INTRODUCTION Catalytic cracking is today the most widely used process for increasing the ratio of light to heavy

products from the refinery. The origin of the process actually goes back into the 1920's when thermal cracking was the principal process used for this purpose. In the mid-1920's, an engineer named Houdry found that an acid activated clay was an effective catalyst for cracking heavy oil to lighter product, including high octane gasoline. In 1931, in partnership with SOCONY-Vacuum (now Mobil), he founded the Houdry Process Company to exploit the Houdry fixed bed catalytic cracking process. This was a cyclic process, alternating conversion and regeneration steps. It was first commercialized in 1937 and, by 1940, there were 14 such units built. The next advance was Mobil's Thermofor Catalytic Cracking, which employed a moving catalyst bed. In this process, catalyst flowed by gravity down through a reaction zone, then to a regeneration zone. Regenerated catalyst was moved back to the top of the reactor to repeat the cycle. At first, this was done by a bucket elevator system, later by pneumatic lift. Units were built using the TCC process up to the early 1950's. Fluid Catalytic Cracking development started in the 1930's following the discovery that, under proper conditions, finely divided solids could be made to flow like liquids. Such small particles offered advantages in heat transfer and mass diffusion over the large catalyst pellets used in other processes. In 1942, the first FCC unit was started up. Due to heavy wartime requirements for motor and aviation fuels, and the capability of this process, 34 new units were put on stream between 1942 and 1945. Installed capacity was over 500,000 barrels per day. The Fluid Catalytic Cracking Process (FCC) is a process for conversion of straight-run atmospheric gas oil, vacuum gas oils, certain atmospheric residues, and heavy stocks recovered from other operations into high octane gasoline, light fuel oils and olefin-rich light gases. Features of the process are a relatively low investment conversion process, reliable long-run

operations, and an operating versatility that enables the refiner to produce a variety of yield patterns by simple adjustment of operating parameters. The product gasoline has an excellent front-end octane number and good overall octane characteristics. Further, FCC gasoline is complemented by the characteristics of alkylate produced from the olefinic by-products because alkylate has superior mid-range octane and excellent sensitivity. The process employs a catalyst in the form of very small particles, which behave as a fluid when aerated. The fluidized catalyst is continuously circulated from a reaction zone, where the cracking reactions occur, to a regeneration zone where the catalyst is reactivated. In addition to providing the catalytic action, the catalyst is also the vehicle for the transfer of heat from the regeneration to the reaction zone. These two zones are located in separate vessels called the reactor and the regenerator. PROCESS APPLICATION One of the strengths of the FCC process is its versatility to produce a wide variety of yield patterns by adjusting the basic operating parameters. While most units have been designed for gasoline production, units have been designed for each of the three major operational modes. Gasoline Mode The most common mode of operation of the FCC unit is aimed at the maximum production of gasoline. This condition requires careful control of reaction severity, which must be high enough to convert a substantial portion of the feed, but not so high as to destroy the gasoline that has been produced. This balance normally is achieved by using a very active and selective catalyst and enough reaction temperature to produce the desired octane. The catalyst-circulation rate is limited, and reaction time is confined to a very short exposure. Since this severity is carefully controlled, there is normally no need for any recycle of unconverted components.

Preheated raw oil and recycle streams are introduced into the bottom of the reactor riser. By a change in operating conditions. the FCC unit can then be used for the production of distillates. Severity may be increased by increasing reactor temperature. specification. refer to the FCC Unit process flow diagram (Figure VI-1). At the top of the riser. catalyst/oil ratio. an operation producing additional light olefins and a higheroctane gasoline will result. Reactor/Regenerator Section Pumped raw oil charge is preheated by the fractionation column (main column) bottoms and side stream products. The catalyst flow is controlled to maintain a desired reactor temperature. together with a controlled amount of regenerated catalyst plus lift gas. PROCESS DESCRIPTION For the following descriptions. or both. very high total gasoline yields and octanes can be produced. or if they are polymerized into the gasoline boiling range. If isobutane is available to alkylate the light olefins. Lift gas is a mixture of steam plus dry gas from the refinery gas plant. Additional distillates can be produced at the expense of gasoline by reducing the end point of the gasoline and dropping the additional material into the light-cycle-oil product. Cracking occurs as the hydrocarbon vapors and catalyst travel up the riser. This case is sometimes described as a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) mode or as a petrochemical FCC because of the increased quantity of light material that is produced and the increased aromatics in the gasoline product. Hot regenerated catalyst vaporizes the feed. and the resultant vapors carry the catalyst upward through the riser. the desired cracking reactions have been completed and catalyst is quickly separated from the hydrocarbon vapors to minimize The usual limitation in this step is reached when the resulting cycle oil reaches a particular flash-point . a shift from the normally gasoline-oriented yield distribution to one with a more nearly equal ratio of gasoline-to-cycle oil can be accomplished.High-Severity Mode If reaction severity is increased. Distillate Mode If the reaction severity is strictly limited.

