A fluidized bed reactor of 70.000 tons/year capacity of Maleic Anhydride has been successfully manufactured at Walter Tosto workshops in Chieti (Italy) and delivered to the Ravenna Polynt facilities (Italy).

The reactor has a diameter of seven meters, a height of twenty-eight meters and a weight of approximately 500 tons.

From a manufacturing point of view this reactor required the most advanced and sophisticated techniques in terms of fabrication, welding, heat treatment, assembly and testing. From an engineering perspective, very advanced studies such as 3D simulations were crucial in order to optimize the assembly sequence of the internal components as well as the in-house development of special welding tools studied specifically for this reactor.

An air grid and a hydrocarbon sparger opportunely designed allow the proper feeding of the reagents.

Five cooling banks and appropriate baffles assure the extremely constant homogeneous fine control of the reaction temperature, about 435 °C, without any hot spot both in the axial and the radial directions.

The reactor will run according to the fluidized bed Alma technology, jointly developed by Lummus and Polynt.

The heterogeneous oxidation reaction will take place in the presence of the Polynt proprietary catalyst.

Rosario Valido, President and Chief Executive Officer at Polynt SpA declared: “Our commitment towards high quality technology and capacity improvements is achieved thanks to the high level contribution of Walter Tosto, a leading tech Group, with whom we have started a journey that will enhance  technology and experience of both Groups, to maintain and further improve our leadership in the fluid and fixed bed maleic anhydride’s production. The new reactor is designed to reach 70 kt/year of production in one single line: the largest in the world with the Polynt, Walter Tosto and Lummus Technologies.”

As proven by the twenty-seven years of continuous operation of the twin reactor installed in Polynt Ravenna, Walter Tosto reactor operating with the Alma technology is today the only one in the world able to handle an annual capacity of 70.000 ton/year being capable to manage a hydrocarbon concentration double than the one processed by the fixed bed.

With a consequent half air flow rate compared to the fixed bed, the downstream equipment enjoys lower sizes with construction material savings together with less expensive operational costs. Also, the overall energy efficiency guaranteed by this type of reactor is significative higher than for fixed bed reactors.

The Alma technology, with Lummus’ technology and Polynt’s catalyst, is so far the only industrialized technology able to provide such large Maleic Anhydride capacities with one single Walter Tosto reactor.

We are delighted that Walter Tosto is contributing to Polynt’s goal to maximize Anhydride Maleic capacity and energy efficiency of its plant in Ravenna. We wish that this important achievement will lay the foundations for a successful and  long-term collaboration with Polynt on future opportunities” said Luca Tosto, Managing Director at Walter Tosto SpA.