September 2013

Special Report: Refining Developments

Optimize slop-wax bed height in the vacuum unit

The vacuum distillation (VD) unit in the petroleum refinery separates the heavier fraction of crude oil from the atmospheric distillation unit (ADU) into light vacuum gasoil (LVGO) and heavy VGO (HVGO..

Gupta, A., Patil, R. C., Das, A. K., Reliance Industries, Ltd.; Yadav, M., Reliance Technology Group, Reliance Industries Limited

The vacuum distillation (VD) unit in the petroleum refinery separates the heavier fraction of crude oil from the atmospheric distillation unit (ADU) into light vacuum gasoil (LVGO) and heavy VGO (HVGO) under a vacuum to avoid thermal cracking of the heavier hydrocarbons. The two-phase mixture of the reduced crude oil (RCO) liquid and vapor from the ADU enters the VD column flash zone and flashes further under low pressure. While the lighter materials, mainly VGO as vapor, move up the column, the heavier liquid materials, vacuum residue (VR), move to the column bottom. However, some VR liquid droplets are entrained within the vapor and must be washed off to maintain HVGO product quality. A s

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