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PHYSICAL SEPARATION PROCESSES Background In the evolution of petroleum industry after crude oil was discovered the first process that got developed was fractional distillation of crude oil. This physical separation process since then still remains the key process. Simple distillation, cannot be applied in refining crude oil. Crude oil consists of many components with boiling points covering a great range of temperatures. Each finished product such as motor spirit or kerosene comprises a large number of components with different boiling points. Each product therefore has a boiling range having an initial boiling point (I.B.P.) and a final boiling point (F.B.P.). By simple distillation one cannot avoid considerable overlapping of the boiling ranges of the fractions. To obtain narrow fractions, fractional distillation using fractionating columns has to be employed. A mixture of two miscible liquids will start boiling at a temperature lying somewhere between the boiling points of the components, depending on their relative proportions in the mixture. Thus, for instance, by addition alcohol (boiling point 78o C) to the water, the boiling point of the lowerer the boiling point becomes. When such a mixture starts boiling, it is not only the more volatile of the two components which evaporates, the vapour also contains the less volatile component. When a liquid consists of two components, each of these contributes its own quotum to the total vapour pressure of the liquid, so that when boiling takes place the pressure in the still is made up of two parts, one exerted by the vapour of the first component, the other by the vapour of the second and, since the sum of these partial pressures of the components is equal to atmospheric, the combined vapours leave the liquid, that is to say, both of the components are able to evaporate at the same time. The Partial pressure of each component is principally dependent on the vapour pressure of the component in a pure state, and on its proportion in the liquid mixture, so that for the same proportion in the liquid the percentage in the vapour will be highest for the component with the highest vapour pressure. This can be expressed also by saying that the more valatile substance evaporates more readily, so that its percentage in the vapour is greater than in the liquid. Because the evaporated part of the liquid contains a higher percentage of the lighter component than the original liquid, the remainder will necessarily contain
.B.). based principally on repeated distillation. the initial boiling point (I. because at each evaporating stage. Consequently. Thus. part of them is left behind in the liquid. 1.e. which were already more concentrated in the distillate. will again be more concentrated in the second distillate. the boiling range can be very wide. the final residue will eventually be freed from light fractions. i. so that longer the evaportion proceeds the higher boiling point of the remainder of the liquid. because the lightest components remain partly in the residue. with boiling points covering a great range of temperatures. moreover. This process is called “rectification”. eventually a fraction can be produced consisting of the lightest constituents in a concentrated form.1. This boiling range will. up to the temperature when the last remnant of liquid evaporates.P. Consequently. but for a long series of components the initial boiling point will be principally determined by the components with the lower boiling points. a more complicated process is required.P. As this goes on continually. To obtain narrow fractions. than in the original. for such a mixture there is no question of a constant boiling temperature. be a function of the boiling points of all components present and their respective percentages in the mixture. it is necessary not only to effect evaporation in many successive stages but. this phenomenon will be still more pronounced. However.P. of the distillate. For petroleum products consisting of many components. The boiling temperature will rise continuously from the temperature at which the product starts boiling i. the boiling ranges of the products are by no means narrow. the boiling point of the remaining liquid will be higher than that of the original liquid. In order to get a quantitative separation between the desired fractions. Suppose a distillate is again partly evaporated: the more volatile components.a smaller percentage. the efficiency of separation is very low. in which it is again partly evaporated for purpose of driving out light fractions once more. while much heavier constituents are in the vapours.).B. while the final boiling point is more exclusively a function of the heavier hydrocarbons.P. of course. to return the residue of each stage into the preceding one.B.B.2 Fractional Distillation By simple distillation one cannot avoid considerable overlapping of the boiling ranges of the fractions.e. This will be true as evaporation goes on. only a small part of the light fractions is obtained in this way. of the residue is well below the F. moreover. the I. the final boiling point (F. Thus. By repeating this procedure several times.
