# BP Process Safety Series - Safe Furnace and Boiler Firing by Collective

By Collective

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Extra resources for BP Process Safety Series - Safe Furnace and Boiler Firing

Sample text

One big advantage of pilot burners is that it avoids the need to have this small minimum gas flow bypass around the main fuel gas burner’s control valve to maintain minimum firing. Tube failures have occurred when minimum firing was maintained, resulting in heat release high enough to overheat the tubes. By comparison, the heat release through the pilots is very small and controlled (see Figure 60 on page 66 for details). Most burners are equipped with an igniter for the pilot. This is the preferred method to give positive ignition.

It is important that process flow measuring instruments are giving correct readings; for example, tappings and lead lines are not partially filled with water from any previous steaming out or pressure tests. 52 SAFE FURNACE AND BOILER FIRING ACCIDENT Figures 42a-c show boilers which exploded when a lighted torch was inserted in a gas-filled firebox. Figure 42a A lighted torch inserted into a gas-filled firebox caused this boiler explosion. Figure 42b Rear view of explosion damage to the boiler: Figure 42c This boiler exploded because the operator tried to light a burner without purging the firebox.

B Figure 27c and d Another recent incident occurred in a plant when a furnace had to be shut down for a few hours to clean process equipment in a unit. The heater is fed with heating gas and/or natural gas from a control block installed on top of the furnace. The flame, which is directed downwards, heats the heating coils. The air needed for the combustion is sucked in at the top of the furnace with the aid of a ventilator and via the air pre-heater, where flue gas heats this air. In order to block off the gas supply, the natural gas input pipe has to be closed off at battery limits.