The ATR process design is suitable for production in a single line up to 700'000 Nm3/h of CO+H2 (equivalent to a production of 24'000 bpd of distillates in a FT unit).
It is referenced up to 500'000 Nm3/h of CO+H2.

The steam reforming through Auto-Thermal Reforming (ATR) is Casale’s process for synthesis gas generation from natural gas and oxygen from Air Separation Unit (ASU).
An oxygen-blown autothermal reformer (ATR) offers a simple and straightforward process layout for large-scale production of synthesis gas: plot area and construction costs are reduced because of the compact design, and ultra-high capacity can easily be achieved in a single-train design. ATR is a game-changing technology, as it breaks the traditional upper capacity limit of many plants, which were economically constrained by the size of the steam-methane reformer (SMR).
The main feature of ATR process is to produce, with a minimum steam requirement, a syngas rich in CO and H2 and a minimum methane slip. The typically H2:CO ratio ranges from 2.6 to 1.9 depending on downstream units requirements.The syngas with such charachteristics is suitable for FT units, ammonia and methanol plants.
The ATR process for syngas generation is based on the natural gas partial oxidation through pure oxygen burners inside a combustion chanber followed by a catalystic bed, inside a pressure vessel lined with refractory material. The performances of the ATR unit to achieve the best possible conversion of natural gas to syngas are enhanced by application of Casale technologies and tailored process solutions.
The main steps, as shown in the block flow diagram, are:

  • Natural Gas Desulphurization
  • Synthesis gas generation through Pre-reformer and ATR reactor
  • Heat recovery and cooling
  • Syngas washing and process condensate stripping section (optional)

Embedded Casale’s technologies

Several Casale’s well-proven and highly efficient technologies and proprietary items are the key underpinnings of the syngas generation through ATR namely:

  • Auto-thermal reformer burner
  • Pre-reformer

Key features

The syngas generation through ATR process design is characterised by high reliability, superior performances, streamlined design for cost effectiveness and limited environmental impact. The optimized burner and ATR reactor design guarantees an efficient conversion with soot-free operation at various plant loads, also with fluctuating feed gas composition and with "very difficult" fuels, like coke oven gas.
The design can be customized to specific Client’s needs and integrated any downstream unit.
The process is extremely flexible, and the scheme may be adapted to specific market needs and/or customer requirements. Other distinctive features are:

  • The syngas composition is in the range, in terms of H2:CO ratio, between 2.6 and 1.9
  • The steam to carbon ratio is in the range between 0.6 to 2.0 Nm3/Nm3
  • The oxygen consumption is in the range of 0.15-0.20 Nm3/Nm3 H2+CO
  • The minimum turn-down ratio is very low; operation is stable at only 20% of design
  • Very compact and simple lay-out, arranged in a way to minimize the overall footprint as well as optimize the connections across the different sections of the plant
  • Primary importance is given to the process control, as the safety and reliability of the plant as well as its efficiency and economics depend on it
  • Full life-cycle support by means of Casale’s Remote Plant Monitoring and/or Casale’s Customer Care services