controls the final boiling point of the gasoline leaving at the top.1. which. It will be apparent that each tray is a little cooler than the one below it and that. and then back again over some stripping trays in the column. so that all the vapour has to pass through liquid. These columns are long cylindrical vessels set up on end and fitted with a large number of trays of a special type. to draw .1. The temperature throughout such a column is controlled at the bottom by the temperature of the crude oil leaving the pipe still. so that the temperature of each tray garies gradually from the bottom of the column to the top. its temperature has risen to. in order to give the correct temperature at the top of the column. in turn. therefore. a certain amount of material will condense which has a lower boiling point than the bulk of the liquid on that tray. where it is heated. where the separation into fractions or “cuts” takes place. therefore. The amount of liquid which is pumped back to the top of the column can be varied as required.4 Side -Strippers Although each tray has the tendency to collect liquid of a small range of boiling points. It is customary. and in addition any light fractions present in the liquid on the tray will be re-evaporated. where it rises gradually through the vapour uptakes shown. say. The mixture of vapour and liquid leaving the pipe still is led in at a point near the bottom of one of these fractionating columns. depending on the crude oil and on the residue needed. In the furnace.3 Fractionating Columns The crude oil which is being pumped to the furnace first passes through heat exchangers. As it rises it cools and a certain amount condenses on each tray. the temperature variation throughout is kept under control. by controlling the temperature at the top and at the bottom. Before it reaches the furnac. 180o C. where it picks up heat from the outgoing vapours and residue. Such an arrangement is referred to as a “reboiler’ 1. As the vapours bubble through the liquid on these trays. until is kept just above the holes in the bubble-cap. and at the top by pumping back a certain amount of the material which leave the top of the column after condensing it (this distillate pumped back is termed “reflux”) In this way. The heated oil leaving the pipe still passes to the fractionating columns. yet.1. and at the same time liquid head is not very large in order to avoid excessive pressure drops. improvement in fractionating efficiency is obtained by supplying additional heat to the product in the bottom part of the fractionating column. the crude oil is heated to 340o -370o C. In most cases. This is done by pumping the oil at the bottom of the column either through a furnace or through a heat exchanger. on account of the complete range of vapours bubbling through any one tray. that part of the vapour will condense which has the same boiling point as the liquid on the tray. lighter and lighter products will be present on each tray as the vapour passes up the column.
injected at the bottom of the stripper. By using two or more of these side-strippers in conjunction with one main column. together with the steam. This arrangement considerably simplifies the production of the various grades of distillates and places the refiner in a position to manufacture gasolines and the other products mentioned above of the correct distillation range. therefore. Through application of “Calming section trays” Shell claim a reduction of 15 to 20% in the column area compared with conventional trays.5 Vacuum and Pressure Distillation The heaviest fractions of crude oil requires such high temperatures to evaporate them that cracking might occur. Through the process of evolution over the years various developments and improvements in the equipment design have taken place. While passing over these trays. without further distillation. condensation of the vapours cannot be obtained at atmospheric pressure and temperature. Other means of supplying heat to side-strippers employ the roboiling principle. it meets an upward stream of steam. distillation is carried out under vacuum. 1. The vapours thus boiled off.the liquid from a selected tray out of the main column into a small subsidiary column called a “side stripper” and allow it to flow down through s everal bubble trays. so that distillation is carried out under pressure. In the latest design. hot residue being used as heat medium. thus lowering the boiling point. Bubble cap trays have been replaced by a variety of other types such as sieve trays and “Calming section trays” which is a proprietary shell device. For the very light fractions. 1. . Last but not the least the advent of microprocessors has lead to process control and process optimization using online programmable logic controllers. The conventional furnaces have been superseded by vertical types with vastly improved combustion equipment such that excess air as low as 5% is now possible compared to 25-30% excess air in older furnaces. streams of white spirit. without the necessity of redistillation. re-enter the main column. In order to avoid this. which increases the boiling point and. which boils off the lightest components and thus narrows the boiling range. waste heat recovery through improved heat exchange has assumed a great significance. has the heat transfer area as well as the configuration of heat exchanger trains.1. kerosene and gas oil can be obtained direct from the plant. Considerable improvements have been made in the design and construction of furnaces. the temperature at which condensation can be obtained. consequently.1.6 A Typical Crude Distillation Unit (CDU) Having discussed the process of fractional distillation and fractionating columns we now come to describe a typical crude distillation unit. With escalating price of petroleum.
