February 2010

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Designing vacuum distillation for deep-cut bitumen service

To process bitumen-derived residue, success depends on the engineering design concepts and methods applied

Grande, M., Fluor Canada Ltd.

Energy security issues have refiners seeking heavier crude oils and bitumen (oil sands) as feeds for their operations. Several issues require resolution for a successful deep-cut design or revamp of a vacuum distillation unit (VDU) to process bitumen-derived atmospheric residue (AR). Success depends on the design concepts and methodologies applied. A wet VDU design may not only be optimal but also necessary depending on the heavy vacuum gasoil (HVGO) yield cutpoints. This case history outlines design concepts and methodology that can be applied to a VDU to successfully producing desired gasoil (GO) yields for reliable conversion. Deep-cut separation. Upgrader/refinery configuration evaluat

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