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Petroleum Refining Fourth Year Dr.Aysar T.

Jarullah

Steam Quantity Required


The vapor is usually pumped to the down distillation column located below flash zone (i.e.
below the reign where the crude oil enters). The aim of pumping the vapor is
1- Remove the remaining gas oil from reduced crude (un-vaporized)
2- Reduce the partial pressure leading to boiling the compounds at low temp.

The water vapor or the steam is pumped due to the following reasons:
1) Available
2) Cheap
3) Don't mix with crude oil
4) Good heat transportation

The steam quantity is calculated by using the following equation:


ns p
 s
nt pt
ns: is the no. of moles of vap.
nt : is the total moles
ps: is vap. press.
pt: is the total press.

ps  pt  pn
( pt  pn )
ns  nt
pt
pn: is the press. of H.C

Ex: Estimate the no. of moles of steam required to add to the distillation column to reduce the
boiling temperature from 400 to 350F.

Sol.:
400 at 760mmHg
From Fig. 17, (by connection 350 with 400F) so pn=400mmHg
Let n t =100 mol
(760  400)
 n s  100   47.38 moles
760

Reflux and Reflux Ratio


Reflux is the ratio between the amounts of material that returned to the distillation column to
the material that result at distillation. In order to increase the degree of separation and high
purity, amount of liquid is returned to the column in addition to getting rid of heat making the
column in thermal equilibrium case.
Petroleum Refining Fourth Year Dr.Aysar T. Jarullah

Types of Reflux
1) Top tray reflux. In this type, the steam from the top of distillation column is
condensed then some of it is returned to the distillation column. This method
is easy to design and operate, but create big quantity of steam inside the
distillation column and the amount of reflux is not enough. The quantity of
heat drawn is calculated as (mcpT  L.H ) (m for every lb).
2) Pump back reflux. In this arrangement, reflux is provided regular intervals.
This helps every plate to act as a true fractionator. The vapor load in the tower
is fairly uniform and hence a uniform and smaller diameter tower will do. The
rejected heat at the reflux locations can be effectively utilized. This method
provides enough liquid at different points along distillation column and hence
good separation, but so difficult to design and operate. The quantity of heat
drawn is calculated as (mcpT ) (m for every lb).
3) Pump around reflux. In this way, reflux from a lower plate is taken, cooled
and fed into the column at a higher level by 2 to 3 plates. This method needs
column distillation with high plates because the whole cut will be on one plate.
The quantity of heat drawn is calculated as (mcpT ) (m for every lb).

Products from ADU


The product obtained from a top of ADC under atmospheric pressure is gasoline having B.P.
from C5 to 190F. This fraction withdrawal as a vapor then is condensed and a part of it will
be returned to the atmospheric column as a reflux, while a stabilization process is carried out
on the remaining part. The stabilization process is removing the compounds that have low
B.P. (from C2 to C4), where these compounds cause high vapor pressure.
The stabilization process is carried out by passing the feed through fractionating column
containing many trays and reflux ratio (10 to 1) in order to make the separation process at
high accuracy. These light compounds are regarded as a source to produce liquefied gas.
Other products will withdrawal from several points along atmospheric column as a liquid.
These products are cooled and a part of them will be returned to the column as a reflux and
the remaining parts send to the stripper towers (small fractionating column like column
distillation having 4-8 trays placed on each other – beside the distillation column). These
stripper towers are aimed to remove the light compounds that effect on the flash point.
F .P  0.64T  100, for distilled fraction
F.P  0.57T  110 , for crude oil
The other products are: T in F
Heavy straight naphtha (190 – 400F)
Kerosene (380 500F)
Light gas oil (500 – 600F)
Petroleum Refining Fourth Year Dr.Aysar T. Jarullah

The remaining part at the bottom of atmospheric distillation will be sent to the vaccum
distillation tower.

2- Vacuum Distillation Column


The residue from an atmospheric distillation tower can be sent to a vacuum distillation
tower, which recovers additional liquid. The furnace outlet temperatures required for
atmospheric pressure distillation of the heavier fractions of crude oil are so high that thermal
cracking would occur, with the resultant loss of product and equipment fouling. These
materials are therefore distilled under vacuum because the boiling temperature decreases with
a lowering of the pressure. Distillation is carried out with absolute pressures in the tower flash
zone area of 25 to 40 mmHg (Fig. 23). To improve vaporization, the effective pressure is
lowered even further (to 10 mmHg or less) by the addition of steam to the furnace inlet and at
the bottom of the vacuum tower. Addition of steam to the furnace inlet increases the furnace
tube velocity and minimizes coke formation in the furnace as well as decreasing the total
hydrocarbon partial pressure in the vacuum tower.

Fig.23. Process flow diagram of the vacuum distillation unit

The main products from this unit are:


1- Heavy gas oil (600 – 800F)
2- Lubricant – base stokes (B.P. >700F), Non-viscous (50 – 100SUU), viscous (100 –
200SUU) and mid (>200SUU) at 100F.
3- Asphalt or vacuum residue (B.P > 1000F)

Yield Estimation of Crude Oil


1- Draw the curve between Vol.% dis. Vs. TBP.
2- Extrapolate the curve to the final point (EBP) of the distillation (100%) by fitting the
curve to a suitable polynomial function and extrapolating the results. From the curve,
we cal find the IBP if it is not given.
Petroleum Refining Fourth Year Dr.Aysar T. Jarullah

3- Find the intervals, ((IBP + EBP)/ no. of pseudo compounds)


4- Find the EBP of each pseudo comp. (intervals + IBP of the cut)
5- Find the normal BP (NBP) or average B.P ((EBP +IBP (EBP of the last cut))/2)
6- Read the yield% or vol.% from the curve at NBP.

Example: A petroleum cut has the following ASTM D86 Distillation data:

Divide the TBP curve of the petroleum cut into 20 pseudo-components. Calculate the liquid
volume percentage of each pseudo-component.

Sol:
Firstly, the temperatures should be converted from ASTM to TBP, as given previously. The
results will be as follow

Vol. % 0 10 30 50 70 90 95
ASTM (°C) 36.5 54 77 101.5 131 171 186.5
TBP (°C)-API 14.1 33.4 69 101.6 135.2 180.5 194.1
TBP (°C). Duabert -5.3 27.5 66.7 101.7 138.1 184.6 201.1

The TBP curve obtained extends to 95 volume percent distilled only. In order to obtain the
average boiling point of the last cuts, the curve is extrapolated to the final point of the
distillation (100%) by fitting the curve to a suitable polynomial function and extrapolating the
results. An Excel spreadsheet program was used to fit a fifth order polynomial function, as
shown Figure below for TBP temperature versus volume% using Duabert method.
Petroleum Refining Fourth Year Dr.Aysar T. Jarullah
Petroleum Refining Fourth Year Dr.Aysar T. Jarullah

Ex.: Plot the true boiling point curve for the kerosene product from Table below

Sol.:
The cumulative vol% at the IBP of kerosene = 1.33 + 7.27 + 16.56 = 25.16%
The cumulative vol% at the EBP of kerosene = 25.16 + 10.05 = 35.21%
The cumulative vol% at the 10% of kerosene cut = 0.1(10.05) + 25.16 = 26.17%. At vol% of
26.17% the estimated TBP is 186.73 °C (via drawing TBP curve directly or from the
polynomial fit equation of the Fig.). The procedure is repeated at 20% of kerosene volume
which yield 27.17% and TBP of 189.26 °C. Figure below shows the TBP curve for kerosene
which starts at IBP of 180 °C and ends at EBP of 240 °C.