especially in the gas oil range a second column has been provided which works under a moderate vacuum. dissociate as the temperature of the crude goes up there by releasing HCL in the system. some of these processes are described here after in brief. the operation is called azeotropic distillation is the production of high purity toluene using methy1 ketone as the entrainer and also distillation to produce anhydrous alcohol. The variation of distillation in which a solvent of low volatility is used to enhance separation is called Extractive Distillation. While the flashed vapours go directly to the primary crude splitter the liquid is heated in the furnace to a temperature around 250o C before entering this column. . Long residue is heated to a temperature somewhat below 400o C before entering the high vacuum column. This leads to corrosion. Kerosene and part of light gas oil is taken out as a side stream. Amongst the physical separation processes. the sidestream is the heavy gas oil and the bottom product is the long residue. An example is the separation of butanes from butanes with furfural. desalted. Apart from the top reflux a number of circulating refluxes have been provided which exchange heat with the crude oil in heat exchangers. to obtain a sharp separation. However when the volatility difference is too small other techniques would need to be adopted. first side stream is a light waxy distillate which could be a feedstock for lube base and the second side stream is heavy waxy distillate for cracking. Top product is a gas oil stream. we give a Shell design of a 2 column crude distillation unit integrated wit a gas tail and high vacuum unit.7 Extractive Distillation The difference in volatility of the components to be separated is enhanced by the addition of a solvent or an entrainer. On crude compared to a one-column system. at virtually the same cost. yield requirement etc. The crude oil is first processed through a desalter which is a standard feature in all crude units. The twocolumn set-up is claimed to give a gain in heavy gas oil yield of 1% wt.1. The column bottom is passed through a furnace. When a solvent of high volatility is added as an entrainer. 1. The top product is the balance of the light gas oil. The crude is therefore. separation through fractional distillation depends upon the difference in volatility of different components. Sodium and Magnesium Chlorides carried in the crude. The crude after being preheated in heat exchangers goes to the preflash vassel.A typical crude distillation unit can have a variety of configurations depending upon the type of crude being processed. The column tops are treated in a hydrotreater bottoms go to gasoline splitter and top to deethanizer and finally to C3 –C4 splitter. raised to a temperature of around 350o C before entering the secondary crude splitter operates at slight vacuum.
8 Absorption Absorption is generally used to separate a higher-boiling constituent from other components of a system of vapours and gases.1.10 Filtration Filtration after chilling is the usual method for removal of wax from waxy distillates. in the process just mentioned natural gasoline may be separated from natural gas by adsorption on charcoal. or even heavier oils. Crystallization has also been applied in the separation of p-xylene from C8 aromatics in high purity in terephthalic acid manufacture.1. . The solvent oil may be heavy gasoline.1. Extraction is a widely used process in many application. The absorbed products are recovered by fractionating or steamstripping. The use of molecular sieves in separating close boiling components deserves a special mention.12 Extraction Extraction involves the removal of a component from a liquid by means of the selective solvent action of another liquid.1. Absorption is widely employed in the recovery of natural gasoline from well gas and of vapours given off by storage tanks. By means of crystallization. 1. wax may be removed from lubricating oil to yield crystalline and microcystalline waxes of low oil content. 1. coking etc. In the Edeleanu process liquid sulphurdioxide is used to extract aromatics from kerosene pool.9 Adsorption Adsorption is employed for about the same purpose as absorption. Liquid SO2 selectively dissolves the aromatics leaving behind the low aromatic content kerosene as the finished products. kerosenes.). Absorption also obtains light hydrocarbons from many refining processes (catalytic cracking. By means of crystallization.11 Crystallization Crystallization ranks as one of the oldest physical separation operations.1. 1. The aromatic extract is then separated from SO2 through rectification and SO2 recirculated. hydrocracking. 1. usually employing activated clay. Adsorption is also used to remove undesirable colours from lubricating oils. The absorption medium is usually an oil in the range of gas oil. The mixture of wax and adhering oil obtained from the press is frozen and allowed to warm slowly so that the oil drains (sweats) from the cake thus further purifying the cake.1.
