Update hydrocracking reactor controls for improved reliability
The industry consultant believes auto-quench, excursion control and bed-outlet layers should join auto-depressure as industry-best practice for all hydrocrackers.
At present, hydrocarbon pricing pays strong dividends for hydrocracking (HC), which leverages low-cost hydrogen (H2), sourced from todays abundant natural gas supply, into high-value liquid fuels. Among hydroprocessing (HP) units, HC units have the greatest H2 uptake, with a typical liquid volume swell of 10%. This earns in the range of $100 million (MM) per year for a 30,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) HC unit based on volume swell alone, in addition to the usual value upgrade of HC conversion.
As a result, hydrocrackerswhich are already one of the hydrocarbon processing industrys most demanding process control challengesare being pushed to greater limits. HC reactors op
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