June 2013

Special Report: Process/Plant Optimization

Troubleshoot and optimize debutanizer columns in hydrocrackers

Saudi Aramco’s Riyadh refinery operates a series-flow, single-stage hydrocracking unit (HCU) in recycle high-conversion mode. The unit underwent a revamp in 1983 and presently processes a mixture..

Saudi Aramco’s Riyadh refinery operates a series-flow, single-stage hydrocracking unit (HCU) in recycle high-conversion mode. The unit underwent a revamp in 1983 and presently processes a mixture of vacuum gasoil from the vacuum distillation unit and demineralized oil (DMO) from the solvent extraction unit. The HCU operates at a flowrate of approximately 31,000 barrels per stream day (bpsd) of fresh feed, which contains 10%–15% maximum DMO in the feed at 99% conversion. The process scheme The HCU has a single-stage recycle configuration, with a debutanizer-first fractionation scheme. Consequently, the debutanizer acts as both a conventional stabilizer and a hydrogen sulfide

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