Filtration after chilling through vacuum filters is the usual route to Wax removal. as well as fractions boiling within the range of the oil which has been cracked.S. Unlike the physical separation processes described earlier. These distitillate cuts are then subjected to the following process steps: a) The aromatic content in these cuts is required to be brought down for improvement of viscosity index. A variety of cuts is obtained from vacuum distillation of crude oil depending upon the grade of base stock required. Cracked molecules are. This is achieved through liquid-liquid extraction using phenol or furfural as a solvent for aromatics. The solvent is recovered in the solvent recovery section and recirculated. The demand for gasoline thus spurred on scientists to look for means of obtaining a higher yield of this product from crude oil. c) Finally the low aromatic content dewaxed oil is subjected to clay treatment or hydrotreatment.A. contains gases.) process was developed. therefore. Around the year 1946 Fluid Catalytic Cracking (F. hence the name. There is not sufficient hydrogen in the large molecules to supply the needs of the small molecules into which they crack. it became obvious that the production of large quantities of straight run gasoline from crude distillation would involve production of much larger quantities of residual fuels than the market could absorb. The total product of the cracking of a heavy oil (residue) therefore. heavier than the original oil. often at the same time altering their internal structure. for colour improvement. 1. in the conversion processes the basic structure of the hydrocarbon molecules gets converted into a different structure. b) Next follows the step of solvent dewaxing. Thermal cracking was begun on a commercial scale in the U.C.2 CONVERSION PROCESSES When automobile industry was in its infancy. mainly unsaturated and because of this they polymerize tosome extent as soon as they are formed the result is that heavier molecules are also formed at the same time.C.13 Lubricating Oil Base Stocks An interesting application of some of these physical separation processes is in the production of lubricating oil base stocks. around the year 1913. Numerous processes have been developed in . The cracking process brought the desired solution. MEX or MIBK are generally used as solvents. Cracking is essentially a high temperature treatment which breaks up heavier or large hydrocarbon molecules into small ones.1. light hydrocarbons (gasoline) and hydrocarbons with large molecules.1.
petroleum refining and petrochemical industry to covert one hydrocarbon type into another. Alkylation: The union of an olefin with an aromatic for a paraffinic hydrocarbon. the fraction of crude boiling above about 350o C) will usually be the feed available for thermal cracking. Isomerization: Alteration of the arrangement of the atoms in a molecule without changing the number of atoms of the numerous conversation processes applied in petroleum refining the following processes being important are described in detail:Thermal cracking and Vis-breaking Catalytic cracking Hydrocracking H-oil cracking and other processes to upgrade residual fuel oils Naphtha reforming - - - - 1. Zeolite catalysts are commonly used. Dehydrogenation. Hydrogenation: Addition of hydrogen to an olefin. depending on a particular situation. Nowadays it is mainly applied in two forms. long residue (i. Some of the basic conversions steps have been described below: Cracking or Pyrolysis: Cracking Pyrolysis involves breaking down of large hydrocarbon molecules into smaller molecules by heat or catalytic action.2. where additional naphtha and gas oil fractions need to be produced. All or part of this feed can be cracked to a varying degree of severity in a one or two-stage unit and with or without a high vacuum unit.e. Polymerization: Linking of similar molecules. Removal of hydrogen from the molecule. Often feedstock characteristics and product requirements are such that maximum . which can be characterized as follows:[a] In a simple refinery.1 Thermal Cracking Thermal cracking is an attractive process for increasing the production of middle distillates. Dehydrogenation of napthenes to produce aromatics is an important refining process for naphtha reforming. the joining together of light olefins.
It can be reduced to a significant extent by subjecting the short residue to the cracking. The first commercial hydrorefining installation in the United States was in the 19300’s by Standard Oil Louisiana in Baton Rouge. . There was no significant increase in hydrorefining of petroleum during the next 20 years. 1. This scheme is particularly suitable for very light or waxy feedstocks. The overhead of the cyclone goes to a fractionator. On feed can be achieved. This operation is usually called visbreaking. Gas oil yields of about 30% wt. Usually a maximum recovery of gas oil is aimed at and therefore such units are named thermal gas oil units. depending on a particular situation. which lowers its viscosity. A soaker can be applied for the short residue cracking under this scheme. The effluent of this furnace also goes to the fractionator.severity of operation is desirable and possible. such as gas oil are needed to blend the short residue to commercial grade fuel oils. The required amount of gas oil can be appreciable. A varying degree of severity in a one or two-stage unit and with or without a high vacuum unit. Often feedstock characteristics and product requirements are such that maximum severity of operation is desirable and possible.2 Hydrocracking (a) INTRODUCTION Hydrogenation and hydrocracking are among the oldest catalytic processes used in petroleum refining. It was originally employed in Germany in 1927 for converting lignite into gasoline and later used to convert petroleum residues into distillable fractions. The remaining short residue (fraction boiling above approx. The feed is subjected to a high vacuum distillation before being cracked. A side stream heavier than gas oil (roughly 350-450o C fraction) is recovered from the fractionator and cracked once again under more severe conditions in a distillate cracking furnace. 500o C) which invariably constitutes the bulk of the residual fuel oil pool has a very high viscosity and consequently diluents (cutter stocks). This lay out is referred to as two stage cracking.2. hydrodesulfurization and mild hydrogenation processes experienced a tremendous growth in the 1950’s. A very high conversion can be achieved in this way. Louisiana. [b] In a complex refinery the straight run flashed distillate (boiling range between 350 and 500o C) is used as feedstock for the fluid catalytic cracker and /or hydrocracker. After that. A varying degree of sophisticatication is conceivable for product work-up section. The cracked residues are vacuum flashed to recover more feed for the cracking stage. because each feed can be cracked under conditions yields are obtained while maintaining adequate residue stability. It is cracked in the first furnace and flashed in a cyclone at a high temperature.
