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Evaluation of a Ti–Base Alloy as Steam Cracking Reactor Material

Department of Materials, Textiles and Chemical Engineering, University of Gent, Technologiepark 914, BE-9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(16), 2550;
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 26 July 2019 / Accepted: 6 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Corrosion and Materials Degradation)
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Low-coking reactor material technologies are key for improving the performance and sustainability of steam crackers. In an attempt to appraise the coking performance of an alternative Ti–base alloy during ethane steam cracking, an experimental study was performed in a jet stirred reactor under industrially relevant conditions using thermogravimetry (Tgasphase = 1173 K, Ptot = 0.1 MPa, XC2H6 = 70%, and dilution δ = 0.33 kgH2O/kgHC). Initially, a typical pretreatment used for Fe–Ni–Cr alloys was utilized and compared with a pretreatment at increased temperature, aiming at better surface oxidation and thus suppressing coke formation. The results revealed a decrease in coking rates upon high temperature pretreatment of the Ti–base alloy, however, its coking performance was significantly worse compared to the typically used Fe–Ni–Cr alloys, and carbon oxides formation increased by a factor of 30 or more. Moreover, the analyzed coupons showed crack propagation after coking/decoking and cooling down to ambient temperature. Scanning electron microscopy combined with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy indicated that the prompt and unsystematic oxidation of the surface and bulk caused observable crack initiation and propagation due to alloy brittleness. Hence, the tested Ti–base alloy cannot be considered an industrially noteworthy steam cracking reactor alloy. View Full-Text
Keywords: cracking; coke; superalloy; carburization; oxidation cracking; coke; superalloy; carburization; oxidation

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Sarris, S.A.; Verbeken, K.; Reyniers, M.-F.; Van Geem, K.M. Evaluation of a Ti–Base Alloy as Steam Cracking Reactor Material. Materials 2019, 12, 2550.

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