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PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY QUARTERLY
ptq
Q2 2011
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3 Decision time
ChrisCunningham
5 Processing Trends
15 ptq&a

29 Optimising safety relief and fare systems
AlbanSirven,JulienGrosclaudeandGuillaumeFenolTechnip France
JeremySaadaInvensys Operations Management
41 Energy performance monitoring
RobertChares,HervéClosonandHuguesStefanskiBelsim
Jean-ClaudeNoisierSIR
47 SO
2
emission control for resid combustion
RickBirnbaumCansolv Technologies
51 Bulk separation of gas-liquid mixtures
GiuseppeMosca,PierreSchaefferandBartGriepsmaSulzer Chemtech
HarryKooijman Shell Global Solutions International
57 Diverting low-sulphur heavy stocks for fuel oil production
RajeevKumar,ChithraV,PeddyVCRaoandNVChoudary
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, India
65 Reducing carbon footprint
TanmayTaraphdarTechnip KT India
75 A promoter for selective H
2
S removal: part II
GeraldVorberg,RalfNotzandTorstenKatz BASF SE
WielandWacheandClausSchunk Bayernoil Raffneriegesellschaft
87 Main fractionator revamp
JohnPayneandDanDarbyFoster Wheeler
97 Small-scale gas to liquids
AndrewHolwellOxford Catalysts Group
103 Simulation of a visbreaking unit
SRezaSeifMohaddecy,SepehrSadighi,OmidGhabuliandMahdiRashidzadeh
Research Institute of Petroleum Industry
111 Modelling for ULSD optimisation
KlasDahlgren Apex Optimisation/Dynaproc
AnRigden Chevron
HenrikTerndrup Apex Optimisation
119 Technology in Action
120 Industry News
126 New Products
Repsolrefnery,Tarragona,Spain Photo: Repsol
Q2 (Apr, May, Jun) 2011
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q
Y L R E T R A U Q Y G O L O N H C E T M U E L O R T E P

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T
he European Union has arguably
been the global leader in biodiesel
production and use, with overall
biodiesel production increasing from 1.9
million tonnes in 2004 to nearly 10.3 million
tonnes in 2007. Biodiesel production in the
US has also increased dramatically in the
past few years from 2 million gallons in
2000 to approximately 450 million gallons
in 2007. According to the National Biodiesel
Board, 171 companies own biodiesel
manufacturing plants and are actively
marketing biodiesel.1. The global biodiesel
market is estimated to reach 37 billion
gallons by 2016, with an average annual
growth rate of 42%. Europe will continue to
be the major biodiesel market for the next
decade, followed closely by the US market.
Although high energy prices,
increasing global demand, drought
and other factors are the primary
drivers for higher food prices, food
competitive feedstocks have long
been and will continue to be a major
concern for the development of biofu-
els. To compete, the industry has
responded by developing methods to
increase process effciency, utilise or
upgrade by-products and operate
with lower quality lipids as
feedstocks.
Feedstocks
Biodiesel refers to a diesel-equivalent
fuel consisting of short-chain alkyl
(methyl or ethyl) esters, made by the
transesterifcation of triglycerides,
commonly known as vegetable oils or
animal fats. The most common form
uses methanol, the cheapest alcohol
available, to produce methyl esters.
The molecules in biodiesel are pri-
marily fatty acid methyl esters
(FAME), usually created by trans-
esterifcation between fats and metha-
nol. Currently, biodiesel is produced
from various vegetable and plant oils.
First-generation food-based feedstocks
are straight vegetable oils such as
soybean oil and animal fats such as
tallow, lard, yellow grease, chicken fat
and the by-products of the production
of Omega-3 fatty acids from fsh oil.
Soybean oil and rapeseeds oil are the
common source for biodiesel produc-
tion in the US and Europe in quanti-
ties that can produce enough biodie-
sel to be used in a commercial market
with currently applicable
PTQ Q2 2011 3
Editor
Chris Cunningham
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ISSN 1362-363X

Petroleum Technology Quarterly (USPS 0014-781)
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Back numbers available from the Publisher
at $30 per copy inc postage.
Vol 16 No 3
Q2 (Apr, May, Jun) 2011
Decision time
W
ith production in surplus, western majors moving out, diesel
production in defcit and more regulations to cope with, Europe’s
refning industry has some hefty decisions to make on investments.
However, the prospect of new owners from Asia appears likely to impose new
rules on the decision-making process.
In its most recent report on the future of local refning, Blueprint for an inte-
grated European energy network, the European Commission argued that
European refners can avert a signifcant and growing gap in trade should they
go ahead with suffcient increases in the capacity and complexity of their sites
to increase the rate of diesel production, at the expense of gasoline output.
And the trade gap does not only apply to automotive fuels; the EU was a net
importer of gas oil and jet fuel to the tune of more than 30 million t/y in the
latter years of the last decade. According to the refning industry’s own esti-
mate, some 20 large-scale hydrocrackers would be needed to offset the short-
fall, at a cost likely to approach €10 billion.
A new feet of 20 hydrocrackers still could not restore the balance. The latest
round of reductions in the sulphur content of marine fuel oil in compliance
with the International Maritime Organisation’s Marpol Annex VI regulations
will require another 15 million t/y of gas oil of the appropriate quality, which
could mean another 10 big hydrocrackers by 2015, with a further requirement
by 2020 as more global restrictions on marine fuel sulphur come into force.
With margins under pressure, local crude production in decline, and the
backwash of economic downturn still taking its toll, the prospects for large-
scale investment in new units and major revamps are not encouraging. Indeed,
European refners have cut back previous estimates of spending on improve-
ments to the system over the next eight years by more than half.
All of this assumes that the refning industry is playing catch-up with
changes in established trade patterns and, as ever, the steady march of fuel
quality regulations. As the EC’s blueprint points out, there has been little incen-
tive to invest in new European hydrocrackers to produce more diesel when the
economic downturn has slowed growth in demand for middle distillates and
the US has continued to provide a ready market for excess gasoline.
But changes may be afoot that are far more fundamental to the future shape
of European refning. As PTQ went to press, Essar Energy and Shell were
approaching a fnal decision on Essar’s purchase of the Stanlow refnery, the
UK’s second largest. While the Indian-based major has expressed its admira-
tion for Stanlow as a crude processing site, it has also been forthright about the
refnery as an import terminal for production from its own refning feet. The
downturn has had less of an impact on some economies, most obviously India
and China. Unlike their counterparts in Europe, Indian and Chinese refners
have not restrained their spending on new production and have, in fact, out-
stripped growth in domestic demand with new capacity, nor has a limited local
market done anything to restrain throughput.
As western oil majors move out of European refning and their Asian coun-
terparts move in with their surplus tonnes for export, there is a consensus that
Europe will become more import-dependent. When Asian refners’ domestic
markets catch up with their local production and the need to ship products
through Europe subsides, the balance of trade may be radically different.
CHRIS CUNNINGHAM
p
t
q
Y L R E T R A U Q Y G O L O N H C E T M U E L O R T E P
contents/ed com copy 10.indt 2 10/3/11 12:06:12
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kbr.indd 1 10/3/11 10:01:03
Gasoline and diesel imbalances
in the Atlantic Basin
Part 1: market outlook
Eric Benazzi, Marketing Director, Axens
Eric.benazzi@axens.net
The European refning industry is coping with declin-
ing domestic demand while the imbalance between
product supply and market demand persists, in partic-
ular the defcit in diesel supply and the excess in
gasoline production.
This article presents the prospects for the evolution
of this situation in the coming years. A second article
in a coming issue of PTQ will address refnery technol-
ogy and solutions to rebalance output.
Current market situation: origin of the imbalance
The European imbalances are not recent; the European
gasoline surplus has existed since the early 2000s, and
in 2009 it exceeded 0.75 Mbdoe (million barrels per day
of oil equivalent), while the diesel defcit reached about
0.5 Mbdoe (see Figure 1).
On the other side of the Atlantic, the US market pres-
ents a recurring gasoline defcit of around 0.7 Mbdoe
and, since 2008, diesel has been exported.
What are the main causes of this situation?
In 2009, 144 refneries were operating in the US with
an average crude oil distillation capacity by refnery of
just above 120 000 b/d and a Nelson complexity index
of 10.2. In Europe (EU-27), 110 refneries were listed
with an average capacity of around 127 000 b/d and
a Nelson complexity index of 7.3, lower than the
US value.
At frst glance, US and European refnery production
seems to correspond well to demand. US production is
around 18 million b/d and is mainly oriented toward
gasoline (49% of production), while European refnery
production is mainly dominated by middle distillates
(42%) with a total production of about 14 million b/d.
However, is refnery production suffciently tailored
to demand? The following paragraph will further
examine this question.
Figure 2 compares US refnery throughput volume
with US demand for fuels. First, it can be seen that
there is no fundamental inadequacy between the struc-
ture of US production when compared with demand
given as a percentage. The main problem stems from
the insuffcient gasoline throughput, about 7.7 Mbdoe,
compared to US demand, which was set at 9.1 Mbdoe
in 2009. As a result, the US needs to import gasoline.
The European situation is rather different. The
European refneries do not produce enough diesel —
their current output is 5.2 Mbdoe whereas 5.8 Mbdoe is
required — and they produce too much gasoline —
3 Mbdoe, for a demand that reaches, with diffculty,
Reduce gasoline cutpoint
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 5
Processing Trends
0.6
1.0
0.8
0.4
0.2
0
–0.2
–0.4
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

M
b
d
o
e
EU-27
S
u
r
p
l
u
s

D
e
f
i
c
i
t
–0.6
Gasoline
On/off road diesel
0.2
0.6
0.4
0
–0.2
–0.4
–0.6
–0.8
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

M
b
d
o
e
US
S
u
r
p
l
u
s

D
e
f
i
c
i
t
–1.0
Gasoline
On/off road diesel
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

T
h
r
o
u
g
h
p
u
t
0%
Gasoline
Jet fuel
On/off road diesel
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009

D
e
m
a
n
d
0%
Gasoline
Jet fuel
On/off road diesel
4.1 Mbdoe
1.4 Mbdoe
9.9 Mbdoe
7.7 Mbdoe
4.1 Mbdoe (incl. bio, 0.04 MBdoe)
1.5 Mbdoe
Figure 1 Gasoline and diesel surplus/defcit Source: JODI
Figure 2 US refnery throughput and demand Source: DoE, JODI, Axens
proc trends copy 8.indd 1 10/3/11 12:21:00
2020 (see Figure 4). Demand for diesel will continue to
dominate the European fuels market with more than
30% of the market share.
During that time, the demand for gasoline will
continue to represent the principal on-road fuel in the
US with nearly 44% of US demand by 2020. Conversely,
in Europe, gasoline will only represent 12.4% of the
refned product demand including biofuels (see
Figure 4).
As previously noted, on-road diesel demand should
continue to grow on both sides of the Atlantic. Over
the period 2009–2020, the incremental demand should
represent about 0.4 Mbdoe for the US and 0.6 Mbdoe
for the EU-27. Nevertheless, it is important to note that,
in the US, a signifcant part of the incremental demand
for on-road diesel for the next 10 years corresponds to
a return to its highest level of 2007.
The second striking feature is that both US and
European gasoline demand are expected to decrease,
with European demand declining at a faster rate. In
addition, if we consider the increasing amount of etha-
nol that will be incorporated into the US gasoline pool,
it is uncertain that excess European gasoline will
continue to fnd an outlet on the US market.
This demand for on-road fuels forecast for the US is
based on the fact that US passenger car sales through
to 2020 will remain in the majority for gasoline cars,
with the implementation of new CAFE programmes
aimed at reducing car engine fuel consumption.
For Europe, our demand forecasts are based on a
reference scenario for which, by 2020, diesel passenger
6 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
2.3 Mbdoe. As a result, it can be said that the European
imbalance is structural.
Consequently, Europe is importing diesel and export-
ing gasoline to the US. How will the situation evolve
through 2020?
Different parameters could affect the situation. The
frst is the change in product demand forecast. The
potential impact of a change in automobile motorisation
should also be taken into account. Other parameters
include the effects of the level of biofuels incorporated
into the on-road fuels pool and the reduction in refning
capacity that could occur in the coming years.
Gasoline and diesel demand forecast: a 2020 outlook
For both Europe and the US, the demand for gasoline
is forecast to decrease, whereas demand for on-road
diesel should continue to increase between 2009 and
Figure 3 Diesel and gasoline imports across the Atlantic, 2009
6
10
8
4
2
2000 2005 2000 2015 2020
e
o
d
b
M

US
0
60¾
100¾
80¾
40¾
20¾
2009 2020
Market structure AAGR, 09-20

Gaso|ine
Other
Off-road diese|
On-road diese|
31.3¾
47.9¾
12.3¾
8.6¾
31.9¾
43.6¾
14.6¾
9.9¾
-0.9¾
1.5¾
1.3¾
Figure 4 Forecast demand for US and European fuels
6
10
8
4
2
2000 2005 2000 2015 2020
e
o
d
b
M

EU-27
0
60¾
100¾
80¾
40¾
20¾
2009
-1.6¾
1.3¾
-2.7¾
2020
Market structure AAGR, 09-20

14.0¾
30.5¾
12.4¾
43.1¾
16.0¾
25.4¾
15.9¾
42.7¾
Gaso|ine
Other
Off-road diese|
On-road diese|
Mbdoe 2009
proc trends copy 8.indd 2 10/3/11 12:21:17
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www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 9
cars would represent 54% of sales, gaso-
line passenger cars 36% and
hybrid-gasoline 10%. With such a scenario,
demand for on-road diesel will continue
to increase and will represent just above
70% of on-road fuels consumption in the
EU in 2020. At that time, the on-road
diesel-to-gasoline ratio will reach a value
of 2.5, which can be compared to the
current value of 1.7 and to 0.3 for the US.
Could we expect an inversion of the trend in
European demand by 2020?
At this point the question is: can this
scenario be challenged, especially the
European situation and assumptions? For
that, it is necessary to examine automo-
bile motorisation further.
Analysing in more detail the European market for
on-road diesel, it can be observed that on-road diesel
consumption is mainly attributable to commercial
vehicles, including freight trucks, light trucks and
buses. In 2009, they were responsible for 58% of diesel
demand, whereas passenger cars represented 42% (see
Figure 5). According to the reference scenario, the
demand for on-road diesel should reach 4.1 Mbdoe by
2020 (see Figure 5).
In order to envisage another trend, we have gener-
ated an alternative scenario called Gasoline Plus. In
this scenario, by 2020, the share of diesel passenger
cars sales would decrease to 30% instead of 54%, while
gasoline passenger cars sales would increase to repre-
sent 60%. This is a complete reversal of the current
trend. Nevertheless, even in this case, demand for on-
road diesel would be at best stabilised compared to
2009 and would reach 3.7 Mbdoe by 2020, mainly
attributable to sales of commercial vehicles (see Figure
5). Demand for gasoline would by 2020 still be lower
than the current level. As a consequence, even a drastic
change in passenger cars sales will not be enough to
signifcantly rebalance the demand for on-road fuels
before 2020 in Europe. The impact would begin to be
signifcant only after 2025.
These scenarios have established the forecast demand
picture and its limits. What will be the effect of the
incorporation of biofuels and the reduction in refning
capacity on the market balance around the Atlantic
Basin? To consider these aspects, the 2020 reference
scenario has been completed, with assumptions about
the level of incorporation of biofuels and reduction in
refning capacity.
Concerning biofuels, our assumption is that regulatory
levels will be reached, but later than the expected sched-
ule. By 2020, we estimate that biofuels content will reach
8% (energy basis) in Europe, well below the regulatory
level, which has been fxed at 10%. For the US, our
assumption is 9.5% instead of 10.7%; this corresponds to
30 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2020, according
to the RFS2 rule. These values should be compared with
the current biofuels content of on-road fuels for the US
and Europe, which are about 4% (0.44 Mbdoe, mainly
ethanol) and 4.3% (0.25 Mbdoe) respectively.
The execution of functional
safety assessment and validation
must take place on every safety
project and must be carried out by
functional safety experts
2020 = 4.1 Mbdoe
Reference
scenario
Gaso|ine P|us
scenario
2020 = 3.7 Mbdoe
CV
60%
PC
40% CV
55%
PC
45%
2009 = 3.6 Mbdoe
CV
58%
PC
42%
Passenger cars (PC}
Commercia| vehic|e (CV}
Reference scenario
2020 PC sa|es =
54¾ diese|
36¾ gaso|ine
10¾ hybrid gaso|ine
Gasoline Plus scenario
2020 PC sa|es =
30¾ diese|
60¾ gaso|ine
10¾ hybrid gaso|ine
Figure 5 Breakdown of demand for on-road diesel
-1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0 0.5
US
Biofue|s po|icy |eve|s***
Prod. high|y reduced**
Reference scenario*
Prod. stab|e
0 0.5 1.0 1.5
EU-27
Mbdoe Mbdoe
Biofuels in on-road fuels (energy basis)
Reference
scenario
Po|icy
|eve|s***
2009
|eve|s
8.0¾ EU-27 10.0¾ 4.3¾
2009 ba|ance 2009 ba|ance
* Reference scenario production |eve|.
-10¾ (EU-27}, -5¾ (US}
** Scenario production high|y reduced.
-20¾ (EU-27}, -15¾ (US}
9.5¾ US 10.7¾ 4.0¾
Figure 6 Gasoline imbalance simulations
proc trends copy 8.indd 3 14/3/11 10:46:38
In addition, our reference scenario incorporates a reduc-
tion in refining capacity, both in Europe and in the US.
This could reach 10% of existing capacity in Europe, in
addition to the closures already carried out in 2009–2010.
For the US, we anticipate a 5% reduction in capacity, a
lower value than in Europe because US refinery closures
have already been implemented and projects are planned
to process heavy bitumen blends.
2020 fuels balance around the Atlantic Basin
Figure 6 shows the results of our simulations regarding
the gasoline balance in 2020 and the impact of various
parameters, such as the incorporation of biofuels at
different levels and refining capacity reduction. The
purple dotted line represents the current situation, a
gasoline deficit, of about 0.6 Mbdoe in the US and a
surplus of around 0.75 Mbdoe in Europe.
In Figure 6, the lowest blue bar, Prod. stable, illus-
trates what could be the change in the gasoline balance
in 2020 if refining capacity remains stable, while the
biofuels content increases according to our reference
scenario: to 8% in the EU and to 9.5% in the US. It can
be seen that, due to the trends in gasoline demand in
both zones, the US gasoline deficit could move into
small surplus, while in Europe the surplus could be
multiplied by two in 2020.
The next blue bar in Figure 6, Reference scenario,
represents a situation if, contrary to the previous case,
refining capacities were reduced by 10% in the EU and
by 5% in the US. It should be noted that the gasoline
surplus in the EU would be only slightly reduced,
whereas the US could once more experience a gasoline
deficit. This is our reference scenario.
The third blue bar, Prod. highly reduced, shows what
could be the impact of higher refining capacity reduc-
tions (20% in the EU and 15% in the US). In this case,
the US could come largely into deficit, whereas the
European gasoline surplus would be reduced but
would remain at a higher level than today.
The last case in Figure 6, Biofuels policy levels,
examines what could be the situation if regulatory
biofuels content levels were reached. The combination
of those levels with a 5% reduction in refining capacity
in the US and 10% in Europe would suppress the US
gasoline deficit, although in the EU-27 the gasoline
surplus would rise.
To summarise, the main observations of this analysis
are that, in the EU, the gasoline excess is structural and
will be inflated by the incorporation of biofuels
-1.0 -0.5 0 0.5
US
Biofue|s po|icy |eve|s***
Prod. high|y reduced**
Reference scenario*
Prod. stab|e
-1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0
EU-27
Mbdoe Mbdoe
Reference
scenario
Po|icy
|eve|s***
2009
|eve|s
8.0¾ EU-27 10.0¾ 4.3¾
2009 ba|ance
* Reference scenario production |eve|.
-10¾ (EU-27}, -5¾ (US}
** Scenario production high|y reduced.
-20¾ (EU-27}, -15¾ (US}
9.5¾ US 10.7¾ 4.0¾
Biofuels in on-road fuels (energy basis)
2009 ba|ance
Figure 7 Diesel imbalance simulations
10 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
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for further information
Drying Technology
www.newton-s.com
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proc trends copy 8.indd 4 11/3/11 14:41:17
Uhde
Uhde –
Engineering with ideas.
The key to our success is the creativity and resourcefulness of
our employees. And it is this that keeps turning major challenges
into solutions that are not only brilliant and innovative, but often
set the standard for the entire engineering sector.
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uhde2.indd 1 10/3/11 11:52:00
(ethanol) into the gasoline pool and by the decline in
gasoline demand. Even sizeable cuts in refnery capac-
ity will not be enough to eliminate the gasoline
surplus.
The US market presents a better ft between supply
and demand. Gasoline defcit will be mechanically fat-
tened by a decrease in gasoline demand and biofuels
(mainly ethanol) incorporation.
Figure 7 shows the results of our simulations
concerning the diesel balance in 2020 and the impact of
various parameters, such as the incorporation of biofu-
els at different levels and refning capacity reduction.
The purple dotted line represents the current situation,
a diesel surplus in the US of around 0.4 Mbdoe and a
defcit in Europe of about 0.5 Mbdoe.
In Figure 7, the lowest purple bar, Prod. stable, illus-
trates what could be the change in diesel balance in
2020 if the refning capacity remains stable while
taking into account increases in biofuels content
according to our reference scenario, to 8% in the EU
and to 9.5% in the US. This shows that, due to the
respective trends in diesel demand in both zones, the
US diesel surplus could move into a defcit of around
0.5 Mbdoe, while Europe would continue to lack
diesel.
The next bar, Reference scenario, represents what the
situation would be if, conversely, refning capacities
were reduced by 10% in the EU and by 5% in the
US. It is notable that the diesel defcit would deepen,
especially in the EU, where it could reach 0.8 Mbdoe.
This is our reference scenario.
The third bar, Prod. highly reduced, shows what the
impact could be of larger capacity reductions (20% in
the EU and 15% in the US). Due to the structural
mismatch between EU refnery throughput and
demand, such a scenario would signifcantly increase
the EU diesel defcit, which could reach 1.4 Mbdoe in
2020. Although a reduction in refning capacity would
be benefcial to the EU gasoline balance, the same
cannot be said for its effects on the diesel balance. The
US diesel balance would also appear to have deterio-
rated badly, with a defcit peaking at 1 Mbdoe.
The fnal case examines what the situation could be
if regulatory levels for biofuels content were reached.
The combination of those levels with a 5% capacity
reduction in the US and a 10% reduction in the EU
would help to reduce diesel defcits both in the EU and
the US. But they would remain at high levels.
As a result, on-road diesel demand is expected to
grow both in the EU and the US. Both zones will expe-
rience on-road diesel defcits by 2020, but US refneries
are more fexible; they have the ability to implement
cut-point adjustments to adapt their production to
these changes. The EU’s on-road diesel defcit is likely
to be higher than that in the US, essentially due to an
increase in demand from a situation today that is
already in defcit.
Incorporating more biodiesel will contribute to a
reduction in the defcit of on-road diesel, but will not
be suffcient to eliminate it completely.
Conclusion
The prospect for the European market in the coming
years is to remain imbalanced; the gap between supply
and demand is structural and will not be impacted by
new passenger car sales trends before 2020. The trends
that will infuence the European market’s evolution are:
• Biofuels incorporation will worsen the gasoline
surplus while reducing but not eliminating the diesel
defcit
• Capacity reduction cannot address both the gasoline
surplus and the diesel defcit; the gasoline surplus will
reduce as the diesel balance deteriorates.
The situation in the US is less strained because of a
better ft between supply and demand. Furthermore,
the more fexible US refneries will fnd it easier to
adapt to changes in demand than their European coun-
terparts. Probable trends to be monitored are:
• The incorporation of biofuels and improvements in
fuel effciency will reduce the gasoline defcit to very
low levels, except for the scenario where capacity is
reduced by 15%
• The US market will pass from a diesel surplus to a
diesel defcit.
It is notable that whatever scenario is envisaged,
mismatches in supply and demand will persist.
Technology and catalysts will play a major role on both
sides of the Atlantic in adapting refnery production to
market demand. The technical solutions to address
these challenges will be presented in a second article.
12 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
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proc trends copy 8.indd 5 10/3/11 12:22:27
www.uhde.eu
Uhde
Get more out of your coal.
Only too often do we fail to see the treasures that are right in front of us.
With our solids gasification technology you can make more out of any
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technologies. And we network intelligently within the Uhde group based
on our business philosophy Engineering with ideas.
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uhde1.indd 1 10/3/11 11:50:42
fueling
hiS
future
© 2011 Albemarle Corporation. All rights reserved worldwide.
www.albemarle.com
Producing energy from alternative fuel sources will help to safeguard
our children’s future.
Albemarle has always anticipated challenges and opportunities.
That’s why we’re developing catalysts that convert renewable
biomass materials, like the straw Max is jumping on, into
transportation biofuels.
Our research and development programs, and the
partnerships we’ve formed are unlocking the potential
of renewable energy sources.
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albemarle.indd 1 10/3/11 10:36:51
Q
We are looking to switch from a high zeolite-to-matrix
(Z/M) catalyst in our FCC unit to a lower Z/M formulation for
processing resid. Which operating parameters will need special
attention following the switch?
A
Alan English, Senior Staff Consultant, KBC Advanced
Technologies Inc, AEnglish@KBCAT.com
Any time a catalyst formulation change is made, unit
operation and yield should be monitored to assure the
expected benefts are realised. Key variables such as gas
yield, regenerator temperature, product yields and
gasoline octanes should be plotted versus the percent-
age of inventory changed out. The percentage of
inventory changed out can be calculated from the fresh
catalyst addition rate and unit inventory, assuming the
inventory is well mixed (hence, losses and withdrawals
will be a mix of old and new catalyst). The percentage
of change-out can also be monitored by tracking a
chemical component contained in different concentra-
tions in the two catalysts. Si, Al and Re are often used
for this if they differ suffciently between the two cata-
lysts. Other chemical species can be used but may
require additional testing. Keep in mind that the magni-
tude of most changes, such as yield selectivity shifts,
will be observed in direct proportion to the percentage
of change-out, but some effects, such as gasoline octane
and LPG olefnicity, may not be observed until more
than 80% of the bed has been changed. Of course, those
parameters normally monitored, such as MAT, surface
area, unit cell size, bulk density, APS and size distribu-
tion, should also be plotted over time to assure no
unexpected changes are occurring.
Changes specifc to lowering the Z/M ratio will be a
lower surface area, lower zeolite content, improved
bottoms cracking selectivity, increased gas selectivity
and increased regenerator temperature. The Z/M ratio
should be optimised for the specifc intended operation,
since changing this ratio will have both benefcial and
undesirable effects for resid cracking. For example, a
higher matrix activity will increase the delta coke and
regenerator temperature, but will also improve bottoms
cracking selectivity. Changing the amount of matrix in
the formulation may also affect metals tolerance.
Increased vanadium tolerance with a lower nickel toler-
ance is possible. Other changes to the formulation, such
as the addition of metals traps, should be considered.
Of course, introducing resid will cause additional
changes to the catalyst and unit as a whole. This will
make monitoring catalyst effects diffcult, since some
changes caused by the resid will be larger than the effect
the catalyst has on the same parameter. The refnery
P
may want to consider allowing the catalyst change-out
to proceed to 50% or 70% before changing feed so the
effects of each can be monitored independently. Catalyst
metals levels, corrosion coupons and sour water quali-
ties should also be closely monitored.
A
Phillip Niccum, Director of FCC Technology, KBR, phillip.
niccum@kbr.com
The lower Z/M surface area may improve the coke
selectivity to help with coke burning constraints and
heat balance when processing the residue. However,
the catalytic sites of the matrix are more accessible to
the large residue molecules characteristic of residue
feedstocks. The dilemma with residue processing is
that while low matrix surface area catalysts may have
good coke selectivity, the bottoms cracking capability is
compromised. The ideal situation when processing
residue is to use a variable-duty, dense-phase catalyst
cooler and perhaps partial CO combustion to control
the heat balance so you have the freedom to choose
catalysts with good bottoms upgrading ability when
processing residue.
While we are generally referring to matrix surface
area when discussing the Z/M ratio, it is recognised
that the catalytic character of the matrix in terms of
activity and selectivity is also a function of the matrix
composition and manufacture.
With respect to operating parameters needing special
attention, since less coke is likely to deposit on the
matrix of a low Z/M catalyst, you may fnd coke
deposits in the reactor will increase while processing
residue using low matrix surface area catalysts. The
use of closed reactor cyclone systems and steam purg-
ing of the reactor void spaces will minimise reactor
coke deposits.
A
Carel Pouwels, Global FCC SpeScialist Resid, Albemarle,
carel.pouwels@albemarle.com
First, we recommend monitoring the quality of your
equilibrium catalyst and closely following the catalyst
activity, surface area, micro-pore volume (MiPV) and
mesoporous surface area (MSA). And since you are
processing (more) resid, you should keep a close watch
on contaminant metals, such as Ni, V, Na, Fe and Ca.
These analyses help you to manage catalyst addition,
which is an important operational parameter.
An important operating parameter to watch is the
regenerator temperature, which is often limiting the
unit operation. Of course, also monitor the catalyst
cooler duty, as it has a strong infuence on the regener-
ator temperature.
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 15
ptq&a
Additional Q&A can be found at www.eptq.com/QandA
Q&A copy 6.indd 1 10/3/11 12:37:29
Another parameter important to monitor is the
hydrocarbon-to-coke (H/C) ratio of the coke. A limita-
tion in the stripper will lead to more entrained
hydrocarbons and commonly a higher H/C, which
will have a detrimental effect on the regenerator
temperature. A lower Z/M ratio usually alters the cata-
lyst architecture, which, in turn, affects the strippability
of the catalyst. The stripping steam rate might need to
be adjusted accordingly. Coke selectivity, strippability,
metals tolerance and bottoms conversion power are
thus the main concerns to be properly addressed by
the catalyst design.
Albemarle’s low Z/M catalysts Upgrader and
Upgrader R+ can process the heaviest residues, and
their high accessibility leads to better strippability and
thus a lower H/C ratio. Also, the balanced amount of
different matrices and zeolite leads to an optimal
balance in metals resistance, coke selectivity and
bottoms cracking.
A
Michel Melin, Director Technical Service EMEA, Grace
Davison Refning Technologies, Michel.melin@grace.com
First, moving to a lower Z/M ratio when processing
more resid is not necessarily the right option. The
reason is that a lower Z/M ratio will generally increase
the unit delta coke and therefore the regenerator
temperature. As the feed concarbon will go up, as well
as the equilibrium catalyst metals content, there may
not be much margin left for an increase in delta coke
from a catalyst reformulation. Grace Davison usually
recommends selecting a low delta coke catalyst, allow-
ing a high catalyst-to-oil ratio to crack the additional
heavy compounds coming in with the resid. The oper-
ating parameter that needs most attention when
processing resid are the feed nozzles. In addition, the
feed preheat and nozzle steam rates have to be
adjusted accordingly.
A
Stefano Riva, Regional Technical Service Manager EMEA,
BASF Catalysts, stefano.riva@basf.com
Changing from a high to a lower Z/M catalyst can be
done in different ways: increasing the matrix surface
area alone, reducing the zeolite surface area alone,
doing both, changing the matrix and zeolite technology
and so on, so it really depends on how the lower Z/M
ratio is achieved. Typically, a change in the Z/M ratio
is accompanied by a change in operating conditions
(ie, from gasoline to distillate modes) or feed quality
(for instance, the need to enhance the bottoms cracking
of heavier feeds when conversion is constrained), so all
in all it depends on unit-specifc objectives, constraints
and the nature of the catalyst change. In general, more
matrix enhances the bottoms cracking (ie, giving higher
distillate to slurry ratios), sometimes at the expense
(depending on the matrix technology) of coke selectiv-
ity. Therefore, unless the unit severity is reduced at the
same time, the regenerator may face a constraint, such
as air availability or high temperature. BASF’s Prox-
SMZ technology platform has commercially
demonstrated the highest e-cat MSA in the market, in
excess of 100 m
2
/g, and the lowest Na, below 0.1 wt%,
to enhance catalyst stability, reduce hydrogen transfer
and improve LCO quality, as well as enhanced coke
selectivity compared to other high MSA technologies.
A lower Z/M ratio has also been recognised to enhance
product olefnicity at constant conversion, but if the
conversion is reduced the overall LPG production may
actually be lower and require the addition of ZSM-5 to
maintain the downstream units, such as alky, MTBE,
polymerisation, at full capacity. Depending on how
much the zeolite surface area is reduced, if at all, a
lower unit conversion at constant fresh catalyst make-
up may also be observed, so unless this was specifcally
desired for distillate operation, particular attention
should also be kept on the e-cat activity monitoring.
Q
Our refnery wants to make the most of opportunities
in the propylene market. What strategies are there for
maximising propylene from the FCC unit?
A
Alan English, Senior Staff Consultant, KBC Advanced
Technologies Inc, AEnglish@KBCAT.com
Propylene production can be increased on an existing
FCC unit by raising the riser outlet temperature (ROT),
adding ZSM-5 additive, reducing catalyst rare earth
metals, allowing nickel content to increase and raising
the feed rate. Of course, any of these changes will also
increase wet gas production and have other effects on
the unit. For instance, if ZSM-5 or ROT are increased,
16 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
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inlet and steam production will give you an indication
of the energy performance.
When the fouling factor starts to increase, you can
think about online cleaning the loop. The slurry loop
can be cleaned online in as little as 24–36 hours.
Simultaneously, the main fractionator can be online
cleaned together with the entire slurry loop.
As far as coke on catalyst is concerned, while a
certain amount of coke will act as fuel to sustain the
reaction, excess coke will reduce catalyst performance
and yield. We have developed a new chemistry that
will improve yield and reduce coke on catalyst.
:
8ob Anderson, 1echno|ogy Manager, Shaw's Lnergy &
Chemica|s Group, bob.anderson©shawgrp.com
The assumption is that you are not considering a modi-
fcation to your unit to improve its energy performance,
but to optimise the existing unit. The actual variables
to be monitored will depend upon your unit design
and constraints. General areas to be monitored are:
• Ieed preheat One key focus area is to minimise the
processing of cold feed from tankage and maximise hot
feed from the upstream unit. While it may be necessary
to process some amount of cold feed to keep the lines
to and from the tank farm from setting up, the amount
of cold feed should be minimised. Feed preheat from
the main fractionator pumparound/product streams
should be maximised to decrease the fring of the feed
heater
• Converter Often the single largest energy consumer
in an FCC unit is the main air blower. Operating the
converter at the lowest pressure consistent with maxi-
mum superfcial velocities, cyclone velocities and wet
gas compressor constraints will reduce the energy
consumption for the main air blower and typically
improve yields of higher-value products. If the regen-
erator operates in full combustion, the excess O
2
should
be reduced as low as possible, consistent with
constraints on CO emissions and any afterburn issues.
If the regenerator operates in partial combustion, the
CO production should be maximised, consistent with
the limitations of the CO boiler, coke on regenerated
catalyst and unit heat balance. The excess O
2
from the
CO boiler should be minimised, consistent with the
constraints on CO emissions. Stripping steam should
be minimised while maintaining adequate removal of
hydrocarbons from the spent catalyst. Atomising steam
to the feed nozzles should be minimised, but be careful
not to sacrifce yields in the pursuit of reducing
utilities
• Main fractionator Optimise pumparounds to provide
maximum feed preheat and reboiler heating for the gas
plant and minimise any heat that goes to air coolers or
cooling water exchangers. Minimise steam to the side
strippers, consistent with fash point specifcations.
Remember, even if low-value, low-pressure steam is
used for stripping, it will generate sour water that
must be treated
• Gas p|ant Control the wet gas compressor to
eliminate/minimise any spillback. For pumps with
minimum fow control, ensure the control is set prop-
erly to eliminate any spillback when not necessary for
pump protection. Minimise refux ratios on towers,
consistent with product specifcations. Minimise heat
input to the primary stripper, consistent with adequate
stripping to minimise recycle from the stripper to the
high-pressure separator. Minimise amine circulation,
but ensure limits on rich amine loading are not
exceeded. Minimise any off-spec product that will
require reprocessing
• Uti|ities In the winter months, control cooling water
temperatures so as not to overcool refux streams,
pumparound returns, and so on. Ensure a good steam
trap maintenance programme is followed. Optimise the
usage of steam turbines/electric motors on pumps to
properly balance the steam system.
When reviewing these different areas, always keep in
mind the potential for maintenance or capital projects
to further improve the energy performance of the unit.
:
Ji|| 8rown 8urns, keñnery App|ications Þrocess 1echno|ogy
Senior Lngineer, Su|zer Chemtech, |i||.burns©su|zer.com
Column performance can make a large contribution to
energy costs in an FCC unit; distillation is an energy-
intensive process. While there are many options to
improve energy usage during the design phase, there
are also several things that refners can watch for and
monitor on their operating units to ensure their
columns are optimised.
For all towers in general, use of high-effciency trays
+)IMJJ-+)*) ppp'^imj'\hf
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MD, Coral MD and Amber MD are designed to achieve
High accessibility to maximise the diffusion of oil
feed molecules to the active sites for maximum bottoms
The high accessibility enhances the diffusion of
-
quently minimises the conversion of LCO molecules to
High matrix-to-zeolite ratio to minimise cracking of
Tailored zeolite activity and selectivity for optimum
Maximum resistance to the deleterious effect of feed
contaminants like nitrogen, carbon residue and metals.
-
ages our catalyst technology and provides extreme
bottoms conversion power in an additive form. This is
-
tions caused by sudden or short-term yield degradation
due to opportunity feedstocks being sent to the FCCU.
PaZm \ZmZerlm mri^% hk mri^l% ]h rhn k^\hff^g] _hk
4 Lm^o^
Octane loss incurred across FCC gasoline hydrotreaters
is primarily a result of olefns saturation. The goal of
this operation is to achieve suffcient removal of
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Q&A copy 6.indd 2 10/3/11 12:37:40
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mpr.indd 1 8/3/11 14:07:58
the refnery might have to reduce its feed rate to
control wet gas production, so a net increase in propyl-
ene yield might not be observed. The refner must also
consider the difference between producing more
propylene in the reactor and recovering more propyl-
ene as a saleable product. Increases in the ROT or
catalyst nickel, in particular, will increase the yield of
non-condensable gases, which will lower propylene
recovery in the absorber. The best strategy for a given
unit will therefore be dependent on the particular
constrains for that unit. One effective strategy often
used on units constrained by wet gas capacity is to add
ZSM-5 to increase the yield and olefnicity of LPG,
while reducing the ROT to compensate for the increase
in the wet gas rate. Lowering the ROT will also lower
the C
2
- gas and LPG yield. Since ZSM-5 has little effect
on C
2
gases, the net result will be increased LPG and
olefnicity at the same wet gas rate, resulting in more
propylene production and perhaps improved recovery.
Before embarking on a propylene maximisation oper-
ation, the refner should also consider if their
downstream equipment, especially their sulphur
removal equipment, is capable of handling the addi-
tional load. Several vendors are now offering
mechanical designs targeted at increased propylene
production. Any of these options would require a
major unit revamp.
A
Carel Pouwels, Global FCC Specialist Resid, Albemarle,
Carel Pouwels@albemarle.com
Equipment downstream of the FCC unit often deter-
mines how much LPG and C
3
= can be produced.
Debottlenecking of this downstream equipment is
required to participate in the market of high propylene
producers.
Once the FCCU is viable for high propylene produc-
tion, the operation is typically optimised through a
maximum reactor temperature and high catalyst-to-oil
ratio. One often has limited fexibility to increase steam
partial pressure in the riser. A refner can also consider
the use of external streams with a high propensity for
propylene such as naphthas with a high content of
gasoline olefns.
The choice of catalyst, on the other hand, can make a
substantial difference. Albemarle has a wealth of expe-
rience with maximum propylene catalysts, ranging
from very light feeds to the heaviest residues. Our AFX
catalyst is a good choice for any grassroots maximum
propylene FCC unit. One of its key features is the high
accessibility of the catalyst particles, which enables
cracking products to leave the catalyst quickly and
reduces any unwanted secondary cracking such as
hydrogen transfer. Hydrogen transfer reactions are one
the most important competing reactions, which should
be minimised for maximum propylene. Also, in these
maximum propylene applications, the FCC unit often
operates at or near the so-called propylene plateau,
where the addition of any additional ZSM-5 additive
does not yield any extra propylene. The use of AFX
increases the propylene plateau and maximises the
propylene level.
When installing a grassroots FCC unit for maximum
propylene, an array of technology options is available.
Several processes are offered, whereby the common
variables are:
• High severity through a high reactor temperature
and high catalyst-to-oil ratio
• Low hydrocarbon pressure
• Optionally, one can install a dedicated riser to crack
streams rich in olefns to further enhance propylene
production.
A
Romain Roux, Deputy Product Line Manager Catalytic &
Thermal Cracking, Axens Technology Department, romain.
roux@axens.net
The demand for higher propylene is driven in the FCC
unit by the differential of price between gasoline and
propylene. To be economical, the production of addi-
tional propylene has to minimise the production of fuel
gas. Indeed, the cost of producing propylene from the
FCC unit is additional wet gas compressor capacity
and propylene/propane splitter capacity. The propyl-
ene/propane capacity is mainly driven by the
propylene yield, and the propylene/propane ratio has
a limited impact. The wet gas compressor capacity is
driven by the yields of dry gas, LPG and C
5
. As a
consequence, to increase the propylene yield inside the
wet gas compressor, you have to either reduce the dry
gas production in the FCC riser or the C
5
yield by
increasing cooling upstream of the wet gas compressor.
The frst option is generally used.
The most effective way to increase propylene produc-
tion while minimising dry gas is to use ZSM-5-based
additives. ZSM-5 is a zeolite widely used for this
purpose and provides gasoline cracking towards LPG
for almost no additional dry gas production.
Another classical way is to increase the riser outlet
temperature. This solution signifcantly increases the
dry gas yield. So to reduce the additional dry gas,
refners usually install a riser separator at the riser
outlet; for instance, Axens/Shaw RS. This technology
usually reduces the dry gas yield by 15–30%. Axens
has recently licensed a new technology called FlexEne,
enabling selective cracking of the C
4
and C
5
olefns
produced by the FCC unit into propylene. Instead of
directly recycling these cuts to the high-severity riser
— for instance, our PetroRiser — we have improved
our technology by converting the C
4
and C
5
olefns
into C
8
to C
10
olefns through an oligomerisation unit.
These longer olefns are recycled to the existing riser
and crack selectively toward propylene. The selectiv-
ity factor of additional propylene (mol)/additional
dry gas (mol) is three times higher with FlexEne than
with the direct recycle of C
4
or C
5
cuts in a separate
riser. This new technology also offers the advantage
of fexibility. As the propylene price is fuctuating,
FCC users are willing to switch from maximum gaso-
line or LCO to high propylene quickly. FlexEne
scheme enables instant valourising of the produced
oligomer into gasoline or even kerosene almost
instantly. Flexibility of operation and selectivity is the
target of FlexEne.
18 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Q&A copy 6.indd 3 10/3/11 12:37:50
Realize the value of BASF innovation.
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Fortress is designed for resid
cracking applications where
contaminant feed metal
passivation is crucial

