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WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE

Edward J. Houde - UOP LLC: edward.houde@uop.com Michael J. McGrath - Foster Wheeler USA: michael_mcgrath@fwhou.fwc.com
present and future users of solvent deasphalting technologies. The merging of Foster Wheeler’s and UOP’s experience in designing solvent deasphalters represents a total capacity of more than 500,000 BPSD and more than 50 commercial units with capacities ranging from 500 to 45,000 BPSD. These commercial applications have included all applications of solvent deasphalting such as: ∗∗ the production of lube oil feedstocks ∗∗ the recovery of incremental feedstock for downstream FCC and hydrocracking units ∗∗ the production of road bitumen, and have included both two-product (deasphalted oil (DAO) and pitch) and three-product (deasphalted oil, resin and pitch) process configurations. This merging of FW and UOP solvent deasphalting technologies provides our clients with the widest range of experiences, process features, engineering know-how, technical support, and most importantly, a more efficient and lower cost design. Technology Overview Solvent deasphalting, whether for the production of lubricating oil or cracking stocks, uses a light hydrocarbon solvent specifically tailored to ensure the most economical deasphalting design. For example, propane solvent may be specified for a low deasphalted oil yield operation such as lub production, while a solvent containing hydrocarbons as heavy as hexane may be used to obtain a high deasphalted oil yield for the production of additional conversion unit feedstock. Plant designs have been developed using heavy solvents at elevated temperatures in order to maximize the yield of usable deasphalted oil and minimize the yield of pitch having a softening point of 350°F or higher. UOP/FW SDA technology is unique by different from other solvent deasphalting technologies in that it is not just one technology, but rather a combination of technology features and options
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Introduction
Solvent deasphalting has a key role in today’s refinery, as the technology can be used in a variety of uses for residue upgrading. It is less expensive to build and operate than other residue conversion processes and is especially useful in recovering large quantities of high quality oils which can be further upgraded via traditional FCC and Hydocracking units. This paper outlines the benefits of the combined UOP/FW Solvent Deasphalting (UOP/FW SDA) offerings. The technology applications, process variables, key design issues, and technical support services are also discussed. The fit for a particular location is particularly dependant on finding a use for the SDA pitch and various options are discussed.

Background
While solvent deasphalting (SDA) has been used for more than fifty years to upgrade non-volatile residues, the technology continues to evolve over time. It is a robust economical process that uses an aliphatic solvent to separate the typically more valuable oils and resins from the more aromatic and asphaltenic components of its vacuum residue feedstock. The earliest commercial applications of solvent deasphalting used propane as the solvent to extract high-quality lubricating oil bright stock from vacuum residue. These applications were called propane deasphalting (or propane deresining when used to separate high molecular weight resins from Pennsylvania-grade vacuum residue). Solvent deasphalting process have gradually extended to include the preparation of feedstocks for catalytic cracking, hydrocracking, and hydrodesulfurization units, as well as the production of specialty asphalts. In 1996, UOP and Foster Wheeler USA Corporation (FW) entered into a collaboration agreement to merge their solvent deasphalting technologies. Both companies had extensive backgrounds in solvent deasphalting, and both companies had recently entered into collaboration covering other residue upgrading technologies such as visbreaking and delayed coking. A collaboration covering solvent deasphalting was considered a logical fit that would benefit the
IDTC Conference London, England February 2006

it also has a major impact on the unit’s operating costs. ∗∗ Lower solvent requirements used to achieve processing objectives. Technology Advantages The UOP/FW SDA technology has several distinct advantages that ensure the refiner obtains the most efficient. depending on the project specific objectives and opportunities.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J.UOP LLC Michael J. As a result. Supercritical recovery of the solvent allows more efficient utilization of the system’s thermodynamic characteristics while also reducing the unit’s operating costs. This technology provides state-of-the-art contacting and separation devices to maximize extraction efficiency as well as optimal recovery of clean products. UOP and FW’s combined design experience in optimizing SDA heat exchange systems allows the SDA user to select a multitude of heat exchange options. with an even greater difference in quality being seen at lower DAO yields. Consequently its technology originally focused around propane/butane deasphalting using optimized extraction techniques for those specific applications. The extractor’s role in SDA is to separate the precipitate (pitch phase) from the continuous fluid stream (DAO/solvent). FW’s SDA technology development emphasis was initially more focused on lower lift. and flexible SDA process. McGrath . These features and options allow UOP/FW to offer the optimum process design for any solvent deasphalting application. Although increasing the amount of solvent used in the extraction improves the extraction efficiency. economical. These include: ∗∗ Novel extraction devices tailored to the specific application: UOP/FW/Sulzer’s Structured Packing and proprietary internals in both the multistage counter