March 2004

Process Technology

Consider revamping hydrotreaters to handle higher H2 partial pressures

Most clean fuel programs will reuse existing equipment. A thorough review of pressure ratings can optimize design opportunities

Turner, J., Fluor; Reisdorf, M., Fluor Corp.

To manufacture "cleaner" transportation fuels, refiners will push the operating envelope of existing distillate and gas-oil hydrotreating units. New hydrotreating catalyst systems use higher operating severity to achieve desired processing goals. Raising the hydrogen partial pressure in the hydrotreater reactor can be beneficial. This is particularly true for treating diesel materials to ultra-low-sulfur (<15 ppmw sulfur) specifications. When desulfurization efforts hit a "wall" above the 15-ppmw specification, increasing the hydrogen partial pressure can ensure that the unit meets the lower specification. Many low-pressure (<600 psig) diesel hydrotreater units are in se

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