Specialty alumina passivation
components are concentrated
on the outer stage of the catalyst
to trap nickel directly where it
deposits

Inner stage incorporates BASF’s
award-winning Distributed Matrix
Structure (DMS) platform to
maximize gasoline and Light Cycle
Oil (LCO) yields from resid feeds
www.ptqenquiry.com
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basf.indd 1 10/3/11 10:40:01
A
Michel Melin, Director Technical Service EMEA, Grace
Davison Refning Technologies, Michel.Melin@grace.com
If a refnery wants to simply increase its propylene
yield in the FCC unit, the most common and conve-
nient method is to use a ZSM-5 additive — a
shape-selective zeolite from the Pentasil family —
which will crack gasoline-range olefns into propylene
and other light olefns. However, a tailored integral
catalyst system will provide even higher propylene
yields. This is because, in addition to containing
Pentasil, an integral catalyst system is designed to
minimise the H-transfer reactions of gasoline-range
olefns, which compete with the cracking reactions that
produce propylene. Increasing operational severity
either by using a higher riser outlet temperature or
higher catalyst-to-oil ratio will also increase your
propylene yield. In addition, processing feeds with
higher paraffnicity will result in an increased propyl-
ene yield due to the higher conversion and reduced
H-transfer associated with the paraffnic feed.
A
Stuart Foskett, Regional Technical Service Manager Asia/
Pacifc, BASF Catalysts, stuart.foskett@basf.com
There are many publications that address FCC propyl-
ene maximisation; for example, J McLean and G Smith,
Maximizing propylene in the FCC unit — beyond conven-
tional ZSM-5 additives, NPRA Annual Meeting
AM-05-61. A short summary is given below.
Most FCC units can make 1% or 2% higher propylene
yield simply by using ZSM-5 additive. There will be
many constraints in the FCC gas plant that need to be
considered, especially wet gas compressor capacity,
and loadings in the primary absorber, de-ethaniser and
debutaniser columns, to name but a few. To truly maxi-
mise propylene to around 15–20 vol%, the propylene
yield requires a more specialised catalyst solution.
First, the activity dilution effect of high levels of ZSM-5
additive usage must be overcome. BASF has addressed
this by developing a high-activity catalyst featuring
built-in ZSM-5 functionality, Maximum Propylene
Solution (MPS). MPS is currently in use in several
refneries around the world processing a variety of
feedstocks. Separate addition of ZSM-5 additive may
still be used with the catalyst having built-in ZSM-5
functionality, but typically a level of 5–10% additive is
the most that is required.
The second important aspect to recognise for maxi-
mum propylene mode is that the base catalyst
properties defne the maximum achievable propylene
yield, not the amount of ZSM-5 crystal in the unit.
With increasing concentrations of ZSM-5, at a certain
point the gasoline olefn feedstock for ZSM-5 cracking
is depleted, and a maximum plateau propylene yield is
reached. Changes to the base catalyst properties, espe-
cially to minimise hydrogen transfer reactions, can
preserve more olefns in the gasoline range and signif-
cantly raise this ceiling for propylene yield. For this
reason, maximum propylene catalysts typically have
low rare earth. Higher fresh surface area is needed to
compensate for the lower rare earth to maintain satis-
factory activity and catalyst addition rates. In this
regard, catalyst technologies offering the highest fresh
surface area have a distinct advantage of achieving a
more optimised balance of activity (catalyst consump-
tion) and propylene yield.
Process conditions also signifcantly affect propylene
yield, in particular unit pressure. As hydrocarbon
partial pressure increases, the kinetics of hydrogen
transfer reactions is more favoured over ZSM-5
cracking, leading to less preservation of gasoline
olefns for cracking to propylene. Increasing the reactor
pressure from 30 psi to 45 psi can reduce the
propylene yield by as much as 4 vol%. Increasing riser
steam will reduce the hydrocarbon partial pressure and
should be considered for revamps to maximum
propylene operation. A higher riser outlet temperature
also increases the propylene yield and in most units
is generally limited to around 1005°F (541°C) to keep
the dry gas yield within an economically acceptable
level.
A
Jill Brown Burns, Senior Refnery Design and Applications
Engineer, Sulzer Chemtech USA, Jill.Burns@sulzer.com
Although adjusting reactor or catalyst conditions in the
FCC unit can make a large impact on propylene yields,
a large amount of that valuable C
3
= product can end
up as fuel gas without proper optimisation of the
GasCon columns. Optimisation begins with under-
standing how the absorber/stripper columns operate
and how propylene is recovered.
20 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
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Q&A copy 6.indd 4 10/3/11 12:38:02
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flexitallic.indd 1 10/3/11 10:41:50
The absorber and stripper (de-ethaniser) columns are
the primary vessels in the FCC GasCon for propylene
recovery. The downgrade of propylene from product/
alky feed to fuel gas can be very signifcant. FCC unit
engineers should focus on optimising several key areas
of the absorber/stripper operation for maximum
propylene recovery as follows: stripping, water
removal and intercooler usage.
One common problem in this area of the FCC unit is
overstripping. Often conservative targets are set to
minimise H
2
S in the debutaniser overhead; this results
in recycling LPG back up the column, increasing the
amount of absorption required by the lean oil. If the
column operation cannot respond with increased lean
oil or increased cooling, this may result in propylene
product lost to the offgas. The overstripping effect may
become even more pronounced in units that operate
separate absorber and stripper columns, with the high-
pressure separator operating as the receiver.
Overstripped gases are recycled back to the high-
pressure coolers upstream of the separator. If
they condense, they are re-fed to the stripper. If they
do not condense, they are fed to the absorber,
absorbed and end up right back in the high-pressure
separator. The recycled traffc consumes hydraulic
capacity in the column and cooling capacity in the
condensers. Overstripping can be a hugely wasteful
loop from both energy effciency and hydraulics
perspectives.
Another common problem in the absorbing/strip-
ping section is poor water removal. Any water present,
whether from free water carryover or water precipitat-
ing from solution, will create excess traffc in the top of
the stripping section through the middle of the absorb-
ing section. Water travels down the column to the
point where it is hot enough to vapourise, usually
around the middle of the stripping section. The water
vapour then travels back up the column to the point
where it is cool enough to condense. This loop takes
up valuable tray capacity. Water can also initiate a
Ross-type foaming just before it begins to condense or
drop out of solution and two distinct liquid phases
become present. Whether due to hydraulics or foam-
ing, the presence of water can impact tray effciencies
and contact time, adversely affecting the absorption of
propylene from the offgas stream.
Finally, the absorption process generates heat, and
many columns use side intercoolers or pumparounds
to limit the column temperature rise, which improves
recovery of LPG from the offgas. While refners under-
stand the effects of pumparounds in a fractionator,
often the importance of their role in the absorber is not
as well understood and the systems are often
neglected. Monitoring fouling in the intercooler
exchanger (usually exchanged with cooling water, a
notoriously problematic system for many refneries)
and maintaining cooling water fow rates are a few on-
stream optimisations the FCC engineer can look at.
From a design perspective, draws, returns and transi-
tion zones can be tricky and warrant careful study
during the design phases.
Q
Just how much energy can I expect to save by optimis-
ing plant metrics such as pumparound rates and refux ratios
rather than committing to large-scale capex?
A
Allan Rudman, Regional Practice Coordinator EMEA, KBC
Process Technology Ltd, ARudman@kbcat.com
In KBC’s experience, it is possible to achieve energy
savings between 2% and 5% by optimising plant
metrics. However, due to the strong link between energy
and yield, this type of optimisation typically opens up
the potential to improve yield and/or throughput and
invariably, due to the value of yield improvement
compared to energy saving, the former tends to prevail.
For example, a European refnery with a 400 t/h CDU
was achieving a furnace inlet temperature of 242°C. The
CDU was reviewed during an energy assessment of the
site as part of a recent KBC energy review. KBC observed
that the naphtha/kero gap was large and recommended
a reduction by 5°C. Also, 84% of the total heat was
removed by an overhead condenser and top pumpar-
ound, so it was recommended to move the heat down
the column to improve preheat train performance.
As a result, KBC modelled the column and preheat
train in Petro-SIM, increased the medium pumparound
and bottom pumparound heat removal up to the
pump’s limit, and the furnace inlet increased by 10°C,
saving 2.2 Gcal/h worth €0.5 million/y. The metrics to
be monitored are the naphtha/kero gap and MPA/BPA
fow rate.
Q
We would like to integrate biomass conversion (for
second-generation biofuels production) in our refnery, but is a
large-scale, reliable supply of biomass a realistic proposition?
A
Rick Manner, Principal Consultant, KBC Advanced
Technologies Inc, RManner@KBCAT.com
Large-scale supply of biomass for a second-generation
plant is usually not feasible. It is typically very diffcult
to grow, harvest and transport more than 1000–2000
b/d worth of feedstock for any biofuels process. In
special circumstances, such as a refnery in the middle
of a rainforest, it may be possible to gather as much as
5000 b/d worth of feedstock.
Second-generation process implies the feedstock
should be a non-food crop. Relieving this limitation by
accepting vegetable and waste oils from the food
processing industry may allow a larger plant, perhaps
5000 b/d or more, at some locations. Some biofuels
producers would consider this large scale, but most
refneries probably would not.
We do not believe any large-scale second-generation
biofuels processes currently exist. Most biological
processes such as cellulosic ethanol are expensive and
have not yet been demonstrated on a large scale.
Fischer-Tropsch processes have been demonstrated
commercially, but the investment required is very high.
There are some projects in the conceptual stage for
biomass collection in Europe based on gathering and
generating the intermediate oils on a distributed basis
22 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Q&A copy 6.indd 5 10/3/11 12:38:13
1
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lurgi.indd 1 10/3/11 10:45:42
and then refning them on a central basis. Whether the
technology currently exists to make this feasible without
displacing food crops, or is in development, is to be
seen.
A
Edgar Steenwinkel, Global Business Director Alternative
Fuel Technologies, Albemarle, edgar.steenwinkel@albemarle.com
There are several ways of looking at this. In the frst
place, one must consider that extensive transportation
of biomass to a processing facility will be at the cost of
the benefts of using renewable feedstocks. Therefore,
it is suggested to consider locally produced biomass as
favourable for intake into a facility.
A second option is to somehow densify the energy
locally, near where the biomass is available, and then
transport this intermediate to a refnery. Several
options are available for this, such as thermal fash
pyrolysis or catalytic pyrolysis. These processes are
being developed and should be relatively fexible in
the type of biomass they take in. They would “yield” a
green crude that needs subsequent processing in a
refnery. Note that these green crudes still contain
oxygen as a chemically bound impurity. Albemarle is
looking at all these options to retain the carbon eff-
ciency of these processes, while still resulting in
manageable intermediates and products.
Q
If we want to switch frequently between high and low
delta coke operation in the FCC unit, do we have to change
the catalyst every time, or will a multipurpose catalyst give
an acceptable balance of operational performance without
changeovers?
A
Alan English, Senior Staff Consultant, KBC Advanced
Technologies Inc, AEnglish@KBCAT.com
Here, we assume the questioner intends to alternate
between operations with high coke-producing feed,
such as contaminated gas oils, coker gas oils or resid,
and low coke-producing feeds, such as clean gas oils.
Typically, the catalyst formulation would be optimised
for a specifc type of feed, but occasionally opportunity
feeds may be available for a relatively short period of
time. Since a catalyst change-out typically requires
three or more months to accomplish, the refnery may
need to process these feeds with a less than ideal cata-
lyst formulation.
As with all FCC questions, the best answer will vary
with the specifc limits and capabilities of the unit
considered. Choosing a middle-of-the-road catalyst for
all anticipated feeds will provide some degree of fexibil-
ity, but limit the extreme in either direction. A unit with
fexibility in one particular direction may therefore want
to optimise the catalyst in the opposite direction. For
example, a unit with fred feed preheating capacity
might be better served by selecting a low delta coke
catalyst and low feed preheat to enhance resid cracking.
It could then use the same low delta coke catalyst and
high preheat temperature during periods with clean gas
oil. On the other hand, a unit with catalyst coolers could
tolerate a high delta coke catalyst even with some resid,
while assuring the unit can heat balance with clean gas
oils by shutting down the catalyst coolers. Of course, in
any of these scenarios, once the unit has reached the
limits of its fexibility to process opportunity feeds, the
refner will need to consider if the opportunity exists for
suffcient time to justify a catalyst change, which would
allow further optimisation.
If frequent feed changes are inevitable, a better
alternative might be to speed up the transition from
high to low delta coke catalyst. Several vendors offer
automated catalyst addition devices, which are inte-
grated with fairly large hoppers. This offers the refner
the opportunity to economically manage multiple cata-
lyst additives. In this case, the refner could select a low
delta coke catalyst as the primary catalyst, but have a
separate hopper and additions system for a high delta
coke additive. During periods of low resid feed, the high
delta coke additive would be injected without the ship-
ping and inventory delays inherent with a change of the
primary catalyst. Once a resid cracking opportunity
again occurs, the additive injection would be terminated
and the amount of resid in the feed ramped up as the
inventory returns to its base delta coke behaviour.
A
Phillip Niccum, Director of FCC Technology, KBR, Phillip.
Niccum@kbr.com
If you plan to frequently switch between high delta
coke and low delta coke operations, switching catalysts
will be impractical due to the time required to change
the composition of the catalyst inventory. This is
24 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
evaluation service, which identifes the optimum coat-
ing solution for delayed coker heater fouling.
:
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The key factor in mitigating fouling is having a good
fred heater design. Some of the critical design factors
include heat fux, cold oil velocity, tube spacing and
external surface-to-volume ratio. KBR’s long experience
in fred heater design and in handling diffcult coker
feedstocks insures the design will maximise the run
length for any given feedstock. The next most important
factor is good desalting of the crude oil upstream of the
coker. Salts and solids left in the crude end up in the
coker and promote fouling of the heater tubes.
With a good fred heater design and proper desalting
of the coker feed, there is little else that can be done.
Several chemical vendors offer antifoulants that have
shown success in reducing fouling. Whether they are
cost effective or not is pretty much a case-by-case trial.
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The degradation of refractory in catalyst transfer lines
can be due to a number of mechanisms depending on
the design and service.
Today, most catalyst transfer lines in FCC units
consist of carbon steel shells containing a vibration
cast, erosion-resistant refractory lining. Assuming the
refractory materials are chosen and installed properly,
and the design and installation of the support anchors
are adequate, the more prevalent mechanism of degra-
dation occurs in reactor service such as the feed riser,
where coke impregnation can cause surface spalling of
thin fakes of refractory that in time accumulate to
substantially thin the lining. On the regenerator side of
the unit, the coking mechanism is absent, so the refrac-
tory tends to provide longer life.
If the velocity of the catalyst and vapours is above
the recommended design velocity, erosion can also be
an issue. Catalyst transfer lines that carry catalyst at
high velocity include the feed riser and sometimes
spent catalyst transfer lines that carry catalyst in a
dilute phase back into an elevated regenerator.
Generally, erosion is proportional to the velocity raised
to at least the third power, so designing for a reason-
able velocity can mitigate the erosion in these lines.
Standpipes are the least likely catalyst transfer lines
to suffer from refractory damage because the velocity
is low and generally the lines are of smaller diameter;
the smaller diameter increases the key-holing effect
that can help to hold together even fractured linings
with broken anchors.
An older technology, dual-layer refractory, utilises a
dense abrasion-resistant refractory on the inner surface,
backed by a thicker layer of lower-density, better-
insulating refractory. These lines can suffer from a
destructive mechanism not seen in the monolithic
vibration cast linings. In these dual-layer systems, the
abrasion-resistant refractory is typically held in place
by a stainless steel mesh commonly referred to as hex-
metal. Since the hex-metal runs at a very high
temperature relative to the carbon steel shell, it can fail
from the effect of its thermal expansion, causing it to
buckle against the restraining force of the colder outer
shell and insulating lining. In recent decades, the FCC
industry has moved away from the use of dual-layer
linings, but some are still in service.
Finally, in reactor riser service, hex-metal welded
directly to a hot shell can be wrenched loose over time
by coke growing between the hot shell and the hex-
metal/refractory system. This mechanism is
exacerbated when the hex-steel is placed on the outside
of a line or on a fat plate, as might be done to protect
an internal riser from an external source of potential
erosion. In these cases, the aforementioned key-holing
effect is effectively absent, allowing the refractory to be
more easily forced from the surface by the coke.
In summary, to mitigate problems seen in the reli-
ability of refractory linings in catalyst transfer lines, it
is important to identify the mechanism of degradation
and also to check the quality of the design, materials
and installation. Once a mechanism is identifed as the
likely cause of the degradation, the solutions will
become apparent. For instance, if the problem is high
velocity, install a larger transfer line or reduce the
vapour rates. If the problem is coking, decide if the
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Q&A copy 6.indd 6 10/3/11 12:38:27
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fw.indd 1 10/3/11 10:47:20
especially true for units with large catalyst inventories.
A more expedient way to effect the change in the cata-
lysts coke-making propensity is to simply change the
fresh catalyst addition rate as needed to adjust the
activity. If the regenerator needs to heat balance at a
higher temperature, you can increase activity and, if
you want to reduce the regenerator temperature, you
can reduce activity. For this, the middle-of-the-road
catalyst may be best.
The delta coke of the FCC operation can also be
adjusted by changing the feed dispersion and stripping
steam rates. For example, while processing a severely
hydroprocessed VGO feedstock, you may need to
increase the catalyst microactivity to 75% or more,
while running the feed and stripping steam rates at the
minimums recommended by the FCC licensor. If you
then switch to a higher carbon residue content gas oil
or good-quality atmospheric residue, you may need to
lower the activity into the low 60s and increase the
dispersion and stripping steam rates to their recom-
mended maximums just to prevent the regenerator
from overheating.
It may also be useful to consider keeping a smaller
inventory of very high-activity, high matrix-activity
catalyst, which would be used as an additive when
there is a need to heat the regenerator. In this scenario,
the base catalyst would more optimally be one with a
minimal coke-making character.
A
Bob Skocpol, Senior Technical Consultant FCC Catalysts,
Albemarle, Bob.Skocpol@albemarle.com
We assume when you say high and low delta coke
operation that you mean large changes in FCC feed
quality. For example, we have customers changing
between signifcantly more or signifcantly less resid in
their FCC feed. The best answer probably depends on
how frequently the changes happen and how expected
or unexpected they are.
For slower and more predictable feed changes, such
as a heavier feed in the winter, you could deliver and
exchange the catalyst in time to meet the seasonal
needs. For example, on the heavier feed, you might
apply a coke-selective catalyst to increase conversion
and reduce coke. But for more rapid changes, you need
other approaches. For fast feed changes, we recom-
mend the use of our Bottoms Cracking and Metals
Tolerant (BCMT) additive. BCMT enhances bottoms
conversion, metals tolerance and catalyst accessibility
when more refractory and contaminated (residual)
feedstocks are routed to the FCC unit.
For rapid and unpredictable changes in feed quality,
there are some functionalities that can be built into the
catalyst, which help with the bad feeds and do no
harm with the good feeds. Stable and metals-tolerant
zeolites, nickel passivation matrices and vanadium-
tolerant technology are available from Albemarle to
cope with sudden shifts to poor feed quality. Also, the
use of Albemarle’s high accessibility technology within
our catalyst families provides yet another means to be
prepared catalytically when low feed quality is
encountered.
In Albemarle’s experience, each FCC unit has different
goals, limits and issues, so each solution needs to be
customised. In many cases, we have developed, together
with the customer, operating strategies to handle shifts
between high and low delta coke operation. An example
is a customer with a very clean hydrotreated FCC feed
who adds vacuum resid when the economics and avail-
ability are positive. The opportunities often appear with
little or no warning. In one particular case, our analysis
showed that the spike in metals led to longer-term loss
of catalyst activity, which then hurt the operation on the
better feed for a while. By comparing what is practical
for the refnery with our dynamic activity models, we
developed a strategy of adding a certain percentage of
extra tonnes/day of catalyst during the resid operation
and continuing for the proper number of days after-
wards. This effectively eliminated the negative effect of
the metals on the catalyst with the better feed.
A
Romain Roux, Deputy Product Line Manager Catalytic
& Thermal Cracking, Axens Technology Department, romain.
roux@axens.net
Changing the catalyst is certainly a good option.
Nevertheless, it may not ft with the production plan.
Here, the best solution is to control the delta coke
separately. Recycle of HCO and slurry in the riser is
one solution if the heat balance is in defcit. Recycling
heavy naphtha with Axens/Shaw mixed temperature
control (MTC) injectors is another solution if the heat
balance is in excess. Finally, torch oil is a practical solu-
tion for feed with a very low vanadium content.
A
Michel Melin, Director Technical Service EMEA, Grace
Davison Refning Technologies, Michel.Melin@grace.com
It is unlikely that the catalyst formulation can be
adjusted frequently enough to follow a change in unit
delta coke. It is advisable rather to adjust the e-cat activ-
ity by adding more or less catalyst. A move to a lower
delta coke operation will require an increase in e-cat
activity. In addition, the possibility to add a (cheaper)
coke precursor feed when required is usually a good
option. Adding a bottoms-cracking additive when being
in a low delta coke mode is not recommended, because
building a concentration of this additive in the unit over
a few weeks will lead to a drop in e-cat activity, with a
subsequent drop in unit conversion.
A
Stefano Riva, Regional Technical Service Manager EMEA,
BASF Catalysts, stefano.riva@basf.com
If the FCC unit allows it, the easiest, fastest and most
proftable way to change delta coke is to change the
catalyst addition rate and therefore the e-cat activity. If
this is not possible, you should defne the predominant
operating mode, the reason for the desired delta coke
change and what “frequently” really means. For exam-
ple, is the feed source changing from hydrotreated to
non-hydrotreated? The frequency of the change should
be compared to the unit-specifc combined catalyst
changeover time. The term “combined” means the sum
of all the times required to process the change: the
supplier’s manufacturing time, the delivery time, the
26 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Q&A copy 6.indd 7 10/3/11 12:38:41
fresh catalyst hopper inventory replacement and, fnally,
the unit-specifc time needed to reach at least 70–80%
changeover. BASF’s manufacturing capability enables
delivery of a new formulation almost on a shipment-by-
shipment basis, so the frst piece of the timeline is
signifcantly reduced. However, if the overall time is still
too much compared to the frequency of the change, the
base case catalyst should be optimised to match the
most proftable yearly scenario, taking into consider-
ation the duration of each mode, and the beneft and
limitations encountered when running each mode with
a catalyst not specifcally designed for that mode. Once
the catalyst has been optimised, the BASF Co-Catalyst
solution should also be considered, as it offers a fast
way to follow the rapidly changing FCC objectives. Co-
Catalysts combine all the positive features of additives
in terms of fexibility, together with the ability to affect
the FCC selectivities.
Q
We are getting close to our wastewater discharge limit.
How can we increase our water recycling rate?
A
Gert-Jan Fien, Senior Consultant, KBC Process
Technology, GFien@kbcat.com
Water recycling in refneries is a complex issue.
Without knowing the local situation regarding current
effuent characteristics and constraints, only very
generic strategies can be proposed. KBC suggests a
four-step approach:
• Reduce water fows at the point of use. This should
have a notable impact on the total wastewater fow.
Obviously, there are many ways to affect such reduc-
tions and, as a start, a comprehensive water balance
(inside and outside battery limits) should be
constructed. Software tools are available to assist with
constructing balances from the typically patchy water
data available. Actual consumptions should then be
compared to realistic targets for gap closure
• Reduce water contamination. This will offoad the
wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and give it a
better chance to produce recyclable water; for example,
as cooling water make-up. Again, this requires a close
look at many types of operation, to judge if and how
water contamination, with oil, caustic, amines and
ammonia, can be minimised
• Examine the routings of water and wastewater
streams. Can some effuent streams be reused without
having to go to the WWTP? Can streams bypass parts
of the WWTP; for instance, stop sending non-oily
water through the API?
• Optimise the WWTP, to improve the quality of (part
of) the effuent. From the water balance and reuse
targets (determined in step 1), it can be judged how
much treated wastewater of suffcient quality could real-
istically be recycled. The WWTP should then be
improved and perhaps expanded to generate this water.
Over recent years, KBC has put much effort into the
tools and methodologies needed for this approach and
achieved good results. Potential water savings of
25–40% are regularly identifed in this manner.
www.eptq.com PTQQ22011 27
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Optimising safety relief and fare systems
O
ver the past decades, the
refning industry has contin-
uously moved towards
higher levels of crude conversion
and more stringent product specif-
cations. When they are combined
with aromatics production in partic-
ular, refnery schemes have become
more complex. Additionally, name-
plate capacity limits for grassroots
plants have been gradually pushed
upwards.
At the same time, along with
dieselisation of the European vehi-
cle feet and the strengthening of
product specifcations, the refning
scheme of European refneries has
become increasingly complex. The
addition of new units to an existing
refning scheme affects fare
Understanding the behaviour of refnery units by dynamic modelling of
emergencies enables the prediction of realistic relief loads
AlbAn Sirven, JUlien GrOSclAUde and GUillAUme FenOl Technip France
Jeremy SAAdA Invensys Operations Management
systems, leading to a revamp of the
existing fare network or to the
addition of a new fare network and
the consequences of altering the
network.
Flare systems are primarily sized
with regard to common failure
modes. General electrical power fail-
ure (GEPF) results in a simultaneous
loss of condensation for most proc-
ess systems, and all corresponding
individual relief loads are summed
up to determine the required capac-
ity of the fare systems.
In the context of both an increased
number of interconnected process
units and higher processing capaci-
ties, fare systems approach critical
sizes when industry-standard calcu-
lation methods for the determination
of individual relief loads are
applied. To overcome the related
issues in terms of mechanical and
structural design, supply and
constructability, as well as to satisfy
the requirements of refnery turna-
round and scheduled maintenance,
the confguration of the relief
disposal system for grassroots
designs should consist of several
fare systems, the largest with a
main header diameter as wide as
100in or more and a fare stack as
high as 200m.
The cost of providing adequate
protection systems for any refning
complex is substantial. At this
point, understanding and model-
ling the dynamic behaviour of
refnery units in emergency
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 29
Cumu|ative
re|ief |oads
Unit 2
Unit 1
Unit 4
Unit 2
Unit 1
t=0
Unit 3
Unit 3
Unit 4
Unit 2
Unit 1
Unit 3
Unit 4
Tota| Tota|
Cumu|ative
re|ief |oads
Cumu|ative
re|ief |oads
Semi-dynamic approach Conventional approach Dynamic approach
Figure 1 Comparison of three methods for sizing fare systems
invensys.indd 1 10/3/11 12:52:15
situations becomes necessary to
assess the required capacity of fare
systems more accurately than
conventional calculations methods,
which tend to produce conservative
results.
Modelling refnery equipment
behaviour in emergency conditions
The sizing of refnery fare systems
requires prediction of the behaviour
30 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
of equipment (or refnery subsys-
tems). Calculation methods used
for the determination of relief loads
have, since the beginning of the
refning industry, required static
and semi-dynamic calculations.
Conventional approach
The conventional approach is based
on the use of process data shown in
the unit heat and mass balance,
corresponding to steady-state oper-
ating conditions.
Semi-dynamic methods
Semi-dynamic calculations require
the enhanced use of static modelling
tools such as SimSci-Esscor Pro/II to
better model upset scenarios. This
method will correct the results of
static methods, accounting for basic
equipment design data or the change
of key fuid properties between
operating and relief conditions. This
type of analysis also aims to evalu-
ate the relief start/end time for
critical equipment and systems. The
result is less conservative relief loads
than with static calculations, but the
analysis cannot account for complex
phenomena related to the transient
responses of process systems to
major upsets.
Dynamic methods
With the increasing performance of
calculation tools, dynamic process
simulators are now able to work on
desk computers with reasonable
computation time. Process dynamic
simulations are based on validated
thermodynamic models as well as
dynamic heat and material balance
equations. They also consider the
response times of control loops,
thereby predicting more realistic
relief scenarios. Figure 1 shows a
comparison of the accumulated relief
loads used for sizing a fare system,
obtained by these different methods.
In addition to the reduction in
relief loads, dynamic simulation
offers the advantage of evaluating
the impact of different system
response times on accumulated
relief loads.
However, dynamic modelling is
time consuming compared to earlier
calculation methods. This is due in
particular to the amount and diver-
sity of input data that must be
defned for the description of any
system; for instance:
• Defnition of process streams
• Operating conditions based
whenever applicable on licensor
information
• Detailed equipment design and
geometry data based on vendor
information
• Instrumentation, automation and
safeguarding data.
Qualitative
analysis
Conventional
approach
Review of
the system
characteristics
Implementation of flare
loads mitigation measures
Screening and
identification
of large relief
loads
Semi-dynamic
approach for
these large
relief loads
Dynamic
simulation
of the
system. New
relief loads
Quantitative
analysis
Does this
system match
Technip criteria
for dynamic
simulation?
Sizing of
flare systems
Dynamic
simulation
.O
9ES
Figure 2 Dynamic simulation within fare study methodology
invensys.indd 2 10/3/11 12:52:26
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moment something goes wrong, valuable productivity
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rentech.indd 1 11/3/10 13:56:49
Technip developed a methodol-
ogy for targeting opportunities for
dynamic simulations and set up a
list of criteria to select candidate
systems for the use of dynamic
simulation. This methodology for a
refnery fare study (GEPF scenario)
is detailed in Figure 2.
Dynamic simulation software
Computer simulations were made
using the SimSci-Esscor Dynsim
tool from Invensys as the dynamic
process simulator. The program
provides a series of capabilities that
enable the modelling of rigorous
transient processes and facilitate the
development of dynamic simula-
tions for applications from process
studies through to operator training
systems.
The equipment models are rigor-
ous dynamic models. A library of
unit operations, equipment types,
control functions and other algo-
rithms have been developed,
enabling the specifcation of models
for high-level concepts.
In dynamic relief load calcula-
tions, the user can often come
across unexpected operating condi-
tions and effects. The provision of
accurate thermodynamic predic-
tions enables these effects to be
modelled correctly. Ranges of rigor-
ous thermodynamic methods enable
the user to predict phase behaviour
and so achieve accurate simulations
of real processes.
Other features that make the soft-
ware suitable for relief load analysis
are the interactive run control and
scenario handling options. These
include the ability to change from
one operating condition to another
quickly and easily, speed up or slow
down the execution of the simula-
tion, and record/play back operating
scenarios. These features enable the
user to investigate how relief loads
are impacted by different emergency
situations, initial conditions and
operating procedures. The software
also includes a basic data historian
and options for trending and storing
process variables so that relief load
scenarios can be viewed and
recorded for future analysis.
Dynamic simulations were built
using the software. One of the tech-
nical challenges of applying process
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 33
dynamic simulations lies in the
capacity of having a system descrip-
tion capable of supporting the
generation of a realistic transient
response of process equipment and
systems during upset and emer-
gency scenarios.
Throughout the studies, several
of the default modules available
with the software were analysed
not to have suffcient descriptive
capabilities and functionalities so it
was mandatory to incorporate user
models. For example, the default
furnace module has been improved
by providing a reliable furnace
model for the simulation of the
furnace behaviour under process
upsets.
Dynamic simulation results
Dynamic simulation of furnace
shutdown
The vapours generated in column
reboiling furnaces are major
contributors to fare relief loads if
the column condensation is stopped
(single condensation failure or
common mode of failure such as
GEPF). In the specifc scenario of
GEPF, the feed to the furnace is
stopped if the reboiler feed pump is
electric motor-driven or may be
continuously pumped in the case of
a steam turbine driver. Even when
furnace fring is shut down (the
normal scenario for fred heaters
equipped with a forced-draft fan),
heat transfer and vapour generation
continue as a result of thermal iner-
tia of the radiant box walls.
For these reasons, a reliable
representation of the furnace is
necessary. The software’s default
furnace module enables simulation
of the furnace’s thermal inertia.
However, this module is unable to
model the response of the liquid
inventory in furnace coils during
upsets. Thus, Technip has developed
in-house modelling modules and
techniques for furnaces, based on
Dynsim’s default furnace module, to
have a proper and realistic represen-
tation of the key parameters affecting
the determination of relief rates.
There are no standard criteria
regarding the residual heat duty
transferred to the process in the case
of trip of process feed and/or
furnace fring. The industry consid-
ers values as high as 100% of normal
duty if heater fring is maintained.
This results in substantially conserv-
ative relief fow rates to the fare.
The case study in this context
evaluates the behaviour (residual
duty transferred to process) of a
reformate splitter furnace in three
different confgurations:
• Charge stopped and fring
maintained
• Charge and fring stopped
• Charge maintained and fring
stopped.
Dynamic simulations have demon-
strated that, if the process feed to
the furnace is stopped, the residual
duty transferred to the fuid drops
immediately (see Figure 3). It then
does not exceed a peak value of 40%
of normal duty. Averaged over a
few minutes, it does not exceed 30%
60
100
80
40
20
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900

R
e
s
i
d
u
a
l

d
u
t
y
,

p
e
r
c
e
n
t

o
f

n
o
r
m
a
l

o
p
e
r
a
t
i
n
g

d
u
t
y
Time, sec
0
Upset
Max two-column width
Blue background around
brown.
Always translate into UK
English (except images).
Leading cap on rst word
only.
Charge stopped, firing stopped
Charge maintained, firing stopped
Charge stopped, firing maintained
Figure 3 Furnace behaviour in three shutdown cases
invensys.indd 3 10/3/11 12:52:38
behaviour of crude distillation units
(CDU) after process upsets, as well
as the importance of the appropri-
ate confguration of pressure safety
valves (PSV) to reduce relief fow
rates.
Actual PSV relief fow rates
depend mainly on two factors:
• Dynamic behaviour of the equip-
ment itself
• PSV confguration (number, size,
set pressure stepping).
The case study in this context
considers a crude distillation unit
of 250 000 b/d capacity and
compares the benefts of optimisa-
tion using dynamic simulation
against a conventional approach.
Results of a conventional approach
The sizing of the relief installed
capacity (orifce area) by means of a
conventional approach using heat
and material balances leads to the
following results:
• Refux failure: 860 t/h (sizing case)
• GEPF: 200 t/h
• PSV confguration: 12 PSV/T
orifce/balanced bellows/set pres-
sure = 3.5 barg
• Installed orifce area: 2020 cm
2
.
Optimisation of installed orifce
area using dynamic simulation
The conventional approach gives an
over-sized installed orifce area.
Dynamic simulation of the system
under upset may help in optimising
the required installed orifce area.
The installed orifce area has been
optimised down to 930 cm
2
, corre-
sponding to 9 PSV (Orifce R).
Figure 4 shows that the relief fow
rate in the event of refux failure
would be stable at around 414 t/h,
compared to the 860 t/h initially
envisaged. With regard to these two
cases, dynamic simulation shows a
reduction of relief loads of about
50%. It is also noticeable that the
number of PSVs can be reduced,
leading to a reduction in capital
and maintenance costs.
Staggering of safety valve set
pressures
Safety valve staggering is most of
the time neglected in conventional
calculations, but dynamic simula-
tion shows that it is a key parameter
in a correct estimation of fow rates.
Even if the installed orifce area is
reduced, as shown previously,
dynamic simulation shows chatter-
ing conditions for non-sizing
scenarios such as GEPF.
Figure 5 shows this chattering
situation in the event of GEPF,
where peak relief fow rates reach
about 400 t/hr, the average relief
load being about 110 t/h. The stag-
gering of the PSV avoids chattering
situations and cancels high peak
fows. Table 1 shows the selected
confguration of the PSV complying
with refux failure and GEPF
requirements.
Figure 6 shows that, by imple-
menting this confguration, the
relief fow rate would now be
stable around 110 t/h in the
event of GEPF, compared with 200
t/h initially envisaged with the
34 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
of normal duty. These values corre-
spond to the fact that drastic changes
in fow patterns, resulting from the
interruption of process feed to the
furnace coils, affect heat transfer
coeffcients. Vapour generation is
signifcantly reduced, even if furnace
fring were to be maintained. This
reduction is more signifcant if both
process feed and furnace fring are
stopped.
Dynamic simulations have also
demonstrated that the heat duty
transferred to the process decreases
more sharply if the furnace feed
pump is stopped, compared to the
furnace feed being maintained.
Crude distillation column
dynamic simulation
The use of dynamic simulations
helps in an understanding of the
3.20
4.00
3.60
2.80
2.40
0
.
0
0
.
5
0
.
0
1
0
.
5
1
5
.
0
2
0
.
5
2
0
.
0
3
0
.
5
3
g
r
a
b

,
e
r
u
s
s
e
r
p

d
a
e
h
r
e
v
O

r
h
/
t
,
e
t
a
r
w
o
l
f

f
e
i
l
e
R

Time, min
2.00
300
500
400
600
200
100
0
Overhead pressure
Re|ief ñow rate
5
.
2
5
.
7
5
.
2
1
5
.
7
1
5
.
2
2
5
.
7
2
5
.
2
3
5
.
7
3
Upset
414 t/hr
|ast 6 PSVs
ñrst 3 PSVs
Figure 4 CDU behaviour under refux failure after optimisation of the installed orifce area
3.00
3.20
3.80
3.40
3.60
2.60
2.80
2.40
2.20
0
.
0
0
.
5
0
.
0
1
0
.
5
1
5
.
0
2
0
.
5
2
0
.
0
3
0
.
5
3
g
r
a
b

