StaBlox Install

StaBlox™ Flue Gas Reformer Tunnel System for Top-Fired Steam Methane Reformer Flue Gas Tunnels

The patented Blasch StaBlox™ reformer flue gas tunnel system is a versatile, mechanically stable system consisting of a series of stackable, interlocking blocks. Unlike traditional flue gas reformer tunnels, which rely on mortar for mechanical integrity, and typically fail as a result of multiple thermal cycles and poorly performing expansion joints, the StaBlox system is designed to fit together in a mortar-free assembly that can easily and accurately accommodate for any thermal growth. Roof assemblies offer lightweight, structurally stable designs that are engineered to be much more resistant to the effects of high-temperature creep than standard designs. All StaBlox components are fully customizable allowing for any situation or unit.

U.S. Patent #10,605,456

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The unique geometry and advanced mating features of the blocks in the base, walls, tie-rods, and structural lid of the StaBlox Tunnel System allows for the assembly of complete tunnels in hours instead of the days required to fabricate a tunnel using traditional brick and mortar techniques. The highly engineered design also reduces overall mass by 60% while maintaining structural integrity.

Other mechanical advantages include, but are not limited to:

  • Prefired components/no mortar required/no cure-out
  • Expansion joints designed into every block
  • Improved structural reliability results in less distortion and cracking
  • Lower mass means less heat storage and more even cooling
  • Elimination of buttresses means tunnels may be wider

With orifice inserts, BD Energy Systems’ patented TOP™ technology may be implemented to provide near-uniform flow along the length of each tunnel, promoting even heating and reducing tube hotspots.

Other process improvements that your plant can expect to achieve include, but are not limited to:

  • Reduction of methane slip of 2%-3% provides options for plant operations.
  • Improved efficiency in methane conversion can provide significant savings in feedstock costs
  • In situations where the plant is bottlenecked, the reduction in methane slip can result in a significant increase in plant capacity.
  • Improved uniformity results in more uniform tube life, improved reliability of high-temperature components.
  • Improved uniformity results in less need for individual burner adjustment to address high TMTs.
  • Reduced pressure drop across the tunnel system
  • Greater allowable interior tunnel width
  • Increased tube reliability – Increased tunnel reliability
  • Fewer emergency shutdowns – process safety improvement
  • Improved SNCR NOx reduction performance

Download the Blasch Precision Ceramics and BD Energy Systems brochure.

The same base material and distributed expansion technology behind the StaBlox system have been saving Blasch customers money in various high-temperature combustion applications for decades. Tighter temperature control leads to greater conversion efficiency, and that means more product for the same amount of fuel or less fuel for the same amount of product, and less fuel means lower carbon emissions. Reduce natural gas consumption by reducing methane slip between 1%-3%, creating more uniform temperature distribution. The reduction in natural gas consumption results in substantial savings per year, not including equivalent or larger savings in carbon tax reductions or credits.

If you notice a collapsed or otherwise compromised tunnel in your reformer, Blasch maintains stock for unexpected and urgent needs. Running with a compromised tunnel greatly reduces operational efficiency. Blasch StaBlox offer faster construction and superior mechanical stability compared to traditional brick and mortar. Replacing a tunnel now is an investment in your full tunnel set later. Learn more about our Compromised Tunnel Replacement here

Product Information Sheets

Webpage: Blasch StaBlox Replacement Tunnels 

Featuring faster, easier installation with superior mechanical stability and reduced mass compared to traditional brick and mortar. The interlocking blocks and engineered, mortar-free expansion joints ensure reliable thermal growth accommodation during operation. The absence of mortar eliminates cure time, shortening maintenance outages. The reduced mass enhances thermal efficiency, reducing thermal stress and future maintenance needs.

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Recorded Presentation

Don't miss this recorded presentation, where you'll learn about the groundbreaking mechanical and reliability features of Blasch’s StaBlox™ system alongside BD Energy’s innovative TOP™ technology. See how a 2%-3% reduction in methane slip can transform plant operations, boost tube reliability, and explore the potential for an in-tunnel SNCR NOx reduction system. 

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Industry Article: Improvements in Steam Methane Reforming

The breakthrough combination of Blasch StaBlox™ system and BD Energy Systems TOP™ Technology achieves near-perfect flue gas flow uniformity in tunnels. Dive into how these innovations can significantly enhance your operation's efficiency and performance. 

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Article: A New Kind of Tunnel Vision

See the operating data from a 2018 installation, revealing how the Blasch StaBlox™ system and BD Energy Systems TOP™ Technology deliver uniform heating of catalyst tubes, improved heating efficiency, and extended tube life. This data further confirms these tunnels' impressive performance.  

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Webinar: From Hydrogen Production to Sulphur Recovery - Let Ceramics Pave the Way

Discover the remarkable transformation at the LSB Cherokee Nitrogen facility with the StaBlox™ flue gas tunnel system. This white paper details an installation completed in days rather than weeks. Unlike conventional tunnels, StaBlox components are hollow and lightweight, leading to several key benefits:

  • Decreases installation time
  • Reduces mass by approximately 60%
  • Reduces heat retention

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Industry Article: Improving the Flow in Your SMR

Rapid tunnel installation is a key benefit of the StaBlox Flue Gas Tunnel System. In this article, we discuss two recent installations of 9 tunnels in under two weeks and the resulting benefits like: 

  • Process Flexibility - scale up by improving corrosion efficiency without rebuilding tunnels
  • Tunnel System Pressure Drop - reduce pressure with greater allowable width and more evenly distributed velocity and mass flow
  • Catalyst Tube Temperature - better temperature control means reduced methane slip and feedstock costs
  • Variable Orifice Openings - Near-uniform flow along length of every tunnel with inserts

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