During the cracking reaction. The regenerator also serves to burn the coke from the catalyst particles and transfer heat to the circulating catalyst. the heat of combustion raises the catalyst temperature to the 1200-1375ºF (650-750ºC) range. The regenerator is also . The catalyst-hydrocarbon mixture is discharged into the reactor vessel through disengaging arms. a carbonaceous by-product called coke is deposited on the circulating catalyst. and provides the heat of reaction necessary to crack the feedstock to the desired conversion level. The recirculation catalyst flow is normally controlled to maintain the lower regenerator temperature. gasoline. cycle oil products. and a heavy residual bottoms material. which supplies hot regenerated catalyst from the upper to the lower regenerator to provide additional heat for combustion. referred to as spent catalyst. This catalyst. The regenerator is normally operated at conditions that achieve complete combustion of CO to CO2. Energy carried by the hot regenerated catalyst is used to vaporize and heat the oil vapor to the desired reaction temperature in the riser. The stripped catalyst flows from the reactor stripper through the reactor standpipe to the regenerator where the coke is continuously burned off. Final separation of catalyst and product vapor is accomplished in the cyclones. In the regenerator. The purpose of this regeneration is to reactivate the spent catalyst so that when catalyst is returned to the reactor riser. the combustion temperature can be varied for partial CO combustion if processing conditions allow a lower level of heat generation. The catalyst flow through the reactor standpipe is controlled to balance the circulating catalyst flow by maintaining a constant reactor catalyst level. Combustion gases from the coke burn in the regenerator may be conducted through a CO boiler for steam regeneration. The reactor product vapors flow through the reactor vapor line to the main column where they are condensed and fractionated into gaseous co-products. drops from the reactor chamber into the stripping section where a counter-current flow of steam removes some adsorbed hydrocarbon vapors.further cracking reactions. it is in the optimum condition to perform its cracking function. The regenerator is equipped with a catalyst recirculation standpipe. However.

Figure XIII-1 FCC Process Flow The sensible heat of the hot flue gas is recovered in a flue gas cooler steam generator. An equilibrium catalyst storage hopper is provided to hold regenerated catalyst withdrawn from the circulating system as necessary to maintain the desired working activity. and to make up for any catalyst lost from the system. In order to maintain the activity of the working catalyst inventory at the desired level. Flue gas exits through cyclone separators to minimize catalyst entrainment prior to discharge from the regenerator.provided with a combustion air startup air heater which is used to supply heat to the system until the catalyst temperature is raised sufficiently for auto regeneration. Fractionation Section * . fresh catalyst is introduced into the circulating catalyst system from a fresh catalyst storage hopper.

” or the ease with which they can be converted in an FCC unit. °R. and aromatic species in the feed. and main column bottoms streams are utilized in the vapor recovery unit for heat exchange purposes. and organometallic compounds. The relative proportions of all these materials vary with the geographic origin of the crude and the particular boiling range of the FCC feedstock. Vapor and liquid are then routed to the vapor recovery unit from the main column receiver. and s is its specific gravity. PROCESS CHEMISTRY Feedstocks for the FCC process are complex mixtures of hydrocarbons of various types. Additional main column bottoms streams are used for preheating raw oil feed and for steam generation.Reactor product vapors flow to the main column where gasoline and gaseous. The gasoline fraction is condensed from the overhead material in the overhead condenser. Heavy slurried material is recycled to the reactor riser. Generally. It is possible. Circulating light and heavy cycle oils. to rank feedstocks in terms of their “crackabilities. The naphtha and light and heavy cycle oils are recovered as side-cut products with the net yield of these materials being stripped for removal of light ends and sent to further processing or storage. Maximum usage is made of the heat carried to the main column by the hot reactor effluent vapor. There is a relatively small content of contaminant materials such as organic sulfur. however. one can correlate crackability of FCC feedstocks with the UOP characterization factor K: where TR is the molal average boiling point of the feedstock. Net column bottoms is clarified in the slurry settler and the pumped clarified oil exchanges heat with the raw oil before flowing to storage. olefin rich coproducts are vaporized overhead. nitrogen compounds. Crackability is a function of the relative proportions of paraffinic. A large amount of experimental and commercial data can be classified as follows: . naphthenic. Sour water resulting from steam additions is collected and sent to the refinery sour water stripper for acid gas elimination and for water recovery. from small quantities of gasoline up to large molecules of 60 carbon atoms.