current extractor as well as the DAO and resin separators. very high quality applications. Consequently. There is a distinct advantage to the use of supercritical separation for the recovery of the solvent and DAO when using these types of solvents. have been used commercially. Both single-stage co-current extraction. the lowest solvent-to-oil ratio necessary to achieve the desired product separation is typically specified. ** Multiple product recovery designs that take advantage of the changes in liquid-liquid equilibrium that result from changes in operating conditions between those utilized during extraction and those used for solvent recovery. ∗∗ Supercritical solvent recovery. England February 2006 Page 2 of 11 . Houde . where the bulk of the solvent enters the bottom of the extractor separate from the feed. Additionally FW has made available its detailed design and construction experiences from a multitude of SDA projects.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation which have been developed by both companies. Superior quality DAO is obtained from the RDC even at DAO recovery rates exceeding 85 percent. as well as multi-stage countercurrent extraction. Consequently. UOP has predominately focused its technology on downstream conversion unit applications. Extraction Devices The efficiency of the extraction process is the key equipment design variable impacting both the capital and operating costs of SDA. For example. ∗∗ Optimal design of heat exchange systems. UOP’s solvent deasphalting experience has principally focused on the use of butane and heavier type solvents that can obtain higher DAO recoveries. Structured packing or RDCs used in multi-stage - IDTC Conference London. The RDC is specifically designed to achieve high product yields and quality by incorporating both stripping and rectification of the oil feed. where the bulk of the solvent is mixed with the feed prior to the extractor. such as the production of lube oil feedstocks for hydrocracking and further solvent refining. UOP developed supercritical solvent-DAO separation technology. The other area that UOP focused its development efforts involved minimizing the solvent to oil ratio while still producing a reasonably high quality DAO. FW’s multi-stage rotating disk contactor (RDC).

the comparison indicates a significant reduction (20 percent) in heat input into the supercritical system as compared to the subcritical system.2 125. Gone is the need for multiple flash towers and condensers associated with conventional multiple effect evaporative type solvent recovery systems. Presented below is a comparative tabulation of the utility requirements of conventional subcritical evaporative and supercritical solvent recovery systems. the heat exchange between the DAO/solvent phase and the solvent will have an optimal temperature of approach. England February 2006 Page 3 of 11 . Note that the difference from subcritical to supercritical indicates a shift from steam to fuel.8 -112. M Btu/bbl Feed 1. These tables summarize an internal study undertaken by UOP and FW to assess the relative costs of different solvent-to-oil ratios.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J. often referred to as supercritical extraction. lb/bbl Feed Fuel. IDTC Conference London. not the extraction that is carried out in the supercritical region of the solvent. The use of supercritical solvent recovery results in a simpler process flow. the solvent-to-oil ratio also has an impact on DAO quality (see Figure 1). and process flexibility requirements need to be addressed to ensure the best design is applied for the specific application. While the cost benefits at a lower solvent ratio can be substantial. Careful analysis of the application.0 Difference 0. This is discussed in further in detail in the Utility Requirement section of this paper. Lower Solvent Requirements Because UOP/FW SDA has the advantage of highly efficient extraction technology. Consequently. kWh/bbl Feed Steam.0 The impact of solvent-to-oil ratio on both capital and operating costs is conservatively reflected in Tables 2 and 3.0 Supercritical 2. there are several ways in which a SDA unit’s operating and capital cost can be significantly changed.2 115. For example. the solventto-oil ratio can be minimized for the same objectives of DAO yield and quality. When the latent heat content of the steam is considered. Above the feed stage. Other areas where heat exchange costs can be significantly altered are with heat exchange of the pitch and DAO products.0 55. The cost of fuel has significantly increased since this study was performed and the savings at lower solvent ratios would be even more pronounced. Both UOP and FW have world-class experts in pinch analysis that will ensure the SDA unit’s design optimizes the tradeoff between capital and operating costs. customer preferences. Figure 1: Effect of Solvent to Oil Ratio 70 PPM Metals in DAO 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 20 25 30 35 40 45 DAO yield 50 55 60 65 70 3/1 5/1 8/1 Optimal Design of Heat Exchange Systems From a heat exchange perspective. This can translate into a total utility cost savings of about 30 percent relative to sub-critical recovery. Table 1 Comparative utility requirements Subcritical Electricity.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation counter-current extraction provide both the contacting area and time required for extraction as well as segregation of the stages to reduce back mixing below the feed stage.0 12.UOP LLC Michael J. its associated utility costs. structured packing or coils provide for the coalescing of entrained droplets of feed or pitch. the optimal solvent ratio is determined based on the DAO’s downstream processing requirements. Supercritical solvent recovery allows for more efficient utilization of the system’s thermodynamic characteristics.8 60. Houde . McGrath . Supercritical Solvent Recovery Although. it is the solvent separation.

