Denstone® Support Media for Catalyst Beds (Article)
May 26, 2017
Denstone® support media was first introduced over 70 years ago to address needs in fixed catalyst bed applications. The product line became synonymous with quality and structural integrity as Denstone® 57, the most widely used support media in the world, set the stage as the industry standard.
Today, Saint-Gobain NorPro’s extensive range of Denstone® bed support media is the result of continual innovation and customer focus. The product line is engineered to address everything from catalytic steam reformers to process dryer applications. Denstone® deltaP® shaped media is their latest innovative product, and it offers additional value over spherical media by improving your bottom line and maintaining a lower pressure drop during operation.
Saint Gobain NorPro offers Denstone® 57, 2000 and 99 spherical media along with their revolutionary Denstone® deltaP® shaped support media, and they have the knowledge to determine the media size and layering configuration that best suits your application. To complement their knowledge and product depth, a new website was launched with online engineering tools, including the Denstone pressure drop estimator and a soon-to-be-released selector tool.
Innovation and Development of the Brand
Saint-Gobain NorPro has come to understand the needs of the industry by working with its customers. They maintain a competitive advantage through cycles of continuous innovation and are addressing clients’ needs by introducing high performance products like Denstone® 2000 spherical media and Denstone® deltaP® shaped media.
Their deep industry knowledge is backed by a research and development team that emphasizes design quality. They embed quality controls into the entire manufacturing process from raw material selection to process selection. Denstone® support media is developed to provide consistent, worry-free support of catalysts of all sizes and materials to petrochemical, gas processing, refining and chemical plants all around the world.
Denstone® 57 Media
Denstone® 57 spheres are the industrial standard in bed support media and have been for over 70 years. The high-quality support media is free of catalytic poisons and has a maximum resistance to attrition. They retain their physical properties after thermal cycling and proven performance is in their consistent and unparalleled reliability. Use of Denstone® 57 media will extend catalyst life, prevent fouling and plugging of the catalyst bed, and increase the efficiency of your process while keeping pressure drop low.
Denstone® 2000 Media
Denstone® 2000 spheres were designed for severe hydrothermal processes where support media is subject to thermal cycling and rapid depressurization. In these applications, the engineered microstructure exhibits unprecedented survivability, and when instantly depressurized to ambient pressure after being heated to 850° F (455° C) at 1,500 psi hydrogen, over 99% of the media remains intact.
Denstone® 2000 spheres also offer superior impact resistance and compressive strength as well as high thermal shock resistance. Their resilience safeguards against channeling and plugging of bed material as well as fouling of catalyst material. They sustain higher impact forces without fracture and retain their compressive strength even after water quenching media that has been heated to temperatures as high as 1,500° F (815° C).
Denstone® deltaP® Media
Denstone® deltaP® engineered media offers a distinct advantage over traditional spherical bed support media as its unique shape allows you to achieve more with less. Only two layers of Denstone® deltaP® media are required, versus four or more layers of spherical media. It eliminates the need for costly small spheres, simplifies layering configurations, reduces your pressure drop and can increase the available space inside your reactor.
Denstone® 99 Media
Denstone® 99 is a high purity alumina support media designed to address high temperature steam applications as experienced in ammonia production. Composed of over 99% alpha alumina with a maximum silica content of only 0.2%, it addresses concerns of leached silica, protecting your catalytic bed and downstream equipment.
Denstone 99 media withstands extreme temperatures up to 1,650° C making it an excellent choice for heat retention and equilibration media. It also excels in olefin processes, such as ethylene dryers, where polymerization could be a problem and a chemically inert support media is required.
The Future is Brighter with Denstone® Media
Denstone® bed support media has captivated the industry answering needs globally in petrochemical, gas processing, refining and chemical plants. To complement their line of spherical support media, Saint-Gobain NorPro introduced a new revolutionary catalyst bed support material: Denstone® deltaP® shaped media.
Denstone® deltaP® Media
Denstone® deltaP® media is unlike any traditional spherical bed support media and has the ability to reduce operational costs while increasing the performance of your reactor. It provides you with additional value over traditional spheres as it reduces the amount of support bed media needed, allows for faster installation and maintains a lower pressure drop during operation.
Denstone® deltaP® media increases the available space inside a reactor by eliminating the need for costly 3 mm (1/8 in.) and 6 mm (1/4 in.) spherical media. These small spheres have a low void fraction that results in an increased pressure drop.