The metals are deposited irreversibly on the hydrotreating catalyst. One theory proposes that an ion is formed from an olefin which.0 11. it is selective. bond rupture is random. First. and hydrotreated feeds do.3 Relative Crackability High Intermediate Refractory Feedstock Type Paraffinic Naphthenic Aromatic Sulfur compounds do not affect crackability. and reactions of hydrocarbons over these materials are well-known. One solution to this problem is to hydrotreat the FCC feedstock. in fact. These reactions are fundamentally different from thermal cracking. the increase in these contaminants is dramatic. Most of the sulfur and nitrogen leave the hydrotreater in relatively easily disposable forms of H2S and NH3. Various theories have been proposed to explain how the cracking process is initiated. The organometallic compounds decompose on the circulating catalyst. The cracked sulfur compounds are distributed into the liquid products. generally accepted. The temperatures involved . could be formed by thermal effects upon initial catalyst-oil contact. hydrotreating upgrades the FCC feed A mechanism for catalytic cracking reactions is now crackability. in turn. above 970ºF (520ºC). thus creating a need for product cleanup before final use. Heavy polynuclear aromatic-ring compounds are very refractory. with the metals remaining irreversibly deposited on the catalyst. In addition to removing contaminants. they have a serious deactivating effect on the catalyst. they affect the product distribution. crack with better product selectivity because of their increased hydrogen contents.5-11. causing more light gases. In addition. These deposited metals have two rather serious deleterious effects. In thermal cracking.Range of K >12. thus posing a major processing problem. This latter effect leads to more fresh catalyst makeup to maintain activity. or may be present in the feed. especially hydrogen.6 <11. sulfur also exits from the FCC in the form of H2S and sulfur oxides. in catalytic cracking. and it is generally accepted that these molecules are coke precursors. All cracking catalysts are acidic materials. second. to be formed. As end points increase into the “non-distillable” range. and. which is periodically replaced. The relative amounts of the above contaminants in the FCC feedstock generally increase as the end point of the feedstock increases.

the ion could be formed by the interaction of the hydrocarbon molecule with an acid site on the catalyst. The conversion should be corrected for any gasoline contained in the raw oil.in catalytic cracking are in the range where thermal cracking can also occur. Once formed in the feed. The reactor section variables are adjusted for optimum reactor severity. is also a complex topic for which many theories have been proposed. the ions can react in several ways. which is defined as the liquid volume percent of raw oil charge cracked to gasoline and lighter products. but it is convenient to discuss the process variables in each section independently. an unavoidable situation in catalytic cracking. especially its chemical nature and how it is formed. . is likely due to dehydrogenation (degradation reactions) and condensation reactions of polynuclear aromatics or olefins on the catalyst surface. This is done in the FCC regenerator. The exact mechanism is not well understood. Alternatively. The formation of coke on the catalyst. • • • • Crack to smaller molecules React with other molecules Isomerize to a different form React with the catalyst to stop the chain The subject of catalytic coke formation by cracking catalysts. The only recourse is to regenerate the catalyst to retain its activity by burning the coke to CO and CO2. A measure of the severity is conversion. and it is conventional to correct the yield of cracked cycle oils to that which would be produced if the 90% point of the gasoline distillation occurred at 380ºF (190ºC). this coke combustion becomes an important factor in the operation of the modern FCC. As coke is produced through these mechanisms. the H/C ratio of the coke increases until it becomes nonvolatile and eventually blocks the active acid sites and catalyst pores. PROCESS VARIABLES – REACTOR The reactor and regenerator operate together as an integrated unit. As will be seen. even though it is impossible to make a process change in one section without affecting the other.