,
e
r
u
s
s
e
r
p

d
a
e
h
r
e
v
O

r
h
/
t
,
e
t
a
r
w
o
l
f

f
e
i
l
e
R

Time, min
2.00
300
500
400
600
200
100
0
5
.
2
5
.
7
5
.
2
1
5
.
7
1
5
.
2
2
5
.
7
2
5
.
2
3
5
.
7
3
Upset
Overhead pressure
Re|ief ñow rate
Figure 5 Chattering during GEPF
invensys.indd 4 10/3/11 12:52:48
conventional approach. In this case,
a reduction of about 50% in relief
rate is indicated.
Mitigation measure: design pressure
selection with dynamic simulation
Common failure modes such as
GEPF are generally the sizing
scenario for the fare system (main
fare header, KO drums, fare stack
and tip, radiation calculations).
Avoiding any relief situation during
GEPF for the CDU column would
contribute to reduced aggregate
refnery fare loads. Dynamic simu-
lation offers this possibility, for new
designs, by optimising the column
design pressure.
In the case under study, increas-
ing this design pressure to 4.3 barg
enables the relief fow rate to be
cancelled during GEPF (see Figure
8). Table 2 shows the selected PSV
confguration in the event of a set
pressure increase, the sizing case
corresponding to refux failure.
This set pressure increase makes
recondensation of hydrocarbon
vap-ours more important, and
reduces the fow rate of low pres-
sure stripping steam to almost nil.
Consequently, the relief fow rate
observed during the refux pump
failure will be smaller (113 t/h
versus 414 t/h, see Figure 7).
Dynamic simulation results for a
CDU case study
Dynamic simulation shows its
value in optimising relief valve
design and confguration for a
CDU column through the follow-
ing main results:
• Installed orifce area and relief
fow rates can be decreased by
about 50% in any upset case by
choosing the proper PSV confgu-
ration (number, size and
staggering)
• Relief fow rates and installed
orifce area can be further signif-
cantly reduced by increasing the
design pressure of the CDU
column. In this case, relief fow
rates during GEPF can be
cancelled.
The potential benefts of the
selected PSV confguration can be
estimated as follows:
• Reduction in investment and
maintenance costs (fewer PSVs,
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 35
reduction in fare header size and
fare height as a consequence of
relief fow rates reduction)
• Reduction in chattering inducing
a reduction in pipe stress.
Potential savings for grassroots or
upgraded refneries
General overview
The approach in this case is to use
dynamic simulations to predict
Set pressure, barg PSV number/type Installed orifce area
Conventional calculations 3.5 12 T 2020 cm
2
Dynamic simulation optimisation
3.5 3 R
930 cm
2
3.7 6 R
Selected PSV confguration
Table 1
Set pressure, barg PSV number/type Installed orifce area
Conventional calculations 3.5 12 T 2020 cm
2
Dynamic simulation optimisation 4.3 3 Q 210 cm
2

Selected PSV confguration with new set pressure
Table 2
4.00
3.20
3.60
2.80
2.40
0
.
0
0
.
5
0
.
0
1
0
.
5
1
5
.
0
2
0
.
5
2
0
.
0
3
0
.
5
3
g
r
a
b

,
e
r
u
s
s
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r
p

d
a
e
h
r
e
v
O

r
h
/
t
,
e
t
a
r
w
o
l
f

f
e
i
l
e
R

Time, min
2.00
150
250
200
100
350
400
450
300
50
0
5
.
2
5
.
7
5
.
2
1
5
.
7
1
5
.
2
2
5
.
7
2
5
.
2
3
5
.
7
3
Overhead pressure
Re|ief ñow rate
Upset
3 PSV open 111.3 t/hr
3.50 barg
Stripping steam
maintained
Figure 6 CDU behaviour in the event of GEPF with selected confguration
4.40
4.80
4.00
3.60
3.20
2.80
2.40
0
.
0
5
.
2
5
.
7
5
.
2
1
5
.
7
1
0
.
5
2
0
.
0
3
0
.
5
3
0
.
0
4
0
.
5
4
0
.
5
0
.
0
1
0
.
5
1
0
.
0
2
5
.
2
2
5
.
7
2
5
.
2
3
5
.
7
3
5
.
2
4
5
.
7
4
g
r
a
b

,
e
r
u
s
s
e
r
p

d
a
e
h
r
e
v
O
Time, min
2.00
4.40
4.00
3.60
3.20
2.80
2.40
r
h
/
t

,
e
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Overhead pressure
Re|ief ñow rate
Figure 7 CDU behaviour in the event of refux failure with increased set pressure
invensys.indd 5 10/3/11 12:52:57
WorId-cIass
products and servIce,
the worId over
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021_norpro.indd 1 4/2/11 11:55:12
emergency situations applied to
grassroots or revamp projects. For
grassroots refnery projects, the
establishment as early as possible
of a clear philosophy regarding the
optimisation of fare systems is
benefcial in terms of capital spend-
ing. Flare header size, fare stack
height and the dimensions of fare
KO drums can be reduced
signifcantly.
For refnery upgrading projects,
the use of dynamic simulations
becomes especially meaningful
when assessing the capacity of
existing fare systems to accommo-
date additional relief loads from
new and revamped units. The
contribution of dynamic simulation
can lead to important reductions in
relief loads to the fare and to the
conclusion that it is not necessary
to implement additional fare
network. When the objective is to
connect relief valves previously
discharging to atmosphere to the
existing fare network, dynamic
simulations produce realistic
predictions of the new relief fow
rates and confrm whether or not
the existing fare network is
under-sized.
Case study for a grassroots refnery
with an aromatic complex
Technip’s methodology for opti-
mising fare network sizes was
applied to a grassroots refnery
including an aromatic complex.
Relief loads were drastically
reduced (2700 t/h from 6500 t/h),
as well as fare header size
(76in from 130in) and fare stack
height (180m from 280m). In this
case, expected investment cost
savings approached €20 million.
3.20
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300
500
400
600
200
100
0
Overhead pressure
Re|ief ñow rate
2.5 7.5 12.5 17.5 22.5 27.5 32.5 37.5
Upset
4.21 barg
Figure 8 CDU behaviour in the event of GEPF with increased set pressure
From
other units
From
other units
GP
NHT
Naphtha
splitter
CDU
VDU
VB
FCC
11 t/h
265 t/h 275 t/h 275 t/h
90 t/h
89 t/h
28 t/h
185 t/h
180 t/h
From
other units
HDS
489 t/h
310 t/h 330 t/h
530+ 230 t/h
500 t/h
540 t/h
1300 t/h
37º API
0.8% S
From
other units
ISOM diH
Gasoline
Kero
Diesel
Heating
oil
FG
LPG
REF
ALKY
HDS
FO
Figure 9 Case study for refnery upgrading scheme (before revamp)
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 37
invensys.indd 6 10/3/11 12:53:06
Case study for a refnery upgrade
This study considers upgrading an
existing 1300 t/h capacity European
topping/reformer/catalytic cracker
(TRC) refnery with new conversion
units to achieve higher conversion
and desulphurisation. Figure 9
shows the refnery’s block fow
diagram before and after the
revamp. New units included a
hydrocracking complex (supple-
mented by the required hydrogen
plant), whereas existing CDU
bottoms and VDU units needed to
be revamped. This upgrading solu-
tion is a good approach to
processing heavier and higher-
sulphur crude to meet the current
European specifcations.
Table 3 shows the relief fow rates
to be considered: in the event of
GEPF for the fare system design in
the existing refnery confguration;
for the upgraded refnery confgu-
ration without the implementation
of dynamic simulation; and follow-
ing the implementation of dynamic
simulation.
Considering that the original
refnery fare network is designed
to handle 985 t/h in the event of
GEPF, the use of conventional
calculations after the refnery
upgrade with a new hydrocracker
unit leads to an increase in the fare
network’s design fow rate to 1285
t/h (+27%). In this context, it would
be necessary to consider the imple-
mentation of an additional fare
system or expanding the existing
fare system, which are both costly
solutions.
Existing simulation models were
adapted in this case. Relief load
contributors such as crude distilla-
tion columns, vacuum distillation
columns, reformate splitter and
FCC main fractionators were simu-
lated and their associated relief
loads recalculated. In spite of the
introduction of two new units
(hydrocracker and hydrogen plant),
aggregate relief loads to the fare in
the event of GEPF were reduced by
8%, from 985 to 900 t/h, generating
substantial investment cost savings
(around €15 million, or about 4%
of the total investment).
Further benefts of dynamic
simulation
A process model used as a knowl-
edgebase can enable savings in
many areas. The use of a dynamic
simulation rather than a steady-
state representation opens up new
opportunities. The fare study work
reported here targets the capital
cost of construction, with a particu-
lar focus on the materials of
construction. This provides a real
multimillion-dollar return from the
fare system. In the design phase of
any project, the capital expenditure
budget is paramount.
The benefts of simulation are not
limited to design. Dynamic simula-
tion can be used to investigate
specifc implementation tasks and
to assess operability and trip
settings ahead of the plant being
built. More intensive process
design, with wider feedstocks and
narrow product qualities, is making
From
other units
From
other units
GP
NHT
Naphtha
sp|itter
CDU
VDU
VB
FCC
25 t/h
160 t/h 170 t/h
210 t/h
70 t/h
89 t/h
28 t/h
140 t/h
140 t/h
From
other units
HDS
HCK
70¾
H
2
p|ant
62kNm
3
/h
500 t/h
430 t/h
170 t/h
330 t/h
570+ 200 t/h
510 t/h
540 t/h
1300 t/h
31º API
1.0¾ S
From
other units
ISOM diH
Gaso|ine
Kero
Diese|
Heating
oi|
FG
LPG
REF
ALKY
HDS
FO
Revamped units
New units
Figure 9 Case study for refnery upgrading scheme (after revamp)
38 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
invensys.indd 7 10/3/11 12:53:20
process plant harder to operate.
Questions such as “Does the opera-
tor have suffcient time to respond
to a disturbance?” are increasingly
important. A trip that takes out a
unit in a refnery can cost $0.5
million. If the trip propagates to
other units through the utility
systems, the costs can be even
greater.
In addition, the training of opera-
tors so that they maintain a
well-regulated process and know
how to operate the units for
optimum production, while respect-
ing the alarm and trip aspects of
the process, can regularly improve
production by $10–100 000/day.
Every grassroots refnery goes
through a commissioning phase,
not least the control and trip
systems. Checking out the confgu-
ration using a dynamic simulation
provides a more rigorous and
extensive review of the control
system’s implementation and
catches confguration, parameter
and design errors before they are
identifed on plant. In general, the
General electrical power failure TRC refnery TRC refnery upgraded with HCK
20% cut-off failing Conventional Conventional With dynamic
method, t/h method, t/h simulation, t/h
CDU/VDU/gas plant 220 280 190
Gasoline units (NHT/Reformer/ISOM/Alky) 660 650 515
HDS 50 50 50
FCC complex (inc CatNaphtha HDS) 55 55 0
Visbreaker 0 0 0
HCK (inc H
2
plant) - 220 145
Total 985% 1255% 900%
(+27%) (-8%)
Dynamic simulation results for upgraded refnery fare study
Table 3
greater the level of automation, the
greater the saving.
SimSci-Esscor, DYNSIM and PRO/II are
trademarks of Invensys plc, its subsidiaries or
affliates.
Alban Sirven is Refning Chief Engineer, Process
and Technology division, at Technip France,
Paris. He holds an engineer’s degree from École
Centrale Paris, France.
Email: asirven@technip.com
Julien Grosclaude is Lead Process Engineer,
Refning, Process and Technology division, at
Technip France, Paris. He holds an engineer’s
degree from École Centrale Paris and a MSc
from IFP School, Paris.
Email: jgrosclaude@technip.com
Guillaume Fenol is Process Engineer, Refning,
Process and Technology divison, at Technip
France, Paris. He holds an engineer’s degree
from Lyon’s School of Chemistry and a MSc
from IFP School, Paris.
Email: gfenol@technip.com
Jeremy Saada is a Client Sales Executive for
Invensys Operations Management in charge of
the SimSci-Esscor simulation software business
in France. He holds a master’s in process
engineering from École Nationale Supérieure
des Industries Chimiques, France.
Email: jeremy.saada@invensys.com
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 39
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Energy performance monitoring
F
or heavy energy consumers
such as refneries, total energy
expenses represent a consider-
able amount. On the other hand,
complex processes require a certain
minimal amount of energy to guar-
antee the desired production
output. The question that naturally
arises is how to use the given
energy in the most effcient way or,
in other words, how to increase
energy effciency.
There are several approaches to
tackling the vast challenge of opti-
mally using energy. One of these is
the implementation of an energy
management system (EMS) for
closely monitoring and increasing
energy performance. An EMS can
be interpreted in different ways.
Belsim’s conception of an EMS is to
prepare all process-related energy
information so that it is reliable,
centralised and easily readable, and
can be readily used as support for
intelligent business decisions.
This information includes:
• Energy performance indicators
(EPIs) of equipment, single units or
the whole site
• Energy balances to determine
accurately the energy consumption
of equipment and units
• Monitoring of emissions (CO
2
,
SO
2
, NO
x
).
It is measured on a short-term
basis (hourly or daily) and is acces-
sible via customised reporting tools.
The results that are reported
through an EMS are key to provid-
ing an insight into process
performance, which is the basis for
changes in operating mode to
improve economic performance.
However, the quality of business
decisions depends directly on the
An integrated energy management system supports improvements to a refnery’s
performance in energy consumption and emissions control
RobeRt ChARes, heRvé Closon and hugues steFAnski Belsim
JeAn-ClAude noisieR SIR
quality of the data on which the
decisions are based. Therefore, an
EMS should have an additional
component that increases the qual-
ity of measurement data. In
particular, EPIs are typically calcu-
lated based on other measurements.
If those measurements are already
false, their errors will propagate
and amplify. Consider, for example,
an effciency defned as the ratio
between two quantities, A and B. If
A and B are both erroneous, it is
possible that the effciency would
be calculated as higher than 100%,
which is clearly impossible.
Advanced data validation and
reconciliation (DVR) is a technology
that uses measurement data and
process information to correct
measurements as little as necessary
so that all process constraints (such
as material and energy balances or
thermodynamic equilibria) are satis-
fed, while taking into account the
uncertainty of measurement.
Belsim’s EMSs always include a
DVR component. There are two
major reasons for this inclusion:
• The reported information is relia-
ble and dedicated actions can
be taken to improve energy
performance
• The impact of the corrective
actions can be seen directly, since
energy-related data is cleared of
any noise.
In that sense, an EMS can be
viewed as a tool that gives continu-
ous decision support to tackle
various energy-related challenges
arising in complex systems, such as
refneries, leading to corrective
actions that have to be taken to
amend them. These challenges
could be, for example, energy
imbalances (fuel, electricity) around
some process units or the inexplica-
bly high energy consumption of
some piece of equipment. They are
observations on the process level
based on measurement data.
The results supplied by an EMS:
help to truly understand the
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 41
Action
Management
Process
Insight into
processes
Verify corrective
actions
EMS
Challenge
Reporting
DVR
Figure 1 Belsim’s conception of an EMS
belsim.indd 1 10/3/11 13:12:23
process by providing transparent
and reliable energy-related informa-
tion that reflects the actual condition
of the refinery; are presented in a
transparent and easily readable
manner; can be exported and used
for further analysis; are quickly
accessible and updated frequently
to enable the right decision to be
made at the right time.
Based on the results provided by
an EMS, dedicated actions can be
initiated at the management level
— for example, sensors, equipment
and control settings can be ques-
tioned and causes of poor efficiency
can be detected — leading to a
reproduction of better perform-
ances. The impact of these actions
can be verified with the help of an
EMS. In order to ensure a continu-
ous improvement, there should be
a frequent interaction between the
EMS, situated at the process level,
and the actions taken at the
management level. This concept is
illustrated in Figure 1.
Implementation of an EMS
This conception of energy perform-
ance monitoring has been
successfully implemented at Société
Ivoirienne de Raffinage (SIR) in
Abidjan, Ivory Coast. SIR refines
crude oil to produce various prod-
ucts for inland markets and for
export. At the moment, about 3.8
42 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
million tonnes of crude oil are proc-
essed in the refinery each year.
Within the framework of a complete
revamp of the refinery’s informa-
tion system (Projet d’Intégration de
l’Information — PII), Belsim imple-
mented an EMS that meets the
following requirements:
• Implementation and configura-
tion of a completely integrated
solution that automatically calcu-
lates energy balances and EPIs with
a high precision
• Accurate monitoring of air emis-
sions for environmental reporting
• Energy performance monitoring
of equipment, several units and the
whole site
• Gives everybody in the refinery
access to the results.
The overall objective of the imple-
mentation of the EMS was to
improve the refinery’s performance
and to make it more competitive
within the West African area. This
objective was to be achieved by
calculating reliable and accurate
EPIs and mass and energy balances,
leading to an improved monitoring
of fuel consumption, steam usage,
electricity consumption and flare,
and to a decrease in overall energy
consumption.
The solution that was imple-
mented at SIR is entirely integrated
in PII via a third-party integration
platform (m:pro) that is the connec-
tion point for the EMS and all of the
other modules. It links different
types of data and information
coming from various systems in
diverse forms and arriving at differ-
ent frequencies. It includes reporting
facilities that provide the requested
information to the right person at
the right time. The integration plat-
form combines different applications,
such as refinery material balance,
refinery unit performance monitor-
ing, energy management of utilities,
with databases and provides a single
user interface for engineers from
various departments all over the
refinery.
The EMS automatically fetches
measurement data from the data
historian (DAHS), which retrieves
input from the laboratory informa-
tion management system (LIMS)
and the distributed control system
(DCS). The measurements can be
modified by manual inputs. The
results of the EMS are stored on a
Belsim SQL database, which can be
accessed through a communication
tool on PII by anyone and any appli-
cation connected to the integration
platform. The interconnection
between the different components is
illustrated in Figure 2.
The EMS is entirely integrated into
PII, and all other applications can
access results generated by the EMS
(see Figure 2). It is also completely
Integration
platform
Manual
encoding
Oracle
DAHS
Mass
balances
Performance
monitoring of
units
Production
scheduling
...
LIMS
User interface
DCS
Energy
management
Figure 2 Integration of an EMS at SIR
belsim.indd 2 10/3/11 13:12:36
embedded in the daily business
workfow of the end users via the
integration platform to ensure a
continuous improvement in terms of
the management of energy usage.
The end users review the results and
present them during meetings where
different business units are present.
Results achieved
The project yielded several benefts
for SIR. Some of them are described
below. More benefts are to be
expected as soon as further correc-
tive actions are undertaken by the
management of the refnery.
Gains in time and effciency
The integration of the EMS into the
daily workfow is the foundation of
a sustainable improvement through
increased awareness of energy
consumption at the refnery.
Running the application takes only
a few minutes every day, which
means a signifcant gain in time
and effciency: engineers can now
spend time on analysing data and
not waste time on collecting them.
The fow sheet-based reporting
tools continuously provide reliable
information on the use of energy at
the refnery in a transparent
manner. Previously, energy
balances were established on a
monthly basis — not frequent
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 43
enough to take action in due time.
Since it is entirely integrated
through the integration platform,
the whole refnery can gain from
the information provided by the
EMS. For example, the refnery
production balances are established
partially based on results provided
by the EMS. It turned out that this
helped to calculate the balances
more quickly, with a 50% reduction
in time.
Prevention of losses
Société Multinationale de Bitumes
(SMB) is a company that is located
on the SIR site and strongly inte-
grated with SIR in terms of energy
consumption among other links. As
$l20 000
$l00 000
$80 000
$60 000
$40 000
$20 000
1anuary Pebruary March April May 1une
$0
Figure 3 Prevented losses in fuel invoicing, January–June 2010
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a consequence of this energy inte-
gration, SIR sells SMB fuel gas and
fuel oil to be used for treating crude
oil for the production of road bitu-
men and by-products. It turned out
that SMB’s consumption of fuel has
been systematically underestimated
by about 215 tonnes of fuel oil
equivalent each month. As a result,
the average price for fuel per tonne
of crude was underestimated by
almost 20%. This underestimation
resulted in undercharging for fuel
over recent years. With the help of
the EMS, the true energy consump-
tion of SMB has been determined
with a higher precision, and losses
have been prevented by invoicing
the correct amount of energy
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
belsim.indd 3 11/3/11 14:43:20
right indicate the measured and
reconciled values respectively. One
can see that the electricity consump-
tion is signifcantly underestimated
and the production is slightly over-
estimated, when considering
measured values only.
Moreover, the information
provided by the EMS helped to
pinpoint erroneous electricity
counters. The imbalance of 2 MW
was partly due to the counters at
the electricity process unit substa-
tion, which had never been
calibrated over the past 30 years.
The calibration of these devices
helped to reduce the imbalance in
measurements to below 1 MW.
Supported by the EMS, further
actions will be taken by the refnery
to close the remaining imbalance of
the electricity measurements, in
particular by checking the accuracy
of electricity production. This will
help to distribute energy correctly
among the process units in order to
accurately calculate their effective
operating costs.
Gas faring
Refneries have fare systems for
burning excess gas. The burning of
some gas might be necessary
because it could be diffcult to
transport it to other places in the
refnery, or to release some pressure
for security reasons. A large amount
of gas being fared indicates non-
optimal operation of the refnery.
The results of the EMS indicate
that 2000 tonnes of gas is fared
each month, corresponding to about
24 000 Gcal. Figure 4 illustrates the
average amount of gas fared per
hour on 1 March 2010.
This faring of gas amounts to
more than $1 million of losses per
month. The EMS detected and iden-
tifed one fow meter to the fare
that is systematically providing
wrong data. Despite this erroneous
fow meter, the EMS calculated the
reconciled fow rate to that fare. A
team was appointed by the refn-
ery’s management to analyse the
possibility of installing a compres-
sor, with the aim of transforming
part of the fare gas to fuel gas.
Emissions monitoring
Emissions are now monitored on a
more frequent basis, daily as
opposed to monthly, on several
levels — refnery-wide, on a unit
level and for each item of equip-
ment — and in a more rigorous
manner. The emissions are calcu-
lated based on the consumption of
fuel and its sulphur content, which
is measured four times per month.
Previously, the monthly average of
these values had been used to
determine the sulphur content. The
EMS always uses the latest values
to precisely determine emissions of
CO
2
, SO
2
and NO
x
, which are then
reported directly to the Ministry of
44 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
consumed by SMB. The losses that
were prevented in the frst six
months of 2010 are shown in
Figure 3.
Table 1 shows the average
monthly invoiced amount based
on true fuel consumption, as
opposed to wrongly estimated fuel
consumption using raw measure-
ments. One can see that an average
$60 000 of losses could be prevented
per month. This fnding alone
ensures a return on investment of
less than six months.
Electricity imbalance detected
An imbalance in the electricity grid
has been identifed and quantifed
at 2 MW, representing about 10% of
total electricity production. This
imbalance represents an accumu-
lated monthly value of about
$235 000 based on western European
pricing. It is therefore important to
properly understand whether some
equipment is consuming more elec-
tricity than is expected or whether
the difference is due to measure-
ment errors. As the EMS is based
on a data validation and reconcilia-
tion technology, the electricity
balance is now closed. Table 2a
shows SIR’s electricity production
on a particular day (14 October
2009) and Table 2b shows electricity
consumption on the same day. In
both tables, the two columns on the
600
700
500
400
300
200
100
HSK2 SMB DHC Total
A
c
i
d

f
l
a
r
e

p
r
o
d
u
c
t
i
o
n
,

k
g
/
h
0
Measured
Reconciled
Figure 4 Amount of acid gas fared
Table 1
Item Amount, $
Jan-Jun 2010 average monthly invoice for SMB, using true energy consumption 321 000
Jan-Jun 2010 average monthly invoice for SMB, using underestimated energy consumption 261 000
Prevented losses due to energy consumption underestimation 60 000
Effects on fuel invoicing of true and underestimated energy consumption
Unit Measured Reconciled
GTA5230 11.71 11.25
GTA5240 11.28 11.09
CIE 0.00 0.00
Total 22.98 22.34
Electricity import/production, MW
Unit Measured Reconciled
P10 3.72 3.91
P11 2.08 2.14
P12 3.75 3.94
P13 8.78 9.82
P14 2.45 2.53
Total 20.78 22.34
Electricity import/consumption, MW
Table 2a
Table 2b
belsim.indd 4 11/3/11 14:43:50
Environment. The daily availability
of these values has been acknowl-
edged by ISO 14001 auditors.
Lessons learned
The implementation of an EMS
based on an advanced DVR tech-
nology has clearly demonstrated its
frst benefts. It is completely inte-
grated into the daily workfow at
the refnery of SIR. It is actively
used for providing continuously
reliable energy-related data.
Business decisions can now be
based on a trustworthy set of infor-
mation. SIR has acquired ownership
and therefore full control of the
application. Awareness in terms of
energy consumption has been
increased and losses can be
prevented without installing new
equipment or instrumentation.
The management of SIR has
noticed a huge time saving in the
collection of reliable information for
both energy balances and environ-
mental indicators as a result of the
implementation of this project. The
time saved is available for engineers
to analyse in greater depth the
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 45
refnery’s current situation and to
propose operating improvements.
In other words, SIR has highlighted
a noticeable improvement in work-
ing productivity.
Actions taken by the management
of SIR are steps towards the
improved competitiveness of the
refnery. Moreover, the effects of
corrective actions can be detected
more easily and quickly as a result
of the removal of measurement
noise by the DVR technology.
Success factors
There were three important factors
in the success of this project. First,
there was a strong commitment to
the project by the management of
SIR and a positive attitude towards
the management of change. Second,
a dedicated, multi-disciplinary team
was established, formed by staff
from SIR and Belsim, working
together towards the defned objec-
tives. Third, the transfer of
knowledge from Belsim to SIR was
provided by training, on-site
missions and continuous support
during the project and following its
completion. These factors not only
guaranteed that the project was
successful for both parties, but also
ensured continuous improvement
after the project was completed.
Robert Chares is Marketing Solution Engineer
at Belsim, Awans, Belgium, specialising in energy
management and energy production. He has
a master’s in mathematics from Chemnitz
University of Technology, Germany, and a PhD
in applied mathematics from University of
Louvain, Belgium.
Email: robert.chares@belsim.com
Hervé Closon is Director, Services and
Technology, at Belsim. He has a master’s in
chemical engineering from the University of
Liège, Belgium, and in management from HEC,
Liège. Email: herve.closon@belsim.com
Jean-Claude Noisier is Performance and
Quality Manager at SIR in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
He has a master’s in engineering and a PhD
in physics and mathematics from the French
Petroleum Institute, part of Paris University.
Email: jeanclaude.noisier@sir.ci
Hugues Stefanski is an Advanced Process
Engineer at Belsim. He specialises in energy
management, performance monitoring and
production accounting for downstream
applications and has a master’s in chemical
engineering from the University of Liège,
Belgium. Email: hugues.stefanski@belsim.com
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
belsim.indd 5 10/3/11 13:15:32
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koch.indd 1 11/3/11 15:00:25
SO
2
emission control for resid combustion
V
arious environmental and
market pressures may
provide the refner with an
incentive to consume modest quan-
tities of high-sulphur residuum on
site, to generate power or steam
that is consumed locally.
Resids contain elevated amounts
of sulphur compared to sweet
liquid fuels or natural gas. SO
2
scrubbing is likely to be required to
support a refnery’s co-generation
project that uses a heavy sour liquid
fuel stream. Designers need to
consider whether to install a non-
regenerable SO
2
scrubbing system
that uses an alkaline agent such as
caustic soda (NaOH), lime or lime-
stone, or whether a regenerable
system will be used that generates
a pure stream of SO
2
that can read-
ily be converted to elemental
sulphur or 98% sulphuric acid.
Depending on the sulphur content
of the fuel in question, one or the
other type of system is preferred.
This article describes the regenera-
ble Cansolv SO
2
system and
compares it to non-regenerable
systems that employ NaOH, lime
or limestone as the sorbent.
Resid combustion and cogeneration
The refning industry continues to
be pressured to process more diff-
cult crudes and, at the same time,
respond to ever-tighter limitations
on product sulphur content.
Investment in bottom-of-the-barrel
hydrocracking or coking systems is
economical for large volumes of
resid, but options are limited when
smaller volumes of high-sulphur
products must be accommodated.
Co-generation projects may be able
to serve as outlets for future quanti-
Regenerable and non-regenerable SO
2
scrubbing systems for high-sulphur
residuum combustion are compared
Rick BiRnBaum
Cansolv Technologies
ties of high-sulphur refnery
streams. These projects will require
SO
2
scrubbing to prevent the
sulphur in the fuel mix from escap-
ing to the atmosphere.
A refner may wish to consider a
co-generation project for three
reasons. First, co-generation projects
can be designed to accommodate a
wide range of fuels, from cycle oils
to asphalt and coke. Second, on-site
generation of power and steam
reduces the refner’s reliance on
external, purchased balancing fuels.
Finally, the versatile nature of the
co-generation system to accept vari-
able fuel qualities increases the
refnery planner’s ability to fll the
refnery crude slate with a wider
range of crudes and to maximise
margins.
SO
2
scrubbing
SO
2
scrubbing can be effected by
non-regenerable and regenerable
means. Non-regenerable systems
consume an alkaline agent such as
sodium hydroxide, limestone or dry
lime and generate a waste stream of
sodium sulphate or gypsum (calcium
sulphate). Sodium sulphate is
disposed of in wastewater treatment
systems, while gypsum is most often
disposed of in a landfll site.
Regenerable systems use an alka-
line agent, such as sodium sulphite
or Cansolv DS, to capture SO
2
and
release it in pure form from a
regenerator that is designed to split
the reagent from the SO
2
. In the
refnery, SO
2
is converted to sulphur
in the refnery’s sulphur recovery
unit (SRU).
Non-regenerable systems capture
one tonne of SO
2
from fue gas and
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 47
1
Flue gas
management
2
Reagent
preparation
3
SO
2
absorption
4
SO
2
regeneration
5
Waste
management
6
Byproduct
management
Figure 1 Process subsystems for fue gas desulphurisation
co-generation
projects can
be designed to
accommodate a wide
range of fuels, from
cycle oils to asphalt
and coke
cansolv.indd 1 10/3/11 13:17:34
generate between two and three
tonnes of dry equivalent waste,
which is discharged as a dilute
stream of liquid (sodium sulphate)
or as a wet, hydrated solid (CaSO
4
).
Regenerable systems, which convert
SO
2
to elemental sulphur in the
refnery, remove a tonne of SO
2
from
fue gas and generate only half a
tonne of high-value, marketable
product.
When external SO
2
from a regen-
erable SO
2
scrubbing system is fed
to the refnery SRU, it displaces
combustion air and can be used
alone or in combination with other
strategies, to debottleneck or reduce
the cost of the SRU, which is often
under pressure to process greater
quantities of H
2
S from elsewhere in
the refnery.
SO
2
scrubbing systems are
composed of up to six process
blocks (see Figure 1). The lime and
limestone non-regenerable systems
48 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
include a reagent preparation area
(block 2) and a gypsum fltration
area (required for blocks 5 and 6).
Caustic requires no reagent prepa-
ration or byproduct management
block, since NaOH is sourced as a
bulk liquid and sodium sulphate is
discharged to wastewater-treating
systems as a dilute solution of
sodium sulphate. The non-
regenerable systems, by defnition,
do not have a regeneration block.
Regenerable systems have little or
no requirement for a reagent prepa-
ration area, but dedicate signifcant
resources and space to solvent regen-
eration. While both regenerable and
non-regenerable systems can produce
a marketable byproduct, it is more
common for the caustic, lime and
limestone non-regenerable systems to
direct their byproducts to waste, as
markets for sodium sulphate or
gypsum are limited. This contrasts
with the regenerable systems that
direct SO
2
into sulphuric acid or
elemental sulphur markets.
Table 1 compares the process
areas required for several common
non-regenerable systems and the
Cansolv SO
2
scrubbing system.
Caustic systems have lower capi-
tal costs than other non-regenerable
systems. Reagent is purchased as a
concentrated liquid or dry solid and
wastes are directed to the refnery
wastewater treatment system.
NaOH prices are quite volatile,
because it is a co-product in the
manufacture of chlorine. When
chlorine is in high demand, NaOH
pricing tends to drop, whereas
when chlorine is in low demand
NaOH prices tend to rise. Chlorine
markets are sensitive to world
demand for chemical products such
as vinyl chloride monomer, used to
manufacture polyvinyl chloride
plastics.
Sodium carbonate and sodium
bicarbonate are less expensive alter-
natives to caustic and can be
substituted for caustic, but their
cost is higher than for limestone or
lime, and they require investment
in reagent preparation and manage-
ment systems.
Capital costs for limestone- and
lime-based systems show an advan-
tage over regenerable systems.
Although investment is required for
reagent preparation and byproduct
or waste management, by defni-
tion, no investment is required for
solvent regeneration systems.
Regenerable systems have a
higher capital cost than any of the
non-regenerable systems, since
solvent regeneration and byproduct
conversion systems are required.
Table 1
Figure 2 Comparative capital and operating costs: Cansolv vs non-regenerable scrubbing
systems
Cansolv Caustic Limestone Lime spray dry
Capital cost
Op. cost 4.6%S
Op. cost 2.6%S
Area Cansolv NaOH Limestone Lime spray dry
Reagent prep – – Grinding and storage Storage and slakin
Pre-scrubbing Required upstream of absorber Incorporated in absorber Incorporated in absorber Incorporated in absorber
Absorber type Packed Multiple spray Multiple spray Spray atomisation
Regeneration Steam strip – – –
Waste management Minor blowdown from Na
2
SO
4
to wastewater CaSO
4
, dry flter cake to landfll CaSO
4
, dry flter cake to landfll
pre-scrubber and amine or to possible sale
purifcation system
Byproduct recovery Sulphur plant; sulphuric acid; – Gypsum –
liquid SO
2
Process subsystem requirements: regenerable and non-regenerable scrubbing systems
Table 1
cansolv.indd 2 10/3/11 13:17:43
Instead of consuming non-regener-
able reagents, the regenerable
systems consume relatively large
quantities of steam, electricity and
cooling water to split SO
2
from the
reagent.
Summary
In summary, site-specifc economics
and the amount of SO
2
that must be
captured from a given fue gas
stream dictate whether or not a
regenerable system is favoured over
a non-regenerable system.
Optimum conditions for regener-
able systems apply when:
• Fuel sulphur content is high
• Energy costs are low
• Access to alkaline reagents is
limited
• Access to wastewater or waste
landfll systems is limited.
Optimum conditions for non-
regenerable systems apply when:
• Fuel sulphur content is low
• Energy costs are high
• Free access to alkaline reagents is
available
• Free access to wastewater and
solid waste disposal sites is
available.
Figure 2 shows high-level capital
and operating cost comparisons for
four SO
2
fue gas desulphurisation
(FGD) technologies. The chart
illustrates that the capital cost for
the Cansolv system is higher than
for the non-regenerable systems,
but that its operating cost is
lower. A second case comparing
the costs of scrubbing 2.6%
sulphur fuel is shown alongside
the base case. The capital and
operating costs for Cansolv are
relatively constant, but the operat-
ing costs of the non-regenerable
systems, which are dominated by
reagent costs, change in direct
proportion to the amount of SO
2

that must be captured from the
fue gas.
Net Present Value (NPV) calcula-
tions using a discount rate of 10%
show that for the 4.6% sulphur case,
non-regenerable technologies cost
more than the regenerable technol-
ogy. The comparison is shown in
Table 2. Table 2 confrms that for
reduced sulphur feeds, the NPV of
the regenerable process still prevails
over caustic and limestone, but
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 49
becomes competitive with lime
spray dry systems.
The cost basis for the four cases
is highly dependent on costing
assumptions used for the analysis.
The competitive NPV for the
2.6% sulphur case between
Cansolv and the non-regenerable
processes requires that the costs
basis be clearly defned, while the
conclusions for the 4.6% sulphur
case are more clear cut. Table 3
shows the economic analysis
assumptions used for these
comparative cases.
Conclusions
For regenerable systems, steam
represents 40% of the operating
cost. For caustic scrubbed systems,
reagent makes up nearly 60% of the
operating cost of the system. In
limestone and lime systems, the
reagent costs represent 25–35% of
the operating cost, respectively.
Cansolv SO
2
scrubbing systems
can be economically justifed over
non-regenerable systems for cases
that involve the combustion of
high-sulphur resids.
Reagent availability, the client’s
ability to dispose of waste byprod-
ucts from the non-regenerable
system and materials-handling
problems associated with solid
reagents and byproduct can drive
the decision to use a regenerable
technology for sour fuel fred co-
generation applications.
Rick Birnbaum is Licensing Manager, Oil
and Gas, for Cansolv Technologies Inc’s SO
2

and CO
2
scrubbing technology businesses in
Montreal. He graduated from McGill University
in Montreal, Quebec.
Table 5.
Technology NPV compared to Cansolv at 4.6% NPV compared to Cansolv at 2.6%
S in fuel; discounted at 10% S in fuel; discounted at 10%
Cansolv 100 100
Caustic 130 107
Limestone 117 113
Lime spray dry 110 99
NPV of 4.6% and 2.6% sulphur in fuel case: regenerable vs non-regenerable
Table 2
Boiler sizing basis Flue gas basis 4.6% sulphur case Flue gas basis 2.6% sulphur case
Fuel feed rate, t/h 35 35
Sulphur in fuel, wt% 4.6 2.6
Boiler power production, MWe 160 160
SO
2
capture capacity, t/y 28 000 16 644
SO
2
content of fue gas, vppm 2400 1400
Utility cost basis
Cooling water, $/m
3
0.02
Steam, $/ton 10.00
Electricity, $/kW 0.085
DI water, $/m
3
1.80
Utility water, $/m
3
1.00
Chemicals
NaOH, $/t 300
Limestone, $/t -100% NaOH 30
Lime, $/t 100
Waste, $/t - dry basis Na
2
SO
4
;CaSO
4
20
Byproduct credit - elemental sulphur, $/t 60
Operating cost basis for 4.6% S and 2.6% S, 160 MW boiler SO
2
scrubber
Table 3
Regenerable systems
have a higher capital
cost than the non-
regenerable systems,
but their operating
cost can be a lot lower
cansolv.indd 3 14/3/11 11:20:38
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
cansolv.indd 1 10/3/11 11:44:06
Bulk separation of gas-liquid mixtures
T
he operating conditions of
mixed phases and the
requirements for separation
effciency may vary widely.
Therefore, special care should be
taken in selecting the most appro-
priate device to match the specifc
duty. For application to bulk gas-
liquid separation, where generally
not more than 95% of the liquid
must be removed from the gas
stream, the Schoepentoeter is a
proprietary feed inlet vane device
used for introducing gas-liquid
mixtures into distillation columns
or gas-liquid separators. It has two
main functions:
• To separate the liquid from the
gas
• To distribute the vapour in the
gas compartment of the column.
The device accomplishes these
objectives by slicing up the mixed-
phase feed into a series of fat jets
by means of properly distributed
and oriented vanes. The jets dissi-
pate a large part of the kinetic
energy due to the vanes so that the
vapour enters the gas compartment
of the column in a smooth and
uniform manner. The vanes also
provide the mixed-phase feed with
centrifugal acceleration to promote
and/or enhance the separation of
the liquid from the vapour — other-
wise possible only by gravitational
force.
For any given duty, the device
allows for a considerably smaller
feed entry section in the vessel, thus
reducing the total column’s height
and costs.
Process design parameters
The main design parameters for a
Schoepentoeter are the sizing of the
Effective gas-liquid separation is increasingly important to produce high-quality
products from feedstocks of decreasing quality
GiusEPPE Mosca, PiErrE schaEffEr and BarT GriEPsMa Sulzer Chemtech
harry KooijMan Shell Global Solutions International
feed inlet nozzle, the fow parame-
ter and the column load factor.
These factors are important in
predicting its effciency. The sizing
of the feed inlet nozzle of a vessel
equipped with a Schoepentoeter
should be based on the maximum
fow rate, including the design
margin. The internal nozzle diame-
ter can be taken to be equal to that
of the upstream feed piping to the
vessel, provided that the maximum
momentum criterion is satisfed. In
some applications where the gas
density is very low — for instance,
in refnery vacuum towers — the
velocity of the gas at the feed inlet
nozzle should be somewhat lower
than the critical velocity of the gas
(the speed of sound of the gas
mixture) to prevent choking or
damage due to vibrations. The fow
parameter is used to characterise
the type of gas-liquid mixture enter-
ing the vessel or the relative
importance of the liquid load
approaching the feed inlet device. It
is proportional to the ratio of the
liquid mass fow to gas mass fow.
Additionally, the performance of
the device — in particular, the
separation effciency — is greatly
affected by the column load factor,
also known as the capacity factor.
This factor is proportional to the
volume fow of the gas to the cross-
section of the tower.
separation effciency
The separation effciency of a feed
inlet device for gas-liquid mixtures
is normally defned by the ratio of
the liquid fow rate separated from
the gas stream and the liquid fow
rate originally contained in the
mixed-phase stream.
For a Schoepentoeter, the separa-
tion effciency can be expressed as
a function of the nozzle’s and
column’s diameters, the column
load factor, the fow parameter and
the ratio of the surface tension of
the liquid compared with the
surface tension of water.
Mechanical design parameters
The device should be designed to
comply with and satisfy the follow-
ing mechanical requirements and
criteria:
• A maximum operating load over
the feed inlet nozzle of 15 000 Pa
• Withstand its own weight plus
the weight of the fuid at process
conditions
• Downward or upward defection
under operating loads not exceed-
ing 1% of the nozzle diameter or
15 mm, whichever is larger
• Tilt of the Schoepentoeter not
exceeding 1% of the column diame-
ter or 15mm, whichever is smaller
• Thermal expansion during
normal operation and transient
conditions — for instance start-up
and shutdown — should be also
considered
• For mega-sized Schoepentoeter
devices, those with a nozzle diame-
ter exceeding 3m and length
exceeding 9m, additional detailed
mechanical strength calculations
and vibration calculations should
be performed.
There are cases — refnery
vacuum tower revamps or fare
system knockout drums — in which
the Schoepentoeter is subject to
loads even heavier than those
mentioned above. Therefore, some
additional measures should be
taken to avoid vane tips being bent
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 51
sgs.indd 1 10/3/11 13:25:13
or broken, by for instance using
thicker material or employing stiff-
ening strips at the back of long,
unsupported vane tips.
Established performance
In most cases, the conventional
Schoepentoeter has been proven to
match and even exceed expected
performance. There are only a few
applications, such as refnery
vacuum towers, where the separa-
tion effciency was measured to be
lower than expected. Those meas-
urements may have occurred
because the liquid, separated by the
vane, is not conveyed. Rather, it
leaves the vane in the shape of a
thin curtain, which, on its way to
the bottom section of the tower, is
subject to the upward momentum
of the ascending vapour. A portion
of the separated liquid (entrain-
ment) may be carried to the feed
entry zone of the tower. Therefore,
the resultant separation effciency
can be lower than expected, espe-
cially under severe operating
conditions that are commonly
52 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
encountered in refnery vacuum
towers, such as when the inlet
nozzle momentum is above 7000–
8000 Pa or the column load factor is
above 0.09 m/s.
Research and development
Extensive research and develop-
ment work was completed in the
form of experimental tests and
computational fuid dynamics anal-
ysis at the Sulzer Chemtech pilot
plant in Winterthur and at the Shell
Technology Center in Amsterdam.
The aim of the study was to opti-
mise the separation effciency
without compromising the hydrau-
lic capacity, particularly the
pressure drop through the feed
nozzle and the Schoepentoeter
itself. The idea was to design a
feature that would collect the
separated liquid in a way to coun-
terbalance the upward momentum
of the ascending vapour. Several
types of advanced vanes were
tested. The goal was achieved by
modifying the back end of the vane
from a straight and fat vertical
plate to a sloped and curling plate
— the so-called catching rim.
The catching rim collects the
separated liquid and conveys it into
a rivulet heavy enough to win the
upward momentum of the ascend-
ing vapour and reach the bottom
section of the tower, thus minimis-
ing the entrainment. The tests were
performed at different capacity
factors and fow parameters (see
Figure 1).
At low column load factors, no
major difference was measured;
both the conventional and new Plus
devices performed suffciently. At
higher capacity factors, typically
encountered in several industrial
columns, the separation effciency
of the Plus version was consistently
higher than the conventional one;
the entrainment was even less than
one-third for values typically
encountered in several industrial
columns. The improvement was
achieved without any signifcant
increase in pressure drop (see
Figure 2).
A new correlation for the predic-
tion of the entrainment was
developed by analytical regression
of the experimental data, which
considers the effect of the new
vanes. A new tool has been engi-
neered to manufacture the catching
rim.
Computational fuid dynamic study
Within the last decade, computa-
tional fuid dynamics (CFD) has
reached such maturity that it is now
considered an indispensable analy-
sis and design tool in a wide range
of industrial applications, including
feed entry sections of distillation
towers or gas-liquid separators.
Therefore, a CFD study was
performed to check the effciency of
the feed inlet device in terms of
vapour distribution. For this scope,
the fash zone of a refnery vacuum
tower was modelled and analysed
with both the devices. The follow-
ing operating conditions were set:
• A feed inlet nozzle momentum of
6370 Pa
• A column load factor of
0.097 m/s
• A collector tray with a 30% open
area above the Schoepentoeter
• A combined bed of Mellapak
E
n
t
r
a
i
n
m
e
n
t
Column load factor
Schoepentoeter Conventional
Schoepentoeter Plus
Figure 1 Tests were performed at different column load factors and fow parameters. At
higher column load factors, the entrainment of the Schoepentoeter Plus is even less than
one-third of the conventional one
Figure 2 The improvement is achieved without any signifcant increase in pressure drop
P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