Test results show proven performance and confirm the ability to support 1/20” catalyst extrudate using only two layers of Denstone® deltaP® media without any migration into the support media bed or nesting between support media layers. It has a leachable iron content of less than 0.1%, a maximum operating temperature of 1,000° C and a MOHS hardness of 6.5.
It is currently offered in two sizes, P1 and P2, with a typical diameter of 11.5 mm (0.5 in.) and 31 mm (1.2 in.) respectively. Saint-Gobain NorPro will also be introducing a third size, P1.4, in the near future.
|Denstone® deltaP® -- Physical Properties|
|Size||Typical Diameter||Crush Strength||Typical Bulk Density|
|Denstone® deltaP® -- Typical Chemistry|
|min %||max %|
|Al2O3 + SiO2||90.0||96.0|
Use of Denstone® deltaP® Support Media
Denstone® deltaP® shaped media has replaced use of spherical media in process dryers in steam cracking applications. Dryers of varying sizes switched to this shaped media and found a reduction in operational costs by reducing the amount of support media in their dryers and increasing the amount of adsorbent. On average, users were able to install 17% more adsorbent allowing for increased throughput as well as modest gains in pressure drop.
Denstone® deltaP® media also provides additional value over spherical media in natural gas and LNG plants. In applications Denstone® support media loading guidelines suggest a minimum depth of 100 mm for each layer of support media and when using spherical media the layer adjacent to your catalyst can be no more than twice the size of the catalyst.
Denstone® deltaP® P1 is a larger diameter support media with a unique shape that effectively supports catalyst media and prevents migration. Use of Denstone® deltaP® has allowed users in natural gas and LNG plants to reduce fill costs, maintain a lower pressure drop and reduce the total volume of support media needed allowing for more catalyst in their reactor.
Denstone® deltaP® support media migration testing illustrates the proven performance of the revolutionary bed support media using conditions that mimic actual process conditions. A nine-inch layer of Denstone® deltaP® P1 supported nine inches of 1.6 mm molecular sieve for a duration of 90 hours while the column was subjected to simultaneous vibrations of 6.5 kHz and an upward air flow velocity of 0.3m/s. Only a minimal amount of migration was experienced in the transition zone between the adsorbent and Denstone® deltaP® P1 shaped media.
What’s the Best Denstone® Media for Your Application?
To help with selection of the Denstone® fixed bed catalyst support media that best complements and enhances the performance of your specific application, Saint-Gobain NorPro offers on-line reference data and engineering tools.
“Which Denstone® Media Do I Need?”
“Which Denstone® Media Do I Need?” is a page in the Denstone® fixed bed support media section of the website. On this page, customers will find detailed information and specifications for the four types of Denstone® media and a detailed product comparator and selection chart. Typical applications are also discussed, such as a desiccant dryer, a hydrocracker reactor, a petrochemical reactor, a hydrotreater/downflow reactor and an upflow reactor. These application discussions are dealt with in detail, providing quality engineering information, as well as suggested usages for the Denstone® fixed bed catalyst support media products.
Denstone Media Pressure Drop Estimator
The Denstone® Media Pressure Drop Estimator determines pressure drop based on reactor operating conditions and media type, size and layering configurations. Users can compare the expected performance between different layering configurations as well as the expected improvement in pressure drop when implementing Denstone® deltaP® support media.
The selector tool illustrates how Denstone® support media layers are graded by size to retain catalyst or adsorbent above the bottom supports, screen and distributor. The tool will display the preferred Denstone® support media grading according to the defined catalyst size and bottom screen opening.
The tool shows the preferred sizes and layer depths of both Denstone® spherical media and Denstone® deltaP® media based on user input. You can compare the layering required for standard spheres versus Denstone® deltaP® media.
The selected layering can then be imported into the Denstone® pressure drop estimator, allowing you to see the difference between the use of Denstone® spherical media versus Denstone® deltaP® support media.
Denstone® Catalyst Bed Support Media
With its long-standing reputation, Denstone® catalyst bed support media continues to be the standard of excellence in catalyst bed support media. Through decades of serving the refining, natural gas processing, and other chemical processing industries, Saint-Gobain NorPro has developed both technical expertise and an extensive range of bed support media that allows the catalyst user to focus on optimizing their catalyst and reactor performance.
With new Denstone® support media designs, online reference data and engineering tools, it is easy to see how the Denstone® brand will continue to meet the highest quality and provide the materials technology in catalyst support for the next 70 years.