an increase in conversion and coke yield will also be observed. It is important to note that gasoline yield does not always increase with reaction severity.Conversion and product properties change with reaction severity and product demand is the major consideration in selecting reaction severity. Fresh catalyst must be added to the unit in order to maintain the desired level of activity and to make up for physical losses. C/O. which operates at about 75-80 LV-% conversion. Catalyst/Oil Ratio Reference is frequently made to the catalyst/oil ratio. approximately 45-55 LV-% conversion. An increase in catalyst circulation at a constant reactor temperature will: • • Increase conversion Increase light gas yield . Fresh catalyst addition should be made as continuously and evenly as possible. C/O is not an independent variable and will increase with an increase in reactor temperature and decrease with higher regenerator or combined feed temperatures. When process conditions are changed so an increase in C/O occurs. approximately 85-90 LV-% conversion. it will take a significant amount of time for the effects of a catalyst replacement program to become fully apparent. which is the ratio of lb/hr of catalyst circulated to lb/h of fresh feed. If severity is raised too high. Catalyst Management Good management of the catalyst inventory is important to a smooth operation. will produce more distillate. Because of the unit's large catalyst inventory. Conversion and product yields are also affected by charge stock properties. Batchwise addition tends to effect conversion. A high severity mode of operation. will yield large amounts of LPG. The most common mode of operation is the gasoline mode. while a low severity mode. and there is evidence that this also causes increased losses. Results can also be clouded by changing feed stocks and operating conditions which affect product yields. overcracking will occur with the result that more LPG will be produced at the expense of gasoline yield. An accurate method for accounting for catalyst additions and losses is also necessary.

steam to the riser may also be necessary to improve catalyst fluidization. If the decrease in temperature is large enough to effect stable operation. Reactor Pressure and Pressure Balance .• • • • • • Increase C3 and C4 yield Decrease C3 and C4 olefinicities Increase gasoline aromatic content Decrease gasoline olefin content Increase aromatic content of the LCO Increase coke yield Charge Rate The unit will accommodate quite wide variations in charge rate at constant conversion. it will be necessary to add main column bottoms heavy cycle oil recycle to the riser to increase coke production in order to help the unit heat balance. An increased preheat temperature at a constant reactor temperature will: • • • • • Decrease the catalyst circulation Lower the coke production Increase delta coke (lb coke/lb catalyst) Slightly lower conversion Increase the regenerator temperature Although coke production will decrease with an increase in preheat temperature. Delta coke is the major variable of the two affecting the regenerator temperature. Combined Feed Temperature The combined feed temperature is adjusted through the raw oil preheat and the recycle flow temperatures. a decrease in coke production will cause a decrease in regenerator temperature. The effect of a change in the combined feed preheat can be predicted from the energy balance around the reactor and regenerator. the delta coke will increase and drive the regenerator temperature up. During turndowns or when lighter feedstocks are being processed. During turndowns.

An increase in the regenerator level will increase the differential pressure across the regenerated catalyst slide valve. The operator has some element of control. An increase in reactor pressure would produce the opposite effect. Like the regenerator. The pressure due to the catalyst head in the reactor standpipe and stripper must be great enough to overcome this differential. This occurs because the additional catalyst head causes a higher pressure on the upstream side of the valve. Reactor pressure normally varies slightly with changes in feed rate and loading in the main column. . Olefin content of the products will decrease with an increase in hydrocarbon partial pressure.• Reactor Pressure The pressure in the reactor is normally held constant. but pressure must be kept within narrow limits around the design value to avoid problems with riser and cyclone velocities. an increase in reactor level will increase the spent catalyst slide valve differential pressure while an increase in regenerator pressure will decrease it. but worse with respect to the greater amount of catalyst carried up to them as the vessel superficial velocity increases. Flow from the regenerator to the reactor riser is due to the regenerator pressure being slightly greater than the reactor pressure. Catalyst flows from the reactor to the regenerator against the slight pressure difference between the two vessels. Normal first-stage cyclone inlet velocities are in the 70 ft/s range. since a higher reactor pressure would reduce the vapor recovery unit gas compressor horsepower requirements. Coke formation will increase slightly. however. Higher pressure would also reduce the size of the vessels. defeat the original purpose of raising the reactor pressure. but would also increase the main air blower horsepower. however. Higher velocities are better for cyclone efficiency. • Pressure Balance Catalyst circulation through the catalyst section depends on small pressure differentials across the slide valves. There is a trade-off. conversion will increase somewhat. an effect that may be offset by adding steam or inert gas to reduce the hydrocarbon partial pressure. This may.