d
r
o
p
(Column load factor)
2
Max two-column width
Blue background around
brown.
Always translate into UK
English (except images).
Leading cap on rst word
only.
Schoepentoeter Conventional
Schoepentoeter Plus
sgs.indd 2 10/3/11 13:23:56
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www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
thermo.indd 1 10/3/11 11:00:28
125X and Mellagrid 64X structured
packings above the collector tray.
The vertical vapour velocities
over the horizontal plane were
checked at different tower eleva-
tions, particularly underneath the
combined bed of Mellagrid and
Mellapak in the wash section. There
is no signifcant difference between
the two devices: the vapour distri-
bution effciency is good for both
the distributors.
Fields of application
In general, the Schoepentoeter Plus
could be used in all applications
suitable for a conventional device,
such as separation in oil and gas
upstream units or distillation in oil
and gas downstream plants. This
article focuses mainly on the second
application. There are cases where
there is no need for the
54 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Schoepentoeter Plus, such as when
the inlet device is used for a single-
phase stream and no signifcant
beneft in distribution effciency
would be achieved. The higher cost
of the Plus version makes the
conventional one more attractive.
The best candidates for installa-
tion of the Plus device are vacuum
towers, crude distillation main frac-
tionators and hydrocracking main
fractionators in oil refneries, where
the separation effciency of vapour
from liquid plays a signifcant role
in the performance of the units.
Case study: vacuum tower revamp
The column is located at a major
European refnery. The main duty
of the tower is the recovery of light
and heavy vacuum gas oil (LVGO
and HVGO) from the long
residue coming from the primary
distillation of the crude oil. The
feed, preheated to 400–420°C and
partially vapourised, accesses the
fash zone of the column through
the feed inlet device, which
performs a bulk separation of the
liquid from the vapour as well as a
vapour distribution in the gas
compartment of the column.
The liquid drops down to the
stripping section for ultimate
recovery of the light hydrocarbons
and is fnally drawn off as short
residue from the bottom of the
tower. The vapour phase is fraction-
ated into LVGO and HVGO in the
upper sections. The LVGO is drawn
off at the top section of the tower.
The HVGO is generally the frst
useful side cut above the fash zone.
A pumparound provides the
column with the duty necessary to
condense the right amount of
vapours coming from the wash
section. A portion of the condensate
— the wash oil — is pumped back
to the bed below to control the
quality of the drawn-off product.
Among other factors, such as feed
composition, wash section confgu-
ration and operating parameters,
the quality of the HVGO may also
be affected by the separation eff-
ciency of the feed inlet device.
Concerns at the existing tower
The fash zone of this column was
originally equipped with a conven-
tional Schoepentoeter. Since the
separation effciency was lower
than expected, the liquid carryover
to the wash section (entrainment),
which was made up of the heaviest
hydrocarbons and should have
followed the short residue at the
bottom of the tower, was higher
than expected. As a consequence,
the slop wax fow rate (generally an
unwanted product) was consist-
ently higher than foreseen.
In an attempt to maximise the
yield of HVGO while minimising
the production of slop wax, the
wash oil was substantially reduced,
even below the minimum, causing
a deterioration in the wash bed’s
performance:
• Poor-quality HVGO: a high
Conradson carbon residue (CCR)
and metals content with a negative
impact on the downstream fuid
Figure 3 Coke in the wash bed leads to a higher pressure drop and lower recovery of
distillates, resulting in shorter plant run length and unexpected shutdown
sgs.indd 3 10/3/11 13:24:05
refnery. All the other tower inter-
nals were retained. The tower has
recently been started up.
Increased separation effciency
The Schoepentoeter Plus is a tool
with which to improve the bulk
separation effciency of gas-liquid
mixtures. The main felds of appli-
cation are the refnery towers in
vacuum distillation units, crude
distillation units and hydrocracking
plants. The best ft is the revamp of
vessels equipped with radial feed
inlet devices. In new columns, the
higher cost of the Plus version may
make the conventional device more
attractive, provided that the
performance requirements are not
excessively high.
Schoepentoeter is a mark of Shell. Mellagrid
and Mellapak are marks of Sulzer Chemtech.
Giuseppe Mosca is the Global Refnery
Technology Manager of Sulzer Chemtech
in Milan, Italy. He leads the design of
mass transfer components for distillation
towers, absorbers and strippers, and is
involved in process simulation, revamping
proposals, troubleshooting, commissioning
of tower internals and start-up assistance of
fractionation equipment. He holds BS and
MS degrees in chemical engineering from the
University La Sapienza in Rome.
Email: giuseppe.mosca@sulzer.com
Pierre Schaeffer is an R&D Engineer in the
Laboratory for Mass Transfer Technology at
Sulzer Chemtech in Winterthur, Switzerland.
As a specialist in experimental methodology,
he contributes to the development of
separators and fractionation trays.
Email: pierre.schaeffer@sulzer.com
Bart Griepsma is a Senior Mechanical
Specialist with Sulzer Chemtech in Winterthur.
He is currently responsible for global support
in mechanical engineering, global technical
sales support for mechanical revamping
proposals, and for mechanical design
optimisation and product improvement.
Email: bart.griepsma@sulzer.com
Harry Kooijman is Senior Separations
Equipment Consultant for Shell Global
Solutions International and is a Subject
Material Expert for transport properties
(diffusion). He has a MS degree in chemical
engineering from Delft University of
Technology, Netherlands, and a PhD in
distillation from Clarkson University, New
York.
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 55
catalytic cracking (FCC) unit. These
results led to lower liquid yields
and a higher catalyst make-up rate
than expected
• Coking up of the wash bed:
higher pressure drop and less
recovery of distillates. This effect
led to a shorter plant run length
and unexpected shutdown, and
thus a reduced plant utilisation
factor and increased maintenance
costs (see Figure 3).
Tower modifcations
After an in-depth investigation and
detailed analysis of the tower
performance, Sulzer decided to
replace the existing conventional
Schoepentoeter with the Plus
version. The wash bed was replaced
due to coke formation, and the exist-
ing combination of Mellagrid and
Mellapak was retained. In addition,
the two pumparound beds were
replaced with the same type of
packing within the scheduled main-
tenance programme of the unit
during the overall turnaround of the
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
To keep pace with the demanding quality requirements of
modern fuels, advanced, precise and easy to use analytical
technology is required. With a complete range of XRF and
ICP spectrometers, SPECTRO’s unique solutions for at-line
and laboratory elemental analysis are capable of meeting
the most demanding product specification testing
requirements.
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government agency compliance
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Na, K, and P, to ensure low engine emissions as well as
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- manually or fully automatically
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or contact us for additional
information about the SPECTRO
solutions for fuels analysis at
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spectro.info@ametek.com and
Tel +49.2821.892-2102.
Elemental Analysis
of Fuels
Determination of Sulfur and other elements
at-line and in the laboratory
sgs.indd 4 11/3/11 14:45:04
Enersul_globe_ad.indd 1 09/09/10 9:37 AM
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
enersul.indd 1 10/3/11 11:01:56
Diverting low-sulphur heavy stocks for
fuel oil production
B
urgeoning use of natural
gas, including liquefed/
compressed natural gas (LNG/
CNG), as a cheaper fuel option has
made low-sulphur heavy stocks
(LSHS) a product in surplus since
2008–2009. In fuel-consuming indus-
tries such as power production,
liquid fuels like naphtha and LSHS
have faced signifcant competition
from an increased use of natural gas.
1

However, fuel oils have maintained a
better market as a result of steady
local demand and export markets,
refecting their ease of transportation.
LSHS is normally produced by
blending two straight-run refnery
streams; namely, low-sulphur
vacuum residues (LS-VR) and clari-
fed oil (CLO), with LS-VR as more
than 90 wt% of the blend (see
Figure 1). This is one of the simplest
options for utilising residues. It has
been practised for years and no
processing units are required. In a
period of low demand, large quan-
tities of LSHS occupy storage tanks,
which puts pressure on the capacity
of low-sulphur-processing crude
distillation units for the continuous
production of LS-VR. In these
circumstances, it is essential to
evacuate LSHS to sustain crude
throughput and add value.
Studies enabled a refnery to divert low-value product stocks into higher-value
products and preserve crude throughput levels
Rajeev KumaR, ChithRa v, Peddy v C Rao and N v ChoudaRy
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, India
In the current refning climate,
refnery confgurations have been
improved to cater for developments
in the processing of low-cost oppor-
tunity crude oils, including
high-sulphur feeds, high TAN
crudes and heavy oils.
2
Additionally,
residue upgrading techniques and
hydrotreating options are applied
to refnery bottoms to achieve
higher margins. However, many
refneries still do not have the best
hardware confgurations to match
their processing needs, or they may
suffer space constraints for residue
upgrading processes, such as
delayed coking, visbreaking and
solvent deasphalting.
3
Older crude
distillation units (CDU) were
designed to process only low-
sulphur crude oils producing LS-VR
streams. This also leads to the
production of quantities of LSHS,
which flls the storage tanks in a
surplus market. At one of BPCL’s
refneries, in Mumbai, there are
three CDUs with a total capacity of
12 million t/y. The two older units
(CDU-I and CDU-II) have a
combined capacity of 6 million t/y
and they process only low-sulphur
crude oils. Thus, the continuous
operation of these units leads to
LSHS production. When LSHS is in
low demand, it flls many storage
tanks. In this scenario, the evacua-
tion of LSHS is essential to sustain
the crude throughput of these older
units. The LSHS product specifca-
tions are shown in Table 1.
4
Conversely, CDU-III has a capac-
ity of 6 million t/y and processes
high-sulphur crude oils, generating
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 57
LShS Fuel oil LSFo
Properties Normal Coastal LowS 180cStgrade 380cStgrade 180cStgrade 380cStgrade
Density@15°C,gm/cm
3
Reported
Sulphur,wt% Max1.0 Max1.5 Max0.45 Max4.0 Max4.0 Max4.0 Max4.0
Pourpoint,°C Max66 Max45 Max63 Max27 Max27 Max27 Max27
Kin.viscosity@50°C,cSt Max500 - Max180 Max380 Max180 Max180 Max380
Flashpoint,°C Min76 Min66 Min66 Min66 Min66 Min66 Min66
Specifcations for LShS, fuel oil and LSFo
table 1
Blending
CLO
LS-VR
LSHS
Figure 1 BlendingschemeforLSHS
in fuel-consuming
industries, liquid fuels
like naphtha and LShS
have faced signifcant
competition from
an increased use of
natural gas
bpcl.indd 1 10/3/11 13:31:58
high-sulphur vacuum residue (HS-
VR). These streams are used in the
production of fuel oil. Fuel oil is
normally produced by blending
HS-VR, LS-VR and kerosene/high-
speed diesel (HSD) to meet product
specifcations for fash point, kine-
matic viscosity, pour point and so
on. Normally, two grades of fuel oil
are produced for different applica-
tions; namely, 180 cSt and 380 cSt.
The product specifcations are
shown in Table 1. This is, again, a
simple residue utilisation scheme
for which no complex processes or
operations are needed. The existing
correlation for the fuel oil blending
scheme has always had some qual-
ity giveaways while meeting all the
specifcations. Both of the viscosity
grades for fuel oil either fail to meet
specifcations or have quality givea-
58 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
ways. In order to address these
issues, optimisation of the fuel oil
production scheme and the devel-
opment of new correlation models
has been taken up at BPCL’s
Corporate R&D Centre. A blending
scheme for fuel oil is shown in
Figure 2.
In this article, a modelling
approach is proposed, exploring
various possibilities for dealing
with surplus LSHS. Absorption of
LSHS into fuel oil and/or making a
new low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO)
product were ideas that evolved
into immediate solutions. New
correlations have been developed
for the prediction of critical specif-
cations for LSHS, fuel oil and LSFO
products. The model uses Aspen+
and crude oil management tools for
simulations.
The immediate need to deal with
LSHS by diverting it into the fuel
oil pool was the frst choice for
development and implementation.
Experiments were carried out at
BPCL (R&D) with refnery samples
to generate a database for estimat-
ing parameters for the model. The
model has been developed and
implemented at the refnery and
proved helpful in minimising qual-
ity giveaways.
Following implementation of the
model at the Mumbai refnery, the
work received a Judges Special
Award in a corporate competition
for new ideas.
Methodology for diverting LSHS
into fuel oil
5
During the processing of low-
sulphur crude oils in refneries,
volumes of LS-VR are produced in
excess, hence more LSHS is
produced than is required. During
2008–2009, when demand for LSHS
suddenly fell away, production
moved into surplus and tank stor-
age of the product for long periods
became diffcult. Various possibili-
ties have been explored in order to
avoid its production to sustain
crude throughput — for instance,
producing LSFO and absorbing
LSHS into fuel oil — to achieve
continuous operation of the low-
sulphur crude processing units.
For maximising the absorption of
surplus LSHS into fuel oil for both
product grades, a methodology has
been developed on the basis that
LSHS is simply a blend of two
components, LS-VR and CLO,
which are common constituents of
fuel oil blends (see Figures 1 and 2).
The concept of diverting LSHS into
fuel oil is shown in Figure 3.
Production of LSFO
5

In view of stringent environmental
regulations and particular concern
about air quality in metropolitan
cities, there is growing customer
demand for LSFO. The scheme for
producing LSFO is similar to the
fuel oil blending scheme (see Figure
Feed streams
Feed properties HS-VR LS-VR Kero CLO LSHS
Density @ 15°C, gm/cm
3
0.9953 0.9605 0.7979 0.9916 0.9621
Specifc gravity 0.9959 0.9611 0.7985 0.9922 0.9627
° API 10.58 15.73 45.71 11.11 15.48
Sulphur, wt% 4.567 0.552 0.07 0.754 0.5621
Pour point, °C 34 50 <-60 34 45
Kin. viscosity @ 50°C, cSt 493 880 10 226 1.0583 31.39 3848
Flash point, °C 352 344 46.2 72.8 -
Characterisation of refnery streams and LSHS
Table 2
Blending
CLO
LS-VR
HS-VR
KERO
FO
Figure 2 Blending scheme for fuel oil
CLO
LS-VR
HS-VR
KERO
FO
LSHS
Figure 3 Blending scheme for diversion of LSHS into fuel oil
New correlations
have been developed
for the prediction of
critical specifcations
for LSHS, fuel oil and
LSFO products
bpcl.indd 2 10/3/11 13:32:07
2), but the specifcation for LSFO is
slightly different from fuel oil with
regard to sulphur composition (see
Table 1). As with fuel oil, two grades
of LSFO, 180 cSt and 380 cSt, are
required. To meet the LSFO require-
ment, an alternative scheme was
developed involving surplus LSHS.
LSFO is an upgraded version of the
fuel oil product but with the sulphur
specifcation reduced to 2.0 wt%.
The other specifcation parameters
are similar. Since sulphur content is
the cut-off property for LSFO prod-
uct, the composition can be
simulated and fxed for sulphur-
limiting streams. Optimisation of the
other streams can then be carried
out to meet the other specifcations.
In the present case, the possibility
of diverting LSHS into LSFO prod-
uct was explored. Since the LSFO
product was new, optimisation of
the blend composition was carried
out as part of the study. This
proved helpful in producing LSFO
with minimum quality giveaways.
Experimental details
Samples were collected from the
refnery for experimental investiga-
tion and to generate data for
modelling and simulation. The
streams, obtained from storage
tanks, were HS-VR, LS-VR, kero,
CLO and LSHS. These streams were
characterised for their physical
properties (see Table 2). The data
were used in developing the corre-
lation models for predicting the
properties of the fnal product
streams in order to meet product
specifcations.
Modelling and simulation
Production of the fuel oil blend is
done using the streams shown in
Figure 2. A simple correlation was
developed for predicting the critical
properties of fuel oil blends, such
as fash point, kinematic viscosity
and pour point. The correlation
applies to fractions with a wide
range of boiling points, 140–800°C.
The model used Aspen+ and Crude
Manager database tools for simula-
tion, and the input data required
for these streams included boiling
distribution-distillation profle data
(ASTM D86 or SimDist), kinematic
viscosity @ 50°C, pour point and
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 59
95
100
90
85
80
75
70
65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100

S
i
m
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
,

º
C
Experimental, ºC
65
R
2
= 0.9506
Figure 4 Validation of fash point model
350
400
300
250
200
150
100
50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400

S
i
m
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
,

c
S
t
Experimental, cSt
50
R
2
= 0.9741
Figure 5 Validation of viscosity point model

S
i
m
u
l
a
t
i
o
n
,

º
C
Experimental, ºC
R
2
= 0.9812
–30 –20 –10 0 10 20 30 40 50
30
50
40
20
10
0
–10
–20
–30
Figure 6 Validation of pour point model
bpcl.indd 3 10/3/11 13:32:18
The proposed models are given as:
Flash point, °C = 0.1813*[MABP(°C)] - 0.12 (1)
Kinematic viscosity, cSt @ 50°C = Exp (k
1
*Exp
[((MABP(°C)/323.15)+0.8453)*(SG)
k2
])+k
3
(2)
For KV : k
1,2,3
(1.0185, 4.4419, 3.89)
Pour point, °C = [(X
1
P
1
)+ (X
2
P
2
)+ (X
3
P
3
)+
(1.9975*X
4
P
4
)] - 3.77 (3)
(where X
i
are compositions and P
i
are pour
point values)
Sulphur is a linear property (4)
The new correlation models open
up several opportunities for the
production of various grades of
product. The new blending schemes
made for fuel oil and LSFO are
shown in Tables 3 and 4. A blend-
ing scheme for using LSHS in the
production of LSFO has also been
established (see Table 5). The new
scheme achieves minimal quality
giveaways.
Diversion of LSHS into fuel oil:
implementation
A modelling approach has been
employed to explore the possibilities
for diverting surplus LSHS into fuel
oil. The kinematic viscosity, fash
point and pour point values for
LSHS are very high compared to
those of fuel oil, hence it is clear that
the absorption of LSHS into fuel oil
can have a major effect on viscosity
and pour point values only.
However, the sulphur content is
very low for LSHS compared to fuel
oil. This implies that the absorption
of LSHS into fuel oil would have a
diluting effect on sulphur content.
Therefore, no concern arises in meet-
ing the sulphur specifcations for a
fuel oil blend.
There are two constraints (kine-
matic viscosity and pour point) in
the diversion of LSHS into fuel oil
to achieve a fnal blend. Experiments
were carried out with the refnery
samples to establish a profle of
variations in these two properties.
Various blends were prepared with
increasing composition of LSHS in
the existing fuel oil product. The
property variation profles are
shown in Figures 7 and 8.
The results showed that up to
10–15 wt% and 25–30 wt% of LSHS
can be diverted into the existing
fuel oil scheme to produce 180 cSt
and 380 cSt grades respectively,
while meeting product specifca-
tions. The model showed better
accuracy with the experimental
results with R
2
~0.98. Sulphur
content is linear and so it can be
one of the check points to restrict
the percentage of high-sulphur
components for producing other
products such as LSFO to specifca-
tion. The simulation results for
maximisation of LSHS into fuel oil
streams are shown in Table 6.
Economics
In the frst instance, around 5000
tonnes of LSHS was diverted into
fuel oil in three batches. Two
batches were used for 180 cSt-grade
fuel oil and one batch was used for
380 cSt-grade fuel oil. By diverting
LSHS to fuel oil, crude throughput
was sustained and, hence, the
derived beneft was quantifed
using PIMS tools as $110 million.
60 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
specifc gravity (60/60°F), to esti-
mate the characteristics of fuel oil
blend compositions.
The input data required for esti-
mating the properties of a fuel oil
blend that meets product specifca-
tions are mainly mean average
boiling point, specifc gravity and
pour point. These data were used
in the correlation model for
predicting product properties. The
sulphur specifcation can be
obtained by optimisation of the
stream compositions. The correla-
tion models for the prediction of
product properties are shown in
Equations 1–4.
Experiments were carried out
with various compositions of the
streams for validation of the model
predictions. The experimental
results were in-line with the simu-
lation results for fash point,
kinematic viscosity @ 50°C and
pour point (see Figures 4–6). The
model showed better accuracy in
the prediction of heavy petroleum
fraction properties with R
2
>0.95.
Table 3
FP, °C KV, cSt PP, °C S, wt%
FO compositions, wt% Sim Exp Sim Exp Sim Exp Exp
LS-VR HS-VR CLO Kero
12 55 10 23 76.42 75 181 175 -8.13 -7 2.66
26.88 44.48 10.06 18.58 80.96 80 375.09 370.12 4.83 3 2.27
Blending scheme for fuel oil
FP, °C KV, cSt PP, °C S, wt%
FO compositions, wt% Sim Exp Sim Exp Sim Exp Exp
LS-VR HS-VR CLO Kero
40 20 20 20 77.03 76 195.19 186.28 4.66 9 1.3
40 27 20 13 87.24 90 378.41 372.09 15.85 18 1.61
Blending scheme for LSFO
Table 4
FP, °C KV, cSt PP, °C S, wt%
FO compositions, wt% Sim Exp Sim Exp Sim Exp Exp
LS-VR HS-VR CLO Kero
20 40 10 30 67.21 68 184.36 176.66 -14.84 -12 2.04
30 40 10 20 79.01 80 391.45 382 2.58 6 2.09
Blending scheme for utilisation of existing LSHS for LSFO
Table 5
bpcl.indd 4 10/3/11 13:32:33
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On implementation of the model,
quality giveaway was minimised.
Also, during the production of
export grades of fuel oil (380 cSt),
benefts of $0.20 million/month
were derived.

Summary
In a surplus resid scenario, a model-
ling approach for the diversion of
low-value product streams into a
62 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
high-value product pool, and/or
their use in for making new prod-
ucts, presented an immediate
solution. By applying this approach,
surplus products in stock with a
temporarily low value can be
utilised to achieve higher margins.
The new correlation models devel-
oped in this study can be useful for
minimising quality giveaway in
heavy products.
Acknowledgement
The authors express their sincere thanks to
K V Seshadri, ED (MR/R&D) of BPCL for his
continuous mentoring on research activities
and encouragement. Also, special thanks to
Supriya Sapre and P V Ravitej for their constant
support in implementing the model.
References
1 ICRA rating feature report on Rating
Methodology for Downstream Oil Companies,
Oct 2009 (www.icra.in).
2 Kumar Rajeev, Thorat T S, Chithra V, Rathore
V, Peddy V C Rao, Choudary N V, Processing
opportunity crude oils — catalytic process
for high-acid crudes, Hydrocarbon World, 4, 2,
2009, 64–68.
3 Rana M S, Sa´mano V, Ancheyta J, Diaz J
A I, A review of recent advances on process
technologies for upgrading of heavy oils and
residua, Fuel, 86, 2007, 1216–1231.
4 A report on optimization of cutter reduction
for fuel oil and LSFO, study carried out for
Mumbai Refnery (India) at Corporate R&D
Centre, BPCL, Greater Noida, CRDC-MR/LSHS-
FO-001/2009.
5 A report on development of new schemes
for utilization of LSHS, study carried out for
Mumbai Refnery (India) at Corporate R&D
Centre, BPCL, Greater Noida, CRDC-MR/LSHS-
FO-002/2009.
Rajeev Kumar is a Deputy Manager (R&D)
with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd,
India, specialising in the development of new
processes in crude areas, crude compatibility,
resid upgrading, biodiesel and biolubricant
processes. He holds a master’s in chemical
engineering from Indian Institute of
Technology, Kanpur, India.
Email: rajeevkumar@bharatpetroleum.in
Chithra V is a Senior Research Scientist
(R&D) with Bharat Petroleum Corporation
Ltd, specialising in crude evaluations,
fuel characterisations and new product
development. She holds a master’s in
chemistry. Email: chitrar@bharatpetroleum.in
Peddy V C Rao is a Senior Manager (R&D)
with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and
has 24 years’ experience in the petroleum,
biofuels and petrochemicals industry. He holds
a doctorate in chemistry from Indian Institute
of Technology, Bombay, India.
Email: raopvc@bharatpetroleum.in
N V Choudary is a Chief Manager (R&D)
with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.
He has 26 years’ research experience in
petroleum refning, catalysis, adsorption and
thermodynamics and holds a doctorate in
chemistry.
Email: choudarynv@bharatpetroleum.in
Table 6
LSHS, wt% KV @ 50°C, cSt PP, °C SUL, wt% Fuel oil
10 154.95 -4.06 2.78 180 cSt (max)
14 177.74 -6.00 2.68
30 307.70 7.23 2.28 380 cSt (max)
36 378.00 10.61 2.13
Maximisation of LSHS into fuel oil for 180 cSt and 380 cSt grades
1260
1980
1800
1620
1440
1080
900
720
540
360
180
3240
3960
4140
3780
3600
3420
3060
2880
2700
2520
2340
2160
0 20 40 60 80 100

k
V
,

c
S
t

a
t

5
0
º
C
LSHS, wt%
0
y = 109.96e
0.0343x
R
2
= 0.9852
Expon. (KV)
KV
180 cSt
380 cSt
Figure 7 Variation in kinematic viscosity by diversion of LSHS into fuel oil
0 20 40 60 80 100 10 30 50 70 90

P
P
,

º
C
LSHS, wt%
–10
–5
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
y = 0.5642x – 9.7006
R
2
= 0.9828
180 cSt
380 cSt
Linear (PP, ºC)
PP, ºC
Figure 8 Variation in pour point by diversion of LSHS into fuel oil
bpcl.indd 5 10/3/11 13:32:44
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Bryan Research & Engineering, Inc.
P.O. Box 4747 • Bryan, Texas USA • 77805
979-776-5220 • www.bre.com • sales@bre.com
Optimizing CO
2
Capture, Dehydration and Compression Facilities
PROCESS INSIGHT
The removal of CO
2
by liquid absorbents is widely implemented
in the field of gas processing, chemical production, and coal gasification.
Many power plants are looking at post-combustion CO
2
recovery to meet
environmental regulations and to produce CO
2
for enhanced oil recovery
applications. The figure below illustrates actual data of fuel consumption in
2005 and an estimate of energy demand for various fuels from 2010 to 2030.
The world energy demand will likely increase at rates of 10–15% every 10
years. This increase could raise the CO
2
emissions by about 50% by 2030
as compared with the current level of CO
2
emissions. The industrial countries
(North America, Western Europe and OECD Pacific) contribute to this jump in
emissions by 70% compared to the rest of the world, and more than 60% of
these emissions will come from power generation and industrial sectors.
Despite the strong recommendations from certain governments,
there are very few actual investments in CO
2
capture facilities geared toward
reducing greenhouse gas emissions mainly because of the high cost of CO
2
recovery from flue gas. CO
2
capture costs can be minimized, however, by
designing an energy efficient gas absorption process. Based on the findings
of recent conceptual engineering studies, HTC Purenergy estimated the
production cost to be US$ 49/ton CO
2
(US$ 54/ tonne CO
2
) for 90% CO
2

recovery of 4 mole% CO
2
content in the flue gas of NGCC power plants. A
separate study showed the cost for 90% CO
2
recovery of 12 mole% CO
2
from
a coal fired power plant to be US$ 30/ton CO
2
(US$ 33/tonne CO
2
). The cost
of CO
2
recovery from coal power plant flue gas is substantially less than that
of NGCC power plant flue gas due to the higher CO
2
content in the feed.
The energy efficiency of a CO
2
capture plant depends primarily on
the performance of the solvent and optimization of the plant. In traditional flue
gas plant designs, MEA was the primary solvent and was limited to 20 wt% to
minimize equipment corrosion. Recent developments in controlling corrosion
and degradation has allowed an increase in the solvent concentration to
about 30 wt% thus decreasing the required circulation and subsequent steam
demand. A recent DOE study shows the steam consumption for an existing
CO
2
plant using 18 wt% MEA (Kerr McGee Process) is 3.45 lb of steam per
lb of CO
2
for amine regeneration. A modern process that uses 30 wt% MEA
is expected to use 1.67 lb of steam per lb of CO
2
for amine regeneration. The
HTC formulated solvent is a proprietary blend of amines and has a lower
steam usage than the conventional MEA solvent. Based on the material and
energy balances for the plant designed in the recent study, the reboiler steam
consumption is estimated at about 1.47 lb steam/lb CO
2
using the proposed
formulated solvent without implementing any split flow configurations. This is
much less than the reported steam usage for the MEA solvent.
The design of a facility to capture 90% of the CO
2
from the flue
gas of a coal fired power plant is based on the specified flue gas conditions,
CO
2
product specifications, and constraints. Using the ProMax® process
simulation software from Bryan Research & Engineering, CO
2
capture units
can be designed and optimized for the required CO
2
recovery using a variety
of amine solvents. The following figure represents a simplified process flow
diagram for the proposed CO
2
Capture Plant.
The table below presents the main findings for CO
2
capture from the
coal fired power plant and the NGCC power plant, each designed to produce
about 3307 ton per day (3,000 TPD metric). To produce the same capacity of
CO
2
, only one train with smaller column diameters is required in the case of
the coal power plant and two trains with larger column diameters are required
in the NGCC Power Plant case. This is mainly due to processing a larger
flue gas with lower CO
2
content in the NGCC power plant. Consequently, a
substantial reduction in the capital and production cost was reported for the
coal fired power plant CO
2
recovery facility.
For more information about this study, see the full article at
www.bre.com/support/technical-articles/gas-treating.aspx.
ProcessInsight 2010MAR9.A4.rev6.indd 1 3/11/2010 9:09:12 AM
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
bre.indd 1 10/3/11 11:06:02
Reducing carbon footprint
C
onversion of crude oil into
valuable fuel products prima-
rily consists of the age-old
distillation process, which is very
energy intensive. On top of that,
environmental regulations necessi-
tate the production of ultra-clean
fuels that require more hydrogen
for hydrotreatment, which leads to
more energy usage and higher CO
2

emissions. At the same time, refn-
ers face the demand of curtailing
CO
2
emissions to reduce their
carbon footprint. These conficting
demands have put immense pres-
sure on refners to sustain their
business with a healthy gross refn-
ery margin (GRM) while minimising
CO
2
emissions. An integrated
programme, looking into refnery
process units and the whole refn-
ery operation, can be adopted to
address this complex issue. This
programme is focused on reducing
the carbon footprint without carbon
capture and storage, thus avoiding
the need for government legislation
to make the project viable.
There are several techniques,
including energy audit and the use
of energy-effcient equipment and
advanced process controls, which
are adopted to reduce the carbon
footprint in small steps. However,
this article discusses methods that
address energy conservation in
major CO
2
-emitting units and
equipment for signifcant reduc-
tions in CO
2
emissions.
Refnery carbon balance
Carbon atoms in crude oil essen-
tially end up in CO
2
when fuel
products from a refnery are
consumed by end users. The refn-
ery business chain starts from crude
An integrated programme of process integration techniques lowers CO
2

emissions levels in refneries through energy savings
TAnmAy TARAphdAR
Technip KT India
transportation, followed by refning
operations and fnally product
transportation. Figure 1 shows the
typical contribution to CO
2
emis-
sions at different stages of the
refnery business chain, assuming
that the refnery is located away
from its crude source(s) and that
refnery products are consumed
within the region where the refn-
ery is located.
It is evident that refning opera-
tions are the major contributor to
CO
2
emissions in the entire refnery
business chain. Refnery operations
essentially involve the removal of
impurities from crude oil and the
rearrangement of hydrocarbon
molecules to produce fuels of the
desired quality. A simple carbon
balance for a refnery is shown in
Figure 2.
The objective of the carbon
balance is to establish the number
of carbon atoms lost through CO
2

emissions and the development of a
mechanism to reduce this loss of
carbon atoms. CO
2
is emitted
primarily from process heaters, util-
ity generation systems (mainly
steam and power), hydrogen gener-
ation units and fuid catalytic
cracking (FCC) unit regenerators.
Typical contributions towards CO
2
emissions from these different
sources in a refnery are presented
in Figure 3, assuming that the refn-
ery has an FCC unit as one of its
secondary processing units.
Figure 3 shows that about 50% of
emissions are from process heaters,
while utility generation systems
and hydrogen plant contribute
about 30% and 16% respectively.
FCC is an endothermic process that
requires a lot of energy to perform
cracking reactions. This energy is
primarily supplied by burning coke
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 65
Refining,
60%
Prod.
transport,
10%
Crude
transport,
30%
Figure 1 Typical CO
2
contribution at
different stages of the refnery business
chain
Carbon atoms
in crude
Carbon atoms in
suppl. fuel+feed
(if any)
Carbon atoms
in products
Carbon atoms in emitted CO
2

