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Abstract

A rigorous approach was developed for the simulation of the decoking of an industrial cracking furnace. A one-dimensional heterogeneous reactor model, which accounts for the interfacial gradients between the process gas and the coke surface, was used to simulate reactor coils. Both the combustion and steam gasification of the coke layer were taken into account. The reactor model for the decoking was coupled with a detailed firebox simulation model. The initial profile of the coke layer thickness, required for the decoking calculations, was obtained by a run-length simulation. The evolution with time of the temperature distribution inside the cracking coil and in the furnace was generated simultaneously, which made it possible to understand the decoking operation in detail and to predict its duration accurately.