KBR's top-fired steam reformer has been successfully operated in more than 200 installations. The advantage of top firing is that the highest temperature on the flue gas side exists at the lowest temperature on the process side. That makes the load on the reforming tubes relatively even. The tubes are supported from the top, to prevent bowing.
KBR's top-fired reformer is used with downstream heat recovery equipment. This design is useful for locations requiring export steam from the hydrogen plant.