defines the carbon footprint of
the refinery
Refinery
Figure 2 Overall refnery carbon balance
TECHNIP.indd 1 10/3/11 13:58:58
66 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
associated with the catalyst, which
leaves little scope for a reduction in
CO
2
emissions. However, there are
greater opportunities for CO
2
reduc-
tion in three other areas that
contribute signifcantly to emis-
sions. Hence, it is important to pay
attention to these areas to reduce
the refnery’s carbon footprint.
Integrated programme
The integrated programme starts
with linear programming (LP)
modelling of all refnery operations
to establish the carbon footprint.
Figure 4 depicts the masterplan
showing different stages of the
integrated programme. LP model-
ling should be rigorous to take care
of various operating scenarios
(different crude cases, product
slates and so on) associated with a
different set of constraints. It should
also consider any future expansion
plan for the refnery. It is important
to fnalise base cases after analysis
of all these scenarios.
After establishing base cases, the
next step is to look deep into the
process units to apply various proc-
ess optimisation techniques, such as
column targeting and unit pinch
analysis, to get as close to the ther-
modynamic minimum in terms of
energy usage. These process opti-
misation techniques ensure a
minimum hot and cold utility
requirement in process units,
thereby reducing the duty of proc-
ess heaters, utility boilers and gas
turbines. Typically, a process unit is
considered to be a three-layered
system. The reaction and separation
system forms the innermost layer,
the heat transfer system forms the
middle layer, while the utility
system forms the outermost layer.
Separation systems, involving distil-
lation columns mainly, are
optimised using column targeting.
Heat transfer and utility systems
are optimised using unit pinch
analysis and furnace effciency
improvement methods.
Similarly, a hydrogen generation
unit, a major contributor to CO
2
emissions, is optimised by applying
hydrogen network management
and state-of-the-art technologies to
minimise CO
2
emissions. The
schemes and strategies that emerge
by applying the various techniques
and technologies mentioned need
careful economic evaluation before
their implementation.
The next step is to apply total site
integration techniques to optimise
the site’s steam power and fuel
network to further reduce energy
consumption vis-à-vis CO
2
emis-
sions. Finally, LP modelling of
process units, utilities and the H
2
network helps in the reduction of
the refnery’s carbon footprint.
Scoping analysis
The purpose of scoping analysis is
to identify areas where improvements
Process
heaters,
50%
FCC-regen,
4%
Utilities,
30%
Hydrogen
plant,
16%
Figure 3 Typical CO
2
emissions profle of
a refnery
Refinery
modelling
Scoping
analysis
Road map for
implementation
Establish
benefits –
reduction in
carbon
footprint
Input
Programme
Unit pinch
Furnace
efficiency
Column
targeting
Refinery data
& information
Future
expansion
plan
Constraints
Output
Refinery
carbon
balance
H
2
management
Total site
integration
Projects
identifed for
improvement
Figure 4 Masterplan of integrated programme for reduction of a refnery’s carbon footprint
TECHNIP.indd 2 10/3/11 13:59:14
X2943.indd 1 09.12.2010 08:39:21
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
linde.indd 1 10/3/11 11:54:37
with respect to CO
2
emissions are
possible and to quantify the extent
of emissions reduction. The tools
used are column targeting, unit
pinch analysis, furnace effciency
improvement methods, hydrogen
network management and fnally
total site integration. Each of these
tools and their potential benefts are
discussed here with case studies.
Column targeting
Typically, a distillation column
consumes about 30% of all the
energy used in a refnery.
Optimisation of a distillation
column leads to signifcant savings
in energy. Column targeting is a
powerful tool to optimise the design
and operation of a distillation
column. A tray-by-tray column
enthalpy profle is generated from
the results of a converged column
simulation. This enthalpy profle is
known as the column grand
composite curve (CGCC). The pinch
point of the CGCC is located at the
column feed. The CGCC indicates
at what temperature heat needs to
be supplied and rejected up and
down the column. Not all heat
needs to be provided at reboil
temperature. Some can also be
supplied at lower temperatures.
Likewise, not all heat needs to be
removed at the condensing temper-
ature. Partial heat removal at higher
temperatures may be appropriate.
During the design of the distillation
column, once column pressure, the
number of trays and feed tray loca-
tion are decided, the following can
be optimised using CGCC:
• Feed conditioning CGCC indicates
the possibility of feed preheating or
feed precooling. It is also possible
to determine the extent of feed
preheating or precooling
• Refux ratio CGCC helps to
optimise the refux ratio,
while maintaining the product
specifcations
• Side reboiler/condenser The possi-
bility of placing a side reboiler/
condenser is clearly shown by
CGCC.
A case study illustrates the appli-
cation of column targeting and its
potential benefts.
A study was performed for a LPG
column separating LPG components
68 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
0 1000 500 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000 4500 5000
CGCC for LPG column
Reduction in Reboiler duty
Scope for feed
preheating
Feed
Condenser duty
Figure 5 CGCC for a LPG column
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
TECHNIP.indd 3 10/3/11 13:59:29
at which heat must be supplied and
can be removed. The heat exchanger
network and utility requirement of
the process unit is optimised by
analysing the composite curves and
the GCC.
Furnace effciency improvement
programme
Refnery furnaces contribute to more
than 50% of the total CO
2
emissions.
Hence, it is important to design and
operate the furnaces for optimum
performance to minimise emissions.
Several steps are involved to reduce
CO
2
emissions from an operating
furnace. The frst is to establish the
operating effciency of the furnace
by simulation using operating data.
The second is to identify bottlenecks
by studying key components of the
furnace such as burners, air
preheater, induced draft (ID)/forced
draft (FD) fans and refractory. The
fnal step is to develop solutions to
minimise energy consumption vis-à-
vis CO
2
emissions.
Refnery hydrogen management
The hydrogen generation unit is a
signifcant contributor to refnery
CO
2
emissions. It contributes in two
ways while converting hydrocarbon
feed into hydrogen through steam
reforming. One is related to the
conversion of the carbon content of
hydrocarbon feeds to CO
2
and the
other to fuel fring for supplying the
necessary heat for the highly endo-
thermic steam reforming process.
Process CO
2
emissions from steam
reforming can be lowered only by
reducing the size of the hydrogen
generation unit. This can be
achieved by developing a hydrogen
balance model across the refnery,
identifying the constraints and fex-
ibility of hydrogen usage, and
hydrogen pinch analysis to identify
possible alternatives for hydrogen
reuse from refnery off-gas (ROG).
It should be noted that a careful
techno-economic evaluation is
required before implementing any
project for hydrogen recovery from
ROG. The reason is that, on the one
hand, it reduces the size of the
hydrogen generation unit and thus
CO
2
emissions and, on the other
hand, it degrades the quality of the
ROG in terms of calorifc value and
reduces the opportunity to burn
hydrogen to lower CO
2
emissions.
However, for a larger hydrogen
contributor, a dedicated recovery
system is justifed to reduce overall
CO
2
emissions.
Three different options are availa-
ble to reduce CO
2
generated from
fuel fring in a hydrogen generation
unit. These are combustion air
preheating, pre-reforming and post-
reforming. Air preheating against
fue gas is widely practised to
improve the thermal effciency of
the reformer and, hence, reduce
CO
2
emissions. Air preheat levels of
up to 500°C result in reductions of
12–15% in the total CO
2
emissions
from the hydrogen plant.
Pre-reforming is an adiabatic low-
temperature reforming step that
helps to lower CO
2
emissions from
the hydrogen generation unit by
reducing the reformer fring duty.
Typical reductions with pre-
reforming are in the range 5–10%.
Pre-reforming combined with air
preheating can provide a 20%
reduction in CO
2
emissions from
the hydrogen generation unit.
Post-reforming involves utilisation
from natural gas liquids (NGL). The
LPG column was designed with the
reboiler using medium-pressure
(MP) steam. Column targeting of
this column revealed that it is possi-
ble to reduce about 50% of the
reboiler duty by feed preheating
with low-pressure (LP) steam. Figure
5 shows a CGCC of the LPG
column.
Since the site had an excess of LP
steam, this modifcation helped to
increase LP steam consumption and
reduce MP steam consumption,
thereby increasing power co-
generation potential on the site.
Once the separation system of the
process units is optimised, it is
necessary to optimise the heat trans-
fer system and utility system using
the unit pinch analysis concept.
Unit pinch analysis
The basic principle of unit pinch
analysis is to fnd minimum heating
and cooling requirements in a proc-
ess unit with a number of hot and
cold streams. This obviously
depends on the minimum approach
temperature differential between the
hot and cold streams. Considering
the heating and cooling duties of all
the streams for different temperature
intervals, it is possible to generate
the hot and cold composite curves
by plotting the enthalpy of the
cumulative hot and cold streams
against the temperature levels. The
composite curves enable calculation
of the hot and cold utility targets
and an understanding of the driving
force potential and location of the
heat recovery “pinch”.
The utility targets depend on the
value of the minimum approach
temperature, DT
min
. A small DT
min

brings the curves closer together,
reducing the hot and cold utility
demand and giving lower operat-
ing costs. However, this is at the
expense of a larger heat exchange
area and, hence, higher capital
costs. The optimum choice of DT
min

depends on the trade-off between
capital and energy.
The ideal interface between the
process and utility system can be
represented by the grand composite
curve (GCC). The GCC is derived
directly from the composite curve
data and indicates the temperature
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 69
Units Hot utility, MMkcal/hr
Target from unit Actual Savings % Savings
pinch analysis consumption potential potential
AVU I/II 29 X 2 33.5 X 2 4.5 X 2 13.4
CRU 8.7 9.4 0.7 7.4
LRU 2.4 2.6 0.2 7.5
Coker B 16.9 17.9 1 5.6
SDU 2.9 3.7 0.8 21.5
AVU III 43.4 43.8 0.4 1
Coker A 27.5 28.1 0.6 2
NMPU 7.8 8.7 0.9 10
Results of unit pinch analysis
Table 1
TECHNIP.indd 4 10/3/11 13:59:41
70 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
of the high-level heat of the
reformed gas used to reform part of
the feed in a heat-exchange
reformer, thus reducing reformer
duty and CO
2
emissions. Technip
has a proprietary enhanced heat
transfer reformer (EHTR) that
provides a reduction in reformer
fring of up to 25%.
Total site integration
The total site concept goes beyond
the boundaries of individual proc-
ess units by taking into account
auxiliary systems for steam and
power generation, the cooling water
system, other utility facilities, offsite
facilities and all other infrastruc-
tural support systems. The objective
is to integrate all hot and cold utili-
ties, along with the power system,
in an optimal manner. A GCC for a
single process can be split into two
at the pinch. Above the pinch, the
process requires heat input and is
therefore a heat sink. Below the
pinch, the process has excess heat
and hence is a heat source.
A site source sink profle (SSSP) is
constructed by combining all of the
site’s heat sources and sinks. To
construct the SSSP, the enthalpy
versus temperature data above the
pinch are extracted from each GCC.
The data are then combined for all
the units to give one site sink curve.
The site source curve is similarly
obtained by summation of the
sections of the individual GCCs that
fall below the individual process
pinches. In the site profle, the source
and the sink curves do not overlap,
thereby improving the integration
between processes through the utility
system. The site profles are used to
set targets for the total site.
From the source profle, it is possi-
ble to identify and evaluate the
quantity and quality of steam that
can be generated. The requirement
for steam can also be established
from the sink profle. After matching
these two streams, one can look into
the possibility of co-generation and
the net requirement of high-pressure
steam and the corresponding fuel
requirement.
A case study for a refnery
demonstrates the potential for CO
2
emissions reduction by applying
unit pinch analysis, a furnace
effciency improvement programme
and total site integration.
Case study
Study basis and methodology
A study was performed on a 140
000 b/d refnery. The refnery has
three trains of atmospheric and
vacuum distillation units (AVU-I, II
and III), a catalytic reforming unit
(CRU), an LPG recovery unit (LRU),
a NMP extraction unit (NMPU), a
solvent dewaxing unit (SDU) and
two trains of coker units (Coker A
and Coker B). The CRU consists of
three sections: the naphtha splitter
section, the naphtha hydrotreat-
ment section and the reforming
section. Six new process units — a
diesel hydrotreater (DHDT), a
hydrogen generation unit (HGU),
an amine regeneration unit (ARU),
a sour water stripper (SWS), a
sulphur recovery unit (SRU) and a
FCC unit — had just been commis-
sioned at the time of the study.
Unit pinch analysis was carried
out for all nine process units. A
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TECHNIP.indd 5 10/3/11 13:59:52
furnace improvement study was
conducted for the AVU furnaces,
following unit pinch analysis of the
units. The six new process units as
well as the utility and offsite facili-
ties are considered “black boxes”;
that is, fxed utility sources or sinks.
A GCC for each of the nine process
units was generated during unit
pinch analysis. The SSSP was then
constructed from the GCCs obtained
from unit pinch analysis and the
black boxes. Different energy-saving
schemes were generated during the
unit pinch analysis, furnace eff-
ciency improvement programme
and total site integration. Site-wide
steam power balances were gener-
ated for each of these cases. A cost
beneft analysis was carried out for
each energy-saving scheme and an
optimal road map was developed
for the implementation of the vari-
ous energy-saving schemes.
Results of unit pinch analysis
The objective of the unit pinch
analysis was to identify the poten-
tial for heat recovery in the
individual process units, and the
generation of a GCC for utility opti-
misation and total site integration.
The results of the unit pinch analy-
sis are given in Table 1.
Total hot utility consumption in
these units is 181.2 MMKcal/h and
the total savings potential from unit
pinch analysis is 13.6 MMkcal/h. In
addition, AVU-III has MP steam
generation potential equivalent to
6 MMKcal/h. This results in a total
savings potential of about 19.6
MMkcal/h, which is 10.8% of total
consumption. However, it is not
possible to achieve the entire poten-
tial savings given the constraints of
the existing units. Some of the units
for which major energy savings
could be achieved are discussed
below.
AVU I/II are two identical units
with the same capacity. Analysis of
the composite curve shows that
cross pinch heat transfer equivalent
to 4.5 MMkcal/h is occurring in the
existing heat exchanger network.
About 4.3 MMKcal/h of energy is
achievable through modifcation of
the existing heat exchanger
network. This will improve the
crude preheat temperature, leading
to less fring in the crude furnace
and a reduction in CO
2
emissions.
Analysis of the existing heat
exchanger network and the compos-
ite curves of Coker B show that cross
pinch heat transfer equivalent to
about 1.0 MMkcal/h is taking place.
The existing heat exchanger network
has been modifed to remove this
cross pinch heat transfer. This modi-
fcation saves hot utility equivalent
to 0.7 MMkcal/h by increasing the
feed preheat temperature.
The potential for hot utility
savings in the SDU is about 0.8
MMkcal/h. The existing heat
exchanger network in the slack wax
section of the SDU is modifed by
introducing a new heat exchanger
to realise the potential hot utility
savings.
Analysis of a GCC for AVU-III
shows the potential for MP steam
generation is equivalent to 6
MMkcal/h. Steam generation
equivalent to 5.1 MMkcal/h is prac-
tically achievable by modifying the
existing heat exchanger network.
However, the 0.9 MMkcal/h
balance can be achieved only
through extensive modifcations,
which are not economically viable.
Analysis of the composite curves
for the NMPU shows that total cross
pinch heat transfer occurring in the
existing heat exchanger network is
0.9 MMkcal/h, giving an equivalent
energy saving potential. Two addi-
tional heat exchangers of 0.4
MMkcal/h and 0.3 MMkcal/h duty
are introduced in the heat exchanger
network. However, recovery of a 0.2
New GT/HRSG
Process units/
uti|ity/offsite
BFW
Fue|,18.4 tph
HP, 341.6 tph
MP, 116.2 tph
126
116.2
81 73.8
25.5
215.6 161.6
96
10.26 MW
38 MW
To TPS,
11.5
Vent
7.2
LP, 81 tph
TG condensate, 23.8 tph
Figure 6 Base case steam power balance
240
400
360
320
280
200
160
120
80
40
–80 –60 –40 –20 0 20 40 60 80 100
Enthalpy, MMkcal/hr
0

T
e
m
p
e
r
a
t
u
r
e
,

º
C
Figure 7 SSSP of refnery
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 71
TECHNIP.indd 6 10/3/11 14:00:02
MMkcal/h energy balance requires
extensive modifcations, which are
not economically viable.
Hence, the total energy savings
achieved through unit pinch analy-
sis amount to 15.9 MMkcal/h out
of the potential total savings of
19.6 MMkcal/h. Total energy
savings achieved are about 8.8% of
the total energy consumed.
Results of furnace effciency
improvement study
Since AVU-I/II are old units
consuming a major part of the total
energy demand, it was decided to
perform a furnace effciency
improvement study for all three
heater types: the pre-topping
column furnaces, crude furnaces
and vacuum furnaces (six furnaces
in all for two trains of AVUs). The
pre-topping column furnace is a
single-pass cylindrical furnace with-
out a convection section. Hot fue
gas from this furnace goes to the
convection section of the crude
furnace, a two-pass box-type
furnace. The vacuum furnace is a
four-pass cylindrical furnace. There
is a common air preheater (APH),
where fue gas from the crude
furnace and the vacuum furnace is
combined to preheat cold air.
Simulation with operating data was
performed for these furnaces and
their combined effciency was estab-
lished at 88.5%. The objective of this
New GT/HRSG
Process units/
uti|ity/offsite
BFW
Fue|, 17.8 tph
HP, 333.7 tph
MP, 116.2 tph
118.1
116.2
81 73.8
28.9
215.6 161.6
96
10.26 MW
38 MW
To TPS,
5.7
7.2
LP, 81 tph
TG condensate, 25.1 tph
To TPS,
Figure 8 Improved steam power balance
72 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
programme was to improve eff-
ciency from 88.5% to 92%.
Recommendations from the furnace
effciency improvement study to
improve effciency to 92% include:
• Reduction of excess air by install-
ing a new oxygen analyser at the
stack
• Replacement of existing burner
oil guns
• Replacement of refractory in the
shield area of the radiant section of
the crude furnace and vacuum
furnace
• Installation of a differential pres-
sure system across the fuel oil line
and atomising steam line
• Replacement of a duct from the
pre-topping column furnace to the
crude furnace
• Addition of new modules to the
existing APH.
Overall energy savings in CO
2
emissions through improvements to
furnace effciency amount to 1.2%.
Results of total site integration
The refnery has fve boilers, each
with a capacity of 75 t/h of steam
production at an operating pressure
of 40 kg/cm
2
, for a total steam
production capacity of 375 t/h. The
refnery also has three turbogenera-
tors rated at 12 MW each. These
turbo generators have extraction
stages of steam to medium pressure
(13 kg/cm
2
), low pressure (5 kg/
cm
2
) and very low pressure of
0.2 kg/cm
2
. Different combinations
of MP and LP steam can be
extracted, depending on process
requirements and power demand.
Two new gas turbines with 21 MW
power generation capacity and
48 t/h steam (40 kg/cm
2
) generation
capacity are proposed to meet the
increased steam and power demand
of the refnery with the commission-
ing of six new process units. The
base case steam and power require-
ment of the refnery is:
• HP steam: 341.6 t/h
• MP steam: 116.2 t/h
• LP steam: 81 t/h
• Power: 48.3 MW
Since the new gas turbines have
higher co-generation effciencies
compared to the old combination of
boilers and turbogenerators, it was
decided to maximise use of the new
turbines. Balance steam and power
are supplied by the boilers and
turbogenerators. A base case steam
power balance for the refnery is
shown in Figure 6. Standard refnery
fuel consumption in boilers and gas
turbines for the base case is 18.4 t/h.
The objective of total site integration
was to reduce the fuel consumption
in the boilers and gas turbines.
An SSSP for this refnery was
generated using a GCC for each
unit. The SSSP for the refnery is
shown in Figure 7. Analysis of the
SSSP leads to three major
recommendations:
• Generation of additional MP
steam from AVU-III and utilisation
of this steam in other units, thus
reducing fuel oil consumption in
the boilers
• Utilisation of excess LP steam in
a thermal power station, thus
reducing LP steam extraction from
the turbogenerators, which, in turn,
reduces the HP steam requirement
for the turbogenerators and hence
fuel oil consumption in the boilers
• The HP steam header pressure is
increased to 40 kg/cm
2
(within the
design limit of the existing boiler
and turbogenerators) from its exist-
ing header pressure of 35 kg/cm
2
to
obtain higher co-generation, thus
reducing the HP steam requirement
in the turbogenerators and fuel oil
consumption in the boilers.
Implementation of these schemes
resulted in a reduction in fuel
TECHNIP.indd 7 10/3/11 14:00:14
consumption in the boilers and gas
turbines from 18.4 t/h to 17.8 t/h.
An improved steam and power
balance for the refnery is shown in
Figure 8.
This case study indicates a CO
2
emissions reduction of about 8.8%
using unit pinch analysis, about
1.2% using a furnace effciency
improvement programme and
about 2% using total site integra-
tion, for a total reduction in CO
2
emissions of about 12%.
Identifying and implementing
projects
Energy savings reduction schemes
developed using the various
techniques discussed need to
be converted into projects. A
preliminary cost beneft analysis
is performed at this stage to check
the feasibility of each scheme.
Those that are economically viable
and implementable are selected.
Ideally, an inside-out method (start-
ing from the implementation of
selected schemes developed through
column targeting, followed by unit
pinch analysis, furnace effciency
improvement, hydrogen network
management and total site integra-
tion) should be adopted to develop
a roadmap for implementation.
However, many of the schemes
may be independent and do not
require others to be implemented
frst. Generally, the selected schemes
are segregated based on payback
period, then priority is assigned to
each one depending upon its nature.
Some schemes may be implemented
in parallel, whereas others may be
implemented in sequence only. A
roadmap for implementation is
developed after analysing the
payback period and dependency of
the scheme on other schemes.
Potential savings in energy and
hence a reduction in CO
2
emissions
are established for selected schemes.
An LP model of the refnery is run
again with these modifcations to
re-establish the refnery’s carbon
balance and quantify the reduction
in its carbon footprint.
Conclusions
This integrated programme using
process integration techniques can
reduce the carbon footprint of a
refnery signifcantly. The techniques
can be applied to existing process
units and to grassroots designs. A
typical reduction in emissions from
a process unit is in the range 8–12%,
while a typical reduction through
total refnery integration is 3–6% of
the total energy consumption. This
programme not only helps to
achieve CO
2
emissions targets, but
also to improve proftability by
saving energy.
References
1 Smith R, State of the art in process
integration,PRES992ndconferenceonprocess
integration,Budapest,May1999.
2 Linnhoff B, et al, A user guide on process
integration for the effcient use of energy,
IchemE,1985.
3 Ratan S, van Uffelen R, Curtailing refnery
CO
2
throughH
2
plant,PTQ Gas,2008.
Tanmay Taraphdar isGroupLeader,Refnery&
Petrochemicals,ProcessdepartmentatTechnip
KTIndia,NewDelhi.HeholdsaMTechinchem
engfromIndianInstituteofTechnology.
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lewis.indd 1 10/12/09 12:53:00
A promoter for selective H
2
S removal:
part II
T
he Bayernoil Refnery located
in Vohburg, Bavaria,
Germany, and the Gas
Treatment Process Technology team
of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, jointly
conducted a test with a new
promoter system in order to
improve the performance and
energy consumption of the refn-
ery’s amine system. This article
provides an overview of the refn-
ery’s setup and a summary of the
test and the results. A more detailed
description of the promoter’s char-
acteristics appears in part I of this
article (see PTQ Gas 2011).
Bayernoil is among the leading
manufacturers of mineral oil prod-
ucts in Germany and Europe, with
Refnery trials of an MDEA promoter demonstrate low H
2
S lean loadings and the
option for enhanced process stability during high-sulphur operation
GERAlD VoRbERG, RAlf NoTz and ToRSTEN KATz BASF SE
WiElAND WAcHE and clAuS ScHuNK Bayernoil Raffneriegesellschaft
a high fexibility in processing
operations and its range of prod-
ucts. Nearly two-thirds of the
mineral oil products consumed in
Bavaria come from Bayernoil’s
process units in Neustadt and
Vohburg. The two locations are
connected by 11 pipelines and work
as one establishment. The majority
of the refnery’s supplies arrive via
the transalpine pipeline (TAL),
which starts at Trieste, Italy, and is
routed via Ingolstadt to Karlsruhe
for a total run of 759 km. The pipe-
line delivers crude supplies from
Africa, Russia, Venezuela, Saudi
Arabia, Norway and other countries
to Bavaria. In the Bayernoil opera-
tion plants, the staff process crude
oil into products such as mogas,
diesel, jet fuel, LPG, heating fuels
and bitumen for commercial and
end users.
The plants perform a combination
of distillation, conversion and
upgrading steps. Figure 1 shows a
simplifed fow chart of the main
processes and products.
Refnery amine systems
Amine systems in refneries may
consist of multiple absorber systems
connected to one or two regenera-
tors. Complexity can increase
because, in some cases, two or three
amine systems are interconnected,
on either the lean or the rich side,
or even both sides. Additionally,
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 75
Table 1
Oil
platform
Distillation
Vacuum
distillation
Desulphur-
isation
Bitumen
Visbreaker
Bitumen
Solid fuel
LPG
Benzine
Diesel
Jet A1
Heating oil
(extra light)
Diesel
Jet A1
Heating oil
(extra light)
Cracker Upgrading
Crude
oil
figure 1 Unit setup of Bayernoil
basf.indd 1 11/3/11 10:27:20
76 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
from generic DEA to various
MDEA-based solvents in 1995.
Besides that, several revamps of
absorber/desorber internals were
carried out.
The amine system has a hold-up
of approximately 40 tonnes (88 000
lb) and a maximum reboiler steam
feed rate of 5.5 t/h (12 100 lb/h).
The stripped acid gas is further
processed in two Claus units (25–50
t/day, 55 000–110 000 lb/h) with a
recovery rate of >97%. Table 2 gives
an overview of individual absorber/
regeneration conditions.
Challenge and intention
Processing bitumenic crudes with
high amounts of various sulphur
species has a range of specifc
impacts on individual units, in
particular those where the treated
gas/liquid specifcation is crucial;
for instance, unit 14 with FCC tail
gas absorber E1410 and LPG liquid
treater E1411.
During the processing of sour,
bitumenic crudes, FCC operation
becomes more severe; the FCC reac-
tor temperature and charges of
offgas containing sour gas increase.
In a similar way, LPG treatment is
affected by higher sulphur concen-
trations, which requires more
effcient amine treatment and
proper amine/hydrocarbon-phase
separation. In the worst case,
sulphur and sulphur-containing
solvent can carry over to further
downstream units such as caustic
and Merox treatment, ending up in
the debutaniser and the C
3
value
chain.
Consequently, the processing of
sour crudes with high sulphur
charges (high-sulphur operation)
needs to be controlled and
responded to by an increase in the
reboiler steam feed rate. In this
context, the H
2
S amine lean loading
is one of the guiding values.
Bayernoil and BASF jointly
decided to conduct a test run with
a new promoter formulation added
to the generic MDEA solvent using
dosing equipment. The promoter
formulation itself was provided as
an MDEA-diluted premix. The
concentration was adjusted and
controlled during the test period.
This promoter system is non-
liquid treatment of C
3
/C
4
fractions
to obtain LPG and further value
products such as ethyl-tert-butyl-
ether (ETBE, gasoline additive) has
become a substantial part of most
refneries’ acid gas removal units
(AGRU).
Those AGRUs have been expanded
over the course of more than 40 years
by adding more absorbers for dedi-
cated hydrotreating units. Subsequent
debottlenecking measures were
partly based on solvent swaps (for
instance, from DEA to MDEA) and
continuous revamps in downstream
Claus units. In today’s world-scale
refneries, interconnected AGRUs
with more than 15 absorbers are
common.
As a further challenge, refneries
may not run for long with the same
crude and change the output of
dedicated value streams on a
weekly or even daily basis. System
optimisation is not easy and rigor-
ous process simulation of an amine
system is diffcult and sometimes
impossible.
Bayernoil’s amine system
Bayernoil’s refnery in Vohburg is a
so-called bitumenic refnery, able to
process huge amounts of crude
fractions with high boiling points in
a vacuum distillation unit (see
Table 1).
The amine system at Vohburg,
called BTV (BeTriebsteil Vohburg,
Engl. Plant Site Vohburg), comprises
four absorbers in three operational
parts (see Figure 2). For upgrading
purposes, the solvent was changed
Fraction Boiling range °F
Butanes and lighter <90
Straight run gasoline (LSR)/or light naphtha (LN) 90–190
Naphtha or heavy naphtha (HN) 190–380
Kerosene 380–520
Distillate or atmospheric gas oil (AGO) 520–650
Residua 650+
Vacuum gas oil (VGO) 650–1000
Vacuum residua 1000+
Fractions, boiling ranges
Table 1
Absorb. E602 Absorb. E703 Absorb. E1410 Absorb. E1411 Regenerator
Typical feed gas specifcation
Main component C
1
-C
6
/H
2
C
1
-C
6
/H
2
C
1
-C
6
/Olef. N
2
, H
2
C
3
-C
6
H
2
S/CO
2
H
2
S inlet, v-% 10–24 6–12 2–4 0.5–1.5 >85
H
2
S inlet, lb/h 1102–984 330 330–660 220–330 1984–3306
H
2
S inlet, kg/h 500–900 150 150–300 100–150 900–1500
Conditions
Amine fow, klb/h Up to 37.5 Up to 35.3 Up to 30.9 Up to 11 Up to 116.8
Amine fow, t/h Up to 17 Up to 16 Up to 14 Up to 6 Up to 53
Temperature, °F 86–104 86–104 86–104 95–104 194–248
Temperature, °C 30–40 30–40 30–40 35–40 90–120
Pressure, psia 73–87 73–87 58–87 261 21.8
Pressure, bara 5–6 5-6 4-6 18 1.5
a) Hydrofner absorber E602: In the Vohburg refnery, the dehydrogenation unit (hydrofner type, unit 6)
processes up to 120 t/h (264 000 lb/h) of middle distillates (diesel, kerosene). Since the refnery tends to
convert more heavy crudes with higher sulphur levels, the sulphur content of the middle distillate pool rose to
0.85 wt% in recent years. Note: Bayernoil’s middle distillate pool is generated 6 km away on the Neustadt
refnery site by a new mild hydrocracker with about 250 m
3
/h feedstock plus more than 240 m
3
/h feed to
the dehydrogenation unit (CHD type).
b) Absorber E703: This absorber receives various offgases from the gasoline treater unit (unit 7). Feed streams
are delivered from both diesel hydrotreating units and from the platformer-debutaniser. Due of the nature of
these products, the H
2
S content is lower compared to the other streams.
c) FCC tail gas absorber E1410 and FCC-LPG liquid treater E1411: Processing the offgas streams of FCC unit
14 requires a high degree of fexibility and operational experience. Sharp variations in FCC feed properties
and specifcations are usual, because about 100 types of crude are processed over the year. For instance,
the Conradson carbon number of those crudes varies from 2.5 to 4.0, while the sulphur constant varies between
0.4 and 0.8 wt%. As a consequence, operation of this unit requires daily adjustment.
Individual absorber/regenerator conditions of Bayernoil’s AGE unit
Table 2
basf.indd 2 11/3/11 10:27:29
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for further information
burkhardt.indd 1 20/9/10 10:10:44
78 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Figure 2 Scheme of Bayernoil’s AGRU
L
P
G
F
-
1
4
1
3
M
-
1
4
-
6
6
-
E
1
F
u
e
l

g
a
s
F
-
1
1
0
2
M
-
1
1
-
6
6
-
E
1
F
u
e
l

g
a
s
F
-
1
1
0
2
M
-
1
1
-
6
6
-
E
1
F
u
e
l

g
a
s
F
-
1
1
0
2
M
-
1
1
-
6
6
-
E
1
F
C
C

t
a
i
l
g
a
s
E
-
1
4
0
7
2
4
2
4
2
4
2
2
2
4
2
1
2
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a
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J
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C
o
n
d
e
n
s
a
t
e
s
u
p
p
l
y
C
o
o
l

w
a
t
e
r

s
u
p
p
l
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o
o
l

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a
t
e
r

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e
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r
n
C
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8
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E
-
8
0
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o
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2
3
basf.indd 3 11/3/11 10:27:38
Optimisation phase 2, Mar 2010
A further adjustment of the overall
amine circulation rate from an aver-
age 45 t/h to 42 t/h (99 200–92 600
lb/h) was mainly due to a reduc-
tion in amine feed to the FCC tail
gas treater E1410. A small drop in
H
2
S lean loading at a slightly
reduced reboiler steam feed rate of
3.2–3.5 t/h (7000–7700 lb/h) could
be observed. Overall sulphur charge
(H
2
S to Claus) to the refnery was
still at a low level (~1 t/h to 2200
lb/h), leading to steam/H
2
S ratios
of 3.2–3.5 t
steam
/t
H2S
.
Test run, starting 19 March 2010
The test run was accompanied by
full lean amine analysis (including
metals) and operational monitoring.
The initial phase of promoter
dosage took around 10 days. In
particular, the presence of heat
stable salts (HSS by species) was
monitored carefully, as this could
also affect the H
2
S lean loading,
which might lead to a misinterpre-
tation of the results and wrong
conclusions.
Within the test review, the follow-
ing values were monitored and
discussed:
For the entire amine system:
• Overall amine circulation rate,
t/h
• Reboiler steam feed rate, t/h
• Sulphur charge to Claus unit,
t
H2S
/h
volatile and is stable at elevated
process temperatures. Thus,
promoter losses were only expected
by removal through the flter
system or losses of the amine itself.
Based on pilot tests, a drop in H
2
S
lean loading was expected, particu-
larly during high-sulphur operation,
as were energy savings or potential
capacity increases. As it turned out,
a piping connection upstream of
the LPG treater E1411 (on the pres-
sure side of the LPG pump) was
found to be the only feasible dosing
point. Prior to the test run, two
operational optimisation phases
were conducted to exclude opera-
tional phenomena or other effects
that could not be attributed to the
test phase.
Apart from the performance of
the entire amine system, the review
and test programme also focused
on FCC tail gas absorber E1410 and
LPG treater E1411 due to their
higher sensitivity to changing levels
of sulphur charge.
Optimisation of operational
conditions prior to the test run
Energy savings (through a reduc-
tion in reboiler steam feed), low
sulphur emissions and a reduction
in solvent losses during high-
sulphur operation were major
aspects of the envisaged optimisa-
tion of the amine system. The
following general measures were
discussed.
General measures for energy savings
The adaptation of an adequate circu-
lation rate is one of the most
effective optimisation measures with
respect to energy savings. For multi-
absorber refnery amine systems,
this requires an evaluation of the
equilibrium load for each absorber,
especially during high-sulphur oper-
ation. Of course, hydraulic aspects
are a limiting factor and need to be
considered too.
General measures for reduction of
amine losses
The majority of refners suffer from
tremendous solvent losses, which in
some cases can exceed the entire
hold-up by several times per year. A
big portion can be attributed to
amine solubility and carryover in
LPG liquid treaters. Reasons include
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 79
increased solubility in the organic
phase with high concentrations of
unsaturated species, followed by
foaming and poor phase separation
in downstream equipment.
From a design perspective, most
common countermeasures are
sophisticated water-wash systems
and separation sections. Further
measures are an adjustment of the
right amine-to-hydrocarbon ratio
followed by a stepwise optimisation
of the amine concentration.
Optimisation phase 1 Nov 2009
In a frst optimisation phase, the
overall amine circulation rate was
reduced from an average 48 t/h to
45 t/h (105 800–99 200 lb/h), with
the majority of the reduction attrib-
uted to the amine fow in the LPG
liquid treater E1411. In parallel, the
reboiler steam feed rate was
reduced from an average 5 t/h to
3.5 t/h (11 000–7700 lb/h, see Figure
3). This reduction, however, was
not only linked to the reduced
circulation rate but also to a
reduced sulphur charge being proc-
essed at that time (H
2
S to Claus
~1 t
H2S
/h, 2.2 klb/h). Although the
H
2
S lean loading increased slightly
during that period, all required H
2
S
specifcations were met, but at a
reduced sulphur load. MDEA
concentration was reduced simulta-
neously from an average 40 wt% to
37 wt% for further improvement in
LPG treatment.
50
55
45
40
35
30
25

C
i
r
c
u
l
a
t
i
o
n

r
a
t
e
,

t
o
n
/
h
r
Date
20
7
8
6
5
4
3
2

R
e
b
o
i
l
e
r

o
r

s
t
e
a
m

f
e
e
d

r
a
t
e
,

t
o
n
/
h
r
1
Optimisation
1 2
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
O
c
t

0
9
N
o
v

0
9
D
e
c

0
9
J
a
n

1
0
F
e
b

1
0
M
a
r

1
0
Reboiler steam rate
Circulation rate
Figure 3 Optimisation phases: adjustment of circulation and reboiler feed rate
basf.indd 4 11/3/11 10:27:46
80 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
• Steam/H
2
Sratio,t
steam
/t
H2S
• H
2
S lean loading in amine,
mol
H2S
/mol
amine
• HSSconcentration,wt%.

For the FCC tail gas absorber E1410:
• H
2
Schargetoabsorber,kg/hr
• H
2
Soutlet-concentration,vol-ppm
• Total acid gas rich loading,
mol
AG
/mol
amine
.

For the LPG liquid treater E1411:
• H
2
Soutlet-concentration,vol-ppm.
Findings in the test phase for entire
amine system
Duringthetestrun,relevantproduc-
tion changes such as increased
processing of sour crudes were
made. Based on the improved
performance fgures, an adjustment
in the reboiler feed rate and an
increase in sulphur charge enabled
an identifcation of potential benefts
and savings for the entire refnery.
A substantial drop in H
2
S lean
loading from 0.006 to 0.002 mol/
mol was observed. A positive
impact on the LPG liquid treater
E1411 and downstream value chain
gave the opportunity to process
more sour crude by increasing the
sulphur charge (H
2
S to Claus) step-
wise from 1 to 2 t
H2S
/h (2.2–4.4
klb/h). The reboiler steam feed rate
remained at a low level of 2.9–3.2
t/h(6400–7000lb/h).SeeFigure4.
Compared to previous operation
scenarios, especially those with high
sulphur peaks, the ratio between
reboiler steam feed and processed
H
2
S dropped signifcantly from an
average3.2–3.5to2.5t
steam
/t
H2S
,lead-
ing to obvious savings in energy. In
addition, the entire operational
stability, with less impact on H
2
S
lean loading, provided a major
beneft (see Figure 5).
HSS, analysed by species, showed
a consistent picture and obviously
did not lead to cross-effects (see
Figure6).
FFC tail gas absorber E1410
Agoodmonitoringandrecordbasis,
as well as a high degree of analysis
around the FCC tail gas absorber
E1410, enabled reliable and consist-
ent evaluation of trends during the
test phase. Table 3 shows some
absorber design specifcs.
2.4
2.8
2.0
1.6
1.2
0.8
0.4

H
2
S

t
o

C
l
a
u
s
,

t
o
n
/
h
r
0.0
0.012
0.014
0.010
0.008
0.006
0.004
0.002

H
2
S

l
e
a
n

l
o
a
d
i
n
g
,

m
o
l
/
m
o
l
0.000
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
O
c
t

0
9
N
o
v

0
9
D
e
c

0
9
J
a
n

1
0
F
e
b

1
0
M
a
r

1
0
A
p
r

1
0
M
a
y

1
0
J
u
n

1
0
J
u
l

1
0
A
u
g

1
0
Start promoter test H
2
S lean loading
H
2
S to Claus
Date
Figure 4 Processed sulphur (H
2
S to Claus) and lean loading after test start
6
7
5
4
3
2
1

S
t
e
a
m
/
H
2
S

r
a
t
i
o
,

t
o
n
/
t
o
n
0
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
O
c
t

0
9
N
o
v

0
9
D
e
c

0
9
J
a
n

1
0
F
e
b

1
0
M
a
r

1
0
A
p
r

1
0
M
a
y

1
0
J
u
n

1
0
J
u
l

1
0
A
u
g

1
0
Start promoter test
Date
Figure 5 Steam/H
2
S ratio
3.0
3.5
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5

H
S
S
,

w
t
%
0.0
0.012
0.014
0.010
0.008
0.006
0.004
0.002

H
2
S

l
e
a
n

l
o
a
d
i
n
g
,

m
o
l
/
m
o
l
0.000
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
O
c
t

0
9
N
o
v

0
9
D
e
c

0
9
J
a
n

1
0
F
e
b

1
0
M
a
r

1
0
A
p
r

1
0
M
a
y

1
0
J
u
n

1
0
J
u
l

1
0
A
u
g

1
0
Start promoter test H
2
S lean loading
HSS
Date
Figure 6 HSS and H
2
S lean loading
basf.indd 5 11/3/11 10:27:57
Findings in test phase for FCC tail
gas absorber E1410
When processing heavier and more
sour crudes right after the test start,
a higher feed gas fow and, thus, a
higher H
2
S charge have been proc-
essed through the FCC tail gas
absorber E1410 in a similar way. By
taking the decreased H
2
S lean load-
ing and the adjusted solvent fow
into account, the following fndings
were made:
• Despite an increased H
2
S charge
to the absorber, the H
2
S outlet
concentration remained low, around
10–30 vppm (see Figure 7)
• As a consequence of higher
H
2
S charges, the total acid gas-
rich loading increased to levels
above 0.25 mol
H2S
/mol
Solvent
(see
Figure 8)
• A comparison between similar
operation windows displays the
effect of lower H
2
S lean loadings;
even at high-sulphur operation
with a high acid gas rich loading,
the equilibrium/driving force at the
absorber top is low enough to keep
the H
2
S outlet concentration at a
low level (see Figure 9).
FFC LPG treater E1411
LPG treatment and the following
C
3
/C
4
value chain are highly
sensitive to alternating sulphur
charges. As a consequence, the
amount of LPG processed in the
liquid treater is adjusted continu-
ously using the H
2
S lean loading as
leading value. In case of a sulphur
breakthrough or even a carryover
of loaded amine, sulphur can be
analysed along the downstream
chain (see Figure 10) and end in
products such as ETBE: E1411 →
Coalescer → Caustic treater →
Merox treater →C
3
/C
4
splitter →
ETBE
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 81
Internals 20ballasttrays
Weirheight 56mm(fxed)
Spacing 610mm
Diameter 980mm
Designpressure 6bara
Aminefeedpoint Toptray
Material Carbonsteel
E1410 design specifcs
Table 3
240
280
320
200
160
120
80
40

H
2
S

c
h
a
r
g
e
,

k
g
/
h
r
0
60
70
80
50
40
30
20
10

H
2
S

o
u
t
l
e
t

c
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n
,

v
o
l
.

p
p
m
0
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
O
c
t

0
9
N
o
v

0
9
D
e
c

0
9
J
a
n

1
0
F
e
b

1
0
M
a
r

1
0
A
p
r

1
0
M
a
y

1
0
J
u
n

1
0
J
u
l

1
0
A
u
g

1
0
Start promoter test
H
2
S outlet concentration
H
2
S charge
Date
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05

T
o
t
a
l

a
c
i
d

g
a
s

r
i
c
h

l
o
a
d
i
n
g
,
m
o
l
R
I
C
H

G
A
S
/
m
o
l
S
O
L
V
E
N
T
0.00
60
70
80
50
40
30
20
10

H
2
S

o
u
t
l
e
t

c
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n
,

v
o
l
.

p
p
m
0
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
O
c
t

0
9
N
o
v

0
9
D
e
c

0
9
J
a
n

1
0
F
e
b

1
0
M
a
r

1
0
A
p
r

1
0
M
a
y

1
0
J
u
n

1
0
J
u
l

1
0
A
u
g

1
0
Start promoter test
H
2
S outlet concentration
Total acid gas loading
Date
Figure 7 H
2
SChargetoE1410andrespectiveH
2
Soutletconcentrations
Figure 8 TotalacidgasrichloadingandH
2
Soutletconcentrations
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05

T
o
t
a
l

a
c
i
d

g
a
s

r
i
c
h

l
o
a
d
i
n
g
,
m
o
l
R
I
C
H

G
A
S
/
m
o
l
S
O
L
V
E
N
T
0.00
60
70
80
50
40
30
20
10

H
2
S

o
u
t
l
e
t

c
o
n
c
e
n
t
r
a
t
i
o
n
,

v
o
l
.

