The Shaw Group and Axens have been selected to license a next-generation catalytic cracking technology that will help refiners maximize the production of propylene and other high-value refinery products.
The advanced technology, High Severity Fluidized Catalytic Cracking (HS-FCC), will produce higher yields of propylene and other light valuable products than conventional fluidized catalytic cracking units. The technology developers selected Shaw and Axens to promote and license the technology worldwide.
The HS-FCC technology has evolved during a 15-year development effort that combines the innovation of five separate entities. During phase one, Japan's JX Nippon Oil & Energy and Saudi Arabia's King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) formed a research venture. JX, who leads the technology developers, provided technical research, and KFUPM provided the location for initial laboratory testing facilities.
During phase two, Saudi Aramco joined JX and KFUPM to continue developing the technology. The expanded team designed, built and operated a 30-bpd demonstration unit at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura refinery.
JX embarked on the third phase of development including the scaling-up of the demonstration unit to a 3,000-bpd pre-commercial demonstration unit, which is being built at JX's refinery in Mizushima, Japan. Shaw and Axens provided engineering services for the unit, which is expected to be operational in 2011.
"This next generation technology will be of great interest to refiners who are looking to convert intermediate oils into more valuable products than those available from conventional fluid catalytic cracking units," said Lou Pucher, president of Shaw's Energy & Chemicals Group. "HS-FCC potentially will become the preferred platform for integrated refinery and petrochemical complexes."
The HS-FCC design uses Shaw and Axens' regeneration and catalyst transfer technology and expertise that stems from their 25-year fluid catalytic cracking relationship. The two companies have licensed 50 grassroots units and performed more than 200 revamp projects.