Refining Community Logo

Center Feed: Maximizing Coke Drum Life

Presented By

Ruben Lah - DeltaValve LLC


For refiners with delayed coking units, maximizing coke drum life is a primary focus. Many factors influence the life expectancy of coke drums including cycle times, crude slates, method of steam stripping and quenching, as well as which method is utilized to feed the drum.

Unlike traditional centered bottom-feed entry, today’s side-feed configurations create coke bed channeling primarily against one wall of the coke drum. This channeling causes accelerated thermal expansion and contraction on one side of the drum which can result in an increase in drum warping, bulging, and through-wall cracks as well as decrease the fatigue life of the drum skirt and cone. Side wall channeling also heats and cools from the outside-in, creating a potential environment for hot-spots and top head blowouts.
This presentation will examine the current options including single side feed, dual side feed and DeltaValve’s new retractable center feed for introducing feed into coke drums utilizing automated unheading. The center feed offers significant benefits over all other drum feed systems. The center feed is currently installed in several cokers and operational feedback will be presented.

Ruben Lah, DeltaValve - presenter at RefComm Budapest 2017Ruben began his distinguished career in 1988. His innovative valve designs were installed and proven in a multitude of severe service applications in many major industries. In early 2001, he completed the prototype design of a revolutionary coke drum unheading valve which was subsequently installed in September that same year. The unheading valve far exceeded all industry performance and maintenance expectations and has become the global standard in fully automated coke drum unheading technology.

Ruben is currently the General Manager for Critical Flow Solutions, comprised of DeltaValve, LLC and TapcoEnpro, LLC. Critical Flow Solutions, acquired in October 2016, will operate as a new business unit with the CIRCOR Energy Group.DeltaValve Logo 186K

Refining Community