RUST CATALYZED ETHYLENE HYDROGENATION CAUSES TEMPERATURE RUNAWAY

Roy T. Halle Exxon Chemical Co. Baytown, Tex. Mo Vadekar Exxon Chemical Holland By Rotterdam During early operation of one of Exxon Chemical Co.'s ethane cracking plants, a temperature runaway in a small shell-and-tube heat exchanger upstream of the hydrogen methanator reactor resulted in rupture of the exchanger shell. Exxon has concluded that the overtemperature resulted from the exothermic heat of reaction of ethylene and hydrogen. This hydrogenation reaction unexpectedly initiated at a

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