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Optimize value from FCC bottoms

04.01.2013  |  Paraskos, J. ,  PRO-TECH Associates, San Francisco, CaliforniaScalco, V. ,  General Atomics, San Diego, California

Keywords: [FCC] [fluid catalytic cracking] [slurry oil] [economics] [Electrostatic separators] [yields]

Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is one of the most versatile and profitable upgrading processes in a refinery. FCC has maintained its place in the refinery through a series of evolutionary changes to meet changing demands. FCC slurry oil (SO) is the lowest value product from the unit (typically, a 5% yield). It is a highly aromatic, low API material containing FCC catalysts. Because of the catalyst content and high aromaticity, possible environmental restrictions make easy sludge disposal from settling tanks expensive. Meanwhile, processing the catalyst-laden slurry can cause severe erosion of refinery equipment. Within this context, possible product uses for SO include fuel-oil (FO) blending, carbon-black feedstock, needle-coke feedstock and upgrading to lighter fuels. By using an electrostatic separator, catalyst fines in SO can be reduced, allowing for the production of specialty product feedstocks, higher value fuels and blendstocks that reduce erosion and disposal concerns.

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