February 2011

Special Report: Clean Fuels

How to fabricate reactors for severe service

Many critical factors are involved in the design and welding of hydrocracking reactors

Demand for transportation fuels and other crude oil-based products has been increasing. To meet growing demand for “cleaner fuels,” refiners are using more severe processing methods such as hydrocracking. Demand for refined products has increased to the extent that refiners desire larger hydrocracking reactors that can operate at higher pressures with design conditions that are even more severe. New feedstock diets for refineries utilize more difficult to “crack” crudes; demand for reactors that can withstand higher temperatures (over 450°C) and higher hydrogen partial pressures (12 MPa to 15 MPa) likewise is increasing. Under such severe processing conditions, react

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