December 2016

Special Focus: Plant Design, Engineering and Construction

Efficiently and safely revamp an RFCC reactor and regenerator

This case study provides checks and reviews from the owner and the engineer for the major revamp work of the RFCC process.

The residue fluidized catalytic cracking (RFCC) process is a common heavy oil upgrading process within refineries. The reactor and regenerator comprise some of the main equipment, and they are connected to other components by complicated refractory lined ducts, expansion joints and slide valves. Within the reactor and regenerator, many abrasion-resistant lined cyclones separate the remaining catalyst particles from the cracked vapor. Modification work on a reactor and regenerator is an important and dangerous endeavor due to its complexity, significant size and heavy weight. In 2013, the decision was made to revamp an RFCC process that had been in operation for 19 yr in Ulsan, South Korea.

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