Furnaces: Safe Operation & Optimization

Application using dynamic simulator (CORYS IndissPlus)


Who should attend?

  • This course provides in-depth knowledge of furnace operation in the petroleum and petrochemical industries. The course covers also the safety and reliability constraints.
Public :
  • Operators, panel operators, supervisors and plant managers of refining, chemical and petrochemical plants, involved in furnace operation.
  • Engineers and supervisors concerned with safety, optimization and operating issues of furnaces.

Level : Proficiency

Course Content


      • Different types of furnace and operating conditions. Scope and limitations for improving furnace efficiency.
      • Construction of heat exchange areas and refractory materials: tube bundle arrangement, insulation, type of material used and operating limits.

      • Combustion conditions: liquid and fuel gas characteristics, liquid spray.
      • Burners: fuel and air supply and mixture. Conventional and low NOx burners operation.
      • Combustion quality: analysis of the oxygen and the unburned material in the flue gases, control of combustion air flowrate and air/fuel ratio.
      • Combustion safety: flame detection, control and safety devices.
      • Air and flue gas circulation: natural draft, forced draft, pressure differential control, automatic safety devices. Damper or induced draft fan role.
      • Application:
      • Natural and forced draft pressure profile drawing. Review of draft constraints.
      • Different types of burners and spraying systems.

      • Heat transfer to the tube coil: control parameters. Impact of internal or external fouling.
      • Heat control: process fluid outlet temperature, fuel flowrate control.
      • Most important furnace temperature and constraints: skin temperature, bridgewall temperature, limits and risk of overcoming.
      • Application: furnace temperature profile and heat recovery distribution as a function of fuel burned and combustion air excess.
      • On-stream furnace operations: monitoring of combustion and heating. Modifying operating conditions. Analysis of disturbances. Key points for safe operation.
      • Start-up and shutdown: preparation, safe ignition procedures, ignition after a short shutdown, normal shutdown, emergency shutdown.
      • Incidents.
      • Troubleshooting. Prevention.
      • Application:
      • Case study of furnace accidents.
      • Start-up procedure study.

Learning Objectives

  • Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • recognize the main operating and material constraints for an optimal, safe and reliable furnace operation,
  • describe industrial combustion phenomena and calculate the air/fuel ratio for optimum combustion,
  • identify bad-quality combustion from flue gas analysis and flame study, and implement corrective steps,
  • list and apply the main steps of a furnace start-up procedure.

Ways & Means

  • Use of a dynamic simulator to understand the impact of operating conditions on thermal performance and furnace operation.
  • Use of case studies and exercises based on industrial situations.
  • Special emphasis on safety issues and abnormal situations that can lead to accidents.
  • The course content can be tailored to different types of furnaces and includes specificities linked to some processing units such as the steam reformer or steamcracker.
To French entities : IFP Training is referenced to DataDock ; you may contact your OPCO about potential funding.
Please contact our disabled persons referent to check the accessibility of this training program : referent.handicap@ifptraining.com.