flameless combustion for dehydrogenation of ethylbenzene into styrene.

INNOVA’s 420,000 metric tons styrene plant, located in Triunfo (RS), Brazil, is the first of TechnipFMC’s DHU technology in the world. Unlike conventional furnace burners, where fuel and air are combined at a single point in a DHU unit, fuel is incrementally added to a high-speed airflow in an increased reaction zone. This allows the fuel to react in a controlled manner at significantly lower temperatures than with flame combustion. TechnipFMC provided on-site process services during project development and DHU equipment as well as the unit’s technology license.

“We are delighted with this successful start of INNOVA’s DHU business. This technology represents one of the most significant advances in the styrene process in over 60 years. We look forward to realizing possibilities with DHU technology,” said Stan Knez, president of TechnipFMC Process Technology.

INNOVA’s industrial director Sergio de Oliveira Machado praised the success of this project. “DHU technology exceeded our expectations and we are delighted with the way the project was completed, with the full cooperation of TechnipFMC’s Badger Technology.”

DHU technology was developed in conjunction with support from Total Petrochemicals and Refining and Shell Catalysts and Technologies and is licensed by Badger Licensing LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TechnipFMC. DHU technology is now routinely incorporated as part of Total / Badger styrene technology for base and renovation applications. DHU’s second commercial application is expected to take place later this year.

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