p
p
m
0
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
A
p
r

1
0
M
a
y

1
0
J
u
n

1
0
J
u
l

1
0
A
u
g

1
0
With promoter
Date
H
2
S outlet concentration
Total acid gas loading
Figure 9 ComparisonoftotalacidgasrichloadingandH
2
Soutletconcentrationsduring
high-sulphuroperation
basf.indd 6 11/3/11 10:28:07
Findings in test phase for LPG
absorber E1411
Processing increased sulphur
charges and subsequent peaks in
H
2
S lean loadings requires control
and some reduction in the LPG fow
to keep the H
2
S outlet concentration
within specifcation. Since the start
of promoter dosage, high-sulphur
charges could be processed without
extended control of the LPG fow,
thus providing improved process
stability. Moreover, sulphur peaks
did not result in peaks of H
2
S outlet
concentration in the treated LPG
(see Figure 11) or downstream prod-
ucts such as ETBE.
In addition, a lower foaming
tendency combined with improved
phase separation in downstream
equipment was observed. As a
consequence, less amine carryover
to downstream equipment (caustic
and Merox treatment) led to lower
amine losses and savings in refll
and dumping costs. However, a
detailed evaluation of this effect is
proceeding by taking the following
root causes into account:
• Slightly changed process condi-
tions with a variation in the C
3
-C
5

mix (less foaming?)
• Ionic character of the promoter
system itself (better phase
separation?).
Summary of fndings for entire
test phase
Energy savings, a reduction in amine
losses, higher sulphur throughput
and stable operation during crude
oil changes are major drivers consid-
ered in the optimisation process
presented here. By comparing past
operation and performance data for
amine system operation, FCC tail
gas absorber E1410 and LPG liquid
treater E1411 with respective data
during the six-month test phase, the
key fndings are:
Optimisation phases prior to testing
• Optimisation of circulation rate
for each absorber combined with an
overall reduction in circulation rate
has led to energy savings (reboiler
steam feed rate) of more than 25%
for low-sulphur operation (~1 t
H2S
/
h, 2.2 klb/h) and 20% for high-
sulphur operation (>1.5 t
H2S
/h, >2.2
klb/h) respectively to keep the
treated H
2
S concentration at low
levels
• By reducing the amine concentra-
tion from 40 wt% to 37 wt%, amine
82 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
2.4
2.8
3.2
2.0
1.6
1.2
0.8
0.4

H
2
S

t
o

C
l
a
u
s
,

t
o
n
/
h
r
0.0
120
140
160
100
80
60
40
20

H
2
S

o
u
t
l
e
t
,

w
t

p
p
m
0
A
p
r

0
9
M
a
y

0
9
J
u
n

0
9
J
u
l

0
9
A
u
g

0
9
S
e
p

0
9
O
c
t

0
9
N
o
v

0
9
D
e
c

0
9
J
a
n

1
0
F
e
b

1
0
M
a
r

1
0
A
p
r

1
0
M
a
y

1
0
J
u
n

1
0
J
u
l

1
0
A
u
g

1
0
Start promoter test
H
2
S Claus
LPG H
2
S outlet concentration
Date
Figure 11 LPG H
2
S outlet concentration and H
2
S sulphur charges (H
2
S to Claus)
L1406 13.6
bar
–1.2%
21.71%
C1437
E1413
Lauge
Caustic
treater
KW
C3
C4
12.48 bar
0.00 t/hr
18%
NaOH
ES
E1414
Extractor
14.1
bar
50.9%
46.0ºC
C1445
LSC
PA
F1435
Caustic
separator
71.6%
E1416
ES
FG
LSC
Water wash
tower
12.5
bar
52.3%
z. E1418
DMW
0.16 m
3
/hr
0.03 Nm
3
/hr
690.9 kg/hr
J1444/A
38%
NaOH
F1467
E1415
F1430
PCV
71.9%
50.6%
45.0%
Oxidation Column
34.5ºC
50.0ºC
Disulphide
separator
FA
E1455
LSC
Surge tank to
depropaniser
F1419
41.6%
37.3%
10.4 bar
10.4 bar
Pressurised
gas
J1436
J1436A
C1453
J1447
Dest.
A/B
10.5 t/hr
From LPG absorber
To ETBE
Figure 10 C
3
/C
4
chain downstream liquid treater E1411 and its separator
basf.indd 7 11/3/11 10:28:18
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losses were lowered to some extent.
However, amine carryover from the
liquid treater to downstream equip-
ment could not be avoided.
Six-month test phase with
promoter system
• By adding a new promoter
formulation with characteristics and
properties described in part 1 of
this article (see PTQ Gas 2011), an
apparent decrease in H
2
S lean load-
ing from 0.006 mol/mol to 0.002
mol/mol could be determined,
while specifc regeneration energy
was reduced
• Despite processing more sour
crudes and achieving lower H
2
S lean
loadings, the ratio between reboiler
steam feed and processed H
2
S
dropped from an average 3.2 to 3.5
to 2.5 t
steam
/t
H2S
, even during high-
sulphur operation with H
2
S charges
of up to 2 t
H2S
/h (4.4 klb/h)
• There was no indication of a
negative effect on equilibrium load
and absorber overhead H
2
S specif-
cation by the promoter system. A
detailed view of the FCC tail gas
absorber E1410 during high-sulphur
operation demonstrated, that, even
at high H
2
S charges (up to 2 t
H2S
/h,
4.4 klb/h) in combination with a
high total acid gas rich loading
(>0.25 mol
H2S
/mol
Solvent
), a H
2
S outlet
concentration of 10–30 vppm could
be achieved
• Similar results were obtained for
liquid treatment in the LPG treater
E1411; high-sulphur operation did
not result in peaks of H
2
S outlet
concentration in the treated LPG nor
in downstream products such as
ETBE. Reportedly, additional proc-
ess reliability and stability has been
achieved due to less foaming and
improved LPG/amine phase separa-
tion. This is still under investigation.
Conclusions
Besides highly selective AGE, H
2
S
selective acid gas removal has
become an increasingly important
feld for world-scale natural gas
plant designs. Contrary to AGE
techniques, selectivity and thus CO
2

slip is limited and requires some
adjustability and fexibility.
From a solvent technology
perspective, advanced H
2
S selective
acid gas removal can be carried out
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 85
through sterically hindered amines
or tertiary amines, both in combina-
tion with other amines or a promoter
system. Additionally, sophisticated
design measures are applied to
ensure a reliable operation.
Today’s plants require a very high
degree of fexibility in turndown
rates, changing feed gas specifca-
tions and conditions. In addition,
very tightly treated gas sulphur
specifcations in the low ppm range
(<5 ppmv) are mandatory.
The high acid gas partial pres-
sures in most natural gas
applications, and the requirement
for adjustable selectivity, make
MDEA-based technologies attrac-
tive due to competitive solvent
prices and generic designs. For
opex, capex and specifcation
purposes, acidic promoted systems
are in use to overcome the rela-
tively high H
2
S binding energy and
to lower residual H
2
S loading in the
amine. However, current acidifed
state-of-the-art systems also have
their limits, as the improved regen-
eration will trigger an inverse effect
on the entire capacity. Alternatively,
the new promoter system described
in this article shows different
behaviour: a substantial increase in
regeneration ability while hardly
affecting absorption capacity.
A six-month test with the new
promoter system (BASF’s sMDEA+
technology) at the Bayernoil
Refnery in Vohburg has been
carried out to optimise operation
while demonstrating the promoter’s
effciency. A substantial reduction
in energy consumption and an
improved process stability at high-
sulphur operation are some of the
fndings of the test phase.
Consequently, the characteristics
of this promoter provide an option
not only for grassroots designs but
also for revamps to fulfl new H
2
S
regulations or even a capacity
increase. An example of a recent
design case has been provided to
explain the correlation between
very low H
2
S lean loadings and H
2
S
treated gas specifcation.
Further reading
1 Bullin J A, Polasek J, Selective absorption
using amines, 61st GPA Conference, Tulsa,
Oklahoma,1982.
2 HarbisonJL,HandwerkGE,Selectiveremoval
of H
2
S utilizing generic MDEA, 37th Annual
Laurance Reid Gas Conditioning Conference,
Norman,Oklahoma,1987.
3 Carey T R, Hermes J E, Rochelle G T, A
model of acid gas absorption/stripping using
methyldiethanolamine with added acid, Gas
Separation & Purifcation,Jun1991,vol5.
4 Kohl A L., Nielsen, Gas Purifcation, 5th ed,
GulfPublishingCorp,1997.
5 WeilandRH,DingmanJC,Effectofsolvent
blendformulationonselectivityingastreating,
45th Annual Laurance Reid Gas Conditioning
Conference,Norman,Oklahoma,1995.
6 Huffmaster MA, Stripping requirements for
selective treating with Sulphinol and amine
systems, 47th Annual Laurance Reid Gas
ConditioningConference,Norman,Oklahoma,
1997.
7 WeilandRH,SivasubramanianMS,Dingman
J C, Effective amine technology: controlling
selectivity,increasingslip,andreducingsulphur,
53th Annual Laurance Reid Gas Conditioning
Conference,Norman,Oklahoma,2003.
8 A Refnery for Bavaria, offcial Bayernoil
brochure,July2009.
Gerald VorbergisaSeniorTechnologyManager
inBASF’sGasTreatmentteaminLudwigshafen
and Project Leader for Selective Acid Gas
Removal. He joined BASF’s Catalyst Group in
1997asaGlobalProductTechnologyManager
and holds a diploma in chemical engineering
fromtheUniversityofAppliedSciences(FHT),
Mannheim,Germany.
Email: gerald.vorberg@basf.com
Ralf NotzisaResearchEngineeratBASFSEin
Ludwigshafen. He holds a diploma in process
engineering from the University of Stuttgart
andaPhDinCO
2
capturefrompowerplantfue
gas by reactive absorption from the Institute
of Thermodynamics and Thermal Process
Engineering at the University of Stuttgart.
Email: ralf.notz@basf.com
Torsten KatzisheadoftheGlobalTechnology
Team at BASF SE and coordinates BASF’s
new business development activities in gas
treatment.Hestudiedmechanicalengineering
attheTechnicalUniversityofAachen,Germany
(RWTHAachen)andholdsaPhDinevaporation
technology.Email: torsten.katz@basf.com
Wieland Wache is a Process Engineer at
Bayernoil Refnery in Vohburg, Germany.
He holds a diploma in chemistry from the
TechnicalUniversity(RWTH)AachenandaPhD
in chemical engineering on Fischer-Tropsch
synthesis and dehydrogenation of middle
distillates from the University of Bayreuth.
Email: wieland.wache@bayernoil.de
Claus Schunk is Plant Manager at Bayernoil
Refnery in Vohburg and was formerly Lead
Process Engineer for the development and
implementation of the OATS units. He holds
a diploma in process engineering from the
TechnicalUniversityKarlsruhe.
Email: claus.schunk@bayernoil.de
basf.indd 8 11/3/11 10:28:28
Background
Free or soluble water carrying over from the FCC or Coker Main
Fractionator overhead systems can cause foaming problems
and fooding in the Absorber-Stripper columns. Column de-
signs that incorporate effective water removal can free-up ca-
pacity for valuable naphtha or LPG production.
The Problem
Even with bulk water removal in the overhead knockout drums or
high pressure receivers, water carryover can go hand-in-hand
with capacity creep. Higher charge rates can create superfcial
velocities that exceed design separation capabilities. Carried-
over free water only compounds the problem of soluble water
that typically drops out of solution inconveniently in the middle
of the column. Without an effective design for removal, water
can cycle up in the system – condensing and re-vaporizing mul-
tiple times in the column and thus taking up valuable hydraulic
capacity. Additionally, when the soluble water begins to drop
out of solution, two distinct liquid phases form, and the system
is susceptible to foaming. Foaming will cause poor separation
of components and increase column pressure drop, hindering
capacity.
The Solution
There are several conventional methods that column designers
use to remove water from the Absorber-Stripper including: wa-
ter draw recessed pans, water draw collector trays, and exter-
nal water draw pumparounds. Water separation outside of the
column (whether upstream or as a pumparound) will be covered
in a future Sulzer Tower Technical Bulletin.
Water draw sumps or recessed pans are typically added to a
center downcomer at the top of the Stripper or in the middle/
bottom of the Absorber column, where the temperatures are
cool enough to create a free water phase. In the water draw
sump design, the primary separation of water from hydrocarbon
must occur within the volume of the recessed pan. The small
stream of water is drawn from the column and the hydrocarbon
liquid overfows the sump to feed the tray below. The biggest
challenge of this design is residence time. Free water droplets
formed from soluble water are typically very small and require
several minutes of residence time to effectively coalesce and
drop out of the hydrocarbon phase. Very rarely can the volume
of a sump or pan provide that amount of residence time. Ad-
ditionally, when two distinct liquid phases begin to form (water
drops out of solution), foaming is likely, which further compli-
cates the ability to separate water from hydrocarbon.
Water draw collector trays can offer an order of magnitude more
residence time than the recessed pan or sump design; however,
a chimney tray with a lot of residence time can take up sig-
Sulzer Chemtech
Tower Technical Bulletin
Effective Water Removal Can Create Extra Capacity in Your Absorber-Stripper
nifcant vertical space in a column. In a revamp design, where
the column capacity has creeped over time, several methods
can be used to create additional collector tray residence time.
The riser and overfow duct heights can be extended to create
a larger liquid volume. The downcomers from the tray above
can be extended down into the liquid level on the collector so
that the water can be discharged closer to the hydrocarbon-
water interface, aiding in coalescence. The draw location can
be located to where the liquid’s path of travel across the tray
is maximized. Perforated dispersion plates can be installed in
the water draw sumps to create a low turbulence zone closest
to the draw so that any liquid infux does not disturb separation.
The Payout
Combined with an optimized tray or packing design, effec-
tively removing water from the system can allow the refner to
increase FCC or Delayed Coker light product yields or charge
rates. Sulzer’s retroft water draw designs can be tailored to
address the refner’s particular constraints so that the effective
removal of water can free up column hydraulic capacity for valu-
able hydrocarbon production.
The Sulzer Refnery Applications Group
Sulzer Chemtech has over 50 years of operating and design
experience in refnery applications. We understand your process
and your economic drivers. Sulzer has the know-how and the
technology to provide a scrubber internals design with reliable,
high performance.
Sulzer Chemtech, USA, Inc.
8505 E. North Belt Drive | Humble, TX 77396
Phone: (281) 604-4100 | Fax: (281) 540-2777
TowerTech.CTUS@sulzer.com
www.sulzerchemtech.com
Legal Notice: The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate and reliable, but is not to be construed as implying any warranty or guarantee of performance.
Sulzer Chemtech waives any liability and indemnity for effects resulting from its application.
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
sulzer.indd 1 10/3/11 11:16:57
Main fractionator revamp
T
he Coryton refnery is a
Petroplus-owned oil refnery
in Essex, England. It has a
crude throughput capacity of
172 000 b/d and can run up to an
additional 70 000 b/d of other feed-
stocks. The refnery’s major units
include atmospheric and vacuum
distillation units, a catalytic reformer,
a fuid catalytic cracking unit and
several hydrotreating units. Since its
start-up in the early 1980s, Foster
Wheeler has been involved in seven
of its eight major turnarounds.
In January 2009, Foster Wheeler
was approached by Petroplus and
tasked with replacing a 2m band of
shell midway up the 5.2m-diameter
main fractionator column during a
planned October 2009 turnaround
(see Figure 1).
The normal method of replace-
ment would involve the removal of
the top half of the column, but this
was ruled out due to a large quan-
tity of pipework on one side of the
vessel, crane availability and avail-
able plot location. Replacement of
the mid-section in situ was, there-
fore, the only option.
The novel solution was to replace
the section in eight petal pieces. A
skid track was devised, which
allowed the petals to be landed on
one side of the column and then
skidded round to the congested
side (see Figure 2). Working in
parallel on opposite sides of the
column, a petal of old shell was
removed and replaced with a new
petal complete with tray supports
and downcomers. The sequence in
which the petals were replaced was
driven by the design of the stiffen-
ers required to reinforce each of the
openings left by the removed petal.
Space restrictions on site called for an innovative solution to replace a refnery’s
main fractionator mid-section
John Payne and Dan Darby
Foster Wheeler
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 87
Figure 1 Section of main fractionator to be replaced (shown ringed)
Figure 2 Skid track 3D model
foster wheeler.indd 1 10/3/11 14:12:54
88 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
The work was completed safely and on schedule,
proving that this unique method is a feasible option
for the replacement of column sections.
The challenge
Due to a change in duty, high levels of corrosion had
occurred on a 2m-high section of the main fractionator
column, just above the clad lower section of shell.
Non-destructive testing (NDT) during previous turna-
rounds had found certain corroded sections to be
thinner than required. These sections had been over-
laid as a temporary measure. As further corrosion was
expected, Petroplus and Foster Wheeler decided that
replacement of this section with a new band, complete
with cladding, was required.
Finding the right solution
There are several methods usually considered when a
section of a column has to be replaced. These include
replacement of the entire column top with new, or
replacement of the section through removal of the top
half to grade, insertion of a new band, and then rein-
statement of the old top half. The short time frame
meant that it was not deemed feasible to purchase an
entire new vessel upper-half due to the signifcant
engineering and fabrication time required. Even to just
replace the corroded band of column using the conven-
tional “lift down top half” approach would require the
use of a large crane. Since this work was added to the
turnaround scope at such short notice, the crane avail-
ability and plot space required for such a lift were not
guaranteed.
Added to this, a large amount of pipework is present
on the north side of the column, including a 42in main
overhead line, three 18in lines, four 8in lines and
several small bore lines. Each of these lines would
require cutting and bracing and rework should the top
half be removed. This could add signifcantly to the
planned turnaround duration. Replacement of the mid-
section in situ was, therefore, the most feasible option.
Ideally, the section would be replaced as a prefabri-
cated band, complete with internals that could be
slotted into place. For this to be possible, the existing
band would have to be removed while the entire tower
top remained above. The total weight of shell, internals
and piping above the section in question was an esti-
mated 200 tonnes. Supporting this would require a
substantial framework.
One option would be a framework linking the lower
half to the top. This was prevented by the metallurgy
of the column, the lower half being 1¼ Cr with a 304L
cladding. Although welding onto 1¼ Cr is possible, it
would require local post-weld heat treatment (PWHT).
It was felt that this was an option not worth pursuing
since it could have led to further problems and compli-
cations during the turnaround. The other option would
be to create a framework linking the upper half to
grade. A big advantage of this approach would be that
the framework could be erected pre-turnaround, with
the new section ready to be lifted and slotted into posi-
tion. However, this would require a huge amount of
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
more sour crudes into high-value transportation fuels.
Additionally, depending on country emissions
requirements, minimum amounts of SO
x
and NO
x
may
be released via the stack. These hydroprocessing
technologies can be combined with gas treating/
absorption solutions to help cap these emissions.
In response to the sulphur management issues that
are arising within the industry, Shell Global Solutions,
Criterion Catalysts & Technologies and other alliances
introduced The Sulphur Technology Platform, a
comprehensive, customisable and integrated sulphur
solution to meet emissions and product requirements
and facilitate the processing of heavier, more sour
crudes. This sulphur technology platform uses deep
fash technology that cuts deeper into the bottom of
the barrel, resulting in higher vacuum distillate yields
compared to conventional vacuum units. These
integrated solutions also include effective revamps,
such as hydrocracking units converted to process resid
feedstocks, optimised hydroprocessing of gasoline,
kerosene and diesel components to low-sulphur
products and gas treating technologies to remove
refnery emissions.
Ultimately, innovative process and catalyst technology
solutions are required for processing heavier, more sour
crudes while meeting emission and clean transportation
fuels specifcations, specifcally in relation to sulphur
(although benefts in relation to other emissions are
often achieved at the same time). The key is managing
sulphur levels by employing hydroprocessing,
conversion and sulphur recovery technologies. By using
integrated technology solutions to optimise sulphur
management strategies, we can face today’s refning
challenges head on.
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FZkd^mbg`=bk^\mhk
:q^gl
M
he European refning industry
is coping with declining
domestic demand for fuels,
while the imbalance between
product supply and market demand
persists. This especially applies
with regard to a defcit in diesel
supply and an excess in gasoline
production. The European gasoline
surplus in 2009 exceeded 0.75 Mbdoe (million barrels
per day of oil equivalent), while the diesel defcit
reached about 0.5 Mbdoe.
The US market presents a recurring gasoline defcit of
about 0.7 Mbdoe and, since 2008, the refning industry
has been exporting diesel.
What are the main causes of such a situation?
Although there is no fundamental shortfall between
the structure of US production compared with the local
demand structure when expressed as percentages, the
*+IMJJ*+)** ppp'^imj'\hf
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outlook copy.indd 6 9/12/10 21:09:17 foster wheeler.indd 2 10/3/11 14:13:04
steelwork, which, although possi-
ble, would be fairly cumbersome
and might impede other work
taking place during the turnaround.
Having evaluated the options for
replacement of the band in one
single section, Petroplus and Foster
Wheeler then considered methods
for replacing the band in pieces.
The petal approach
Cutting windows into shells is
common practice to provide access
while replacing cyclones in fuidised
catalytic cracking units. The team
conceived the idea that this method-
ology could be adapted to replace
the 2m-high band of fractionator by
cutting away the existing shell to
leave a window and installing a new
petal piece in its place. Each petal
piece would be prefabricated with
its required tray support rings and
downcomers. Signifcant design
work was required to confrm the
right number of petals and the work
that would be involved.
When a window is cut in any
shell, the structure must be appro-
priately reinforced to ensure the
vessel will not fail (eg, buckle) due
to the weakening through removal
of the shell plate. This is usually
done using stiffening ribs either
side of the window and replacing
the section modulus of the area
removed. It follows that where a
larger window is cut, the section
modulus removed is larger, and
therefore more substantial rein-
forcement is required. With large
arcs, a circumferential stiffener is
also required above and below the
window. The vertical stiffeners tie
into these circumferential stiffeners
and this effectively forms a bridge
around the cut.
Since the entire circumference of
the vessel was to be replaced, a 360-
degree ring would be required as
the circumferential stiffening piece
(see Figure 3).
Since welding below the lower
cut line was not possible, the design
of this ring needed special consid-
eration. As with all turnarounds, it
is preferable to do as much work as
possible prior to shutdown. A
wedging arrangement was devised
for the ring (see Figure 4), and the
ring was designed so that it could
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 89
Figure 3 360-degree reinforcement ring
Figure 4 Wedging arrangement
Figure 5 Section modulus calculations verifed using FEA analysis
foster wheeler.indd 3 10/3/11 14:13:18
use of fewer petal pieces might
make the ft-up of new elements
to existing elements more diffcult
should the existing vessel be out
of round.
How many petals?
Options using six and eight petal
pieces were considered. For six petal
pieces, each petal would form 60
degrees of the fractionator’s circum-
ference, and at 5.2m diameter each
petal would be approximately 2.7m
wide by 2m high. For eight petal
pieces, each petal would form 45
degrees of the fractionator and
would be approximately 2m wide
by 2m high.
For both six and eight petals,
since welding below the lower cut
line was not possible, the stiffeners
could not be extended below and
the usual bridging methodology
could not be applied so readily. The
section modulus calculations were
performed and then verifed using
fnite element analysis (FEA, see
Figure 5).
It was determined that both cases
were possible, with more substan-
tial reinforcements required for the
six petal piece option. Although the
six petal case would require two
vertical welds less than the eight
petal case, the new to existing ft-up
would be easier using eight petals.
The time for the two extra vertical
welds could be planned into the
turnaround, while any problems
due to poor ft-up could not. The
use of eight petal pieces also lends
itself better to cutting opposing
windows in the column, maximis-
ing work that can be completed in
parallel and therefore possibly
reducing the turnaround schedule.
It was therefore decided that the
band should be replaced in eight
petal pieces.
The most obvious way to
complete the modifcation work
would be to install the vertical stiff-
eners at the location for the petal
being replaced, cut out the old shell
and crane the replacement petal
into position for reinstatement. This
process would be repeated for the
entire band of shell.
However, a substantial amount of
large bore piping is present on the
north side of the vessel. This piping
90 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
be assembled on-line with the frac-
tionator hot and, therefore, of larger
diameter than during turnaround.
Although it would have been
possible to weld a ring to the shell
at the upper cut line (since the shell
is carbon steel here), the same
wedging arrangement as at the
lower cut line was employed. This
consistency allowed maximum
work to be completed pre-turna-
round, while also removing any
possibility of the ring being inad-
vertently welded to the shell at the
lower cut line, which would bring
with it major problems, including
the requirement for PWHT of the
shell.
While replacement of the band
in fewer pieces requires less weld-
ing, the bigger windows would
require greater reinforcement. The
Figure 6 Skid track running behind pipework
Figure 7 Hillman rollers in channel
foster wheeler.indd 4 10/3/11 14:13:40
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prevented crane access to half of the
column and meant that a novel
method of installing the petals was
required to ft new petals behind the
piping. Since circumferential rings
are required around the vessel to
reinforce the cut-outs, it made sense
to make additional use of these
rings. A skid track system was
designed, which would allow the
petals to be landed on the south side
and moved around behind the pipe-
work for installation (see Figure 6).
92 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Two lugs pre-welded onto each
new petal located it behind an angle
section resting on the upper ring,
holding it in position within the
skid track and preventing it from
tipping backwards (see Figure 8).
The right sequence
With a method devised for manoeu-
vring the petals around the vessel,
development of the sequence began.
The sequence in which the petals
were replaced was driven by the
design of the stiffeners required to
reinforce each of the windows left
as the old petal was removed (see
Figure 9).
Following the installation of the
frst petal, each subsequent petal
would have at least one new petal
on one side of it, so stiffeners
Figure 8 Retaining angle section
Figure 10 Petal window reinforcements
Petal A reinforced by two internal
stiffeners at existing petals B & H. Petals
B & F in parallel; Petal B reinforced by
external stiffener on new petal A and
internal stiffener on existing petal C; Petal
F reinforced by two internal stiffeners at
E & G. Petals C & G in parallel; Petal C
reinforced by external stiffener on new
petal B and internal stiffener on existing
petal D; Petal G reinforced by external
stiffener on new petal F and internal
stiffener on existing petal H. Petals D
& H in parallel; Petal D reinforced by
external stiffener on new petal C and
internal stiffener on existing petal E; Petal
H reinforced by external stiffeners on
new petals A and G; Petal E reinforced by
external stiffeners on new petals D and F

47º
92º
137º
182º
227º
272º
317º
N
A
B C
D
E
F G
H
Cut line
E
S
W
Figure 9 Petal sequence diagram

47º
N
92º
137º
182º
227º
272º
317º
A
B C
D
E
F G
H
Figure 11 New petal landed in skid track
Two different skidding methodol-
ogies were possible: hanging from
the upper ring or supporting from
the lower ring. The proximity of
two large nozzles above the upper
cut line meant that hanging would
not be possible for a complete ring
and so this option was not
progressed.
Moving the petals
With each petal weighing approxi-
mately one tonne, manhandling
them around the vessel unassisted
would be extremely diffcult. The
solution was to use two Hillman
rollers on the bottom edge of each
petal (see Figure 7). The rollers
used were small enough to ft inside
a channel section that sat on the
upper side of the lower ring.
foster wheeler.indd 5 10/3/11 14:13:52
welded to either edge of each new
petal would minimise the welding
of stiffeners to shell on site.
However, to ensure the petal would
pass the existing pipework, the
stiffeners could not exceed 100mm
in depth. This limited their section
modulus and therefore the rein-
forcement offered, meaning that
additional internal stiffeners would
be required. The first cut would
require two internal stiffeners,
while only one internal stiffener
was required per cut for each
subsequent window, since each
new petal would offer reinforce-
ment to the cut made next to it (see
Figure 10). The internal tray
supports and downcomers prein-
stalled on each new petal prevented
it from passing an external stiffener,
so the sequence began with the
installation of the opposite side of
the vessel to the landing location —
the piece furthest past all the large
bore piping. Crane access allowed
the petals on the southern side of
the vessel to be landed directly in
Figure 12 Old petal removed
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 93
Figure 13 New petal skidded round to required location
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position from the crane and, as
such, no skid track was required on
this side. Figures 11–14 show the
landing, skidding and installation
of a single petal piece.
In addition to working in parallel
on opposite sides of the vessel, the
schedule was further reduced
through assessing the amount of
weld required on each new petal
prior to commencing the next cut.
By assessing the compressive stress
through the weld due to the weight
above and any wind loading, it was
Figure 14 Petal installed into window
confrmed that only two runs of
weld were required on the two
circumferential joins. The welds
could then be completed as other
work was carried out, minimising
the bottleneck effect of welding
the petal.
As with any fractionation unit,
there were internals to consider. For
this section, this included four
trays that were supported by two
lattice beams. While the trays
were fully removed, rather than
removing the lattice beams too a
bespoke hanging framework was
designed, which utilised the chim-
ney tray above, with panels
removed to run down slinging
supports to the upper beam.
The lower lattice beam was hung
from the beam above it and the
two clamped together using a
bolted angle section. With the
lower beam still bolted to its foot-
stool, this arrangement fully
supported the lattice beams while
also preventing rotation (see Figures
15 and 16).
A tray below the replaced section
provided a working platform with-
out the need to scaffold internally.
All work was meticulously planned
utilising a Solid Edge 3D model.
This allowed the extremely tight
clearances to be considered in full
and prevent any unforeseen issues
during the turnaround. An anima-
tion of the proposed sequence was
produced to clearly demonstrate
this unique approach.
Making the plan a reality on site
Upon delivery to the site, the petals
were labelled and then assembled
at grade in a scaffold frame. This
allowed a precision survey of the
new band of shell to be completed,
which showed the exact curvature
of each petal at both the upper and
lower edges.
Although the skid track had
been designed to allow it to be
installed pre-turnaround, tempera-
tures around the fractionator were
deemed too hot to work with
the insulation removed. This
meant that, when the shutdown
commenced, the frst task was
to install the skid track. Since
access to the inside was required
to install the internal stiffeners,
installation of the skid track took
place as the column was being
prepared for entry and therefore
did not extend the turnaround
duration.
Following installation of the inter-
nal stiffeners, the frst window was
cut in the vessel. The sequence was
developed to allow the removed
petal to be skidded out behind the
pipework on the track. However, it
was deemed easier and safer to cut
the petal into small pieces and
remove them piecemeal. This
94 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Figure 15 Lattice beam support (from tray above)
foster wheeler.indd 7 11/3/11 14:46:56
allowed the replacement piece to be
landed onto the skid track and
moved close to position prior to
cutting, again helping to reduce the
duration of the turnaround.
As each petal was cut, a precision
survey of the window was
completed and the results incorpo-
rated into the 3D model to assess
any potential ft-up problems. The
survey could not be completed
prior to making the cut, since there
was signifcant defection of the
vessel shell as each section was
removed. It is believed that this
was due to stresses induced into
the shell when the emergency weld
overlay was heavily laid during the
previous turnaround.
The survey work showed how to
get the overall best ft for the petal.
For example, making it perfectly
fush in one corner may lead to an
unacceptable ft at another location.
This careful planning helped to
ensure the right results frst time
with no rework required. The
sequence previously detailed was
closely followed throughout the
turnaround (see Figure 17) with full
support from the mechanical
contractor.
As work progressed sequentially
around the column, vertical welds
were completed in addition to the
circumferential welds. After each
weld had been completed and fully
inspected, it was overlaid internally
up to the start of the cladding aside
each weld seam.
The sections of tray supports that
straddled the weld seams and the
lattice beam footstool on the north
side of the tower were then installed
and appropriate NDT completed.
The lattice beams were bolted
down to the footstools, and the
bracings and hanging supports
removed.
With the work on the shell section
complete, fnal inspection was
completed prior to traying out. The
skid track was removed as a post-
turnaround activity.
Conclusions
The work was completed safely and
on schedule, proving that this
unique method is a feasible option
for the replacement of column
sections, offering substantial cost
Figure 16 Lattice beams brace pieces
Figure 17 Petal G replacement
savings when compared to the
traditional heavy lift/revamp
method.
Solid Edge is a mark of Siemens.
John Payne is Principal Consultant, Static
Equipment, with Foster Wheeler. His experience
in vessel engineering includes a variety of
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 95
refnery projects and specialisation in new FCC
units and turnarounds of existing units. He
leads a small team working on a number of FCC
projects and providing consultancy services to
other Foster Wheeler offces.
Dan Darby is a Senior Technology Engineer
with Foster Wheeler, providing bespoke
engineering solutions to complex problems
using 3D modelling and fnite element
analysis, and is a chartered member of the
Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
foster wheeler.indd 8 10/3/11 14:14:23
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Small-scale gas to liquids
A
ssociated gas and stranded
gas — gas reserves located
far from existing pipeline
infrastructure and markets — are
potentially abundant sources of
energy that are commonly squan-
dered. Rather than being
transported to refneries for process-
ing, stranded gas is often just left
in the ground. Associated gas
produced along with oil is
frequently disposed of by faring —
a wasteful and environmentally
unfriendly process that is increas-
ing subject to regulation — or by
re-injection back into the reservoir
at considerable expense.
According to the World Bank,
5.25 trillion cubic feet (tcf, approxi-
mately 140 billion m
3
) of associated
gas — the equivalent of 27% of US
gas consumption — was fared in
2008. The giant gas fares that light
the night sky in Russia, Nigeria,
Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Kazakhstan,
Libya, Saudi Arabia, Angola and
Qatar are a highly visible reminder
of this waste. A further 12.5 tcf of
gas was re-injected. In addition,
there is thought to be as much as
3000–6000 tcf of “stranded” gas —
unassociated natural gas already
found but without cost-effective
access to the world market and,
therefore, not yet being produced.
1,2

The reason? Cost-effective technolo-
gies for capturing these wasted
resources are not available.
The available options for captur-
ing the value of onshore stranded
gas include liquifying or compress-
ing the gas (to LNG or CNG), then
shipping it in specially designed
tankers. Both have serious draw-
backs at small to medium scales,
particularly in terms of cost. The
Microchannel reactor technology is on trial for the small-scale production of
liquids from stranded gas
Andrew Holwell
Oxford Catalysts Group
economics dictate that new LNG
projects are only economically viable
for producing gas volumes greater
than 500 mcfd over distances of
4200 km (2500 miles) or more.
Although CNG is a good option for
transporting smaller volumes with
throughputs as low as 100 mcfd,
over shorter distances in the range
of 1000–2500 km (600–1500 miles) it
is too expensive to be used when
reserves are more remote.
A third way
For both stranded and associated
gas, gas to liquids (GTL) offers a
potentially attractive alternative.
Like LNG and CNG, GTL densifes
the energy to make it cheaper to
transport. In principle, GTL prod-
ucts can be transported in the
existing petroleum infrastructure.
But in order to work effciently,
GTL plants must be designed to
work on a very large scale.
Conventional GTL technology is
only economically viable for large-
scale plants producing around
30 0000 b/d of liquid fuel and this
requires a very large capital
investment.
This has proved to be a consider-
able barrier to the progress of the
GTL industry. For example,
although several larger-scale plants
have been developed or announced
in recent years, only three have
made it off the drawing board:
• Sasol’s Oryx plant in Qatar was
completed in 2006, but, due to an
extended start-up period, did not
achieve its nameplate production
level of 34 000 b/d until late 2009.
Costs rose from an initial estimate
of $950 million to $1.5 billion
• Chevron’s 34 000 b/d plant at
Escravos in Nigeria will cost an
estimated $6 billion and is expected
to start up in 2013
• Shell’s Pearl GTL plant in Qatar,
the world’s largest GTL project,
with an ultimate capacity of 140 000
b/d and an estimated price tag of
$18–19 billion, is expected to start
up in 2011.
But thanks to advances in the
development of technology for
distributed or small-scale GTL tech-
nology, a much more fexible and
economical option for capturing
associated gas, both on- and
offshore — in the form of modular
GTL technologies — is on the hori-
zon. These systems are designed to
operate effciently and economically
when producing just 500 b/d.
When combined with petroleum
crude, the synthetic crude produced
from associated gas can be stored
on-board or could be transported to
shore along with the produced oil
via existing tankers and pipelines,
eliminating the need for a separate
logistics system to transport the gas
to market. Small-scale GTL could
also prove useful for capturing
shale gas resources now being
exploited in the US.
Shrinking the hardware and scaling
down the cost
The GTL process involves two
operations: steam methane reform-
ing (SMR), to convert natural gas
into a mixture of carbon monoxide
(CO) and hydrogen (H
2
), known as
syngas, followed by Fischer-Tropsch
(FT) synthesis to convert the syngas
into a liquid fuel (see Figure 1). In
SMR, the methane gas is mixed
with steam and passed over a cata-
lyst to produce a syngas consisting
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 97
oxcat.indd 1 10/3/11 14:29:43
of H
2
and CO. The reaction is highly
endothermic, so requires the input
of heat. This can be generated by
the combustion of excess H
2
. The
syngas is then converted into vari-
ous forms of liquid hydrocarbons
via the exothermic (heat-producing)
FT process, using a catalyst at
elevated temperatures.
98 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
For small-scale GTL, the challenge
is to fnd ways to combine and scale
down the size and cost of the SMR
and FT reaction hardware while still
maintaining suffcient capacity. And
for offshore installations, whether
they are drill ships or foating
production storage and offoading
units (FPSOs), the equipment also
needs to be able to withstand high-
intensity wave motion.
Fixed or slurry bed reactors — the
two conventional reactor types
currently used in FT plants — only
function well and economically at
capacities of 30 000/day or higher,
and the technology does not scale
down effciently. However, new
reactor designs, such as micro- and
mini-channel reactors, offer a prac-
tical way forward.
Both types of reactor consist of
compact, modular fxed-bed designs
with process channels that are
much smaller and provide a greater
surface area than conventional FT
reactors. Their small size, lighter
weight and lower profle are advan-
tages in an offshore environment
(see Figure 2).
Mini vs micro
Development of small-scale GTL
depends on fnding ways to inten-
sify the SMR and FT processes. This
relies on developing ways to
enhance heat and mass transfer
properties and increase their
productivity. Since heat transfer is
inversely related to the size of the
channels, reducing the channel
diameter is an effective way of
increasing heat transfer and thus
intensifying the process by enabling
higher throughput. This is the basic
logic behind the approaches being
taken by the two main players
currently working to develop
offshore GTL systems, the UK-
based company CompactGTL plc
and the US company Velocys, a
subsidiary of the UK-based Oxford
Catalysts Group. Although both are
developing integrated SMR/FT
systems and are working on the
basis of the same principles, the
solutions they have come up with
are different.
In essence, both companies are
developing modular solutions that
combine SMR and FR, and both
have found ways to reduce the size
of the hardware. In standard SMR
and FT processes, the reactions are
carried out in 2.5–5cm (1–2in)-diam-
eter tubes or channels. In the
integrated two-stage system being
developed by CompactGTL —
which the company says is designed
to incorporate modules weighing
Steam
reforming
Local
natural gas
Gas
recycle
CO/H
2
H
2
Products
H
2
O
Steam
Synthetic
crude
Fischer
Tropsch
Burner
Natural
gas
Air
Figure 1 GTL fow diagram
SMR DC-201A-C
CA-453
CA-452
CA-253
Pipe rack
and layers
Velocys FTR
1.5m ID x 8m T-T
Conventional FTR
3m
3m
9m 5m
18m
approx.
60m
4m
2m
Cap: after
perpendicular
Figure 2 Profle of an FT microchannel reactor assembly compared to that of a
conventional FT plant
oxcat.indd 2 10/3/11 14:29:52
Main Products
Regeneration of spent catalysts
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Resale of once regenerated catalysts
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Additional Services
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Pilot plant ex-situ activation
Technical support
Storage of catalysts