380. Assoc.248 $2.000 IDTC Conference London.82 $4.100.000 BPD) Unit Cost Reference Fuel. England February 2006 Page 4 of 11 . kW 0.000 $ 15.5 0.000 60 $ 15.000 1.500. 10 lbs Power.00005 0.600.90 0. MMBTU Steam.200. Assoc.087 0.000 0.067 0.019 1. with S/O Other Equipment Cost Installed Cost.520.120 $ Delta _ 3 $ 4.UOP LLC Michael J.206 0.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J.700.000 0.00006 0.680.056 10.680. $/BBL 1 High Solvent to Oil Ratio 8 C4 Mix 28.000 60 $ 20. $/kW 3 2 Low Solvent to Oil Ratio 5 C4 Mix 28.67 0.820.000 Delta 3 - 0.000 1.179 0. $MM Unit Cost.075 12. MMBTU Steam.290 Table 3 UOP/FW SDA Advantage Operating Costs Option: Case: Solvent-to-oil Ratio Solvent 1 High Solvent to Oil Ratio 8 C4 Mix 2 Low Solvent to Oil Ratio 5 C4 Mix Average Utility Consumptions (per barrel of feed) Fuel.820.000 $ 36.000 $3.094 $1. with S/O Equip.5 1.293 0.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Table 2 UOP/FW SDA Advantage Capital Costs Option: Case: Solvent-to-oil Ratio (S/O) Solvent Size (BPD) % Equip.342 $3.119 0.77 Incremental Cost ($Bbl Feed) Fuel Steam Power Total Yearly Cost (28.83 $0.000 $ 15. Houde . lbs Power.000 170 $ 4.060 0.0 2.000 $ 31. McGrath .

DAO/solvent and asphalt recovery) which occur within the unit. typically by hot oil exchange. Houde . flows to the pitch recovery section where it is heated. before flowing to the resin stripper for solvent recovery. Effect of Process Variables The proper operation of the SDA process is affected by several process variables. the DAO/solvent mixture exiting the extractor vessel is directed to the resin settler. the mixture’s temperature is raised to the point at which the desired intermediate-quality resin stream would be separated. The pitch and solvent recovery section consist of a pitch mix heater (hot oil or direct fired heater) and a pitch product steam stripper.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J. can achieve the desired separation while producing a superior quality product. including: Page 5 of 11 . regardless of whether a two-product or three-product configuration is employed. England February 2006 The recovered solvent streams from the DAO and pitch recovery sections are cooled/condensed and recycled back to the extraction section for reuse. In this three-product configuration. the preferred extraction device is the multi-stage rotating disk contactor although at high capacities structured packing might also be employed. coupled with supercritical solvent recovery and the flexibility to utilize a range of solvent types. oils become less soluble in the mix. hot oil. The following brief description of the process flow scheme is based on a two-product configuration. containing some of the solvent. a DAO separator containing proprietary internals. At these conditions the DAO is no longer soluble in the solvent. This settler can be included in the unit’s initial design or can be added at a later date. The rotating disk contactor. and a DAO product steam stripper. the unit’s design would employ structured packing. IDTC Conference London. The extractor’s overhead DAO/solvent mix flows to the DAO separator and solvent recovery section where its temperature is raised above the solvent’s critical conditions. a final DAO mix heater (steam. or direct fired heater). and the asphaltenes and more polar resins are rejected (along with a small amount of solvent) in the bottoms stream. The extraction section consists of the extraction vessel. In lube oil production applications. pre-diluted feed will be contacted with a countercurrent flow of solvent. The pitch phase.UOP LLC Michael J. McGrath . The UOP/FW SDA Unit consists of essentially three major process operations (extraction. This provides an opportunity to produce more than one DAO product and add flexibility in processing options. Deaphalted oils and resins are selectively recovered overhead with the bulk of the solvent. A process schematic (Figure 2) is provided for reference. In the extractor. If the option to recover an intermediate resin stream is attractive. flashed and steam stripped to remove any remaining solvent from the pitch product. Initially these oils are the feedstock’s heavier resin fraction but eventually become the lighter DAO components. which will typically contain structured packing with proprietary internals. Figure 2: Supercritical SDA Process Vacuum Residue Charge Extractor DAO Separator Pitch Stripper DAO Stripper Pitch DAO Optional Resin Recovery (Three-Product Configuration) As the DAO/solvent mix is heated. This section includes heat exchange. There. and separates from the solvent by gravity. a resin settler may be added between the extractor and DAO separator. This material would then be heated. supercritical solvent recovery and the flexibility to utilize a range of solvent types to achieve the desired separation.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Process Description In non-lube oil production applications.