These could occur if water enters the reactor. This will result in a higher reactor pressure. These systems are designed to prevent abnormally high pressures. the spent catalyst slide valve pressure differential will decrease and the regenerated slide valve pressure differential will increase.Reactor pressure is controlled indirectly by the main column overhead receiver pressure. which operates the flue gas valves at the orifice chamber inlet. As the regenerator pressure is increased. The regenerator pressure is directly controlled by a pressure differential controller. special precautions must be taken to avoid any large pressure surges. the main column receiver pressure must be set to allow for the pressure drop between the reactor and the receiver. or the wet gas compressor fails. . A main column overhead receiver over pressure controller is provided to vent gas to the flare immediately in the event of an emergency. as more material passes through the main column. Even if the receiver pressure is constant. the pressure drop will increase. This pressure must be adjusted to balance the spent and regenerated catalyst and slide valve differential pressures. which can lead to negative slide valve differential pressures and reversal of catalyst flow. While steady valve differential pressures are needed to keep the catalyst circulating. The reactor pressure will be dependent on the amount of material going through the main column and the overhead system. Therefore. Because of the importance of steady pressure conditions. the effects that changes in these pressures have on other process conditions are also important.

2 91.5 9.4 80.8 78.7 6.6 21.9 26. LV-% Propylene. REACTOR TEMPERATURE COMPARISONS Case A Reactor Temperature.6 25.3 1.5 11.2 95. Case A is for a highly paraffinic feedstock.8 1. °F °C Catalyst/Oil. LV-% (C5-380°F @ 90%) RON MON Butylenes. LV-% Recycle Rate 935 502 655 346 6.82 77.6 80.9 21. °F °C Feed Temperature. LV-% Gasoline.5 67.6 70. Wt Ratio Reactor Pressure.9 1.52 82.50 80. but this will depend on other conditions as well.4 94.6 1.6 81.9 1001 538 708 376 6.9 10.2 9.5 Case B 1013 545 653 345 12.88 89.1 87.7 53. The following table presents typical commercial data showing how conversion and yield vary with reactor temperature.6 11. psig kg/cm2 Gauge Conversion.Reactor Temperature Reactor temperature is the prime control of reactor severity. An increase in reactor temperature at a constant catalyst circulation rate will: • • • • • • Increase conversion Increase light gas yield Increase C3 and C4 olefinicities Increase gasoline research octane number (RON) Increase gasoline aromatic and olefin content Decrease light cycle oil aromatic content Coke yield may also increase slightly.5 984 529 624 329 12.6 9. while the feed for Case B is more aromatic.2 .8 5.1 56.

injected . An increase in the recycle rate will: • • • • Increase the catalyst circulation rate Increase the coke production Increase the regenerator temperature Increase the gas make Riser Steam During normal operation.The recycle rate determines the combined feed ratio. based on raw oil charge.0 because recycle is not normally used. and to lower catalyst deactivation from metals contamination. During turndowns or when lighter feedstocks are being processed. One to two wt-% of steam. it may be necessary to add recycle to the riser to help the unit heat balance. typically 1-2 wt-% of the raw oil charge. or during shutdown. CFR. Small amounts of steam. it may be advantageous to inject some steam with the charge to the riser to assure optimum mixing of catalyst and oil in the riser. which is defined as: where: recycle = total of recycle streams (volume) feed = raw oil charge rate (volume) Normal operation is typical with a CFR of 1. during operation at low charge rates. will: • • • • Decrease the hydrocarbon partial pressure in the riser Decrease the catalyst delta coke (weight coke/weight catalyst) Decrease the regenerator temperature Decrease the light gas make Riser steam is used during start-up to establish catalyst circulation.

the steam rate should then be increased by about 10% above this minimum.into the riser does not cause any noticeable catalyst deactivation. is detrimental as it contributes to catalyst deactivation. A relatively large increase in regenerator temperature will occur when the stripping steam rate is reduced below the minimum required and combustion of the unstripped hydrocarbons begins. For routine operation. Stripping Steam Rate The quantity of steam required to strip the oil vapors from the spaces between the catalyst particles is dependent upon the catalyst circulation rate. Steam should be used if necessary. stripping steam rates will need to be increased whenever there is a process change which results in an increase in the catalyst circulation rate. but the catalyst is subjected to breakage and deactivation if contacted by large amounts of steam over an extended period. such as: • • • • An increase in the raw oil charge rate An increase in the recycle rate A decrease in the combined feed temperature An increase in the reactor temperature . Using excessive stripping steam. but its use should be kept to a minimum if there is not a large quantity of oil with it. The stripping steam rate is generally about 2-5 pounds per ton of catalyst circulated. the optimum rate can be determined by observing the response of the regenerator temperature to slow stepwise decreases in the stripping steam rate. Alternatively. During normal operation. however.