Tricat GmbH Catalyst Service Bitterfeld
OT Greppin
Tricat-Str. (ChemiePark Areal B-Ost)
06803 Bitterfeld-Wolfen
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Phone: +49 3493 75910
Fax: +49 3493 75999
Internet: www.tricatgroup.de
E-mail: info@tricatgroup.de
Tricat, Inc.
260 Schilling Circle
Hunt Valley, MD 21031
USA
Phone: (410) 785 7900
Fax: (410) 785 7901
Internet: www.tricatgroup.com
E-mail: sales@tricatgroup.com
- TRICAT
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
tricat.indd 1 29/1/10 12:46:05
less than 25 tonnes and producing
200 bbl/day of liquids per module
— the SMR and FT reactions are
carried out in a series of mini-
channels, 1 x 0.5cm (0.39 x 0.20in).
In contrast, the Velocys combined
SMR/FT system for offshore GTL
takes advantage of microchannel
reactor technology to shrink the
hardware and intensify the proc-
esses even further. Here, reactions
take place in microchannels, which
have diameters in the millimetre
range. For example, the microchan-
nel FT reactor system, with a
footprint of just 2.4 x 8m (8 x 25ft),
100 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
has the capacity to produce around
300 b/d. Several FT microchannel
reactors, with footprints of just 0.61
x 0.61cm (24 x 24in) can be
combined, or manifolded, in paral-
lel to increase production volumes.
The small size of the channels
reduces the heat and mass transfer
distances, thus accelerating process
productivity by 10–1000 times. The
enhanced heat transfer properties
offered by microchannel reactors
make this technology ideally suited
to carrying out catalytic reactions
that are either highly endothermic
(such as SMR) or highly exothermic
(such as FT), where heat must be
efficiently transferred across reactor
walls to maintain an optimal and
uniform temperature to achieve the
highest catalytic activity and the
longest catalyst life.
In microchannel SMR reactors,
the heat-generating combustion and
steam methane reforming processes
take place in adjacent channels (see
Figure 3). The high heat transfer
properties of the microchannels
make the process very efficient.
These properties are also used to
intensify the FT process.
The basic building blocks of the
Velocys microchannel FT reactors
consist of reactor blocks containing
parallel arrays of microchannels
filled with FT catalyst interleaved
with water-filled coolant channels
(see Figure 4). Since the reactors are
able to dissipate the heat produced
by the FT reaction much more
quickly than conventional systems, a
more active FT catalyst can be used.
The microchannel FT reactors
take advantage of a highly active
FT catalyst developed by Oxford
Catalysts to accelerate FT reactions
by a factor of 10–15 compared to
conventional reactors. As a result,
the microchannel FT reactors exhibit
conversion efficiencies in the range
of 70% per pass, a significant
improvement over the 50% or less
per pass conversion rates achieved
in conventional FT plants.
Catalyst key
The key to the improved perform-
ance of Oxford Catalysts’ FT
catalyst lies in a patented catalyst
preparation method known as
organic matrix combustion (OMX).
The OMX method combines the
metal salt and an organic component
to make a complex that effectively
stabilises the metal. On calcination,
combustion occurs that fixes the
crystallites at a very small size and
in a very narrow range. Since the
calcination is quick, the metal crys-
tallites do not have time to grow
and hence remain at the ideal size
for these catalytic reactions.
The OMX method produces crys-
tallites of an optimum diameter
range that exhibit a terraced surface.
These are both features that enhance
catalyst activity. OMX also produces
Microchannel process
technology module
Boiling Heat Transfer
10 times higher heat flux
than conventional reactors
High Heat Flux
0.01-0.20”
0.01-0.20”
Figure 3 Schematic of the SMR microchannel reactor
Cross-flow design
Partial boiling water coolant
Process length ≈ 0.6 m
Process microchannels = 40
Coolant length ≈ 0.3 m
Coolant microchannels = 425
Nominal capacity ≈ 7 litres/day
Figure 4 Microchannel reactor schematic
oxcat.indd 3 10/3/11 14:30:02
fewer very small crystallites that could sinter at an early
stage of operation. This results in greater catalyst stabil-
ity. Less stable crystallites tend to deactivate quickly,
reducing the activity of the catalysts.
Technology on trial
Both the CompactGTL and Velocys technologies have
reached the trial stage. According to CompactGTL, the
company entered into a joint development testing agree-
ment in 2006 with the Brazilian state oil company,
Petrobras, to deliver a 20 b/d pilot plant to be tested
onshore at the Petrobras Aracaju site in Brazil. The cost
of the pilot plant construction and testing project is being
funded by Petrobras. The trial was due to begin during
the second half of 2010. Industry reports currently
suggest that although the CompactGTL skid is now in
situ at the Petrobras site in Aracaju, it is not yet operat-
ing, although trials are expected to start soon. However,
a fully integrated pilot plant at the CompactGTL site at
Wilton in Teeside, UK, has been operating continuously
and successfully since mid-2008 and the company expects
its frst commercial plant to begin operation in 2012.
Meanwhile, in March 2010, Velocys entered into a joint
demonstration and testing agreement with offshore facil-
ity developer Modec, global engineering frm Toyo
Engineering and Petrobras, to build and operate a 5–10
b/d microchannel GTL demonstration plant at the
Petrobras facility in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Assembly is complete and the plant is due to be deliv-
ered in Q1 2011. It will be operated for nine months,
starting in Q3 2011. Following a successful demonstra-
tion, it is expected that the frst commercial deployment
will be on an FPSO to mitigate faring of associated gas
resulting from the development of offshore oil felds.
Under the terms of this agreement, the total cost, esti-
mated at several tens of millions of dollars, will be
covered by Toyo Engineering and Modec, while Petrobras
will be responsible for the installation and operating costs
of the demonstration plant. This demonstration plant,
which is designed to accelerate SMR 200-fold and FT
reactions by a factor of 10–15, is expected to be up and
running during 2011.
Conclusions
The signifcant investments in large-scale GTL plants such
as Pearl and Oryx demonstrate belief in the potential for
GTL to establish itself as major technology to capture the
value of large stranded gas deposits. By greatly reducing
the size and cost of chemical processing hardware, micro-
and mini-channel technology has the potential to extend
the use of GTL to capture value from small deposits too,
as well as to eliminate faring or re-injection of associated
gas. The trials being undertaken by CompactGTL and
Velocys suggest that it may well be possible to reap the
advantages of small-scale GTL sooner rather than later.
References
1 http://tinyurl.com/Flare-Gas-Stats
2 http://tinyurl.com/FlareGasRegsWorldBank)
Andrew HolwellisBusinessDevelopmentManageratOxfordCatalystsLtd.
Email: andrew.holwell@oxfordcatalysts.com
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 101
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belco.indd 1 17/3/10 14:33:00
Simulation of a visbreaking unit
T
he visbreaking unit utilises
vacuum residue as a feed and
converts it into fuel oil. In
this study, the visbreaking unit of
Tehran refnery was simulated and
then a parametric sensitivity analy-
sis was carried out. KBC’s Petro-Sim
simulator was used in this study.
Initially, the simulator was vali-
dated using actual plant test runs
and, after tuning, the simulations
provided errors of less than 3%.
Using the validated simulator, the
sensitivity of the yield of fuel oil,
gasoline and fuel oil viscosity to
variations in furnace temperature
(reaction temperature) was investi-
gated. The validated simulator can
be used to optimise the unit’s oper-
ating conditions, to obtain the
required product specifcations or
to study possible changes in the
feed conditions, such as the use of
diluents.
Visbreaking is a non-catalytic
thermal process that converts atmos-
pheric or vacuum residues via
thermal cracking to gas, naphtha,
distillates and visbroken residue.
Atmospheric and vacuum residues
are typically charged to a visbreaker
to reduce fuel oil viscosity and
increase the distillate yield in the
refnery. The process will typically
achieve conversion to gas, gasoline
and distillates of 10–50%, depending
on the severity and feedstock char-
acteristics. Visbreaking reduces the
quantity of cutter stock required to
meet the fuel oil specifcations and,
depending upon the sulphur specif-
cations, can decrease fuel oil
production by 20%. Additionally,
this process can be attractive when
it comes to producing feedstock for
catalytic cracking plants.
1
The
Simulation of a commercial visbreaking unit supports optimisation of
the unit’s performance
S Reza Seif Mohaddecy, SepehR Sadighi, oMid ghabuli and Mahdi RaShidzadeh
Research Institute of Petroleum Industry
process severity is controlled by the
interchangeable operational varia-
bles (being essentially a frst-order
reaction) such as temperature and
residence time.
2
There are two types of commer-
cial visbreaking units: the coil or
furnace type
3
and the soaker
process. The coil visbreaker is oper-
ated at high temperatures
(885–930°F, 473–500°C) and low
residence times (one to three
minutes), while in a soaker unit, by
adding an adiabatic drum after the
coil furnace, the product is held for
a longer time so that the coil is kept
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 103
Furnace
Feed
480ºC
Quench
Fractionator
Gas oil
stripper
Overhead
drum
Gas
Gasoline
Gas oil
Visbroken
residue
CW
figure 1 Coil visbreaker
Furnace
Soaker
drum
Feed
450ºC
Quench
Fractionator
Gas oil
stripper
Overhead
drum
Gas
Gasoline
Gas oil
Visbroken
residue
CW
430ºC
figure 2 Soaker visbreaker
ripi.indd 1 10/3/11 14:34:38
at a relatively lower temperature
(800–830°F, 427–443°C). Therefore,
the heater duty and, in turn, the
fuel consumption is only 70% of
that for the coil visbreaking proc-
ess.
4
Worldwide, about 200
visbreaking units are in operation,
and Europe alone accounts for
about 55% of the total visbreaking
capacity.
4
Process fows of coil and
soaker units are shown in Figures 1
and 2.
The product yields and properties
are similar, but the soaker opera-
tion, with its lower furnace outlet
temperatures, has the advantages of
104 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
lower energy consumption and
longer run times before having to
shut down to remove coke from the
furnace tubes. Run times of 3–6
months are common for furnace
visbreakers, and 6–18 months is
usual for soaker visbreakers. This
apparent advantage for soaker
visbreakers is at least partially
balanced by the greater diffculty
encountered in cleaning the soaking
drum.
5
To effectively design and perfect
the control of any process, a simu-
lation of the process is needed to
predict product yields and qualities
against variables such as space
velocity and temperature. The aim
of this research was to develop a
simple yield predictor model,
according to a process simulation,
to predict the products with the
highest added value — gas, LPG,
gasoline, diesel and visbroken fuel
oil — in a commercial soaker unit.
The main advantage of this work is
the investigation of the infuence of
operating conditions on the yield of
products such as LPG and gasoline.
The soaker visbreaking unit of the
Tehran refnery has been simulated,
and the effects of operating varia-
bles on the yield and quality of
products have been studied.
Process description
The vacuum residuum, which is
stored in two tanks at 93°C, is
charged to the unit. It picks up heat
from the partly cooled product in
the cold charge heat exchanger and
accumulates in the charge surge
drum. The charge from the surge
drum splits and goes through two
parallel coils of the heater. The fow
through each coil is on fow control.
In the hip section of each coil is a
steam injection point. The visbreak-
ing furnace is constructed in
two sections, which are fred
independently.
After the coil furnace, the two hot
streams converge in a transfer line,
then the mixed product is fed into
the soaker drum. A quench stream
of cooled product is added on fow
control, and the combined stream
enters the fash section of the fash
fractionators. In the fash section,
operating at 80 psig pressure, much
of the gas, gasoline and distillate
Variable Value
Number of tubes 128
Number of convection tubes 76
Number of radiation tubes 52
Tube length, m 18.745
Outside diameter, m 0.114
Specifcations of the coil of the
visbreaking unit
Table 1
Variable Value
Outside diameter, m 2.405
Length, m 16.5
Specifcations of the soaker of the
visbreaking unit
Table 2
Variable Value
Feed rate, kg/hr 13 2500
Feed density, kg/m
3
1006
Feet temperature, °C 93
Feed pressure, bar 11.89
Distillation analysis (ASTM D1160)
IBP, °C 203
5 vol%, °C 409
10 vol%, °C 457
20 vol%, °C 503
30 vol%, °C 543
50 vol%, °C 585
Nitrogen content, wt% 0.4
Sulphur content, wt% 3.19
Asphaltic content, wt% 5.1
Kinematic viscosity (100°C), cSt 430
Nickel content, ppm 53
Vanadium content, ppm 135
Specifcations of the feed
Table 3
Furnace Soaker
S
t
r
i
p
p
e
r
S
t
a
b
i
l
i
s
e
r
F
r
a
c
t
i
o
n
a
t
o
r
Feed
Steam
Light
gas
Light gas
LPG
Tar
Gasoline
Figure 3 Block fow diagram of visbreaking process
Worldwide, about
200 visbreaking units
are in operation,
and Europe alone
accounts for about
55% of the total
visbreaking capacity
ripi.indd 2 10/3/11 14:34:49
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dnv.indd 1 10/3/11 11:36:16
formed during the cracking process
fashes off. To split some of the
light gas content in the fuel oil and
gasoline products, stripper and
stabiliser columns are used. A
simplifed process fow diagram of
this confguration is shown in
Figure 3.
The specifcations of the coil and
the soaker drum at the Tehran
refnery are shown in Tables 1 and
2. The output product from the
soaker drum is quenched by the
cooled product to prevent more
106 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
cracking reactions after the soaker
and so inhibit coke formation. The
combined stream is transferred to
the fractionation tower and side
strippers to separate the visbreak-
ing products.
Process simulation and validation
Petro-Sim can simulate catalytic
and non-catalytic processes on an
industrial scale.
6
It can simulate a
visbreaking unit with or without a
soaker drum and, in this study, it
was used for the simulation and
sensitivity analysis of the Tehran
refnery’s visbreaking unit.
The soaker-visbreaker unit was
simulated as a case study (see
Figure 4). This unit was designed to
visbreak 20 000 b/d of a mixture of
Table 6
Variable Value
Inlet temperature, °C 345.8
Outlet temperature, °C 440.5
Inlet pressure, bar 7
Outlet pressure, bar 31
Number of tubes 128
Number of tubes (convection zone) 76
Number of tubes (radiation zone) 52
Specifcations of the furnace
Table 4
Variable Value
Rate, kg/hr 150
Temperature, °C 316
Pressure, bar 44.82
Specifcations of the injected steam
Table 5
Variable Value
Flow rate, barrel/day 901
Density 0.001
Composition
Methane, vol% 36.9
Ethane, vol% 24.38
Propane, vol% 20.56
Isobutene, vol% 4.94
n-butane, vol% 5.03
Isopentane, vol% 0.77
n-pentane, vol% 0.52
Hydrogen sulphide, vol% 6.91
Specifcations of gas production
Variable Value
Flow rate, barrel/day 1222
Density 0.744
Sulphur, wt% 3.4
Distillation analysis (ASTM D86)
IBP, °C 48
5 vol%, °C 67
10 vol%, °C 76
30 vol%, °C 110
50 vol%, °C 141
70 vol%, °C 163
90 vol%, °C 184
95 vol%, °C 190
FBP, °C 201
Specifcations of gasoline production
Table 7
Variable Value
Flow rate, barrel/day 18180
Density 0.9995
Distillation analysis (ASTM D1160)
IBP, °C 452
5 vol%, °C 502
10 vol%, °C 528
20 vol%, °C 559
30 vol%, °C 584
Sulphur content, wt% 3.4
Asphaltic content, wt% 8.3
Kinematic viscosity (100°C), cSt 80
Nickel content, wt% 0.004
Vanadium content, wt% 0.0153
Specifcations of fuel oil production
Table 8
VB
Feed
VB
steam 1
Fractionator
V-302
Furnace
301A
VB
steam 2
Fuel
oil
Water
To Visbreaker
heater
Furnace
301B
E301 E302
E306
Steam
C
1
C
2
Off
gas
LPG
Gasoline
Stripper
V-303
Stabiliser
V-306
R
R
Figure 4 Simulation of visbreaking unit at Tehran refnery
ripi.indd 3 10/3/11 14:35:00
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as a cutter blend with the fuel oil.
A comparison of operating data
from the Tehran refnery and from
the simulation runs was made to
evaluate the simulation of the
visbreaking unit (see Tables 9 and
10). These results confrmed the
ability of a simulation to predict the
desired outputs.

Infuence of furnace outlet
temperature on product fows
The effect of increasing the furnace
outlet temperature on the fow rates
of products at a constant inlet feed
rate (132 500 kg/hr) and operating
conditions was investigated.
According to the results of this
exercise (see Figures 5 and 6),
increasing the furnace outlet
temperature leads to a decrease in
the rate of production of fuel oil
and an increase in the rate of gaso-
line production.
The effect of increasing the
furnace outlet temperature on the
viscosity of fuel oil was also inves-
tigated and the results are shown in
Figure 7.
Conclusion
Operating data from the Tehran
refnery’s visbreaking unit was
gathered to calibrate a simulation
of the unit in Petro-Sim. Following
confrmation of the results of the
simulation, the effect of increasing
108 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
vacuum residuum and slop vacuum
gas oil, which are both taken from
the vacuum tower. The composition
of the fresh feed can vary slightly
with time from start of run to end
of run.
To prepare a simulation of the
visbreaking unit, data were gath-
ered during a test run of the Tehran
unit. The data are shown in Tables
3–8.
As Figure 4 shows, off-gases
including C
1
and C
2
, as well as
LPG, gasoline and tar are the
output streams from the visbreak-
ing plant. It is possible to take the
gas oil product from the stripper
tower, but it is usually blocked so
that the gas oil can be mixed
Variable Simulation Actual
Rate, barrel/day 887.8 901
Hydrogen sulphide, vol% 6.57 6.91
Comparison of gas product between
actual data and simulation results
Table 9
Variable Simulation Actual
Rate, barrel/day 1230 1222
Hydrogen sulphide, vol% 3.322 3.4
Comparison of gasoline product between
actual data and simulation results
Table 10
Variable Simulation Actual
Rate, barrel/day 18 190 18 180
Hydrogen sulphide, vol% 3.1 3.4
Kinetic viscosity
(100°C), cSt 80.23 79
Comparison of fuel oil product between
actual data and simulation results
Table 11
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ripi.indd 4 11/3/11 14:48:08
the furnace outlet temperature on
the rate of production of fuel oil
and gasoline, and on fuel oil viscos-
ity, was investigated. A sensitivity
analysis for these values showed
that increasing the furnace tempera-
ture leads to an increase in the
gasoline production rate and a
decrease in the fuel oil’s production
rate and viscosity. These results and
other constraints, such as product
quality and furnace operating
temperature, can be used to opti-
mise the unit.
Since the simulation showed high
accuracy when compared with real
operating data, the results of an
optimisation based on variations in
operating conditions and feed have
proved to be practical and
acceptable.
References
1 Benito A M, Martinez M T, Fernandez I,
MirandaJL,Visbreakingofanasphalteniccoal
residue,Fuel,74,1995.
2 Kataria K L, Kulkarni R P, Pandit A B, Joshi
J B, Kumar M, Kinetic studies of low severity
visbreaking,Ind. Eng. Chem. Res.,43,2004.
3 Wiehe I A, Process Chemistry of Petroleum
Macromolecules,CRCPress,2008.
4 JoshiJB,PanditAB,KatariaKL,KulkarniRP,
SawarkarAN,Petroleumresidueupgradingvia
visbreaking: a review, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 47,
2008.
5 Upgrading Process of Heavy Oil, JCCP
TechnicalTrainingCourse,Jun2005.
6 Petro-Sim User Guide, KBC Advanced
Technologies,KBCProfmatic.
S Reza Seif Mohaddecy isaSeniorResearcher
in the Catalytic Reaction Engineering
Department at the Catalyst Research Centre,
ResearchInstituteofPetroleumIndustry(RIPI),
Tehran,Iran.Email: Seifsr @ ripi.ir
Sepehr Sadighi worksintheFacultyofChemical
andNaturalResourcesEngineering,University
ofTechnology,JohorBahru,Malaysia.
Omid Ghabuli is a Senior Researcher in the
Catalyst Synthesis Department, Catalyst
ResearchCentre,RIPI.
Mahdi Rashidzadeh is Head of the Catalyst
ResearchCenter,RIPI.
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 109
18 300
18 500
18 400
18 200
18 100
814 816 818 820 822 824 826
d
p
b

,
e
t
a
r

w
o
l
F

Temp, ºF
18 000
Figure 5 Sensitivityofproducedfueloilvsthefurnaceoutlettemperature
1200
1300
1100
814 816 818 820 822 824 826

F
l
o
w

r
a
t
e
,

b
p
d
Temp, ºF
1000
Figure 6 Sensitivityofproducedgasolinevsfurnaceoutlettemperature
79.85
80.05
79.95
79.75
79.65
79.80
80.00
79.90
79.70
79.60
814 816 818 820 822 824 826

V
i
s
c
o
s
i
t
y
,

c
S
t
Temp, ºF
79.55
Figure 7 Sensitivityoffueloilviscosityvsfurnaceoutlettemperature
The simulation
showed high accuracy
when compared with
real operating data
ripi.indd 5 10/3/11 14:35:21
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Modelling for ULSD optimisation
T
he Chevron Pembroke oil
refnery is a complex and
large (220 000 b/d) processing
site. This case study examines the
improvements achieved by a project
with a high return on investment,
which resulted in better operation
of the process units involved in
middle distillate production and
higher ultra low-sulphur diesel
(ULSD) output. This article describes
how as much as a 10% increase in
middle distillate production can be
achieved essentially without invest-
ment in process units or equipment,
mainly through the upgrading of
cracked feeds, higher average distil-
late cut points, optimisation of the
process unit and diesel rundown
blending. These signifcant improve-
ments, which are estimated at $10
million per year (minimum), have
been realised through a team effort
involving various departments of
the Pembroke refnery, in particular
the following groups of people:
• Operations organisation, includ-
ing white oils, black oils and
cracking
• Planning and scheduling teams
• Process engineering group
• Control and information system
department, where the process
control team resides
• Apex Optimisation, supplier of
medium-term closed loop optimisa-
tion technology.
The Pembroke refnery blends
middle distillates directly from the
process unit to hydrotreaters. The
day-to-day operation of the two
downstream hydrotreating units
(HTUs) is challenging as through-
put has to be maximised subject to
a variety of process constraints and
the availability of the various feed
On-line coordination and optimisation of refnery process units led to a 10%
increase in middle distillate production
Klas Dahlgren Apex Optimisation/Dynaproc
an rigDen Chevron henriK TernDrup Apex Optimisation
components, which include kero-
sene, several straight-run gas oil
streams and FCC product streams
such as HHCN and light cycle gas
oil (LCGO). The decision-making
process for these blends involves
several refnery areas and console
operators in different control rooms
across the site.
Hence, as part of the improve-
ment programme, a new large-scale,
multi-unit coordination tool
(GDOT) was implemented. The
GDOT software supplied by Apex
Optimisation is used within
Chevron Pembroke for medium-
term optimisation problems. This
system, which is basically an on-
line refnery linear programming
(LP) model, runs in closed loop and
has been in service since late 2006
at Pembroke with essentially 100%
utilisation even during signifcant
changes in crude slates.
This article describes the issues,
challenges and constraints that the
Pembroke refnery faces when
ULSD becomes the most valuable
product most of the time.
Like many other ULSD-producing
refneries, the Pembroke site blends
middle distillates directly from the
process unit rundown lines prior to
hydrotreating. The main advantages
of this approach, compared to a
conventional batch blending system,
are lower tank storage and
manpower requirements, and the
swing cuts of the upstream process
unit can be optimised in real-time
to operate the hydrotreaters at
multiple ULSD quality constraints.
However, the rundown blending
approach also results in a more
challenging day-to-day operation of
the downstream HTUs, especially if
the throughput is to be maximised
subject to a variety of process
constraints, taking into account the
availability of the various feed
components.
The Pembroke diesel system has
two HTUs, HTU1 and HTU2, which
are fed by a rundown blending
header. The confguration of the
Pembroke refnery diesel system is
shown in Figure 1.
The operations department with
the console operators is organised
into three areas: black oils (crude
and vacuum distillation), white oils
(hydrotreaters and naphtha process-
ing) and the cracking area.
Traditionally, the scheduling
department advises the area opera-
tors, through a daily schedule, on
how to set diesel blending compo-
nent fow rates and middle distillate
component cut points from the
crude and vacuum distillation units.
Now, using the medium-term opti-
misation tool, the coordination of
the units is done automatically on-
line and, instead of fxing diesel
component fow rates, the scheduler
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 111
Day-to-day
operation of the two
downstream hTus
is challenging as
throughput has to be
maximised subject to
a variety of process
constraints
dynaproc.indd 1 10/3/11 14:41:33
specifes the product specifcations
and the key swing cut points to be
optimised by the system.
Maximising ULSD production
Feed quality management is one of
the keys to maximising the perform-
ance of a HTU, subject to
constraints. A highly constrained
HTU can be very sensitive to incre-
mental changes in the individual
component fows of the feedstock.
Therefore, the challenge is not just
to push the rate through the unit to
the maximum, but to establish the
optimum blend that enables
throughput to be maximised subject
to product quality constraints. A
different feedstock composition will
signifcantly change the hydrot-
reater operation, which will have
an impact on the maximum possi-
ble feed rate dictated by unit
112 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
constraints. The following list high-
lights some of the diffculties with
feedstock components and
constraints observed at the
Pembroke refnery’s HTUs
• Maximisation of cracked feed (eg,
LCGO) results in higher reactor
temperatures and high hydrogen
consumption
• Maximisation of kerosene and
light cracked feeds results in
constraints on the operation of the
product stripper columns. In the
past, this has caused operational
problems, including a positive
doctor test requiring costly diesel
reprocessing, which led operations
to put conservative limits on the
throughput of the unit
• Maximisation of heavy feedstock,
such as the back end swing cuts
from the crude and vacuum
distillation units, requires high reac-
tor temperatures to meet the
sulphur specifcation, which aggra-
vates HTU heater constraints.
There are essentially 18 variables
available to control the production
rates and the qualities of the three
middle distillate products of the
refnery: kerosene, diesel and gas
oil. During the winter period, it is
typically best to run at minimum
fash points on all three products
and at maximum cloud points on
gas oil and diesel, while also meet-
ing production rate targets on one
or two of the three streams. In the
summer period, the 95% point or
density typically replace the cloud
point as the back end constraint on
the diesel.
The sulphur content is controlled
within the diesel hydrotreater, but
other diesel qualities such as
density, cloud point, fash point
HTU 1
ULSD
HTU 2
ULSD
FCCU
Gasoil import
Gasoil export
HCCN
LCGO
VBD
VBU
VGO
VD
HGO (HD)
LGO (LD)
Kero
Naphtha
CDU
Vacuum unit
Figure 1 Pembroke refnery diesel system
dynaproc.indd 2 10/3/11 14:41:44
and distillation must be controlled
upstream of the hydrotreater; that
is, by the side stream cuts and the
feed blends.
Given that both HTUs are heavily
constrained, there is a strong incen-
tive to utilise all available
hydrotreater capacity and to avoid
reprocessing as a result of off-spec
production. Hence, the optimum
operating strategy for the diesel
system can typically be summarised
as follows:
• Always keep diesel production
on grade with minimum giveaway
• Fill the hydrotreater capacities
with available feedstock subject to
constraints
• Maximise cracked feed over
straight-run middle distillate
• Maximise heavy feed components
over lighter components.
Operator training and
coordination issues
One of the important challenges is
to train the CDU, cracking and
VDU operators so that they are
more aware of the operating objec-
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 113
tives and constraints of downstream
units when making moves on their
units. In large and complex refiner-
ies, operators traditionally control
to the targets that have been speci-
fied for their particular unit and are
not necessarily aware of operational
constraints on downstream units
and any opportunities to minimise
giveaway on the product rundown
lines.
The training required for console
operators is mainly related to an
understanding of the concept of on-
line coordination of multiple
process units, intermediate product
flow rates and quality targets. The
GDOT tool can significantly
improve this decision-making proc-
ess, making sure that the upstream
units are optimised in a coordinated
manner and keeping all units
within acceptable operating ranges.
This enables the operators to work
better together and achieve an
improved overall performance of
the refinery.
Chevron has selected the GDOT
64 000
68 000
66 000
62 000
60 000
58 000
56 000
54 000
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 20l0
52 000
Figure 2 Diesel production from HTU1 and HTU2, barrels per stream day
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
3225 Gallows Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22037-0001, USA
www.exxonmobil.com/refningtechnologies
+1-703-846-2568 • fax +1-703-846-3872
tsl.email@exxonmobil.com
DTS
TM
, STS
TM
and SBX
TM
· Eliminates Tube Chatter
· Suitable for U-bend and Vertical Bundles
· HTRÌ Software (Xvib
®
) Now Ìncludes
DTS
TM
/STS
TM
Modeling Options
· Licensed to a Select Number of Qualified
Heat Exchanger Manufacturers for
Applications Worldwide
· Successfully Used at Many ExxonMobil
and Third Party Sites
· ExxonMobil Research and Engineering
Company Proprietary Technology
Heat Exchanger
Anti-Vibration
Technologies
dynaproc.indd 3 10/3/11 14:41:54
it was decided to let the four
console operators use the interface
of the 12 MPC controllers (based on
Aspen DMCplus) instead. Also,
GDOT has been confgured to track
the status and the limits of the MPC
variables. By using the existing
interface, operators did not need to
be retrained, resulting in a smoother
transition and faster operator
acceptance. However, the user
interfaces of the individual MPC
controllers will obviously not give
the complete picture of a current
optimised solution for the entire
diesel production system. Hence,
customised database displays have
been made available to operations
and production planning staff.
Robustness and maintenance
What maintenance effort is required
for an advanced dynamic coordina-
tion system like GDOT? Our
experience has been that once
commissioned, it is important to
allow some time for fne-tuning of
the system for different operational
scenarios, some of which may not
have been considered in the origi-
nal design. Also, during the
transition phase, where a team
effort is required to use the system
to gradually move the operation
towards the global optimum, addi-
tional training, discussions and
possibly further adjustments may
be required. After that, however,
the installation requires almost no
maintenance.
Project execution
Process data and models available
from the existing MPC systems
were suffcient to develop most of
the models required for GDOT.
This meant that the project was able
to proceed with minimum impact
on the refnery’s operation. The
preparatory site work included the
installation and confguration of a
server on the process control
network.
The building of the GDOT model
is typically done by the vendor
(Apex Optimisation) in their offces,
following a two-week kick off meet-
ing and information-gathering visit,
including interviews with refnery
departments such as operations,
planning and process engineering.
The second visit is typically dedi-
cated to the software installation
and the loading of the model and
optimiser, which is then typically
put on-line in an advisory (open
loop) mode. The following visits
thereafter are dedicated to closed
commissioning and fne-tuning.
During the frst year of system
operation in closed loop, follow-up
visits and remote monitoring are
performed to make sure the
114 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
tool for coordination of production
areas such as the diesel system. It is
important to note that the system
does not require any specialised
staff and is maintained by the
same process control engineers who
are responsible for the multi-
variable predictive control (MPC)
applications.
GDOT provides an on-line
console interface for engineers and
operators. For this project, however,
42
42.5
41.5
41
40.5
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
40
Figure 3 Kero fash point,°C
0.845
0.850
0.840
0.835
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Figure 4 Final tank density
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350
340
330
320
310
300
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Figure 5 Tank 95% distillation, °C
Spec change to EU ULSD only
Spec
Spec
dynaproc.indd 4 10/3/11 14:42:04
High pressure. Extreme temperatures. volatile products. lt's all part of the job in
hydrocarbon processing. But so is the goal of maximizing safety integrity. We make
the process more secure with our innovative valves and controls, which is why the
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for further information
c wright.indd 1 13/9/10 12:33:58
optimiser is performing at its best
under all common constraint
scenarios and for the typical operat-
ing strategies, such as different
modes of operation.
Post-audit results
The key objective of this project
was to optimise the middle distil-
late cut-points, the uplift of cracked
feed and the middle distillate
blending to achieve a higher yield
of ULSD and gas oil sale. It should
be recognised that the entire
Pembroke organisation has contrib-
uted to the signifcant improvement
in the operation of the refnery.
GDOT is merely a tool that the
organisation is using to consistently
implement a more proftable oper-
ating strategy. Figures 2 and 3,
which show data from 2004 to 2010,
should give an understanding of
the improvements achieved.
116 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
Analysing quality data from the
fnal diesel shipment indicates how
well the system and organisation
perform over a longer period. It is
important when analysing long-term
data to consider signifcant product
specifcation changes. One of those
changes was in 2006 when UK ULSD
was changed to EU ULSD 0.845
density specifcation. Figures 4–7
show the fnal quality improvements
for ULSD diesel sold to customers.
The change in specifcation from
UK ULSD to EU ULSD involved an
improvement in sulphur of 1 ppm.
This might not sound much, but at
this level it is equivalent to a change
of 4°C on average reactor bed
temperature and signifcantly
increases catalyst lifespan.
Conclusions
The diesel production improvement
project has been a success, with
overall benefts valued at $10
million, including a large increase
in diesel production. The hard work
of many people from various areas
of the Pembroke refnery has
contributed signifcantly to this
success.
The main beneft of the GDOT
system is that it allows operational
instructions and strategies to be
consistently implemented, minute
by minute, day and night, driving
the units towards more proftable
operation and improving the
competitive position of the refnery.
The system deals with daily opera-
tional issues. The GDOT modelling
approach, using dynamic non-linear
models, is capable of adapting to all
expected and unexpected operating
scenarios and has proven to be very
robust. Uptime statistics are
excellent.
The ULSD improvements project
did not require any major unit
upgrades or revamps and took nine
months from start to fnish. The
payback for this improvement
project was achieved in a few
weeks. Another conclusion from
this project is that multi-unit coor-
dination systems should be
considered as one of the next
logical steps for a refnery to
improve operation further with an
existing confguration.
Klas Dahlgren is a Principal Control and
Advanced Dynamic Optimisation consultant
with Apex Optimisation, Aberdeen, UK. He has
25 years’ experience of day-to-day process
industry operations, implementing advanced
control and optimisation system solutions.
Email: klas.dahlgren@apex-opt.com
An Rigden is Process Control Team Leader at
Chevron Pembroke refnery, UK. She joined
the control group seven years ago, having
previously worked mainly in business planning
and refnery optimisation, and has more than
10 years’ experience with linear programming
models. She has master’s degrees in chemical
engineering and engineering management and
is a chartered engineer and member of the
Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Email: rigdeta@chevron.com
Henrik Terndrup is a Principal Consultant with
Apex Optimisation, with more than 25 years’
experience in the operation and optimisation
of industrial plants, including applications of
advanced dynamic optimisation.
Email: henrik.terndrup@apex-opt.com


–4
0
–2
–6
–8
–10
–12
–14
–16
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Figure 6 Final tank cloud point
30
25
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Figure 7 Final tank sulphur, ppm
Winter
spec
Spec
7 ppm
dynaproc.indd 5 11/3/11 14:49:03
NPRA 2011 Conference Schedule
Join colleagues and customers at
NPRA’s industry-leading conferences.
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InterContinental Hotel
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National Safety
Conference and Exhibition
May 10–11
Omni Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX
Labor Relations/Human
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May 25–26
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Denver, CO
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Q&A and Technology
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Environmental
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October 24–25
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International Lubricants
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November 10–11
Hilton Post Oak
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Annual Meeting
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International Petrochemical Conference
March 27–29 « Grand Hyatt « San Antonio, TX
Public Policy Conference
May 5–6
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npra.indd 1 4/2/11 12:21:49
Catalyst development is key to increasing plant efficiency and
maintaining profit margins. The Global Catalyst Technology
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epc.indd 1 10/3/11 11:45:44
A liquefaction and shipping site for LNG has automated
its allocation of hydrocarbons to multiple customers. By
replacing a chiefy manual approach to hydrocarbon
allocation Atlantic LNG, based in Trinidad & Tobago,
has increased the speed and fexibility of a complex
change management task. Atlantic has installed an
application from EnergySys to automate its hydrocarbon
allocation processes for four LNG trains more effciently
and fexibly. The new approach is also said to provide a
detailed audit trail in support of a process that involves
multimillion-dollar decisions daily.
One of the largest LNG liquefaction plants in the
world, Atlantic purchases gas from suppliers and sells
freight on board to customers from three of four lique-
faction trains at its Point Fortin site, and supplies LNG
on contract to buyers that are subsidiaries of BP, BG,
Repsol YPF and GDF Suez.
The liquefaction trains are owned separately, but a
joint use and operating agreement among owners
allows them to be run in combination, sharing common
assets and costs. The company’s total production
capacity is 15 million t/y, employing an improved
version of the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade
Process. Plate-fn heat exchangers support the cooling
process, with propane, ethylene and methane used as
refrigerants. GE Frame 5D gas turbine drives are
employed and parallel compressor units are used for
two-train reliability within the single-train design.
Atlantic LNG is the largest supplier of LNG to the US.
The hydrocarbon allocation team at Atlantic had
previously used a manual approach, which took
several hours to complete and relied on data entry to
move information between systems. EnergySys applied
an automated system based on its hydrocarbon alloca-
tion system. All metering data is automatically
extracted and loaded into the application, where it is
processed based on custom business rules and reports
that are generated automatically.
Atlantic wanted spreadsheets for encoding its busi-
ness rules and for reporting, and was reluctant to adopt
a hard-coded system that could not easily be main-
tained by its commercial team. Using a spreadsheet
Reduce gasoline cutpoint
Venturi steam traps solve condensate
pressure problem
engine and reporting tools that are integral to the basic
application, Atlantic can review and modify the busi-
ness rules that are used to produce reports without
specialist programming knowledge while still following
a detailed change control process.
The new system automatically creates statements that
allocate hydrocarbons to each gas supply contract and
sends them by email to the fnance department to
attach pricing information. The new approach enables
segregation of duties between the commercial and
fnance teams.
Changes in local legislation, in line with an EU direc-
tive on cogeneration, have led Galp Energia to upgrade
one of Portugal’s largest cogeneration sites, serving its
Matosinhos refnery. The upgraded plant will also
supply Portugal’s power grid. In line with the move,
GE has supplied two Frame 6B gas turbines for the
Matosinhos cogeneration plant near Porto. Replacing
older oil-fred technology at the site, the gas turbines
will increase the plant’s effciency and reduce its envi-
ronmental impact in line with the Portuguese
Government’s regulation to promote effciency and
reduce CO
2
emissions.
The Frame 6B gas turbines are expected to provide
all of the steam requirements for the nearby refnery.
The Matosinhos cogeneration turnkey project is being
developed for Galp Energia by the consortium
Ensulmeci-Efacec Cogeraçao do Porto, ACE, formed by
two of the major Portuguese engineering, procurement
and construction companies.
The modernisation of Galp Energia’s refneries
supports growing interest in Portugal to implement
cogeneration as a more effcient, cleaner way to
produce electricity and meet process steam needs.
According to the refner, the use of 6B technology at
the Matosinhos plant will enable it to avoid emissions
of over 400 000 t/y of CO
2
.
The new gas turbines are the third and fourth GE 6B
gas turbines selected by Galp Energia to modernise
power and steam production for its refneries in
Portugal. The frst two 6B machines were installed at a
cogeneration plant that supports the Sines petrochemi-
cal industrial park. Both the Sines and Matosinhos
cogeneration plants have power capacities of 80 MW
e
.
Scope of supply for the Matosinhos project also
includes gas turbine auxiliary equipment, technical
advisory and training services, during construction and
commissioning. A contractual service agreement also
has been signed, providing for ongoing maintenance of
the GE gas turbines.
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 119
Technology in Action
Gas turbines raise cogeneration
effciency