their use as SDA solvents is relatively inexpensive. however. Solvents normally used in the SDA process include single components such as propane. This is because of the quantity of solvent present in the unit. At the same time. it is generally more practical to operate the SDA unit with a constant solvent composition and adjust the operation of the extractor. it may be difficult to quickly adjust solvent composition to offset a change in feedstock quality. For a given solvent composition. the quality of the DAO declines slightly. proper solvent selection must consider both the desired quantity and quality of the recovered products. as SDA solvents when a reasonably high yield of high-quality DAO is desired.UOP LLC Michael J. when frequent feedstock changes might occur. when both the solvent composition and the extraction pressure are fixed. As the extraction temperature approaches the solvent’s critical temperature. As the molecular weight of the solvent increases.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J. In addition. more-resinous components of the feedstock. however. however. that the new feedstock would not be processed continuously for an extended period of time. metals-sensitive catalysts which are incapable of economically processing feedstocks containing more than a few parts-per-million of organometallics. solvent makeup rates are small. This typically results in relatively low yields of DAO. the yield of DAO also increases. butanes and pentanes. the DAO rapidly becomes less and less soluble in the solvent. is specified when the highest quality of recovered DAO is required. improving DAO quality but reducing DAO yield. which are recovered in a SDA unit. as well as mixtures of these components. would contain more organometallics and Conradson carbon. During actual operation of the unit. being the most selective of the solvents normally considered for a SDA unit. Subsequent increases in the extractor temperature can further improve the quality of the DAO by causing additional rejection of the asphaltenic components. and would require more severe downstream processing. Finally. Since these materials are typically available within a refinery. Houde . Extraction Temperature During normal operation. This assumes. Because the DAO is usually further processed in a conversion unit designed to utilize highly active. Table 4 summarizes the affect of extraction temperature on both the SDA yields and product quality. because the majority of the solvent is recirculated within the unit. Consequently. however. Increasing the extraction temperature reduces the solubility of the heavier components of the feedstock. McGrath .Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Solvent Selection The yield and quality of the products. Butanes are used either individually or as a mixture. pentanes are used when the maximum yield of DAO is desired. an upper limit to the extraction temperature which may be used. In most cases the solvent is supplied from LPG products within the refinery and at times includes the corresponding olefins. Table 4 Affect of extraction temperature on SDA yield and product quality Extractor Temperature Low High DAO Yield Quality Contaminants High Low High Low High Low Extractor Temperature Low High Pitch Yield Penetration Softening Point Low Low High High High Low There is. Because it is IDTC Conference London. The SDA unit design typically includes the capability to operate within a range of solvent compositions. When compared to the quality of a DAO recovered with a butane solvent. as these materials generally have relatively high contaminant contents. England February 2006 Page 6 of 11 . Propane. the DAO recovered from a pentane solvent would be heavier. the yields and qualities of the various products recovered in the SDA unit are controlled by adjusting the extractor’s operating temperature. are directly related to the solvent composition. This is due to the presence of the heavier. in which case adjustments to the solvent composition may be warranted to provide optimum product recovery and product quality.