(c) REACTION REQUIREMENTS Hydrogen is consumed in all hydrocracking reactions. Hydrogenation of fragments. a process distinguished from hydrogen treating of the 1950’s in that a substantial reduction in the molecular weight of the gross product is effected. (b) APPLICATIONS Hydrocracking is the most versatile of all petroleum refining processes – any fraction from naphtha to asphalt can be processed. the hydrocracking reactions are initiated by partial dehydrogenation over the metallic components in the catalyst to form an olefin. started many years earlier.mostly because of large quantities of by-product hydrogen made available by catalytic reforming of low octane naphthas to produce high octane gasoline. It will be noted that this theory does not suggest a chain reaction. of course. producing any desired product with a molecular weight lower than that of the charge stock. The patent literature is voluminous with disclosures of Group III metals composited with silicaalumina substrates to provide the necessary functions for hydrocracking. In 1960. nitrogen and oxygen are almost completely removed and olefins are saturated. UOP Inc. Polycyclic aromatics are partially saturated and ring opening in one or more places follows-at least one ring is usually retained. The metallic component in the catalyst effects the following: (i) (ii) (iii) Formation of an olefin. According to one theory. sulfur. The first intensive work dating back to the early 50’s included the conversion of residual oils into more valuable products.’s development. Very little hydrocracking is effected in these operations. Dual function catalysts containing both acid activity and hydrogenation-dehydrogenation activity are required. and desorbed from the catalyst and constitute final product. It was immediately accepted and at present over 16 million MTA of capacity are licensed and considerable additional capacity is in the design and planning stages. UOP announced that a commercially feasible hydrocracking process was available to the petroleum industry. At the same time as hydrocracking takes place. is in a very low concentration and is rapidly adsorbed on an acid site and converted to a carbonium ion cracks (usually in the B-position) to form two fragments may undergo further cracking. Prevents condensation reactions which lead to catalyst fouling. thereby giving products which are a mixture of essentially pure paraffins. Carbon-to-Carbon bonds in paraffins are broken and the fragments hydrogenated to form two or more lower molecular weight paraffins. napthenes and aromatics. of course. . but at some critical molecular weight they become hydrogenated.
(d) FLOW SCHEMES UOP uses three basic flow schemes: (a) Single-stage. there are many modifications of each but pertinent features are as follows. The process conditions employed vary widely depending upon the nature of the charge stock and the products desired. NH3 and other light gases. scheme. Hydrogen-Highpressure separator liquid is flashed into a low-pressure drum where most of the dissolved gases are removed from the normal liquid product. The flash drum liquid is fed to a fractionator for separation into the desired products. However. pressures usually range between 500 and 3000 PSIG and temperatures between 260o and 427o C. then contacted with catalyst in the reactor. charging feeds as heavy as vacuum gas oil and propane deasphaled gas oils to produce naphtha. The second stage processes the “cleaned up” charge and converts it into the desired boiling range products. A large number of such units are on stream. the desired products and the flexibility that is chosen for the process. The choice of flow scheme depends upon the charge stock. The reactor effluent is heat exchanged and passed to a high-pressure separator. recycle compressor. fresh charge stock alongwith recycle hydrogen are heat exchanged and heated to the desired reaction temperature. The first stages are separated by the stripper or fractionator. conversion per pass can b e limited or cooling means such as quench recycle gas can be used. Hydrocracking reactions are exothermic. heat exchangers. Some convert naphtha into LPG. leaving a mixture of paraffins. cooler and high-pressure fractionator. [i] Single Stage System This system. to control temperatures in the desired range. there are two complete reactor stages each containing a charge pump. The stripper or fractionator removed H 2 S. . Fractionator bottoms boiling ranage of the products can be recycled for complete conversion. This system is the most versatile of the two-reactor schemes as regards variety of charge stocks and products which can be accommodated. kerosene and distillates. (b) Two-Stage. Many units are on stream e mploying the single stage. napthenes and aromatics essentially free from impurtities. (c) Series-Flow. reactor. heater. The first stage reactor decomposes nitrogen and sulfur compounds. saturates olefins and partially saturates polycyclic aromatics. (ii) Two Stage System In this scheme. Others produce jet fuel diesel fuel and lube oil base stocks from vaccum gas oil and/or deasphalted oil.The hydrocracking reactions are carried out by pumping the charge stock into a catalyst bed – usually fixed – at elevated temperatures and pressures while recycling a hydrogen stream.
