The kinetics of ethane thermal cracking in industrial pyrocrackers was investigated using Aspen Plus. The radiant coils were modeled as a 1D plug-flow reactor in which ethane is subjected to steam cracking. An improved reaction scheme for ethane cracking was proposed to predict product distribution which was compared with industrial data to validate the model. Further, the model was used to assess the effects of various process parameters, including coil outlet temperature, residence time, and steam-to-ethane ratio, on yield and composition of the cracked gas. A simplified process model of an industrial ethane cracker was developed. The capability of this model for predicting the optimum conditions for the cracking unit has been successfully demonstrated. The results potentially have a direct impact on the industrial pyrocracker economics and could serve as a handy reference to engineers and operators working with industrial units.
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