Reduced metal content .000 wppm of these metals. Houde .WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J. Figure 3: SDA Quality Selectivity 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Deasphalted Oil Yield. it is usually not adjusted unless the feed rate is increased and the solvent circulation becomes the limitation on unit capacity or if there is some other major feedstock change. This data is based on UOP and Foster Wheeler’s extensive library of pilot plant and commercial solvent deasphalting data. the extractor temperature is typically maintained below the solvent’s critical temperature. Solvent Recirculation Rate The quantity of solvent contained in the solvent/residue mixture that is charged to the extractor vessel has an impact on extraction efficiency. England February 2006 lf Su ur ck Ni el R CC m iu ad n Va 90 100 80 Page 7 of 11 . Lower carbon/hydrogen ratios – The data indicate carbon/hydrogen ratios of seven. Nitrogen and Metals Appearing in Deasphalted Oil. As shown in Figure 1.DAO with as little as 1 wppm nickel plus vanadium content has been produced even from Venezuelan residues containing 700 to 1. are obtainable because of the high rejection of condensed ring aromatics to the pitch. Reduced carbon residue . The operating pressure of the extractor is based on the composition of the solvent which is being used. % Yield and Product Quality The solvent deasphalting process selectively IDTC Conference London. Once the required solvent-to-oil ratio is established. however.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation difficult to maintain a stable operation at these conditions. since the quantity of solvent which is recirculated within the unit is significantly greater than the amount of feedstock being processed. Vol-% Sulfur. Although the unit may be designed for a range of operating pressure. The deasphalted oil product quality is characterized by: ∗∗ Higher paraffinicity – The solvent deasphalted oils show viscosity indices 20 to 40 points higher than the corresponding distilled overhead cylinder oils.UOP LLC Michael J. increasing the amount of solvent in the extractor while maintaining a constant DAO yield improves the degree of separation of the individual components and results in the recovery of a higher-quality DAO. As indicated previously. McGrath . the higher the operating pressure the more DAO is extracted at a specific temperature. Extraction Pressure The effect of operating pressure is opposite to temperature but to a lesser extent. extracts the more paraffinic components from vacuum residues while rejecting the condensed ring aromatics.Pilot plant and commercial data indicate concentrations of these components in the DAO are almost always lower than in the corresponding feed. once it is in operation the extractor pressure is typically not considered a control variable. Reduced sulfur and nitrogen content . and the increased capital costs associated with the larger equipment sizes. Blended feeds could be an exception. or lower. However. sufficient operating pressure must be maintained to ensure the solvent/residue mixture in the extractor is in the liquid state. any improvement in product quality which results from an increased solvent recirculation rate must be balanced against the additional operating costs associated with the increased solvent recirculation and solvent recovery requirements. ∗∗ ∗∗ ∗∗ ∗∗ The deasphalted oil product yield-quality relationships obtained when solvent deasphalting typical vacuum residues are shown in Figure 3. In general.The carbon residue in deasphalted oils is significantly lower than for distilled oils of equivalent viscosity or mid-boiling point.

