September 2008

Special Report: Refining Developments

Upgrade hydrocracked resid through integrated hydrotreating

This refiner processed an exceptionally difficult feed and wanted to increase light products production with minimal modifications and costs

Cavallo, E., Axens; Januszweski, D., Putek, S., PKN Orlen SA

The resid hydrocracker at the PKN Orlen refinery in Poland processes Ural crude vacuum residue (VR) to produce low-sulfur fuel oil (< 1 wt% sulfur) and lighter distillate products. Since the unit startup in October 1999, the refinery has reduced heavy heating oil production while increasing yield of more valuable lighter products. Ural VR is a difficult feed to process due to its low stability potential linked to the high content of refractory asphaltenes. Fouling can be particularly troublesome and impacts vacuum fractionation column and bottom exchanger operating cycles. However, equipment design and operation improvements have progressively increased cycle lengths as shown in Fig. 1.

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