July 2005

Process Developments

Recover lube extraction gasoils from vacuum distillation units

Modeling methods explore revamping the vacuum unit to optimize lube oil production

Zeidan, A., Bantrel Co.

Since its introduction, vacuum distillation (VD) has become a key refinery operation and is used to continue upstream atmospheric distillation. Topped crude is processed at sub-atmospheric conditions to recover valuable gasoils at low temperatures and to avoid coking and overcracking. Typically, VD towers recover gasoils for downstream cracking units, while other towers produce lubricants. Also, VD is used to produce lube-grade gasoils for further processing by lubricant production facilities. Vacuum tower expansion projects are part of the current trend to maximize capacity, and to minimize energy consumption and operating costs of refinery units. Simulation is a key activity for any

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