5 925 Option 2 35. ∗∗ Option 2 . based on a two-product UOP/FW SDA unit operating at 100% of design capacity (28. TABLE 6 ESTIMATED UTILITY REQUIREMENTS Utility Fuel Fired. and capital costs. Houde . The lube oil case is a low DAO yield. the number of shells would increase anywhere from 2 to 3 times that of the base case. Reducing the temperature approach to say 11°F would result in a similar energy saving as in Option 2. heat recovery. Summarized below are typical continuous utility requirements for solvent deasphalting units using supercritical solvent recovery as described above. The base case assumes a 5-shell arrangement and a 20°F temperature approach.0 360 IDTC Conference London.5 925 Option 1 23. The base case for this comparison minimizes heat integration and takes a conservative approach to equipment sizing. kW Steam. MMBTU/hr Electric Power. which is typically done during the basic design phase may improve utility and capital requirements. However. This option reduces fired fuel requirements by approximately 11. ∗∗ Option 3 .500 lbs/hr. solvent deasphalting utility consumptions depend more upon the solvent circulation rate than upon the deasphalted oil yield or the unit feed capacity. This option reduces the DAO phase steam heater requirements by about 18. The other options include: ∗∗ Option 1 .500 Power KWH 1. Per Barrel of Feed Lube Oil Cracking Stock Fuel Liberated.2 1192 60.5 15 Nil Cooling Water (25ºF rise). The cracking stock case is a high DAO yield.77 Steam (150 psig). Btu (LHV) 81. low solvent to oil ratio operation using fired heat as the major process heat source.9 MM BTU/hr.UOP LLC Michael J. relatively high solvent to oil ratio operation using steam as the primary process heat source.000 55. McGrath . Consequently. gpm Base 35.Heat exchange of the pitch product with the DAO phase.3 1163 78.200 BPSD) at normal operating conditions. lbs 116 10.5 1.Designing the DAO/solvent mix to solvent exchanger for a specific temperature approach. gal Evaluation of the unit’s many heat integration options. England February 2006 Page 8 of 11 .Heat exchange of the DAO product with the pitch stripper feed. Table 6 illustrates the impact of several of these options on the unit’s utility requirements.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Utility Requirements For many processing units it is possible to develop utility consumptions based on either the feed capacity or the amount of products produced. Table 5 Solvent Deasphalting Typical Utility Requirements. An accurate estimate of solvent deasphalting utility consumptions requires definition of all three of these parameters.2 1192 78. x 103 lbs/hr HP (consumed) Cooling Water. This is not a realistic approach for solvent deasphalting since most of the utility consumptions are related to the circulation and recovery of the solvent.

it does not provide any actual conversion. This also minimizes the size of the solvent deasphalter. Therefore. Pitch has also been used commercially as feedstock for IGCC and hydrogen production. Houde . the pitch may be sent to the coker for final conversion and recovery of the remaining oil value. along with some clarified slurry oil. This allows UOP/FW to offer licensees high-quality support from initial conception. It is not analogous in that it separates by molecular types rather than volatility. Another significant market is as a blend component in the IDTC Conference London. McGrath . the pitch production will be minimized for a specific cracking stock (DAO plus VGO) quality by maximizing the lift in the vacuum unit to the limit of VGO quality.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Application of Solvent Deasphalting In determining the best application of solvent deasphalting the process should be thought of as a physical separation process analogous in some respects to vacuum distillation. Utilization of Pitch The utilization of SDA pitch is very much dependant on the local market. for this application. Due to solvent selectivity. These services include: ∗∗ Pilot plant testing to establish design basis ∗∗ Technical services during unit checkout and start-up ∗∗ Ongoing operations monitoring ∗∗ Engineer and operator training programs Page 9 of 11 . the fuel system and burner temperatures were higher than from a tyical solvent deasphalting operation. In order to compensate for the higher viscosity of the IPP’s fuel blend.UOP LLC Michael J. it is most applicable to recovering the large quantity of high quality oils in light residues while rejecting the small quantity of asphaltenes and impurities such as metals and those components that contribute to carbon residue. the pitch will contain low-boiling. however. For instances where a delayed coker is available. through unit design and construction. The recovered pitch. UOP/FW/Sulzer’s latest state-of-the-art. but not limited by the volatility of its products and selective to certain molecular types. Finally. paraffinic components. mainly as a blend component in the residual oil market. In this case. solvent deasphalting has good applicability where the demand for a low-value residual fuel is significantly smaller than the production of residual fuel oil based on vacuum tower bottoms production. licensees have full access to the widest range of support resources available to the refining industry. The primary outlet for the pitch is as fuel. For a fuels type solvent deasphalter. solvent deasphalting can be economically applied at very small feed rates. Solvent deasphalting is less expensive to build and operate than other residue conversion processes. In addition. England February 2006 production of road bitumen or other specialty asphalts. The solvent deasphalting unit was designed to process 6. and continuing on through unit start-up and monitoring of the operating unit’s performance. The addition of the solvent deasphalting unit allowed the refiner to increase the amount of transportation fuels produced from the refinery. the refiner desired to recover additional cracking stock from a residual fuel stream. The result in general is that higher boiling components are recovered in the unit’s pitch product and the lower boiling components are recovered in the unit’s DAO product. It is analogous to vacuum distillation in that it only provides separation of products not conversion of products.000 kg/hr) of a Middle Eastern crude blend to recover a 50% yield of DAO.000 BPSD (approximately 40. unlike residue conversion units which benefit from economy of scale.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J. highly aromatic components while the DAO will contain highboiling. proprietary internals and structured packing were used in both the unit’s extractor and DAO separator. (≤ 20 Liq Vol % of the blend) was used as a high viscosity residual fuel by an existing nearby IPP to produce power. UOP/FW Technical Service In addition to the benefits provided by UOP and FW’s broad commercial experience bases. although as noted earlier. If you change to a lower quality feed it will result in a lower quality of DAO or a lower yield or both. Example of a Recent Commercial Application A recent project that has started up in the Far East is a good example of the applicability of solvent deasphalting in an existing refinery.