H2 . There are two DHC catalysts: DHC-2 and DHC-5. This scheme has the advantage of being more economical to build and operate in some instances.reactor system is similar to the one. selection depends upon the quality of charge stock and desired products. It can also be used to produce LPG from naphtha.8 This catalyst is used in series flow units and has the capability of cracking heavy gas oil into gasoline in the presence of ammonia. such as jet fuel and diesel fuel. as well as hydrocrack naphthas and distillates. (i) DHC These catalysts have the capacity of hydrocracking vacuum gas oils and deasphalted oils to maximize distillate. and also to produce lube oil base stocks. (ii) HC. The first reactor performs the same function as the first reactor in the “two stage” scheme. (e) Catalysts UOP has six different catalysts which used separately and in conjunction with each other in the three basic flow schemes: various combinations of catalysts and flow schemes provide wide flexibility of applications. The second reactor carries out the hydrocracking reactions in the presence of H 2 S and NH3 . as shown. Available catalyst types are as follows: DHC and HC catalysts. but only one is presently in operation. (Unibon is the name given by UOP to its hydrocracking processes). It can also be used in the second stage of a two stage process wherein it is desired to saturate the aromatics.S and water. (iv) RCD This catalyst is employed for the direct desulfurization of reduced crudes wherein minimum hydrocracking is desired.reactor system except that there are two reactors in series. are used in HC Unibon only. .9 This catalyst is primarily employed for the production of LPG from naphthas. This scheme is being designed for a few cases. (iii) HC. each containing a different catalyst.(iii) Series Flow System The “Series flow” two.
(v) BOC This catalyst is employed when it is desired to process vacuum bottoms for the production of distillable hydrocarbons. . While FCC yields high octane gasoline on the other.3 Upgradation of Vacuum Residues The world wide trends are a shift from residual fuels towards middle distillates. FCC also produces heavy cycle oils and clarified oil which can only be blended into furnace oil pool. for the vacuum residues were Visbreaking and thermal cracking which would yield small quantities of distillates but basically reduce the viscosity thereby requiring lesser quantities of cutter stock for furnace oil blending. The metal contaminants as well as the coke reduce the vacuum residue. therefore cannot be easily converted to distillates and thus goes to the residual fuel oil pool. This explains a relatively large percentage growth in the total Hydrocracking capacity. 1.e. internationally. However. their prices and price differentials between those distillates and residual fuels. Source: The above report has been extracted from the book ‘Technology in Indian Petroleum Refining Industry by Department of Scientific & Industrial Research’. Both the H ydrocracker and the FCC use vacuum gas oil (V.2.O) for feed stock with certain specified limits for metal contaminants i. Increased Demand of jet fuel and Diesel oil for road transportation explains the growing market for middle distillates. Nickel and Vanadium and also Conradson Carbon Residue (CCR) – a property that determines the extent of Coke formation that will occur. The capital cost of a Hydrocracker is higher than that of a FCC. Hydrocracking on the other hand is capable of giving much higher yields of distillates including jet fuel with enormous flexibility to produce more of one distillate or the other.G. it does not produce any jet fuel or kerosene. such as vacuum gas oil. The only processing routes available in the past. for the same capacity and operating cost also higher particularly if by product hydrogen from catalytic reformers is not available. the choice between FCC and Hydrocracker will be determined by factors such as the demand for the various kinds of distillates.
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