. catalyst regeneration may not be complete. a substantial loss of fines from the catalyst inventory will result in poor fluidization in the regenerator and the carbon content of the regenerated catalyst will increase. this coke cannot be regenerated since it is shielded from the oxygen. Sintering occurs when the catalyst melts just sufficiently to close some pores. Low air rates result in grid pressure drops below design values which can cause distributor erosion problems.PROCESS VARIABLES – REGENERATOR The function of the regenerator is to burn the coke off the spent catalyst transferred from the reactor. this is probably due to coke trapped in sintered pores and indicates the catalyst pore structure has been permanently damaged resulting in its loss of activity. as partially regenerated catalyst does not provide adequate conversion and product distribution will be affected. If these pores contain coke. but could also limit the capacity of the unit.7-1. Heat generated from this combustion provides the heat necessary for the operation of the unit. Regenerator operation influences reactor performance. A low upper regenerator dense phase temperature results in a high catalyst circulation rate which increases both the conversion and the coke yield. If catalyst is still gray in color after laboratory regeneration in the routine carbon determination. However.0 psi. If more air is passing through one section of the bed than another. Perforated grid type distributors are designed for pressure drops of 0. Air Distribution Even air distribution is essential to good regenerator operation. For this reason. Catalyst Condition Regenerator operation is not greatly affected by nominal changes in catalyst properties. Occasionally. Uneven temperature profiles is a sign of poor distribution. catalyst becomes sintered by exposure to high temperatures or as a result of sodium contamination. withdrawal of equilibrium catalyst from the regenerator should be done regularly so that there will not be a shift of catalyst particle size distribution toward larger size particles. This can be caused by a damaged distributor or operation at an air rate substantially lower than the designed air rate. More important is the effect that variations in the regenerator dense phase temperature have on the catalyst/oil ratio.

or in some cases by simply adding excess air. burn to CO2 and achieve maximum combustion: Complete Combustion: C + O2 Partial Combustion: CO Combustion: C + 1/2 O2 CO + 1/2 O2 ⎯⎯⎯→ ⎯⎯⎯→ ⎯⎯⎯→ CO2 + Heat CO + Heat CO2 + Heat All of these reactions release heat. Total combustion may be initiated by using a catalyst promoter to catalyze the conversion of CO.Coke Combustion Coke is a mixture of carbon and hydrogen which. <10 ppm on catalyst. This occurs when coke is burned off the catalyst at a slower rate than it is formed during the cracking reaction. when burned in the regenerator. Partially regenerated catalyst lacks activity. in turn. it loses even more activity and regenerator temperature declines steadily until the unit no longer functions. Some CO may. This in turn will lower the catalyst circulation rate and the total coke production for a given energy requirement. The promoter. The catalyst will be cleaner and more active which offsets most of the potential conversion loss because of the lower catalyst circulation. Thus. If the unit is operated for total combustion. and water. while partial burning to CO yields only 3. Complete combustion of carbon yields (14. Combustion Air Rate The air rate to the high efficiency regenerator should be adjusted to maintain 1-4 vol-% excess O2 in the flue gas. usually a noble metal in very small quantities.960 Btu/lb of carbon. the regenerator will get behind in burning. Thus. CO combustion releases roughly 72% of the total energy available per pound of carbon. Precautions against this are: The lower coke .150 Btu/lb) of carbon. If sufficient combustion air is not supplied to the regenerator to complete coke combustion. production also means a higher liquid yield. carbon monoxide. the maximum amount of heat is released resulting in the highest catalyst temperature. so more coke is formed on its next pass through the riser. The carbon burning may be complete (to CO2) or it may only be partial (to a CO and CO2 mixture). can produce carbon dioxide. preferentially burns CO to CO2 as soon as it is formed.