LNG site automates hydrocarbon
allocation
The new approach enables
segregation of duties between the
commercial and fnance teams
case studies copy 2.indd 1 10/3/11 15:04:47
All change for BP’s US refning
BP is to restructure its refning and
marketing business in the US and
divest two of its local refneries. It
intends to seek buyers for the Texas
City refnery and the Carson refn-
ery near Los Angeles, California,
together with its associated inte-
grated marketing business in
southern California, Arizona and
Nevada. Subject to regulatory and
other approvals, BP plans to
complete the sales by the end of
2012, halving its US refning
capacity.
The company says it plans to
focus future downstream invest-
ment in the US on further
improving and upgrading its other,
more refning and marketing
networks in the country, based
around the Whiting, Indiana, and
Cherry Point, Washington, refner-
ies and its 50% interest in the
Toledo, Ohio, refnery. According to
the company, these refneries have
greater fexibility to refne a range
of crude oils, including heavy
grades, and on average are more
capable of diesel production.
BP says it intends to sell both the
Texas City and Carson refneries
with its marketing network as
going concerns and expects signif-
cant interest in them. The sales will
be subject to regulatory and other
approvals.
The Carson refnery is the heart
of an integrated fuels chain, cover-
ing southern California, Arizona
and Nevada. The refnery has
265 000 b/d refning capacity and
supplies some 25% of the gasoline
demand in Los Angeles. It became
part of BP through the 2000 acquisi-
tion of ARCO, and employs 1200
staff and 500 contractors.
The assets associated with the
Carson refnery include BP’s inter-
ests in a cogeneration plant on the
refnery site, crude and product
terminals, as well as marketing
interests. As part of this sale, BP
expects to divest the ARCO brand
(although retaining brand rights for
P
northern California, Oregon and
Washington) and to retain owner-
ship of and license the ampm brand.
The Texas City refnery became
part of BP with the 1998 merger
with Amoco. It is a complex refn-
ery with 475 000 b/d refning
capacity, the third biggest refnery
in the US, with gasoline manufac-
turing capability equivalent to
approximately 3% of US produc-
tion. The refnery employs 2200
staff, and numbers of contractors
can vary between 2000 and 4000.
During the last few years, over $1
billion has been invested in moder-
nising and improving the plant.
However, Texas City lacks integra-
tion into its marketing operations,
says BP. The assets to be sold off
associated with the sale of Texas
City also include the cogeneration
plant. BP intends to keep the Texas
City Chemicals complex adjoining
the refnery.
BP is currently in the process of
carrying out a number of invest-
ments in its other US refneries,
including a programme to transform
its 405 000 b/d capacity Whiting
refnery, increasing its capability to
process heavy Canadian crude; a
clean diesel upgrading project at its
240 000 b/d Cherry Point refnery;
and the addition of a continuous
catalytic reformer to its 160 000 b/d
capacity Toledo refnery, a joint
venture with Husky Energy.
Benzene reduction start-up
Valero has successfully started up
advanced reformate splitters at
three of its US refneries. The three
Mobile Source Air Toxic (MSAT) II
Benzene Concentration Units —
located at Valero’s Port Arthur and
Sunray, Texas, and Memphis,
Tennessee, refneries — incorporate
KBR’s advanced reformate splitter
Dividing Wall Column (DWC)
tower designs. A fourth unit is
located at Valero’s St Charles refn-
ery in Norco, Louisiana, and will be
commissioned later this year.
The units are designed to
Industry News
concentrate and remove benzene
from gasoline streams to meet US
regulations limiting the benzene
content of gasoline. The concept
was developed by Valero, while the
DWC towers were designed and
optimised by KBR for each project
and have enabled Valero to meet
their regulatory requirements.
KBR has been awarded a contract
by Saudi Aramco to provide front-
end engineering and design (FEED)
and project management services
(PMS) for its grassroots Jazan refn-
ery, a 400 000 b/d facility to be
located in Jazan, Saudi Arabia.
KBR will provide FEED and PMS
services to develop the process
design, layout, integration and opti-
misation of the facility, develop
equipment and material specifca-
tions, prepare EPC bid packages
and develop an estimate for the
construction of the refnery. KBR
will also assist Saudi Aramco in
overseeing, managing and directing
the work-related activities for all
phases of the Jazan Refnery and
Marine Terminal Project.
The Jazan Refnery and Marine
Terminal Project is intended to
provide a foundation industry for
the Jazan Economic City develop-
ment and to provide additional
refned products to meet growth in
domestic demand within Saudi
Arabia. Work on the project began
in February.
Mass transfer, separation
deal renewed
Shell Global Solutions International
and Sulzer Chemtech have extended
their strategic alliance agreement,
originally established in 2000. Under
the previous agreement, Sulzer
Chemtech became the worldwide
licensee for Shell Global Solutions’
high-capacity tray and phase separa-
tion technology. The agreement
proved mutually benefcial, say both
parties, who have agreed to continue
and extend their collaboration to
include support for, and formalise
joint development of, new mass
120 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
ind news copy 7.indd 1 11/3/11 11:49:33
transfer and separation equipment.
The two companies say that the
extended alliance can result in
improved utilisation of resources,
covering process requirement and
utilisation to manufacturing and
marketing.
Shell Global Solutions recently
signed three licence agreements with
the state-owned North Refneries
Company of Iraq in Kirkuk, north-
ern Iraq. The company will provide
a process licence and basic engineer-
ing package for a kerosene
hydrotreater, a diesel hydrotreater
and a vacuum gas oil hydrocracker
unit as part of the deal. Each agree-
ment includes the grant of a licence
to Shell proprietary technology and
the provision of engineering services.
Agreements for the supply of cata-
lysts and reactor internals are
expected to be signed in the future
as part of the deal.
Aromatics performance study
Solomon Associates has launched
the Worldwide Aromatics Perfor-
mance Analysis (aromatics study)
intended to provide manufacturers
with a view of their performance
across all of their aromatics units,
whether located inside or outside
their refneries. The study aims to
enable manufacturers to identify
performance gaps as a basis for
improving manufacturing opera-
tions effciency.
The aromatics study includes peer
group performance analysis from a
standpoint of region, size, complex-
ity and global status for more than
100 aromatics complexes around
the world. Individual plant rank-
ings are provided within each peer
group based on key performance
indicators covering principal
aspects of the manufacturing
process.
The study will analyse manufac-
turing data, with an emphasis on
operations and maintenance. Focus
areas include energy consumption,
process effciency, maintenance
costs, operating and mechanical
reliability, and staffng effciency.
Catalyst regeneration for India
Eurecat is to build a new catalyst
processing plant in India, to be
located in the Jhagadiya Industrial
Estate, Bharuch District, Gujarat
State. The plant will be operated by
Eurecat India Catalyst Services
Private Ltd, a subsidiary of France-
based Eurecat, which is a joint
venture of IFP Investissements and
Albemarle Corporation.
The plant is expected to begin
commissioning during Q2 2012. It
will be dedicated to the ex-situ
regeneration of spent catalysts and
associated services, such as hydro-
carbons stripping or react catalyst
rejuvenation facilities, as well as
providing feld services tools for
industrial reactor turnarounds.
Eurecat says the plant will enable
it to offer catalyst management for
local customers in India, aiming at
a maximum reuse of their catalysts
in a fast-growing market, with large
installed oil refning capacities,
petrochemical and gas treatment
plants.
Eurecat has plants in France, Italy,
the US and Saudi Arabia, and
licensed operations in Japan and
Russia.
Mass transfer award for Ruwais
GTC Technology has been awarded
a contract to design and supply
mass transfer equipment for the
Ruwais Refnery Expansion Project,
a grassroots expansion to increase
refning capacity. The refnery is
owned by The Abu Dhabi Oil
Refning Company (Takreer) and
the refning facility is located in
Ruwais, United Arab Emirates. The
expansion project includes 21
process units, off-sites and utilities.
GTC Technology Korea, a
subsidiary of GTC Technology
International, was selected to
provide mass transfer equipment
for the crude distillation unit, satu-
rated gas plant and residue catalytic
cracking unit, which is the largest
unit of its kind in the world. The
contract includes a giant-sized pre-
fash column, crude column and
residue fuidised catalytic cracking
(RFCC) main fractionator.
20-year deal for LNG supply
to China
Australia Pacifc LNG (APLNG)
and China’s Sinopec have signed an
agreement for the supply of up to
4.3 million t/y of LNG for 20 years.
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 121
www.ptqenquiry.com
for further information
Compressor suction drums:
I think I’ve got liquid carryover.
What can I do about it?
Read more on this topic at
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It happens in petrochemical
plants, refneries, and anywhere
else that the gas approaching
a compressor is wet. Traces of
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include pitting corrosion, salt
deposits, and diluted lubricants.
Ìnstead of trying to repair
symptoms, look for the root cause,
which usually involves the mist
eliminator in the knockout drum.
Problems may include improper
mist eliminator specifcations,
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122 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
The agreement specifes terms
under which Sinopec will take a
15% equity stake in APLNG, with
ConocoPhillips and Origin Energy
each reducing its interest to 42.5%.
In addition to the signing of the
heads of agreement, the APLNG
project received Federal Environ-
mental approval. ConocoPhillips
says it expects the full go-ahead for
the project by mid-2011, with the
frst LNG cargo to be delivered
in 2015.
The Australia Pacifc LNG project
includes the development of
substantial coal seam gas resources
in the Surat and Bowen basins over
a 30-year period, a 450 km trans-
mission pipeline and a multi-train
LNG facility on Curtis Island, near
Gladstone. Initial plans for the LNG
facility are focused on developing
two LNG trains, each with a name-
plate capacity of approximately 4.5
million t/y of LNG.
Origin and ConocoPhillips have
agreed that fnal investment decision
payments on the frst two trains for
the project will be deferred until
ConocoPhillips achieves an agreed
cash internal rate of return on proj-
ect investment.
Energy demand to grow a third
in two decades
Expanding prosperity for a growing
world population will drive an
increase in energy demand of about
35% by 2030, compared to 2005,
even with signifcant effciency
gains, and natural gas will emerge
as the second-largest energy source
behind oil, according to ExxonMobil
Corporation in its latest edition of
Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030.
Supplies of shale gas and other
unconventional energy sources will
be vital in meeting this demand.
The growing use of natural gas and
other less carbon-intensive energy
supplies, combined with greater
energy effciency, will help mitigate
environmental impacts of increased
energy demand. According to the
Outlook, global energy-related CO
2
emissions growth will be lower
than the projected average rate of
growth in energy demand.
The Outlook for Energy is devel-
oped annually to help guide
ExxonMobil’s investment decisions.
The company shares the fndings
publicly to increase understanding
of the world’s energy needs and
challenges. The Outlook is the result
of an analysis of 100 countries, 15
demand sectors and 20 fuel types,
and is underpinned by economic
and population projections, as well
as expectations of signifcant energy
effciency improvements and tech-
nology advancements.
Rising electricity demand — and
the choice of fuels used to generate
that electricity — represent a key
area that will have an effect on the
global energy landscape over the
next two decades. According to the
Outlook, global electricity demand
will rise by more than 80% through
2030, from 2005 levels. In the non-
OECD alone, demand will soar by
more than 150% as economic and
social development improve and
more people gain access to
electricity.
According to the Outlook, efforts
to ensure reliable, affordable energy,
while also limiting greenhouse gas
emissions, will lead to policies in
many countries that put a cost on
CO
2
emissions. As a result, abun-
dant supplies of natural gas will
become increasingly competitive as
an economic source of electric
power, as its use results in up to
60% fewer CO
2
emissions than coal
in generating electricity. Demand
for natural gas for power genera-
tion is expected to rise by about
85% from 2005 to 2030, when natu-
ral gas will provide more than a
quarter of the world’s electricity
needs. Natural gas demand is rising
in every region of the world, but
growth is strongest in non-OECD
countries, particularly China, where
demand in 2030 will be approxi-
mately six times what it was in
2005.
Sasol picks Linde for support
Sasol Technology of South Africa
has appointed the Engineering
Division of The Linde Group as
preferred licensor’s engineering
contractors for a major portion of
Sasol’s Fixed Bed Dry Bottom
(FBDB) gasifcation technology for
an initial term of 10 years.
Linde’s mandate covers the down-
stream aspects of the technology
(raw gas cooling, raw gas shift,
byproduct processing and overall
integration of the gas island). Hatch
has been appointed for the remain-
ing upstream aspects of the
technology (coal delivery, gasifca-
tion proprietary equipment and ash
handling).
Linde’s experience in hydrogen
and synthesis gas production and
gas processing technologies will be
used to provide engineering consul-
tation and related engineering
services to Sasol. Linde will assist
Sasol’s existing coal-based gas
production operations with the
development of optimisation and
engineering studies, and will be
responsible for process engineering
work for new gasifcation plants.
Furthermore, Linde will assist Sasol
with the on-going development of
its gasifcation technology.
Since the foundation of Sasol,
Linde’s Engineering Division has
cooperated with the company,
supporting its R&D and providing
engineering, procurement and
construction services. To date, Linde
has been awarded over 70 Sasol
contracts, ranging from conceptual
engineering work to complete
supply of plants on a lump sum
turnkey basis.

Sohar expansion award
CB&I will provide the FEED and
PMS for the Sohar refnery expan-
sion project in Oman. The contract,
valued at over $40 million, was
awarded by Oman Refneries and
Petrochemical Company.
The project will increase the
capacity of the existing Sohar refn-
ery from 116 000 to 187 000 barrels
per stream day by installing various
clean fuels units, as well as increas-
ing capacity and debottlenecking
existing units in the refnery. The
Sohar refnery, which was commis-
sioned in 2006, was built to process
the feedstock of long residue that is
produced at the Mina Al-Fahal
refnery in Oman and blended with
crude oil.
In conjunction with the upgrade,
several new units will be added
and integrated into the existing
refnery complex. They include a
71 500 b/d crude distillation unit, a
96 800 b/d vacuum distillation unit,
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ind news copy 7.indd 3 11/3/11 11:51:05
a 66 400 b/d once-through hydro-
cracker unit, a 42 400 b/d solvent
deasphalting unit, a sulphur recov-
ery unit, sour water stripper units,
an amine regeneration unit and an
isomerisation unit. Utility genera-
tion and off-site storage facilities
will be expanded.
The upgrade is intended to
contribute to improvements in Sohar
refinery’s performance, output and
quality of feedstock for downstream
petrochemical projects Aromatics
Oman and Oman Polypropylene. In
addition to enhancing the feed qual-
ity of the residual fluid catalytic
cracker, the upgrade will enable
Sohar Refinery to supply feedstock
naphtha to Aromatics Oman. The
modernised plant will also be able
to meet feedstock commitments in
the form of polymer-grade propyl-
ene to Oman Polypropylene’s
complex located next door.
Additionally, bitumen will be added
for the first time to Sohar Refinery’s
range of products and byproducts.
When the expanded and upgraded
refinery is eventually brought into
operation, its blended refined prod-
ucts will comply with Euro VI
emissions standards.
Expansion plans to boost fuel
supply
Iranian and Chinese companies are
reported to be close to signing a $7
billion deal to cooperate in the
development of two oil refineries in
the southwestern Iranian city of
Abadan and the central city of
Isfahan. They are together expected
to produce 30 million litres of gaso-
line and diesel per day, according
to local news sources. The project to
expand the Abadan oil refinery will
start as soon as the contract is
signed, but studies for the Isfahan
oil refinery project are not yet
completed.
Some $4.1 billion is needed for
expanding the Isfahan oil refinery
and over $2.8 billion is necessary
for the Abadan oil refinery. Over
$850 million has been invested in
the two undertakings. When all of
the projects are completed, a total
of 40 million litres of gasoline and
18 million litres of diesel will be
added to the country’s production
capacity.
Currently, operations are under
way for the optimisation and
expansion of gasoline production in
10 Iranian refineries with an invest-
ment of over $13 billion. Sinopec is
currently working on a project for
the expansion of the Imam
Khomeini oil refinery. The first
phase of the project recently went
on stream.
Compressors for Jubail
petrochems
International Polymers Company of
Jubail, Saudi Arabia (Sipchem) has
selected Burckhardt Compression to
deliver a hyper-compressor for its
world-scale ethylene vinyl acetate
(EVA) plant. The tubular high-
pressure, low-density polyethylene
process technology is licensed by
ExxonMobil. Hyper-compressors
are high-pressure reciprocating
compressors for LDPE plants with
discharge pressures up to 3500 bar
(50 000 psi).
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PTQ¸120x190.indd 1 11/03/2011 09:50:46
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www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 123
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124 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
of South Korea. The 200 000 t/y
plant will be built at Sipchem’s site
in Jubail as part of a third-phase
project. The project is targeted to be
commissioned in 2013.
Outlook for wax is slack
Changes in lubricant refning tech-
nology have led to a decline in the
supply of petroleum wax, which
has traditionally dominated the
global wax industry. As petroleum
waxes fall behind, new formula-
tions have emerged to compete for
the vacated market space. Global
wax supply in 2010 is estimated at
9.6 billion lb according to a report*
from consultant Kline & Company.
The fate of petroleum wax
supplies is largely outside the
control of the wax industry. Wax
supplies are tied to regional base-
stock quality requirements, and this
is independent of wax supply and
demand. Today, petroleum waxes
represent 85% of the global wax
supply, dropping below 90% for the
frst time in decades.
A combination of tight wax
supplies and rising crude oil costs
has caused a steady rise in wax
prices during the past fve years.
This has created market openings
for higher-cost synthetic, animal
and natural vegetable waxes, and
provided a platform for the
research, development and market-
ing of hydrogenated vegetable
waxes.
Fighting to take the place of
petroleum waxes are synthetic and
vegetable waxes. Synthetics, mainly
represented by Fischer-Tropsch and
polyethylene waxes, have the
advantage of closely resembling the
physical properties of petroleum
waxes and currently represent 11%
of the global wax supply. On the
other hand, vegetable waxes can
fulfll the need for softer waxes,
which are in defcit due to the
reduction in slack wax supplies.
Their use has already begun in
applications including board sizing,
candles and fre logs. Vegetable and
animal waxes account for 4% of the
global wax supply.
Wax supply has eroded signif-
cantly in North America and
Western Europe due to a rapid
Group I supply rationalisation. In
the past, the decline in supplies
from North America and Western
Europe were compensated by
growth in supplies from China.
However, this is no longer the case,
as the Chinese lubricant industry
starts demanding more Group II
and III basestocks, leading to a fat
or declining Group I supply.
Wax consumption is expected to
grow at an average annual growth
rate of more than 2% from 2010 to
2020. Different regions and different
product applications will enjoy
varying growth rates. Ultimately,
insuffcient growth in supply or
even a decline in supply will
constrain growth in demand.
*Global Wax Industry 2010: Market Analysis and
Opportunities
Safety management plan
The UK’s Energy Institute (EI) has
developed a common High Level
Framework for Process Safety
Management across all energy
industry sectors. It aims to provide
a simple and systematic approach,
defning the key issues organisa-
tions need to get right to assure the
integrity of their operations, incor-
porating technical, maintenance and
operational, as well as human and
organisational factors.
The impact safety incidents in the
energy industry have had upon the
share prices of the involved compa-
nies has caused some institutional
investors to question the security of
their investments in the high-hazard
industries, says the EI.
The publication aims to assist
senior executives and managers to
understand how well they are iden-
tifying and managing the signifcant
risks within their organisations,
which, if not appropriately
managed, could result in a major
incident.
Mexico’s algal ambition
OriginOil is to take part in a pilot-
scale algae-to-fuels project to be
funded by the Mexican govern-
ment. The project will demonstrate
industrial algae production, paving
the way for investment by the
Mexican government in large-scale
jet fuels production.
The aim of Mexico’s Manhattan
Project is to produce 1% of the
nation’s jet fuel from algae in less
than fve years. By the end of this
decade, the project aims to produce
nearly 20 times that amount, which
would place Mexico among the
leading biofuels-producing nations.
The project’s operator is Genesis
Ventures of Ensenada, Baja,
California, which has received an
Economy Ministry grant through
The National Council for Science
and Technology for its frst site.
Genesis will develop the site as a
model for numerous additional
projects to be located next to large
sources of CO
2
, such as thermal
power stations. The operator will
rely heavily on OriginOil’s exper-
tise in feeding and sanitising algae
cultures, and its core harvesting
and extraction technology.
Call for support in SA refning
The South African government
should come to the rescue of the
refning industry if it wants to keep
one of its main sources of income,
according to Philip Lloyd, a profes-
sor with the Cape Peninsula
Institute of Technology. The indus-
try is putting R50 billion a year into
the state’s coffers and is struggling.
The government has to do some-
thing if it wants to keep its golden
goose, he says.
South Africa’s refneries are old
and have been subject to continu-
ous modernisation and upgrades,
to such an extent that nothing more
can be done to improve them,
Lloyd says. The problem is that the
demand for gasoline and diesel,
and kerosene to a lesser extent,
continues to grow, but refneries are
reluctant to invest money in new
infrastructure. The main reason is
that refning margins are very low.
This situation will remain for the
coming years. As a result, and
because constraints in the electricity
supply have had an impact on
certain projects, refning production
is dwindling.
Current plans in South Africa to
build a 400 000 b/d refnery are
absurd, Lloyd says. The country
only needs about 100 000 b/d.
According to the government, the
rest will be exported to other coun-
tries in the region. This does not
make sense, Lloyd says. The region
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ind news copy 7.indd 5 11/3/11 11:51:29
is already over-supplied and is
making its own refned products.
Angola, for instance, is planning to
increase the capacity of its Luanda
refnery from 40 000 to 100 000 b/d.
In addition, it wants to build a new
200 000 b/d refnery in Lobito.
Other countries such as
Mozambique and Kenya also have
refnery projects in the pipeline. The
Kenyan KPR plant will see an
increase in its refning capacity from
72 000 to 100 000 b/d. In Tanzania,
a 200 000 b/d project is to replace
an old refnery.
Sino-Kuwaiti megarefnery wins
go-ahead
China’s top economic planning
body, the National Development
and Reform Commission (NDRC),
has granted fnal approval for
Kuwait to build a long-awaited
refnery and petrochemical complex
on Donghai Island of Zhanjiang in
Guangdong Province.
The joint venture between Kuwait
Petroleum Company (KPC) and
Sinopec entails a 15 million t/y
(300 000 b/d) refnery, a 1 million
t/y ethylene plant and related utili-
ties, as well as support facilities,
such as a crude jetty, product oil
and chemical jetties, a bulk jetty
and oil product pipelines to an
initial station.
The Sino-Kuwaiti refnery project
will be China’s largest ever joint
venture of its kind. The $9 billion
project is expected to boost the
city’s revenues by $1.8 billion. The
city is also planning to build a
30 km
2
petrochemical park along
with the refnery. The project
involves a downstream marketing
network, including retail petrol
stations in and around the province,
where the economy is growing at
more than 12% annually.
Kuwait will supply all of the
crude feedstock for the integrated
plant. KPC and China’s down-
stream major Sinopec will each hold
a 50% stake in the joint venture,
with KPC planning to give 20% of
its share to its potential partners.
Kuwait Petroleum International
(KPI), KPC’s international refning
and market unit, has been repre-
senting Kuwait in lengthy
negotiations with the Chinese side
of the deal. Kuwait will become the
second Arab oil producer to build a
refnery in China, following Saudi
Arabia, which put a refning and
petrochemical joint venture into
operation last year in southeast
China’s Fujian Province.
Final approval from the NDRC
clears the way for KPC to achieve
its crude oil export target of 500 000
b/d to China. Kuwait’s exports to
China in 2010 stood at 198 000 b/d,
up 39% from the previous year. The
joint venture also refects Kuwait’s
strategy to expand refning and
marketing outlets in high-growth
strategic markets, such as China,
India and Vietnam, according
to KPC.
The alliance gained the NDRC’s
preliminary approval for the project
in May 2010, when the commission
offcially designated Donghai Island
as the site for the complex, followed
by the approval of the Ministry of
Environmental Protection in
September 2010.
Based on an initial deal in 2005,
KPC and Sinopec originally planned
to locate the facility in the Nansha
district of provincial capital
Guangzhou, but due to concern
over environment impact on a
densely populated area the
Guangdong provincial government
proposed the relocation of the plant.
The two sides agreed to move the
project to a less crowded area
within the same province and then,
in August 2009, the joint venture
opted for Zhanjiang City, about
400 km southwest of Guangzhou,
as the new site.
Uzbeks to upgrade refneries
Uzbekistan plans to spend $305
million on upgrades to two major
oil refneries to boost its product
output. State holding company
Uzbekneftegaz intends to raise
production with upgrades to the
country’s oil refneries within its
national Programme on Priorities of
Industrial Development for
2011–2015.
The Ferghana refnery in eastern
Uzbekistan, which produces high-
quality diesel and fuel oils, will
receive the largest slice of invest-
ment, with three projects amounting
to $205 million. Uzbekneftegaz will
spend $99 million on modernising
the facility’s distillation processes.
On completion, the plant is
expected to produce 550 000 t/y of
oil products.
A second project, at Uzbekistan’s
largest petroleum refnery, costing
$6 million, will boost output with
the introduction of new processing
technology. Planners will also spend
$100 million on upgrading and
reconstructing hardware at the
Ferghana refnery, which was
commissioned in 1959 during the
Soviet era. This third project is
expected to increase production of
light oil products by 95%, according
to Uzbek authorities. The plant in
Ferghana region currently produces
over 60 types of oil products with a
total output of 6 million t/y.
Uzbekneftegaz will also moder-
nise and reconstruct hardware at its
Bukhara refnery in central
Uzbekistan with a $100 million
project that will see output of light
oil products increase by up to 95%.
The Bukhara refnery became oper-
ational in 1997 and currently
produces 10 types of oil products.
Oiling the wheels of
automation
ExxonMobil has installed an enter-
prise control system (ECS) at its
lubricants plant in Beaumont, Texas,
to help manage its major processes.
The aim is to apply real-time
process automation across the site
to improve the fexibility of its
production processes and work-
fows, and to deal with issues of
ageing within the existing control
systems. The new installation,
based on Invensys Operations
Management’s InFusionT software,
also integrates existing systems for
enterprise resource planning, batch
process, and fnal packaging and
shipping systems.
The installation is part of a
sweeping modernisation plan to
achieve what ExxonMobil calls “the
lubricant plant of the future” at the
Lubricants & Specialties site.
Operating as a system of systems,
the InFusion ECS integrates with
legacy applications and third-party
solutions to improve the plant’s
operations and performance in
real-time.
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 125
ind news copy 7.indd 6 11/3/11 11:52:05
Fluidised bed drying
Uhde Services of Haltern, Germany,
has signed a framework agreement
with RWE Power for the use of
fuidised-bed drying technology
with internal waste heat utilisation.
Uhde Services will join Linde KCA
Dresden (Linde Group) as the
second supplier of this technology
developed by RWE Power.
The aim is to use the technology
at lignite-fred power stations, as
well as for coal gasifcation and
liquefaction projects. Electricity and
also synthesis gas can be produced
more energy effciently, with fewer
CO
2
emissions, using the fuidised-
bed drying process.
andre.bauguitte@rwe.com
Valve controller interfaces
Emerson’s Fisher Fieldvue digital
valve controllers with Hart and
Foundation Fieldbus communica-
tions can be integrated into any
process control system that supports
FDT/DTM technology, says the
developer. Using ValveLink DTM
software, users can communicate
with any Fieldvue digital valve
controller to perform start-up,
commissioning and diagnostic
activities.
ValveLink software has been certi-
fed by the FDT Group for
compliance with FDT standards. It
has also been tested and certifed
for use with FDT-compliant host
systems, including Honeywell,
Invensys and Yokogawa.
Fieldvue digital valve controllers
use AMS ValveLink Snap-on to
integrate into Hart and Foundation
Fieldbus host systems, such as
Emerson’s DeltaV and Ovation
digital automation systems. The
addition of DTM support provides
another avenue for integration for
Fieldvue instrument users.
The role of Fieldvue digital valve
controllers is to maintain control
valve performance, diagnose the
assembly and enable predictive
maintenance.
infocentral@ap.emersonprocess.co
Supply chain software
Aspen Technology has released new
local language versions of manufac-
turing and supply chain products
in the 7.2 release of aspenONE V7.
Local language versions are now
available for Aspen PIMS, Aspen
Petroleum Scheduler, Aspen Plant
Scheduler, Aspen IP.21 Process
Browser and other products in the
aspenONE Manufacturing & Supply
Chain suite.
Local language software makes it
possible for users to train employ-
ees and standardise their operations.
Local language versions of aspe-
nONE products are available in
Chinese, French, German, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Portuguese,
Russian and Spanish, in addition to
English.
info@aspentech.com
Hart supports EDDL
The Hart Communication Found-
ation has announced support for
the latest enhancements to
Electronic Device Description
Language (EDDL) incorporated in
the second edition of the
International Electrotechnical
Commission’s IEC 61804-3 stan-
dard. EDDL is the key industry
standard for integrating real-time
diagnostic and asset management
information from intelligent feld
devices for optimum data and
device interoperability with auto-
mation systems.
Recent improvements to the
EDDL standard enhance the inte-
gration of intelligent devices with
automation systems, specifcally:
• Support for offine confguration
with default parameter values
suggested by the device manufac-
turer to simplify and speed device
commissioning
• Support for Unicode character
sets, enabling parameter labels,
diagnostics and device manufac-
turer expert help text to be
displayed in many different
languages including Chinese,
Japanese and Russian
126 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
New Products
• Ability to display all device diag-
nostics and setup information with
rich user-friendly graphics for easier
and faster completion of commis-
sioning and maintenance tasks
• New capabilities to support the
display of illustrations based in
user-preferred language, such as
images with explaining text to
convey know-how from the manu-
facturer for help in the interpretation
of advanced diagnostics, guide
setup and for troubleshooting.
With these enhancements, the
EDDL standard remains backward
compatible and stable for the lifecy-
cle needs of industrial automation.
Installed devices and systems
remain compatible, EDDL fles load
and perform on systems in the
same way, and updates continue
without the problems of executable
software.
EDDL is a text-based language
standard to describe the character-
istics of intelligent feld devices for
integration with systems. The Hart
Communication Protocol was the
frst to implement EDDL, enabling
suppliers to defne their products in
a single format readable by host
applications for handheld commu-
nicators, control systems, PCs and
other process interface devices.
info@hartcomm.com
Simulator update
Invensys Operations Management
has released the latest version of its
SimSci-Esscor PRO/II simulation
software, a steady-state process
simulator used to design, analyse
and improve chemical processes.
Version 9 of PRO/II software
includes conditional formatting to
identify different process stream
properties, customisable tabs that
enable sorting of unit operations by
type, dockable windows and
improved toolbars. It also lowers the
cost of ownership, says Invensys, by
supporting Microsoft App-V for
application virtualisation, allowing
better use of existing computer
hardware resources. Simulation
new prods copy 4.indd 1 11/3/11 11:47:50
Fluidised bed drying
Uhde Services of Haltern, Germany,
has signed a framework agreement
with RWE Power for the use of
fuidised-bed drying technology
with internal waste heat utilisation.
Uhde Services will join Linde KCA
Dresden (Linde Group) as the
second supplier of this technology
developed by RWE Power.
The aim is to use the technology
at lignite-fred power stations, as
well as for coal gasifcation and
liquefaction projects. Electricity and
also synthesis gas can be produced
more energy effciently, with fewer
CO
2
emissions, using the fuidised-
bed drying process.
andre.bauguitte@rwe.com
Valve controller interfaces
Emerson’s Fisher Fieldvue digital
valve controllers with Hart and
Foundation Fieldbus communica-
tions can be integrated into any
process control system that supports
FDT/DTM technology, says the
developer. Using ValveLink DTM
software, users can communicate
with any Fieldvue digital valve
controller to perform start-up,
commissioning and diagnostic
activities.
ValveLink software has been certi-
fed by the FDT Group for
compliance with FDT standards. It
has also been tested and certifed
for use with FDT-compliant host
systems, including Honeywell,
Invensys and Yokogawa.
Fieldvue digital valve controllers
use AMS ValveLink Snap-on to
integrate into Hart and Foundation
Fieldbus host systems, such as
Emerson’s DeltaV and Ovation
digital automation systems. The
addition of DTM support provides
another avenue for integration for
Fieldvue instrument users.
The role of Fieldvue digital valve
controllers is to maintain control
valve performance, diagnose the
assembly and enable predictive
maintenance.
infocentral@ap.emersonprocess.com
Supply chain software
Aspen Technology has released new
local language versions of manufac-
turing and supply chain products
in the 7.2 release of aspenONE V7.
Local language versions are now
available for Aspen PIMS, Aspen
Petroleum Scheduler, Aspen Plant
Scheduler, Aspen IP.21 Process
Browser and other products in the
aspenONE Manufacturing & Supply
Chain suite.
Local language software makes it
possible for users to train employ-
ees and standardise their operations.
Local language versions of aspe-
nONE products are available in
Chinese, French, German, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Portuguese,
Russian and Spanish, in addition to
English.
info@aspentech.com
Hart supports EDDL
The Hart Communication Found-
ation has announced support for
the latest enhancements to
Electronic Device Description
Language (EDDL) incorporated in
the second edition of the
International Electrotechnical
Commission’s IEC 61804-3 stan-
dard. EDDL is the key industry
standard for integrating real-time
diagnostic and asset management
information from intelligent feld
devices for optimum data and
device interoperability with auto-
mation systems.
Recent improvements to the
EDDL standard enhance the inte-
gration of intelligent devices with
automation systems, specifcally:
• Support for offine confguration
with default parameter values
suggested by the device manufac-
turer to simplify and speed device
commissioning
• Support for Unicode character
sets, enabling parameter labels,
diagnostics and device manufac-
turer expert help text to be
displayed in many different
languages including Chinese,
Japanese and Russian
126 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
New Products
• Ability to display all device diag-
nostics and setup information with
rich user-friendly graphics for easier
and faster completion of commis-
sioning and maintenance tasks
• New capabilities to support the
display of illustrations based in
user-preferred language, such as
images with explaining text to
convey know-how from the manu-
facturer for help in the interpretation
of advanced diagnostics, guide
setup and for troubleshooting.
With these enhancements, the
EDDL standard remains backward
compatible and stable for the lifecy-
cle needs of industrial automation.
Installed devices and systems
remain compatible, EDDL fles load
and perform on systems in the
same way, and updates continue
without the problems of executable
software.
EDDL is a text-based language
standard to describe the character-
istics of intelligent feld devices for
integration with systems. The Hart
Communication Protocol was the
frst to implement EDDL, enabling
suppliers to defne their products in
a single format readable by host
applications for handheld commu-
nicators, control systems, PCs and
other process interface devices.
info@hartcomm.com
Simulator update
Invensys Operations Management
has released the latest version of its
SimSci-Esscor PRO/II simulation
software, a steady-state process
simulator used to design, analyse
and improve chemical processes.
Version 9 of PRO/II software
includes conditional formatting to
identify different process stream
properties, customisable tabs that
enable sorting of unit operations by
type, dockable windows and
improved toolbars. It also lowers the
cost of ownership, says Invensys, by
supporting Microsoft App-V for
application virtualisation, allowing
better use of existing computer
hardware resources. Simulation
new prods copy 4.indd 1 14/3/11 12:28:35
a single 19in sub-rack unit, to
measure dew points as low as
-100°C. Measurements of moisture
in process gases and liquids can be
combined in a single analyser
system as the Promet I.S channels
for moisture in gas can be combined
together with a sister product for
moisture in liquid measurement —
the Liquidew I.S.
Each channel functions indepen-
dently of the others so that
maintenance can be carried out on
one channel while the others
continue to operate as normal..
Unit conversions from dew point
to a range of alternative moisture
content units allow the user to
select a preferred unit of measure-
ment. The front panel interface
enables the user to scroll through
the setup menus to confgure the
analyser. Four user-adjustable alarm
points and two analogue 4-20 mA
outputs are provided, as well as a
digital RS485 RTU for connection to
external devices.
sarah.lawrence@michell.com
Overload indicator
WIKA has developed an overload
indicator for two pressure gauge
series, so that unexpected overpres-
sures in industrial processes can be
documented beyond any doubt.
According to WIKA, the advantage
of the new design over a pressure
gauge with a drag pointer lies in
the guaranteed security of the indi-
cation. The status of drag pointers
can alter due to external infuences
such as vibration, and thus the
explicit confrmation of overpres-
sure cannot be ensured. In addition,
the new overload indicator is
protected against any manipulation
after the fact.
The core of the new instrument
option is a spring pin. This is ftted
at the dial’s scale value, which the
user has defned as the highest
pressure. The indicator, an alumin-
ium pin, is carried by the instrument
pointer; if the designated maximum
pressure is exceeded, it is locked
permanently in the red zone.
WIKA supplies the overload indi-
cators for model 23x.50 and 212.20
Bourdon tube pressure gauges in
nominal sizes of 100 and 160.
sales@wika.de
capabilities have also been enhanced
through an update of the thermody-
namic correlations, including a link
to the National Institute of Standards
and Technology’s Reference Fluid
Thermodynamic and Transport
Properties (REFPROP) application.
The database provides critical prop-
erty values needed to evaluate fuids
and optimise related equipment and
processes.
antonella.crimi@invensys.com
Multi-gas detector
Industrial Scientifc has introduced
the Ventis MX4 multi-gas detector.
It is a lightweight, confgurable
instrument that is available with or
without an integral pump and is
compatible with iNet, Industrial
Scientifc’s Gas Detection as a
Service solution.
The Ventis detects one to four
gases including oxygen, combusti-
ble gases (LEL or CH
4
) and any two
of the following gases: CO, H
2
S,
NO
2
and SO
2
. It is designed for
confned space monitoring and/or
continuous personal monitoring in
potentially hazardous environ-
ments. In confned space
applications, the Ventis can be used
to draw samples from up to 30m
with the integral pump. The gas
detector alerts users in dangerous
conditions through an audible
alarm, ultra-bright LED visual
alarms and a vibrating alarm.
Among the battery options is an
extended range lithium-ion battery,
which enables up to 20 hours of
personal monitoring when used
with the no-pump version.
info@insci.com
Process moisture analyser
Michell Instruments has launched a
new Promet I.S. process moisture
analyser that can be retroftted in
almost all existing AlOx or ceramic
transmitter-based trace moisture or
dew point measuring analyser
systems. The sensors, which form
the basis of the Promet I.S analyser,
may be installed within the hazard-
ous area directly into an existing
sampling system.
The Promet I.S. multi-channel
format enables the control of up to
four pressure compensated mois-
ture measurement channels within
www.eptq.com PTQ Q2 2011 127
Pipeline heating
Chromalox has developed the Skin-
Effect Heating System for pipelines
up to 15 miles in length. Since it
uses a single power supply, the
system provides a cost-effective
alternative for freeze protection,
temperature maintenance and heat-
up, particularly in remote areas
where installation and maintenance
are more complex and expensive,
says Chromalox.
Typical applications include tank
farms and storage terminals, as well
as long-distance piping between
processing facilities in oil and gas,
refning, chemical, and similar
industries. The system includes a
small steel tube, containing a skin-
effect electric cable, which is banded
onto the pipe. The cable and tube
transfer conductive heating directly
to the wall of the process pipe.
Supply connections are made in
special boxes. This method elimi-
nates the need for additional heating
equipment, such as heat exchangers,
circulation heaters or conventional
heat trace, says Chromalox.
In addition to reducing installa-
tion and maintenance costs, the
system reduces the number of heat-
ing circuits required, resulting in
lower control panel costs and
simpler heating operation, accord-
ing to the developer.
Heat input can be adjusted up to
300°F (150°C) to handle a range of
thermal viscosities, including water,
crude or refned oils, steam and a
variety of chemicals. The Skin-Effect
Heating System can be used in pipes
above ground, buried or submerged.
With no moving parts, the system
requires little maintenance. The
system can be used with potentially
corrosive processes and can be certi-
fed for hazardous areas use.
info@chromalox.com
Compressor range extended
Burckhardt Compression has
extended its Process Gas Compressor
API 618 product line for large plants
in the hydrocarbon processing
industry. It now covers compressor
duties requiring a rod load up to
1500 kN/335 000 lb and power up
to 31 000 kW/42 100 hp.
daniela.daron@burckhardtcompres-
sion.com
new prods copy 4.indd 2 11/3/11 11:48:36
ABB Global Consulting 39
Aerzener 73
Albemarle Catalysts Company 14
Amistco Separation Products 92, 121
Axens OBC
BASF Catalyst 19
Borsig Group 101
Bryan Research & Engineering 64
Burckhardt Compression 77, 83
Cansolv Technologies 50
CB&I 7
Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Corporation 115
Delta Valve 68
Det Norske Veritas 105
DuPont Belco Clean Air Technologies 102
Emerson Process Management 8
Enersul 56
Euro Petroleum Consultants 118
ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company 113
Flexim 93
Flexitallic 21
Foster Wheeler 25
Grabner Instruments 20
Haldor Topsøe IFC
Hoerbiger Kompressortechnik Holding 108
ITW 43, 110
Johnson Screens 31
KBC Advanced Technologies 2
KBR 4
KIDExtractor 24
Koch-Glitsch 46
Lewis Pumps 74
Linde 67
Lurgi 23
Marsulex Refnery Services 96
Merichem Company 61, 63
Michell Instruments 123
MPR Services 17, 70
Newtons 10
NPRA Reliability & Maintenance Conference 117
OHL Gutermuth Industrial Valves 12
Paharpur Cooling Towers 84
Prosim 45
Rentech Boiler Systems 32
Sabin Metal Corporation 107
Saint-Gobain NorPro 36
Samson 27
Spectro Analytical Instruments 55
Sulzer Chemtech 86
Swagelok Company 40
Thermo Scientifc 53
TPS-Technitube 16
Tricat Catalyst Service 99
Uhde 11, 13
UOP 28
Yokogawa Europe 88
World Refning Association IBC
Alphabetical list of advertisers
For more information on these advertisers, go to www.ptqenquiry.com
128 PTQ Q2 2011 www.eptq.com
ad index copy 9.indd 1 12/3/11 20:45:34
Executive Speaker Panel Includes:
Tom Crotty, Group Director, INEOS
Saleh Al Nazha, President and Chief Operating Officer, Tasnee
Graeme Burnett, Senior Vice President, Asia and Middle East, Total Petrochemicals
Fred du Plessis, Executive Advisor, Corporate Strategy & Planning, SABIC
Maxim Savchenko, Head of Strategic Planning & Business Development, SIBUR
Dr. Bernd Blumenberg, President, BASF-YPC Company
Saleh Ali Zahrani, Manager, Global Technology market, Licensing, SABIC
Vladimir Jacobson, Commercial Manager C4’s, Dow Europe
COLOGNE, GERMANY 17 – 19 MAY 2011
Sponsored by:
The 8th Annual Global Petrochemical Conference will provide you with:
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information from European, Middle Eastern, Asian, North and South American
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olefins, polymers and catalysts, keeping you up-to-date with the latest developments
• A unique gathering of key regional and international operators that will ensure
that you get global and regional market intelligence about demand and supply
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• Latest case studies on successful business strategies and technical innovations that
have been implemented in order to secure and successfully grow petrochemical
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Supported by:
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8TH ANNUAL MEETING
Do not forget to book for: Pre-Conference Workshop: Improving energy efficiency and emission reduction for
the petrochemical industry
REGISTER ONLINE at www.wraconferences.com/globalpetrochemicals
or CALL +44 (0) 20 7067 1800
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wra.indd 1 10/3/11 11:47:04
Your objectives
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Make the most of today’s and tomorrow’s
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210/297.qxd:A4 13/08/10 12:12 Page 1
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