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Delayed Coking Innovations

Delayed Coking Innovations

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Published by Javier Lopez

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Published by: Javier Lopez on Nov 21, 2012
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DELAYED COKING INNOVATIONS AND NEW DESIGNTREND
 
By John D. Elliott Foster Wheeler USA Corporation 
 
Introduction
 This paper will address a few specific points of interest that are of highcurrent profile among engineers and refiners dealing with delayed cokers.These are:
Yield Strategy
Shot Coke Production
Short Cycles
Design and Operation of Coke Drums, Coker Heaters, and CokerFractionators
Recent Enhancements for Safety and Operability
Yield Strategies
 Over the last five years, the great majority of the new and revamp cokerprojects in-volved conversion of high sulfur and metals containingresidues to maximum liquid yields and fuel grade coke. Considerablethought must go into the strategies for setting the coker design basis todetermine the best operating conditions that will provide:
Maximum Liquid Yield
Liquid Products, especially heavy coker gas oil, with propertiesacceptable to down-stream processesOccasionally other requirements will affect yield strategies: for instance,limitation on the quality of the coke. Fuel grade coke is generally expectedto have VCM (Volatile Combustible Material) levels in excess of 8 to 10 wtpercent and HGI (Hardgrove Grind-ability Index) values in excess of 35 to40. However, there can be overriding specifica-tions on these values tomeet the needs of a captive market.Many new cokers are being designed to convert very low value residuefrom Western Hemisphere heavy and high sulfur crudes. Typical yields forseveral of these vacuum residues are given below and provided with acomparison to a mixed Arabian vacuum residue.
Table 1: Typical SYDECsmYields
 
OrinocoHeavy
 
Merey Blend
 
Maya
 
MixedArabianGas, LV% FOE
 
5.36
 
5.52
 
5.58
 
5.20
 
C3/C4, LV%
 
7.04
 
7.66
 
7.08
 
6.64
 
Naphtha, LV%
 
14.07
 
16.71
 
13.50
 
12.64
 
LCGO, LV%
 
28.38
 
31.69
 
28.77
 
27.09
 
HCGO, LV%
 
28.48
 
20.79
 
20.81
 
31.24
 
 
Coke, wt%
 
32.44
 
35.77
 
39.80
 
30.91
 
HCGO
 
Gravity, °API 16.56
 
16.55
 
14.27
 
13.86
 
Ni + V, ppmw
 
0.5
 
0.7
 
0.6
 
0.4
 
CCR, wt%
 
0.31
 
0.53
 
0.55
 
0.41
 
Coke
 
Sulfur, wt%
 
4.65
 
3.96
 
6.02
 
6.39
 
The above yields are based on Low Pressure (15 psig) and Ultra-lowrecycle ratio (1.05) operation with the purpose of producing maximumliquid yields.
Impact of Zero Recycle Operations:
In the interest of further reducingcoke yields and maximizing liquids production from the delayed coker,Foster Wheeler has designed several cokers with true zero-recycleoperation. A true zero-recycle operation is one in which even the liquidresulting from the coke drum overhead line quench is collected with theheavy coker gas oil. A number of refiners successfully operate modifiedzero recycle operations in which an ultra low recycle coker is operatedwithout pump back wash oil and only a minimum amount of coke drumoverhead line quench. This opera-tion type is equivalent to operating withthroughput ratio of 1.01 to 1.02. The trick to this type of operation iskeeping a minimum amount of liquid in the overhead line; otherwise theline will experience coking at the point of dry-out. When considering azero recycle operation, it is important to consider the incremental value ofthe additional HCGO produced and the incremental loss of lighter liquids.Usu-ally these lighter liquids are less desirable as raw delay cokerproducts, but not always. A typical comparison with both operations at lowpressure (15 psig) is noted below.Inspection shows that the increased volumetric yield of HCGO is partiallyoffset by the decrease in other liquid products. The true-zero recycleoperation produces only 0.64 LV% more total liquids; on the other hand itproduces 1.32 wt% more total liquids, all as HCGO.Inspection of the incremental properties of the HCGO below shows thatthe incremental gas oil is quite heavy with some properties starting toapproach that of the feedstock it-self. The distillation curves for the twoHCGO's show that the liquid volume percentage boiling above 1050 ° F isabout 7% for the ultra-low recycle HCGO whereas it is nearly double thatfor the HCGO produced in the True-Zero Recycle Operation.
Table 2: Yield Comparison for Ultra-Low Recycle and True-Zero Recycle Operations
 
Ultra LowRecycle
 
True ZeroRecycle
 
Incremental
 
Dry Gas, LV% FOE
 
5.80
 
5.78
 
+0.02
 
C3/C4, LV%
 
7.27
 
7.07
 
+0.20
 
 
Naphtha, LV%
 
13.34
 
12.41
 
+0.93
 
LCGO, LV%
 
32.52
 
30.48
 
+2.04
 
HCGO, LV%
 
24.02
 
27.83
 
-3.81
 
Coke, wt%
 
32.73
 
31.43
 
+1.30
 
Table 3: Comparison of Heavy Coker Gas Oil Properties for Ultra-Low Recycle and True-ZeroRecycle Operations
 
Properties
 
Ultra LowRecycle
 
True ZeroRecycle
 
Incremental
 
Gravity, °API
 
12.78
 
11.55
 
4.35
 
Sulfur, wt%
 
2.58
 
2.55
 
2.37
 
Nitrogen, wppm
 
5303
 
5087
 
3806
 
CCR, wt%
 
0.53
 
2.43
 
13.70
 
C7 Insol, wppm
 
432
 
2000
 
11,300
 
Ni + V, wppm
 
1.0
 
3.8
 
20.4
 
Distillation
 
10% LV
 
729
 
734
 
50% LV
 
864
 
893
 
1074 VABP
 
EP
 
1072
 
1141
 
Watson K
 
11.13
 
11.12
 
11.07
 
Further comparison of the HCGO's from the two-operations shows thatthe zero-recycle HCGO is of poorer quality in terms of gravity, carbonresidue, asphaltenes, metals and distillation endpoint althoughsignificantly higher in yields. Note however, that the sulfur and nitrogencontent is lower because of the reduced conversion.There is no simple rule of thumb to decide which type of operation toadopt; each case study needs to be determined based on the refineryspecifics. True-zero recycle opera-tions can have significant benefitswhen delayed coking is used for synthetic crude pro-duction or, in somecases, if the HCGO is fractionated to produce an XHCGO (extra heavycoker gas oil) product which is a heavy fuel oil blend stock. Lastly, sinceFoster Wheeler's Ultra-low Recycle Cokers have been shown to operateat throughput ratios less than 1.05, it may be worthwhile to investigate 2or 3 percent recycle ratio operations (modified zero recycle).One exception might be if the coker is to be integrated into a hydrocrackerbased refin-ery. Depending on the licensor, design specifics, catalyst,etc., most hydrocrackers will limit one or more of the following: metals,distillation end point, carbon residue, and/or heptane insolubles. Thesespecifications are generally more stringent than those re-quired for FCCFeed Hydrotreaters. In one study the limiting value of the HCGO product

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