etc. The increased temperature reduces the catalyst/oil ratio which. • Carefully controlling the excess air level If the regenerator is operated with an excessive quantity of air. The regenerator temperature is the heat balancing mechanism of the regeneration process. indicating an accumulation of coke • Anticipating changes in process conditions which increase coke production. or carbon residue A decrease in charge characterization factor (K) Addition or an increase in slurry bottoms recycle rate An increase in combined feed temperature An increase in reactor temperature or pressure Recirculation Catalyst Rate . e. decreases in combined feed temperature. reduces the coke production and restores the balance. charge stock changes. Those changes in process conditions which tend to produce more coke also cause an increase in regenerator temperature. combined feed properties. average boiling point. the regenerator efficiency will decrease and cool the regenerator..• • Maintaining the normal regenerator temperature pattern Periodically checking that coke grayness is not increasing. Dense Phase Temperature The upper regenerator dense phase temperature is not directly controlled but is dependent upon reactor conditions. in turn. and air rate.g. Process changes causing an increase in the regenerator dense phase temperature are: • • • • • An increase in charge specific gravity.

burning will take place in the upper regenerator. Generally. regardless of charge rate and composition. fresh catalyst is added continually to maintain activity since the catalyst will deactivate at a certain minimum rate. there is very little catalyst to absorb the heat. A large regenerator catalyst inventory will absorb the effects of minor upsets in operating conditions since the change in regenerator temperature and catalyst circulation rate will be smaller. A low level will not provide the ability to absorb changes in catalyst density and circulation. Operating with a low regenerator level should be avoided due to the decreased unit stability that could arise. An indication of this type of afterburn is observed when the upper regenerator dilute phase temperatures are greater than the dense phase temperatures. In a high efficiency regenerator. This level will vary slightly with operating conditions but is maintained by adjusting the rate of catalyst addition or withdrawal. This normally results in an increasing catalyst level since this rate should be greater than any loss rate. This problem can be corrected by re-circulating more hot catalyst from the upper regenerator.A condition known as afterburning occurs when uncombusted CO does not begin to burn to CO2 until the flue gases reach the upper regenerator. Regenerator Level The upper section of the regenerator is the catalyst surge vessel of the unit. which will increase the coke burning rate in the combustion riser. . If the lower regenerator temperature is insufficient to burn all the carbon in the combustion riser. the carbon burn should take place in the combustion riser to maximize the heat transfer to regenerated catalyst in the upper regenerator dense phase. This requires periodic batchwise withdrawal of equilibrium catalyst when the upper regenerator level gets high. This causes extremely high temperatures that may seriously damage the cyclones or the flue gas line. In this area. The rate necessary to maintain constant activity will tend to be less if catalyst inventory is small. Usually there will be a minimum daily catalyst addition rate of 1-2% of the catalyst inventory. decreasing regenerator efficiency.

main air blower power consumption. The regenerator pressure will be governed by that which gives the optimum operation of the power recovery system expander. Lowering the regenerator pressure will: • • • • • Increase the spent catalyst slide valve differential pressure Decrease the regenerated catalyst slide valve differential pressure Decrease the main air blower power consumption Slightly improve air distribution Increase catalyst entrainment to the cyclones Torch Oil The torch oil nozzles permit oil to be sprayed into the lower regenerator during start-ups as an aid in heating up the catalyst inventory. catalyst entrainment.Regenerator Pressure An increase in the regenerator pressure will improve the catalyst regeneration. Raw oil or circulating HCO is used since either is free from metallic contaminants. A high concentration of the oil in a small area can result in localized areas being hotter than the temperature indicated by the regenerator's temperature indicators. The effect of regenerator pressure on slide valve differential pressures. Torch oil should not be used during normal operations because its excessive heat can sinter the catalyst resulting in deactivation. and cyclone efficiency is more important. Flue Gas Quench Temperature controlled. care should be taken to make sure the oil is properly atomized. These sprays are used to protect the down stream power recovery equipment where . steam-atomized quench water sprays are provided at the regenerator plenum. though this variable is almost never used for that purpose. Refer also to the reactor-regenerator pressure balance discussion included in the reactor process variable section. They both have an IBP over 400ºF (205ºC) which eliminates the danger of torch oil vaporizing before ignition when it is used during startup. When it is necessary to use torch oil.

. the atomizing steam control value should be opened to its maximum before water is injected. The flue gas temperature controller ensures that atomizing steam is present before the water quench. During normal operation.existing from excessive temperature because of the 1300ºF (705ºC) design limitation of the expander. In order to obtain good dispersion of the water. steam purges to the nozzles must be unblocked to maintain steam flow and keep the nozzles clear of catalyst.

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