in the laboratory. This includes deep deasphalting of vacuum residues derived from Heavy Arabian (Safaniya). Technology specialists are available to our UOP/FW SDA licensees to monitor unit performance and offer advice on unit operations. a water-cooled belt to confirm the feasibility of flaking high melting point pitch directly from the pitch stripper.Foster Wheeler USA Corporation ∗∗ Review of contractor and vendor information ∗∗ Cost estimating and procurement ∗∗ Metallurgical inspection consultation and equipment ∗∗ Analytical testing services ∗∗ Modular extractor design UOP/FW have a staff of field operating engineers and instrument engineers available to provide technical assistance during new unit commissioning and start-up. Tia Juana. Foster Wheeler has run. Solvent Deasphalting Pilot Plant UOP and FW’s extensive experience with various pilot plant configurations has confirmed their ability to produce deasphalted oil and pitch products having physical properties comparable to those produced in commercial units operating at similar conditions. Kuwait. Light Iranian (Agha-Jari. England February 2006 Page 10 of 11 . IDTC Conference London. as well as tar sand oil. Heavy Canadian and Canadian crudes. This type of belt is used commercially to solidify coal tar pitch and could find successful commercial application with high melting point pitch. including such topics as operations. In addition. engineering and laboratory and maintenance procedures.500 hours of operation producing pitch above 250°F softening point and has produced 400°F capillary melting point pitch (which is estimated to correspond to 500°F ring & ball softening point). These engineers can also provide immediate technical assistance to the licensee if a problem arises on any operating UOP/FW SDA unit.WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J. An example of this is illustrated in Table 7. In addition. Delta. FW has also accumulated more than 2. where pilot plant data and commercial operating results for deasphalting Kuwait vacuum residue are compared. licensees can choose from a wide variety of training courses. Houde . Sassan and Ahwaz).UOP LLC Michael J. Heavy Iranian (Gach Saran). McGrath . Foster Wheeler and UOP have extensive pilot plant experience processing a wide range of feedstocks using solvents ranging from propane through hexane.

% Vol. McGrath .Foster Wheeler USA Corporation TABLE 7 SOLVENT DEASPHALTING PILOT PLANT vs. PPM Pitch Inspections Specific Gravity @ 60/60ºF Penetration @ 77ºF Softening Point. SSU Con.61 1.1 4. Sulfur. Nickel + Vanadium. England February 2006 Page 11 of 11 .0 Commercial Operation IDTC Conference London.06 10 151 19.2 7..WHEN SOLVENT DEASPHALTING IS THE MOST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY FOR UPGRADING RESIDUE Edward J. R&B 1. ºF. Nickel + Vanadium.07 8 155 1.92 129 32. Sulfur.64 2. ºAPI Viscosity @ 210ºF. Carbon Res.0 6. ºAPI Viscosity @ 210ºF.129 20.0 19.UOP LLC Michael J.0 7. Deasphalted Oil Inspections Gravity. COMMERCIAL RDC OPERATION Feedstock: Kuwait Vacuum Residue (1020ºF TBP Cut Point) Pilot Plant Feed Inspections Gravity. % Wt.229 19. Houde .6 7. % Wt.14 -31.67 2. PPM Deasphalted Oil Yield.8 185 1.2 5. % Wt. % Wt. SSU Con. Carbon Res..88 1.5 194 1.